Category Archives: yarn

Finished Object (not quite) Friday

I have some exciting finished objects this week! Ok, some of them were finished a while ago, but I didn’t have photos to post, so I pretended they didn’t exist yet.

About a month before Christmas my sister, who loudly proclaimed a few years ago that she NEVER wanted anything handmade, asked if I could knit her a baggy sweater. It didn’t matter that it was a month before Christmas, that I had an 8 week old keeping me busy, and a number of other projects to finish- she finally asked for something handmade, and gosh darnit, she was going to get it!

In true knitter fashion, I was up until 2am Christmas Day putting the finishing touches on her sweater, but it was done in time to be wrapped and placed under the tree. It was a simple pattern but I love the look of it, and it was exactly what she asked for.IMG_20150118_093559240 Pattern is Il Grande Favorito, knit with Plymouth Encore Chunky. This was the 38″ bust for 4″ ease. So incredibly simple, and so comfortable.

Almost two weeks ago, I finally finished my husband’s first handknit sweater. This is a testament to true love- stockinette (with some ribbing) in a plain grey. I love my husband dearly, but this sweater tested my resolve. The actual sweater knit up easily, then took 4 hours to seam up. By the time I got to the zipper I just ran it through the sewing machine, because I couldn’t stand to work on it any longer. But it fits him perfectly, and he wears it all the time. 20150118_133529 Pattern is Cambridge Jacket knit with Cascade 220. Size 44″ chest, which gives no real ease. Modifications I would make: increase the sleeve length by 1″, and maybe less increases on the upper arm- they seem a bit loose.

 

This project was just finished a few days ago. I started a baby blanket for Connor back in July, but got so distracted by little sweaters, hats, etc that I ignored it for a while. Plus he got so many beautiful blankets from friends that I didn’t see the rush. But I finally buckled down and completed it the other week.

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Pattern is Honeycomb Stroller Blanket, knit with Ella Rae worsted superwash. I modified the edging to this. The pattern has you pick up stitches on one side, knit garter stitch for a few rows, then bind off. Repeat 3 more times. I don’t like how modular that looks, so I picked up stitches all the way around, then did two increases at each corner every other round. I also did two garter ridges in white, then one garter ridge in brown, two white, one green, two white, then the bind off. I think it makes a much nicer border for this blanket.

And of course as soon as those are off the needles, I have just as many cast on. Another baby sweater, a scarf for a family member, a Doctor Who scarf for Josh, and I’m hoping to start something for myself here soon.

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First Finished Object Friday

A lot of crafters participate in Finished Object Fridays, but I take so long to complete things that I’ve never joined in. This week, I finally have a few items that are 100% done, so why not participate this time around? Heck, if I’m feeling really daring, I might even do WIP Wednesday next week!

On to the finished objects! First up: Baby Sophisticate Sweater for baby Dez. This was knit out of Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran ( I think…I need to find the ball band). This is the 3 month size, and is so teeny it’s squeal-worthy. Go ahead, you know you want to. I’ll wait.

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Next up is Owlet, by Kate Davies. This was such a fast and easy knit (hard to refrain from a joke there…). I really enjoyed this pattern, and am seriously considering knitting the adult version for myself. Or maybe I’ll knit SD one so they can be twinsies at Christmas. Because kids LOVE IT when you dress them identically. This is out of Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran, in the 6 month size. Our families have a history of large babies, so my hope is that this will fit him during the second half of winter.

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And…that’s pretty much it. I’m not finishing much around here, lately. Environmental Law is kicking my butt, and we’ve been trying to spend as much time with SD as possible before she leaves tomorrow. Tune in Wednesday to see what I’ve been knitting on to date.

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Success!

This past weekend, I hosted a trunk show for my business. I set up on the front patio of my local yarn store on Saturday. It was a gorgeous day- not too hot, just enough of a breeze, and sunny. The store currently carries only one size of bags that I make, so I loved having the opportunity to showcase a wider range of sizes, plus introduce new items. Overall it was a very productive day, and I am glad I did it.

Here was the set-up:

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Here are the large box bags and drawstring bags. These large bags are amazing- I can fit a completed adult men’s sweater in one! These are nice for those large projects. The photo on the right is notion pouches, DPN holders, and needle rolls. These were all brand new items, and I loved having the chance to show them off.

These next two photos are just an overview of the set-up. A really cute location, and a ton of fun to do.

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Now on to some more fun personal stuff!

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First up is shawl progress. We had such gorgeous weather a few weekends ago that I spent the afternoon on our patio knitting. This of course involved lunch on the patio, too. We eat nothing but the best here- mystery meat in a tube. The shawl is complete, with a few modifications. I didn’t do the lace edging, and instead did a garter stitch border. I wish I had more mats so I could have blocked it a bit more vigorously, but it is still pretty generously sized. I am so madly in love with the fiber and color that I am tempted to buy another 8oz and spin some more.

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I also went on a baking kick. This was a rosemary potato bread recipe I’ve had for a while, but never tried. This came out exactly like the Wegman’s rosemary-sea salt bread. It was delicious, and gone within a few days. I couldn’t believe how large the two loaves were going to be- these things proofed out huge!

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Then it was pie time. Blueberries aren’t quite in season here yet, but they are on sale at the grocery stores, so we decided it was time for blueberry pie. It’s my basic pie recipe- baked shell, with the hot filling poured in and then chilled. It takes 15 minutes, start to finish, and is always a hit.

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I will say, all of this activity seemed to wear someone out. She tried to help as much as possible (read: get underfoot and then be cranky when she accidentally got kicked); but finally resigned herself to napping over by my wheel.

 

 

 

And what would this be without a photo of my current WIP?

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That right there is 21 weeks. I feel so much larger than I look! He is becoming quite active- the kicks are visible now, and half the time it feels like an alien is trying to burst out of me. We are officially past the halfway point! I guess this means we should start working on putting together a nursery…or planning a nursery…

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Making Progress

There is something about the true advent of Spring that makes me productive. I’m not talking about spring on the calender, when we can still expect at least one good snow and more than a few frosts. I mean when the time is right to plant gardens, attend outdoor festivals, sit on back patios drinking your morning coffee and it being the perfect temperature. This is my second favorite time of the year.

This time of year always kicks my butt into high gear, and I love having a long weekend available to me to take advantage of this. This past week I finally got my snapdragons planted out front:

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Yay crummy cell phone photos! Anyway, there are three rows on either side of the steps: 4 in the first row, 3 in the second, and 2 in the third on each side. I’m hoping they fill out. This is the first year I’ve been able to plant my own flower bed, so I’m a little nervous that I somehow screwed something up and doomed these flowers to a wilting, sorrowful life.

 

My container vegetable garden looks to be doing well, although I am a bit worried now that I put too many tomato plants in one planter. I may have to find somewhere else to put one. I don’t know. We’ll see how they do.

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20140525_102817was worried they wouldn’t get enough sun back here, but the seem to get full/partial sun from sunrise to about 4pm back there, and doing well so far.

My pepper plants are doing well too- the first flowers have bloomed, so we should start seeing peppers developing here soon.

My squash/pumpkin/cucumber are also doing better than I expected. I need to buy a trellis to set up in the back of their planter, but I think I have a few weeks before it becomes an issue.

And finally my sugar peas have sprouted! These guys popped up way earlier than I expected, and every morning when I check on them it seems they have developed in leaps and bounds. I cannot wait to collect our first harvest from them, probably in early July.  I plan on then planting a second batch in August for fall peas.

And in the knitting front, I am cruising on the Monsoon Shawl. At this point I have finished 3/4 of the lace repeats, and just have one more to go plus the edging. I am hoping to have this finished next weekend. It’s a really quick knit, and super easy to follow once you get the hang of it. I love how it looks in this merino/bamboo blend (details here). I am thinking of making this again in an alpaca or alpaca blend. Eventually. After knitting baby stuff.

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Did I mention last time that we found out what we are having? By October, we will have a little baby boy! J is so excited, and I am too, although he is very picky about what I can knit for said baby now. I’m glad I had already planned to go with a fall palate for most of the items I am making, regardless of sex.

Last but not least, we checked out an antique store today. It took a lot of willpower for me to not buy this antique wheel. It is fully functional, with a screw tension MOA. The wood was in great condition, considering how old it looked, and when I tested it (as much as I could) it moved so incredibly smoothly. It’s only $88 and it took all of my willpower to not buy it right then. If it’s still there in a month or two, I don’t think I will be able to resist. It’s not a CPW, but it is a nice little antique machine.

What have you been up to this holiday weekend?

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Always Playing Catch-up

Keeping up is hard to do, lately. So much going on, and so little time to record it! The usual is still going on; school is school, pregnancy is…interesting, bags are selling well at the local shop, and work is busy. Honestly, I don’t have it in me to write too much, so I’ll just show you what I’ve been up to in pictures.

Chocolates from our favorite local chocolate shop. I get spoiled occasionally. Maybe it is worth the morning sickness ;)

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I started this while we were still having dark, gloomy weather. It’s a merino/bamboo blend and just so darn cheerful. It spins up like butter and makes me happy. 

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The rest of these photos are from MDSW 2014, which just ended. This year my parents made the trip down with me. I didn’t buy much, but we had such an enjoyable day checking out the sheep and food. I bought 1/2lb of cormo roving, 4oz of BFL/nylon roving from FatCatKnits, and worsted yarn from Neighborhood Fiber Co. to make a sweater for baby.

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Ice cream before we leave!

 

 

 

 


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I’m going to get my things organized, and hopefully have a much more interesting post after this, showing completed projects and plans for my next few. 

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The Calm After the Storm

Christmas has come and gone for another year here. Presents were all received with much excitement, and cookies, fruitcake, roast, and sweets have all been consumed. I look forward to a few more days of relaxing before having to go back to the daily grind of work, classes, chores, and social obligations.

J and I have joined my parents, grandparents, and one of my uncle’s families up at the lake for a few days. This time is my favorite; we all sit around drinking coffee and talking, take hikes, play board or trivia games, and just enjoy catching up with everyone’s goings on over the past year.  There is chaos and laughter, exchanging of advice, and copious amounts of beverages. 

I never really partake in New Year’s Resolutions. They always seems to be something vague “get in shape,” and setting something more specific always makes me feel like a failure if something happens that prevents success.  I prefer to go with hopes for the new year- things to strive for, to look forward to, but not obligatory successes. I’m still finagling the details, but it gives me something to think about while I drink my morning coffee. 

I also partake in a “New Year’s Cast-on-along”  started a few years ago by a rubbernecker friend. The purpose of this is to cast on a brand new project, something for yourself, as an enticement for good omens in the coming year.  I haven’t even begun thinking about what I should start for myself. Three years ago it was my wedding veil (so far the good omen seems to be working), and last year I did a quick pair of mittens. Maybe this year I’ll do something simple, such as a nice winter scarf, or a quick hat. Something to wear through the rest of the winter to cheer me up. 

 

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Goodness and Light

We are a mere days away from Christmas, and preparations are in full swing! Because of exams and fieldwork, I got a late start on the Holidays this year. Life has been so busy, we didn’t even get a real tree, we just put up my artificial one from college. I don’t mind too much- I’m glad it’s getting used. I just miss having a real one. 

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We got the tree up at the beginning of the month, and decorated soon after. Even though not much else was completed all month, it is nice having it there, decorated and lit up. It helps bring a little bit of the holiday spirit. There is a certain cat here that feels the tree is meant for eating. I think from now on we need to suffer through getting a real tree. At least those are less toxic than processed plastics.

 

 

 

I’ve been working on my Opulent Raglan almost exclusively this month. I hope to have it done in time for my work holiday party in January. This photo is old- I cast off the body this morning, and am getting ready to pick up stitches for the sleeves. This is a perfect tv watching knit.

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Yesterday my mother and I finally found time to get together and knock out some of the baking. We managed to complete two batches of spritz, 1.5 batches of gingerbread and a batch of peanut butter blossoms (peanut butter cookies with a hershey kiss in the center). I still have two batches of sugar cookies and some gingerbread to complete, but that’s not bad for one day!

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In my family we usually do half the gingerbread with red hots, and the other half plain, but this year I had a sudden urge to ice some of the plain ones. I had so much fun giving them little faces and outfits! They will be much more entertaining to eat than the plain ones. 

Unfortunately, it hasn’t been all joy and light around here. On our way to dinner Friday, Skye had an unfortunate incident. Seems the lady behind us at a red light was in a great rush to get somewhere, and nailed us on the right corner. Skye isn’t too bad, but her car 

is totaled. It could be much, much worse, and I will say that considering how hard she hit us, I am so thankful for how well made Honda’s are.  

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Today is going to be full of baking, prepping for perogi’s to eat on Christmas Eve, and sewing some special project bags for Christmas gifts. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

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This and That

I have been travelling for my full-time job almost non stop lately, home only long enough to attend my graduate classes two evenings a week. This means that little crafting or blogging has been completed recently, so today will be random things I forgot to blog about earlier in the year.

Rhinebeck Haul

This is my haul from Rhinebeck this year, minus the amazing cheese and pesto I bought. Those are already gone.  Starting from the upper left: BFL naturally dyed from Spencer Hill Spinning and Dyeing. She only uses natural dyes for all of her products, and gets amazing colors from them.

Next is 4oz of baby mohair/wool from Steam Valley Fiber. The White skein is also from them; it’s a mohair/wool blend dk weight yarn.

Next are two skeins of sock yarn from Spencer Hill (can you tell where I spent all of my money?) in indigo/lac and indigo. Then two miniskeins of sock yarn from Miss Babs for some colorwork mittens I am planning. Finally, 8oz of CVM/Silk from Carolina Homespun. It is like touching a cloud. I LOVE it.

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This was my big birthday present from my parents- an antique yarn blocker! It is fully functioning, and makes a popping noise after approximately 80 rotations (I need to count again, it’s hard to keep track). Some of the spokes are chipped, but they will still hold yarn!

 

 

 

 

 

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This Book was a present for my inlaws. I cannot wait to start making some of the projects in it. The Penguin and Alligator specifically look like so much fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 I posted back here about spinning up some pink corriedale in fauxlags. This hat is the result of that yarn. It used about 2/3 of the skein (125yds). It is so warm and squishy, I love it! I didn’t want to take it off once I finished it. This hat only took about 3 days of intermittent knitting.

 

 

 

 

 

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And finally! Yesterday we went to Afternoon Tea at the Jefferson Hotel to celebrate my cousin’s 16th birthday. This was the fanciest tea I have ever been to. Absolutely gorgeous, amazing foods and delicious teas. Such a great experience. And probably the only time I’ll be able to set foot in a hotel that swanky. ;)

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New Pattern!

Hey everyone! It’s been crazy busy around here lately. Between fieldwork at my fulltime job, schoolwork, tutoring, and trying to get bags done for my home business, I have hardly had time to stop and think. I did get a chance to finish knitting the photo model for my new pattern though. Pictures were this weekend, and the pattern is now live on my website!

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Cozy lace legwarmers, just in time for fall! These are perfect for staying warm in the house, or walking around the neighborhood. The lace pattern keeps them interesting, but there is no shaping! Just drop down a needle size to make them smaller.

Because the lace pattern spirals around the leg, all shaping is done by changing needle sizes. I chose an alpaca/wool/silk blend for these, to provide delicacy and warmth. 

By request, I will also be expanding this to a sock pattern. Once the sock pattern has been test knit, I will update the legwarmer pattern to include both options.

The pattern is available for sale through the link above, or on Ravelry  

Now it’s back to sewing bags. Hopefully I’ll have the majority of the drawstring bags done today, leaving me with the box bags and needle rolls for the rest of October.

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Canning Achievement: Unlocked!

Growing up I was always aware that my grandmother did a variety of preserving different items, but it never really piqued my interest. As a kid, who cared if you canned it? Pickles were gross, and fruit was meant to be eaten right away! Canning seemed pointless and something I would never be interested in.

Enter 2012. It seems that when one begins to engage in rustic activities such as knitting, it slowly leads to more. From knitting came spinning, and from spinning came the desire to know where my food came from at a better depth than “the grocery store.” Sure, stuff from the store is fine, but I kept hearing stories about how home grown produce has so much more flavor, and was a much richer experience all around. I wanted to check this out. So, in the spring of 2012, we joined a CSA. Everything I heard was absolutely true. I never knew tomatoes actually had flavor! The ones from the store always felt like I was eating cardboard! On top of that, we got a variety of fruits and vegetables I have never heard of or tried, and learned that there are a number of items I really enjoy. $400 for 26 weeks was a great deal- we definitely got more than $15 worth of food in each box, and I think the added value of having items picked within the last 48-72 hours was worth it.

But we quickly had a problem: We couldn’t eat it all fast enough! Last year was upsetting because we did end up wasting so much. It was a lot of food, and while we were attempting to eat healthier, we just couldn’t eat all of it. This year we signed up to split the CSA with my parents, but it was still more food than we could eat in a reasonable amount of time. So then what do you do?

That’s when I remembered my grandmother’s canning, and wondered how much of our produce I could do that for. Turns out, almost all of it! Our CSA does a few days a summer where we can pick as much of a certain item as we want at a low or no cost. This seemed like a great opportunity to start! When J’s parents were visiting this past month, we took everyone out for peach picking. $13 for a half bushel, and that half bushel held a LOT of peaches. I bought some pint size canning jars and decided to dive right in!

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Unfortunately, I seem to have lost the first photo I took of the set-up prior to canning. I would also like to point out that this was the second canning event- I had already done a case of pint jars, and needed to finish up the peaches. So this was just the last of the peaches from the picking. I have already given 2 jars to my parents, and 2 to some friends. There is no way we would eat half a bushel of peaches ourselves, canned or not!

When I wasn’t canning yesterday, I was doing some knitting. Doesn’t this look like the perfect Saturday morning, right here?

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It would have been a lot more relaxing if the purpose hadn’t been to do a final troubleshoot on a pattern I’ve been working on. I plan on releasing it next week, but I need to make sure the pattern works 100% the way it is supposed to before publishing. So far it’s only been tiny mistakes, but in doing this I need to focus solely on my knitting.

So that’s my weekend: knitting, canning, coffee, oh and bonfires. Everything about my weekend shouts “it’s fall!” and I love it. 

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