Thanksgiving Crafts

Last week I posted about my Pom Pom Maker – did you guess that I would take a shot at using the pom pom maker to whip up a flock of Pom Pom Toms, like Martha? Here’s a shot in progress:
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The pom poms are a great way to use up stash yarn if you have it. I used a mix of wool-acrylics / acrylics (think Ella Rae & Vanna’s Choice). I will say that it was quite tedious to cut out the scalloped “feathers” – some are a bit pointy.

But the end result is pretty neat.
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I gave up when it came to glueing the legs on – I wasn’t sure they would stay up and they already look a little drunk as it is.

I also printed up the designs that Jessica of Craftily-Ever-After kindly shared.
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Perfect – I was able to swap out some photos and prints in these frames for the more appropriate seasonal ones. Jessica also has ones for Halloween and Christmas!

It was a great day I think – my brothers, SIL and brother’s girlfriend came in on Wednesday night and were quite gracious in allowing me to boss them all around. It was smooth sailing on Thursday. We had a little party for the Lorax since the whole family was there –
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Three!!! (Just about.)

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Couldn’t ask for much more!

WIP Wednesday


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Originally uploaded by nutmegknitter

Most of my Thanksgiving projects are still in progress (but well organized so there is no fretting about it) and I don’t have photos of them yet. Instead I thought I would share this WIP. I picked up a skein of Plymouth Encore that had a great rainbow in it. My LYS had it worked up into a baby blanket. I wanted to see how it worked up – stripey? pooling? – and it is stripey for the win!
The pattern is BabySquared Blanket by WifeMomKnitter. It’s a great size and just the thing for almost-auto-pilot knitting – a great break from the cabley project I’ve got going on and a nice break from the Thanksgiving planning. Another lovely feature? It is free! How generous of WifeMomKnitter to offer up such a great pattern!

PomPom Maker


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Originally uploaded by nutmegknitter

Back in the summer I had a gift card to JoAnns – I made a rather impulsive decision to seek out a pompom maker (two actually). I thought I would use them for hats here and there and was pleased that they do actually work. Between yesterday and today I’ve been cranking them out! PomPoms are quite fun to make and quite the stashbuster for yarn. Hopefully I will be able to show you the end result in a few days, but for now I’ve got many more PomPoms to make.

Book Lemming

Sara posted that she is a Lemming. Well, count me in that company as well. I have professed my love of books and reading before, but it comes in spurts. I love the idea of this read-along:
YA of the 80s and 90s Reading Challenge
YA of the 80s and 90s Reading Challenge
hosted by The Book Vixen

* Runs January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011 (books read prior to 1/1/11 do not count). You can join at anytime. You can sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
* Read as many YA books that were originally published in the 80s and 90s as your heart desires. The only requirement is that the book(s) have to have been first published sometime between 1980 – 1999.
* Books can be any format (bound, eBook, audio).
* Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are fine.
* You can list your books in advance or list them as you read them. It is not required that you review the books you read for this challenge but feel free to do so.
* Post this reading challenge on your blog so you can keep a list of the books you’ve read for this challenge. Please include a link back to this post so readers can join the challenge too.
* You do not have to be a book blogger to participate. You can keep tabs on books you’ve read for this challenge on Goodreads or LibraryThing if you’d like (maybe make a shelf for “YA of the 80s and 90s Reading Challenge”). If you are not on either of those sites then you can list the books you read for this challenge in the comments on my wrap-up post, which will be up at the end of 2011.

September Circle

A while back I went up to Boston to visit Theatreknitter in her new place. Lucky gal, she can walk to a LYS, the lovely Seed Stitch. While we were in there, magic words were spoken “Pick out something for your birthday present!” This threw me for a momentary loop since I was completely surprised and I totally blanked on what I might have queued up or been lusting for. I did spy several Crazy Zauberballs that caught my eye. I decided on a red-pink-purple one, Indisch Rosa – pretty much outside my color comfort zone, but really, those colors were so striking! The pretty ball sat on my desk for a week or so and then the September Circle pattern was released – and it specifically called for a CZ!

The cast on was a bit intimidating (join without twisting a WHOLE lot of tiny stitches), but I found it to be a good knit for SnB or tv – rest rows, and the lace pattern was of the auto-pilot type. I think it is a good all around yarn karma that I finished it while on the retreat this weekend with Betsy!
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Moments after binding off! Totally unblocked.

I didn’t block vigorously – I’m impatient – so a bit of steam from the iron helped to show the pattern a bit more.
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It’s as big as my couch cushion.

I do plan to wear it like this (and look off at Jackson in the distance)
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But mostly I’ll fold it in half, put it on and twist it to go around my neck a second time and wear it like this:
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I love it, I really do and I expect to wear it often and maybe give the reds and pinks another shot. Now that I think of it – a good portion of the stash I swapped for at the retreat is in red shades. And my Dorflinger Tee is pomegranate pink…

Gratuitous Jackson Shots.
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Good boy – he’s also doing the “I’m looking at something far away” model technique we have learned watching America’s Next Top Model. He might be “Smize-ing”, but you never can be sure with a dachshund.

Happy Sigh.

At the end of October I blogged about my Sock Love. My copy of Knit. Sock. Love arrived in the mail the other day! The book is lovely – even just to flip through – I love the layout and organization and stories.
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Happy sigh. I want to get this image printed on a project bag or something (anyone do stuff like that? should I just go through cafepress?). It just makes me happy. That and the incredibly cool fact that I am in this book! In the back I am listed as one of the knitters for Cusp.

And just when I thought I was coming off the high of wool fumes, a sample knit arrived in the mail – I am waiting to hear if I can blog about it or not, but it is for Lorna’s Laces and this yarn is a dream just to touch in the skein – I am really looking forward to even swatching this yarn!

Knitter’s Review Retreat

a.k.a. How I Spent My Weekend with Internet Strangers (but they were Knitters!)

I have been looking forward to this past weekend since July. And, as expected, it just flew by and now it is all over! The Knitter’s Review Retreat was a fantastic time – and I hope to become a repeat retreated.

On Friday I met up with Theatreknitter at a sweet yarn shop in Lenox, Mass – Colorful Stitches. Great selection of yarns (and buttons and ribbon!) and patterns. I ended up with St.Denis Magazine #2 for the Juneberry Triangle pattern (and Scrollwork Socks as well as Lullaby Blanket). We drove up to the Williams Inn and what a sight – as soon as you walk inside, WHAM! Knitters!! EVERYWHERE. Excellent.

We checked in a we given a beautiful goody bag – the bag itself is awesome, but it also contained yarn (including Socks that Rock!), notecards, patterns, pins, a stitch marker, soak samples and chocolate!
Knitters Review Goody Bag

Each meal (and throughout each day) was a feast for the eyes as well as the body – so many gorgeous handknits. These knitters are amazing. After dinner on Friday night Clara gathered us all together to share a project / yarn that you love so much you would marry it if you could.
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Clara is the one on the left in the tiara. 🙂 Like many others there, I could not profess my love for just one yarn, instead I spoke about my Hope & Donald chevron scarf.

On Saturday there were classes offered – I took a “Math for Knitters” class with Ann Budd. Fantastic – I feel much better now about switching up yarns / gauges for sweater possibilities and maybe even trying to make up my own sweater.
Knitter's Math Class

Saturday afternoon we had the chance to shop – gorgeous yarns were everywhere! I got to fondle Quince & Co. yarns – the colors are great and the prices are as well. I was very particular in my shopping – at some point in the future I will buy some from Quince & Co because it really was so great, but I decided on String Theory Caper Lace in a Garnet color (for the Juneberry Triangle!). The colors are stunning and I do wish I could buy all their yarn! We also took a trip over to Storey Publishing – books at 50% off?! Yes please! I added a new-to-me sock book, the 101 Projects for Sock Yarns and a crochet help book to my library. I did finish a project too which was great fun – it needs a bit of blocking / steam – my September Circle.
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Before dinner on Saturday, Cat Bordhi chatted with Betsy and I in the stash room (you bring stash you no longer love / need and take something else)! And then she needed a ball winder – we helped! And, OMG – Cat Bordhi used Betsy’s ball winder and swift!!
Celebrity spinning

Saturday evening brought door prizes! I won a skein of Briar Rose Fibers Dream Weaver 🙂 The weekend was just full of happy surprises like that – I also got quite lucky in my opinion – I found some Malabrigo in the stash room – some Mal Silky in a carrot orange, Mal Chunky which I’ve yet to try and Mal Gruesa. And a bunch of Knit Picks that I wanted to try and some sock leftovers.

Sunday’s morning included “Yarn Church” where we entered into a commitment union with a new project – mine is the Juneberry Triangle. Also on Sunday morning at breakfast – Ann Budd, Pam Allen and Cat Bordhi were at our table. I don’t think I did anything too outrageous to embarrass myself 🙂 Everyone was just wonderful and it was such a great experience. Low key, relaxing, just a whole lot of yarn and knitters and inspiration.

Packing Paralysis

Today I have been trying to get packed and ready for the Knitter’s Review Retreat – a weekend full of yarn and knitting! A packing occasion for which it is perfectly acceptable for me to bring “ALL the yarns” and yet I still can’t decide. What do I want to work on while I am there? What yarns and things do I want to bring for swapping (without seeming greedy? but it’s a great opportunity to share the stash with others!)? What knits do I want to wear? Decisions, decisions. I’m driving up, so there is plenty of room in the car for all the things in my “Maybe.” pile.

I will be wearing my new sweater at some point this weekend. (And tonight to SnB. And for Thanksgiving. And many times after that.) I finished Dorflinger Tee by Mandy Moore, from this year’s fall issue of Knitscene. Obligatory headless sweater shot:
Dorflinger Done!

I love this sweater. Big yarn makes for a quick project! This particular big yarn is Schaefer Yarn’s Esperanza (sadly discontinued!!) in the Pomegranate colorway. There is a subtle tonal variation but it works nicely with the lace here. I haven’t bothered to block the sweater and I don’t think that I will – I would rather wear it. I find that I do pull at the bottom of the sweater, so maybe it will get a little blocking just to lengthen it a smidge.

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And wouldn’t you know? The little Lorax who won’t wear most of the handknits, wants to be in the photos – look at that pose! When I held up the sweater to show her she thought it was a dress. Would love to try it on her, but I would also rather have smiles and hugs than tears.

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Maybe one day I can get her to take the photos!