A cowl, an owl and cables! FO Friday!

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It’s been a good week! This cowl was my first crochet test project! Crystal wore hers a few weeks back to our knitting group and I was absolutely taken with it. I was rather forward in telling her that I was very interested in the pattern – I am feeling a lot more comfortable with a crochet hook and really enjoy the process. Crocheting makes me feel like I am using my brain in a different way, if that makes sense, probably because I still need to stop and think frequently, unlike knitting (usually!). Anyway, the Miss Adler pattern is wonderful for a beginner like me. Once I got through the first set of rows I was flying. Crystal has a great knack for explaining the details and her style is very clear. I can also vouch for her dedication to a pattern – I have seen her work through designs to be published at our knitting group and she doesn’t do anything half-way. She is having a trunk show this weekend and I am really looking forward to checking it out! I used Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend for my version in the Wildflowers colorway. So many lovely colors poking through, very appropriate for spring. I did dip into a second skein, and as my gauge is different, my cowl is bigger, so I will probably wear it folded over as you can see in my Ravelry notebook.

Little Crochet Owl

Continuing with the crochet theme, this is Nel, the tiny owl, that I made for a swap on Ravelry.  He is another Fresh Stitches design and a lot of fun to make. I used Cotton Classic from the stash, and he turned out to be around 5 inches tall.  I hope he is loved when he gets to his destination!

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And finally, the Sweet Fern Mitts, from The Knitter’s Book of Wool.  These are also for a swap and I am very sad to see them go, but I will certainly make myself a pair.  They are just snug enough, and I made them with less than one skein of Berroco’s Blackstone Tweed. I struggled for a while with that yarn, trying to decide what to make with the lonely skein, but I would seek it out again – I loved working with it.

Have a great weekend!

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So this was Christmas…

Whoosh. Another Christmas has come and gone – it was a whirlwind (as always) and went by way to fast (as always) but was a good time & a success! This year we were low key on the side of decorations due to the Little Nutmeg being rather full of grabby hands. We had a pink plastic pre-lit Christmas tree (really) – it was a work prize for DH back in the summer when they moved locations. We had some garland and lights, a few printed signs, and this year we brought in an Elf on the Shelf. There are a zillion ideas on Pinterest, and I made a note of a few, but our elf was less into mischief and more into a daily game of hide-and-seek. The Lorax loved it. Elfie, our elf, is a bit creepy looking, but it makes for fun photos – here’s the round up of my instagram shots of where he hid. Elf on the shelf antics 2012Elf on the shelf antics 2012 (2)Elf on the shelf antics 2012 (3)
My favorite was when the Disney Princesses captured Elfie in a bug box!
Though I did have a last minute flare-up of thinking that I must knit ALL.THE.THINGS. for Christmas gifts, in the end I knit 4 things. My mom had pinned several times cowls on pinterest as a not-so-subtle hint to me. I worked up a Fiona Button Scarf very quickly! Crochet cowl
I still consider myself a beginner crocheter and this was a piece-of-cake pattern.
DIY gold toe socks
I’m calling these my DIY-gold-toe socks, even though the gold toe stripe is really not in the right spot. I started these Cauchy socks for Dan back in March. He had forgotten about them! They were very well received – he has worn them every day after work! I would indulge in the Spud & Chloe Fine yarn again and trying these on for the photo made me realize that I need to make myself some new socks!! I also made Dan a basic guy beanie with Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair that he loved – the hat is ready to go and in his car, so no photos yet. It’s snowing / raining now, so maybe tomorrow or the weekend? It seems that winter weather has truly settled in!
Oatmeal the snowman
One family Christmas party involved a Yankee Swap this year. I made Oatmeal the Snowman to go with a gift card. I love this little snowman and will be making myself another one! Unfortunately we had to duck out right after we picked out our gifts because it was getting late with the kids – so I have no idea who ended up with the snowman, or if he was loved. I hope!
In my little nutmeg, we had a nice Christmas. There were yarnie gifts which are great & I am very excited for 2013. I am working on my “resolutions” and what I want to accomplish / try, but for today (and probably the rest of the week), we’re recovering – I think we all have a touch of Holiday Hangover and both kids are sick with sniffles / coughs / temps. How was your holiday?

Shift Finished!

I am almost done with this year’s crazy Rhinebeck Hat – I will probably post a photo on Friday. I can say that both are coming together nicely and this takes the cake for obnoxious, easy to spot, silly, & yet totally appropriate for attending a fiber festival. But this post is about a new FO! I mentioned here that I scored a destash of Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica – it was an assortment of skeins. I had fun pairing them together and finally cast on a collection to create Shift. I started with this: Purple pink
Many rows of garter stitch later, I have ended up with this: IMG_5182
I love that it can be long and chunky, but I can also double it for those really cold days that are sure to come!
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Someone came looking for me when I was trying to take a few pictures! IMG_5195
And someone else was trying to snatch a few pancakes leftover from lunch, so I made him earn it.
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Christmas Knits

I have to say, I am quite pleased with myself and the gifts I knit for Christmas. There was no frantic weaving in of ends, and for the most part everything work as I intended it to. I found these great handmade gift labels to attach to each gift and include some care instructions on the backside. Each was received in the proper way, so I know I made good choices in knitting for the right people!

I made my first pair of thrummed mittens for my cousin. I found a kit at Rhinebeck this year that came with the yarn and fiber all together – I even went back to the Good Karma Farm booth to purchase a second kit and I do plan on making myself something thrummed because whoo-boy, they are warm and cozy!
Fleece Stuffed Mittens
I had to wing it a bit on the size, as my cousin told me she had small hands – but upon receipt she said they fit and really liked them, so that’s a win!

I am so proud of crocheting my first wearable, the Cardiff Cowl, in Malabrigo Silky for my Godmother.
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This was lovely right off the hook, and after a quick blocking it opened up even more. Win!

I also knit a cowl, Ptarmigan, a BrooklynTweed-Jared Flood design, for my sister-in-law.
Ptarmigan Cowl
The yarn is Delly’s Delight – “Oh So Soft” 100% alpaca – that we actually both bought our first time at Rhinebeck together back in 2009. I have plenty left over and am seriously considering making this again, for myself. I really enjoyed knitting this and it was hard to wrap it up and give it away.

Keeping with my own tradition, I knit another Koolhaas this season. This one is for my Dad.
2011 Koolhaas
I obviously had some trouble getting a good picture of this one – the yarn is Cascade 220 superwash in a really nice chocolate brown.

I was going to make a Koolhaas for my brother as well, but after talking with his wife she told me he would be happier with a plain plain plain hat. After some back and forth for ideas she suggested the Regular Guy Beanie
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I chose a slightly nicer yarn, Mountain Mohair from Green Mountain Spinnery, and enjoy the boringness of this hat pattern. My brother really liked it, so that’s all that matters. Especially if it means he will wear it.

Now I am feeling the itch to cast on *ALL THE THINGS*! I do have a sample knit that I am working on and is my current #1 priority, but I’ve got a mental list going – earflap hat for me, earflap hat for Lorelai, new socks for Dan, next hat for Nate, hexipuffs (which I’m thinking I may switch gears and go hexi-flat and not stuff them). I was generously gifted several knitting books and a set of blocking wires so that only fuels the fire to knit more and knit faster!

One thing at a time

Hello February. Another storm is working on through these parts – it is cold, it is grey, and I am distracted. Today is the first day for the Thing-A-Day creative challenge. As I write this blog post there are already 14 pages of posts from other individuals who are sharing their talents. As for me? I hit a snag this morning – I pulled out the materials for one project and then changed my mind. I started googling something else for a different project. I sat down and knit on a project. I think I am still a bit overwhelmed by all the things I want to do and I did not set a clear course for how I would accomplish those things. So today I am sharing a project that is quite overdue. It was knit up in December, but the ends were woven in and button added today.

This is the Cashmere Neckwarmer knit up in an alpaca / wool bulky blend by Blue Sky Alpacas. The button was found in a bagged assortment I found at a local thrift shop – I like how it mimics the stitch pattern. This project will be leaving me soon as part of a gift, but I plan to make another one for me.

I gave it a little steam to flatten it a bit before taking the photo – that’s a little bit of heaven, warm wool / alpaca around your neck! Like pajamas right out of the dryer! Just about makes up for the burnt tongue I just got on my hot chocolate because I am to impatient for it to cool. Stay warm and dry if you are where the weather is nasty today and tomorrow. Let your hot chocolate cool!!

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)
September Circle - FO!

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.

Glimmer

On Tuesday I whipped up another gift for another cousin – a Darkside Cowl that is not very dark at all.
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The yarn I used came from a bag of yarn that my mom came across at their house – it was mostly acrylic but there were a few finds in there, including a Berroco “Watercolor” yarn –
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It’s not in Ravelry. It’s not listed on the Berroco Discontinued Yarn list. I emailed Berroco and they told me that they don’t have info on it (!!?!) so it’s from before 1995 or so. It’s quite pretty – it’s a silver-ish with an additional ply of pink / yellow / green in there. I originally wanted to knit incognito but decided to keep it simple.

The pattern works well for this yarn – I did 3 repeats of the pattern, for a length of about 6 inches – this is for a 12 year old so that seemed big enough.
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Hand for reference again – apparently I’m getting lazy and not bothering to get a ruler.

It is a stretchy but snug item – I figure my cousin can wear it as a headband / ear cover / or cowl as she wishes. I like how it fit and will make myself one in the future (I’ve got some Malabrigo Silky in Rupestre and Cloud Sky – either would be gorgeous!)
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