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!!

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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.

Garter Stitch.

Garter Stitch. It’s one of those things every knitter starts out with right? I finally took a picture of my first ever knitting project.
My First Knit Project
It was an afghan. Red Heart yarn, cranberry I think is the colorway. This project was made for Dan when we were dating (back in 2002 – we had been dating for 6 years at that point. We’re married for 5 years this Nov. No such thing as a blanket curse in my opinion) The “pattern” was from a “Teach Yourself to Knit” – which I did, successfully (and left-handed too!). It’s two big garter stitch rectangles, “seamed” together. It almost pains me to look at it and I can’t wait to make us a new blanket. But, Dan likes it and it does effectively work (imagine that!) – and even covers the bed!

Sometimes, garter stitch is not all that bad. I’ve had cowls on the brain this week – maybe because it’s getting cooler cold outside, and the scarves are driving me a bit crazy with the long tails. And I wanted a new cowl for Rhinebeck. So, I pulled out yarn I got at Rhinebeck last year (from Jamie Harmon) – bulky yarn, great blue-green-white colors – a few hours, some big needles (even Dan commented – so what gauge are those needles? 13s? He was right!) and Wham, Bam, Thank you Lamb! I’ve got a new cowl and it’s awesome.
Wham Bam, thank you lamb

new cowl

Love. And I’m so buying more of this yarn this weekend!

Blahs and otherwise

My internet was a bit wonky and FUBAR since last Thursday, but now seems to be much better. (Blah#1)

Blah Buster Buddy
I made this little tiger for my Cocoa Swap pal, Sarah – she’s starting culinary school! I had a lot of fun shopping for her and making this little guy. I used Barbara Prime’s Tiger pattern – it was a great pattern and I would love to work up some of her other Fuzzy Mitten Cuties.

I finished my “Plum Blossom Mittens” by last Thursday. That was my personal goal – we were going out to dinner and since I was not driving I could wear mittens. I like fingerless mitts and having my fingers free while driving. Anyway, they are done:
Plum Blossom Mitts
But, I finished them in time for one of the warmest days of the year. I still wore them. But I don’t know how much I’ll actually wear them.
Wearing the Mitens
They are still a little snug, the cuff is still a tad too short, and the thumbs are a bit too long. (Blah#2). I’ll keep them and when someone comes over and is in need of mitts, they can borrow them. (Betsy I’m looking at you!)

I had plenty of white yarn leftover from the mitts (Berroco Peruvia Quick) and it was already in a yarn cake, so I immediately cast on (because it was convenient) for a Herringbone Neckwarmer
Pretty but possibly impractical
The buttons need to be attached still. Aside from the convenience, I don’t know why I knit this one. It’s pretty, and warm, but seriously. White? It’s going to be a magnet for Lorelai’s goopy-goldfish-crumb-covered little fingers. Maybe, maybe not.

The LnV sock marathon has started and I’m chugging along. My iPhone mitts are so close to being finished. I started a sock, the “Guided By Love” pattern, in a colorway that made me think of Jackson.
Sock, now dead
My first toe up. BUT, it’s too big (Blah#3). So I decided to stop, and again, knitting by convenience I have cast on for a “Woodland Scarf” instead.
Woodland Scarf, in progress
I think that will be better. It’s not a blah 🙂

Cover every little neck

a.k.a. My dog is a good sport part #3750293854 (note to Emmie beloved cat of Knelley, you could be a better sport!)

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I’ve been wanting to make this for a while – it’s a “Snood for a Hound” ravelry-link by Erssie. I love pretty much any dog anyway, but the hounds have a special place in my heart. It’s a combination of the face and ears – such personality. I dream of getting an Italian greyhound (or rescue a greyhound) and naming it “Fragile” (Think Christmas Story pronunciation). But that’s a long way off, I wouldn’t dare do that to Jackson. I will, however, dress the dog in handknits. Anyway, Erssie sold this pattern to raise $$ for greyhound rescue.

I did have to make a few slight modifications – Jackson has a long body and head, but a short neck. I followed the pattern in the beginning, did one cable round, knit 11 rib rounds after that and bound off. The yarn is Vanna’s Choice (acrylic) in a Rust colorway, leftover from a pumpkin hat. Jackson does get chilly but really gets a tad freaked out by wearing a sweater (he shakes harder!) so I’m hoping that this will give him some extra warmth (who doesn’t like a bit of warmth around their neck?) without the full-on sweater-pressure. And it can be worn in a variety of styles. It also helps that he’s ready to fall asleep with it on as I type this. I plan to get a few more photos of him walking around with it on.

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Good dog!