At the end

Hello Monday! We’re still in vacation mode (minus a dentist appointment later today). This is a highly enjoyable change of pace. I think the kids have settled in to the “at home” routine, and calmed down a bit from the excitement of last week. Over the weekend I caught up on a few podcasts and just sat and knit. I’m working on a sample scarf that is knit in a laceweight mohair / silk. It’s lovely, and will be gorgeous when it is finished. Working on this has confirmed for me that I do not like laceweight – I feel like I’m knitting with dust bunnies! I made decent progress (maybe 8 or 10 inches?) and then last night when I was trying to get to the end of the row (only 32 stitches!) a stitch slipped and then another and another. And then came a bunch of muttering as I tried to recover the yarn overs in the proper spot. That’s when you know it’s a good time to just stop.

We’re looking at the end of 2013. The days were long but the year is short, as always. We dealt with major health issues among family members, we enjoyed a lot of family time together, and through it all I knit. When I have everything logged into knitmeter.com, it shows me I knit 4.93 miles of yarn and I crocheted 1.87 miles of yarn. Not too bad and maybe I’m not such a newbie crocheter anymore!

I didn’t do so great at following my resolutions or intentions this year. I didn’t do as many sample knits as I wanted, I didn’t read as many books as I wanted, I certainly fell down on the charity knitting, I increased my stash and increased my Ravelry queue. I did get back into podcasts – I particularly enjoy watching video podcasts. My intentions for 2014 are still formulating – I’ll be sharing them on December 31.

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I Love Green

I recently finished a sample shawlette for Romney Ridge Farm.  When I was talking with Kelly about knitting for her she told me that she was looking for a small shawl that would be like a one-skein wonder to use up a skein of her hand-dyed sport weight, that I could pick the pattern.  I immediately set off on Ravelry and found several possibilities but settled on the “All About Love” pattern by Silvia Bo Bilvia. The skein I received is the most wonderful tones of green.  I loved working with this yarn and the pattern, though I did have to modify.  I worked up the lace section as written and had not even used up an ounce of the yarn.  I did continue on to complete a bulk of the short rows and was still not even half-way through the skein.  I ripped back to the lace and then worked another 16 rows of lace. 

Here is the “before blocking” shot:
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And after blocking:
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I am a big fan of blocking wires now – they are a bit fiddly at first, but they do make things easier.  This shawl is a bit more rectangle than crescent, but it still works.
I love green

Looking back, I may have done better to cast on more stitches instead of just repeating the lace (I have less than one ounce of yarn remaining), but I am pleased with the end result! I would knit this pattern again. The lace is not complicated at all and was good SnB knitting or tv knitting.

Just the Knitter

I am not a stylist. I am hardly even stylish! I do enjoy looking through magazines like “Vogue Knitting” and the boards on Pinterest for styling ideas, but I often do not follow through on such things.  I am happy to be “Just the knitter” of the samples and let other people worry about the styling.

My most recent “knitter-for-hire” job was a sample of this summer poncho for The Yarnsisters. This job had a few firsts for me. First “Vogue Knitting” pattern, and I have to say I was pleased with this pattern – it was straightforward, no errors, nothing confusing.  A bit tedious maybe, but once I got in the groove it was good for SnB or being in front of the television.  The yarn, Zealana Kiwi Fingering is a natural blend of 40% fine New Zealand Merino, 30% Organic Cotton and 30% New Zealand Possum fiber. It is light yet warm.  I did come across a few possum fibers that at first glance I thought were from Jackson’s fur – but when I remembered that there was possum fiber in there I was able to ignore that!

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Here is the poncho after blocking on my dining room table.

Summer Poncho
I really could use a mannequin for things like this – or fancier hangers maybe – but it looks much nice on a shape versus being flat on the table.

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Here it is on my shape. Please ignore the striped shirt and jeans.  I really am doing my best to imitate the model shot from the magazine, which looks silly but is the best way to show off the lace!

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Somebody saw me trying to take a picture and wanted it.  She is way more stylish, always.

A few other notes, while I was knitting this my bamboo circular got a snag in the tip – it kept catching the yarn! I picked up a Knitter’s Pride Dreamz circular needle to replace it and I LOVE it! I definitely plan to add more of these to my tools! This project took 1937 yards (!!) so that brings my knitting total this year to 2.48 miles!

Yarn Along – Jan 11

From small things:
~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~
Yarn Along - January 11
I finished up book #2 of The Hunger Games, “Catching Fire”, which I really enjoyed. Then I was stuck. I borrowed the book from amazon on my kindle (yay!), but their fine print only allows you to borrow one book each month (boo!). Jokingly I complained to my husband and on facebook. I suppose I could have gone to the library and actually gotten the book, but I was lazy. Lucky for me a friend on facebook had the book on her kindle and was able to loan book #3, “MockingJay”, to me. As expected, even early on I am hooked and very curious to see how this series plays out.

I have been working on several items that at this point in time I can’t share with you. That’s one of the downsides of being a sample knitter or test knitter, the designs are under wraps for a while. The sweater I was working on for Lorna’s Laces is finished, blocked and currently en route to Chicago. I believe it will be on display at TNNA. I also took on a quick little knit sweater for an upcoming book.

The yarn shown in the picture above is also for sample and test knitting. The red is for a hat and the bottom cake is for a pair of socks. Yay for knitting work, but I am certainly going to try and squeeze in some of my personal projects again so I have something to show on the blog. Otherwise, you’ll just get baby / kid pictures. Like this one:
Day 5

New Year, New Foods

From small things
~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~
Yarn Along - January 4
New Year, New Foods abound around here! We’ve been given the go ahead from the pediatrician to start giving the little nutmeg “solid” foods. With the Lorax we waited quite a long time, but this time around I think it is more that we are ready for it. And not, at the same time, if that makes any sense; already this wee one is not so wee anymore! I’ve been refreshing myself on Super Baby Food. For now we are working just with some cereal, though I am looking forward to making up my own baby food purees again.
New Year New Food

I’ve finished with TipsyBaker‘s Make the Bread, Buy the Butter – I’m plotting to make my own vanilla extract and other things. I really enjoyed the book – it’s got the right amount of snark and sass and I have totally thought several things she wrote in the book. I’ve added the second installment of “The Hunger Games”, Catching Fire to my Kindle. I’m only a handful of pages in and already completely sucked in to the story.

You’ll notice the books are on top of a knitted “thing”. It is a sweater in progress, and is just about finished. It is a model knit for Lorna’s Laces. It is for TNNA in a few weeks, so for now, it is under wraps.

On the house & In the Mail

Today I spotted something special on the house when I was giving Jackson a bathroom break –
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Up there, on the roof – a hawk!
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We frequently see them flying around, this is the first one I’ve spotted on the roof!

After that surprise, there was a surprise in my mailbox as well.
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A pattern booklet, Simplicity Volume 2 – Women’s. I had almost forgotten about this job – I test / sample knit a sweater for it with Simplicity HiKoo yarn.
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I knit the blue one in the middle. It was a fun knit and the end result was cute – I was able to fit the Medium size, and I knit the one with 3/4 sleeves (this was back in Novemeber, 2010)
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I am glad I can finally share that project!

Photo update – color!

TNNA happened over the weekend, so I can go ahead and share color photos of one the projects I knit up for it. Over on the Lorna’s Laces blog the posts have been discussing the colorway names – interesting stuff! I have never been to Chicago, except for an airport layover, but hope to someday! I am anxious to read about the colors I used in the Brick House shawl sample, “Grant Park” and “Watercolor” in the new “Solemate” yarn. According to the blog, “Solemate is a blend of 55% superwash merino, 15% nylon and 30% Outlast, a fiber that interacts with your body’s microclimate to moderate temperature from being too hot or too cold.” Nifty!
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I need to practice taking photos of shawls, I am always stumped with styling – and I can’t hand the camera over to the Lorax or Jackson either. I have played around with the self timer but maybe I should look into investing in a remote. I expect that I will get more practice soon – I have started my “Juneblueberry triangle” and have already finished 2 of the 5 charts. Gotta love a shawl knit in a worsted weight yarn!