WIP Wednesday and Yarn Along

photo.JPGHappy May! I have a few more books to keep it interesting this week. I haven’t finished the Agatha Christie book yet, but I was so drawn to the cover of Contagious: Why Things Catch On and it seems interesting so far. I thought I would also share what my kids are reading. We are working our way through Little House in the Big Woods with Lorelai. Nate’s been obsessed with Bear at Work. We have several of the “Bear” books, but this one is his favorite. Project-wise, I’m just about ready to pack up this Giant Cactus. I am it needs two more flowers. I have a few knitting jobs that are gearing up, so I’m also swatching.

I’ve decided to add on a few more WIPs, photo-wise.  I do enjoy using Instagram (@nutmegknitter if you’re there!) and am going to try and play along with the “Book-a-Day” and “May-Photo-a-Day” games.

Instagram

Linking up at these fine blogs – check them out!

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!

Still digging out, now with more amigurumis!

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On Monday, I looked out the window to see this. A pay loader on our street to clear a path down the street.  It then got stuck at the top of our street and had to be rescued by a plow. Crazy. My husband and I worked in shifts and made steady progress to clear our driveway. Yesterday, his brother came over to help with the rest. It’s clear enough to get one car in / out, but it’s tight. I’m hoping that our usual plow guy can come by and help widen things a bit. And maybe clear whatever we’re forecast to get tonight.

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Good thing we cleared it, as our mailbox is still inaccessible. The mail-person had some guts and drove their truck down our driveway to deliver the mail. There was not much considering we haven’t gotten mail since Friday! There was a swap box for me – I received an adorable baby unicorn & an “OctoPaul” & “OctoPolly” for my little ones! As soon as I started to open the box, Lorelai piped up, “Can I have that?”.  They are adorable! Thank you very much to Cindy, my swap pal!

UntitledAfter I finished my slug, Lorelai requested a princess one.  A bit of stash diving and voila! Princess, the tiara-less, slug! I used one skein of bulky for the body and double up on other stash yarn for the eyes, foot & antennae.  It’s maybe 6 inches tall and 10 inches long! I left it outside her bedroom door last night to surprise her.  Success! 
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Oh My, Wollmeise!

Last week I participated in a fast action swap online. Person A put up something, Person B says “Mine” and then Person B puts up something new. I had fast fingers and claimed a skein of the ever elusive, Wollmeise! A whole skein! I have a few minis for the Beekeeper Quilt, and that’s great and all, but this. This. Is. Yarn. (said in the voice of the Dad from “A Christmas Story” – This. Is. A. Lamp.)
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This color is “Sabrina” – a green-ish teal that is a real bugger to photograph. It is actually pretty close in color to my phone case, which is the teal one. I have spent the last few moments wandering around the house, hoping the camera battery lasts to get an accurate picture.
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That’s kindof it.
Oh my wollmeise
Also kindof.
Anyway, it’s lovely. I would love to start on it right away, but I’ve been hired to knit on other things right now.

Good Mail – part 2

It has been a long time since I’ve done a partner swap, but I decided to play along with the Chittery-Chattery-Swappery-Swappers group on Ravelry in the Scavenger Hunt partner swap. Isn’t that a mouthful? 🙂

The guidelines: This will be a one-on-one partner swap (you’ll know who your partner is and be able to communicate with them about likes and dislikes), with each person creating a box of goodies for their partner. In addition…there will be a list of items to try and include in your box. For every item from the scavenger hunt list that you include, you’ll earn one point (items count only once). A single item may count for more than one item on the list. If the list includes “something soft, something your favorite color and something made locally” I could include locally dyed yarn that is purple.

I was partnered with Raveler Kataish (who is beyond cool and you should go check out her etsy shop and FYI, I’ve participated in her non-club before and it’s worth it!).

My package came with directions on how to open it – so I did as instructed!
C2S2 Swap

C2S2 Swap
My own knit dachshund! (something with a tail, something that makes you feel young, fav animal, something she made, something homemade) A lovely skein of Oddish Creations Painted Toes in “Tree Fuzz” (LOVE that color) and Oxford Book Shop bag (reuseable bag from local store)

C2S2 Swap
Mini Umbrella picks (something campy, something to be used at a summer party), Eco Friendly pencils (something up-cycled, something earthy, something green), Mug Sleeve (something good for the earth, something w/ rainbow colors), A Little Bit of Happy Mix CD (something musical), Magic Wipes (Something from dollar store, something faerie like, something used in home), Apple Crumble Kuchen (recipe, something that contains first initial), Selfportraits, Heart (something bumpy, something red), Nutrigrain bar (something made locally)

C2S2 Swap
Stitchmarkers (something from a kid), feather (something from her yard, something that reminds of childhood home), Sheep bead (something smaller than a quarter, something made in the USA – by k2p2socks), Seashell (represents family, something to collect on vacation), Buttons (3 buttons), Mini Sticky notes (something yellow, something helpful), Maple candy (something sweet, something sticky, local candy), Lychee & Plum candy (something tasty, something citrusy)

C2S2 Swap
Hand carved stamps! A dachshund (so cute!!) and the caffeine molecule!!!

There is also a zombie card (to help survive a zombie apocalypse) that arrived the other day and I forgot to put it with this pile of goodies!

Kata was a great partner – and she scored all 48 points! I think she enjoyed the package I sent her as well (I scored 44 points!).

Good times, good mail – it’s been a while since such spoiling.

I may crochet…

I adore crochet. I still need to have out a “How-to” laminated cheat sheet for the stitches as well as my copy ofCrocheting in Plain English. I want to crochet, I really do. I am not going to turn in my needles for hooks, but I see so many interesting things out there and it is just that crochet can do some things that knitting can not. My Ravelry Queue for crochet mostly has toys on it, that’s really what I yearn for. That and pretty much anything by Sarah London (I’m really in love with the Wool Eater blanket!) and Attic24 and these stars and the list goes on. I lurked on the Ravelry group for a Potholder Swap, but couldn’t figure out what to do quickly enough and I certainly wasn’t confident enough in my skills.

Then, I was invited to join The Dazzling Dozen Potholder Swap on Ravelry – here are the details: This swap will place you in a group of either 6 or 12 members. When a group has enough members, a “Featured Member” will be chosen for the month. Each member of the group will then crochet a potholder for the “Featured Member” and send it to them. The next moth, a different “Featured Member” will be selected and they will then be the lucky recipient of either 5 or 11 beautiful potholders. This group will accept members year round and signups will proceed on a rolling basis. As soon as one group of fills up, they will begin swapping and a new group will begin.
Totally my speed.

I have sent on my first potholder to this month’s recipient (My month to receive is December). I really wanted to do the Stir Me Up (Rav link) pattern, I ended up confused, so instead went with Disc-Disc pattern by ChickenBetty – the yarn is an assortment of Sugar ‘n Cream in the brightest colors I have – yellow, orange, lime green and hot pink. I think it worked.
Crochet!
(Front, “Terra Fuela” Ben & Jerry’s pint for scale)
Crochet!
(back)

Close Ups
Crochet!
Crochet!

I have been trying to hold the crochet hook differently and I think that helped. I hold the hook in my left hand and I was a bit stabby with it. I tried to hold it more “pencil” like and I think I can sort-of make that work effectively. I can not hold it like a “knife” because even though I am left-handed I hold my knife in my right hand. It’s proven to be a challenge just to hold the yarn in the right hand – my knitting muscles are quite well defined!

Scowls, Cowls, and Sniffs

Like most people, my little nutshell is experiencing a bit of frenzy as the Christmas season is in full swing. The knitting is progressing nicely for the most part – I’m taking a few days off from a current sample / test knit because a deadline was lifted (thank goodness) and other projects took priority for a bit.

Like this:
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Scowl by Samantha Roshak. Second time I’ve test knit for Sam – this was a great use of my sock yarn (Connecticut colorway, j.knits yarn) – I used up 80% of the skein I think, and I became really good at Judy’s Magic Cast On (if you haven’t tried it, it’s really neat, and not hard once you get the hang of it). This really is a great pattern – a bit different than most scarves / cowls I’ve knit. I liked the construction, in the end it’s reversible and is great for guys or gals, wrapped around your neck and secured or just tucked into a coat, warm but not too warm, superwashable. In the end, I have sent on this scowl to Alabama to my downstream pal in a “Plurk Cowl Swap”!

I received a cowl from my upstream pal in yesterday’s mail:
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Lisa made this for me – the pattern is Tuesday Evening with Rowan Felted Tweed – it’s lovely!

Then there’s this:
TotTopper Sample Hat
Little Miss Muffet hat – I’ve signed on to be part of the sample / testing pool for Tot Toppers – this little hat is made with Frog Tree Alpaca Sport, in a periwinkle blue with a chocolate brown ribbon. Who can resist that? As a fellow knitter would say, Stinkin’ Cute! The whole line is adorable – I would suggest the Tot Toppers line to any knitter looking for a new hat – the patterns are well written and the end result is so nice! Ignore the fact that I’m modeling a baby hat on top of wine bottles. This is the 3-6 month size and Lorelai’s head is way too big now.

And this:
Baby pants
Malabrigo Twisty Trousers – knit on commission 🙂 I’m currently working on a hat to complete the set, should be done in the next day or so. The Mom is ready to pop and is in mad nesting mose (her words, not mine) so I am very happy that this is done before her baby arrives – this was so much fun to knit. Plus, Malabrigo. ’nuff said.

Perfect gift for a two year old? PlayDoh. I had been wondering about this for Lorelai for ages now and for her birthday she received multiple PlayDoh packs and two different accessory sets – a barnyard pals and a burger maker. I had found several “homemade” play dough recipes I kept meaning to try, but we just didn’t get around to it. Well, no need now! We had a snowy-slushy-cold-crappy day this week and we pulled it out and she had at it. And has asked to play with it multiple times a day. And she will play with it for 20 minutes or more at a time! Excellent. Of course, it’s on her terms – we do a little bit with the molds but she has more fun squooshing the playdoh in to one part and moving it back into the yellow container with a chopstick. Whatever, it’s all good for her development. And good for my cleaning knitting time.
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Thank you Uncle Dan, Aunt Virginia, and Uncle Matt! And her buddy, A, who also got her a playdoh set!