Thursday, September 16, 2010

A new nephew

Jasper Hoodie
Look at those little blue elephant buttons!

...and a new sweater. The Jasper Diamond Hoodie (Rav link) from Vintage Baby Knits. Size 6 -9 months, knit in Plymouth Jeannee DK. I love pretty much everything about this sweater, except that the largest size is too small for Jamie. I've resized patterns before, though, so I guess I could do it again.

Congratulations to my sister and brother-in-law on their third child, born yesterday. I can't wait to meet him!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Guess what I'm doing!

At the end of August, my friend Rachel and I spent a weekend in west Michigan and attended the Michigan Fiber Festival.
I bought a spindle!

Madder-dyed Coopworth

My first ball of singles

I had a terrible sore throat and was weak with a fever, and had no resistance against the wily spinner/vendor from Handspun by Stefania. He asked me if I was interested in a demonstration and before I knew it, I was carrying this beautiful spindle and a ball of red/pink wool out of the booth.

I also somehow ended up with this gorgeously smooshy skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Peru.

Alpaca, merino, and silk. Purrrrrr...
Colorway is "In The Navy" and I intend it to become a Gretel, and there's enough yarn in this skein for me to make a second hat or even a matching neckwarmer or mittens.

In the meantime, I'm loving the change of seasons. Fall and the start of a new school year always make me feel like a fresh start, and maybe that feeling will even inspire me to blog more!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Monthly post

Ha ha, just kidding. Mostly.

I've been sidetracked from the Hey Teach sweater by these darling washcloths.

Sorry about the lousy light, it was raining and gloomy but I couldn't wait to take the pic. Now, as I write, it's sunny and bright out (of course).

The pattern is Reverse-Bloom flower washcloth from Weekend Knitting. I decided to knit three before the end of the school year: one for Rose's preschool teacher, one for the secretary, and one for the program director. The recommended yarn is Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille, and I was actually able to find it (on clearance!) at City Knits. I can't tell you how long it's been since I've knit a pattern with the suggested yarn. I'll tell you one thing, this yarn is perfect for a washcloth. The fabric comes out exactly like terrycloth. It's so soft and mushy and it's also 100% cotton, nice.

The only problem is, each petal is knit first, separately, then joined and the center is knit in a spiral. All those ends to weave in!

Look at all that dangling yarn!

A cast-on end for each petal, a cast-off end for four of the five (the working yarn of the last petal starts the joining round), then the last bit after the center is worked. Ten ends, ugh.

I figured out early on that I could work each cast-off end into the knitting by knitting it with the working yarn as I knit the first round of the center. So that took care of four.

On the very last petal of the very last flower, I realized I could also work the cast-on end into stitches as I knit them without it showing very much. Why, oh, why did I not realize this before?

But that's all in the past now. I'm knitting the center of the third washcloth, and it will be done tonight. I'm including a bit of handmade soap and a Panera gift card with each washcloth. Rose's preschool graduation ceremony is tonight, and Friday is her last day. Then we'll give each person her gift and I hope they enjoy them.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Works in progress, May 2010

So, okay. I've been working on this sock, which I am now thinking of as "the Spring Sock," now and again, mostly when I'm out of the house, because I keep it in my purse.
Spring Sock
I love it. I love the colors, I love how it feels (100% Merino from Cherry Tree Hill Yarns, purrrrr), and I love working on a plain ol' plain ol' sock just to keep the fingers busy when the mind is elsewhere.
Spring Sock close-up

I finally got over my Arwen dilemma and decided to just go with the seamless yoke construction like I did for Rose's hoodie. I knit the cuff first, grafted it into a ring, then picked up stitches along one side to continue the sleeve. This is also my swatch, but I think it really will become the sleeve for real.
Arwen cabled cuff

It's on an Options cable/stitch holder because then I was distracted by the gorgeous weather we've been having, and realized that if I was going to knit Hey Teach, I'd better do it now, so I maybe could wear it this year. And I needed the #7 needles I was using for Arwen.
Hey Teach - getting started
This is the front left (or maybe the front right, I'll decide later), but it is also a swatch. It's the second front I've knit. I ripped back the first because I was getting too many stitches per inch. I do think I'm going to stick with the needles that I'm currently using. I'm getting the right measurements, and I like the fabric better, too.

I've never been a big fan of spring/summer knits, but this is a pattern I've wanted to knit (and wear) since I saw it two years ago. The yarn, Cotton Fleece, is a 80% cotton, 20% wool blend that feels lovely on the skin. I used this exact yarn for another sweater that was really too big on me, but I loved the feel of it so much that I frogged the entire sweater and am re-using the yarn for this one. It feels cool and soft on the skin, but the wool content makes it springy and easy to knit with.

Speaking of spring/summer knits, I am also drooling over Marigold. Cute, cute, cute, cute vintage-looking summery sweater that just came out in Interweave Knits. In fact, if I hadn't already started Hey Teach, I would have cast on for this one immediately. Love it!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Socks and kids

So I left off last time saying there would be more socks next time. I had some free time this week, since Andy was home for Easter break. I decided to put together some sock kits for myself, in the way that the Yarn Harlot did. Now, I don't intend to knit a pair a month, because I wouldn't get anything else knit that way. But I've matched sock yarn to pattern and now when I'm ready for a fresh pair, the decision making has already been done.

Really what I wanted to show you today are some more recent pictures of the kids. I realized that it's been quite a while since I've written about much else besides knitting, and I just love these kids, so...

Jamie applauds himself after a little piano tune. One of these days I'll get a non-blurry picture of this kid.
Rose in the sunshine.

Rose shows Jamie how to play dollhouse.

I think I'm done updating the look of the blog now. I spent some time yesterday editing a picture of sock yarn on my piano I had taken a couple of years ago and turning it into a banner. I'm really happy with how it turned out, so I think this one is going to be around for a while. I've been using Blogger in draft, and I really like some things about it, but the formatting for new posts is taking some getting used to.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


So a couple of weeks ago I discovered I'd finally walked through one of my oldest, most favorite pairs of handknit socks. It was pretty hard to take. I wasn't about to throw away a pair of socks that had taken me a month to knit. But I had no idea how to darn. Google to the rescue! I used this tutorial, and two hours later...

I had to do the heels of both socks, and while it's not a perfectly neat job, I think the repair will hold for a few years. Thank goodness I held on to the leftover yarn!

This is the sock I started last week. The picture is horrible, but when we get some more sunlight around here, I'll take another. It's a lovely colorway that makes me think of spring: lavender, green, yellow, peach.
Next time, more sock stuff!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Saying Hello

Something I really like: when people say "hello". Or "good morning." Or acknowledge you in some kind way. Jamie and I were out for a walk this morning to the post office and drugstore. It was a lovely morning, cool and bright, and others were out walking, too. I love that in our town, you can make eye contact with someone, say "hello" and get a smile or a "hello" in return. In my case, two folks said "good morning" to me first, and I answered. I'll admit, that's actually usually what happens. Mine is not an outgoing personality. Friendly, yes, extroverted, no. I leave that to Andrew. But still, it's a really great feeling to have that momentary connection. I understand that this is not the case everywhere, which makes me even more grateful.