Finished!

Blocking in the sun

In addition to working and playing in the garden, I’ve also been lounging around in the garden.  In newly finished wool socks!

Okay, so I couldn’t leave these socks on my feet very long in the July heat, but it felt nice while it lasted!  And aren’t the colors perfectly cheerful?  That’s probably what led me to choose this yarn back in February when I started them.  It’s always so nice to have something colorful on the needles in the dead of winter, don’t you think?

  • Pattern: Thuja, Ravelled here
  • Yarn: Reggia Design Line, Kaffe Fassett, color 04451, 2 balls with leftovers
  • Needles: US 1, 2.25mm
  • Mods: None.

It was nice having something like this as my go anywhere pattern.  As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to self-impose limits or deadlines onto my knitting; not so with this pattern.  The pattern was simple and easy to memorize, perfect for picking up and putting down.  I knit a little bit here and there as time and toddlers allowed, not worrying about when they would be finished.  So it took a few months, no big deal.  In keeping with this low-pressure knitting, I have already cast on another pair of around town socks.

What’s your low-key, take anywhere knitting?

The Yearlong Shawl Project

 

 

When I started this shawl last June, I never imagined all that would happen in the year it would take me to finish knitting it up. There was a big move cross-country, old friends to say goodbye to and new friends to meet, a baby who would learn how to crawl, walk, and talk…

The bulk of the knitting happened in the last month and a half or so, as I envisioned the gardens, barefoot babes, yarn festivals and backyard shenanigans of summer 2012. There are a lot of light, happy thoughts knit into this scarf, and I have already been enjoying wrapping myself up in them.

Despite the length of time this was on the needles, I had a great time knitting it.  It took me a while to fall in love with the chart, yet once I spent some solid time getting to know it, the knitting flew by.  Kirsten Kapur never ceases to amaze me with her designs, and I’m already thinking about knitting another of her shawls.

What can I say about the yarn that hasn’t already been said?  Madelinetosh is known for its beautiful colorways and deliciously soft yarn.  I knit my first Ishbel in the Lettuce colorway a while back, and was thrilled to get more on the needles.  One drag I feel compelled to mention: there were 2 knots in the yarn that turned out to be ends. That made me hulk-angry mad. Okay, maybe not turning green and splitting my pants mad, but irritated enough to think about sending an email to Madelinetosh and Webs. I briefly thought about teaching myself how to do a Russian join, but in the end I just made doubly sure to weave in those extra 4 ends nice and securely.

The details:

With this shawl off the needles, I am in search of The Next Big Knit.  Suggestions?

 

Proud Auntie

I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to have a finished object.  So instead of showing you more of my works in progress, I’m going to share one of my sister’s greatest finished objects:

Meet Jackson, born just one week ago:

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Clearly he feels triumphant about his arrival!

And because I’m a super proud auntie, I have to show you another photo of the new babe wearing a certain hand-knit hat.

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Good thing I went with a rolled brim hat because this thing is huge on him!  For this reason it’s always wise to make baby knits a little bit flexible in the sizing, something that will fit through a variety of stages.  I think both these FOs are winners, don’t you?!

I’m so proud of my sister and can’t wait to see this little guy in a few weeks!

Of Mice and Frogs

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This recommendation from the Yarn Harlot could not have come at a better time.  Actually it could have come a few days sooner, I suppose.  Like last Wednesday, the day before I discovered my craft drawers had been seeing some mouse activity.

craft-room-finished

I am fortunate enough to have a craft room to call my own.  It is a sweet room, with a dormer window that allows for a built in window seat.  This is where I have my swift and ball winder set up on permanent display.  Cut out of the wall next to the yarn winding station is a charming set of 4 drawers that slide right out of the wall. When setting up the room, I had fun putting away my knitting notions, button tins, and finished objects that had no home in these drawers.

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Over the weekend I was attempting to tidy this room up a bit when, upon opening the knitting needle drawer, I discovered this:

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That’s my gorgeous silk Lantern Moon needle case, home to all of my straight knitting needles.  And Someone decided it looked like a good snack, or building material, or stuffing for a tiny bed in the attic.  Someone was very sneaky and didn’t even arouse the suspicion of either feline in residence.  I need to have a talk with those cats.

Further inspection of the drawers revealed a few minuscule mouse turds, and a hole from the attic space into the framing of the drawers.  Sigh.  I immediately tossed my stash of FOs onto the floor, as well as anything else I thought the mice might find delicious or comfortable as bedding.

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Fortunately, I had kept these items in sealed plastic bags and there does not appear to be any damage.  But seeing it there, all piled up on the floor, made me sort of sad.  I did not knit these things so they could languish in a dark, mouse-infested drawer!

So I set about doing something I have never done: I picked out the items I knew  a) would never find a home because they were ill-fitting or poorly finished, or b) I loved the yarn and could re-use it in a new project.

In all, I have frogged 3 projects so far:

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  • Pattern:  Shrug This, original details here

  • Yarn: Araucania Pomaire Multy in color 4

This was just a bit too small around the arms, and after wearing it a couple of times the stitches in the underarm were stretched out and looking a little shabby.  Since I had about 3/4 a skein of the yarn leftover, I think I could remake the same pattern a little larger.

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I loved this yarn and pattern together.  The dropped stitch “lace” was fun to create, and the payoff looked more complicated than it actually was.  And even though I originally cast on fewer stitches than the pattern called for, it was always a little to short to be a satisfying scarf.  Now I have a skein of beautiful sock yarn back in my stash that could become anything!

The final project was a neckwarmer in a fantastic hot pink shade of Malabrigo.  It seems I was dissatisfied enough with it from the beginning, because I have no photo of the finished object to reference!  But you can imagine it now looks more like this:

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The one on the left, or course.

If you have any FOs or works in progress that have been languishing in knitting purgatory, I urge you to set them (and yourself) free!

This frogging of finished objects exercise was surprisingly satisfying.  I no longer have to convince myself that I will wear something or find someone to gift it to.  I have yarn I love back in my stash, ready for me when I have the urge to knit with it again.  Now I think I’ll go see what else I can frog.  I know there’s some perfectly good Malabrigo going to waste…