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Pumpkins One, Two, and Three (and Me)

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Entries in knitting (56)


My Single Knitted FO of the Holidays.

The sweater, the shawl, the cowl, and the scarf, all planned as my holiday knits, are still languishing in various states of almost-ready. Those knits are from patterns. And for most of our two-week holiday break, the dream of sitting and knitting, per a pattern, was merely that--a dream.

But I did manage to knit a hat. It is aran weight, and it's from what I call my Always Aran pattern. Not so much a pattern but a recipe. I know if I cast on a certain number of stitches (in my case 84) on certain needles (US 8s for the brim, switching to 9s or 10s for the body) in my Duck Duck Wool Aran, I can knit mindlessly, even when throwing in a few columns of cables, and I'll get a very wearable hat.

Here's the result of my latest recipe. 

It is knit from yarn I dyed for a special club colorway for the sweetest yarn shop. (I'll link to the source after I double check that all orders have shipped.) I think it's so pretty. And I swear it knit itself.

Those speckles! On a neutral. I think this would be amazing in a sweater.

There are many exciting things about our move (which is in one more sleep! Well, one more sleep until we start the move. Seven more sleeps until we begin living there). But a knitterly thing that ranks very high on the exciting list is that the house has a space earmarked for a proper dye studio. In its current state, the space is unfinished and not much to look at. But just you wait! (Mood board reveal to follow.)



Well hi there!  (FYI:  I’m just going to gloss over the fact that last October I promised to visit this space consistently…because we’re friends, right?  Real friends.  And real friends are those that can pick up where they left off without so much as a hiccup.  So that’s what I’m doing.  Treating you like a real friend.)

I wanted to post a picture of my Always Aran Hat pattern that I....yep...ALWAYS have in some state of progress on a set of needles. 


Whether it's at swim practice, lacrosse practice, basketball practice, or the doctor's (aka where I feel like I spend most of my life with three boys--who's with me?), I love always having an easy knit ready to grab and go.  It's super quick, easily modified (change up the cable!), and...might I humbly suggest...perfect for a skein of Duck Duck Wool Merno Aran (which coincidentally will be in the Etsy shop soon--swear!). 


I'll post the pattern up on my blog or Ravelry eventually but for now, I plan to exclusively include it with any purchase of DDW Aran, sound good?  Plus--bonus!--if we all knit new hats I bet spring is here to stay.  And we'll just be ahead of the hat-game for next year.  Win win.

Best, Sandra


A couple of things.

Aloha!  I will be digging my toes into the sand and (hopefully) learning how to stand up paddle board this week, but wanted to mention a couple of things before I unplug.

First, I am so thrilled to be guest posting over at the lovely Luvinthemommyhood

My post covers how, after realizing my knitting addiction, I went from newbie to sweater knitter in a matter of weeks.  I know not everyone is as quick to obsess as I am, but hopefully it resonates with some knitters out there.  (And if you happen to be checking in from Shannon's blog, why hello there!  And thanks so much for stopping by).

Next, guess who finished her first KAL sweater just in time to pack for vacation?  Yup--and I absolutely love it.  It is destined to become my go-to layering piece, especially for sundresses.  Notes are here.  I fully intend to take proper shots (on the beach perhaps?) but until then, here's the self-portrait bathroom shot.  I match our shower curtain, how nice.

Well, I guess that's it.  Mahalo everyone...I am off to join Charlie in Hawaii.  Be back soon.



Planters Punch.

Still working on my beach recap post.  I am hopeful I might find time to make another slideshow.  I was thinking of using the song Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.  I came across that song again and have been humming it nonstop.  I think it's so quirky and catchy.  Plus, I like the hook as I truly--and cheesily--feel home is when I'm with "you"--not you you, although I'm sure you're quite nice.  My "you" is Charlie and the boys.

But first, so, so many things left to do--I wish I didn't feel overwhelmed so easily.  Maybe that's why I love knitting so much.  Because I finish things. Recently, it was this sweater.

Test knit for Thea.  My knitterly crush on her and her designs continues. The pattern has a new-to-me construction technique for the neckline.  It's top-down, which I prefer, but she shows you how to get a nice scooped neck.  I dislike many top-down patterns that suppose our fronts are the same as our backs (and mind you, my front is almost shaped like my back and those patterns still don't work well on me).

The pattern is called Planters Punch and includes directions for a summer and winter version.  The recommended yarn for the summer pattern is Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Cotton.  But I felt obliged to stash bust and knit mine out of Elsbeth Lavold Hempathy in a pretty sea foam green.  

The Hempathy turned out a nice, drapey fabric, which was my goal so I knew I'd sacrifice crisp cables.  It's a perfect summer top to throw over white capris or a skirt--I really adore it.  I hope to do a winter version later this year, too.

Info on Thea's pattern is here and my notes are here.

Other WIP updates:  I am still plugging away on my KAL sweater; I started and am almost done with a Stripe Study shawl; I couldn't resist casting on a Rayures (though it will be a long-term knit); and I am finishing up another test knit.  (Most of those are Ravelry links, but I imagine if you've read this much of a knitting post, you have a Ravelry account).



Summer bag.


My knitting guru, Jenn, knit the cutest bag last summer.  Yup, last summer. She planned to line it but wasn't sure she could/would, so I happily offered. She handed it over at the end of the summer with some cute fabric.  She also tucked in a skein of Shelter as payment--which she shouldn't have.  No really.  She shouldn't on!

Because then fall and winter came along and there was "no rush" as it's such a seasonal bag.  But I finally got it lined in spring.  But then!  Then a whole bunch of strange scheduling snafus prevented a handoff of her bag.  And suddenly (well, it felt like suddenly) it was summer and she was still without her bag.  I think she might have suspected some ownership via possession was afoot.

But we finally met up at an impromptu knit night and I am happy to report, the bag is with its creator.  Lined--with pockets and a key fob--and everything.  

Enjoy Jenn!



Tops, tanks, and tees KAL.

I'm a little late to the blogging party announcing my participation in Luvinthemommyhood's latest Knitalong.  Actually, I'm a lot late.  Because you know what?  It's over.  Yup.  Missed all the fun blogging about it too, sheesh.  Nevertheless, I wanted to mention it because if you haven't checked it out, you should.  Lots of inspiration over there from the KAL knitters.  My queue basically exploded.


As for me, I knit the popular Spring Garden Tee.  I really love the finished tee but I had a devil of a time getting gauge.  The pattern calls for DK weight, but I could not for the life of me get gauge on a reasonably sized needle using DK.  So then I swatched some sport weight--nope!  In the end, I used fingering weight.  Fingering!  AND (sorry to internet yell, but this is notable) I still had to go down one needle size and had to knit a size smaller than my usual size.  Crazy, I say.  Crazy.

Luckily, I love it to pieces so it was worth the effort.  Don't mind the rain hair in this shot...


p.s.  Do you like the color?  It's another handyed colorway of my own.  The yarn is a delicious blend of Bluefaced Leicester wool, silk, and cashmere.  Love, love, love the base.  Soft but holds up wonderfully. I likewise adore this color.    

And yes, I know I created another blueish color.  I really can (and will) dye a non blue next.  In fact, I have my first custom "order" of a gray (Caryn, are we talking gunmetal or silver?).  


My color affection.

Isn't it funny how tastes change?  Especially with fashion?  I remember doing a double-take when jeans tucked into boots came back on the scene several years ago.  And now?  I went to a charity event a few weeks ago and 85% of the ladies were sporting riding boots over skinny jeans.  

I am not one of those types who likes to push a trend, especially ones that are, you know, trendy.  But I do enjoy appraising a look that's of the moment and settling into it, if it catches my fancy.  I am a girl, after all.  And I think most of us are hard-wired to care about that sort of stuff.

And this is relevant to what, exactly?  Well, shawls.  Because even though it was less than a year ago that I proclaimed I favor shawlettes--not shawls--to wear as scarves, it seems I've done an about-face.  You see, I am now firmly, and unapologetically, in the shawl camp.

Here is what I wrote on my Ravelry page:

When I re-learned to knit a year and a half ago, to be honest, I didn't "get" shawls.  But then I knit a few small shawlettes and started feeling some twinges.  Still, those were worn like scarves and I've always been a scarf girl.

But now?  Sigh.  I can't help but wonder if Color Affection will be the gateway to a shawl-y path I never expected to travel.  

That said, I'm still not a hundred percent convinced I will actually *wear* a shawl as a shawl.  I know that I want to knit them.  And that I'll daydream about wearing them--this knit in particular--looking all stylish and fabulous like so many beautiful Ravelers.  I will also undoubtedly cocoon up in it on the couch while knitting.  *But.*  Will I actually reach for it to drape around my shoulders when I leave the house?  Hmmm. 

Well, now that I've knit one (specifically, a Color Affection by Veera Välimäki in Plucky Primo), I can tell you this:  I will wear it.  And I love it to bits.  Because I can wrap it around any and all outfits--even when I'm a wreck--and leave the house looking pulled together.  It's like lipgloss for my wardrobe.  I should note that it helps greatly if I'm wearing my skinny jeans and boots.


p.s.  Max took these shots.  Isn't that something?



Well, it looks like I could have waited a day for yesterday's post and skipped the sneak peek.  Babycocktails released the Chambord pattern today and I can't say enough good things about it.  It's such a clever little number, shaped to disguise some extra holiday squish if you know what I mean. 

And if you do not know what I mean, I'm not sure we can be friends.

Project notes here.



Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.

I say that a lot around here.  I have three boys you see...and am spectacularly unoriginal at times.  But this time when I said it, I was talking about a freshly blocked new knit.  And yes I was rubbing my hands together like a child about to get a treat because this is my kind of confection.  I can only reveal a bit for now because it's a test knit for this pattern

A test knit, you ask?  Why yes.  For Thea Colman.  You know,  Babycocktails

What's that?  Oh sorry.  I did indeed drop that.  Here, let me pick up that name. 

Can you tell I'm giddy that I got to test knit one of her knits?  I sort of have a crush on Thea's designs.  They make me appear to be a far more skilled knitter than I actually am.   I'm knitting her Drambuie next. 

I had a bit of a panic attack that the color (MadelineTosh DK in Nectar) was all wrong.  But then I received some positive feedback on Ravelry so I'm good.  Plus, my knitting guru Jenn commented on the project page that pink is a necessity in February.  And one should always listen to their knitting guru. 



Knitterly Resolutions.

I am still working on my full 2012 NY Resolutions.  But I'm ready to share my Knitting category.  It is the second half of January after all.

Projects Wish List (need to still select patterns for each)

  • Winter hats for the boys
  • Matching mittens
  • Charlie's hat
  • Charlie's sweaters (at least two)
  • Toy knitting!
  • At least one knit bag
  • At least one pair of slippers
  • Three pairs of socks
  • Mitts for myself
  • Create a handknit gift stash (thinking hats, cowls, coffee cozies, etc.)
  • I'm thinking 6 sweaters for myself.  Last year I did 9 but that didn't leave much time to knit sweaters for others.  And by others, I mostly mean Charlie because I keep bumping his sweater off the top of the list.

Get organized:

  • Organize my Ravelry queue
  • Organize my stash
  • Photograph and post stash on Ravelry
  • Destash any yarn I do not love

Techniques to conquer in 2012:

Click to read more ...