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Pumpkins One, Two, and Three (and Me)

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Entries in knitting (55)



Wikipedia defines a hat-trick as: the achievement of a positive feat three times during a game, or other achievements based on threes.  And although blogging isn't a sport, I nonetheless submit that three project posts in three days qualifies.  Please go with me here.  I once played soccer and dreamt of a hat-trick.

No?  Okay, let's go at it this way:  this hat morphed mid project from one style to another.  Surely a cool trick by any standard.  It is made from leftover Cascade Eco yarn.  It was originally planned as a beanie for my father for Christmas.  But then I found more scrap yarn and decided to stripe it.  I loved the stripes but soon suspected it was adding a feminine flavor to the topper.  Charlie confirmed this with a firm statement of, "no, your dad will not wear that." 

Well, fine.  So I decided to shift the shape to incorporate a bit of slouch.  I was beyond the point where one traditionally adds increases (the row after the ribbing).  Instead, I just switched to larger needles--two sizes up, I believe.  Then, when blocking, I encouraged some slouch by drying it over a pie plate.

Here it is.  And it's for me.  

Ravelry project notes here.  I also want to add that I promise to never wear it with this striped Free People henley again.  I promise I wasn't going for a no make-up, messy hair, "am I a bag lady or an ironic hipster* vibe"--because I'm 40.  I actually lived and liked the 90s.  I was just too lazy to change my shirt.  And, well, I'm always too lazy to put on make-up or brush my hair.


*not familiar with the term ironic hipster?  It's one of those "you know it when you see it" looks.  But let's turn to Wikipedia again for a definition, shall we?

Hipsters (also referred to as scenesters) are a subculture of young, recently settled urban middle class adults and older teenagers with musical interests mainly in alternative rock that appeared in the 1990s.

In a Huffington Post article entitled "Who's a Hipster?,"Julia Plevin argues that the "definition of 'hipster' remains opaque to anyone outside this self-proclaiming, highly-selective circle." She claims that the "whole point of hipsters is that they avoid labels and being labeled. However, they all dress the same and act the same and conform in their non-conformity" to an "iconic carefully created sloppy vintage look."


Knit therapy.

Another 2011 FO.  This is TGV (High Speed Knitting) by Susan Ashcroft.  A nifty crescent shaped shawlette.  The stretchy edge + garter ridge combo makes for a squishy hug if worn scarf-like around your neck.  I also liked that it's a modular pattern, allowing you to use whatever yarn weight and yardage you have on hand.  My Ravelry project page is here.  It was the perfect thing during down time, which I grudgingly had aplenty in November. 

I knit this during the height of my never-ending cold.  I was sort of a mess--when I look at the picture below I immediately think, wow, the meds sure made me loopy.  I truly hate taking medicine and try to avoid it.  Besides, the Merino/Cashmere/Silk yarn by Sublime helped the most, I think, as did working it up in soothing stripes.

We crafty-types never underestimate the power of luxury fibers, now do we?



2011 Christmas hat.

I am starting the new year with a hefty to-do list.  I am not ready to share it yet as it needs to be scaled back--a lot.  Though a thought just came to me.  Maybe my list needs categories.  Yes, categories!  Headings like "must do" "should do" "would do if I were really a vampire and didn't sleep like Kristin accuses"...mmmm, headings.  This might work.

I'll work on that.  Until then, I'm at least going to finish up something from my last list: post all 2011 knitting FOs so I can make a new sidebar category for 2012. 

Brambles Beret by Amanda Muscha, made for my mother-in-law for Christmas.  I loved knitting this hat.  And can I proudly share that I even hand dyed the yarn myself?  I wanted a true deep red and was quite shocked when I saw the right color emerge from the dye pot--thought it was a great match for the pattern. 

Loved the tone on tone colorway.  Of course did I take notes?  Nope.  But I did make two skeins luckily so I have one stashed. 

Good thing as I will surely knit one for myself, someday.  And when I do, I must remember to go down several needle sizes for the ribbing.  It seemed too loose so I placed a running stitch along the interior to hopefully keep it in shape.

Ravelry project page here.  More FOs coming up.


p.s.  how on earth is it 2012?  And why does that still sound all futuristic to me...


FO sneak peak.

I know I said I'd posts pics of the boys in their Halloween costumes next.  But I have to post process those photos a bit because I foolishly--some would say stubbornly--refused to use a flash.  I can be so ridiculous at times.  Okay, most of the time.  Anyways, I finished my Idlewood a while ago but finally got it blocked and wore it this week.  I even took a photo but it's just my typical self-portrait shot I do when I'm impatient to document a knit.  Again with the ridiculous.

I'll bribe someone to take photos in the daylight next.  Any day should work because I'm never taking off this thing.  As far as I'm concerned, every knitter should knit one.  It is so wearable and ridiculously on trend.  I have a knit night tonight and two of us are wearing our freshly blocked Idlewood's because, and I'm quoting, "we're silly like that."  I think we're lobbying for the entire group to have an Idlewood soon.

I knit the sweater in the Continental style (I usually knit English)...not sure if I'll be making the switch.  But it was good practice for two-handed stranded work.  My tension was very loose, so trying it on and constant tweaking was even more crucial than usual.  The fit on this one turned out spot on, loose and comfy but enough shaping to not hang like a sack.  Here is a sneak peak of that, too.

More soon.  And by that I mean more pics of course.  But also, I'm pretty sure, more Idlewoods in general.



My warm winter hat.

Just popping in for a blogging fix.  The last thing I need is to feel behind on something else so wanted to post this FO.  Besides, it might get snatched like last year's.

The pattern is called Sarah by Mad'Laine.  I should note that it is in French but there are English directions as well.  I used Berroco Blackstone Tweed from my birthday bounty and really love the yarn (but it breaks easily if tugged).  I envision reaching for this particular hat when I need to battle a windy day--the Blackstone makes a nice and dense fabric, yet it's not stiff at all. 

My skimpy project notes are here.  Not sure why I didn't write more--I absolutely adore the hat and the fit is perfect.  Plus, it's fun and a quick knit.  I was surprised how the lace pattern does not produce a lacey fabric at all...just great texture.  I think it's pretty unisex but have yet to convince Charlie.  Either way, I'm certainly making more. 

Happy Friday!  Sandra


I'm back! (but not back, back).

So, well, it seems that turning 40 brings quite a bit of celebrating along with it.  I am not complaining--not at all.  I'm extremely grateful for the many things I've experienced these past couple of weeks. 

But that said, as I try to get back into my routine, I'm finding things to be a bit of a moving target around here.  More than usual, that is.  So if the blog has fallen through the cracks, at least it's in the company of many other things dear to my heart, such as a tidy home, meals from scratch, and manageable laundry piles (that last one is killing me).  Because right after I got back from here with my dearest...    

I darted off to here with a fun group to celebrate another's 40th...

More pictures and stories of those memorable trips soon, promise.  But today, it was my knitting guru's 40th birthday.  Happy birthday Jenn!!!  We celebrated over lunch with another knitting buddy (Hi Lynn!).  And we plied each other with yarn and other knitterly goodies. 

I made some simple stitch markers.  They are nothing fancy and just from art supplies we had on hand.  I need to find smaller beads for the next batch (they are a wee addictive to make).  These markers do not fit larger sized needles...

I also whipped up a project bag with her logo.  I was out of ribbon to use for the cinch ties so used cording from my stash.  Does cording come in fun colors I wonder?

I also tucked in some Madelinetosh Vintage in Trodden.  I've not knit with Vintage yet but it feels amazing in the skein...  

Her sweet husband is whisking her away for the weekend to New York city to celebrate.  She promises to report back on visiting Purl Soho and Tender Buttons.  I completely forgot to ask whether she's hitting M & J Trimming.  Can't wait to hear all about it.  Have fun Jenn!  



Happy Birthday (no not about me again).

This is to my bestie who has this blog as her homepage:  Happy Birthday Kris!!! 

I made you a little something.  I made you a little something and gave it to my hubs who was suppose to see your hubs at the charity golf tournament on Friday.  But that didn't go as planned, now did it?  It was supposed to be there for you today, on your birthday, to let you know I'm thinking of you on your special day (even as I go about my day sampling pizza from competing Chicago eateries). 

Since I couldn't get this little something to you in time, I decided to bring it with me to Chicago to break it in for you.  Remember when we used to borrow everything from each other?  Can you believe that started in 8th grade?  I think I like Madelinetosh better than Forenza, though.  It should go with your black coat very well (I like it with mine).  I will try to not get pizza sauce on it.

I hope you have the most fabulous day.  And I cannot wait to celebrate with you next weekend.  I am so glad you are 40 now, too.  You know I don't like to do things without you.



Birthday yarn.

It is hard to shop for me, I hear.  But it's getting easier and easier because these days I will happily and gleefully accept yarn.  I am slowly photographing and posting my expanding stash on Ravelry--it's a great way to stay organized and is helpful when planning projects.  I am told that I might set a record for the quickest stash attained by a newish knitter.  And to that I say you should see my fabric stash.  But let's stay focused...

Here is my basket o' birthday yarn. 

Contents include three skeins of yummy Madelinetosh DK, one in oak and two in moss.  These will be winter hats.  Charlie claimed the oak and I'm dreaming of a hat and mitt set in the moss.  Then again, I would also like another shawlette.  I've checked this a dozen times but yes, I'm sure:  the oak colorway is the green and the moss colorway is the brown.  Go figure.

I also received Blackstone Tweed in two colors, a beautiful blue (Wharf) and a rustic brown (Quahog).

I may have enough of the blue to eek out a sweater dress.  Maybe.  Can't you just imagine it in this blue?  Actually, imagine it in a less shocking blue because it's not as bright as depicted here, promise.  It's more peacock than turquoise in real life.

There are only four skeins of the Quahog--not sure what those shall turn into just yet, but my guess is another accessory of some sort.

And lastly, there are four skeins of a new-to-me yarn.  Sublime cashmere merino silk dk--it is incredible, velvety and soft.  I am unsure of the name of the colorways but they are a soft blue and a sandy gray.  I see something stripey and definitely next-to-skin.

I am not sure which of these lovelies I will tuck into my carry-on bag tomorrow, though I best decide soon.  I considered simply carrying on the entire basket.  But that would be silly.  I can live without petting my new yarn for a few days. 



Chicago Chickadee.

I finished a cowl a bit ago, well before I knew we were heading to Chicago to celebrate my 40th birthday.  I am so happy it's blocked and ready to throw into the suitcase.  I think it'll be perfect for the weather expected.       

This yarn was originally used for another cowl--the popular Honey Cowl.  But it was my Disney knit and lo and behold, I had packed the wrong needles.  I remember staring at my lap on the plane wondering what to do.  

I thought maybe it would work out with some fiddling so I went ahead and cast on.  But after working on it throughout the trip and a few days once we returned, I faced the fact that the resulting fabric was much too loose for my liking.  So I frogged it.     

I wasn't sure if it was going to become another cowl after that experience.  But then I saw several beautiful versions of the Chickadee cowl knit in this exact yarn (Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light) and colorway (Calligraphy), and fell head over heels, leaving little choice.  And I'm so happy I shamelessly followed, not changing a thing from their versions.  I love this cowl (Rav notes here) and have a new affection for the linen stitch.


p.s.  I will be away for a bit, unplugged and holding hands with my fella, exploring a wonderful city.  This is after I figure out a suitable traveling knit and double check that I've packed the right sized needles. 


Button jar.

I just remembered that I have a nearly completed cardigan somewhere amongst my knitterly things.  It has sat, neglected and lonely, in my WIP basket the entire summer.  If cardis could talk, it would no doubt tell me that it is confused and sad.  It would ask me why I abandoned it.  Was it something I did? it might wonder.    

And, well, if I talked to sweaters (and I do not--or at least, not usually), I would tell it that I understand why it's confused.  I worked on it it until it was 95% done and then just walked away.  I need only to pick up stitches for a nice finish on the collar and button bands--twenty, thirty minutes of work, tops.  But you see, I also need to sew on buttons.  And therein reveals why I first tucked it aside--I did not have the right buttons.  But it languished for three months because I forgot about it, plain and simple.   

I remembered it as I was sorting through my various baskets.  And as the weather is finally cooling off, I think it's a fine time to get back to it.  It also helps that I recently added these lovelies to my button stash.  They beg for a more permanent home than my button jar (if buttons could talk, that is).

I think some brown ones, carved from coconut shells, are the winners for this particular cardi.     


But I'm excited to have other options in-house and at the ready.  I need to keep the cardi community happy.  I've invited over an ambitious number this fall.