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Pumpkins One, Two, and Three (and Me)

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Entries in knitting (55)


Thanksgiving, 2010.

Well, well, well.  It appears I can only get ahead with my holiday prep agenda if certain things fall by the wayside.  Usually it's feeding the children.  Okay, not really really--unless you count how many Trader Joe's entrees they've had lately.  I actually don't feel that awful about it because I really adore Trader Joe's.  It's the budget Whole Foods as far as I'm concerned.

In any case, it's pretty obvious that blogging took a backseat these past couple of weeks, as did most crafting.  And like everyone else, it's just because I've been busy--my volunteer schedule was double my norm!  But I did manage to get our Christmas card ordered...before Thanksgiving.  That's incredibly early for us.  I'll post it after we've sent them off. 

We used Scrapblog again, like last year.  I really like the design freedom they offer.  None of the preset templates worked for the colors in our photos but it wasn't a problem because I was able to design our own--love that.

I also finished knitting Will's hat.  I plan to top it with a pom-pom even though Charlie asked "why on earth would you do that?"  But I think it'll be darling--especially because I went super simple on it, just stripes in colors that match his winter coat. 

I'll post more pics with details soon...the most exciting thing about this hat, for me, is that I think I've settled on a jogless join technique for stripes.  And I truly don't care if it seems silly to be excited about such a thing because I really, really am.  That said, I do freely admit that it is pretty silly to be as vexed as I can be about teensy jogs in knitting stripes--especially since I didn't even know what they were a few months ago.

I also made some turkey cake balls for Will's Thanksgiving feast at his preschool.   

They were gobbled right up.  Sorry, I just can't pass up a pun, ask anyone...



We had several left over, so we took them to our neighbor's house for Thanksgiving, where we had a delicious meal and a fantastic time.  For the record, I did bring more than just leftover cake balls, but not much! 

Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend, too. 



Winter hat 2 of 5 (again) and 3 of 5.

I reknit my hat that my mom swiped.  Same Malabrigo, same pattern, same happy knitting experience.  Here it is blocking for the second time.  I'm afraid I'm not getting as much slouch as my first one, pout, so I might have to block it a third time, more aggressively.

I also cast on for Max's hat.  I used another free pattern on Ravelry called the Norwegian Star Earflap Hat by Tiennie.

It was a quick knit, my very short notes are here.  I started Saturday night during a movie and finished it Sunday morning.  So if you're like me and trying to churn out hats lickety-split, this might work for you, too.  

I used the two-handed fair isle technique from here.  It definitely took some concentration but I'm getting there with my colorwork.  Here is a picture of the hat, unblocked.  I lightly steam blocked it and that took care of the bumpies; I just haven't taken pictures yet. 

There is a good chance I'll line it with fleece to make it extra snuggly. 

Leo would like an earflap hat, too, so I plan to use the same pattern, or Thorpe.  But for William, I think he's young enough for me to knit up something obnoxious--big pom pom? animal ears?  Poor child. 



One cowl up. One hat down.

I knitted a cowl to match my hat.  I used the same cable pattern as the star crossed slouchy beret, just knitted it even (without increases or decreases).  There are a few more notes on my Ravelry link

It was a super quick knit and I just love it. 

rocking my nonchalant, no-makeup, but who cares because I have a cowl to cover my face, look.

But I lost the hat

My mother and father stopped by to spend some time with us before leaving for overseas--they are off to live at their place in Thailand for four or five months. 

I was planning to knit my mother a hat so I showed her mine to check the sizing.  After trying it on, she immediately tucked it into her purse saying something like, "oh, this is exactly what I want, the color and everything."  And just like that, I am down one winter hat.

I'm certainly not cross.  I can't think of a higher compliment than someone taking one of my handknits quite literally off of me to keep for themselves.  And besides, it looks darling on her.  And she did give birth to me.  But I'm hiding my cowl. 



Winter hat 2 of 5.


I loved knitting this hat.  It was my first go at the magic loop method as well as working cables without a cable needle (so fast).  It was also my first encounter with Malabrigo yarn.  

It was a dream to knit--incredibly soft and I adore the subtle variations in color.  I now understand the self-proclaimed yarn snobs I've recently met.  I am pondering going back to work to fund an upgrade of yarn choices for everything in my knitting queue.

The pattern is the Star Crossed Slouchy beret by Natalie Larson, available free on Ravelry.  It is knit in Malabrigo's merino worsted, in the Tuareg colorway.  I did not modify the pattern and like the amount of slouch I got after blocking the hat.  I can wear it pulled down over my ears but it also stays put sitting back a bit. 

It was a perfect choice to knit while on vacation in Puerto Rico--super quick and the colorway will remind me of the beach and the beautiful clear blue water.


Once home, I cast on for a cowl to match using the same cable pattern.  I hope I have enough yarn left over to make a pair of hand warmers.  Oh, and I think I've settled on a pattern for the boys' hats--Thorpe from Through the Loops, also on Ravelry.  Not 100% sure but it's the front runner. 



Winter hat 1 of 5, check.

I finished knitting Charlie's winter hat a few weeks ago.  But I never got around to posting about it because I still need to steam block it--our iron is dying a slow, leaky death and I have yet to pick up a new one. 

The pattern is called "Turn a Square" by Jared Flood. More details and my notes can be found on Ravelry by clicking the image

Mother Nature, however, apparently cannot wait for me to run my errand and has decided to go ahead and make it cold outside.  She seemingly is also ignoring the calendar because temperatures at certain times of the day are dipping pretty low considering it is only October.  Now, I've lived in Northern Virginia for quite some time.  And so I'm pretty used to erratic weather.  But this shift was completely without warning--we were wearing tees and shorts during a pop up heat wave merely a week and a half ago.  And I'm pretty sure that a neighbor went so far as to put out their slip n slideBut now it's cold. 

And that, my friends, is the story of how the unblocked hat was placed into immediate service during some late night furniture painting in the garage.  The End (because I have moved on to knitting winter hat 2 of 5 and there is no chance that hat 1 will ever be blocked).   



Sweater No. 2.

As I mentioned, I started and nearly finished my second handknit sweater while on vacation at the beach.  I finished it last week and after blocking it, I'm very happy that it fits (I was worried).

I will wear it over my favorite layering tees (Target tissue tees...which, by the way, if you are like me and like to kick off the cooler season with a fresh batch of layering tees, might I suggest you hurry and get them?  My Target was almost out already!).

I haven't added buttons yet because I haven't found the right ones.  But that should make the pocket edges look a lot better--they're pretty loose right now but I'm too lazy to add a crochet edge to tighten them.

My notes are on my Ravelry link, here.  Not sure of my next project--I want something special to work on while away on our anniversary trip in a few weeks.  I'm thinking a cowl or a shawlette (those seem to be all the rage--worn like a scarf...)



WIP update.

The sweater I started at the beach (cast-on photo is also my new blog header) couldn't be simpler.  It's actually called the simplest sweater on Ravelry and it is a great, straight forward pattern if you're searching for an easy top-down raglan sweater.  I didn't have much of a chance to work on it last week but it's getting there.  Here is a sneak peek showing what I accomplished at the beach.  The funny looking loops at the bottom are stitches held for pockets--yes my first go at pockets!  My Ravelry notes are here.

This sweater also help me reach a significant milestone (to me) with my knitting--knitting while reading.  That may sound crazy, I know.  And I'm right there with you.  Actually, the pre-knitting Sandra is right there with you.  Because pre-knitting me thought reading a book is best enjoyed with absolutely no other mental demand.  But hear me out. 

If you have an easy project on your needles (like this one--inches and inches of stockinette in the round), you don't really have to look at it.  Well, okay, maybe once in awhile to slip the round marker.  And of course you have to stop knitting to flip the page.  But it's really doable.  And this is how I can happily report that I read two books while also knitting about 80% of a sweater at the beach.  My disclaimer is that the books were total fluff, chick lit reads and that a teensy part of me was motivated to have something to show for my time investment.  I don't see knitting while reading something by, say, Mark Helprin.

Now, the sweater.  I wasn't too sure about the colors.  But I took it to a girls night out and my friends made me more confident that the colors do indeed work.  I'm doing short sleeves instead of long and am nearly done.  I hope to finish and block it this week and will post more details then.  Happy Monday!



Owl vest.

I forgot to mention in my post yesterday that I barely tapped into the second skein of Cascades Eco wool for my Shalom cardi.  With the leftover yarn, I impulsively cast on for an owl vest for one of the boys.  It is way too big for any of them, which isn't a huge deal as they seem to be sprouting up by inches nightly.  But the kicker is I don't have enough yarn to finish if I keep going in this size! 

I will be ripping out and restarting, making sure to gauge before beginning this time.  Luckily, I realized this after working on it for only the weekend.  Oh least I'm getting in some practice on the cables. 





I am pretty amazed and tickled--and just a bit stunned--that I am finally at a place with my knitting where I can take some yarn...  

and some pointy sticks and someone's directions and turn it into the very thing I am trying to turn it into (because we are not going to talk about the "hey, nice belt" but it was a scarf episode).  I've said it before, and here it is again, Shalom is a great pattern for a newbie knitter.  This was my first of many firsts:  top-down construction; sweater; twisted-rib yoke; sleeves; button holes.  Yipes.  But it's done. 

It took about a week and a half of fairly steady, but casual, knitting.  In my world, 'fairly...steady...casual' describes me knitting about an hour to two, in total, a day.  Now, that may sound like a lot and I don't blame you if you're wondering what had to give to make room for it in my day (feeding the kids?  laundry??  feeding herself???).  But no, not quite.  I've discovered that I can sneak in knitting in ten or fifteen minute chunks throughout the day.  Or during tv time if I indulge in any after the kids are in bed.  In fact, it is this seamless pick-it-up/put-it-down/fit-it-in-anywhere process that I adore about knitting--because it really adds up!  In this case, into a cute sweater that cannot be mistaken for anything but a sweater. 

Love it. 

 I think I'll mostly wear it open...


but I like it buttoned, too...


Public Ravelry link here, with my notes.  I'm picking out my next project asap--we have a beach trip coming up and I'd love to take something along.  Though I hear it's tough to knit on the beach with little ones.  We shall see!


linking up here


Little people and their things.

A certain little person in our house fell in love with another little person's knitted bag, seen here.  So, I made him his own.  Same general idea, though this time I did it by memory during park outings and lessons.  The proportions are a bit off, causing its wonkiness.  But I'm inclined to call it its homemade charm.  It was also my first go at working Fair Isle--again, wonkiness ensued.  But how fun; winter hats, here I come!  I used a tutorial on two handed knitting found here.  And I must say it was not very difficult.  But I think I had a head start because I originally learned to knit in the Continental style.  


As soon as I gave it to him, he was off...
...packing it full for his many adventures...
And what tiny treasures does he currently like to keep close?  Some Little People of his own and his beloved Cars characters (we're working towards a full set).
In other exciting-to-me knitting news, Shalom is done!  Just waiting for some buttons and then I'll share.  It was a super quick knit (i.e. roughly 10 days of knitting at night).  I highly recommend it for any other newbie knitters out there.
Happy Friday!