A Baby Shower

Yesterday I finished off the holiday weekend by attending a baby shower for the daughter of one of my knitting friends. They are not finding out the sex of the baby which generally leads one to a more neutral palette when knitting.

As luck would have it, the new Knitty was recently released. As I excitedly went through the patterns I found the Pat Hat.  The Pat Hat is a reversible baby hat and it is knit in one piece, which is a very cool design element.  I was able to find enough yarn in colors that I liked in my stash so I cast on.  I always have a hard time with the provisional cast on and still have not found one that works for me but I managed to get it started.  Both sides involve colorwork which I don’t do a lot of but with the way it is designed the back of your work will never be seen so it’s a great first colorwork project.  The girl side has a heart pattern and uses four colors and the neutral main color.  Once you finish the first hat, you go back and pick up the stitches from the provisional cast on and start knitting the “boy” hat in the other direction.  It uses three colors.  Once both hats are complete you have a large enclosed oval and you tuck one of the hats inside the other, like a lining and then it’s done!  Because of the design it does make for a very thick and warm hat so it will keep baby’s head nice and warm.  Now, you might be asking “where’s the picture?”  I can’t believe this but I forgot to take a picture when I finished it.  That might be a first for me!

The hat was a huge hit at the shower!  But there were a lot of knitters there so the reaction was to be expected.  It’s a great, quick project and you will be the hit of the baby shower (or gender reveal party) if you bring a Pat Hat!

What’s on My Needles This Weekend

Happy Summer Solstice!  I feel it’s a bittersweet day – yes, it’s the longest day of the year but I know from here on out they only get shorter.  I find the Winter Solstice much more of an occasion to celebrate because, finally, the days will start getting longer.  I was looking through my archives tonight and have found that I’ve been able to keep up with this feature about once a month and I think that’s pretty darn good!

This weekend I’m trying to finish my Welted Cowl (which I discuss in detail in April’s What’s on My Needles This Weekend).  It had been tossed aside for a few weeks as I started more new projects, mostly prompted by my rummage sale yarn finds.  On Wednesday we had some severe storms go through and I live in an area where it’s almost a guarantee we will lose power during a storm and so it went.  It was out until about 3am so I was forced to knit by candlelight.  And, what better project to work on by candlelight than the Welted Cowl?  All you have to do is knit or purl in a circle.  Candles actually provide a surprising amount of light!

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I’m on the last edge and only have about 15 more rows to knit so pretty soon this will cross the line over to finished project world!

#OperationSockDrawer

For the past few months I’ve noticed this hashtag movement on Twitter in the knitting circles.  I was a bit curious as to who/what was behind this idea.  And, since I had been knitting socks as if I were running around barefoot I thought I might need to get in on it.  Two things happened that really pushed me to investigate further.  First, my church decided to have an art fair this summer and my parents keep asking if I will enter something I have knit.  Second, I got a new phone and figured out how to download and listen to podcasts on it.  And here’s the story of how these two things got me moving.

When the art fair was first mentioned I think my parents were thinking of one of the many shawls I have knit.  I thought of #operationsockdrawer. As I’ve been seeing the tags on Twitter I’ve been keeping my hand knit socks in a special section of one of my sock drawers and thought that would make a great entry in the art fair.  What could be more colorful and fun than a drawer full of hand knit socks?  I then decided I needed to find the origins of this and could also get a good blog post out of the whole thing.  Bonus!

My next step was to Google #operationsockdrawer to see what info I could find.  That is when I stumbled across the Knitmore Girls Podcast.  I was already following Jasmin on Twitter and I’m not really sure how or why I started following her as I did not know about the podcast.  I found Episode 247 of the podcast seemed to be the first mention.  This is where the new phone enters the picture.  I know a few of the ladies in my knitting group are devoted podcast listeners but I had never quite figured out how to download them to my phone or other listening device.  My new phone seems to have many amazing features and with the popularity of podcast I figured listening to those had to be one.  I had a work road trip planned and decided to try out one episode to see how it worked and to see if I liked it.  I started with Episode 247 and it was wonderful! First I have to say that I really enjoy listening to Jasmin and Gigi – they are very well spoken and provide tons of really good information.  It felt like I was at one of my knitting groups except I was driving and not knitting which was kind of sad.  I was not surprised to hear the idea of #operationsockdrawer came from a picture that the wonderful Susan B. Anderson had posted on Instagram.  It was a picture of her sock drawer and it was amazing!!  Everyone should have a sock drawer that looks like that!  The goal is just to up the fun and variety of your sock drawer and I’m totally on board with that.  Plus, I have found that it is always a good idea to have a pair of socks on your needles because you never know when you might need a compact, easy to knit project.  And it’s a great way to use all that wonderful indie dyed yarn you can find on Etsy!

The art fair starts June 12th and I had one last pair to get off my needles and in my “drawer”.   I got those done and just dropped off my drawer.  This is a picture of what it was going to look like:

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I ended up changing the “drawer” at the last minute to something a little bigger so more of the socks could be seen.  The watermelon, red white & blue and gingerbread (pink and brown) socks are all yarn from Artistic Yarns by Abi – I’ve sang her praises in many blog posts.  The rainbow socks are from Lollipop yarn.  The candy corn yarn is from Knitterly Things (sadly the orange ran a bit when I washed them – they were extra cute when that was white :( )  The scarlet and grey socks are a yarn I bought in Seattle.  And the two pink/purple pairs are sock yarns I bought when I first started sock knitting.  The stripped pink/blue/purple pair was the first pair of socks I knit.  They almost were never finished because I started with 2 at a time on circular needles and that nearly killed me.

I’ve got some fun, new yarns waiting to be socks so I can’t wait to add to my sock drawer!

 

The Annual Rummage Sale Post

Yes, it’s that time of year – the annual church rummage sale.  You can read all about my feelings regarding the rummage sale here in the post I wrote last year.  Each rummage sale comes with it’s own special stories.  This year’s begin the first night of sorting, Monday.  I was told someone had dropped off a number of bags.  It was clear this person had spent many years working the craft show circles.  It was also clear it was the table of the weird crochet cozies.  Each item we pulled out of those bags was stranger than the next.  It was so sad.  I had such mixed feelings.  The items were so ugly but someone had really liked them and I know had spent a lot of time working on them but I’m just never going to need a Comet cozie, especially with the original can of Comet still in it…  To help, here are some pictures of some of the more entertaining items.

There were also several needlepoint on plastic items and the last and most special items was this “candle” 20140602_204351 Yes, those are styrofoam egg carton.  Clearly into upcycling before upcycling was a thing.  With all of these crazy yarn craft I could hardly wait for the random bag of yarn.  I worked the craft supply section on Monday night  and did not find much.  After that I got stuck in the Christmasland.  We had so much Christmas stuff this year (well, actually just so much stuff this year…) that I never really made it out of there.  On Wednesday night as we were getting ready to leave my friend said “oh, I have a bag of yarn for you”.  And, so it had shown up… I held my breath and opened the bag and what to my great surprise do I see but 9 skeins of Cascade 220, an entire (unopened) bag containing 10 skeins of Debbie Bliss Glen, 3 skeins of random sock yarn and that’s just the “cheap stuff”.  Also in this bag was a brand new (again unopened) MaggiKnits Trellis Scarf kit and 6 skeins of Zealana Tui yarn which I had never even heard of.  Despite being beyond exhausted I took the bag and came home to immediately look up the Tui yarn because the price tag on it was really high, which it should be because it’s merino, cashmere and possum and made in New Zealand.  Check it out – it is a beautiful yarn.  Clearly the person that dropped of the bag had no idea how much all the yarn inside was worth and lucky for me and the yarn we found it before we set it out to the wolves and someone tried to talk us down from $1 to $0.50 for it.  The yarn has a happy, yarn friendly home.  I could hardly wait to cast it on because I had just the project for that merino! The actual sale went well and is finally over.  We went out to dinner after we cleaned up everything today.  I was talking about my socks that I have been knitting and my friends all decided those would be the crazy craft items that show up in a rummage sale 40 years from now.  I certainly hope not – I might have to include the socks in my will now!  I got home around 8:30 which is the earliest I’ve been home this week (I did take Thursday night off to go to my knitting group and show off my rummage sale finds…).  I told my mom I was not leaving my house tomorrow as there are a number of things that need to be done.  And then I said that I might need to run out for a pair of needles for a new project (for the yummy merino yarn!!).  To which she suggested that I only pick projects that require needles I already have which sounded like complete crazy talk to me.  I can’t limit myself to the tons of needles I already own!!

Knitting Nerd

Today I realized that I have, at some point, crossed a line into being a total knitting nerd.  I’m trying to think back and figure out when exactly this happened.  I feel like there are various phases of being a knitter.  Some people knit but are not “knitters” and then there are those of us that become knitting nerds.  For me it was a slow and steady progression through the various phases.  When I first learned to knit I did it mainly alone and just when I had time.  Eventually I decided I wanted to devote more time to knitting so I started going to a sit and knit at my LYS.  That opened my eyes to the larger knitting world – books, magazines, fiber shows, knit-alongs and I ate it all up.  I then discovered knitting blogs and started blogging about knitting myself.  I’ve gone on trips and retreats centered around knitting.  Somehow, the the thought that I was total knitting nerd never occurred to me until this afternoon.  

Why, this afternoon?  Because I was sitting on my front porch working on my yarn bombing project while listening to a knitting podcast.  I finished adjusting the yarn bombing and realized it was a beautiful day with great natural light so I brought out some knitting projects that I needed to photograph and got those pictures taken, also on the front porch while listening to a knitting podcast.  

I had to move on because a friend of mine from my knitting group was coming over to help me assemble some chairs I bought at IKEA this week.  Side note – I have no talent or patience for putting together IKEA furniture and as I was complaining about it after knitting on Thursday my friend said she loved to put together IKEA furniture.  Score!!!  This was my friend had never been to my house.  The highlight of my house tour is my yarn room which I just love.  I could tell she was one of my knitting friends because she stood there and said “oh look how lovely your stash is” and really was admiring it.  When my non-knitting friends come over and find out I have a whole room for my yarn they usually say something like “what are you going to do with all that?”  I have plans, I just need to live a long time to get through all the plans so back off!!!

I’m okay with being a knitting nerd – I’ve learned a ton, met a lot of interesting, amazing people and seen some great places!  And, I got help putting together my IKEA furniture which is a total bonus if you ask me!

What’s on My Needles this Weekend?

There are so many projects (an excessive number even for me, a very committed polygamous knitter…) currently on needles that I am really going to have to focus.  It’s one of those periods for me – I can’t knit fast enough and I can’t start enough projects.  Talk to me in six months and there will be nothing to knit.  The WIPs that I remember include: a pair of socks (sock #2 is almost done); a cowl; a wrap; another wrap and the project that I am currently obsessed with and have tossed all other aside for – the Derecho.

I started the Derecho which can be found here on Ravelry a couple of weeks ago when I was finally in town to meet up with my Thursday night knitting group.  Most yarn stores that hold knit nights have an unwritten (and maybe written in some cases) rule that while you are sitting and knitting in the shop you use yarn that was purchased at the shop.  My LYS does not really enforce this rule but I usually try to follow it.  I think it’s the proper thing to do, not that I have not brought in other yarn in a pinch (the week before Christmas or other looming knitting deadline) but I try to do it as often as I can.  Besides, it’s not like I don’t have a ton of yarn and projects that I can work on.  I keep my indie dyes at home and it provides me the variety I seek.  Anyway, I’m working on a Wiggle Wrap using Kauni wool which only has one pattern row but even that was too much for me at knit night so it got crossed off the approved knit night list.  My Whisper Wrap is on another set of needles and I’m using some sale yarn from the store but every row is a pattern row so no go, plus the lace weight yarn is a bit much to deal with while gabbing.  The cowl is some cool indie yarn – see my last What’s on my Needles this Weekend post for more info.  The socks, likewise, are more indie yarn.  This left me with nothing to work on at knit night.

I did a quick inventory of my yarn room and found the next set of Kauni wool I had not been able to refuse.  A couple of ladies from our group had used two balls of Kauni to make the Derecho and I thought they looked great and was yet another great pattern for the beautiful color changes of the Kauni.  It’s also all knit – no pattern rows, nothing.  Just increases in the same place every row.  It’s the perfect pattern for knit night!!  It doesn’t even require any other tools – no measuring tape, no stitch markers.  I love it!  Between the fun construction and the fascinating color changes of the Kauni I can’t put this project down!!  I love the way the shawl is constructed on an angle with two sets of live stitches.  I was also surprised to find some purple in my ball of Kauni which I had thought was the black/grey colorway.  The purple will look great in it!

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You can see the purple hiding in the grey ball

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Now, I will get back to it and take advantage of this long holiday weekend to see how far I can get!

Day 7 – Wow!!

So we come to the end of the 5th Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week!  As usual Day 7 asks that we look back and look forward.  Last year was the first time I participated and my blogging skills were still somewhat minimal.  I have improved on those skills and have been able to post on a somewhat regular basis.  I’m hoping to continue to improve my technical skills and keep up with the postings.  This year’s topics really required me to think outside of the box I usually think in so it was a great exercise for me.  I found some fun new blogs to read.  I’ve been working on some other knitting/writing related projects and I’m hoping when next rolls around I will have made some progress on those and hope to share that news with everyone!  Mostly I just hope that I’m still knitting and still writing next year!!