Week 17: A couple dishes, some yarn from stash
I know, I’m a day late again. No de-clutter drama this week to discuss, and no de-hoarding fireworks either. I gave my mom a couple pyrex dishes with cracked rubber tops that we had replaced with new ones recently. So it wasn’t exactly an exodus, considering I gave away two dishes and ended up with four new ones. But at least I didn’t keep the old ones too! I also took a glass frying pan (!) out of the cupboard to put into the Goodwill pile. I’ve used it maybe six times in the past 10 years and R. Darling didn’t even know it existed until I showed it to him to make sure he didn’t want it before I chucked it. Baby steps!
Onto more exciting things…..
Here at Chez Funkytown we have a new obsession: The Backyard. Every morning now I wake to Knittymunchkin chanting Outside! Backyard! Outside! It’s adorable, but here in the Pacific Northwest it stays cool in the mornings most of the year. Sometimes even downright cold when you’d least expect it. Even the most scorching afternoon may be preceded by a dawn filled with frosty condensation pouring from your mouth as you chase an active 2 year old in the yard. All I really want to do is curl up on the couch in my pjs with a hot cup of coffee. But like a good Mama, I try not to squelch his desire for fresh air and the great outdoors. This morning found me freezing my keester off in the early dawn as a bundled up Knittymunchkin careened around the yard and I tried not to shatter my teeth with all the shivering I was doing. I managed to find a really old (we’re talking circa 1991) pair of fingerless gloves that my parents sent with me when I went off to college in Upstate New York. I put them on and they were scratchy as all get out. This would not suffice. That means I need some good fingerless mitts to keep my digits toasty, but my fingers free to accept cups of sand “coffee” and plenty of “pretty flowers” (dandelions).
I’ve never actually made myself a pair of fingerless gloves before. I’ve made a bajillion (it seems) as gifts, but never any for myself. I checked my queue and there were only three patterns in there, two of which I deep-sixed back to my favorites. The only worthy pattern remaining was Commuter Fingerless Mittens from Knitty, First Fall 2011. Good thing I have a ginormous stash to “shop” from! I pulled out some Berroco Ultra Alpaca that had been gifted to me a few years back by my good friend Kathy (blog-free; the one I made the squares for here). I am a few rows in and I am loving this yarn! Where have you been all my life? In my stash, actually. Just waiting to be discovered.
I forsee more of this in my future. Both the Ultra Alpaca and the frosty mornings outside…
April 27, 2012
Week 17: A couple dishes, some yarn from stash
October 11, 2010
Ah how I adore autumn. The way the sunlight looks like warm honey spilling over my afternoon, the crisp chill in the morning air that makes me hug my coffee cup just a little tighter, and the sumptuous shades of saffron, pumpkin, and red velvet drifting like a mutable mosaic over sidewalks and fields. There is something about this time of year that makes me feel industrious. Like a squirrel ferreting away nuts for winter, I want to fill my nest with baked goods, soups and stews, and feather it with warm knitted things.
I think I mentioned last post that I’ve been knitting. A bunch. But you haven’t seen any of that here for a while. Are you curious? I’ve had my needles out for hire and now that I’ve got some things finished up, it’s time to share.
Oh, who have I been hired out to, you ask? Mainly I’ve been test knitting in the Free Pattern Testers and The Testing Pool groups on Ravelry. As you know, I’ve test knit a lot before, but this is a little more casual than what I’m used to. Meaning there’s no contracts or anything. It’s all on the honor system, which seems kinda dicey for the designers in my mind. But it’s all good though. The main thing is that I’m helping some fellow knitters get their patterns out into the world and I’m using up some of my stash in the process. Plus, the deadline pretty much guarantees I’ll actually finish something since I take the deadlines pretty seriously. I don’t know…. there’ something about it that gives me a warmish feeling in my tummy. Like maybe I’m banking up some good karma, which I could really use!
- Pattern: Corrente com Lagarta (Pacifier Clip with a Caterpillar)by Mamã Martinho (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
- Yarn: I used yarn repurposed from an Abercrombie & Fitch sweater I bought at Goodwill and unraveled maybe 3 -4 years ago? So I don’t know exactly how much I used. It felt so good to use repurposed yarn though!
- Needles: Size 3 bamboo dpns
- Mods: Used sewn on velcro for fastening instead of a snap; sewed caterpillar and links to diaper pin instead of gluing; used pompoms for eyes and glued these on.
This is a super cute, very easy pattern and uses very little yarn. I think it turned out sweet. Me being the paranoid Mom that I am though, I’m not convinced my version is entirely baby-safe, so I am waiting until he’s a lot bigger to use this on him. I had already bought a skull & crossbones Bink Link a couple weeks before I finished this anyway, so the need wasn’t as great for it as I had expected it to be. But the designer was super nice, easy to work with, and I think the design is really cute. She’s also got a darling version for girls with a little flower on it.
- Pattern: Two-Way Mittens by Keltic Banshee (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
- Yarn: Classic Elite Alpaca Sox – Color #1810; 0.47 hanks (211.5 yds)
- Needles: Size 2 (2.75mm) Harmony 40 inch circ for Magic Loop
- Mods: Worked 26 rounds for cuff to make it a wee bit longer
This pattern was super fun to work because of its unique construction. The mitts are knit from the fingers down and then the flap is created, knit together with the fingers and before you know it it’s smooth sailing to the cuff! I was just fascinated the whole time I knit this and couldn’t wait to see what would happen in each successive step. They were pretty quick to knit, considering how slow I am with fingering weight yarns. If you can knit a sock, I’d say these would be just as easy. And the designer was a super nice gal, very understanding if I had a slow knitting week, and even extended the deadline so we could all rest a little easier and not have to knit so frantically. I would definitely test for her again!
- Pattern: Little Monster Hat by Odessa Reichel (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
- Yarn: Lamb’s Pride Bulky – Color “Blue Heirloom Seconds”; 0.75 skeins
- Needles: Size 10 bamboo 16 inch circ
- Mods: Worked 2 repeats less of garter stitch for the height of the hat before starting short rows
I just love how this hat turned out! It was quite the ingenious pattern (I think) and I really enjoyed seeing how this hat came together when I seamed it all up at the end. Knittymunchkin was not about to keep it on his head for longer than 2 seconds though (it’s more fun to chew on, Mom!) so it took me a good 30 snaps to get this one shot. Oh well. I hope he’ll like it better when he’s a little bigger! I made the toddler size and it’s a wee bit big on him right now, but I think it should be good for a while. This designer was super nice as well and I would be happy to test for her again :) A quick, easy, Christmas gifty too if you have little ones on your knitting list!
Whew! Maybe the “busy-ness” of my little guy is rubbing off on me. I swear that kid cannot sit still for longer than a second or two at a time! It’s cute, but it’s tiring! Anyway, if you can believe it, I have other knits to show you. I know – I think I just heard the flapping wings of some pigs overhead. But we’ll leave those for another post, so when my inevitable dry spell comes back around (and it will), I’ll have something to show you. Until then, enjoy your autumn! I know I am. I had pumpkin pie for breakfast :)
June 17, 2010
It’s 4:30 AM and I’m awake. In a hotel somewhere in the armpit of Washington, I draw open the curtain and look out. The rumble of construction noise swirls up to greet me, a muffled pinging of sheet metal punctuating the background. For some reason I’m surprised to find men already hard at work in the smudgy dawn light. I know I shouldn’t be, but somehow I still am. The ground looks wet and I feel sorry for them, that they have to work in the miserable damp air, sweating over the concrete and lumber dust. The sky looks how I feel; leaden, brooding, downcast. Why is it that when we are feeling a little low, we always say we feel blue? Why not grey, or black? Blue could never reflect the melancholy I feel this morning.
I’ve never been much of a blue-lover. Maybe that’s because it really doesn’t suit me. Imagine my surprise when I bought 3 hanks of this deep blue Artyarns Supermerino (shade #107) a couple summers ago. For some reason I liked the color, but I think I ultimately bought it thinking I’d gift it to someone in a swap at some point. Hey, it was on sale for 30% off and I was already going stone cold crazy buying yarn that day, so what damage would a couple more hanks really do? It never really crossed my mind I might want them for myself until I pulled them out for Knittymunchkin’s BSJ and found myself inexplicably drawn to the color. So attracted in fact, that I couldn’t bring myself to use all 3 hanks of it on his BSJ and set about looking for something small I could make out of 2 hanks or less for myself. Yes, selfish am I.
Behold the Breathe Deep Mittens, which I choose to call “Waiting to Exhale”, because I held my breath knitting the entire first mitten, hoping beyond hope I’d have enough yarn to knit the pair. Lucky for me I did, and some to spare.
- Pattern: Breathe Deep by Kirsten Kapur (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
- Yarn: About 1.6 hanks of Artyarns Supermerino in shade #107
- Needles: Size 7 – 36 inch bamboo circs (for magic loop)
- Mods: Only worked 6 rounds in pattern for the cuff for the M/L size mittens, instead of 7 rounds; used magic loop instead of dpns
Oh how I love this pattern! Clearly written & easy to follow, just detailed enough to keep it interesting, but simple enough that I could pick it up and put it down at the whim of my little boy’s naps. These pictures just don’t do justice to the rich, deep blue of this yarn. I wish I could have captured it better so you could see just what drew me to it, but alas, time for photo shoots is not what it used to be and I have to go with what we get when we have time to go out. Though it was a brilliant sunny day when we took these, the bright light just washed out the color. You’ll have to take my word for it that these are gorgeous and deep like a briny tropical sea. The best part? I used up 1.6 hanks of stash yarn (about 167 yds) and the remaining 1.4 hanks will go into Knittymunchkin’s BSJ for a total of 3 hanks of yarn and 312 yds used up! Yay me! Soon I’ll have most, if not all, my stash accounted for and I’ll give you an update on how hard I’ll have to work to complete my 101 things in 1001 days goal of reducing my stash to half its current amount.
Until then, enjoy an outtake!