0

Happy Maketober!

No, you didn’t miss this on the intrawebz. “Maketober” is not a thing.

Not unless you are me and you are freaking stoked that it’s October!

September was just a blur. Will it feel like this every year when school starts, or is it just because we are first-timers? After weeks of adjustment (on my part and Knittymunchkin’s) I feel like we are finally starting to hit a stride. Just don’t ask me where all the “extra” hours go that I’m supposed to have while he’s in school.  Because I really don’t know. The house isn’t any cleaner, I’m not any more rested, and there is actually little to no knitting being accomplished. The TV is never on, and the dog looks sufficiently un-walked. I just don’t know how moms with jobs do it.  I’m barely keeping up as it is. Then again, I’m writing this post instead of cleaning something……

Yesterday I walked the dog to the bus stop to pick up the kiddo. The warm autumn sun caressed me, the searing electricity of a summer sun having mellowed to the gentle gold of autumn sunshine; everywhere burnished honey. I savored the crunch of leaves underfoot, thinking of potato chips, and wondering how my son could imagine he heard a train in their rustling as he shuffled through them earlier that morning. I love this time of year. It inspires me, turns me inwards towards creativity, and unleashes a nesting instinct always simmering restlessly inside my soul. I want to make things! I want to change things! And that’s why I’ve decided to welcome October as Maketober here at the blog.

This month:

I will make a shawl with friends (Jess & Troy)!

Pattern & image source: Ravelry link

I will make myself healthier…. by continuing with our Back to Fit program (we are ending week 5 today).

I will make someone’s warmer….. by giving away the hats I knit for charity. The original requester has all the hats she needs, so I am left with a stack that do not have homes. My husband is in a unique position to distribute these for me and I plan to always have a few for him to take in his car with him when he goes to work (his idea – and a fantastic one!).

I will make myself breathe…. This is harder than it sounds for someone like me.

I will make my dream a reality…. It may not happen this month, but every small step I take towards opening my Etsy shop has a part in helping me achieve my goals.

I will make food…. I cook every day, but this month I will do the last (most likely) of my canning for the year. Pickled Beets are as precious as the crown jewels in our family.

What do you think?  Will you make-along with me this month?  I’d love the company whether you’re crafting or simply visiting & reading :)

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6

All Sorts of Random

Oops I did it again,
I played with some yarn,
got lost in the game,
oh baby baby.

So far summer has been cr-a-a-zy with a capital cray cray. Karate, playdates, birthday parties, park ventures, bike riding, berry picking, canning, home maintenance and all sorts of other nonsense.  Rare is the day we aren’t rushing off to something.  And swimming hasn’t even started yet (that will be every day!).  While busy is nice in its own way, I find myself wishing for a quiet afternoon with an iced mocha and my knitting.  No need to answer a question every two seconds, deal with the inevitable: “I’m bored!”, force feed the kid, mediate wrestling matches between boy and dog, or worry about keeping everyone on track for work and bedtimes. A real lazy summer afternoon. Or morning.  I’d take a morning in a heartbeat. How come only kids get summer vacation?

Despite all that, I’m making some slow progress on Stash Dash. The hat pictured left and center is Ombre by ChemKnits. I had fun knitting this one, and working through all my “manly” colored worsted weight scraps. This one clocked in at 135 yds for Stash Dash. The red hat in the final picture is the Ribbed Watchman’s Hat by Channah Koppel. I knit one of these for R. Darling and it is his absolute favorite go-to hat.  He probably needs another one in black, come to think of it. This hat came in at 140.6 yds.  Both hats were knit for Recovery Cafe via a request from the Pacific Northwest Ravelers Group on Ravelry, so I get to mail them off in a couple months to a happy new home.

Current Stash Dash total: 275.6 yds (approximately 252 meters).

Pretty miserable, I’ll admit. I do have a couple big(gish) things nearing completion that will hopefully put me back on track to reach my 5K goal.  But since I’m an unofficial entry anyway, I’m not sweating it too hard.  Just focusing on knitting from stash and finishing some UFO’s will be a reward in itself.

And now for the previously advertised “All Sorts of Random” portion of today’s blogcast…..

I am currently reading “In The Heart of the Sea” by Nathaniel Philbrick, and in searching for images to put in the sidebar for my “Current Reads” widget, I noticed that it is coming out as a movie this year. With Chris Hemsworth no less. This book was published in 2000 and how is it that not only did I choose to read it this month (it’s been in my book stash for a long time), but someone else apparently chose to make it into a movie for release right around the same time?  Curious.  I am never timely with these things. But for once I’ll be in the know. I’m about halfway through the book at the moment and I honestly do not know how they will make any sort of movie out of this. It’s astonishingly depressing so far.  But maybe they’re counting on Chris Hemsworth in period whaling attire to uplift everyone’s spirits.  I’ll have to examine the trailers thoroughly and report back to you.

Guess what? I am in the process of opening an Etsy shop. But that’s all I’m going to say at the moment :) Don’t go looking for it in the middle of the night when you have come to the end of the intrawebs and exhausted youtube’s supply of cute kitty videos or something. You won’t find it. But trust me. When it’s up, you’ll be the first to know.

And now some WordPress questions worthy of a noob. What’s the deal with people following you who don’t seem to have anything in common with you in the slightest? I mean, it’s kind of flattering to see my number of followers slowly increasing, but I’m kind of curious why they’d bother to follow me. I’m not entertaining. I’m not rich, or cool, or famous, or interesting. Do they just hope I’ll follow them too? Really, if you know the answer, I’d love to hear it. And lastly, when I respond to your comment on my blog, do you get to see it?  Back in the “old” days of my blog I responded to each comment via e-mail, assuming people would not care to come back to the blog to see if I responded to them. But now that WordPress allows you to follow comments, I want to make sure that if I do respond here you get to see it. Please let me know! I want to make sure you know if I’m responding :)

Now back to our regularly scheduled summer programming…..

11

It’s Me, Knittymuggins…..

Are you there blog?  It’s me, Knittymuggins.

Did you think I’d fallen off the face of the earth?  It’s been a busy spring & summer, everything sort of a mingled blur of preschool events, playdates, appointments, and trying to fill up the long summer hours without the whole preschool routine to rely on.

But, as I stepped out of my car yesterday morning, I could smell it: overripe blackberries, crushed, damp, foliage, and just the hint of a chill.  The smell I long for every year that tells me Autumn is coming; the season I yearn for.  Cool mornings and afternoons of warm, honeyed sunshine replace the white hot glare of summer, everywhere there are pumpkins, and my mood turns to contemplation.  The perfect time to start visiting this space again and sharing all my projects and thoughts with all of you lovely readers.

And boy is there a lot of knitting to share!  I have been a veritable knitting machine over the last few months.  It’s satisfying and rewarding and altogether necessary to survive life with a three year old.  Anyone who tells you that the twos are “terrible” hasn’t lived through the threes yet!  At least not the way things are going in our household.  That’s not to say that Knittymunchkin isn’t an angel 99% of the time.  But that last 1% can really stick it to you when you least expect it.

But you wanted some pretty pictures, didn’t you?  I thought so.  Here’s some of my latest FO’s with the bare minimum of details (you can check out specifics on my Ravelry project page).

And believe it or not, there’s more FO’s that I just haven’t had the chance to photograph yet!  But I hope to share those soon.

Hope your summer has been wonderful and that you are as excited about this autumn as I am!  I’m happy to be back :)

7

Christmas Blitz 2012 Wrap-Up

Whew.  I did a hella ton of Christmas knitting this year.  Well, for the Queen of “I-Don’t-Knit-For-Christmas” anyway.  I know it’s way past the fact now, but I haven’t shared any of those FO’s with you before now and I figure it would be nice to see some pretty knit pictures here on the blog, not just shots of my cutie son and my not-so-cutie face.  Warning, this post is project heavy, but I’ll try to keep the details to a dull roar.

Every year my husband makes an agreement with his Dad that only the kids will receive gifts. And every year his Dad’s girlfriend still buys us stuff. Usually we don’t worry about it too much because we don’t see them until January or February anyway and then it’s not quite so awkward to receive without gifting in return. But this year we went to see them on December 22 and I wanted to be prepared. Currently we are also despairingly broke, so everyone got hand knits whether they wanted to or not.  My friend Troy has this great attitude about his handknits.  He figures that once they leave his hands he doesn’t need to be sentimentally attached to them anymore.  If someone doesn’t appreciate it, gives it away, lets the dog sleep on it, or puts it in the dryer, he doesn’t get hurt.  Once he gifts it he’s done with it emotionally.  This year I strove to do the same.  Because I used stash yarns that weren’t being used anyway, it didn’t really break my heart to think someone might toss this into the closet and forget about it.  Realistically, it was doing the same thing here and there was just the smallest chance that my hand knit would end up with someone who would truly wear and enjoy it, whether or not it was the original recipient.  That’s more of a chance than it would have hanging out here in one of my rubbermaid tubs.  And besides, I got the fun of knitting it.

Without further ado…..  Christmas Knitting Blitz 2012 Show And Tell begins!

The Boys (my Father-In-Law & Brother-In-Law) received simple, but not plain, hats in black.  I really didn’t know what each of them would wear and figured it would be best to play it safe.  I used black yarn that had been in my stash since dinosaurs roamed the earth: Valley Yarns Berkshire.  This is a nice all purpose sort of yarn, a bit like Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride, but possibly softer.  I don’t know how it will wear because it is pretty fuzzy, but hopefully it will last a while even if it pills.  In retrospect, I wouldn’t choose a fuzzy yarn like this in the future for either of these patterns.  The design elements were sort of lost in that alpaca halo and would have been more crisp and well-defined with a plied yarn of some type I’m guessing.  Oh well.  Lesson learned, stash busted.  Moving on.

Berruti Hat

Berruti Hat

  • Pattern: Berruti by Wendy Neal (Ravelry Link)
  • Yarn: Valley Yarns Berkshire in Black
  • Needle: Size 7 circ, worked with Magic Loop
  • Comments: This is my second hat in this pattern and I still really like the way it looks, not to mention the fact that it’s a super quick knit without being stunningly boring.  I knit this on a size 7 to stay true to the pattern, but I think in the future when I use this yarn I wouldn’t use anything smaller than a size 8 needle.  It felt stiff and was a little hard to knit on needles that size.  Still like the finished product though & expect it will be warm.
Man Thing Hat

Man Thing Hat

  • Pattern: Man Thing by Justyna Lorkowska (Ravelry Link)
  • Yarn: Valley Yarns Berkshire in Black
  • Needle: Size 7 circ for ribbing, Size 8 circ for body, worked with Magic Loop
  • Comments: Really liked this pattern and thought it made a very handsome hat.  Nice & stretchy, & perfect for the guys. The halo of the Berkshire didn’t swamp the design as much on this hat as it did on the Berruti, so pretty happy with how it turned out.
Another Stacked Eyelet Cowl

Another Stacked Eyelet Cowl

  • Pattern: Stacked Eyelet Cowl by Ami Madison (Ravelry Link)
  • Yarn: Rowan RYC Cashsoft DK in “Cream”
  • Needle: Size 6 circ
  • Comments: Second one of these for Christmas 2012.  I love this pattern and simply adore this yarn.  So sad they’ve discontinued it…. sniff sniff.  I was worried about this one because the upper edge was curling inside out before blocking, but luckily that curl blocked right out and it looked great afterwards.  Not as drapey as I would have liked, but still pretty in its own way.
Moko Moko Cowl

Moko Moko Cowl

  • Pattern: Moko-Moko Cowl by Olga Buraya-Kefelian (Ravelry Link)
  • Yarn: Valley Yarns Stockbridge in “Deep Red”
  • Needle: Size 7 needles
  • Comments: I loved this pattern the moment I saw it. And when I realized I had enough stash to knit it, I bought it. Love the pattern & love the result – definitely making one for me eventually. This yarn is pretty nice & works well for this design I think. My only issue was that, despite having 327 yds of worsted yarn (the pattern calls for 330 yds) I was only able to knit 6 full repeats of the pattern. That means I was 2 repeats short! It still works as a cowl, but won’t drape over the shoulders like it shows in the pattern photos. Not sure if the yarn was mismarked, or what happened, but that was kind of a bummer.  I want one of these that’s a bit skinnier (and maybe longer) perhaps with some of the Bugga! I’ve been hoarding over the last couple years.
Deck The Balls

Deck The Balls

  • Pattern: Deck The Balls by Kelly Jensen (Ravelry Link)
  • Yarn: Assorted Sock Yarn Partials
  • Needle: Size 2 needles, using Magic Loop
  • Comments: So thrilled with how these turned out!  They were fairly quick, though owing to the slightly different weights of the fingering yarns I was using, I had to modify things a little to get the decreases at the top to fall in the right place.  But it really didn’t take long to rip back and finish again when I needed to do that.  I see a whole pile of these in my Christmas 2013 knitting future.  Fun!

Wow, that’s a lot of FOs to share!  And guess what’s totally nuts…..  I still have more to photograph and show you!  Not from Christmas, just from this year’s stash knitting so far.  It’s been kinda fun seeing what I can make with what I already have on hand.

What are you knitting this year so far?

4

The Candyman

Who can take a rainbow, wrap it in a sigh
Soak it in the sun and make a groovy lemon pie
The Candy Man, the Candy Man can
The Candy Man can ’cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good…..
 
The Candyman!

The Candyman!


 
I can’t help but think of those lyrics when I look at my little guy in this hat.  He doesn’t typically like hats, but I saw this pattern and knew that the yarn my friend Jess sent me a few years back (which she suggested I use to knit Knittymunchkin a hat!) would be perfect for it.  It’s appropriately titled “Rainbow” and when I showed it to Knittymunchkin after I’d wound it into a cake, and asked him what he thought, he said, “Pretty!”  I knew it would be a winner from that moment on.  The pattern was super easy, though I was a bit intimidated by having to graft the top of it in three separate directions.  I have to toot my horn for a just a second here when I say that I think I did a pretty kick a$$ job grafting the top of this.  Good skillz to have for all those infinity scarves I plan on making come January when my Christmas knitting is all done.  I think it looks a little plain without the pom poms on top, but hubby nixed the pom pom idea, so I left them off.  More scraps for my sock yarn blanket I guess, so I still win ;)  Knittymunchkin wears this sometimes, but I think it’s mainly because he knows his mama knit it especially for him and that makes it special.  He still doesn’t like hats and usually rips it off, saying it’s itchy, after about 5 minutes.  But those 5 minutes sure make this mama happy!
 
Speaking of candy….  We took Knittymunchkin trick-0r-treating for the first time this Halloween.  He’d had a cold and missed preschool that day, but we decided to take him to the 4 or 5 houses in our neighborhood that belonged to people we’re friendly with.  He loved it!  It was really precious to watch him running ahead of us in his Elmo costume, swinging his trick-or-treat pail and telling us how much fun he was having.  Unfortunately, he takes after his mama and we have a bona fide candy freak on our hands now!  I swear he asks me for M&M’s every single day.  I suppose it could be worse.  At least he hasn’t discovered Dad’s vice yet – beer.  Although, since R. Darling started brewing beer himself I find Knittymunchkin in the kitchen sometimes and when I ask him what he’s doing, he says he’s brewing beer (!).  At least he likes (to pretend) to cook :)
 
Halloween 2012

Halloween 2012


 
So Elmo is probably not very PC these days, after all that has happened with his creator, but still.  We dressed him up like this before all the fallout occurred.  You have to admit, Knittymunchkin makes a pretty cute Elmo! Happy (very) belated Halloween!

7

Sock Summit 2011 Day 3: July 30, 2011 – Far Afield

Back to our regularly scheduled Sock Summit Update (warning – picture heavy)….
 
Saturday morning found us a little more leisurely than usual.  That’s not to say we slept in, but Jess didn’t have class at all that day and Troy and I didn’t have class until 1:30 PM so there was no rush to get out the door immediately.  We had decided this would be the perfect morning to do a little exploring and we thought the Farmer’s Market would be the perfect thing to do.  Jess was amazing and pretty much figured out exactly where we needed to go and which TriMet route we’d need to take to get there.  Luckily, we were in the free zone for where we wanted to go, so it was super easy.  All I can say is, kudos to Portland for their public transportation!  If only we had something this nice where I live.  Of course, it’s not hard to get around in my town, but there are times where I’d like to not have to worry about driving or parking.
 

Skidmore Fountain


 
We hopped the Trimet to the Skidmore Fountain stop which was a quick 5 minutes or less from the Convention Center block. At our stop, I was initially put off by the group of scruffy looking loiterers shouting obscenities at each other over their shopping cart, but we just walked the other way and I put it out of my mind.  What caught my eye first was the historic architecture surrounding us; buildings with flourishes, and the historic colonnade housing a portion of the market.  I never cease to be fascinated by old structures and their histories.  The stories are there, buried, waiting for me to discover them.  I wonder about the people who lived and worked here. What was life like for them?  Were they happy, sad, indifferent?  As I soaked it in I snapped a few photos for posterity.
 

Architectural Details of The Colonnade


 

The Saturday Market - Portland, OR


 
We wandered, we looked, we soaked it in.  I found a lot of inspiration at the market, seeing all kinds of items that had been re-created from vintage or cast off things; upcycling being the buzz word I presume.  This has always been an interest of mine and seeing examples of this in the marketplace gave me all sorts of ideas for future projects.  I bought a couple of leather cuffs made from old belts.  Because I needed to “toughen up my image” I told Troy.  Couldn’t hurt.  Before long we were getting hungry and we decided we’d all divide up and get the food that sounded best to each of us.  Troy and Jess convinced me I’d love pierogies, which I had never before tried, so I bought my lunch at a cute little cart just across the street from the Portland Saturday Market sign up above.  Mmmmm…. Potato and cheese filling with onions and bacon on top.  I have to say, my first experience with pierogies was a blissful one!  Troy, who was holding a table for us, had to have the same after I came back with mine.
 

My First Pierogies


 
The picture is a bit blurry you see, because I was salivating so hard I could barely hold the camera straight :)  I told Jess and Troy that I did believe my blog was starting to turn into a food blog as most of the pictures I took over the weekend seemed to be of food!  After eating and looking a bit more, we thought we spotted the mecca of doughnut shops – Voodoo doughnuts – on an adjacent corner, and had to have a look for ourselves.  As we got closer, we asked a few people what the situation was and they told us that the line was at least an hour long.  An hour long!  And it was mid-morning, not even breakfast hour anymore.  Of course, there is no bad time for a doughnut.  But none of us was down with waiting an hour just to say we’d been there.  We satisfied ourselves with snapping a picture of the sign and Jess even got a guy sitting outside at a table, about to bite into a doughnut the size of his head, to agree to having his photo taken.  I’m pretty sure one of his friends had one of those specialty maple doughnuts with bacon on top.  Oy.
 

All Hail Voodoo Doughnuts!


 
After that, we wandered around a little longer to see what we could see.  We thought maybe there’d be a fun little shopping district or some such somewhere near all this other goodness, but no such luck.  We did see this, which explained a lot:
 

Keep Portland Weird!


 
Coming up on Chinatown, we thought perhaps there would be something fun to explore here too, but it was all but dead.  I did find the entrance enchanting though, and thought a rather funny sign deserved preservation on film.  Do you think they realized what they were advertising?  Or did they think it was funny too?
 

Entrance To Chinatown


 

Hung Far Low


 
Perhaps this was old Chinatown and there is a new and bustling Chinatown somewhere else in Portland.  By then in our travels, it was getting close to time to head back.  So we boarded the TriMet and were on our way back to the Convention Center.  I’d had a raging headache all day and it wasn’t getting any better.  I think we got some coffee before our class and maybe poked around the Marketplace again and at 1:30 PM Troy and I headed to our Perfect Rib Class with Cookie A.  I have to admit, I wasn’t feeling 100% by the time we got to class, and there was a lot to cram into this one-hour wonder.  Despite Cookie A. being a friendly, knowledgeable, and all around excellent instructor, my brain was at maximum capacity and most definitely not firing on all cylinders.  So I didn’t get much out of it, unfortunately.  Through no one’s fault but my own, of course.  There were lengthy handouts that I brought home and I imagine I will study them later, the next time I get around to trying to design my own sock.  I loved the idea that you can incorporate ribbing into the pattern itself (the main idea of this class) and I think that is perhaps why Cookie A.’s designs are among the most beautiful of all sock patterns.  Her ribs never look just stuck on, in fact, everything flows seamlessly together into a harmonious design.  I know accomplishing this myself with my own pattern, will make much more sense when I can sit down and study it later with my brain in a more receptive state.
 

Cookie A.!


 
After class, we met up with Jess again and decided it was time for another field trip.  We piled into Troy’s car this time (I think yesterday’s trek had taught us that it would be much more relaxing to drive just in case we got lost again) and headed to the nearest LYS, Portland’s Twisted.  What a sweet little shop!  They had all sorts of yarns my LYS doesn’t carry and a lot of local indie dyed stuff that was really fun to see.  The Twisted booth at the Marketplace at Sock Summit had been handing out 10% off coupons for the brick and mortar shop, so of course we had to take advantage.  I bought some beautiful Madelinetosh Tosh Merino in “Grasshopper” for a slouchy hat.  I love slouch hats, but don’t know if they love me back. I’m thinking this is a bit like shawls.  They look funny on you only if you feel funny in them.  You have to work it and just know you are cool and then, in turn, you will be cool.  It’s my new experiment.
 

Twisted Yarn Shop - Portland, OR


 
Jess asked the gals in the shop for a restaurant recommendation and they gave us a few.  Jess and I were thinking sushi, but after driving back and forth a bunch, with no sushi place materializing, we settled for the one place they recommended that we could actually find: Cha! Cha! Cha! Taqueria.  It was cool inside and inviting.  Most of the clientele were seated outside, so it was nice to have the place to ourselves.  The food was billed to be authentic and locally sourced which is apparently a condition for every restaurant in Portland.  But you know, I do believe it makes a difference!  Our meal was delicious.  Troy and Jess got something called Molcajete that Jess says is served at one of her favorite restaurants back home.  All I know is it arrives in a ginormous sizzling bowl of goodness and smells heavenly!  I got poblano chile and cheese tamales and we all got the requisite frosty adult beverage necessary to complete a summer meal such as this.
 

Jess & Troy


 

Mmmm... Tamales & a Margarita!


 
After dinner was consumed, we headed back to the convention center for a “special kind of baby shower” in honor of Ravelry founders Casey and Jess’ new baby Eloise.  Each of us had knitted a hat to donate to the cause and it was astounding to arrive there and see the sheer number of sweet knitted things that people had made.  There were several gift bags on the tables and I was a little confused as to what that was all about until Tina Newton and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee started looking into one of them and exclaiming over the huge amounts of tiny socks nestled inside.  I guess that one knitter had gone sock wild and knit dozens upon dozens of socks for donation.  Kind of made me feel a little subpar with my one measly hat :(  But I guess every little bit helps!
 

My Little Hat for Eloise's Charity Baby Shower


 
We kind of thought that, since it was a baby shower and all, there should have been some cake or something.  But no cake.  We settled for milkshakes from Burgerville (yum!) and some knitting in Troy’s room instead.  I’d all but convinced Troy and Jess to take on the Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL 2011: Earth & Sky with me so we purchased the pattern and discussed color choices while sipping our cool frosty treats.  After a while Jess and I bid Troy goodnight and headed back to our room for some shuteye.  A thoroughly wonderful, totally exhausting day.  And one of the best ever in recent memory! And tomorrow would mean goodbye :(

10

Someone Has Been Knitting?

Wow, it’s been a while.  I suppose an explanation is in order.  You see, I’ve rather sadly become one of those bloggers that doesn’t blog regularly anymore :(  I see my stats dropping like the dirty bastard moths I am still swiping at now and again and though I feel deep sadness over that, I have come to the conclusion that there isn’t much I can do about it right now.  Time for blogging will come more regularly again (I hope!), but my focus is elsewhere for the time being.  Mostly on that little cherub napping in his room upstairs ;)
 
The silver lining to this is that I actually have knitting to show you!  Yes, I have actually been finishing things.  I’ve been subscribing to a new philosophy on knitting (and life in general) i.e., completing what I start and eliminating the baggage of everything else.  This is sort of new to me, and it’s actually been easier and more satisfying than I expected.  I think the first time I started and finished something this year and didn’t allow myself to start something else in the meantime, was just the boost I needed to break my habit.  Experiencing how good it feels to get that last stitch finished and take those photos so I can mark it “completed” in Ravelry has become downright addicting.
 
I know, I know.  Get to the pretty pictures already!  No one wants to hear you tooting your own horn.  So, I’ll dispense with the pleasantries and get down to it.  Just the nitty gritty deets for now and I’ll chit chat more next time.
 

Twisted


 

  • Pattern: Twisted by Galia Lael  (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Approximately 156 yds of Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky in “Wild Violet”
  • Needles:  16 inch Size 9 & 10.5 bamboo circs
  • Mods:  None
  • Completed:  January 27, 2011

 
I made this for Amy as her Pay It Forward 2011 gifty.  This was such a quick and addicting knit!  Amy loves purple and she really likes hats, so this was a fun (and hopefully useful) thing to make for her.  I don’t have a lot of purple in my stash, but I did have this pretty yarn and it was just the right amount for this beret.  I was sweating having enough until the very last stitch, but squeaked by with just the right amount.  My first time blocking a hat on a dinner plate!
 

Multnomah


 

  • Pattern: Multnomah by Kate Elsa  (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Approximately 484 yds of Hill Country Yarns Superfine Supersock in “Blueberry Wine”
  • Needles:  24 inch size 3 addi lace turbos
  • Mods:  Knit extra lace repeats (19 total) to increase size of shawl
  • Completed:  March 23, 2011

 
A gift for Lisa, this was my second completed Pay It Forward gifty for the year.  Lisa is also a purple fan!  I thought the colors would be perfect for her and I really wanted to knit a shawl. I love knitting shawls, even if I don’t wear them :) It turned out as more of a shawlette, even though I did many more repeats of the feather and fan pattern than were called for in the original pattern. I think the yarn was closer to laceweight than fingering; more than I’d realized initially. But I’m still happy with how it turned out and Lisa tells me she really likes it too. Hooray! Blocked this with blocking wires. My very first time! They are amazing, let me tell ya…..
 

Undergrowth


 

  • Pattern: Undergrowth by Mandy Powers (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Approximately 101 yds of Frog Tree Alpaca Sport in “#23” (Red; MC) + 79 yds Knit Picks Andean Treasure in “Meringue Heather” (Cream; CC)
  • Needles:  16 inch size 4 bamboo circs & dpns
  • Mods:  None!
  • Completed:  April 29, 2011

 
This hat was for Jess (my 3rd Pay It Forward gifty for 2011).  Jess mentioned one of her favorite colors was red and that she really liked hats (but never seemed to get to make one for herself).  I saw this pattern and had to make one.  It worked out perfectly because I had just the right red in my stash already!  A while back Jess wrote a post about “Potato Chip Knitting”.  You know, the kind you can’t put down?  I’d never heard that before and thought it was super clever :)  My potato chip knitting just happens to be colorwork, so how fitting that she should be the recipient of this hat!  This pattern was fantastic.  The instructions were clear & concise, and the design was amazing.  I would make about a zillion more of these if I had that many heads to put them on :)  I seriously couldn’t put this down.  So, I’ll just put this out there: if you want one and don’t have the skillz, time, or desire to knit one, let me know!  If you got the yarn, I got the time ;)
 

The Kumfy Schluttli


 

  • Pattern: The Kumfy Schluttli by Meg Layaw (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Approximately 232.5 yds of Dream In Color Classy in “Beach Fog”
  • Needles:  24 inch size 8 bamboo circs & dpns
  • Size:  3-9 months
  • Completed:  May 19, 2011

 
I made this little sweater for a Ravelry penpal who just had a little boy in March.  I was kind of pushing it size-wise perhaps, but was hoping it would still fit him for a little.  Jess will recognize this yarn since I received it in trade from her sometime last year :)  What a truly adorable sweater!  And what a truly sketchy pattern.  I was surprised at that, but was ultimately able to figure things out, having knit a fair number of raglans by now in my knitting “career”.  Personally, I prefer patterns that lay it all out for you, and don’t appreciate it when things seem vague or too “casual” in the instructions.  But that’s just me.  Anyway, I can see myself making a few more of these.  It was super quick and satisfying to knit, and only took 1 hank of yarn!
 
Whew!  I suppose if I didn’t store stuff up to post it would go a lot faster (it’s already taken me 2 days to finish this post).  Anyhoo, I’ve got 2 more FO’s waiting to be blocked and a half-finished Spectra (OMG. LOVE.) to show soon too.  Guess I’d better get a move on!
 
Knit happy, blogg peeps :)