knit a whit

Ready for January 1 cast on!

I joined a sock knitting group on Ravelry - 12 socks in 2012. It starts on January 1st and the goal is to knit 12 socks next year. To some I'm sure that means 12 pair of socks; to me it'll very likely mean 6 pair of socks for 12 socks total. Still a worthy goal, I think!

So today I got everything together for my first pair. I wanted something simple because I've never actually completed knitting a pair of socks before. So I'm going with the Ribbed Socks for Kids pattern (Rav link) from the lovely (and prolific designer!) Susan B. Anderson (219 designs! I'm in awe.). I've been wanting to make these for a while with this specific hand-dyed yarn, for my girl.

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I gathered everything I need together. I've got my madbird project bag and pattern wallet, with the pattern already inside. I've got my DPNs and stitch markers. Then I threw in some small scissors, a tapestry needle, and my tape measure.

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The yarn is a one-off color called Message to My Girl that I dyed for the unwind project earlier this year. It's a pretty, feminine pink on my Julep Sock yarn base. Perfect for Miss V!

I'm so very not good about keeping up with large or ongoing projects like this. Life just feels so busy. But then that's what I like about knitting - it slows you down so you can enjoy the little things. Like the perfect pair of handknit socks. I figure I'll just take it one at a time and do the best I can. The goal is to have fun, after all.

Fartlek WIP

It's all over but the decreases - hoping to finish this hat today so V and I can gift it tomorrow!

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I'm knitting Anne Hanson's Fartlek hat (Rav link) in my own yarn, Mist on Coquina DK.

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I love the yarn (soft and plush), I love the color (the little bits of darker blue just make it for me), I love this project (quick, easy, & satisfying).

Many thanks to Sharon for suggesting the pattern to me.

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Next up, I'll be back to knitting on the cardi I'm making for V and hopefully a cardi for Baby H too. 

On a day like today

On a day like today...

Where you realize that things you thought were within your control really aren't and there's zilch you can do about it.

Where you walk into the kitchen and your kid is sitting in the floor with two cups of water, the container of sugar open, and an almost empty bottle of lemon juice, making the tartest lemonade you ever tasted.

Where it's really difficult to even make your to-do list, much less carry it out.

What do you do then?


I grabbed a skein of Mist out of the store and sat on the floor with it, winding it into a ball by hand. Then I took Sharon's suggestion on a hat pattern and purchased Fartlek by Anne Hanson. Now I'm about to make something warm for lunch and then I'm going to knit a hat.

What would you do?

R's new hat

Hiya! So I finished knitting R's new hat (the Boyfriend Beanie) and I'm planning to take some pictures of him wearing it this weekend. But until then - here it is!

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I truly enjoyed knitting with this yarn. It's twisted just enough that it makes those cute, plump little stitches similar to handspun, which I love. And the yarn didn't break on me once. Not to imply that handspun does, but someone asked me about it since this isn't a plied yarn.

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I adore it! I can't wait to knit something else with this yarn.

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I have chosen a name for the new yarn base from the contest entries and emailed the winner. I'm planning to present the yarns in a few favorite colorways and a few new ones on or around November 28th. Check back for more details or subscribe to my newsletter for info on shop updates.

Ludic knitting

When I was taking my university core classes in English education, all the classes were with the same two professors, over and over again. Except one class: teaching reading. I don't remember the teacher's name, but I remember his ruddy complexion and the whispers that perhaps he often had a bit more to drink than he ought.

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I liked him more than most in my class did (not an easy A) and I learned a lot. What I remember most from that class was his statement that while Shakespeare and the other hard stuff is important, teachers should also make sure their students are allowed some amount of reading just for fun.  He said this is how they would grow as readers - figuring out what they like and reading lots of it. 

This reading just for fun he called "ludic reading."

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That's one reason I will never refuse to get V a book that she tells me she really wants, even if we end up with a stack of 2,000 books on cats, but I actually think of it every time I knit as well.

There are things I want to knit because I like the looks of the outcome and things I want to knit because I know they'll be a challenge and increase my skills. And there are also things I want to knit because they're easy. So some patterns might be difficult, but they always include a simple row of knitting or purling - mindless knitting I call the ludic row. For me, anything cable knit (love cables!) or the simple hat I've knit so many times I don't bother to create a Rav project page for - those are a ludic patterns. 

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Right now, one of the things on my needles is the lovely Villeray scarf by Ariane Caron-Lacoste, which I'm knitting with a skein of my Petales de Rose colorway. For me it's quite a lot of lace because I don't have as much time to knit as I would like and I need a quiet house to knit lace. This one has a purl row on every wrong side - and every time I get there I think, ahhh, ludic row, and I always enjoy it very, very much.

A bit of knitting

So I dyed up some Merino wool in what was supposed to be kelly green. It was a new-to-me dye and I thought that it'd make a good Christmas yarn. But it was more neon than I thought it'd be and I decided maybe it wasn't so good for a Christmas yarn. So it sat for a while alongside some wool that I dyed brighter pink than I intended.

One night I took some of this neon green wool & spun it really thin. Then I took some more and spun it thick and thin. And I took some bright pink and spun it thick and thin. Then I plied each of them with the really thin green.

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I measured V's noggin and knitted a small swatch out of the pink/green to figure out how many stitches to cast on and then I knitted her a hat. When I got done, I decided it needed something at the top, so I spun some more thinnish yarn from the leftover green and made a pom.

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The rest of the green wool, I spun as a regular thick & thin and put it in my shop. It's just a tiny skein - about enough for a border for another hat. The pink is still sitting. Not sure what I'll do with that.

I also finished my Good Luck Cowl the other night. Love it!

Good Luck Cowl

Also, here's one answer to the question people ask me all the time - what can I make with one skein of that thick & thin yarn besides baby knits? Jennifer Kelley has a great pattern that uses it, called Beautiful Dawn. She made it with some of my yarn & I think it's just gorgeous.

Beautiful Dawn Cowl

She has this one for sale in her Etsy shop, but the pattern is for sale there as well.

Next for me I'm going to do a thick and thin with this.

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And I've already spun some supercoils out of it for the border.

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Another hat, I'm thinking. Maybe some new gloves, as the ones I knit her last year no longer really fit. I like the brights for Miss V - they really fit her personality!


Good Luck, Pt. 1

R will be home in about 15 minutes and V is playing on the computer. So I go and sit in my room where it's quiet and get out my knitting.

Eighth row, the only row I can remember the whole way through without looking at the pattern. Fingering weight rust, teal, pumpkin, brown, in the round. Love. Purl one, knit three, yarn over, slip a stitch, knit two together, pass the slipped stitch over, yarn over, knit three. Then eleven more times.

As I near the twelfth repeat I hear V going downstairs, wondering where I am. I call to her and she comes and snuggles up next to me. I show her what I'm doing, knowing she doesn't exactly see it but that one day she will.

I start the first row over again, knit knit knit, R comes in. Hugs and kisses and a little girl jumping around, always happy to see her daddy. Time to make the dinner - something quick & easy - so I hurry, knit knit knit, back to the beginning of the round.

Bamboo Field Mitts - FO! Yay!

I'm trying to knit more and also to knit with my own yarn. It's so easy for me to put it off because of all the spinning. But I miss knitting. So I've got three project bags that I'm trying to keep at the ready with pattern, needles, and yarn so that I can knit in the car on the weekends.

I decided to do the Bamboo Field Mitts after I saw that they were part of a KAL in a Ravelry group I'm in. The KAL was for July, but I finished in August. Oops.


But the important thing is that I finished, right? I'd dyed this wool up in my Honeycomb colorway but the green was a new batch of dye and it really didn't take well. Gotta double-strength that one! So I figured that was a great opportunity for me to spin myself some yarn.

Bamboo Field Mitts

I love the mitts. I used one size bigger needles because my hands are not small, and they fit perfectly. I'm ready for chilly days!

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Next up is the Good Luck Cowl, I think. I'm using some lovely mixed BFL that I spun too overtwisted because I was trying something new. I'm super excited about it, but I've already frogged it three times - I keep messing up! But I'm trying again because it's so pretty. I think this is a nobody's-around-but-me pattern.

What about you? Knitting or crafting something wonderful for fall? Do tell!

Out knitting

After we went to the science museum we went out to dinner. This pretty was in the parking lot.

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I brought my knitting inside - I'm still working on V's Kina sweater. One of the reasons it's taking me so long is because I had to start over three times.

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The instructions are wrong for the increases which, lucky for me, come near the beginning. I figured out what I needed to do to get the correct number of stitches (I did the first set of increases twice and then the second set of increases).  I'm down past the sleeves so it should be smooth sailing from here, I just don't get to knit that often. Other than that, this pattern (rav link) has been a piece of cake and I would suggest it to anyone wanting to knit a first cardigan. Should be super cute!

But I'm trying to see if I can move some things around and to get some more knitting time - especially with my own yarn. Last week I dyed up some wool for a skein of Honeycomb and it didn't quite turn out how I like it, so I think I'm going to spin and knit it myself. I'm excited!

What sort of crafty things have you been up to this summer (all two days of it)? Anything I should know about?

WIP: Kina

I saw this cute pattern for a girl's short-sleeved cardigan a few months ago and have wanted to knit it ever since, but I couldn't remember where I'd seen it. So yesterday I went to my favorite LYS with high hopes that maybe they'd know what I was talking about.

Well, of course "a really cute short-sleeved cardigan pattern" really doesn't narrow it down much, so Ruth at Main Street Yarns & Fibers was kind enough to let me use her computer, and after a while I remembered the chain that led me to the pattern in the first place and I found it! The pattern is called Kina, it's from Kids Tricot, and I found it at Magpie Patterns.


So Ruth helped me pick the softest Pima cotton yarn in the prettiest dark plum, got some needles, and now I'm well on my way to knitting my first cardi! So far, it's been very simple, though I haven't made it to the sleeves yet. Once I'm past those, it'll be smooth sailing I'm sure. To me, this cardigan looks French and so pleasantly retro, all in one sweater.

If this goes well, I've got my eye on Malia and Liliha. And maybe another Kina in handspun. With long sleeves?

Gosh, I've missed knitting!

Simple Small Bear - FO!

Finally! I finished the Simple Small Bear from The Best-Dressed Knitted Bear! Could I have taken any longer?

Probably. If I'd tried just a little bit harder.

Anyway, here he is in all his glory.

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All my pictures of V with the bear look pretty much like this:

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So R was kind enough to help me out.

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Whew! I'm going to go update my Rav status as soon as I finish this post! Victory is mine!

Ok, so here's the thing - I'm glad I made him, but I'm not so sure that I want to make another. Or really any other sort of knitted stuffed animal. I love them, they're just not my thing.

So I figured I'd give this book away here on the blog because I'm sure there are plenty of people who would enjoy knitting several bears and the outfits that go with them.

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Am I right?

So here are the details to win The Best-Dressed Knitted Bear book:

Your comment is your entry.

If you want to tweet it, Facebook it, blog it, or something-else-I-haven't-thought-of it, go ahead and do that. Just make sure you leave me at least one comment telling me what all you did and with links to where I can find it. That'll get you extra points. If you want to tweet it 10 times, that's way cool, but only the first time will get you an extra point.

Comments will be open until sometime Tuesday morning - whenever I can get to the computer. I'll close the comments then and announce it soon after.

Contest is open to folks around the world. Woot!

Ok...I think that's it.

Simple Small Bear

I'm imagining a really quiet week, this last week of the year. I have just a few yarns in my shop and they're all 10% off. I'll start adding new ones again as soon as the calendar flips to January. But until then, I'm taking some deep breaths, playing with the new marble run, reading a book or two, drinking some really nice coffee, and knitting the Simple Small Bear pattern from The Best-Dressed Knitted Bear.

Simple Small Bear

R says that when I finish this one, I could go on to knit the Bear of Unusual Size Likely to Win in a Battle of Wits, perhaps followed by the Gigantic Misunderstood Bear. I'm not sure there's that much time left in the year, but we'll see.

How are you spending this last week of the decade?

Got Wood 4 You

I had a great birthday! Thanks so much for all your well wishes. It was lovely.

Some nice people even gave me birthday presents - blog readers, I mean. My friend Sarah, who I met through Etsy/Twitter and lives about five minutes away, gave me some roving that I'd admired at her house a couple of weeks ago. As I was spinning it, V saw it and asked me not to sell it, but to make her a hat out of it. I couldn't say no to that.

So I made a hat from it, which I'll show you later - it's so pretty! Lots of colors. It'd be a shame to show it off in black & white.

I spun the yarn really thick and thin because I love that look and I'm going to start offering more of it in my shop. Makes great baby hats and I know a lot of photographers use that kind of handspun yarn for photography props. But I've also made a cowl for V out of it that is really pretty too and I'd like to make my own hat out of it sometime soon.

Anyway...last week I got a lovely little package in the mail for my birthday - a really cool set of double pointed needles that I'd admired for a while. Nikki is one of my Twitter contacts and she, her husband, and a few of her kids have their own Etsy shops.

Nikki's son Artemas has an Etsy shop called Got Wood 4 You - he made these DPNs out of the branches of a pear tree that fell in their yard. This is an awesome repurpose if I ever saw one.

The coolest DPNs I've ever seen

They are wonderfully crooked. I didn't have any trouble knitting with them at all - but then I love working with DPNs. They make me feel like a real knitter. And these needles made me feel like a super knitting pioneer woman.

These wonderfully rustic double pointed needles would make a truly unique Christmas present for your favorite knitter. Artemas also has lots of other really cool one of a kind things in his shop, including wooden buttons and handmade spindles.

Mittens for my kitten

Making my first pair of mittens for V. Finished one yesterday. I made it from a 40-yard sample of yarn that I spun because I wanted to see what the colors looked like together - red, gold & pumpkin. Those are the same colors as in the button in my sidebar on the right there, they're just blended together on my drum carder instead of dyed all on the same bit of wool.

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I only have that one sample and I used more than half of it on that one mitten. But I have a second sample that looks just like the first one - only there's green in the recipe too. So that's what I'm going to make make the second mitten with, all cute and mismatchy. When the second mitten is done, I'm going to use them to decide which yarn I like best and then make a skein or two of it for the shop.

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Beyond that, today I am pondering the odd lighting that comes with autumn and trying to figure out a quick and easy way to take properly lit and color correct photos of new yarn for my shop without always having to go out in the cold or rain.

I haven't found the optimum solution yet, but Roxy isn't at all minding that I moved the console in front of the dining area window.

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But I think right now it's time for another pumpkin muffin (with Craisins and coconut) and maybe some coffee.

Blankie, thy name is Epic

Join me at Alpaca Farmgirl's for Fiber Arts Friday?


So lovely Melissa and gorgeous Claire sent me sock yarn bits so I could start knitting my own blankie (rav link). These are from Claire.

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To back up a just a tad, a little while back I started noticing these posts on the Knitting Sandwich blog about the blankies they are knitting.

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At first, I didn't like the look of blankies. But now I have no idea what kind of crazy I was thinking. I'm in love.

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Since I don't knit socks (yet!), I'm pretty light on the sock yarn stash, so it was extremely wonderful that Melissa and Claire would send me some of theirs. With blankie, the first hit is free...

I'm calling this blankie Epic. Because it's probably going to take me a few years to finish.

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I don't get a lot of time to knit lately. I knit mainly when we are driving in the car on the weekends - and only because I can't spin (stupid small passenger legroom area!). But knitting blankie is addictive.

I think I'm going to go for a random pattern for mine.

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I am also addicted to this pumpkin. It looks like it's supposed to be orange, but someone scraped it all off except they couldn't get into the grooves.

Yarn Couch

Ok, this was totally not my idea, but I think V might be getting into yarnbombing.

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I was talking on the phone to my friend Kim and when I hung up, V was halfway through a ball of yarn she sneaked out of a drawer.

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I figured what the heck and let her run with it.

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She called her masterpiece "Yarn Couch."

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Kitten dug it too.

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When she was through, she was tired & happy - my own little artist in residence.

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I'm planning to leave it up for a day or two, just because.


You can also check out more fiber-related goodness at Alpaca Farmgirl's Fiber Arts Friday!

In the muddy mud pit

Even though we are in packing chaos here, we have to find some time for V to get outside and play every day. This almost-spring, she has discovered the joys of playing in mud puddles. Splash!

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Here I'm saying, "Don't jump in!!!"

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Not really. She was just jumping up and down for me. She likes to jump.

Check out her cute new hat.

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I knit it from the Cloudy Day Cloche pattern from my dear friend Kim. The pattern is $4 in her Etsy shop. I think it's lovely.

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The pattern is for a baby or toddler hat. V is 3 years & 5 months, and I think it's big enough to fit her for another year, or even two, at least with the yarn I used (I know it's Sublime dk yarn. I'm pretty sure it's Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk DK & the color is called "shade" but I haven't found it online anywhere. Got it at my LYS). I'm thinking I'll make a bigger one for myself. Of course I keep saying that and then I just end up making something else for V.

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I know V is going to love our new backyard. One of the first things I want to do in the new house is start a garden. Yesterday I found a new-to-me blog, Compost Confidential, where Joe Lamp'l is going to try creating a garden that will feed his family of four this summer for just $25. I'm really looking forward to seeing how he accomplishes that!

Ours will cost a bit more than that, since we'll have to buy every garden tool from scratch. But I know V won't mind getting her hands dirty.

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This is my dad's cat. I love her. And she loves Violet to bits. I'm going to miss her too - and her mousing prowess. Her name is Cat and she's a tiny little thing (unlike my own two fat, indoor-only cats).

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We're closing on our house tomorrow and moving in on Saturday. I can barely sleep, I'm so excited.

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While I'm gone, I'd love it if you'd check out the Tanjore painting my friend Sharanya has been working on. Amazing detail and so lovely - she's been working on it for six months! I love Sharanya; she shares the most wonderful and interesting things about India with me. The Internet is a wonderful place.

Until we see you again, take care!


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I love going to my local yarn shop (LYS). People who own yarn shops know how to knit and crochet. People who know how to knit and crochet also know how to make a place feel homey. So it follows that yarn shops feel homey and that there are lots of lovely spots to sit and knit.

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So many yummy yarns.

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So many bright colors. It's a treat. Here's the wall of Noro.

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Main Street Yarns and Fibers is in Watkinsville, GA, in an old restored barn. I dare you to pass by and resist it. Go on - I dare ya!

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Here is the back - who wouldn't want to knit outside here this spring?

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Sure, you can go to a Big Crafts Shop and buy your yarn, but are they going to look up your pattern on Ravelry for you and show you exactly how to accomplish the bits that are giving you trouble? Yesterday, Ruth showed me how to to make the thumb for a fingerless glove (so easy!), and she told me to bring the piece in if I have any trouble.

And then I had a homemade cookie from a fresh batch someone brought in.

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Back inside, here's a basket full of locally handspun yarns.

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And some drop spindles if you'd like to try spinning a bit of your own.

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Wherever you live, your LYS should have classes on knitting, spinning, and dyeing like Main Street Yarns does. I'm hoping to take a class on something this year. I'd love to work on my knitting skills, but I'd also love to learn to spin and dye.

What about you - do you ever visit your local yarn shop? Is it as homey and wonderful as mine?

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Sometimes I like to forge ahead, even when I feel I'm not ready

Yesterday, while riding along with R on our way to the home inspection, I decided I'd try to knit a small bit of a tube on double pointed needles (DPNs). One of my (many, overly ambitious) knitting goals is to be able to knit socks, and DPNs allow you to knit a tube small enough to fit your leg. Or your hand/fingers for mittens and gloves, another goal of mine.

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I was really intimidated, but I went ahead with it and, well, it wasn't so bad! It's a little weird at first, with all those needles hanging around. And I'm still afraid to try an actual pattern. But it was a good experience.

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What I'm afraid of is making a mistake. What do you do? Start over? I think that's what I'd have to do. I've been really careful when making my hats, and I haven't made a mistake serious enough that I couldn't compensate for it in some way, so I haven't had to rip anything out. But if I did, I wouldn't know how to do it.

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So, any knitters out there know of a super easy sock pattern I can knit on US size 3 DPNs? I've looked on Ravelry (wanna be my Ravelry friend?), but haven't found anything yet. Also - I have giant feet - US size 10.5! How did that happen?!

What do you think of the double pointed needles? Fun? Confusing? Just takes a little practice????

The two hurricanes I've lived through were quite enough, but I will take this hat, please

So I'm making this hat, called the Hurricane Hat (Ravelry link), with a couple of my own modifications and I think it might be the best hat in the world, or at least knit in the prettiest yarn in the world.

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This yarn? Yes, this yarn is why I knit. It's absolutely gorgeous, so soft and pretty. This hat is, of course, for V. This will be her third hat to my zero, but I'm kind of hoping there will be enough of this yummy yarn left to knit my own hat.

Just for R

Now that I've completed it, I realize that there are not too many people I would knit a 6-foot long scarf for.

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There's only one person that I can think of, really.

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And while I'll be sad that he's in Winnipeg for the week, training for his new job, I'll be happy that he has this scarf to keep him warm.

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Well, warmish. He will be in Winnipeg, after all.

Anyway, I think he's gonna like the scarf.

Knitting: project four

Hats! For V!

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I've made V two hats - one is the easy peasy hat, knit from a pretty dark plum yarn that I got in a fabulous box full of fun stuff from Alexis. It's lovely and soft and warm and fuzzy. V loves it.

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The other hat I made with mercerized cotton that V picked out herself at the yarn shop.

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It took me all night to figure out that you needed to do a long-tail cast on in order to be able to join the yarn to knit in the round. But I finally had a light bulb moment, thanks to, and now I am truly addicted.

Of course that doesn't mean Miss V would sit still long enough for me to put the hat on perfectly for a photo, but I still think she looks cute in it.

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If you haven't heard the news, R has found himself a job. And if you haven't heard us rejoicing from where you are, then you must really be busy. Just stop and listen for a moment - you should hear be able to hear us!

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Though I hope to get adventurous soon and try something like the butterfly hat like SouleMama's, the hat I'm working on now is just like the one above only bigger to fit R's noggin. It'll be a nice wool hat for R to take to Winnipeg with him for the week when he goes for training for his new job. And I'm also trying to finish that scarf so he can take that too!


Knitting: project three

I'm still enjoying knitting, though I haven't really challenged myself in a while. This is my third project: a scarf for R. I'm making the organic cotton man scarf from not martha.

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I tried to get the same color yarn she used, but I couldn't find it for sale anywhere that had it for a price I was willing to pay, so I got the sage color from Catnip Yarns on ebay.

Once I finish this scarf (72 inches - it's taking me forever! I must be a very slow knitter), I am going to try a pair of socks. I'm not sure if I'm ready for socks yet, but I take comfort in the fact that youtube has tons of knitting videos there.

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I really love watching these things take shape - even if only scarf-shaped. It takes me a while, but there's a slow, delicious thrill in making something so very usable with your own hands.

It's going well

Let me tell you what V and I are having for lunch today.

Yesterday I made this buttermilk bread (recipe at the end) and it is pretty darn good. I'll spare you the pictures - I haven't yet found a way to make food look appetizing in black and white. But Sunday I made buttermilk pancakes, and so I had about 2 cups of buttermilk left over. I've been wanting to bake some bread for a while now, so I looked for a recipe and found a good one. I can't say it's very healthy, but it is tasty. Both the crust and the bread are very, very soft. I can't taste the buttermilk, but R says that he can tell it's there.

So for lunch, I sliced us each a piece of buttermilk bread, put a tiny bit of mayo, broke up into bite-sized pieces some of our leftover chicken from the other day, then balanced halves of red seedless grapes on top, and added some shredded mild cheddar cheese (V's favorite) to the top of everything to glue it into place as the cheese melted in the oven. Add a side of carrots and that's lunch. Tasty treat!

In other news, V has discovered the joy of online kids' games. She is burning up the bandwidth at Nick, Jr. and Sesame Street. She can do just about all of it by herself and that has given me some happy mama time during the day to knit without fear of hearing, "Is that for me? Can I try it on? Is that mine?" every 30 seconds. Don't want to dampen her enthusiasm, but it's nice to have some quiet.

I'd say the knitting is going well.

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I'm really enjoying myself and already beginning to wonder what project I should try next. Maybe socks. Or a hat. Since I've done a scarf for V and this one is for me, I'd like to make something for R next. I think he'd like that. Recently he asked me why anyone would want to wear hand-knitted socks (I think he thinks they'll be too bulky), so maybe I'll make some for him so he can figure that out and tell me. I think I can win him over. I'm already dreaming of some sort of pretty tote bag or something to keep my knitting in. The plastic grocery bag I'm using is poked full of holes and split up the side! Maybe I'll put that in my letter to Santa this year, which I'll be sure to send along with a pair of knitted socks.


Want to see more b&w photos? Check Michelle's cool still life pics, Gayle has some glorious guitar love going on, Jen has the cutest pictures of my favorite Bean, Cloudscome gives us autumn leaves and a Bible verse, Toni's photo looks how she feels today, Shelli has some great lines and depth of focus in this one, Mama Voss has a guilty-looking pup, and Alexis tells us that the party is over! Poor little pumpkins!

Want to participate? It's not too late...

Now here's that recipe:

Buttermilk bread

  • 1-1/2 cups buttermilk (I used fat free)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup butter (or whatever healthy/non-healthy alternative you normally bake with)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5-1/2 cups bread flour (I didn't have bread flour. I'm not sure what kind of flour mine is, but I used it anyway)


  1. Proof the yeast in warm water.
  2. Place the butter and buttermilk in a saucepan on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until butter has melted. Let it cool a bit.
  3. Place sugar, salt, baking soda, buttermilk mixture, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add 3 cups flour, one cup at a time, and mix with the dough hook attachment of an electric mixer. Gradually add the remaining flour while continuing to mix. When dough is not sticky, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for several minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth. Place in a greased bowl, and turn once. Allow to rise until doubled in size. (I don't have a dough hook attachment for my mixer, so I just stirred it until I couldn't anymore and then I kneaded it for about 12 minutes)
  4. Punch down the dough. Divide and shape into two loaves. Place in two well-greased 8x4-inch loaf pans. Let rise until dough has risen one inch above pans. (At this point, I put half the dough in the freezer for another day.)
  5. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Loaves are done when nicely brown and hollow sounding when thumped. (My oven heats too hot! So I put it in at 325° and it was done after 25 minutes.)

Supersoft green scarf

So many baby blankets, clothes, and accessories come made in really soft material - chenille, etc. I have a habit of naming such things "supersoft," so V has a supersoft yellow blankie and a pair of supersoft fleecie pants.

So I got a skein of Lion Brand chenille yarn in basil and just did a simple seed stitch that I saw on this video to make V a supersoft green scarf.

scarf 153

It's a hit!

scarf 146

And it was very simple. There are quite a few mistakes in it because I wanted to finish it more than I wanted to have it perfect. I like things that are imperfect (that's the excuse I'm giving anyway).

Next, I plan to try a scarf with cables. I've got some pretty charcoal gray yarn - but this one will be for me.