On the needles

I’ve decided that this is the year to tackle sock knitting.

I’ve been terrified of the whole process – the heel, the toe, the double-pointed needles, etc.

That is, until the nice ladies at Unwind Yarn and Gifts gave me a great start.  They pointed me to the best beginner pattern – Churchmouse Yarns Basic Sock – and helped me select some yarn to use.

I had read this blog post about knitting a sock using a 9” circular needle and that was the “Ah-Ha!” moment for me.  I hate double-pointed needles. Circular needles I can do. Socks suddenly became a possibility.

I ordered the needles on Amazon (here and here and here) and visited the ladies at Unwind.  They helped me with advice and recommendations and I was off and knitting on our ride home from Savannah.

The first sock was actually so very easy – even the heel.  I got some more excellent advice at a local yarn shop (Knitting in the Red) when she told me “just do what the instructions say.”  Oh yeah? I thought.

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But, you know what? It worked! (crazy, I know)

So, I have one sock finished and I’m working on the second.

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The second sock is being a little cranky – dropped stitches and the like – so it’s in time out right now.  I think I’ll pick it up again in a few days when I’m not so annoyed with it.

The yarn is Berroco Sox in “Humberside” colorway. I love the pattern. But I’m not crazy about the yarn. For someone with a wool sensitivity, it’s scratchy and irritates my skin when I knit with it – I feel like I have rope burn where the yarn slides across my skin.  Not sure yet if I will keep the socks when they are done.  I’m not sure I want to give away my first-ever socks, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to wear them, either. Maybe Big Girl will get them. She’s been asking for them for a while.

So, while these are in time out, I’ve decided to start another pair (because who has only one knitting project going at a time?!?)

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The pattern is “Vanilla Latte Socks” and I love the way it looks and can’t wait to see how this Republic of Wool yarn knits up. I love how soft it feels.  It’s 80% superwash merino and 20% nylon.  Happy, happy colors.

Hopefully, these won’t be as cranky as the purple ones.

And, hopefully, I’ll have warm footsies this winter with new socks to wear!

*tap, tap, tap*

Is this thing on?

Just as with a workout routine, an unfinished project, or a strict diet; once you leave a blog stagnant for a while, it’s hard to start things back up again.

I am, however, still here.  Life has just been busy the past few months.  And when life gets busy, blogging takes a backseat to everything else.

The last third of 2013 was full of, well, full of life… living, loving, being creative, nursing, nurturing, reading, knitting, cooking…all those things I love to do.  And, working,of course.

December was busy – work projects demanding attention, holiday projects doing the same. But we managed to fit in some fun along the way and enjoyed being with those we love the most for both Christmas and New Year’s (and the days in-between)

snow baby

School is back in session after the holiday break and the snowpocalypse of last week.  The girls are bucking down and have their sights on the mini-break we have next week when they’ll get a four-day weekend.

French Onion Soup in the making

Big Girl has a retreat with her church group this weekend and Little Bit has a sleepover planned. SuperMan has been cleaning and reorganizing the basement after our flood a few weeks ago and I’ve been busy manning the support duties for the family – cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.

Pizza "bread"

I’ve been trying a few new recipes, which I plan to share with you  here  soon, and have been knitting like a madwoman. I have fallen in love with quick, one-skein projects – things I can tote with me in carpool line and that seem to finish up within a few days. I love the sense of accomplishment and being able to wear the fruits of my labor quickly.  I just read that someone calls January the “selfish knitting month,” which I have to say I agree wholeheartedly with. I have been doing just that for the past month – knitting things I wanted to knit just for me.  And loving every minute of it.

Hat & Scarf project

I did work on some “by request” projects over the holidays – made a hat for a longtime friend and a hat and scarf for another friend’s niece.  Those special projects were fun and I was terribly flattered that people actually wanted me to knit something for them! I certainly don’t consider myself the caliber of knitter that would make things to sell. (still don’t)  But my friends seem to like what I’ve made them.  Even my sweet little nephew loves his hat!

Very first hat I made

I hope you’ll stick around and join in on the conversation… Recipes and projects coming soon!

On the needles

I’ve been so busy this year with work that I haven’t really had much time for any type of crafting – scrapbooking, needlework, nothing.  And, honestly, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t really missed it, either.

However, things seem to be slowing down a bit at work (thank the Lord) and I am not quite at the collapse-into-bed stage in the evenings when the kids go to bed.  So, I started getting itchy fingers and looking for something to crochet or knit.  I think the ladies at the dance studio were influencing me because most of them are knitters and bring their projects to work on while our daughters dance.

I found two projects that I fell head over heels in love with  – one is a lacy scarf that I think I’m going to make into a wrap by doubling the project. (I bought double the yarn called for in the project)

The yarn I bought is full of fall colors – reds, mauve, purples – and I think it will be beautiful in this pattern.

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It looks a lot more red in this picture than it really is. There’s a lot of blue-ish purple there in real life.

The second is a beautiful shawl that is inspired by Princess Kate’s shawl that she wore shopping.  I love how feminine it is – that ruffle is just beautiful.  I’m sure the original costs hundreds of dollars, but my version, based on a Ravelry pattern is much cheaper – especially since I found the yarn on sale for $2.50/skein!

The original is a beautiful forest green, but I fell in love with a navy yarn and decided that would go more with my wardrobe. Here’s what I chose:

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Caron Simply Soft in Dark Country Blue

I’m loving the pattern – it is easy enough that I can remember it (mostly) even with the repeats.  It’s got a “spine” down the back with an open line and then the ruffle will be added at the end.

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I am not even finished with the first skein and it calls for four (!) so I will most likely be working on this project for a while.  I have been trying to spend an hour or so a day working on it but some days I haven’t had time to do anything. IMGP4822

I am in no rush, though, and I am really enjoying the project. You can follow along with me on my Ravelry page.  One thing to note is that the pattern on the website is incorrect and the author notes on Ravelry that you can email her and she will send you the corrected pattern. I did that and received a return email within a few hours so I didn’t have to wait to start my project!

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I can’t wait to have it on my shoulders when it’s finished.

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My helper can’t wait, either. I think he thinks I’m making it for him. Winking smile

 

On the Needles: Stash Bustin’

I’m in between big projects right now – not really ready to start on another blanket or something big, so I decided to finish off some cotton yarn I had and make some washcloths. Quick, easy and gives you a sense of accomplishment because you can usually do one in a day…

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So I’m chugging along here – the one above is a single crochet I started this evening while watching Duck Dynasty with the family… probably finish it off tomorrow.

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And this one I made on Sunday afternoon – I think I did a double crochet, but I honestly can’t remember. (I’ve slept twice since then, you know?)

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It’s about 9×8 inches… They shrink quite a bit when they’re dried, so I make them larger to allow for that shrinkage. If you air dry them and stretch them back out while they dry they’ll hold their size and shape pretty well, but I’m lazy and usually just throw them in the dryer with the other towels.

They are extremely durable – they hold up to pot scrubbing, face washing, counter cleaning – you name it – and bleaching.  I have some knitted ones that are close to three years old now and they look just like they did when I first made them. (Especially the ones the girls claimed for Barbie blankets LOL)

Do you crochet or knit household linens?

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Off the needles: Baby Blanket

I decided I should rename this series to “OFF the needles” instead of “On the needles” since I seem to wait to share my projects with you after I’ve finished them –

This is the latest creation –

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Little Bit asked me to make a blanket for her teacher who just had a baby boy.  She had such fun in the yarn shop picking out just the right yarn – it had to be soft and fluffy and just the right shade of blue.

We decided on a chunky yarn – Deborah Norville Collection in the Ocean Foam colorway.

Isn’t it pretty?

I did an extended double crochet stitch to make the stitches a little higher – I only had 4 skeins so I wanted to get as big a blanket as I could with what I had.  It turned out really pretty – light and airy and yet really warm with the chunky yarn.

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Little Bit was so excited to take it to school to give to her teacher.

And now I’m trying to figure out what my next project should be. I’ve done three baby blankets in a row… and the weather is getting too warm for hats or scarves.  I’m thinking I may try my hand at a bigger project – a shawl or an afghan…

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Happy girl Smile

On the needles

Or, rather, recently OFF the needles!

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I just finished this baby blanket for a friend of mine. She’s due in April and I can’t wait to give this to her the next time I see her.

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I love how the bright, cheery colors turned out and am especially in love with the scalloped edges. (a first for me)

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It seemed like it took me FOREVER to finish this blanket – a lot longer than the last one I made. I think it’s because the yarn was a little bit smaller gauge than the last one I made, which was a chunkier yarn.  But I love how this one turned out, even if it seemed like the never-ending-blanket-project for a couple months.

And as soon as I finished I started the NEXT baby blanket.  Sheesh! How many people are having babies these days? Smile

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I’m just a blanket makin’ fool…

On the Needles

So, I’ve been stitching away over here – I am finding it is a terrific stress reliever and fast becoming my favorite past time.  I’ve got a couple projects going simultaneously – thought I’d share a little peek with you.

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I bought this yarn intending to make a baby blanket out of it. I kinda fudged on the sizing and now I think it’s a little bit too big for a baby blanket. Rather than ripping it out, I’m thinking about either making a shawl or a lap throw out of it.  It’s a really pretty lavender with green threads throughout – and it its oh-so-soft and cuddly warm.  It’s from the brand Loops & Threads –  Country Loom line and the color is called Lavender Blues. (from Michaels)

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The second project on the hooks right now is another baby blanket – since the first didn’t work out, I found this yarn and started another blanket.  With this one I was a little more deliberate in my sizing, so I think it’s going to turn out well. It’s a Hobby Lobby brand of yarn – “I Love this Yarn” – and the color is called Sherbet Stripe.

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It is coming together nicely. Easy to crochet with – even with a “helper” in my lap.  I like the vivid colors – yet they are not too in-your-face for a baby blanket. Cheery and happy, I think.  I’ll share the finished project once I am done.

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Now I’m off to get a few more rows done before bedtime – if the “assistant” will permit.