Tag Archives: yarn

The Emerald Coast Shawlette

I’m not sure what it was about this pattern, but something in my mind couldn’t let it go.  I HAD to knit it.  It was on my mind constantly, I even dreamed about it.  It was the Cedar Leaf Shawlette by Alana Dakos (Never Not Knitting).  Obviously I wasn’t alone in this crazy obsession, it has over 625 projects on Ravelry and it’s only been out for one year.

Part of the reason for my obsession with this pattern was due to some yarn I have stashed.  My husband bought some Knit Picks Elegance in the color Jade, hoping I would make some socks for him.  After the purchase, we found out that it’s not great to make socks with Baby Alpaca, so he told me I could just make what I wanted with it. 

Knowing it was for me, I would sneak into my yarn closet and squish it, imagining the possibilites.  It was dark green and I didn’t know what to make with the color.  That’s why when I found this pattern, I was so possessed with it.

When I started knitting it, I couldn’t stop.  I loved the feel of the baby alpaca/ silk yarn gliding across my fingers.  I loved how large the shawlette quickly became and the way it felt in my lap.  I flew through the leaf border.  It was bittersweet knowing the knitting would end soon, but I couldn’t stop.  I blocked it ever so carefully.  When it was finished, I draped it on my shoulders and felt warmth and indulgent softness like I’ve never known.

This was something special.  I knew the photo shoot also had to be something special.  I felt the dark green was more of and emerald than a jade (what color is jade anyway??).  Right now we’re living on Florida’s Emeral Coast, so in celebration of this area we did our photoshoot on the beach. 

I even bought a new dress just for this photoshoot.  Perfect dress, perfect weather, perfect finished object! 

I was so happy with the pictures.  They really represented the shawlette well.  Even Alana Dakos liked my pictures!  She asked to feature the first one on the Ravelry project page.  I was very flattered knowing she liked my shawlette too.

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Friday Favorites II

My sock obsession continues, and perhaps is more extreme this week.  I’ve decided I’m in love with stockings.  Lacy knee highs are sexy, and they would be perfect lingerie and go well with a flirty skirt.  Today my stocking obsession is Bintje-Socks by Jatta Saukko.  I love the lacy pattern and the picot cuff is just icing on the cake.  Hmmm… now that I think of it, maybe I also have a thing for picot cuffs on socks.  Anyway, look how beautiful these are!  I MUST make them.  I don’t know when, but sometime.

Photo by Jatta Saukko

Speaking of socks, I made my husband’s last pair of socks with some wonderful yarn, Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine.  This yarn is 50% wool, 20% Superfine Alpaca and 30% Nylon.  It’s oh so soft, sturdy, and it was perfect to cable with.  The colors are all beautiful, most of which are heathered.  It’s 430 yards at $10.50 a hank.  It takes a full hank to make a pair, and it’s about half the price as other comparable yarns.  The only problem was it was a bit splitty when ripped back, but it wasn’t bad.  Anyway, this yarn was fantastic and I will be using it again and again!

I go through phases with who my favorite designer is.  This week (and most of the time really), it’s Kirstin Kapur.  Her patterns are elegant, fun, and full of cables!  She was recently interviewed on the Petite Purls blog, and after reading it, I love her even more.  She has a group on Ravelry, and a great blog called Through the Loops.  She was the designer of the Make-up socks I made earlier this summer.

I talk about my own favorites too much.  All day we listen to music on Pandora via the Roku box.   This week Little D has a favorite song.  It’s Patrick and Eugene’s The Birds and the Bees.  When it comes on, he crawls to the TV as fast as he can, pulls himself up on the entertainment center, and shakes his little bum.  It’s the cutest thing in the world.  Should I be worried that his favorite song is called the Birds and the Bees?  Maybe it will save me from an awkward conversation in the future.   

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Cricket Pullover

I finally finished Dylan’s Dewey Cabled Pullover.  It took me a long time, much longer than I had hoped.  The reason is not the sweater pattern, but my choice of yarn. 

There’s been a lot of hype about Spud and Chloe yarn.  Certain people say it’s the best ever.  I tried the Sweater weight and it was fine.  Not my favorite yarn, but I really liked it.  I was so excited to try the Fine weight since I’ve been knitting socks so much lately.

I ordered the closest color to my husband’s military uniform.  When I got it, it looked like a springtime field of grass, not and antique olive color.  He needs the antique olive color to match, so I was disappointed.  Spud and Chloe is not inexpensive either.  Really wanting to try this yarn, I decided to make a pattern out of Vintage Baby Knits calling for fingering weight.

I hated the yarn!  It felt like it was tearing my hands up and I’m not a sensitive knitter!  It took me more than a month to knit this baby sweater.  Granted I had a whole lot of other stuff going on, but I just couldn’t sit down and knit with it.  I was SO MAD!  I shouldn’t get so emotional over yarn, but I’m a yarnie.  I do that.  Sometimes yarn turns me on, sometimes it makes me want to stab needles in my eyes.  Spud and Chloe Fine was more of a needle-in-the-eyes type of yarn.

Turns out I was being a bit too harsh.  Once the sweater was finally off the needles, it needed to be blocked before seaming.  Once it was dry it looked perfect.  Another thing I hated about the yarn was the obvious stitch definition, it showed every single imperfection.  Luckily it all blocked out and the little sweater had a perfect drape to it.  I am very happy with the finished object, especially now that it’s finished.

So will I ever buy Spud and Chloe Fine again?  Hell no!  But I’m glad I gave it a shot.

I named the sweater Cricket because that was the name of the color of the yarn.  I’m baised, but I think this little model is the cutest, sweetest model ever. 

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Cherries popped.

On Wednesday I finally finished my socks.  I already posted most of what I had to say about them in this post.  So they were my first toe-up, two at a time, magic loop, short row heel, and stretchy sewn bind off.  On top of that it was my first time following a cabling chart and knitting through the back loops.  It was rated as an experienced level pattern. 

The only problem I came across was the error with the pattern in the book, and I had already started them when I realized there was a problem.  I tore them down and started again, but it didn’t bother me.  I wanted them to be perfect.  Additionally every sock I have made so far out of Joy of Sox has an errata, so I’ve made a habit of checking their project pages on Ravelry before casting on.

The yarn was crazy.  I love winding hanks into center-pull balls when I’m really stressed out.  When I got the yarn out to wind it, I found it was a huge tangled mess.  It took me hours to wind it into a ball.  I was quite discouraged and felt that I wouldn’t buy Malabrigo sock again.  After knitting with it though, I have changed my mind about that.  I bought another hank recently and I had an easier time with it.  I suppose it was because I was prepared to work with the tangles.  Truthfully I think it’s unacceptable to charge $22 US for a hank of yarn that you have to untangle, but I guess Malabrigo sock is just that good.

These socks have changed me as a knitter.  I knew I was a sock person before, but now it’s different.  Lately I have been dreaming about socks all night long.  I wake up eager to get to work on them.  Now I’m starting to appreciate them as a work of art.  They are the best type of art as they are so functional.  I consider myself to be a functional person and I rarely do anything that isn’t. 

Socks are the perfect knit for me, and I am so proud of this pair.

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Springtime In Paris

I just participated in my first Ravelry swap.  My cyber friend Melissa has blogged about swaps and I was very interested.  The Itty Bitty Knits group was doing Springtime in Paris themed swap and so I jumped in.  I had to knit the Frenchie Hat from Itty Bitty Nursery and matching booties or Jelly Bean Baby Socks.

When I got my swap partner I was so excited!  Monkeybuttbabies (aka Jessica) and I had been talking online already and discussing meeting up since we live so close.  I was excited to have her as a partner so I could meet someone new I had so much in common with.

The hat and socks knit up really quickly and this was my first time working with Spud and Chloe yarn.   It is fantastic yarn!  But I feel this way about all Blue Sky Alpacas so I wasn’t surprised that I fell in love immediately.  I loved the patterns and I made the socks to match the hat.  I think they make a cute pair, er, trio?

I tried to work out meeting up with her, but I was pressed for time because I have family coming to visit soon (hooray!!). 

I invited her to the bi-monthly knitting group that meets at the LYS.  She didn’t say whether she would be there or not, but I wanted to go anyway.  Oh I had so much fun!  I enjoyed it more that I thought possible and I will be going there from now on!

She wasn’t there (I didn’t expect her to be) so since I was pressed for time, I just delivered the package to her house myself.  I made French bread this morning to include in the package and wanted it to be fresh for her.  I hope it was ok that I just delivered it myself.  Because I didn’t have to ship it I was able to include some fun stuff in it.

I don’t know if what I sent was acceptable.  I had a hard time knowing what to send since previous swaps seemed inconsistent to me.  Some swappers sent more than others and no monetary value was established.  From studying past swaps I figured that a package total of $75 seemed to be the proper amount.  I did my best to include things that she and her family would be interested in.

The package included:

The hat and socks

2 loaves of French Bread

2 patterns (Dindy Beret and French Press Felted Slippers– both themed for the swap)

a skein of Cascade 220 Wool

My favorite coffee (Larry’s Beans…. yum)

Charlie’s Soap (she cloth diapers as well)

A doggie bag gift from my dogs to hers (just some of their treats)

10 stitch markers.  I have been wanting to try jewelery making for some time now and stitch markers have been a perfect place to start.  So easy and satisfying because it’s instantly gratifying.

And finally the whole package was given to her in a market bag.  It seems like this is her favorite part, which is funny since it was an afterthought.  I’m glad I included it! 

Now I can’t wait to receive mine!  I wonder who has me…

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Birthday Yarn!

My new LYS sent me a birthday card in the mail.  If I brought the card into the store I could get 20% my purchase one day in my birth month.  So- this weekend I bought some new yarn.  Not that I needed any AT ALL, but it’s my birthday.  I got 2 skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted, 1 Malabrigo sock, 2 skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas 100% Alpaca Sport, 2 skeins of Noro Silk Garden, Some Gingher embroidery shears, and some new tapestry needles.  For some reason I’m always losing my tapestry needles.  My husband put some new ones in my basket and I didn’t even realize until after we got home.  It was a little gift from him I suppose!  He picked out some winners!  Until now I’ve been using plastic and they aren’t very good.  He got me some metal ones that are slanted at the tip.  He really did a good job of picking them out.

 

I LOVE the little Gingher scissors.  They were expensive but worth it.  Them and the new tapestry needles make weaving in ends fun!

I have had a love/ hate relationship with sewing.  I have struggled with it like you wouldn’t believe.  I want to sew but I have issues and I don’t know what’s wrong.  Anyway, this past weekend we bought a few simple sewing books that are written for the very beginner.  I hope I can read the patterns step by step and figure out what’s going wrong.  I want to be a good seamstress, I really do.  Hopefully I can work through my issues.

I collect cards with Pugs on them.  For my birthday my husband and baby gave me this card:

Derek made me the best cake ever.  He’s getting into chocolate making and slathered my chocolate cake with peanut butter chocolate ganache.  He is so talented and the best husband ever!  I just love him so much. 

The cake itself is vegan, but the ganache is not.  I guess that’s why I don’t call myself vegan, so I can be flexible.  And I think I deserve to cheat a bit too, which is a good thing because I cheated and had veggie pizza for my birthday dinner!  I was such a naughty girl, lol!

Also this weekend we went to Hard Rock Cafe.  Ever since the Beef O’ Brady’s fiasco, I’ve made a habit of asking the host if there are vegetarian options before trying a new place.  The host got all excited and said “I’m vegan and I eat here all the time!”  Then he went through the menu with me and said if things contained dairy and eggs. 

I ordered the veggie burger with no cheese.  Our waiter came back out and asked if I wanted the mayo since I didn’t specify when he took the order.  I was SO impressed with the service we received there.  Most places make me feel like a picky brat by not wanting animal products.  I don’t want to make it a big deal, but as often as I can I want to keep myself from exploiting animals.  Some people stay away from alcohol or pork or need their food to be kosher.  I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal to offer options to everyone, regardless of their beliefs and especially allergies or dietary restrictions because of medical reasons.

Anyway, the waiter made me so happy.  Hard Rock Cafe is true to their slogan “Love All, Serve All.”  And now I love them!

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New Soakers For the Boy

Yesterday I finished making the boy his new soakers (all 3 patterns are free on Ravelry).  They’re just finishing up drying after lanolizing.  I must say I am very happy with them.  For the first time (with soakers) I used higher quality yarn bought at my LYS, not Patons.  Patons was fine, but it felted and pilled terribly.  Here are the FO’s.

This first one is the Curly Purly Soaker pattern made out of Cascade 220 Quattro.  It reminds me of a watermelon rind!  I think it’s so cute and since I didn’t use merino wool with the pattern this time it should hold it’s shape better.

This one is the Adaptation Soaker.  It’s adapted from the Ottobre soaker pattern for worsted weight yarn.  I used Cascade Ecological wool.  I didn’t realize it was Bulky weight until I was well into the project so I just continued anyway.  It’s really thick and squishy!  I love this pattern because the garter stitch is really stretchy, it fits for a long time and it easily goes over our nighttime diaper.  We use a Smarti Pants insert as a doubler and we have no leaks.  I really love this pattern.

And finally this is the Wool Diaper Cover by Cynthia Combs.  It was a really fast knit, I did it in just one evening.  I made it with Malabrigo, it was my first time working with it.  It is the BEST. YARN. EVER!!  It was orgasmic to knit with it!

This weekend I was drying the diapers on the porch and I was out walking the dogs.  When I came back my husband was so excited and said someone had dropped off a bunch of diapers.  When I went inside and looked at the bag that was left, it was full of lots of cloth diapering supplies!  She had given us a dozen fitted diapers, some wipe solution cubes, a wool soaker (too small for my thunder thighed boy) and some really soft flat diapers.  I was sad that she didn’t stick around for me to chat with her, as I love to talk cloth diapers every chance I get!  Anyway, she saw the diapers on the porch and her child had been potty trained for some time now and she needed to dejunk.  I sort of feel guilty because I have PLENTY of diapers, but at the same time I’m super excited to try fitteds.  They will be perfect for when we have family come to visit and they can change his diaper easily.

Fitteds are like prefolds and they go under a wool or waterproof cover.

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