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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

We are having a really nice, low-key Christmas day around the house. We spent some time with CC's family yesterday, and we'll spend a little time with mine tonight. I've just made a cup of Peppermint coffee, and wanted to show you my latest before I get back to doing some more knitting.

I finished my Lacy Leaf Hat Monday! I have been wearing it around ever since. I love it, it's so soft.

I've slowly been plugging away at the baby blanket for my niece (due in March), and was pleasantly surprised to see how much progress I've made. If I can work one repeat each day or at the very minimum every other day, I should have this finished on time, even if the baby's a little early (which could happen, since it happened with her mother). The blanket is so soft and squishy. I figure it's around half-finished at this point.

And I've been working on my socks. I've turned the heel on both, and just finished knitting the gusset on the first one. I'm starting to pick up stitches for the gusset on the second. I already tried the first on at this point, and it's fitting like a dream!

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful year's end, however you may or may not celebrate. I know I say it every year, but it's hard to believe that this year is almost over and we're about to begin the next! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Just a couple more gift finishes

Here is the Age of Brass and Steam knit with Malabrigo Arroyo in the Candombe colorway which I've knit for my sister-in-law Sherry. I absolutely love this colorway, and with good reason - I had chosen it for myself. But when they came over for a visit a few weeks ago, I decided to knit one last version of this for her for Christmas. And when I looked at this skein in my stash, I knew it would be perfect for her.

I am going to visit a friend this week who has kitties, one of whom likes to investigate the contents of my purse. I thought I would surprise that kitty with a present, so I knit up this cute catnip mouse (pattern courtesy of Wendy Knits), and I stuck it in the top of my purse where she'll be sure to find it. I watched a YouTube video to make the tail - I've never knitted i-cord before, and it's super easy to do. I started out with 4 stitches, then decreased to 3, then to 2 very close to the end. I think the effect is just right.

The legs on both of my waving lace socks are now finished, and in this photo, I had just started the heel flaps on both.

I just finished knitting the heel flap on the second one yesterday, so it's time to turn the heels.

I've been waiting to start my Lacy Leaf Hat (as of this blog post, a free pattern from Red Heart) until after my Saroyan Scarf was finished. I was originally going to knit it in two colors, but decided to stick with one after seeing how beautifully it was knitting up. This is Malabrigo Rios in the colorway Piedras. I am a huge fan of Malabrigo yarn, in case you hadn't noticed. :)

I made a modification to my hat, based on several others I have seen knitted this way - I knitted 3 pattern repeats for the brim, then I switched over to stockinette. I can't wait to have this done! I may have to knit the mittens in the other ball of Malabrigo Rios I have, which is a darker shade of the same colorway I used in the Saroyan scarf.

And I managed to get one more block finished on Eldon. Here is its journey so far.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A couple more happy dances

I finished another gift hat, this one is for my nephew Chris.

Once I finished it, I decided that a little selfish knitting was in order, and so I finished my Saroyan Scarf. I've been wearing it around all weekend. I LOVE it. This photo is not the best, but it shows it off alright. It is wrapped from the front around my shoulders and back again.

I wore it to the Yarn Bus and promptly purchased some yarn for new projects I will be starting next year (or maybe I'll cast on Christmas or New Year's Eve?). My friend Teresa over at A Quilt and a Prayer has already made one Ombre Infinity cowl and recently purchased kits to make some additional ones. I love hers, and I loved these colors, so I bought this kit. Aren't the colors just yummy?

I also picked up yarn to start my next sweater. Haus of Yarn is planning on a top-down sweater KAL in the new year, and I am joining them. I chose a different pattern than the one that is the "official" design (and that is okay) - I bought the pattern for Beck by Dani Sunshine after seeing Aimee's beautiful one on the Knitting in Circles Podcast. I've been back and forth about what yarn I wanted to use (and I may do this one again in a stashed yarn if I like it enough), but I went ahead and bought some Berroco Folio to use. Now to swatch and confirm measurements before I begin! The top teal is my main color, and the gray is the accent around the yoke. I decided to go for a subtle accent this go-round.

Having finally pretty much gotten through my recovery (I still have a little stiffness in the shoulder but I've been told that is not unexpected), 2014 has turned out to be a pretty decent year. I expect great things of 2015!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Some more finishes!

I forgot to share the third twist hat I finished the first of December. Here it is in the Violets colorway.

Saturday I started and finished 5 crocheted coasters that I had promised I would make for our new house. I used Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (fingering weight yarn) in the color Dachshund. I think these are so pretty, and I plan to make a few more. There are 101 different patterns in the book I used (101 Small Doilies), and while several of them do not lend themselves to coasters, there are a few more left that do.

And yesterday I finished CC's Falling Water Scarf! I washed and blocked it, and it is beautiful and so very soft. The yarn is 75% Merino, 15% Cashmere, 10% Silk. He is so very happy with it too!

Friday, December 05, 2014


That's the term that comes to mind every time I see this block. Here is its transformation over time. The first picture is the star, even though it's not sewn completely together yet. That blue just pops and sizzles for me.

Monday, December 01, 2014

It's fun to watch the metamorphosis

I didn't have a really good photo of the first stage, but I took a part from another photo and enlarged it a little. It is really neat to watch how these blocks develop from one stage to the next. Today I put the background diamonds in this one block. I'd like to set a goal of doing at least one a week from here on out. This makes the fifth block complete (out of 16). Slow progress is better than none, right?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Another Age of Brass and Steam

Yes! I have finished another Age of Brass and Steam that will be a gift, so things are cooking along here. This one is similar to the last, but it's in the Archangel color way, which has orange and purple in addition to the red.

I have a third Twist hat on the needles, and should have that finished in the next few days.

Here is my latest progress on the Josephine Shawl. This is a project I keep with me to work on at lunch or in waiting rooms, so it's a PLOP, or Project in Longterm Ongoing Progress. That's a new acronym I've picked up from Tilly Trout, a most delightful podcaster over in the UK.

And today I made a little dpn (double-pointed needles) case for while I'm sock knitting. This was a prototype with some scrap flannel fabrics. My next ones will use some of my pretty stashed fabric.

Tonight I'm going to work on those socks and CC's scarf. I'd like to get the scarf finished for him in time for Christmas also. And I need to pick up another skein of Malabrigo Arroyo. I've decided to make another AoBaS kerchief, this one for my sister-in-law. It seems like my holiday knitting is multiplying!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Photo finish

I enlisted CC's help to hold up the quilts, so here are my photo finishes. ;-)

Chunky Churn Dash

Anniversary Stars

And here are some photos of me modeling the latest Age of Brass and Steam finish. I was eating a bowl of chili the other day, and that's what this colorway reminds me of, yummy!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Happy Dance x2

Finally! Two quilts that have been almost-finished for weeks are now bound and in the wash!

As it's raining today and on its way to being totally dark this late afternoon, I'm going to have to take photos of the completed quilts in the next day or two. But here I have proof of sewing on the binding of at least one to share. :) This is Anniversary Stars.

And here is a little detail of the quilting. My quilter is retiring at the end of the year, and this is probably the last quilt she'll have quilted for me. I am hoping that I'll be able to engage the services of someone else who has quilted for me in the past for my future longarm quilting - we'll see how that goes. I won't have anything else to be quilted this year so I'll work on that in 2015.

Chunky Churn Dash was also finished today, I just didn't take any photos of it along the way.

And actually, little happy dance #3 - I might have mentioned that I've been watching all those knitting video podcasts recently. As they've been knitting for a while, they've acquired many nice yarns and things along the way, including little project bags that they usually share where they bought them or who made them. I saw one that was a cute drawstring bag, and thought, hey, I could make one of those! So I found a Lined Drawstring Bag tutorial on Jeni Baker's site (In Color Order). I picked out a couple of fat quarters that I got a month or so ago from Tula Pink's Moonshine Collection (link may expire). I found some coordinating fabrics in my stash for the lining (not really visible in the photo), and for the drawstring (a stripe really close in colors - from several years ago - used in my Quilter's Palette quilt!).

Anyway, I am tickled at how nicely it came out, and I will definitely make more. It's a small bag, so it's a really good size for socks or a small shawl project.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Second gift hat finished

This is the twist (or is it twirl?) hat in Lion Brand Amazing, colorway Aurora.

I haven't yet cast on the third hat, but plan to do that this week. Right now I'm knitting on the red Age of Brass and Steam kerchief. I also gave myself the tiniest break from gift knitting and worked on some of my other knitting WIPs. Enteric scarf got two more tiers, CC's Falling Water scarf got a few more repeats (it's about 75% finished now), and I got to the heel on my first sock, so I cast on my second sock. I want to do the heels / heel turns at the same time, and this way I don't get second sock syndrome.

And I haven't worked on much else this week, but I did get binding for my other quilt done. Now if I can just motivate myself to sit down and attach them, I will have two finished quilts! These are for the Anniversary Stars (left) and SSS 2013 (Chunky Churn Dash - right) quilts.

The Yarn Bus was in town again yesterday, so I picked up another skein of Malabrigo Arroyo in the Archangel color way. This will be another Age of Brass and Steam kerchief, and that should be the last of them for this year.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Let the gift knitting begin!

Actually, it has already begun. :) I cast on a knitted hat for a niece Wednesday and bound off last night, whew! I was curious just how quickly I could make one, because I need to make 4 hats, one for each of my brother's kids. I was pleased to know that I can knit one fairly quickly (if I don't do much else), so I can take it a little easier on the hands over the next 6-7 weeks. I have just cast on the second hat, though - I want to ensure they're ready in time.

Here is the first Twist hat. It is similar to the Spiral hats that I've knitted this year, but it spirals in the opposite direction.

I started a new Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief (this is #5 for those of you who are counting). This is another gift project. The recipient really likes red, so I chose Malabrigo Arroyo in the colorway Jupiter. I LOVE this!!

And I have a little progress to share on one other knitting project. My Saroyan Scarf is about halfway finished!

Off to work on the second hat!