Oh, Jackson

Dec 07

Once again, my blog has gathered quite a bit of digital dust. I didn’t get around to posting about Halloween or Thanksgiving or even any Christmas related things, or the projects in between. I’ve been busy with work and life and the blog is the easiest item to put on the back burner. I feel the need to post, as a big part of my blog is no longer here.


Last week, we had to say goodbye to Jackson. Over the summer he developed a limp, and since then there was a steady decline and increasing pain. To say we are heartbroken and crushed is putting it mildly. We took care of him since he was a puppy, only 7 weeks old. He was always by my side, had a perfect head / face for modeling the handknits and was easily bribed to sit still for many a project photo.


I met so many fiber folks through this little dog. People might not know me, but they noticed his picture. He was a wonderful part of our family, and it’s not the same to not have him here.
Hug your pets, give them extra ear scratches and belly rubs.

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Rhinebeck 2016

Oct 19

When it comes to writing about Rhinebeck, I often have trouble finding the right words. Next to a traditional New England Thanksgiving, this is the epitome of fall in the northeast. It is an experience and there is a lot to take in, even when your attendance is a yearly event!
Rhinebeck Trees

My Rhinebeck Sweater

Two weeks before Rhinebeck I spotted the Vindur pattern and thought it would be great as a Rhinebeck sweater. I decided to use Good Karma Yarn (previously earned for a sample knitting job), held doubled. I completed the sweater in time, but it was too small, oops. This sweater has a unique construction, and I didn’t consider how I could / should make modifications. My mind is still open to making it (with modifications). I was pretty pleased to run into Laura Nelkin and talk with her about what I could do to make it work for me next time.


Nutmegknitter's Vindur  

Rhinebeck Goodies 2016

I had a list with me to target my Rhinebeck shopping. I hit most of the items on my list, found a few other impulse purchases, and decided to indulge in a sweater quantity as well.

Rhinebeck Purchases

People Watching

The other to-do on my list was to find Stephen West, on behalf of the person who wears the swants in the family (my husband), I was tasked with getting a picture.  Lucky me, I spotted him on Saturday morning! I was snacking on a pretzel and trying to dig my phone out of the bag and fumbled my way through an introduction and picture request. Stephen was very kind and accommodating!

Nutmegknitter & Stephen West

I also interrupted (politely , I hope!) a few conversations so that I could go say hello & express my admiration to Meghan, of the Stockinette Zombies podcast, and Erin, of EatSleepKnit. I also brushed elbows with Ric Ocasek of the Cars! Friends told me his wife is a knitter! It’s all good as Rhinebeck it’s the sort of place where you have an easy way to talk to everyone; just talk about the yarn they are wearing or buying! Maybe you saw the knitting group I was with on Saturday? It was nice to catch up with them – I haven’t been out to the knit night in a long while.



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That blanket

Sep 13

Last year I decided I wanted to make a blanket.

I had a lot of nice wool leftovers and thought it would be a great idea to put them together in one project. The original plan was to make an Age Before Beauty blanket, sort of patchwork style, expecting it to be pretty in an ugly sort of way, but something ultimately that would be mine and I would love it, use it and really appreciate it. I affectionately named it “My ‘I’m 37 and not old’ blanket” because, at the time, that was the birthday that was approaching and if you’re a Monty Python fan that line is all you can think of at that age.

Fast-forward to a more than a year later.

I’m no longer 37, having had another birthday. I wasn’t really loving the way the project was turning out and it was hibernating. I went looking for some other yarn related thing, found this project and decided to rip it all out to make something else that I would love, use, and appreciate. Immediately I started to rip it all out. I was obsessed, frogging all day Friday. Then I sorted all the yarns I had set aside for this project (a nice mix of wools, mostly Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica and a few handfuls of Lambs Prides and Malabrigo Worsted) and grouped them by color. I came across the Somewhere Over the Rainbow pattern and got to work, modifying slightly with a larger number of stitches cast on and holding two yarns together at a time. The following Monday evening it was done!


It’s big enough to cover my bed, but I am keeping it downstairs on the couch. Jackson has taken to it, as did Lorelai yesterday morning when we had beautifully cool overnight temperatures.

It’s exactly what I was hoping for in a blanket!

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Ravellenics 2016 Success

Sep 09

I had big, vague plans for the 2016 Ravellenic Games, and I am pleased to report that I was a successful competitor! I ended up competing in 3 events: WIP Wrestling with two projects, the Toy Toss, and Shawl Sailing.

Nutmegknitter's Coffee Shop Crochet Shawl My local shop, Madison Wool, put out the call for their team and I went in with a few ideas for projects. I had just spotted the release of the Coffee Shop crochet shawl from Mamachee so that was at the top of my list. Lucky for me gradients were on sale to boot, so I went with it. I cast on during opening ceremonies Friday night and WHOOSH, I had a completed shawl on Monday. Super quick, great project to have if you need a travel or tv project, very easy on the brain. I would totally make this again! I did cast on more stitches than called for, but could have started with even more because I didn’t even get to the last color in the gradient! The yarn is from Two Hands Knitting, the Sock base, a local CT dyer.

Nutmegknitter's Totoro for Violet

My niece Violet celebrated her third birthday last month. My Neighbor Totoro has been on replay a lot this summer for her, so I made her a Totoro. He is so much fun to make, and pretty cute too. Violet thoroughly inspected him when she opened the bag, especially the nose! The yarn is Juniper Moon Neve, a 100% cotton that was great to work with for crochet – not too hard on the hands and soft.

Nutmegknitter's Stolen Moments Socks

I started these Stolen Moments socks back in the Spring waiting to make a preschool pick up. They have done a bit of traveling with me in June, to Washington, D.C. for TNNA and to NYC for an Indigo Girls concert. I finally finished them for a WIP Wrestling project. I did knit them two-at-a-time, magic loop, and I am digging how the color pooled almost inversely in the pair. The yarn is Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in the Intergalactic Colorway, a special colorway for the eat.sleep.knit Yarnathon.

Nutmegknitter's FLOTUS shawl

My fourth project is also a WIP Wrestling winner. I started my FLOTUS Shawl, aka Caffeine Queen, on my birthday using Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in Birch and Narwhal Needlework Lyra in Coffee Bean. This is a great shawl pattern, easy going and generously sized.

I’m ready for cool fall weather so I can start using some of these projects!




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Sample Knitting: Atwood Shawl Edition

Aug 22

How’s your summer going? We’re looking at the last few weeks of it here and I am pleased to report that I do have quite a bit to show and share! Next time you’re at a fiber show, keep an eye out for my last sample knitting project, an Atwood Shawl in Bijou Basin Ranch!

Atwood Shawl Hanging photo

Back in June, I received a beautiful cake of Tibetan Dream yarn. The color in the center of the cake was almost daffodil yellow, shifting to a subtle green, then sky blue. If you look on the BBR website, it’s closest to the Cote D’Azur colorway. At one point when I was knitting, my son spotted it from the backseat of the car and asked if I was knitting a flower!

IMG_4803 (Edited)

I made the smallest size from one cake, with a bit of yarn leftover; no yarn chicken here. If I were to make this again, and I would consider it, I would make the larger size. The small size, while still 35″ wide and about 16-17″ deep, left me wanting more. It would be fine to tuck in around your neck with a coat, or under a vest, but with a yarn this lovely, bigger is better. It’s a beautiful yarn, the gradient is amazing and trust me, it’s enjoyable to knit with. I’d put this on my personal “look for” list for Rhinebeck! I did edit the photo above to get a brighter yellow, my camera kept toning it down.

Jackson and my photo set up

Speaking of taking pictures, here’s a behind-the-scenes peek of my layout. I love the light that comes into the sunporch, but the carpet is less than ideal as a background. Foam-core to the rescue! Until Jackson wanders in and expects treats for posing with the handknit. I suppose I have trained him over time for this sort of thing. He’s good, he doesn’t go on the knit item but does get close.

Jackson posing

Dog does know how to pose.

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Ready for the Ravellenic Games

Aug 05

Who’s excited for the Olympics? I am!

My current knit and crochet WIPs are totally out of control, I will admit, but that is not stopping me from eyeing my stash and queue for projects I can start as part of the Ravellenic Games!

Ravellenic Games 2016 image by Sadbhyl

During the 2012 Games, my one project was the “Modular Relay” and I knit 20 hexi-flats for my Beekeeper Blanket. I was victorious, and it was a challenge! What am I considering for 2016?

It will not surprise anyone if a few additional projects make their way on the list and in the pile.




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How to take Great FO photos! (it’s a work in progress)

Jul 18

My FO Photography is an ongoing Work-In-Progress

I like to think that I am an unofficially qualified knitter. And blogger. And photographer. I’ve been at this for 8+ years, on and off, but mostly on. I’ve knit a wide range of projects, yarns, and fibers. I knit for myself and others. I’ve taken classes! And this? This is the best I can do for a finished object (FO) post?

Thumbs up! Finished objects are the best.

No! It is a pet peeve of mine when bloggers just throw up a photo with a lot of excuses (it’s dark, it’s late, it’s early, I’m tired, I’m on a moving train…). I have done the same thing. I am sure it wouldn’t be hard to find an example of this, I get it. But when it happens in post after post after post, I don’t want to read your blog. I’m getting on my soapbox. Here are my pointers:

  1. Take a LOT of photos. Don’t stop to examine each photo, just keep shooting. Did you know your iPhone has an auto-shutter feature that will snap a burst of photos after 3 or 10 seconds? Set it up, and do a dance, wiggle, whatever. Sort it later. Pixels are essentially free. I got lucky, in my opinion, with the photo above. I was snapping away and my daughter happened to pop the shawl on her head. It made me happy so I told her “Thumbs Up” and that’s the shot we got. http://www.ravelry.com/projects/nutmegknitter/tea--picots
  2. Try for natural lighting. Don’t wait until you’re settled in on the couch with your evening work in progress (WIP) to take a photo. That light is awful. There are shadows. It just doesn’t work and you won’t be happy. I totally fall for this on a weekly basis. I try to grab a photo of Jackson and my project and either it’s grainy or the colors are off BECAUSE it’s dark and the light bulb is a low wattage. Then I get annoyed. I do better when I get snap a photo on the floor near a window or outside on my porch. Lighting is a tricky thing, but so it photography. Here we were by a window (not outside). The project is 100% bulky wool yarn. The weather has been ridiculously hot and humid. I can only push my model so far. The natural lighting here was better than being by a lamp, but not the best. I was stressed and getting stuck on ideas.Blocking in progress
  3. Use real people and give the “model” something to do. Got a copy of a knitting magazine? Take a look at the pictures closely. Or the photos on Ravelry for a pattern you like. Even if the model is holding a stick, they are still doing something.  Hats are meant to be worn on your head, shawls are wrapped around shoulders, and socks are on feet. Modeling something flat can be helpful for showing a stitch pattern detail or how impressed you are by blocking (as I was)! Most of the time in real life, your knit item is going to be taking up 3D space and not be flat.
  4. Get in the photo. I handed my phone off to my daughter because I liked how the color of my shirt looked next to the colors in the yarn. She told me she zoomed in, and out, and just kept taking photos. Great! Many of them were blurry, but so what? Pixels are free and there is something about this one that I like. Action shot.  Asymmetric shawls are tricky, yo.
  5. Keep taking pictures. Did I say this already? I was snapping away and giving light directions. I think this is my favorite FO shot that actually shows the shawl. Tea & Picots shawl knit by nutmegknitter

    So what did I knit?

    Wouldn’t you like to know more about this shawl? The pattern is Tea & Picots, knit in Knitted Wit Cotton Candy on US 17s. I picked up the yarn at TNNA. I loved it in the skein and seeing the sample on display. This took just a few nights of knitting. The trickiest part was figuring out how to photograph it. I think I’ve done ok. Do you have photo tips for your knit and crochet items? I’d love to try them!

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