Pop! Candy Dots Flash Knit Along

Sep 07

Over the Labor Day weekend, my little family took a road trip to Vermont. I am ever the optimist and promptly over packed my knitting projects: three shawls in progress, a sweater for my daughter in progress, a scarf in progress, a fingerless mitten that needs a mate, and a cowl project. I only worked on one thing!

At the start of the road trip

The cowl project, Candy Dots, was a Flash KAL for the Eat.Sleep.Knit Yarnathon. The challenge was to knit the project August 28 – September 4. I started on August 28 and in the car ride and throughout the weekend I got into the groove of reading my knitting without having to reference the charts too frequently. Knitting on the porch, Vermont sunset

Same view, different project from last year! My yarns are Manos del Uruguay Alegria in Locura Fluo, Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in Natural, and Shibui Staccato in Black.

Eating Candy Dots while wearing a Candy Dots Cowl

I’m really pleased with this cowl! Points to the Cocoa Cubs! During the knitting, I thought maybe my daughter would like it (and wear it) more than I would. The end result is light, soft, and warm. I may end up keeping it. One of our stops was at Yankee Candle Village and in one section of the shops, they had old fashioned candy. Of course, I had to pick up a pack of candy buttons. I haven’t had dot candy in ages. It tastes the same, sweet yet chalky, and that did not stop me from eating all of those dots while taking photos.

 

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Tiny stitches add up

Aug 23

Tiny stitches add up

The call for the purple hats for Click for Babies in Oklahoma kept popping up in my assorted social streams.

Click for Babies logo

I like to make a hat or two when the call goes out. Remember all those red hats in February? Click for Babies aims to help educate caregivers about normal infant crying. Babies cry and there is a danger of reacting to crying in frustration by shaking or harming an infant. After stash diving, I found two great options in Manos del Uruguay Cotton Stria (sadly discontinued) and Be Sweet Bamboo.

Knit 1, Crochet 2, Giving all 3

Finished purple hats for Click for Babies

The two crochet caps are in the Cotton Stria: a basic half double crochet beanie and a granny square beanie. For the Bamboo hat, I decided to knit a spiral hat and try out a pair of 9″ circulars. Those wee circs are a bit of challenge to get used to, but as I settled into the rhythm of the stitches.

Cast on in Be Sweet Bamboo with 9

The project bag is a Sock n’ Book tote from Little Skein in the Big Woods and is a great size for hats. I was taken by the illustration of Lady Liberty knitting and the words, “Small actions, repeated with thought and intention, become more important than the number of their stitches.” A good reminder. The back side of the tote has rainbow stitches – the hat and 9″ circs in the photo above are on that back side.

Though the original call was for Oklahoma, I checked and found a Connecticut chapter. I will send my caps there. If you have some soft-to-the-touch purple yarn why not make a hat too? Cotton and bamboo are wonderful choices if you don’t want to go with acrylic. Double check with your chosen location for when they need the hats.

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Do a Good Turn

Aug 17

I was called to Jury Duty this week. My second reaction after the initial one of being summoned was one of absolute disappointment.

No Knitting Needles for Jury Duty

I wonder what happened, with which knitter, that made the court specifically make note of this in the pamphlet. And do I know this knitter? In a moment like this, I am really glad I have learned to crochet. I was able to bring in my crochet hooks and chibi of needles, no problem. I didn’t bother with scissors or a lot of extra notions.

Manos del Uruguay Serpentina tag

Initially, I wanted to make hats, but I’m finding I still need to reference the counts on even the simple baby patterns. I wanted a pattern that I could feel confident and comfortable working on, but could easily pick up and put down if needed. A new addition to my stash was a skein of Manos del Uruguay Serpentina, a deliciously squishy handspun hand painted Aran yarn.

One good turn cowl in Manos del Uruguay Serpentina

This is the Mother Teresa colorway and the One Good Turn pattern (it’s a freebie!). I started after our first break and had just woven in the ends when my name was called. Mine is a bit wider than the pattern due to a different gauge. I worked each row until I had maybe eighteen inches of yarn left, just enough for seaming the ends. Less than two hours of work for a scarf! The yarn is really fun with the pops of color, has a lovely hand, and is just so so soft.

Modeled shot

In the end, I was dismissed and I have a new cowl.

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Departing the text, departing the dock

Jul 28

I’m sure I’ve posted somewhere in my blog before that I like books and following directions. I am one of those people that runs to the library for answers first, not the lab. What can I say, I like to be prepared!

Departing the text

When it comes to knitting, I stick to the pattern. If a designer took the time to write it all out and work on the math, well that saves me the time doesn’t it? But what do you do when there is no pattern? A few months ago, one of my aunts made a special knitting request. She wanted me to knit a tuxedo sweater for a well-loved stuffed animal belonging to a friend of my cousin. I went to Ravelry to research and came up with a few ideas. I did have to do some modifications on the fly as I was working without a real idea of the size or shape of the stuffed animal! I had an approximate arm span and length to start. I also had a little stuffed animal jacket that was about the size my aunt had in mind.

Nutmegknitter's Tuxedo Tails for Dog Tuxedo Tails for Dog modeled

I think it ended up being slightly too big (but better than too small!), and you can see it on my daughter’s well loved Puppy.  The yarn is Shibui Staccato, a bit fancy yes, but it is a tux. I followed the Tuxedo Tails pattern, following a mix of the numbers as my yarn was a different weight.

Departing the dock

I grew up spending my summers at the beach. Even though I now live a few miles from Long Island sound I don’t get to the water nearly enough. I did go out with a group of local knitters for an evening tour cruising about the Thimble Islands!

Thimble Islands Knitting Cruise

There is a lot of legend and lore about those islands that I learned during (and after) our jaunt – tales of Captain Kidd, legends of who owns which house, trying to figure out what happens to those palm trees in the winter, why is there only one chair out on the rock and is that a swimming pool up there? I did manage a few rows of knitting on my Wonder Woman shawl. It’s always a good time to be out with knitting company and this adventure, organized by Gale, did not disappoint!

So much for my pre-summer blog reboot, the last post was back in June! Life is full!

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Pre-Summer Reboot

Jun 07

It’s time to reboot this blog! I have missed posting here. Just looking around, under, and next to my desk there are still piles of yarn and projects. There is no lack for posting material.

One sock knit

Let’s start with this sock, a Winter Weekend Sock, knit in Knitted Wit Victory DK, “Mama Bear” colorway. Socks are always magical, and after knitting this first one, all I want to knit are these. Ankle socks in dk-weight yarn work up super quick! I have 3, maybe 4, additional skeins of DK that I want to make into socks.

Lincoln models the clapochetLincoln needs the practice in his modeling. Getting a big dog to be my project model is not so easy. I can pay him in peanut butter and just keep clicking away, hoping for a decent shot among those pixels! Here he is posing with the Clapochet I finished.

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Meet Lincoln

Apr 26

Another unintentional blog break. Let’s just pick up and continue on, ok? In the time since I last posted things have been quite busy. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that we adopted a retired racing greyhound! Meet Lincoln!

Lincoln

He has been with us for 7 weeks now, following a career spent racing (and winning) in Florida. He’s five years old, very sweet and well-behaved, quiet, and calm. Lincoln seems quite content to shift into being a pet. We have all adjusted rather nicely I think.

Part of our adjustment was getting used to each other’s sleep schedule. He’s a very early riser. Lincoln is also a true representative of the stereotype that greyhounds are 45-mile-per-hour couch potatoes. For an athlete, he’s content to sleep and snuggle in on his bed or the couch. He will go for walks but doesn’t miss them when we don’t go on rainy days. We had 2 weeks of very early mornings, so I took advantage of the quiet time to indulge in reading. Recently I finished The Princess Diarist, Never Let You Go, A Dog’s Purpose, and Comet’s Tale. They were all good reads!

Nutmegknitter's Solaris WIP and yarn along books

What I am not reading is shown here. I can’t remember having to read 1984 in high school. When I saw it at the library I thought, well why not. Sirius is a book I picked up and put down so many times I finally checked it out. I haven’t started either and I flipped through a few pages of each today. These books will be going back to the library and I hope to find something else. Yarn-wise I have worked on several sample knits and my Solaris shawl for the EatSleepKnit yarnathon. It’s moving along, but not as fast as I would like because I keep getting distracted.

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Little Hats, Big Hearts Self-Challenge

Mar 01

February is Heart Month and a time to raise awareness for heart health and congenital heart defects. The Little Hats, Big Hearts campaign aims to give a red hat to all the babies born in February to support this. I’ve made hats for LHBH for 3 years now. This year, I decided to challenge myself and make one hat each day in February. I did it!

30 Hats made for Little Hats, Big Hearts

All total, I made 30 hats! 2 are knit, the rest are crochet, and due to differences in gauge (intentionally or not), I have an assortment of preemie and newborn hats.

30 hats for the Little Hats, Big Hearts campaign

The patterns I used (in no particular order):

  • Preemie / Newborn Bow Hat – I made two of these in Blue Sky Skinny cotton, no bows.
  • Delaney Spiral Beanie – two of these, I liked it much better in Juniper Moon Neve than in Berroco Comfort
  • Itty Bitty Bow Beanie – no bow, in Blue Sky Skinny Cotton
  • Teresa’s 10 Minute Crochet Preemie Hat – I made this one 3 times in Kraemer Yarns Tatamy DK, Juniper Moon Neve, and Berroco Comfort. Still can’t  crack that 10-minute mark. It takes me 12-15 minutes.
  • Baby Flapper Girl Hat – no ribbon, super cute. This red yarn didn’t have a label but I think it’s cotton-ease.
  • Michael Beanie – this one was fun, made it 3X with Cotton-Ease, Juniper Moon Neve. That stripe is great for using up scraps!
  • Crown Preemie and Newborn Hat – made twice in Cotton Ease. Super cute.
  • Leafy Newborn Hat – Knitting felt so slow! Cotton-Ease on this one.
  • Calming Baby Hat – ditto: Knitting felt so slow! Cotton-Ease on this one.
  • Super Speedy Preemie Hat in Cotton-Ease
  • A Very Good Hat – came out huge for me, in Cotton Ease
  • Quick Cozy Preemie Hat – this one with the heart on the front I adore and look forward to making again. The post stitches and color changes all clicked! Kraemer Yarns Tatamy DK was perfect here.
  • Baby Turban – made this one 2X, super fun. I used Kraemer Yarns Tatamy DK for one and Sirdar Snuggly DK for the other.
  • Roll Brim – can’t find my link for this one, quick enough in Sirdar Snuggly DK
  • Half Double Crochet Hat – made this one four times, it just worked well for me in Sirdar Snuggly DK, Berroco Comfort DK.
  • Preemie Crochet Beret – I’m not going to link this one because I’m not happy with how it came out. I’m still building my skills to crochet, but something wasn’t working out with the pattern, it’s a very pancake-y hat. The pattern (free, so you get what you pay for) was lacking stitch counts and was just ok.
  • Granny Square Beanie – very cute in Berroco Comfort DK
  • Easy Granny Baby Hat – very cute, also in Berroco Comfort DK.

I feel a lot more confident in my crochet skills now. I will continue to work on these hats on and off throughout the year – it would be great to have 50 or even 100 to send off in December. It’s a great cause and deserves a lot of attention. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have ends to weave in!

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