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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The 2nd Red Cowl and it’s Mine!

Feb 27

Last week I posted about the first red cowl for my son. I have another red cowl finished and it’s for me!

Yarn Clubs

Yarn clubs can be a tricky thing. In my time I have joined a few here and there over the years. Some I really enjoyed, others were just ok, and I’m pretty sure most of the yarn from those clubs is still sitting in the stash. I signed myself up for the 2017 Legacy Yarn Club from Mountain Meadow Wool, and have already used the yarn in a completed project! Their yarn is not carried in the shops near me, so my main motivation to sign up was to experience more of their yarns.

MMW Legacy Yarn Club

I knew a bit of the MMW story from several years ago when I knit a sample for them in Powder River and now I do work with them as part my work with Stitchcraft Marketing. (Full disclosure – my yarn club subscription is my own purchase and I don’t have any part of putting the club together!) I like their efforts to be environmentally responsible and how they work to help sustain the American wool industry.

The first shipment of the Legacy Yarn Club really impressed me. The packaging and presentation were sharp too, this yarn wasn’t just sealed up in a mailer. Two skeins of MM Tweed Pumice, in Russet and Natural, two patterns, information about MMW and the ranchers, a coupon code, and chocolate for good measure.

Nutmegknitter's Bandito Cowl in MM Tweed Pumice

I liked both of the patterns but decided to go rogue with a pioneering spirit and crocheted the Bandito Cowl. It was a perfect choice for one skein of the MM Tweed Pumice! It’s a free pattern too! This style of a cowl with a bit of bib in the front makes for a great layering piece that stays in place. At the neck, the cowl is roomy but not floppy. I made mine slightly longer than in the pattern before joining in the round, as I have a big head.

I don’t have plans for the Natural skein that came with this shipment. It’s still sitting on my desk and I do enjoy giving it a good squeeze! I’m looking forward to the future shipments! They do still have sign ups for the shorter club subscriptions, you should check it out!

 

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The first red cowl

Feb 23

My last post was about the pink and red, and February continues to be a month full of red yarn! My son doesn’t like to zip up his coat all the way, so I made him a neck warmer to keep the winter chill off his neck. A quick dive into the yarn stash brought up leftover Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Cummerbund. Reds and oranges, deemed to be “dragon colors” by the boy. It was just the right amount of yarn to make the Mallard pattern.

Mallard cowl

I wasn’t too sure by the pattern instructions on how to put the triangles together, so I made my best guess and it seemed to work out.

Mallard cowl modeled Mallard cowl modeled

Nate was appreciative of the finished object and I am pleased with the way it came out. Has he worn it? No. Stinker. Cute, but still a stinker. Oh well. I will tuck it in with the other hats and mitts until he discovers it on his own.

A Thanks Mom picture

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FO Friday Bring on the Pinks and Reds

Jan 27

First the Pinks

Drifter in MMW Sheridan 

I’ve worked my way few a number of projects. I made two hats for the Women’s March and handed them off to my LYS before I snapped any pictures. More will be made, so I’ll get them next time. I finished a different pink hat using the Drifter pattern and a skein of pink Mountain Meadow Wool Sheridan. I opted to not do a pom on top and instead used the leftovers (#MakeWIPsNotWaste) to crochet a quick little amigurumi for my desk. I used the Little Sweet Hearts pattern, but I think my interpretation of the directions for the heart topper went a bit off track. It’s all good, it’s cute.

Then the Reds

 

I had stashed Madelinetosh Chunky in Cherry (two different lots) from a grab bag sale a while back. After a few false starts on other projects, I knit it up into the Bittersweet cowl. I love this project! It’s just right under my jacket or sweatshirt and doesn’t feel bulky or heavy. The cowl took a little more than one skein, so I looked to make a hat to match – finally. My handknit hats and cowls are mostly in similar color families so they go together, but it’s a happy accident. I liked the cables in the Josie hat and it was a fun knit. The end result was a hat that was slightly too small for my head (but did fit) and slightly too large for my kids (but did fit). I ended up donating it to the Women’s March as well.

And One More with All the Pinks

I am a big fan of Mamachee’s crochet patterns and the Busy Bitch shawl just made me smile. Combine it with a skein of Dream in Color Classy in Hot Pants, and… well, it made me smile even more. It’s finished, but it doesn’t quite sit right they way I think it should. All’s well, though, my daughter likes it and has claimed it.

 

 

 

 

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