January 18 Yarn Along and A Hexagon

Jan 18

Persian Dreams start in Manos del Uruguay Alegria

I love unexpected rainbows! I’ve decided to try a project that may or may not end up being a year-long project. One of the KALs for the Eat.Sleep.Knit yarnathon is the Persian Dreams blanket. I think it is a beautiful pattern, but I really don’t know if I have it in me to make the whole whopping blanket. There is a badge you can earn by knitting 2 hexagons so I figure that I can knit the two pieces, give the pattern a try to see if I like it, and then go from there.

Funny shaped hexagon in progress

My first hexagon has 28 rounds completed, 27 more to go. The Manos del Uruguay Alegria, in Locura Fluo, is beyond bright and cheery. The colors change quickly and that really keeps my attention. Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in Natural is the background. The cast on was a bit wonky and loose that I hope I can flatten out with blocking, see my little volcano-hexagon? The start was sort-of like magic loop, but the stitches stay on the hook, then I moved to dpns. DPNs were a bit too fidgety for me, so I switched to magic loop. So far, so good. It makes me think of those square quotable cards and also reminds me of the cover of one of the books I’m reading this week.

Currently reading Carry On, Warrior and Don't You Cry

I’m a few chapters in  Carry On, Warrior. Enjoyable, as much as it can be to read about someone’s struggle with alcohol, drugs, and bulimia. Don’t You Cry is due back to the library at the end of the week, so I’m pushing through that. That is a tense one, a bit confusing in the beginning to sort the timelines of the narrators in my head, and I am really curious to see where this story ends up. The Count of Monte Cristo continues on as I listen through Craft Lit.

See you back here on Friday! I have a few FOs to share!

 

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Yarn Along January 11 and WIPs

Jan 11

Nutmegknitter reading and WIPs Jan 11What I’m Reading

I have noticed that my reading comes in spurts, mostly in the winter and summer. My Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge is set a bit higher for the coming year. I’ve already finished one book, I Let You Go, and have moved on to  And Every Morning the Way Home is Longer and Longer.   Currently, I’m listening to the Count of Monte Cristo on Craft Lit and really loving it. When I was in high school I hated being quizzed and tested on the finer subtleties of books and the author meanings. Craft Lit is great as it breaks down the book, fills you in historical references and definitions, makes connections to other events and people, but in no way makes you feel like you have missed something. I am really enjoying listening to a few chapters at night while I’m knitting.

What I’m Knitting

Startitis is beginning with the start of the new year. I should be tackling a few of my unfinished, long-hibernating projects, but these called to me first. This week I finished a Fresa cowl, started a Drifter hat, and a Gryffindor House Scarf. My daughter has gotten into the Harry Potter series and wants to be Hermoine for Halloween. That calls for a scarf at the very least, right? I have the yarn to make house scarves for my husband and me, but we’re not Gryffindor – just the kids. Take a guess which other houses for which I’ll be knitting? I hope to be back to post for FO Friday!

 

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The last of 2016 and Looking ahead

Jan 10

Goodbye, 2016. Hello, 2017!

I love the idea of starting new. New school year, new calendar year, new project, new office supplies, new planners, it doesn’t really matter. Nothing (or very little) has gone wrong and the hope and optimism are exciting. Before I get to 2017, I have to wrap up a few loose ends from last year.

Nutmegknitter's Bobble Scarf

My last official FO was a Nora Bobbles Scarf. I knit this as part of the Junior year assignment for the Loopy Ewe Loopy Academy. I still don’t like working bobbles, but this pattern was enjoyable and turned into auto-pilot knitting. The yarn, Dream in Color Jilly with Cashmere, has such a great range of tonal blues that I adore and it blocked beautifully. It also grew, so this scarf is long enough to wrap around my neck a few times. I didn’t complete all the assignments for Loopy Academy this semester. I am going to take a break from the Academy for a bit and maybe next year I will return.

 

Nutmegknitter His or Her Scarf sample

The first item bound off and blocked this year was a His or Her Scarf sample knit for June Cashmere. This was a fun one! Three skeins of the DK in Sleigh Bell were used and I will admit, I was a bit sad to send this one off. Lucky for me, I now have some of my own.

Intentions & Resolutions

What am I planning for this year? I have been mulling over what to do, focus on, and change and I really like how it was worded in a Ravelry group, so I’m using it here.

  • Lose Weight: My stash is overwhelming. I can only knit or crochet so fast before I get distracted by the next new thing. I’ll be a “moderate merino” as best I can (“cold sheep”, meaning to buy NO new yarn or fiber is a bit too extreme. I know myself.)
  • Exercise More: I’ll be participating in the Eat.Sleep.Knit Yarnathon again! I’ve already pulled out yarn from my stash to participate in the Q1 KAL, and for several of the badges!
  • Learn Something New: Brioche has been on my mental to-learn list for at least a year. I also want to fix the needle on my sewing machine and see if I can learn a few tricks on that.
  • Create a new habit: My blogging has taken a back seat this year. I miss it. I liked the weekly posting with Yarn Along and FO Friday. I’m a joiner, what weekly round-ups am I missing?
  • Unplug: I’m online for a huge portion of my day. Even when I’m not working, I’m still online and plugged in. That takes away from my yarn time! When I’m knitting I should not stop mid row to check Facebook.

Cheers to a good year! Mug by Emily McDowell.

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Mending

Dec 28

I have a sweater with holes…

Around Thanksgiving, my uncle (for whom I made the Kidney Pillow), sent me a message asking if I might be able to do some repair work on a sweater of his. The sweater belonged to his dad, my grandfather, and was bought in Ireland years ago. Well, of course, I would be honored to give it a go!

Sweater sleeve needs repair  Sweater Tag

In a number of spots, the yarn had snagged and left a hole. Thanks to the sticky nature of the wool the holes were not huge. I was a bit stumped at first to match the color. At my local yarn shop, Madison Wool, we found a great match with the brown and off-white Kenzie.

Sweater repair with Kenzie yarn

Invisible mending was my goal as much as possible, but in some spots, I couldn’t get the repair to line up with the stitches. I do think it worked out ok in the end. Blending the yarns works to distract your eye as well.

  Repaired Sweater

If you look hard, you can see the repair spot, but at a glance, it’s not noticeable. This was a fun little side project!

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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.

snbfruit

 

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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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