Past, Present, and Future

A few years back, 2006 ?, Brad and I visited England.  While there we found a really neat craft farm where I purchased a lot of wool.  Why?  I wanted to have a keepsake from England that wasn't a t-shirt or paperweight.  I don't want to have a keepsake of a big pile of wool either.  So, I have future plans for this wool - carding and spinning with a drop spindle!

I found this merino yarn earlier this spring on a trip to NYC.  Brad and I stopped at the Greenmarket in Union Square where I purchased this yarn from Catskill Merino Yarn.  I really didn't have plans for the yarn other than to purchase a few skeins and then see what happens.  I love the orange color and the white yarn makes me think of cream.  The orange knit really nicely into the Zig-Zag scarf you will see later in the post.  The undyed yarn's future has yet to be determined. 

Finished this a few weeks ago and just haven't posted.  I need to find some buttons for the front but the button holes are awfully small so I may need to find another option, like snaps or a zipper or something.   Anyway, I really like this little cardigan because of the wonderful textures.  Hopefully my baby will grow into this sweater during a season that he can actually wear the sweater, i.e. not summer.

My favorite local librarian, Sue, who also happens to knit recommended this book, 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders.  I am so glad she did because I have found so many really cool patterns.  The one I am currently working on, Baby Squash Hat, can be seen in this picture.  Right now, it doesn't look much like a hat but it will get there, I promise.

The Zig-Zag Scarf pattern came from this book too.  I really didn't need another scarf I guess, but I did need to learn a technique used in the scarf, the short row wrap.  All the zigs and zags come from these short rows.  With a better understanding of short rows I can knit one of the soaker patterns I found, Curly Purly.  Also, many socks require a short row heel.  Woo-hoo! 

and Future...
Since we are planning to cloth diaper, I want to knit some wool soakers to cover the prefold diapers.  I learned recently that the long ones ("Longies") can sell for as much as $50!  That is just a little too rich for my blood, especially when I can make my own.  Here are some examples of what I plan to make.
Here are some great tools to help me card and spin all the wool purchased in England.  I have had plans to card and spin all this for a while but have been delayed partially because I needed the right tools.  Well, now I have them so nothing (except procrastination) can get in my way!

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Hats, Hats, and more Hats

I love to knit baby hats, I will just say that from the start.  A few reasons, they knit quickly, don't require much yarn, and are just generally adorable.  Anyway, so to recap these hats.  The first hat is a night cap, think about sugar plums and fairies dancing through your head when you see this hat. The yarn is a DK weight wool/acrylic blend in light pink and an oatmeal/light tan color.  The pattern came from a great book which I would someday like to own titled, And so to bed...: Handknits and Things by Lucinda Guy.  Guy created some of the cutest knits for children including cute little owls, pajama holders, foxes, sweaters, hats, and so much more.  I definitely see myself knitting more patterns from this book.

This lovely little cabled hat knit really quickly, like maybe 2-3 hours.  I don't knit all that quickly so if you do, then this would be a really blazin' fast project.  I used Lion Brand Cotton Ease and size 8 straight needles.  You can find this easy pattern here.  This is the ten cable hat.  Because I knit the pattern on straight needles instead of circular I needed to do a little "reading between the pattern lines" to make it turn out correctly.  But I have to say that this turned out really well for never having knit cables before.

This hat is my own creation knit in the round on size 4 double pointed needles.  I wish I had written down the pattern as I went along because now I really like the hat and cannot remember how it came to fruition.  Oh well, I guess it is truly one of a kind.  My favorite parts are the 4 I-cords up on top which give it a funky look.  If you like to/want to knit baby/toddler hats, this site has a great collection of patterns.  Some patterns link to sites like knitty.com and others, like the cabled hat, come from individuals who can create some awesome stuff.

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Knitting Knews

Well, if I had this much time on my hands and didn't knit, boy there would be something wrong.  If you don't already know, Brad and I recently moved to Ft. Lewis Washington.  While he works and has things to do all day, I pretty much veg out.  At first, I enjoyed the chance to watch TV, go on walks, and just chill.  Now, I feel ready to pull my hair out and start talking to myself due to boredom!  To stave off insanity I have knit a few things that I want to share with you.

This pink hat knit quickly and I learned how to make a real pom-pom to put on the finishing touch.  I plan to make more in smaller sizes and a variety of colors for babies of all sizes and genders.  Currently this hat is a prototype for my friend Gina who photographs babies.

This matching hat and sweater are for an undesignated baby at the moment.  I may keep it for Joshua but who knows.  I actually don't know if the sweater will fit a baby as the sleeves are short and the bodice is rather boxy.  So while the length may fit a 3-6 month old, the sleeves may be goofy and the body too wide.  All in all, I like sweater because it was fast and easy to  knit but next time I will make the sleeves longer and wider.

That's all for now.  I will keep the needles clicking so I don't develop some weird boredom twitch.  Take care!

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The Christmas Knit

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  We were lucky to drive home and see family.  Unfortunately though, a snow storm hit Christmas day on our drive home.  A 4 hour and 45 minute drive turned into a 6 hour and 45 minute drive.   We had to drive about 50 mph across SD on icy roads.  When we arrived at my mother-in-law's house I felt so relieved to get out of our car and collapse on a couch.  
Our first stop, Brad's parent's house for his extended family's Christmas get together.  We enjoyed spending time with cousins while playing games like Catch Phrase and Pit and filling ourselves with wonderful holiday food!
Later in the evening, we stopped at my parent's home for our family Christmas.  I received some really fun knitting presents.    The yarn is eco-friendly and hand-dyed which made me even happier when I opened the package.  I love the idea of purchasing organic and eco-friendly yarns, however as a recent college grad I need to find creative ways to fit them into my student loan budget.  Anyway, so the yarn made a wonderful Christmas present, thanks sis!

Some gifts knitted for my family.
A bolero for Anika.  The pattern came from Debbie Bliss's Junior Knits, the pattern is Molly.  Yarn: Rio by yarns.brunswick, color Hemlock, cotton blend.
Half of a pair of socks for my very understanding mom.  Checkered pattern with a gusset heel made with Tofutsies sock yarn

And finally, a complete pair of socks for our Uncle Bud.  K2, P2 rib with a gusset heel.  Made with Regia sock yarn.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  

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An itty bitty update

My mother in law went to India and brought home some great spices that aren't available in SD. They came in this little wooden box which I thought was so cute. So here it is with Leslie's housewarming gift. Perfect wrapping.

I can't wait to use the Indian spices for a yummy curry. Brad and I really enjoy eating and making curry. We also received some beans and lentils unavailable in SD so we need to learn a bit about how to make and prepare those. There is an Indian Restraunt in Rapid City that also offers cooking classes. I feel a cooking adventure coming on!

That's all for this itty bitty update! -Alison



This is a day for...

New Beginnings! And it isn't even January 1st. I don't have much time so here is a run down of all the new beginnings.

1. I learned to knit correctly. Maybe you read in a previous post that I twist all my stitches when I knit because I taught myself incorrectly. While I have made many things I am proud of, I decided that I really should learn to knit the right way. So, with a quick demonstration from Teri and the help of the SNB Handbook I learned how to knit continental style. Now, I think I knit correctly, however I might still be confused. If you are reading this and can see that my stitches are still twisted let me know, so I can learn how to knit correctly.

2. My cousin Matt and his wife Holly just had a baby boy, Benjamin! What a wonderful new beginning. I guess he has pretty big feet, so I hope the booties will fit by the time he receives them. The hat was supposed to become a frog hat but I got lazy and left it solid green. I really enjoy making these booties because they are fast, easy, and a great way to relearn how to knit because they are just a garter stitch. Without further ado, here is a picture of Benjamin's gift.

3. Brad's sister moved into her first apartment in Madison WI so she can attend Vet school at the University. First apartments are always fun to celebrate with house warming gifts. I knit some simple face cloths and dish rags for her. Hopefully they will come in handy. I plan to get some hand made soap as well to include with the gift.

Knitting during the race.

Knitting and the Crew car

Left Photo: Beatrix "helping" me take a picture of the dishcloths.
Right Photo: Face cloths in a sort of Rib Stitch and Seed Stitch

Yarn used in this post:
Lion Brand Microspun (Booties)
Green Wool Fingering weight yarn - not sure of the brand (Hat and Laces on Booties)
Knit Picks Cotlin - Island Coral and Almond colors (Face cloths)
Sugar and Cream - Celedon and Soft Teal (Dish rags)

Happy knitting!

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