Sunday, December 30, 2012

23 and 24 weeks

Week 23 was an emotional one. It took all I had to muster up a smile for these photos. This was the week that 27 people were killed in Newtown, CT, including 20 little kids. I couldn't stop thinking about all those kids, all their parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. The web of connections kept spinning in my head as I imagined all the lives touched by such a terrible tragedy. I imagined the parents excitedly preparing for the births of those children only a few short years ago. Parents who had so much love and so many hopes. 

I felt grateful this week that I'm still carrying my baby with me everywhere, all the time. I cradle my stomach and sing to him and hope that he will find happiness in a world that contains such craziness. I thought a lot about the poem "Song for Baby-O, Unborn" by Diane Di Prima. I first read it as a teenager, and it has remained with me ever since. It was a great comfort this week.

* * * 


During Week 24, we celebrated Christmas with family and friends. It was great to catch up with relatives and share our excitement about the baby. This baby already has so many people who love him and are ready to welcome him in April.

Unfortunately, the stress of the holidays (three family get togethers in two cities in two days! with food to prepare! and presents to get! and travel!) and pregnancy hormones finally caught up with me. I found myself crying suddenly, for no apparent reason, several times. And not just a few tears. I'd be fine one minute and the next minute I'd be sobbing. Luckily, K is supportive and great at comforting me. Neither of us quite understands these hormones, but I'm glad he's there to make me laugh and give me hugs until the tears stop.

Monday, December 24, 2012

cozy christmas

Merry Christmas to you all!

I hope you are happy, healthy, and spending the holiday with people you love!

* * *

I usually don't get too stressed about Christmas, but this year has felt overwhelming. I keep trying to slow down and enjoy the moments instead of going over my mental to-do list and rushing to the next get together. I'm thankful to have so many family and friends to visit; I just wish all those visits could be more spread out instead of squeezed into two days. 

I'll be back after the holiday to share many knitted presents, some pregnancy updates, and pottery.

In the meantime, I can share one gift I've already given: a cabled hot water bottle cozy for my dad. My dad never really bundles up in the winter, so I've never knitted anything for him before (a shame, I know!). I was really happy to come across this pattern. It's the perfect thing to warm up a bed in winter or snuggle with to ease aches and pains. The cable makes it look even cozier. Plus, you could make the project as easy or complicated as you want by leaving off the cable or substituting a more complex cable pattern.

I used Malabrigo Twist in the Sealing Wax colorway for this hot water bottle cozy. It's luxuriously soft and the color is bright and warm (not to mention, the color of Dad's favorite sports team). I made a few changes to account for the thicker yarn and so that I could make this project with only one skein. Dad seemed pleased with his gift, and I think he'll actually use it!

Find more details on my Ravelry page.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

22 weeks

Days are still growing shorter, as you can tell from the early evening light and shadows in this photo. It's finally turned cold in Kentucky, and I'm happy to have winter weather; it calls for many layers of knitted woolens!

This week K and I have been talking about baby things almost constantly. We still have lots of big things to figure out (a budget! a baby name!), but we aren't feeling desperately short on time yet. So, I've been leisurely flipping through a stack of baby name books instead of poring over them. We've made lists of things we need to do to prepare for the baby, but we haven't actually crossed anything off those lists.

I have, however, made some fun (if minor) decisions. I tried to imagine what a Moonrise Kingdom nursery would look like, so I picked out Sarah Watts' Timber and Leaf fabric in the Timber palette to kick off the design process. The combination of aqua, golden yellow, sassafras brown, and gray seemed just right for a modern, woodsy nursery. And somehow the woodland creatures on the fabric are adorable without being too cutesy or babyish. I ordered a stack of fat quarters to make a small patchwork quilt. I also bought some sassafras-colored yarn to knit a baby-sized Umaro, but I won't let myself cast on until after I finish my holiday knitting.

* * *

Baby boy is kicking up a storm these days and making his presence known. Over the weekend I was hanging out, just me, baby, and my knitting. He started kicking pretty hard, so I talked to him, and then he kicked so hard I saw him kick. I've been waiting to see him move for a while now because Casey commented that was one of her favorite things about pregnancy. To experience it for myself was amazing!


Monday, December 10, 2012


At first I was afraid to knit anything in a newborn size because babies grow in a flash. But then I read Amanda's post about a Pebble vest she had knit. She wrote: "But goodness, a little knit vest on the tiniest of babies? It's heart-melty stuff...." And with those words, I knew I had to cast on a vest for my little one. So I pulled out some tweedy green yarn and knit this in just a few days. I picked small wooden buttons so that this vest will look right at home in a cabin in the woods (the place of my daydreams). 

It took me some time to finally sew on the buttons, but once I did, I couldn't stop imagining just how cozy our baby will be all wrapped in wool. Even if this vest fits for only a few days.

* * *

The pattern is free if you're interested in trying it yourself. It knits up fast and the results are adorable. Plus, the buttons up the side mean it doesn't have to go over the baby's head.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

21 weeks

Each day I feel my little boy kicking more, which makes the impending birth and baby feel even more real. The other night I stayed up way too late knitting and reading, and just before midnight he started moving around like crazy. Doesn't he know we're a family of morning people? He moved so much that even K had a chance to feel him. That doesn't happen very often because it seems that as soon as I say, "K, he's kicking!" the baby gets shy and settles down for some quiet time.

This week we signed up for a birthing class that doesn't require us to adopt a new philosophy, which makes me happy. There are a wide variety of classes offered in our area, so choosing one felt overwhelming. We're planning for a natural birth and wanted a class that will give us the knowledge, skills, and confidence we need to face such an intense experience. I think we found one!

* * *

Thank you for allowing me to document this wonderful, crazy time in my life. It's fun to share my experiences with you and hear about your own (or your loved ones') pregnancies and babies.

I hope you're happy and well this week!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

yarn along: sleeves and socks

Whew...I feel like I've been in rush mode ever since Thanksgiving. That seems to happen this time of year, but I want to slow it down. Even though I've got a long list of knitted presents to finish (at last count I had three ready to wrap, three that just need to be sewn up, two on the needles, and one yet to be cast on), the making process itself forces me to slow down. I can sit and think while my hands work out all the stress I'm carrying around.

I cast on the first of a pair of pale gray socks for Korey over the weekend. I'd settled myself on the idea that he wouldn't receive a handmade Christmas gift from me this year, but Liesl's cozy socks for her brother inspired me. I'm using the Function Over Form pattern to make some simple ribbed socks. They're worked in worsted weight yarn, which is thick enough to make the knitting fly by, but I think still thin enough that he'll be able to wear these with shoes. I plan to use some darker gray scrap yarn for the heels and toes to make things a little more interesting (gray on gray = exciting!).

In the midst of my flurry of gift knitting, I also decided to pick up my Rocky Coast cardigan again. I'm a master of timing! This one-sleeved cardigan has been hibernating in a bag for months, but I deem the best time to work on it when I have the most knitting deadlines to meet. Anyway, I knit most of the second sleeve on a long car ride over the weekend. After the initial frustration of trying to decipher my cryptic pattern notes to myself (really just a series of numbers and tally marks that I still haven't made complete sense of), the sleeve knitting hasn't been too bad. I'm excited to finish this sweater so that I can wear it. It would be great for holiday gatherings, right? I should probably just add a December 25 deadline to this project too, in case I don't have enough to keep me busy.

* * *

Lately I've been reading Alice Munro's new collection of short stories, Dear Life (not DEA Life, as it appears in the photo, which would be a completely different story!). Alice Munro is my favorite author because she writes about how ordinary moments shape lives; heartbreak, loss, and love fill the stories, but Munro shows how the characters reach these dramatic emotions through seemingly mundane decisions. This collection seems to give me just what I want; time slows down when I read her words. Events stretch out over pages as I get to know the characters in each story. I'd highly recommend this collection of stories.

* * *

I hope you, too, are finding time to slow down (even if only for a moment). 

Join the yarn along today over at Small Things.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

20 weeks: oh, we're halfway there

At 20 weeks pregnant I feel like an old lady. It already feels harder to get in and out of chairs and bed. I woke up this morning with a hip ache and some pretty intense ligament stretching. Yikes! 

At least I finally bought some maternity clothes. I'm much more comfortable in pants and leggings with stretchy belly covers. So comfortable, actually, that I'm not sure I can ever go back to buttons and zippers after this.

* * * 

But the most exciting thing that happened this week was our 20-week ultrasound.

We found out a little bit more about the person growing inside me...

It was amazing to see him moving around. He moves much more than I can feel! We got to see his tiny hands moving and his heart beating. Such a sweet sight for a new mama and dad! It definitely made me want to quote Raising Arizona.

* * *

I hope you're having a good week too!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

flower baby hat (and a little crochet pattern)

I promise, there really has been lots of knitting going on around these parts. I've been busy making Christmas gifts, but I can't share the progress here because I don't want to ruin the surprise.

This pink flower hat is a gift for my friend's newborn baby girl. I figured it's OK to show on the blog because it isn't likely that my friend has much time to read blogs these days.

This is my go-to newborn hat pattern. It's simple, quick, and so basic that it lends itself to many variations. Sometimes I make it with a fold-over brim or add embellishments (like this crocheted flower). It would look sweet in stripes, too.

Even though I always make this hat in cotton, it has plenty of stretch. I made one for my cousin's spring baby and he wore it as a newborn and all through the following winter.

Crocheted Five-Petal Flower Embellishment

I improvised the flower but jotted down the pattern in case you're interested in making one yourself. Let me know if anything is unclear or if you have any questions. I haven't written any crochet patterns in a long time, so my skills are a little rusty.

I used DK-weight cotton yarn and a G (4 mm) hook.


Ch: Chain
Sl st: Slip stitch
Dc: American double crochet
Sc: American single crochet

To begin, ch 5. Sl st into first chain to form a circle.

Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as first dc). 9 dc into ring. Sl st into top of ch 3.

Round 2: Ch 5. *Skip 1 dc and sl st into the next dc. Rep from * 4 times, ending with a sl st in the first dc (you'll sl st into the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 1st dc of the previous round).

Round 3: *Sc 5 into loop made by ch 5. Sl st into same dc you slip stitched into on the previous round. Rep from * 4 times. 

Weave in ends and sew on anything that could use a little spot of cheer.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

19 weeks: vessels

At 19 weeks pregnant I can still sit comfortably at a potter's wheel and throw pots. This week in my pottery class I sat down with my balls of clay and centered each one easily. If you've never thrown a pot before, you first place your ball of clay on the wheel, add water, and start it spinning. To bring the clay to the exact center of the wheel, you cup your hands around it and push down and in at the same time. 

This week centering came naturally. I felt so focused on the clay, the feel of my hands squeezing, and my whole body bringing my energy in. After I made my first pot, I began to shape it without much thought. I gave it a round belly, then collared in the neck and brought the lip back out. I made nearly all my pots this week in the same shape. It looked fluid and natural, and my hands seemed to make the shape on their own. I didn't realize until just now, looking at these photos, that my pots mimic the shape of my changing body. It's a strange and wonderful connection. 

* * * 

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! I don't know about you, but I'm already thankful for the rest I'll get after all of the holiday hubbub subsides.

I hope all of you get to share this weekend with people you love!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

baking season

There's been a lot of baking around these parts lately. The cold weather just makes me want to hole up in the kitchen for days and try out new recipes. 

I finally found a reliable, easy, all-butter pie crust recipe. It's from The Handmade Pantry and comes together so smoothly because it uses a stand mixer. When I used to mix pie crusts by hand, I always had to add more liquid than recipes called for to get the dough to come together, which made for a sticky mess on my counter and an unreliable end result. The Homemade Pantry crust comes out tender, flaky, and flavorful. Each batch makes two crusts, so I've been freezing the extra to speed up the pie-making process in the future.

Chocolate pecan pie. Just perfect with whipped cream.

I made this one with Wild Turkey bourbon for an extra dose of Thanksgiving.

Pretzel croissant from the farmers' market (not my kitchen, unfortunately). 

This croissant is what motivates me to get up on cold Saturday mornings to shop for kale. 

Sour cream apple pie (before baking). Mmm...streusel topping.

* * *

I hope you are all staying warm and well-fed!

* * *

P.S. Thank you lots for your kind words on my pregnancy. You all are the sweetest, and I've tucked your comments in my memory to savor on days when I'm feeling less than my best. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

18 weeks: the quickening

This week I actually feel like a pregnant lady. For some reason I always say "pregnant lady" instead of "pregnant" and my sister makes fun of me for it. Anyway, last Friday I felt my ligaments stretching to make more room for the baby, and then I woke up on Sunday with a definite baby bump. So yeah, I feel like a pregnant lady now.

On Sunday night, I was lying in bed reading and resting my hand on my stomach. Then I felt a little tap inside my belly! All that ligament stretching must have given the baby enough room to start exploring. Korey was in the other room, so I yelled that I felt the baby move. After he came in, we talked for a few minutes and then I felt another tap. Someone's really in there! I've spent months just hoping everything is going all right, so it's comforting to feel that this baby is growing like it should.

The past few nights I've read a few pages of Evangeline out loud for the baby (and me). It's never too early to start cultivating a love of literature, right? Korey and I both hope this kid will like to read. 

* * * 

This week I'm also gearing up for the start of holiday baking. I'm so excited about it! Tonight I made two pie crusts to freeze; I plan to make a chocolate pecan pie for Thanksgiving. I also made some gingerbread dough to freeze and bake next week. My grandma and I both really like gingerbread cookies, so I make them every Thanksgiving for her. And soon I'll get to start baking Christmas cookies!

* * *

Do you have any baking plans for the holidays? I'd love to hear about your go-to recipes!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

17 weeks

I was 17 weeks pregnant on Halloween. Seventeen weeks pregnant means only the top button of my coat buttons and I can wear my jeans only with the help of the hairband trick. Most days I look (and feel) just plain fat instead of pregnant, but I've been told that most first-time mothers notice a growth spurt between 20 and 24 weeks.

Right now I'm carrying a baby the size of an apple or a turnip or a tiny pumpkin (take your pick; every website says something different). Every day I hope for the quickening: the time when I first feel the baby move. And still, I'm waiting. I hope it happens sooner, rather than later. I'm ready to interact with this little one!

I'm glad to be firmly in the second trimester. I feel good. Normal, actually. During the first trimester I spent most of my time asleep or sick, so I'm happy to have energy to help make dinner, bake bread, or, you know, reorganize the house. After three months of sluggishness, I used my first burst of energy to rearrange our bedroom. Our upstairs living room soon followed, and I've set my sights on the kitchen cabinets next. I'm afraid the third trimester will zap my energy again, so I'm trying to pack as much into these three months as I can.

* * *

I hope you're all doing well! What's going on in your life this week?


Sunday, October 28, 2012

antler mittens

Thank you for all the good wishes on our baby news! We are over the moon. I can't believe how many changes our lives and my body have undergone so far, and I know this is just the beginning.

On knitting news: I finished my Antler Mittens a few weeks ago. They are snuggly warm and squishy soft because of those cushy cables and Quince and Co.'s Osprey yarn. I predict they'll get a lot of action this winter as part of my winter-white knitted set. So far I've made a hatcowlfingerless mitts, and now mittens. I hope to add leg warmers and a headband someday

mittens + blue cup from my last pottery class

As part of my prepare-for-baby frenzy, I signed up for another pottery class, which starts this week. I figured I should squeeze in time for things I want to do now, before my belly gets too round to throw pottery on a wheel or I have a little one at home.   

* * * 

Tonight I keep checking the news for word on the winter storm headed up the East Coast. I hope all of you in the Northeast stay safe. My thoughts are with you!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

work in progress

Finally, I can share the reason for my quietness the past few months.

* * *

My husband and I are expecting a baby next April!

* * *

Although it's too soon to know if we're having a boy or a girl, I've knitted a few things. I think this deep blue Baby Sophisticate cardigan will look cozy on any baby.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

yarn along: antler mittens

A late entry for yarn along day

Those are my super-soft, squishy Antler Mittens that I can't wait to wear. I've finished one (except for the thumb) and the second one is knitting up quickly, too, thanks to the Aran-weight Osprey yarn. I love the geometric antler cables, and even though the mittens might look long, the length is actually perfect. The cuff hits mid-forearm, so I won't experience any cold air leaks when I'm bundled up at the bus stop this winter. 

I had a friend ask me why I'm making mittens instead of gloves. Well, I'm mitten person all the way unless gloves are absolutely required. I wrote more about my reasoning here. Are you a mitten or a glove person?

* * * 

Last week I reread Naked by David Sedaris. He never fails to crack me up. I especially wanted to reread the chapter "Ashes," in which he writes about when his mother was dying of cancer. The first time I read the book, the serious turn of the chapter made me burst out in tears. It came so unexpectedly--in one chapter he showed his mother bantering and full of life and then suddenly she was dying. I'm not sure why I needed to read that again so much, but I felt it calling to me, so I did.

I just started (re)reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I read half of it in high school, but this is the only book I was assigned to read that I didn't finish (gasp!). I was a seriously studious nerd in high school, so I felt mortified that I couldn't finish the book. It was junior year, I was out of time, and something had to give. I did, however, manage to see the musical version of Wuthering Heights twice at our local theater that semester (I was an usher, and did I mention, a nerd?). My theater experience along with some hastily googled summaries allowed me to reenact the novel for my class using photos of celebrities taped to pencils as characters (for an A!). I'm hoping that I'll feel like I really earned that A when I finally read the entire book. 

* * *

What are you making or reading this week?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

here i am

I am back after some much-needed time away at the beach. I didn't knit a stitch during my vacation. Somehow between swimming, snorkeling, hiking, strolling, eating, reading, and lazing about, I just didn't get around to it.

I'm glad to be home now, snug in my little house as the air turns chilly outside. It was so good to come home to fall. I've pulled out my handknits and am ready to make comfort food. Tonight I made vanilla pudding, and I've got my eye on this sour cream apple pie. I can't wait until it's cold enough to have a fire. And now that the weather is cool, I'm ready to knit again. I've got a pair of mittens on my needles, and my Rocky Coast is calling to me again.

* * *

I'm still sorting through our beach photos, but I'll show some here soon. You'll be amazed at how much Japanese food we ate while we were in Hawaii!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

yarn along

This week I've been working on the same secret Christmas present. It doesn't look like much except for miles of ribbing, so I figured it's safe to show here. I've been relishing the mindless knitting involved in this project. Knit two, purl two. Ah. It's a stress reliever, for sure. Check out my Ravelry page to see more details of the project.

* * * 

Really, I've spent the majority of my time this week reading. We're planning a beach vacation! I've been poring over guidebooks and daydreaming. Recently I've fallen asleep thinking of Hawaiian foods and beaches, which makes for some sweet dreams. 

I also just picked up The Homemade Pantry at the library and can't wait to make something from it. Everything looks so delicious and the stories Alana Chernila tells make each dish even more tantalizing. Because I'm in fall mode already, I'd especially like to make one of the comfort foods (maybe pudding or toaster pastries). 


What are you making or reading this week?

Yarn along with us over at Ginny's.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

yarn along

I fell off the knitting train for a whole week. I blame those sleeves! But I'm back to knitting now (although not back to sweater-knitting). I've been working on lots of gifts. I cast on this simple gray project last night; it's a Christmas present, so I can't share details here. I'll include them on my Ravelry page if you're interested.

* * *

I've actually been reading quite a bit lately. Over the long weekend, my husband and I rearranged our large collection of books, so of course I made a big to-read stack. K loves Michael Chabon, and I've read some of his fiction, so I thought I'd try out this book of essays. Chabon's writing is clever, entertaining, and offers insight into what men think about (baseball, family, feigning confidence, cooking). One of my favorite parts of reading Manhood for Amateurs is that I can talk to K about it because he's already read it, too. Sometimes I miss being a lit student and reading books along with a class full of people. 

* * *

How are you this week? Are you reading or making anything?

I love to know what other people are making! Here are some recent favorites:

Alicia makes the prettiest cakes, and she's just shared a chocolate cake recipe that I can't wait to try. 

Kristen makes some beautiful (and impressive!) jewelry.

A lace A-frame tent would be the perfect hideaway for an afternoon nap.

Tracy's handmade rabbits and polka-dot cookies make me so happy. 

I want to sew up a bunch of these simple bags and try out different stitch patterns on my sewing machine in the process.

Friday, August 24, 2012

thoughts on the f-word and a rainbow morning

* * * 

I quit Facebook two weeks ago. Not for some grand ideological reason. I quit mostly because every time I logged in, I felt my tension rise. The news feed seemed endless. Minute updates and political arguments annoyed me. So, I shut it down. 

Although I probably will be back again (it's the only contact I have with some friends), I'm enjoying the gains I've found these two weeks. I have more time out in the real world. I used to lose whole hours when I checked updates on my phone. Hours! Hours that I could have spent knitting! Or reading, walking, chatting, playing games, and gardening. I don't feel as stressed. I'm glad I don't have to hear everyone's opinion during this political season. Also, I've talked to a couple of friends on the phone, and it felt great to actually connect instead of reading general pronouncements about their day. And I've received emails. Those are few and far between these days, so I'm savoring them. 

But of course, there are losses, too. I quit on the spur of the moment, so I'm sure I left some friends in the lurch. Also, I know I'll get invited to fewer events because I'm out of touch. One of my friends quit Facebook more than a year ago and hasn't returned. She told me she's glad she did except that she doesn't like missing out on invites. 

Anyway, if we were Facebook friends, please know I didn't unfriend you. Of course we're friends (even if we never were Facebook friends!). Let's stay in touch. I'm only an email away!

* * *

A note about the photo: Lately we've had chilly mornings. Of course, I'm always ready for fall, so the other day I broke out my hand-knit socks and snuggled under my ripple blanket. When I finally looked at myself, I couldn't help but laugh. I was completely covered in rainbows! It was a great way to start the morning.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

rocky coast update

I may have overestimated my ability to finish a cabled, worsted weight wool sweater in the heat of August. Some days it's hard to muster any enthusiasm, and the cardigan sits alone in a heap in my stuffy upstairs living room. I am still chugging away most days and am nearly finished with the first sleeve. That's progress! I think my knitting group is tired of hearing me complain about how much I dislike knitting sleeves, so I'll keep the whining to a minimum here. Just know that I am having no fun at all knitting these sleeves. Ha. Well, it's not so bad actually. K and I have been hanging out and watching movies together, which makes for good knitting time.

* * * * *

I haven't spent all my days knitting. My mom, sister, and I went to the Kentucky State Fair over the weekend. We watched spinning demonstrations, looked at all the knitted and crocheted entries, strolled through the layer cakes, watched a circus show, and finally took in the colors and crowds of the midway.

* * * 

I'd love to hear what you've been doing! 

What projects are you making? What sights have you seen?


Monday, August 6, 2012

rocky coast

I've jumped on the Rocky Coast Cardigan bandwagon. I wanted to make a classic cardigan that I'll be able to wear year after year. Rocky Coast is a beautiful sweater that seems flattering on everyone, so it's no wonder it caught on fast after Coastal Knits was released last year!

Although I love making sweaters, sweater-knitting seems to drag on forever. So, I'm trying my hardest to finish this cardigan by the end of this month. That seems like a crazy goal. I've never knitted a sweater in a month, let alone a long-sleeved sweater with cables. Still, I'm giving it a go. I start each morning with a couple of rows and a cup of tea to fuel my needles. It makes my mornings feel luxurious. And of course I've been watching the Olympics and knitting in the evening. If I can keep up this pace I will finish by September and be wrapped in this cozy sweater all fall and winter. I'd cross my fingers for luck if they weren't so busy knitting!

I'm using Quince and Co. Lark yarn in Egret for this project. This is the fifth project I've used their yarn on. Quince and Co. makes gorgeous, affordable yarn, so their shop is the first place I look when I queue a new project.

* * *

How's your life lately? 

What are you making? 

Have you set any crazy goals for yourself?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

kitchen scenes

peach pie and zinnias

popovers that taste just like the ones from jordan pond house in maine.

homemade mozzarella for caprese salad. 
i'd highly recommend ricki's kit if you'd like to make your own.

broccoli and zinnias from the garden.

a new dishcloth. i want to knit a whole pile of houses!
here's the pattern. i found it via casey.

* * * 

What's been keeping you busy lately?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

sunset shawl (my multnomah)

Hello there. I have another finished object to show you. I've had a couple of people recently tell me I'm a fast knitter (I wish!), but the truth is that I just knit all the time. I knitted this shawl in a flurry of too-hot-to-leave-the-house boredom, spurred on by Andi, whose shawls seem to fly off her needles, and Izabela, who whipped up a gorgeous shawl in just a few days. Compared to those ladies, my knitting is as slow as molasses!

I'm very happy with my Multnomah. I love the lacy ripples and the sunset-hued streaks. As soon as fall comes, this shawl will be on my shoulders, keeping me warm at cinnamon-scented fall festivals. I do need a shawl pin so that I don't have to hold it in place, and of course I think I should carve one myself. No matter that I don't have any carving experience. I just need a stick and a knife, right? OK, and maybe a few online tutorials. We'll see...

More details here.

Free pattern here.

* * * 

What are you working on these days? 

I just ordered yarn to make Christmas presents and to make a sweater for myself. I can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

imogen tee

I finished my Imogen tee a few weeks ago, just before a heat wave brought triple-digit temperatures to Kentucky. No way was I putting on a wool sweater in that weather, even for a few minutes of photos. Rain clouds rolled in last weekend and broke the swelter, so I can finally share my Imogen tee with you!

It's a dream of a sweater. The gray wool and silk feels so soft and light. Because it's a tee, it's casual enough for a neighborhood stroll, but the frost flower lace makes it fancy enough for a day at the office or art museum. I should be able to wear my Imogen tee in fall and spring and layer it over dresses and long-sleeved shirts in winter.

The pattern is clearly written and easy to follow. I don't like knitting sleeves, so these short ones were perfect for me. I'd definitely recommend this pattern! 

I used Quince and Co.'s Tern yarn, a wool and silk blend that's soft and smooth. The pale dove gray of the Oyster colorway is one of my favorites. It will pair well with many other colors, so I expect this tee to be a wardrobe staple.

* * *

See more photos and details here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

knitted bunny and top handmade baby gifts

I keep forgetting to share this sweet bunny with you. I made her during a knitting frenzy back in April for my sister's birthday. This bunny is pretty adorable if you ask me! She's the long-eared version of the Well-Dressed Bunny (you may remember the short-eared version I made).

This pattern doesn't take too long to knit, but does require keeping track of the pattern and pieces during the process. The worst part is sewing all (eight!) of the pieces together. I don't have much practice with finishing techniques (this book might help), and I don't think it's very fun. However, the resulting bunny is so adorable that I'll brave an hour of sewing.

Apparently I've hit the time in my life when everyone starts having babies. A few years ago everyone got married, and now my Facebook feed shows nonstop pregnancy and baby updates that make me sometimes wonder if people ever see their babies outside of the camera viewfinder. I try to counteract all the digital media these babies experience by always giving a handmade gift. 

This bunny makes the sweetest baby gift (at least in my knitterly opinion). I gave the short-eared bunny to a friend who recently had a baby and plan to get some superwash yarn and make more to give away. I actually never look at baby registries (is that terrible?). Instead, I just make something because all babies need something handmade. The friend I gave the bunny to told me she'd received 15 baby hats, but none of them were handmade. I was glad I hadn't made her baby a hat (that's my go-to baby gift) and glad that I had taken the time to make something!

Here are my favorite baby gifts to make:

Top Handmade Baby Gifts

I also recently stocked up on Maiden Radio's Lullabies to give as last minute gifts or send to friends who live in warm places.

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What are the top handmade baby gifts you've made or received?


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

yarn along: bedtime

This week I've been knitting a Nutkin sock little by little -- a round in the car, on the bus, in bed -- because I'm also still knitting my Multnomah shawl. Nutkin is a pretty, faux cable sock pattern that is easy to knit and easy to memorize. I'm making mine in SweetGeorgia Yarn's Tough Love Sock yarn in the Orchid colorway. You can't tell from this photo, but it's a shockingly bright pink. I'm sure when the weather turns cold they'll certainly keep away the winter dreariness.

Nutkin and Multnomah work well as foils for one another. The Nutkin rounds are quick, so I can take it on my commute; the Multnomah rows keep getting longer but are mostly garter stitch, so it makes good  movie knitting.


Reading The Marriage Plot piqued my interest in the traditional marriage plot, and since it's pretty embarrassing that I've never read Pride and PrejudiceI started reading Jane Austen's famous novel the other night before bed. I thought I was setting myself up for failure because I've tried to read this book at least three times before and never made it past page 20. Each time before I'd get bored and move on to some other book. But this time something clicked. I felt drawn in, and I don't want to jinx it, but I think I may finish it this time.

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I hope you're having a great week. What are you making and reading?


Find more people yarning along on Ginny's blog.


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