Houseguest

Because she loves me, my knitting buddy left this at my house.

That beauty there is an Ashford Traditional. I am so excited I think that I might fly out of my skin at any moment.

The next time you see this fiber, it will be in a very different form.

There goes my day!

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Knitting Knecklace

See what I made?

Wanna make one, too? Here’s how I did it. (If you want to just buy one, I got the idea here. Mine are not as dainty and elegant as the ones in this Etsy shop. Drool city, I tell you!)

This necklace takes only one yard of laceweight yarn, two brass ring stitch markers and a necklace chain. You will need scissors, pliers and cutters (I used my leatherman), and two tapestry needles (or skinny DPNs or something).

First, I made a teeny, tiny skein with one yard of yarn. Wrapping it around four fingers (slightly spread apart) seemed to give me the right size. I used the needles to hold it while I twisted the loop into a skein.

And finished it off with this little manuever.

(That looks like the yarn is thread through the eye, but it isn’t. I just used the end of the needle to pull the one end of the skien through the other)

Next, I cut my chain in half. My chain was a little long, so I actually cut about an inch out of the middle.

Using the pliers, I then opened the brass ring and thread it through one end of the skien and one end of the chain. Then I bent it shut.

After repeating that last step on the other side, I put on my new necklace delightedly.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Yarn used was Knit Picks Shimmer Hand Dyed in Elderberry; brass rings were from Knit Picks also, found here (mine were used and so no longer look brassy, but have faded into a more silvery look); necklace chain was found in my jewelry box (no link… haha!)

Wanderlust Baby Cardigan

Another test knit under my belt. Another baby thing made for my knitting buddy (who is about to pop!). Another great design from one of my favorite people on Ravelry.

She calls it Wanderlust. It is a cute little top down, round yoke, baby cardigan with lattice detail. (My Rav project page here)

Three things about this knit.

1. The pattern calls for Springtree Road Coquina DK. I bought a skien of it for this knit. I don’t usually do that. I like to use what I have on hand or substitute another yarn just for kicks. But, the designer requested (not required) that testers use this specific yarn and I figured it was a good excuse to try something new. Well, as yarns go, it was okay. I don’t really like one-ply merino. It is fuzzy, and thick, and pills too easily. If I am going to go that route I much prefer to use Malabrigo Worsted because it is cheap (half the price of the Coquina DK) and has an amazing selection of colors. As it was, I had a choice between five tonal colorways, none of them very inspiring. Also, it was supposed to be a DK, but it was more worsted feeling and I had to go down a needle size to get gauge.

2. The pattern itself is well written, easy to follow, and turns out lovely results. The lattice work has a lot of stitches in each row, making this 0-3 month sweater take a lot longer than I had anticipated. But it was worth it. I love the detailing on the sleeves, especially, because it makes the top part poof out just a little like princess sleeves.

3. Test knitting is so fun. I enjoy the interaction with the designer, the solicitation of my opinion, and the exclusivity of knitting something that very few people have even seen yet. It is very rewarding.

Now all I need is a baby to put this on. Come on, July!

Liar! Liar! Gauge Swatch On Fire!

It isn’t often that I work a gauge swatch but I have been known to do so when it really counts. This was one of those times.

It is going to be Dreamcoat, a one-size-fits-all technicolor coat, knit with two strands of fingering weight held together. There are many colorways included in the kit and the yarn is randomly changed as you go, making a multi-color, one of a kind garment.

The pattern called for size 11 needles, but my swatch said otherwise.

The swatch lied. 

I was almost finished with the front, left piece when the thought pinged in my brain. This looks kinda small, doesn’t it?

Kinda small?!? Kinda small?!? 

Try four inches too small!

AHHHHHHH!!!!!!! (that was me running and screaming with my hands in the air and yarn flinging everywhere)

Ahem.

I am better now. I have recovered from the shock. I have almost reknit the entire piece on size 11 needles (which, by the way, gave me perfect gauge when worked over a large area and not a small gauge swatch. Stinking liar of a swatch).

The good news is that on a larger needle, the knitting will take less time…. if you don’t count the time I wasted knitting an entire piece on the smaller needles.

Carry on, then.

This project is a “Knitter for Hire” project. For more information, see my custom knits page here.

This Moment – Each and Every One

A Friday ritual inspired by SouleMama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Only, today I am having a hard time choosing just one. Which of the many beautiful moments from this week is the most memorable?
Is is blowing dandelions with The Princess?
Or watching the Fraggle try to walk?
Maybe my favorite moment was experimenting with photography with The Boy,
Or passing around the welding mask while watching the solar eclipse, and discovering all the interesting effects of the diminished sunlight. 
Perhaps the best moment was working on a crossword puzzle with The Bookworm in the garden,
or watching The Munchkin turn cardboard into an excellent and hilarious dress up.
Of course, I can’t forget the zoo moments, like when The Dancing Queen was almost eaten by a hippopotomus,
and we all got to touch sting rays (or at least try).
My life is filled with perfect little moments. It is hard to pick just one.
May you have a lovely weekend filled with perfect moments. And may you catch at least a few of them with your camera.