Dear Child, Thank You For Not Growing While I Struggled With This Knit

Knitting for kids is tricky and I defied the odds by taking a full 8 months to complete a sweater for a child… Continue reading

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Let it Snow!

It is not very often that we get snow at our house. And even less often that it comes in December.

 

IMGP1310We awoke to a blanket of snow on Saturday. The kids were dressed and out the door before I could pull myself out of my bed. They were so excited!

IMGP1308To add to their pleasure, it has been cold enough that it has stuck around in pockets and shady spots all over the property so that the fun goes on and on.

IMGP1315It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 

 

 

 

Knitting for The Dancing Queen

“When do I get another sweater?” The Dancing Queen asked me a few weeks ago. And she was right. She was way overdue. I had the yarn in the stash and the pattern already downloaded to the iPad, so it I told her I would start it soon. She immediately retrieved “her” yarn from the stash and wound it into cakes right then and there.

I cast it on about a week ago, and she says to me, “Mama, can you hurry up? I really want to wear my new sweater!” (These people think I can knit faster than a speeding bullet!)

I bound off the ruffled edge, and she says to me, “Is it done, yet?”

I tell her it still needs sleeves and she says, “No, it doesn’t need sleeves.”

Then The Man pipes up with a great point. “If you leave the sleeves off, she can wear it this spring. You could always add sleeves later when it gets cold again.” At this remark, The Dancing Queen’s face almost exploded in delight, the prospect of getting her sweater sooner rather than later too wonderful to comprehend. In the back of my mind a little voice said, “If I don’t do sleeves, I can be free from the nagging eight year old….”

So, I knit a few rows of garter stitch on each sleeve and bound off. She was practically salivating while she watched.

I added i-cord ties to the front while she sat bouncing in delight on the couch next to me

I wove in the ends as fast as my needle could fly while she giggled in gleeful anticipation.

This girl! I tell you! When she is delighted her entire body radiates with joy! And her delight at her new sweater made my day. (Ravelry Project page here )

IMGP8810You may recognize this pattern. It is Saffron, the same pattern that I used for The Munchkin’s sweater last fall (which, incidentally, has already been passed down to The Fraggle. Man! These kids grow so fast!). It is a great pattern, well written, and comes in many sizes. I used Malabrigo Rios this time, which is a worsted weight, so my gauge was off (the pattern calls for sport weight, I believe). To compensate, I knit one size smaller than I needed and it fits perfectly. This yarn is fabulous. This is the second time that I have used it and I am just as delighted as I was the first time. I did alternate skeins, though, to compensate for differences in the saturation of color. (The first time I used it was for a Contented Cardi for my sis-in-law)

IMGP8815I have the perfect ribbon for the ties, but can’t find it anywhere. As I said before, The Dancing Queen was in no mood to wait, so i-cord ties will have to do. I hope to find the ribbon soon, though, as it will look so much better.

IMGP8811When I do knit the sleeves, this sweater will have used up less than 2 1/2 skeins of the Malabrigo Rios. That ruffle is a yarn guzzler! She wants 3/4 length sleeves, and the sleeves will have the same ruffle as the edge of the body.

IMGP8812Another happy knit. Another happy kid.

If you read this blog often, you know that I knit a sweater for every kid each year. This is The Dancing Queen’s 2012 sweater (as I hang my head in shame). Up next is The Bookworm’s 2012 sweater, and then I can get started on everyone’s 2013 sweaters! Pregnancy really takes it’s toll on my hobby’s! HA!

These Moments – Camping

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.

So, today’s This Moment picture is actually pictures, plural. Our family camp out was wonderful, and there are too many good pictures to just pick one. 

Spun It, Knit It, Gave It

Another handspun hat has flown off my needles and onto a loved one’s head. (Rav page for yarn here. For hat here.)

Fiber from the Cosymakes Falkland Fiber Club, the January 2012 colorway, spun on a drop spindle. 

This knit was a little eye opening for me and I learned something about spinning and about yarn in general. This yarn was my second attempt at spinning and it is horrid. Thick and thin, overspun here, underspun there, under plied all over, horrid. But, look at how beautiful it knitted up! Even badly spun yarn can make a lovely hat!

Three things about this knit –

1. The pattern was totally improv – I knit a cable band approximately the circumference of The Dancing Queen’s head, joined it into a ring, picked up a bunch of stitches, and knit straight for awhile. When it was time to decrease, I worked decreases at three points around on every row until I had only a few stitches left. A pom pom finished off the yarn (until I realized that I still have another skien hiding in the back of the yarn cabinet).

2. The Dancing Queen has been on a yellow kick for a few months now, and when she saw this fiber on my spindle, she claimed it as her own. She was very happy to see it become a hat and she can’t wait for it to get cold enough so that she can wear it.

3. Knitting hats is an excellent way to be creative and use up weird yarn. It is fun to just knit without a plan and then find that a really cute hat is at the end of the journey. Makes me want to spin some more, too!

My Life is Beautiful

Autumn turned to Spring in my part of the world, completely skipping Winter, and I am lovin’ it!

This is what our weekend looked like.

My world is full of these wonderful little people.

My life truly is beautiful. And I am drinking in the joy that surrounds me everyday.
Oh, and I had a little of this, too. Call it the icing on the cake.

Happy Spring, Everybody!

You Know You Knit Too Much When….

… you are leaving to go grocery shopping and all you have left to do is pack your knitting (I guess I could stop right there. Knitting while grocery shopping with six kids? But there is more), so you ask your daughter to run and “get the blue knitting project off the couch and throw it in the diaper bag” (and you must specify “blue” because there is more than one WIP on the couch). She comes back carrying the project that you meant, plus another work in progress and two random balls of yarn and a set of DPNs…. and she not only thinks that you are totally normal for asking for knitting when packing for a grocery run, but also thought that you would need all that extra yarn and needles in case you finished the half done sweater project that you originally asked for.

Oh, and if you were wondering, no I did not get any knitting done on the grocery shopping expedition. I did, however, feel better knowing that it was with me, just in case I needed it.

My Apologies to Ysolda

It was supposed to be cathartic.

After a horrible lace incident that I am not ready to talk about yet, I needed a quick, satisfying knit to get me back in the saddle.

Instead, I had another knitting tragedy.

Well, that is a bit dramatic, considering that I was able to pull it off and that the recipient loves it. But, the disappointment makes it bittersweet.

I ran out of yarn.

The Dancing Queen wanted a cape, and I thought that Ysolda Teague’s Emily’s Capelet fit the bill. Easily lengthened, elegant, and the perfectly simple (without being mind numbing) quick knit that would renew my confidence in my ability as a knitter. Just look how cute!

I knit along happily and felt my strength renewed as it grew on my needles. Then after only nine repeats of the pattern, my yarn gave out and I was left with half of a cape. So, I improvised. This is what I came up with. (Ravelry link for knitterly details)

Although, I am very happy with the rest of it.

And, The Dancing Queen has not taken it off since I unpinned it from the blocking board three days ago.

So, I guess I could call it a success.

I still don’t have my mojo back, though, and fixing that lace is gonna take some real mojo. On to the next simple, quick, cathartic knit.