Sunday, December 22, 2013

Knit for hire

So, I've wanted to knit a new swater for TW for a while, but money is tight and we don't have the spare cash to buy any new yarn. What is a knitter to do?

Knit for it!

There are a few "Will Work For Yarn" and bartering type groups on Ravely and I've been putting my self out offering my services in hopes of earning enough yarn for a sweater.

And I did! More on that later though. First, here is what I've been making:

Denver Cowl

denver cowl
done 10-07-13

yarn: Miss Babs Yowza! What a Skein in Copper City
needles: US 8 (5mm)
Rav project link

Lovely yarn and easy fun little pattern.


Herringbone Poncho

poncho done 1

yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted
needles: US 17 (12.75mm)
Rav project page

this one was hard,the big needles were really hard on my wrists. And I've hard so many good things about the yarn, but it took 7 skeins, and 4 of them had knots! And it was spun in such a way that there was very little spring to it.


Lovely Ribbed Cowl

lovely ribbed
cowl 11-26-13

yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca Suri Merino
needles: US 7 (4.5mm)
Rav project page

Super easy knit, and OMG amazing soft yarn, I looked forward to knitting this it felt to nice in my hands!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rhinebeck 2013

NY sheep and
wool 2013 1

What to say about New York Sheep and wool 2013? Fun!
TW had a grand time checking out all the animals, he kept us going so much that I didn't get many pictures, but believe me, there was a lot going on. I wore my Arachne's Veil shawl, but didn't get any pictures.

NY sheep and
wool 2013 2

NY sheep and
wool 2013 3

I was able to take a break and go check out the Ravelry meet up while TW and Bill went to look at the traveling zoo animals. And then they wandered off to make volcanoes in the sand.

Making a sand

before we met back up to have lunch


TW was particularly interested in watching sheep being groomed and sheared.

NY sheep and
wool 2013 4

and of course got to meet some Llamas!

llamas are

and here's a gratuitous shot of my favorite sheep, the Jacob:


Monday, November 11, 2013

a smattering of small(ish) things

Hey there!

I've got a few FOs for you today!

Let's see...

I finished the Gentleman’s Socks with Lozenge Pattern for Bill:

he loves them, it just makes me so happy to make socks for him, he really appreciates them, I need to make more socks for me, but I keep picking out yarns for him, because it is so fun to see how happy they make him.

bills losenge
sox done

Pattern: Gentleman’s Sock with Lozenge pattern by Nancy bush (found in Knitting Vintage Socks)
yarn: Knitpicks Stroll in Wine
needles: US 1 (2.25mm)
I modified the pattern a bit to be able to knit them toe up, two at once, and good thing, too, because I ran out of yarn! You can see the ravelry page here


then I knit a little blue sweater for Bill's brother and Sister in law, because they are having a little boy and we are all very excited!

pale blue
sunnyside finished

this was a great little pattern, I really loved the cable detail. I continued the cables down under the arms, and mirrored them, because I'm like that.

Pattern: Sunnyside by Tanis Lavallee
yarn: Bernat Softee Baby Solids & Marls held double
needles: US 5 (3.75mm)
ravelry page here


after the sweater it started to get a bit chilly here, and I had promised TW that I would make him a new hat since he grew out of his pixie

so I knit him an owl:

tommys blue
owl hat 10-22-13

this was a fun little hat, but since my yarn wasn't to gauge, I needed to make a lot of adjustments, I cast on for the adult size and then added extra rows to the owl body and head.

such a

Pattern: Chouette by Ekaterina Blanchard
yarn: Schafer Lola, held double
needles: US 9 (5.5mm)
ravelry page

ready for a
chilly adventure

Thursday, August 29, 2013

now in print!

Hey everyone!

I'm just stopping in to let you know that I've been published*!

That's right! Come the new year, if you are looking for a new calendar, pick up the 2014 Knitting Pattern a Day calendar, and you will find my Felted Fish Cat Toy pattern on May 5th!

* Ok, it's kinda cheesy since I wasn't paid for the pattern. I entered it in their contest to win money, but didn't win, and all runners up were put in the calendar. But still... published!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Introducing Camembert, our new Doorstop Mouse

08-20-13 1

we like to keep the windows open as much as possible, but on breezier days that almost always means doors getting blown shut.

We've had Marmalade at our bedroom door for ages, but TW's door has been kept open by random object for far too long, so I finally decided to make Marmalade a companion.

Isn't he adorable?

08-20-13 2

Yarn: Bernat Baby Softee, held double
hook: G (4mm)
pattern: Amigurumi mouse doorstop

I stuffed him with a nice heavy rock I found while out on a hike and lots of polyfill.
He seems to be settling in nicely, and TW love him, every night before going to bed he has to stop and say 'hi' to his mousy.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hey! long time no see!

So I've been super busy living life and enjoying my time with TW, but I have a ton of stuff to share with you!

Still no progress on the shawl, I really should get myself an audiobook and buckle down, but until then, I’ve finally finished the big blanket!

craft dump
8-14-13 blanket

For size reference, that's our queen sized bed.
(yes, I had to stand on a chair to take that picture, it was scary.)
It's nice and soft and cozy and warm, and I finished it just in time for a summer heat wave, so it hasn't gotten much use yet, but I foresee lots of cuddles come winter time.

And just because, here is TW modeling it for you:

cutie new
blanket 06-27-13

Yarn: my hand dyed hand-spun
Needles: size 10.5 (6.5mm) knitpicks options
Pattern: a bastardized Shetland Shawl construction: I cast on three stitches and knit the middle panel, increasing every row until it was big enough, and decreasing back down. (a la Grannie's Favorite Washcloth). Then I picked up stitches all along the edge and knit in the round increasing at the corners until I ran out of blue yarn, then I did a sideways knit on edging in white, ending it back at the beginning with Kitchener stitch.

It's meand to be big and warm, and not need any blocking if it needs to be washed.  I can simply squeeze out the water and pat it out in a rough square shape and let it dry.
(My poor pi blanket got dirty soon after TW was born and it still hasn't been blocked since we don't have the room for it here.)


Bill's socks are coming along nicely, I have one more pattern repeat and then I start the ribbing.

craft dump
8-14-13 socks


And as the weather has finally started to cool off a bit we can start turning off the AC and opening the windows, which means pleasant breezes... and slamming doors. So I’ve had to get back to the little mousy doorstop. I picked up a nice heavy stone for his base today while out on a hike so I can stuff him and finish up the rest of his head. Then its just a quick nose and a couple of ears!

craft dump
8-14-13 mouse

(although I do have to admit that he looks a bit creepy right now.)


craft dump
8-14-13 green bag 1

In other crafty news, my poor juggling balls have been sitting on my bedroom bookshelf for ages, ever since the old bag fell apart in the wash, so I decided (with the inspiration from my new friends on the FB Project Project group (hi guys!)) that it was time to make them a new bag.

craft dump
8-14-13 green bag 3

It was super simple, just the leg off of an old pair of PJ bottoms, and a kumihimo cord made from cotton yarn. But now my juggling stuff has a happy new home, and I have more room for books on my self!

craft dump
8-14-13 green bag 2


Before I made the juggling bag I decided to try my idea out on a pair of jeans first. Then I got the nifty idea to make it a set, so I whipped up a few denim bean bags to go with it. (the aren't filled yet, since I need to pick up some of those little plastic pellets first, but I have a craft store trip planned for the near future for some other crafty projects, so I'll pick some up then.)

craft dump
8-14-13 denim

I have a friend who juggles also, and since I certainly don't need any more balls, I may give them to him.


I have a few more crafty ideas in the works, and I'm trying to keep up knitting regularly, (even with the lack of a weekly get together) so hopefully I'll be back soon with more updates!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Slow progress is still progress

with the lack of Monday knitting, and Bill's work schedule landing on a few Saturdays, I haven't had as much knitting time as I would like. But I have been making progress, because i can still knit simple things during date nights (we cuddle up after TW's bed time and watch a few episodes of British TV)

the shawl is still stuck in the trees, so no pictures of that yet, but I’ve almost finished my hand spun blanket!

progress 03-14-13 almost blanket

One problem...I ran out of white yarn.
I have a tiny ball left over from when I knit the center and I think I may have a hank from when I was doing test spinning, but I don't think that will be enough. I also have a bit of blue left, so I could just finish the last corner with that, but then it would probably drive me nuts. We'll see. It's in time out right now as I ponder my options.


I've started a new pair of socks for Bill as well, perfect waiting room knitting and for date nights.

progress 03-14-13 losenge socks start

Knit Picks Stroll in "Wine" on US 1 (2.25mm)
Nancy Bush's "Gentleman's Sock with Lozenge Pattern" from Knitting Vintage Socks, slightly adapted to make them toe up.


TW is starting to outgrow his pixie hat so I need to plan for a new hat for next year. I think I want to do Chouette but I wanted to be sure I understood how the cables work, and to check for any mods I would have to make (a lot of people mentioned needing to add rows to the body and head of the owl) so I knit a mini prototype:

progress 03-14-13 tiny owl hat

knit with one strand of random acrylic on US 7s (4.5mm) I did the smallest size and this would probably fit a newborn, super cute. I added two rows to the body, but I think it probably could use four, and maybe a few extra in the head too. (ravely page)

there’s a basket for donated baby/preemie hats at Saturday knitting, so I’ll probably put it in next time I can go.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Knitting moves slowly along.

There wasn't any Monday night knitting for a few weeks because of the holidays, and then because if Bill's work schedule getting in the way, I couldn't go the last few weeks, and the holidays also got in the way of Saturday knitting a bit, but I have been knitting a little: I'm about halfway through the trees on my sheep shawl:

purple sheep progress trees

and I'm on the fourth and final ball of blue for my hand spun blanket (no picture because it doesn't look much different.) once I finish that I'll cast on a few stitches and do a sideways knit border with the last two balls of white. I can't wait until I'm there, it will be fun to see exactly how big this blanket is.

I'm feeling a little miffed about knitting out though. Because the Monday knitting is so much earlier than when it was at Flavors a lot of people can't reliably make it, and the people at More Bread and Jam are (understandable, and rightfully) thinking of not staying open any longer for it. And Saturday knitting isn't really all that fun for me because all the ladies that go there already know each other from other things, which means I'm usually out of the loop on their conversations, when anybody shows up, that is, one day I was the only one there and while it was nice to have tome to just sit and knit, it was also kind of lonely. And then the last time I went the two other ladies who showed up sat off at another table and talk to each other and essentially ignored me the whole time. So I'm not even sure if I want to continue to go to that either.

Despite all the roadblocks to finding actual knitting time, I have been able to get a new pattern posted! It's and oldie but a goodie: I knit it a long time ago, but never really got around to formatting everything up properly until recently. It's been test knit a few times, and some errors were found, and I just the other day fixed it all up and you can now download the Arachen's Veil Shawl pattern!


have fun with it!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

fo, blanket progress, and new knitting group news!

Wow, it has been a crazy week here at the Platypus Gardens.

Bill got an awesome new job a few months ago, but because he is so new, there is no way he would be able to get any significant time off at Christmas time. BUT he managed to get four days off in a row in the beginning of December by working three 11 hour days straight.

So this past week while he was at work I spent my days toddler wrangling and also trying to prepare for a trip up north. I cooked, cleaned, took TW for walks and packed what I could. All the while slipping in a few moments of knitting here and there.

Just before we left I finished the simple cabled socks I had been working on:

simple cable
socks done full

socks on a plane(rav link)
in Dorchester Farms Handpainted sock yarn
my usual two at once toe up construction on US 1 (2.25mm) 40 inch circulars

simple cable
socks done cable

I thought it was a very auspicious start to our trip to be wearing a brand new pair of hand knit socks.

While I knew we would be busy visiting family I also knew that it was a 3 1/2 hr drive up and another 3 1/2 hr drive home, so I brought my knitting along. I had hoped to work on the sheep shawl, but unfortunately reading the chart made me carsick, so I spent the whole trip working on my hand-spun blanket instead. I finished the second ball of blue yarn, and got about halfway though the third by the time we got home. That's some pretty good progress!

blanket mostly blue

Since it's been so busy this past week that’s all the progress I have to show you for now. But I have awesome news on the knitting group front:

you may remember that when we lived back up north I attended a knitting group on Monday nights at a local coffee house. When we moved I was sad to be leaving them, but soon found a new (also on Monday!) group here in Troy. They met at Flavor's cafe and I made a ton of friends and had a great time knitting and socializing. Sadly this past spring Flavor's was targeted by an arsonist and burnt down. Reconstruction faced many delays and I was once again left knit-groupless (although many of us still kept in contact via facbook, ravelry and other social networks) then a month or so ago, thanks to Ravelry, I discovered another group of knitters that meets at a (semi)local cafe on Saturday afternoons. Luckily, Bills new work schedule allowed me to stop in a few times, and I really enjoyed myself! It turns out that the cafe's owner is also knitter, and also very good at promotion and networking, and one thing lead to another and now the old Monday group from Flavors will be meeting there as well! So now I have TWO groups a week I can choose from, one on Monday evenings, and one on Saturday afternoons! And Bill's new schedule at work is such that if I want I can attend both while he hangs out with TW! Yay!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Deja Vu

purple sheep start

does this look familiar?

yep!  I'm finally knitting myself my own Sheep Shawl!
A very nice woman at the Saturday knitting group I just started attending is moving, and said she was never going to use it, so she gave me this cone of JaggerSpun Zephyr! (as well as another huge cone of lovely grey lambswool lace weight.)

when I saw the JaggerSpun I just knew it was meant to be!

I'm so excited to be finally knitting my own sheep shawl. Although I think I may take quite a bit longer to finish the shawl than last time.

Besides starting my shawl I have a small FO to share today as well:

grayson's mitts done

I got two skeins of yarn to make the pixie hat for my cousin's son, and only needed one, so I whipped up a pair of thumb-less mitts to go with it.

Yarn – same as he hat: Vickie Howell Sheep(ish) in turquoise
on US size 5 (3.75mm) needles
I used the basic numbers from my two color baby mittens but with a much longer cuff.

The cord has an amusing story:  I didn't like the look of a crochet chain in this yarn, and I-cord is rather tedious, so I went to the internet for ideas.  The immediate answer was lucet!  But I don't have one, and though they can be inexpensive I didn't want to buy one just to make one cord, and totally didn't want to wait for it to arrive in the mail.  So I put on my MacGyver hat and found an old plastic fork in the back of a drawer, broke off the middle tines, sanded it down a bit with a nail file and Whammo!  Instant free lucet!

Plastic fork lucet
(excuse the crappy cell phone pic)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Catch up Part Two

Remember TW's pixie hat? (you saw it in the last post too.) When my cousin discovered that she was pregnant, she immediately requested that I make one for he son as well. I couldn't refuse!

 grayson's teal hat

Stella Pixie hat
in Vickie Howell Sheep(ish) in turquoise
on US 6 (4mm) circular needles.

I used the same mods as last time.
(project's Ravelry page)

 I can't wait to get the pictures of it on him! I'll be giving it to her at Christmas, along with a pair of thumbless mittens in the same yarn. (more on them in a later post)


When my mom was visiting a while ago she brought me yarn! Lion Brand Amazing. It's a wool/acrylic Noro wannabe. It was quite soft and the colors seemed pretty nice too. Around the same time I discovered that all my knit hats either didn't go down over my ears well, or had lace/yarn overs that let the wind in. I decided to remedy that.

my amazing brioche hat 1
my amazing brioche hat 2

It's in Bicolor Brioche
On US 6 (4mm) needles In Lion Brand Amazing in Strawberry Fields and Pink Sands.
(project's Ravelry page)

This is the third time I've knit this particular pattern, and my sixth time knitting Brioche in the round, and I gotta say I still love it!

The hat is nice and squishy and soft, and VERY warm. Perfect for the frequent walks TW and I take while Bill is at work.


It hasn't been just all hats around here though. I've also started a new pair of socks:

 recent knitting 11-13-12 socks

socks on a plane (link is to the Ravelry pattern page)

(my Bayerische socks are on hold until I stop being annoyed at them for being so fiddly in a dark colored yarn)


I also washed, carded, spun, and plied up a bunch of yarn from the batch that had originally been destined for a sweater. The dyeing process had been interrupted by our move, and I decided that the sweater was never going to happen. So I cast on in the white yarn I already had spun up, and spun up a batch of blue and white mixed.

handspun blanket blue start

There are four skeins of white, two in the center and two for an edging, and then four skeins of blue all for the border.

It should be a nice large, squishy, warm blanket when it's done. It is a bit further along than in the picture now (I'm into the second skein of blue), but its my mindless big lap knitting, and I don't work on it much, but that's ok, since there is no deadline.


And finally before I end this post, here is an unremarkable picture of the start of an amigurumi mouse doorstop.

Over the summer and early fall when the temperatures were so nice we had the windows open a lot, unfortunately the wind kept catching the door to TW's room and slamming it on us. Eventually I got fed up and decided that his door needed a doorstop too. But that it had to match Marmalade who guards our bedroom door.

 recent knitting 11-13-12 mouse

 I’m taking my time on him, since he doesn't need to be ready until spring when we open the windows again.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Catch up part one

I'll be playing catch up in the next few posts, I'll try to keep in roughly chronological order, but no promises.

When last we saw knitting content from our intrepid hero there had been owlie mittens and toddler socks.

Since then I've made some crochet acorns:

crochet acorns

caps were found while out on one of our many hikes.
yarn is random sock scraps, tiny E hook
pattern from here
but modified to fit my much larger caps.

crochet acorns
06-02-11 figure

after the acorns I got ambitious and cast on for Haruni using some hand spun I had made long before our move.


the cat was not terribly helpful.

While I was knitting Haruni it got cold and TW grew out of his previous mittens, so I made him a new pair

yarn: Schaefer Yarn Company Lola (Superwash) in indigo

wearing blue
mittens 11-2-12 1

while the mittens were made LAST year, they didn't get worn until this year, this was the only picture I got before there were treated to the Toddler Special (mud puddles, leaves and carrying lots of sticks and pine cones) they are looking quite disheveled now.

Progress was made on Haruni:

progress 06-02-11

I started and finished a new pair of socks for Bill:

broken kp
2.25mm 40in needles

(yes, that's right, I managed to break another pair of needles, luckily Knit Picks is awesome and replaced them for me.)

bills green
socks done 2

bills green
socks done 1

Knit Picks Kettle Dyed Stroll in Ivy
pattern is roughly Cat Bordhi's Ridgeline expansion with a seed stitch accent.
On US 1 / 2.25mm needles, magic loop, two at once.

Haruni was finished, but then it took me almost a year to get around to blocking it:

haruni blocked

haruni blocked

(Ravelry link)
on US 3 / 3.25mm needles
using my hand spun Marino/Tencel from Stony Mountain Fibers (the yarn's Ravelry page is here)

that's enough for now. It's time to go watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade with my family.

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