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.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NY Sheep and Wool 2012

Wow, over a year since my last post.  Things have been a bit crazy around here.  Well, since it has been almost a month since NY Sheep and Wool I guess I'll start there...

The drive down was gorgeous as usual, and uneventful after I once again over prepared. TW was an awesome passenger and sang along with the songs and looked at the sights. We didn't have the spare cash to buy anything fiber-y but we still had a great time wandering through the animal barns and checking out all the sheep, llamas, alpacas and goats.

ny sheep and
wool 2012 7

ny sheep and
wool 2012 6

But the real fun began when we got to the petting zoo. For the last several months TW has been obsessed with Lemurs and has seen tons of videos with Bill on You Tube, so we were all a bit excited to see them. But first there was a full grown turtle and it's size matched bunny friend:

ny sheep and
wool 2012 1

And then the petting goats:

ny sheep and
wool 2012 2

And a really neat kangaroo:
(And a baby alligator, which TW also really liked, but we couldn't get a good photo of.)

ny sheep and
wool 2012 3

And finally, the Lemurs!

ny sheep and
wool 2012 5

ny sheep and
wool 2012 4
(We were quite fond of the one sunning itself.)

After a brief break to play in the leaves and have lunch, TW insisted that me make the rounds through the barns and then we headed home.

ny sheep and
wool 2012 8

ny sheep and
wool 2012 9

All in all we had a great day, and I'm so glad that we live so near by and can spend the day having so much fun with all the animals. TW seemed interested by the few spinners we passed along the way, and I think as he grows he will become more and more interested in the fiber side of things as well, which makes me all sorts of giddy.

ny sheep and
wool 2012 10

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