Barenaked yarn

It Is lovely — the pattern just exquisitebut will I wear it — that thought has been wearing on me as my fingers form each stitch and the wrap slowly grows–it is beautiful and the yarn wonderful — so springy and soft. and I also know that I am not going to have enough to finish. yes I could order more but……… in the back of my mind I want something I will get more use out of–so I pulled out the needles and started over. I added some yarn that is the same weight — leftovers from my springy yellow cowl I knit a month ago. Now this yellow and white stripe is forming under my fingers. I am using the same lace pattern Sky Ladder and my fingers enjoy the steps slowly forming and going upwards. I cast on 240 some sts. Instead of a wrap shawl it will be a hooded vest. I have made it before it is not a new pattern. I made it for my daughter with yarn unraveled from a sweater I had knit for my son. His girlfriend had thrown his hand knit sweater in the washing machine and it shrunk. It was a sweater that he loved. I was able to unravel the sweater but the yarn was slightly shrunk and there was no way to knit a sweater big enough for him. i told him I could knit a vest but he declared he wouldn’t wear a vest. So it became a hooded vest for my daughter. 10 years later she still wears it and she says she loves everything about it except it doesn’t have pockets.  So now I am knitting it again. Will it stay this color? I suspect it won’t– I am already planning to dye it probable with walnut husks. I know I am crazy about the walnut dyes. But I like the first bath best. the first dip in the walnut dye seems to be the richest a dark brown with some red overtones. I can’t wait for this to be finished now. While the yarn was still a wrap it was stagnant on my needles I think because I knew I wouldn’t get a lot of use from it. Now I can see myself wearing this sweater vest and that it will be ideal for layering on cool summer  evenings. And I will be able to use it in the fall and winter. In fact it should become a year round go to sweater. Yeah it won’t be the pattern that the designer intended for the yarn but I am still using the lace  pattern.

Dinner from the Tuesday night — and it tasted as good as it looks. I will find the recipe again and post it here later. You have to prep the chicken the day before but it was quick and easy. We had baby peas with it and some baked sweet potatoes. We will be having leftovers from this tonight.



Procrastination — its should have been my middle name.

I am great at starting new projects and not finishing old projects. I just finished 6 bonnets(well almost finished I have to weave in ends) instead of finishing the wrap I am working on. In my defence I am wavering on the wrap--it is beautiful but I don’t have enough yarn and I also am not sure how much I will wear it so I am thinking of frogging it and turning it into a vest that I know I will wear.besides these are the bee’s knees aren’t they?

I cleaned my workspace last week and promptly messed it up again--instead of taking pictures for the pattern that Alice and I want to submit the first week of April.

And instead of proofing the monkey pattern{I think all thats left is to tink the wording for the sewing of the ears and of course pictures} I dyed 6 skiens of yarn and worked on my taxes. The taxes are in stage 2 so they are not done either. Stage one is sorting the receipts and information. Stage two is filing out the forms and doing the math. Stage Three is letting it simmer on a back burner for at least one week. And stage Four is filing out the forms in black ink and checking all the math and mailing in a check and then having a celebratory dinner and drink when it is done. The drink and dinner is my favorite part.There is a little basket with a family of foxes sitting by the couch all gazing at me every time I sit down- wondering if I am going to decide which face I like best so I can start writing a pattern. And the pie tin with an assortment of buttons that I sewed on a cowl and a basket of arms and legs and notes.

So you probable get the picture I have projects spread out in the living room and my office and on my computer. This weeks job is to clear it up and finish the little details that remain so that they are done. And then I can start a new batch of projects that can sit in unfinished stages around the house.

Knitting Spring

Taking a short break from knitting my wrap. I am knitting up my own personal sunshine. It is bright and yellow and goes from very pale yellow to a darker yellow orange like the color you  get under your chin when you rub a dandelion on your skin. It is sharp and tangy like lemon drops. So lemony it makes your lips pucker, a glorious riot of yellow. I love yellow but I don’t wear it. I should, knitting with it makes my heart feel light. I feel like spring is in the air. It lights up my room even though outside it is dreich(scottish word for a gray dismal day). Its hard not to feel cheerful.

I keep thinking of the flowers hiding under the snow patched ground. A hundred daffodils bulbs (planted last fall) a few of which have already started pushing there way up through the dirt. I can’t wait to how many have survived the dog’s frantic burying in the dirt. Some of our willows already have little pussy toes on thier branches. Last week we spotted 2 sandhill cranes- -they landed 20 feet in front of us as we walked around the ponds. the male proceeded to dance and call – I like to think he was dancing for us but I think he was displaying for the female and telling her he would protect her from these 2 people and their dog. The song of the sandhill isn’t very pretty it sounds like a sick turkey or a honking goose gargling. And it is very loud-I couldn’t imagine living near a fly way where large flocks  of them make this noise. But I love hearing them in little doses when they come back in the spring in pairs. It has been so warm this winter that the last 3 weeks I have expected to hear the trill of black birds as I walk.

Spring is in the air and on my needles —  I can’t wait for this winter to be over and move into the new season

Kitten Baby Bonnet

I have a favorite baby bonnet. I found this pamphlet at a thrift store many years ago and immediately loved this little treasure.

I bet I have knit close to 50 of these little hats. For a while I would knit these with a yarn called Imagine, it was a fuzzy blend probably acrylic and maybe made by Lion Brand about 12 years ago. It had just the right fuzzy quality for a kitty hat. And it was washable which seemed a good thing for charity knitting. I even played with adding(dare I admit) fake fur yarn on the garter stitch rows around the face.

They turned out cute and when I knit during my breaks at work I would always get request for the kitty hat even with that silly fake fur.

Or maybe I should say especially with the fake fur*.

Now I don’t always read patterns correctly and often I alter them to suit my style of knitting.

This is a fast knit which I love BUT you have to sew seams. You can see in this picture  that the bonnet comes off the needles looking more like a baby elephant than a kitten.

The seaming starts with the points of the ears. After the ears are done you continue sewing the side to the odd looking trunk like back. And believe it or not the results are a kitten hat. The architechture of this bonnet is amazing I love the way the ears are formed and how the back is thought out. But like many knitters there are times I want to be done when the knitting comes off the needles not picking up a needle to sew seams. After knitting one I quickly worked out in my head how to cheat and make this a no seam knit.

after finishing the ear increases — the pattern tells you to cast off before knitting the back.  Instead I simply treat the ears like I would a 3 needle bind off.

So now the ears are done but there is still the back.

Looking at the hat structure you have a shape that is like a box with the bottom and one side cut off.Flat it would be a T shape

To get this shape with out sewing I short row between the two ears I just finishedI knit the stitches between the ears and on each end of the row I decrease with a stitch from the side. Gradually the hat looks more like a bonnet. When I run out of stitches on the side I  leave the stitches on the needle and pick up stitches on each side of the bottom of the hat. And instead of the button band that the original pattern calls for I do a couple of rows of garter and then a row with yo to make holes. And then a few more rows of garter and cast off. This way I can put a ribbon through to tie my bonnet

I think the results are very cute. And it is easy to whip one of these hats up in 2 evenings.

I also like to play with patterns while I knit and I think these hats are quite nice to practice stranded knitting on. It is fun to play with color combinations too. I recently went to a yarn tasting party at Knitch in Delefield. I got to try out some lovely yarns from Cascade and the color pattern in this hat are some of the samples of yarn that were handed out to the knitters there. There were more than a few yarns that I would love to see the store stock and also many old favorites.

*I am not a fake fur hater I have a stash of it and use it for trim on many things