Friday, May 27, 2011

FO Friday: Child-Size Falling Leaves Hat

I finished my niece's birthday gift yesterday:
A child-size Falling Leaves Hat in "Bobby Blue" Malabrigo yarn-
Happy Birthday Grace!

As I modified the Falling Leaves pattern for a child-size hat I was a bit worried that it was going to be too small.  I was tempted to rip and re-knit, but I decided I better have someone try it on before I go that far.  Hmmm, I wondered, how can I do that when my niece is in another state and the only "child" around here is taller than I am?  Luckily, it was my turn to drive to school in the carpool this week, and I realized that the adorable 6th grader who rides with us is just about my niece's size.  She tried it on and made me happy with two words, "It's perfect!"

I hope my niece will feel the same way, after all, she requested the hat and chose the color.  If she is pleased with the hat, I won't have to feel like the mom in "Shades of Ray".  I enjoyed this humorous movie so much as I finished the hat, that I tried to find a clip to share with you.  No such luck, but I stopped knitting long enough to take a screen shot of this scene where the Mom presents Ray with a handknit hat (complete with crocheted flowers and a pom pom) which she just finished:

MOM:  There, look at that!  Oh my gosh!  Isn't that nice and warm?

RAY:  It's summer, Mom.

MOM:  I know.  Leave it on.  It needs to break in.

I will always share any movies I find with funny fiber content.  I'm just there for you that way!

Meanwhile, I hope you will check out some more finished objects destined to be appreciated by their recipients via FO Friday at Tami's Amis.  It is well worth a visit, especially as Tami has even started her selling her own hand-dyed yarn.  You can check it out here.  Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WIP Wednesday - There seems to be a theme here.

My current projects, presented in a list of sort of crappy rainy day photographs for WIP Wednesdays at Tami's Amis:

My niece's Falling Leaves Hat is over halfway done.  This one stalled when I realized it may be too small and I may have to re-knit part of it.  The fact that her birthday is in a few days is lighting a fire under my butt today.

My Whippoorwill is right about at the halfway mark.  It stalled out when I realized I didn't care for the contrast color I  originally chose.  

Luckily, that will be remedied soon as I found this gorgeous Madelinetosh yarn that goes with it perfectly:

My MIL's Emily cardigan is just past the halfway point.  It stalled out when I got to the point in the pattern where I needed to bind off the shoulder seams.  I will get over the seaming hump soon because I will have all of Saturday to work on it when my guys are mushroom hunting.

My Harvest Moon cardigan is almost to the halfway point.  I could not resist getting started on it after blogging about wanting to knit with this brightly colored yarn on Sunday.  It's not really stalled out but I need to get back to gift knitting. 

So, for awhile there I made a really good attempt at being a semi-monogamous knitter.  I really, really tried.  But sometimes a knitter just has to cast on!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

First Dye Garden Harvest

Early this morning, while still wearing my robe and sipping my coffee, I went straight out to the garden.  I saw that the first marigold blooms had started to fade and new buds had appeared.  I decided it was time for my first dye garden harvest.
There are just a few flowers so far, but I'm still excited as they are the first flowers I've been able to collect from the plants I started from seeds months ago.  They will go into the freezer and I will add to their number until I have enough to dye a skein of sock yarn.  

Later, as I was indulging myself with a second dose of caffeine and browsing knitting blogs, I saw that the month of May is devoted to Red/Orange in Project Spectrum.  This year Lolly has started a Project Spectrum blog on Tumblr.  Check it out for a quick dose of color inspiration!  

With the marigolds presenting themselves as perfect examples of this month's color theme, I decided to take a few more photos of them and then kept my camera in my pocket as I continued my morning chores.

There is also a Project Spectrum group on Ravelry for those who are celebrating each color with a knitting project.   I would join in the fun with my Whippoorwill . . . 

 . . . except that might be cheating, as pink has it's own month in Project Spectrum.

Hmm, maybe I finally need to choose a pattern for this Madelinetosh that has been in my stash for awhile?

There might even be enough for a Harvest Moon cardigan, and I've been wanting to knit something with pockets.  Time to stop taking pictures and start swatching!

Friday, May 20, 2011

FO Friday: Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my Mom's birthday and I'm happy to be sending her some hand knit gifts.  She last came for a visit around the time I wrote a post about deciding to rip out my first version of the Trinity Shawl.  I had cast on for the shawl in Handmaiden Casbah in the Bronze colorway which I love, but I decided that the variegated color wasn't a good match with the leafy texture of the shawl.  I started another shawlette in a solid color and marked the first project "frogged" in Ravelry.  Luckily, the truth was I just threw it in a knitting basket still on the needles.  My mom piped up that she liked that version before I actually got a chance to rip it out.  I'm so glad that she did, because now that it is done I like it too.  This is one project where blocking made all the difference:

Pattern:  Trinity Shawlette by Anni Design
Source:  P-Hop (Pennies Per Hour of Pleasure), a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders
Materials:  1 skein of Handmaiden Fine Yarn Casbah Sock in "Bronze", and US 6 needles.
Modifications:  None, but there are multiple versions in the pattern, and this is Version 1.

On the same visit, my niece and my mom each slipped in a request for one of my Falling Leaves Hats, so I knit one up for my mom in yellow, one of her favorite colors:

Pattern:  Falling Leaves Hat (my own pattern)
Source:  free on Ravelry
Materials:  1 skein of Malabrigo worsted in "Pollen", and US 6 DPNs, and US 5 and 7 circulars.
Modifications:  I played with needle sizes quite a bit on this one to try to make the hat fit my mom just right.  I started the crown of the hat on US 6 DPNs to make it a bit smaller, but then went up to a US 7 when I started the leaves for the width of the hat to be appropriate.  I went down to a US 5 for a snug brim, but back up to a US 6 for a super loose bind off.   

I'm now working a child size version of the pattern for my niece.  I'll update the free pattern with both sizes and more photos when I finish up.  I need to get these items to the post office, but I can't wait to sit with a cup of tea and catch up with some of my favorite knitting bloggers through FO Fridays at Tami's Amis!

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Blogging Hiatus

It's been exactly a month since my last post.  The time has flown by. During my recent blogging hiatus, I've barely picked up the needles. That is about to change for two reasons:

1) Our boy's baseball season is now over.  And while we all had a great time, I can't say I will miss doing the last-minute laundry loads to get the uniform clean for the next game (why do they always choose white pants for sliding in the dirt?), taking 2 hour car trips to out-of-the-way baseball fields, and arriving home late with chores and homework yet to be done.

Still, until next season I will miss moments like these:

2)  Our big vegetable garden, as well as my dye plant seedlings, have been planted.  While there is always watering and weeding to be done, at this stage of Spring, once the plants are in the ground, I always feel like I can sit back and enjoy watching everything grow.

I am especially excited that the dye plants are off to a good start, as Angie and I will soon be taking a class on natural dyeing at A Verb for Keeping Warm.   I look forward to learning more about how I can best put my dye plants to use, as well as to see what they have growing in their own dye garden.

Angie, being the awesome friend that she is, has even offered to drive, which means I can knit in the car! So, maybe I will actually have a finished object to show you next Friday.  Meanwhile, I can show you the socks that I started and she finished.  Remember these? Well, Angie not only finished them, she also wove in all of those pesky yarn ends, and emailed me some photos for the blog:

It was Angie's idea to add more blue at the cuff.  
Didn't they come out well?  Now we just need to get 
them where they belong, on the feet of the Detroit Tigers fan.

I'm back to having knitting on the brain.  I have a list of knit gifts I'll be finishing up, as well as some new projects I've been inspired by recently.  So, thanks for coming back to visit.  I'll have more to share soon.