T.G.I.P. (Thank Goodness It’s Progress)

Instead of making this about my knitting progress (and yes, I do have a few pictures of mom’s Less Is More Cowl…. look for those next week), I’ve decided to post about the projects I will be starting in the month of November.

Knit Local:  Celebrating America’s Homegrown Yarns by Tanis Gray just came in to the local library today and I am IN LOVE with this book.  Already, I’ve picked out a handful of projects, using American grown/produced yarns, that I want to try my hand at making.  Anyway, the point of this story is that I found a new farm in Gray’s book called Juniper Moon Farm (they have a lambcam! too cute!) and once I Googled the website, I located a beautiful bulky wool yarn (Stormcloud) in almost the exact same color as my Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Shadow yarn.  So now I can make a nice cabled cowl to match the cabled hat I’ll be knitting in the near future.  I’m so excited!!  The Sweaterbabe #103 Luscious Cabled Cowl is one project I’ll be knitting in November.

The other project is a pair of men’s basic ribbed socks for my dad for Christmas.  Now, I’ve been a knitter for at least 5 years and I’ve never cast on for a pair of socks before.  (I know, gasp!)  So, this will be my first experience knitting a nice pair of wooly socks, which hopefully will fit my dad’s feet as well as keeping them nice and warm throughout the long winter months.

FO: “Just Peachy” Smurf Hat

Pattern: Hipster Smurf Hat by Calley O’Neil

Yarn:  Bartlett Yarns Fisherman 2-Ply in Peach

Modifications?  Yes.  Since my gauge came out as 4 stitches = 1″, I did a CO of 92 stitches instead of the recommended 104 stitches in pattern.  The 1×1 ribbing throughout keeps the hat super stretchy and the result is a hat that fit my 20″ head and my dad’s 24″ head.  Amazing!

** This hat is a present for my good friend, Alden, who generously made me a hand-woven knitting basket. **

Handmade knitting basket given to me by my friend Alden!

Ravelry Link:  Check out more pics & info here!

T.G.I.P. (Thank Goodness It’s Progress)

Okay, so I’ve seen on other folks blogs that, on a certain day each week, the blogger will post about a particular topic, either knitting related, picture related, farm related, etc.  You get the idea.  So I’ve decided to dedicate Fridays to knitting progress.  Who doesn’t like Friday?  Combine that with progress in your knitting (especially when you have a hectic schedule like me) and voila, an interesting post that you can look forward to.  My first, official T.G.I.P. post will be next Friday, so keep your eyes peeled for it & enjoy the weekend!

Jack-O-Lantern

I decided to take a break from knitting and focus my creativity on carving a jack-o-lantern for Halloween. It has been years since I’ve carved a pumpkin and after a quick Google search, I found a nice selection of free jack-o-lantern patterns (both easy & difficult) on HGTV. Of course, I opted for an easy pattern, not realizing how easy it was going to be. And I also had to choose the largest pumpkin I could find, which made the “cleaning out” process a lot more time consuming than I originally thought it would be. But, the result was completely worth it. Take a look!

This was so much fun, that I might carve the smaller pumpkin next weekend.  I’m thinking a cat/moon design….

Goodbye Cleo

This past spring, I purchased 8 baby chicks from our local milling store. One of those babies was an Auracana “Easter Egg” chicken. Unfortunately, she was born with a crooked beak, which, after researching online, is common within her breed.  Naturally, I babied her right from the start and continued “mothering” her as she got older.  I named her Cleopatra (“Cleo” for short) because of the unusual markings on the feathers on her face, which reminded me of black eyeliner.  Over the summer, I tried to introduce her, along with the rest of the chickens within her flock, to my older girls in the coop.  She was immediately shunned from the group and I snatched her up, along with another chicken, and moved them to the barn.  The past 2 months have been blissfully happy for both chickens and although Cleo has struggled to eat her food due to her crooked lower beak; she had the best personality of any farm animal/chicken I’ve known.  Let’s face it, she became a pet because of her unique situation and I made the horrible mistake of not only naming her, but of treating her special and giving her extra attention.  The other day, I came home to find her dead, which I knew would eventually happen, but I didn’t realize how soon.  I also didn’t realize how much I actually loved that little chicken.  At least I can rest assured that she is no longer suffering with a crooked beak, but it’s sad to lose any animal, let alone an animal that has become special in its own way.  So, goodbye Miss Cleo chicken…. at least you had a good life in the short time you were here on earth.

Unfinished Projects

My goal for this month is to complete those pesky unfinished projects floating around the knitting stash. On my list of to-do are the following:

Leafless Cardigan (90% complete)
Strawberries & Lace Scarf (75% complete)
Alden’s Slouchy Hat (60% complete)

The other night, I spent the evening weaving in all the numerous loose ends of my Leafless Cardigan. Usually, I’m not very good at finishing projects and dread the “weave in all ends” part the pattern. So, I decided to Google search an easier, faster, and prettier way of doing this dreaded task. This is the link I found: Knitty: Techniques with Theresa. If you haven’t already read this article and applied it to your knitting repertoire, then I highly suggest you do. Theresa’s techniques have been a life-saver for me!  And I actually enjoyed weaving in the ends of my cardigan.  Go figure!