Project Slowdown

So I'm not really working very hard on any one project right now, my socks are on hold, I'm still plugging away with that other mystery project, when I need something to do with my hands. Here is about how hard I'm working on it.

StPattysKnit

This was on St. Patty's Day we like to enjoy a beverage with champagne and Guinness combined, I think it is called a Black Velvet but I'm not really sure. I've actually made quite a bit of progress on what I think is going to be a baby blanket, but I don't know whom it is for, and I'm certainly not following a pattern. I'm using size 11 metal needles and I was just told by my Great Aunt Jean (the master knitter) that I should work on an afghan. I was so curious as to how exactly you go about making a big afghan, I mean I felt like I was cramming all I could possibly cram onto the big needles I'm using for this tiny blanket (or as my husband calls them "tiny curtains" - that was when we had NO idea what the project might morph into)? She took my needle and crammed it even further down the needle - welp - I guess you can actually fit quite a bit more on there. See I just need people to show me things like this! So my blanket will probably be long and skinny and for a mystery baby.

The weather has been nice, I'm just finishing a photography class that eats up a lot of my nights (aka knitting time) for about a month, and time is something that I can't make more of. I think I'll be newly inspired when Grandma Jan visits in about a week, although we might be working on some quilt squares instead of knitting...but my big bag of booty (around 40 skeins of yarn) should be arriving with them from WI one week(ish) from today. So exciting!

I'll leave you with one last photo of my mystery project. I'm sure whatever it ends up being I'll like since I love colorful soft variegated yarn - even though it is an acrylic blend!

blankie

Happy Knitting!

Knitting Chickens

Chicken Birthday

Today is a special day at our house. Exactly one year ago today we went to the post office and picked up a box filled with 25 peeping chicks. We nurtured our baby chicks to 6 week old gawky weirdos in our bathroom in a refrigerator box and then moved them to their new coop outside in our backyard. We didn't keep all 25 of them, just 5. Today we are celebrating Compsognathus, Octopus Pie, Fire, Boingy and Captain Dan's first birthday. They are little egg laying machines and so much fun. In lieu of the celebration I thought I'd knit up a handful of chickens, so I got one done. I have all kinds of yucky old acrylic yarn laying around that I got for like 50 cents a skein a while back, so maybe in 10 years if I keep knitting little stuffed animals I'll have it all used up. I just have to keep creating one creature a day. My intention was to knit a chicken that resembled each chicken we have but I only got Fire (our yellow chicken) done in time for the celebration.

So I used size 4 double pointed needles, simply because I don't have just regular size 4 needles. The pattern I was sort of following was in my book Knitted Animals - which has a wide assortment of beautiful little knitted animals in it. Luckily there are three chickens to choose from. I started off with yarn that was too big though so I just went out on a limb. I worked in stockinette stitch, so knitting the entire time. I think I cast on 16 and then knitted until I thought it looked close to square. I folded the creation into a triangle and sewed the two sides together and stuffed the baby bird right from the bottom point and sewed closed.

Chicken Start

I then used another piece of this acrylic yarn and sewed it around the body to create the dip in the chicken's back. I also stitched a bit of beak on using some orange acrylic yarn (I have every color of this stuff you can imagine!).

Beak

starting to look chicken-like

Then I crocheted a bit of red acrylic yarn to create the comb. I didn't really know what I was doing, just "winged" it. It ended up looking enough like a comb that I was happy with it. Oh and I used some black yarn (the really heavy stuff - good for buttons) to make the little eyes. It by no means is a perfect bird but it made my kids happy. Maybe by Easter I'll have more to fill their little baskets. That's my goal. It is all about setting little goals for myself, that's how things get done with five chickens, two kids, a toy store and an oil business (just to mention a few things).

Making Corn Cake

Gus and Chick

Ooh we even had time to make some corn cake for breakfast for the chickens (they shared with us too). Look at that happy little knitted chicken.

Birthday Ring

Who knew a knitted chicken could lay so many eggs! Happy Birthday and Happy Knitting!

Corn Cake Eat

Weekend of Inspiration

Great Aunt Jean

We spent our weekend in Coeur D'Alene, ID with my sweet Great Aunt and Uncle. Now here is a master knitter! She's 86 years old so doesn't really do much knitting anymore, it makes her fingers go numb, but she's got a lot of experience under her belt so during our visit I asked questions and wished the entire time that she lived closer (not just for knitting assistance of course). Our visit was sweet, my little boys got to spend some time with who they called Grandpa and Grandma. "I want to go back to Grandpa and Grandma's house." I mean they are Grandma and Grandpa after all, just not ours...but we like to take as many as we can get our hands on.

So I've got a few different projects in my bag these days, Aunt Jean is holding one of them above. She was teaching me how to increase and yo (yarn over). I don't know how to do either of them and I wish I'd had a video camera...maybe I'll have to take a trip back soon for another "lesson." The project above is something - not sure what yet - I'm thinking a baby blanket. That is just a side project though, nothing too challenging just something to keep my hands busy when I want to turn my brain off.

sock start

This is the real project right now. I am attempting some socks for the first time. So here is the start on size 2 dpns (double pointed needles - look at that lingo!) or as Grandma refers to them "toothpicks". This sock yarn is so pretty though. Thanks Jan! It is Premier Yarns, Deborah Norville Collection, Serenity Sock Weight. 50% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Bamboo, and 25% Nylon and so soft.  The color on the label is Indigo and I'm just following the pattern inside the sock yarn label. I'll share when I'm done. It is just a tiny taste of my birthday present that I mentioned previously (40 ish skeins of yarn coming in about 3 weeks).

I wished I'd been to the heel so I could get some assistance, but this is about all the further I made it while we were visiting.  According to Great Aunt Jean the hardest part is the heel, that reinforcement. Hopefully I actually finish this pair of socks, I know now why people buy their socks, and don't knit them.

my first sock

Oh and I knit inside out for some reason? I don't know what the deal is? So the reverse of this sock looks much better, but I didn't take a photo of it for some reason? I'll flip it when I'm ready to do the heel. I'm hoping one day I'll have something that somewhat resembles Great Aunt Jean's socks.

GA Jean's Socks

These are some socks she knitted herself (just one pair of about a million) using variegated yarn. She's made argyles and all different kinds, she had a few examples to show me, along with probably 20 sweaters that she made for her grandchildren years ago (all of them amazingly beautiful)! So we had a really sweet visit and I was definitely inspired.

Oh and we stopped at several thrift shops, and at one hit the jackpot, tons of old knitting pattern books, 25 cents a piece! I am making a sweater next. Aunt Jean told me I should have probably started with a sweater...she thinks that would've been easier than socks.

Sock Close

Hopefully I'll have a photo like this, of a sock I've knitted myself, very soon! Wish me luck!

Happy Knitting!

The Final Ribbed Hat

New Hat

At least for a bit. I will try and ease my desire to make another one. They are pretty darn fun to make, but I need to branch into something new. I'm thinking socks, mittens or toys. Knowing me I'll probably start with toys. Easter is coming so I'd like to fill baskets with knitted treasures - maybe some knitted sheep, bunnies and chickens. Fun!

Hat In Progress

This variegated yarn I fell in love with in Loopy I got a gift certificate from my good friend and used it promptly...how can a girl deny herself some yarn for free? It is Rowan Colourscape Chunky Yarn by Kaffe Fassett. It is 100% Lambswool, from England. It has to be hand washed and cannot be dried (which might be obvious). The color listed on the label is just Colourscape 0440. It was the yarn pictured in my post beside the bottle of bourbon, so I started working on this hat at Elkhorn Hot Springs. I couldn't finish until my double pointed needle collection arrived, I was using some size 10 circular needles, on loan from a friend, and didn't have the double pointed size 10 needles to finish my hat. Well they came in the mail, and upon using them for the very first time I got a sliver, kind of a drag, but I guess you get what you pay for. Luckily they are under warranty for a year so a new set is being shipped on Monday. They are U-nitt needles, just FYI. I was only using them to decrease the top of my hat - so I used them for about 1/2 hour and that was it. So that was a bit disappointing - but I did finish my hat! Oh and the pattern I used was just the same as I've been using for all of my ribbed hats, I just knit 2, purl 2 the entire way around. I can't remember how many I cast on with at the beginning, I want to say like 88? I just checked and it was 88. I might have actually done a little bit less if I had it to do over, but it fits alright. I just like hats to be nice and snug to keep my ears warm.

Top View HatSide HatTop Hat

This yarn had some variation in thickness so you can see it some holes - or what looks like some holes. I mean I'm not saying I'm a perfect little knitter heh...because I'm obviously not...but the yarn was to blame for some of the imperfections, but I think that actually gives the hat some more character, and I still love this yarn so much!

Just a few more photos and I'll sign off.

Another View HatFront View MamaFinal View

Look at that pretty color variation. Not sure who this hat is for, I thought it would be for me, we'll see...maybe someone special will get it, for now, I'll be the model. Something new and exciting to come soon.

We got our chickens a year ago for August's birthday, but they arrived two days early, so their birthday is really three days before Gus's...but for Gussy's birthday we had a coop building party, so in turn our chicken birthday is rapidly approaching. The kids already decided we are making them a special birthday cake, maybe Mama will knit something special to coincide.
Ooh and I have a whole mess of wool sock yarn on the way from Grandma Jan as a really early birthday gift. Yay!

My Boys - Ribbed Hats

Happy Knitting!