More Socks.

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My older son picked out the yarn for his first Mom-knit socks. (Ravelry notes here.) I was expecting him to go very dark and was pleasantly surprised when he grabbed this self-striping yarn. I got a ton knit on the road, but it stalled quickly when we were pushing to get the house done. Alas, all projects come to an end and this one did. He’s super happy with them. The bonus is his feet are exactly the same size as mine. So, when he outgrows them, guess who gets to keep these?

I’m working on a pair of gloves for him now and then I’m going to start the next pair of socks for Little Fella. I am starting to see the awesomeness of sock knitting! Easy to do, very portable, and the end result feels so great!

Knitted Polar Bears.

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I’m in the middle of knitting socks for my older son and a blanket for my younger, so naturally when Christmas approached I thought, “I need to make something for the boys.” Yup, that makes no sense, but I absolutely thought it.

I saw an adorable polar bear come through an email from Red Heart Yarns. The pattern looked insanely easy and more importantly, seriously cute. I asked the boys in a very leading voice if they’d happen to want these fellas for Christmas. They gave the thumbs up. I dove in quickly.

The yarn is pretty interesting to work with, very bulky, but not like chunky yarn. Mostly I couldn’t see my stitches on the knitting needle because of the wispy loft. I made the smart decision to make two heads, then two bodies, and so on so I didn’t just finish one and declare they share. In other words, crazy yarn or not, I couldn’t give up.

The boys named them Billy and Wallace.

My sister says the boys are getting older and I won’t be able to make them stuffed animals much longer. That is probably a good thing because we have a large population of stuffed animal friends, but I’m going to keep churning knits out for them as long as they’ll oblige me. I mean, come on, they are my boys, I am compelled to make things for them. Perhaps even more so when it comes to holidays and birthdays. So now, it’s back to the original projects, I have to finish one heel and the socks are done and I’ll crank away at that blanket…. until the next birthday comes up.

Socks and Another Blanket.

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I knit my very first pair of socks. Socks! I am just so excited because they are legit! They look awesome, they feel awesome, and they are useful. Should I mention I scored the yarn at a garage sale? Well, I did. While I dance through my super tiny Airstream (so more like shuffle in one spot) and ponder the cold weather ahead, I will plan for the family. Yes, they are all getting a pair. My 10-year old is getting the same pair since our feet are exactly the same size. (Craziness!) Ribbed socks number three is coming soon, meanwhile I’ve started Little Fella’s requested blanket.

Yarn Along: Ghost of the Fireground and My First Socks.

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Joining in at the Small Things blog for Yarn Along today.

Knitting: I am knitting my very first pair of socks. I decided to do a ribbed pair so if they weren’t quite the right size, they’d either stretch larger or grab tighter. If that doesn’t work, I always have smaller feet (my boys’) and larger ones (Dear Husband) that I can pretend I made them for. I decided to stick with the square dpn’s this time, because I feel comfortable with them. One new thing at a time, I suppose. I am going to be knitting an afterthought heel very soon.

Also, I’m quite excited that I finished the cabled blanket I started last…. June. I decided to go for a knit blanket last summer because the pattern was just so lovely. My older son claimed it last September. I thought perhaps it would be done for him by Christmas. Ha, not to be. But, alas, I kept on chugging and am doubly happy as he still wanted it come this June. Now, I’m past the fear of starting a blanket. Perhaps June is my try new knits month? Weird. Anyhow, little fella thinks this is all particularly unfair as I never knit him a blanket, so we’ve settled on a pattern and as soon as these socks are done, I’ll dive into that one. He is incredibly motivating, so the socks should be done quickly!

Reading: Ghosts of the Fireground by Peter M. Leschak. I know each area has their natural pitfalls, tornadoes, flooding, drought, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. So when I grabbed this book I was startled to read about the historical fire larger than the Great Chicago Fire that took place in Peshtigo, WI. Being in California, I usually attribute the fires to their dryness, but holy cow, safe little WI had 1200 fire deaths the SAME TIME as the Great Chicago fire. Chicago was more famous, so they stole the headlines. This book is amazing. It weaves a modern firefighter and his seminary school reflections with the historical story of a Priest who survived the Peshtigo disaster. I’m floored by the things I read, both modern and historical in this book. Firefighting is something I respect, but know almost nothing beyond cliches about. I’m so glad I accidentally found this book.

Yarn Along: 1000 Places to See and Spirogyra Mitts

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Joining in at the Small Things blog for Yarn Along today.

Knitting: My fingerless mitts are five years old and I’ve loaned them to the boys so often, they are pretty beat up. I decided to use some yarn stash and make a new pair for myself. I used Spirogyra, a sort of shell like pattern with a thumb piece too. I held two strands of yarn together to get the white/tan blend. They fit wonderfully. I love having the thumb piece. My other pair just left an open hole for the thumb. Plus, I think this pair is a bit more “womanly” which I like.

Reading: I picked up 1000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Shultz for us to thumb through while traveling. I was hoping we’d get some ideas. It’s well organized by clustering the states together geographically. A lot of the places we’ve been to or new of, but I did find out about Cody, WY which looks very interesting! It reads that the Buffalo Bill museum is the Smithsonian of the West. I just love reading about new places, envisioning them, and seeing them in person. Have you ever been to Cody? What fabulous places have you been that we need to see?

Iron Men.

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DSC_0095Knitting time has changed. I used to get a few rows in throughout the day (on good days) and a few rows at night when we watched movies. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Now, I get solid knitting time while Dear Husband is driving and sometimes no knitting at all for many days when we are parked and exploring. 

Last drive I finished up some Iron Man Mitts for the boys. They requested one hand with repulsor and one without. I guess the real Iron Man’s repulsors hide until in use, so they wanted to have that effect.

Little Fella has an Iron Man mask that Santa tucked in his stocking this past Christmas. When his mitts were done he was giddy. He said he needs a hat, vest, and leg “things” next. Whoa boy-o, I’ve got a few other knits planned, but if I do keep adding bits for him it would be one heck of a Halloween option.

While we stay at Grassy Key RV park in Marathon, FL I anticipate very little knitting. There is a saltwater pool that’s as warm as bath water and hardly full. Plus the beaches, Key West, and some other fun plans. Perhaps when we head back North I’ll be ready for another Ironman project.

Yarn Along: Cabled Blanket and Percy Jackson.

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Joining the Yarn Along today at the Small Things blog.

Knitting: I’m progressing quite well on my Cascade Eco Blanket. I’m finding the pattern has the perfect blend of mindless and “pay attention” knitting. That’s kept my interest quite well. I adore the yarn but am finding I keep needing one more skein. I hope when it blocks it isn’t some gargantuan giant-sized blanket, but I guess that wouldn’t be so bad.

Reading: I rotate in Phillippa Gregory’s historical fictions about past royalty and am currently reading The Virgin’s Lover. It’s about Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, who is married to another woman, but wooing the Queen. I read so many of her titles and love them fiercely, but I don’t want to bore you, so I included Rick Riordan’s second Percy Jackson book, The Sea of Monsters. I’m reading this one to the boys at night, and we all look forward to it. Every night I hear, “Can you read just a little bit more?” I’m not sure when I’ll stop reading to them at night, but I do know we aren’t ready for that yet. I find I love reading their titles just as much as my titles and I’m not ready to give them up.

Market Bag or Basically The Best Campground Life Bag I’ll Ever Own.


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I thought necessity for this knitting project. I noticed I needed a bag. One to carry stuff and jam stuff in. A campground, hiking, biking, sort of bag. I found this fabulous nest bag at Purl Soho. On my needles and off again in about three days, it’s been put to the test. It’s had wet and dry laundry, snacks, stuffed toys, and most recently seashells. I’m most definitely fighting the urge to make another.

Square Knitting Needles.

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My fingerless gloves need replacing. I found a sweet pattern called Spirogyra and needed to purchase size 2 double-pointed needles for the center section of the gloves. Jimmybeanswool.com had square double points at 50% off. I thought I’d give them a try.

I prefer wooden needles. Metal needles are too slippery for me. Still, I wanted to see what the difference could be, so I purchased the 7″ set. I switched them out where necessary in the pattern and did a round. Interesting. Tried another. Huh. Tried another. Wow.

I didn’t expect a large difference but I will try to explain what I did notice. My current needles are fine and I knit until the point where I am “fatigued.” It’s the point when I know my hands and wrist are getting tired and if I go further I’ll end up with long-term pain which would delay my knitting for several nights. So I stop. It just depends on the day what that point could be. With the square double point needles I didn’t know when to stop. I really didn’t feel that point of fatigue. That was very surprising to me.

I feel like they have a good grip on the stitch. They don’t slip or slide out. I am definitely going to buy more of the double points. I emailed Kollage to see if they have interchangeables and they promptly responded they are releasing a set at the end of this month. I am not a fan of the pink color but I think I’m going to save my monthly spending budget for them anyways.

 

A Handmade Christmas Story.

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This week I wrapped the gifts Dear Husband and I got for the boys and tucked them under the tree. They started poking around them and I told them to be careful while I migrated to the kitchen to load the dishwasher. My seven-year old sidled around the corner and looked at me seriously.

“Mom, is your present…handmade?”

“No,” I said shamefully. In truth, this year I really struggled with a useful handmade item. When I finally got an idea, it started raining craziness around here and I just never got to follow-up on my intentions no matter how hard I tried.

He put his hand to his forehead, wiped away and let out a huge, “Phew.”

Enter my agape mouth! Well, my oh my!

“What about that double-sided knit light saber you want?” I chided.

He turned around and looked at me and said, “Well, That is something I really want.”

Ah ha! Gotcha. Double sided knit light saber delivered for Christmas baby! Handmade! I’m frantically working on double saber number two for my older boy. Must…get….it… done.

I hope you have the most wonderful Christmas with your family. I wish you peace and joy and smiles, handmade or not.