Seed Stitch Wreath.

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What better new wreath, than a knitted one? Right?

To make this wreath I stripped down my old wreath for the metal frame. Then I just knitted (a K2, P2 seed stitch) a long rectangle (really a short scarf) to pull over the frame after I fastened the started and finished ends (the short ends) together.

Wanna make one? Here’s what I used. (Please don’t go out and buy yarn or needles to make one. Use up the bulky/chunky yarn you have and the biggest needles you’ve got.)

Gather:

1 metal wire wreath frame (Note: You may want to spray paint it a color that will match your yarn.)

Scrap bulky/chunky yarn (I had Oatmeal color Lions Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick on hand.)

Size 17 needles

Knit:

Holding two strands of bulky yarn together, cast on 7. (Or more or less depending on the size of your frame. My frame measured 1 1/4″ wide. My knitting measured 3 1/2″ wide.)

Row 1: K2, P2, K2, P1

Row 2: P2, K2, P2, K1

Repeat rows until you have enough length to fit around your wreath VERY snuggly (definitely do some tests as you go). Tightness ensures no need to affix besides slipping it on and creates a nice roundness.

Bind off when you reach desired length. Sew the two short ends together and pull over your frame. Celebrate!

Twisted Fingerless Mitts.

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En route to my niece, a pair of fingerless gloves. When wondering what I should send for her December birthday, I thought winter hat. But then I channeled my inner teen. Duh! No girl wants a snug winter hat to botch her hair! Then I thought ear warmer, but in the end, the fingerless mitts won. They should go nicely with her plum winter coat. They won’t mess her hair, and in fact might even look cool? Dare I say?

The pattern (twisted fingerless mitts) was fabulous and feels so nice in the Mountain Colors yarn. Soft, stretchy, cozy, all good stuff. I shortened the cuff from five rounds to only two as I thought this length would suit her more. Last year I sent her boot cuffs  which I hear are still loved and even borrowed to her friends. Definitely loving that!

Sssuper Sssimple Snake.

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While watching a disappointing NASCAR race with my boys, I knitted a snake. It’s a simple fella made to use up a full skein of yarn. Sometimes you just need a little rainy Sunday, race day project, right? Actually, my motivation was to have a snake for my Halloween costume, and the clock is ticking. Meanwhile, my younger fella has named him Rick. (Note: This is not meant as a toy or used without supervision because it’s super long and a possible choking hazard. It would be a great jump rope though.)

Anyways, if you wanna make this super simple snake, here’s what you’ll need:

1 skein Lions Brand Homespun USA (green)

2 Size 11 double point needles

Get started:

CO 5.

Knit as an i-cord until 131 inches long, (almost all the yarn is gone). Don’t worry, it goes by very quickly because it’s so chunky.

To form the head: (continue these rows in i-cord fashion, no need to pull super tight, this head will be “one-sided”)

Row 1: kfb, k3, kfb (slide and continue as i-cord knitting until the end)

Row 2: kfb, k5, kfb

Row 3: k

Row 4: k2tog, k5, k2tog

Row 5: k*

Row 6: k2tog, k3, k2tog

Row 7: k2tog, k1, k2tog

Row 8: ssk, k1

Row 9: k2tog

Knot off. Shape the head and weave in loose ends.

Optional:

Shape the tail point by gathering CO yarn tail, weave it in and pulling it tight.

Sew on buttons for eyes.

Can you guess what I’m going to be for Halloween?

(I was Medusa. This snake was my scarf.)

Yarn Along: Cabled Blanket and Small Town Adventuring.

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Joining the Yarn Along today at the Small Things blog.

Knitting: I’m progressing on my Cascade Eco Blanket. I adore the soft, natural colored yarn, but I can’t decide if I love it more than the pattern that’s appearing. I really love that too. I never understood why people knit blankets, but I have a better idea now. I am not spending my time looking for projects and buying yarn, I’m just happily knitting a few rows each night (most nights anyways), cabling once every 18 of them. That’s grand.

Reading: I’m thrilled to pieces that Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods is a movie and intend to go see it! I read the book when it was first released and loved every snotty remark Mr. Bryson delivers. He can pack a hilarious punch and left a life-time desire for me to pack in and out of some trail with the boys sometime. Anyhow, this nostalgia sparked my current read, also by Bill Bryson, The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America.

I keep texting my friend photos of lines I’m reading because they are too delightful to enjoy alone. Seriously, this man just puts it all out there. This book is about his random travels through small American towns and his musings along the way. He starts in Des Moines, IA , where he was born, with plenty of fun poking at small town people. From there he rambles to his (not-anymore) grandparents house and from there just kind of wandered.

Some random snarky passages:

“A sign just ahead of me said BUCKLE UP. ITS THE LAW IN ILLINOIS. Clearly, however, it was not an offense to be unable to punctuate”

“‘You parked on the square?” she said. Actually, she said, “You pocked on the skwaya?'”

“The average Southerner has the speech patterns of someone slipping in and out of consciousness. I can change my shoes and socks faster than most people in Mississippi can speak a sentence.”

I enjoy Bill Bryson, but I do think I like small town living much more. I hope he comes around a bit in this book, but until then I’ll just file him under “city-lover” and laugh at his insights.

Have you read any of his books? I saw In A Sunburned Country and thought that might be good.

Lucet Cord.

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Not that I need more fiber art crafts, but it’s too darn easy to join in when I have the yarn staring at me and a resourceful husband who can cut tools in his shop. I stumbled into “lucet” online (aka knitting fork) and searched to find an image of this fabulous little device. It’s a hand tool used to make cording that dates back to the vikings. I found this pattern and Dear Husband cut it out for me on Saturday.

After a quick sanding, I put it to work. Initially it felt like spool knitting to me and my cord was lifeless and loose. Then I started getting a feel for it and as you can see a tiny, tight cord started developing. I kept telling everyone to come see it and slid my hand down it again and again.

This was easy to pick up. It’s definitely child friendly, requiring the same movements as spool knitting or finger knitting. The result varies per yarn and tightness. I’m sewing up a jacket for my younger son this week and I’m hoping to make this his cord for his hood.

Yarn Along: Cabled Blanket and Jurassic Park.

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Joining the Yarn Along today at the Small Things blog.

Knitting: I started on a cabled blanket, my very first blanket ever. I lifted my “no blanket” ban for this pattern that was too beautiful to pass up. I can see why the pattern designer selected Cascade Eco Yarn. It’s so soft and pliable, not one bit scratchy. Soft, woolen, cabled… can you imagine anything better this winter? At four skeins, this should go by pretty quickly, but the pattern is enjoyable, so speed isn’t necessary.

Reading: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. I am a huge Michael Crichton fan and I think Jurassic Park is one of his best. The science and genetics in this book fascinate me. When the boys asked to see Jurassic World, I told them I’d read them Jurassic Park instead. Dear Husband’s eyes lit up. He wanted to hear as well. As usual, there is more depth and scope in the book than the movie. The science isn’t explained away to get to an action scene, instead it’s celebrated and challenged. I am loving it as much this read through as the first time.

(Note: My knitting bag has found a home. Inspired by The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, I learned the floor should not be storage. Oooh, um, guilty. My knitting bag is all around the house. Not anymore! I found a nice little nook. I’m really enjoying her tidying lessons.)

Knitting a Scarf.

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I finished up my Lulu scarf from Mel Clark’s book Knitting Everyday Finery: Practical Designs for Dressing Up in Little Ways, this weekend. I fell in love with it from the lone photo in the book and had the yarn on hand, so I dove in. The pattern was fabulous. It was simply a matter of knitting to a marker, decreasing, and knitting some more. No counting! This meant I could enjoy the knitting without complete focus. So, through many family movie nights I got to enjoy both the knitting and the programming.

I used Baby Camel-Hair yarn a friend gifted me. I’m not sure I would have chosen this color, as my winter coat is purple. However, I think it will be great for Autumn sans coats.

Next I’m starting my first knitted blanket, something I never thought I’d have the patience for. It’s the Cascade Eco Cable Blanket. Perhaps I’m a bit too indulgent when it comes to pattern searching, but again, I saw one photo of it and knew instantly I would make it. I’m using the suggested Eco Wool yarn, which is feeling so soft already. After four rows my older fella already claimed it. That’s motivating. Knit on, mama.

What fun summer knitting are you up to? Are you indulgent when it comes to patterns too?

Yarn Along: Natural Navigator and Lulu Scarf

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Joining the Yarn Along today at the Small Things blog (and we found a turtle.)

Knitting: My Lulu scarf is about 75% done. I am knitting this scarf because I thought it looked pretty in the book and I had the yarn on hand, now I am getting excited to see what it looks like on. Let me tell you though, I had a really eye-opening weekend while listening to the audio book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It’s making me think deeper about what I choose to knit next. It’s making me much more open to knitting larger projects because I don’t need more stuff, I just love knitting. Quickly knitting small things creates clutter, yes I have to stop knitting hats. So I’m very excited to finally attack a blanket! I have a beautiful one in mind and I don’t care how long it takes to finish, I’m just excited to enjoy more knitting.

Reading: The Natural Navigator by Tristan Gooley. I’m thrilled to soak in any information I can from this title. We LOVE hiking and hike often. The author mentions how we filter visual information because we just see way too much to need. He then mentions how we don’t particularly “need” these cues for navigation anymore because our lives don’t depend on it. Finally, he says, he’s not going to just share tips and tricks, he’s going to teach how to see the cues again. Oooh, I’m excited. I’m 50 pages in and ready to have my eyes wide open.

 

Ball of Yarn Earrings.

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Oh happy day. I found many things I did not know (or remember) I owned while deep cleaning the garage shelves this weekend. Most excitingly, I found earring hooks and flat head bead pins. I saw these adorable yarn ball earrings and have wanted to try to make some. Honestly, they are extremely well priced, but with the supplies in hand, I had no excuse not to try my own.

I decided on white because I wear lots of colorful clothes. To make my earrings. I cut a scrap of DK yarn. I tied it in a knot in the center of the bead pin and then wound it around to look as much like a skein of yarn as I could. I used washi tape for the paper label and wrapped a clear piece of tape over that for added security.

I think they turned out pretty well. I’m anxious to see if they are durable. If so, I have plenty of yarn and supplies for a couple other pair. If not, I can fall back on the metal pair I continually receive compliments on and try something with beads instead.

Yarn Along: Country Love, Fortune’s Rocks, and A Knitted Scarf.

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Joining the Yarn Along today at the Small Things blog.

Knitting: I decided I’d be part of the photos today. It was an off the cuff decision, so it’s me, natural, unprepared, funky hair and shiny skin. I guess I’m just feeling brave today. Anyhow, I’m stash busting with Mel Clark’s adorable Lulu Scarf. The pattern is a great summer knit, requiring no counting per row and a very easy memorizable pattern. Her book Knitting Everyday Finery is definitely my favorite knitting book I own. I adore almost all the patterns included. This is my third project from the book.

Read: Bingo Night at the Fire Hall by Barbara Holland. It honors musings from a city girl gone country. Isolated, bored, but then eventually settled and fiercely protective, Barbara Holland puts into words everything that makes the country life so sacred. Of all the places I’ve ever lived, I’ve never felt as comfortable as in the country house ten miles from a small town of under 2,000 people. It was really cool to see Ms. Holland’s honest transformation and shared feelings.

Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shreve came to me from the discarded free bin at the local used book store. I’ve read two of Anita Shreve’s book prior and really enjoyed them as well, The Pilot’s Wife and The Weight of Water. After Fortune’s Rocks, she is definitely on my list of favorite authors. I’m pleased she wrote many more titles.

Anyhow, Fortune’s Rocks is a mess of a story about a girl and an older wedded man set in the early 1900’s. Olympia Biddleford shocks her family when a she breaks up a marriage and fiercely stands by her decision to do so. Of course, the suitor also has to own up to his decision, but throughout the book, neither say it was a mistake. I was very pleased how the story progressed and very happy with the ending.

The writing not only focused on the well to do families of the time, but also on the poor. I liked reading about the societal separation.

Anita Shreve writes stories that are new, unpredictable, and nothing short of fabulous. I cannot wait to read another.