I'm sensing a pattern here.

This is mostly random and probably catches my attention only, but I'm noticing a whole bunch of similarities in things I'm knitting lately.

To start, I've got 2 projects that I can't really show until after TNNA happens. Each of these projects involve new colors and a similar linen stitch pattern. One for Lorna's Laces and one for Schaefer Yarn.

Two different projects that I worked on last year will be released soon this year - each were test knits - one for Malabrigo Yarn and one for Unique Sheep.

Two new projects I've started recently are eventual gifts, so they are also under wraps, but they each involve a lot of garter stitch rows and increases at each edge.

Huh. Interesting to me - and this post would be way more interesting with some photos.
lolcats funny cat pictures


The weather is heating up around here and yesterday, the Lorax told me she wanted to wear flip-flops. This was a huge surprise to me - usually we have a melt down in any shoe store and she hates to try things on. I'm the mom who bought the exact same sneakers in 3 different sizes. Ugh. I have been avoiding getting the next pair of summer shoes, but thought maybe I could get lucky now, since it was her idea.

So we went out to the store with her talking the whole way there about "red flip flops".

I'm pleased to say that this was the best trip to a shoe store ever. She tried on shoes. She looked at shoes, she picked some out, she didn't fuss. And what did her little heart desire?
First Flip Flops
Heaven help me - she picked out and tried on and loved - light up princess flip flops. She can't walk well in them, it's like watching me try to walk in high heels - all stiff legs, but she loves them. And, yeah, they are cute. Sigh. We did also pick up some new summer sneakers, so yay on that!
Test Knit Sock
First Flip Flops
Look at that smug face. She totally knows she won.

The girl knows what she likes. And that includes when she's ready for a photo or not. I finished up the test sock for J.L. Yarnworks - it really is a sock!
Test Knit Sock
Cuff up.

Test Knit Sock
Cuff Down. It's a little ruffled-anklet sock - too cute!

I made the toddler / child size, so it's a bit big for the Lorax - but she wouldn't help me and try it on. Oh well.
Test Knit Sock
I do plan to make the mate - like most little knits, this sock went quickly!


Maybe I do knit too much?

We recently brought in a swingset -
It's a huge hit! And what do I think about while I'm out there pushing the Lorax for hours on end? How I can't wait to finish up some knit projects and use the swingset as a display for them. It's getting to be shawl season...



Over the last few weeks I've noticed a little bird fly up to a holly bush that is outside the window near the computer. I figured it was just a good spot to perch and rest. Then, last week I looked out when it was raining and noticed the same little bird sitting in a nest - and a second bird kept flying in and bringing the first bird things (food? nest materials?). Last weekend, we could finally see baby birds! Hard to tell how many there were - but it's a small nest! Today their eyes are open and they are getting food quite frequently! I have been playing with my camera to get a good shot - but it's tough - a combination of the small size, the window screen, the movement of the birds / bush in the breeze - but I think I got a few good ones. This makes me ridiculously happy!
A parent bird:
Baby Birds

I have one of those "Bird Guides of Connecticut", and quick internet research leads me to believe that this is a family of Chipping Sparrows. Maybe American Tree Sparrows?
Baby Birds

Baby Birds

I also got a little video of them chirping away (and one fluffing / flapping his wings) - apologies for the click at the end (I took a photo) and something caught Jackson's attention, so you do hear him bark!


Friendship Bracelets!

I mentioned in an earlier post that long before I knit, I used to play with knots. I made friendship bracelets constantly - much like knitting, it was a fairly portable project, there are lots of colors and styles to choose from and the end result looks so neat! Have you heard? Amy, of the Things We Make blog, is hosting a Friendship Bracelet Swap! Full details are on Amy's blog, but the quick details are this:

Here's how to participate:
1. Email Amy at thingswemake [at] gmail [dot] com (be sure to let me know your name) by May 25 in order to sign up. I will reply with details by May 28.
2. Make one bracelet and mail it me to arrive no later than June 20. Please include a note saying who you are, your email/website/etsy/twitter info so that the person who receives your bracelet will know who their friend is. I will pair you up with someone so that you get a bracelet from the person who receives yours.
3. Optional: donate some extra bracelet making supplies and I'll bundle them to give to my local Boys & Girls Club so that younger girls can have the pleasure of making each other bracelets this summer.

-I am leaving the type of bracelet you make completely open, so use gimp, embroidery thread, fabric, whatever you feel moved to use. (Channel your inspiration from when you went to summer camp!)
-Since the is my first swap, I'm collecting the bracelets and mailing them out to ensure that anyone who makes one gets on in return.
-Please be sure that you are able to commit to finishing and sending your bracelet when you sign up.

*Friendship-bracelets.net - video instruction and patterns (wow! I wish this had been around back in, oh, 1988!)
*Knit a basic Friendship bracelet (also mentions Icord, great idea!)
*Perdita - a knit bracelet from knitty.com - I made one of these - the lily of the valley - and all it needed was buttons... wonder where it is?


I happened upon a thrift shop last week that has a somewhat organized craft section! I will be making a trip back there in a few weeks or so, just to see what else might turn up. I am intrigued by buttons lately - even without a specific project in mind. Now I've got some very interesting options.
The pile I purchased.

Puppies, I think? They were just so different!

I love love love the navy and white flower ones. And a few of those big chunky buttons - good for a sweater like A Little Something or a hat...


Trust me, it's a sock.

This weekend was spent celebrating a "Housewarmthday" party for my brother & sister-in-law - they have a new house and big birthdays - and hosted a fantastic party. I was gifted a rare treat of time to myself - the Lorax stayed behind for quality time with Dad - and I got to relax, eat, drink and be merry without chasing down a toddler. The weather outside was gorgeous! I brought my knitting along and was able to get in some knitting - I think I gave several comedians there some new material by my knitting in public, but whatever. It's what I enjoy and luckily for me my brother and sister-in-law have no problem with me whipping out the needles in their backyard.

I am currently test knitting a sock for JL Yarnworks
Test Knit
Looking at it this way makes me think it's a doll or something - I promise, in the next day or so, you'll see it in it's sock-y cuteness. I'm working up the toddler size and it is going to be really cute.

I did get gauge (10 stitches / inch on US0!) and I'm using Malabrigo Sock Yarn in the colorway "cote d'azure" - it's a great dark ink blue. I have fingers crossed that I can get the Lorax to wear the sock with a really cute navy / white dress she has yet to wear. Anyway, love the color, but I do need to be sure that I have really good light to see those stitches!

Pretty Stitches
There is half of the heel flap - I don't know if it has a particular name, but it involves a four row repeat and I love the texture it creates in the fabric.

I also brought another project to work on at the party, being prepared for assorted levels of light, conversation, alcohol intake (no toddler for me to watch over!) but wouldn't you know it? I only worked on the sock - the other project (red yarn, DK weight, on US7 needles) I messed up on multiple times - the stitch count, the increases, the cast on. I actually took scissors to it and had a do-over. On the whole, not bad for knitting in public.


This Moment

Mommy's Foot

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

– Amanda Blake Soule, Soulemama.com

(Also thanks to Peaceful Mom - she participates and shares some wonderful moments!)


Unseasonable - part 2

Going with my own trend of knitting out of season, I've finished a pair of Bella's Mittens. As before, these are samples for FiberTrades.com

These are knit in Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky - they are a relatively quick knit. Ravelry details are here. And warm! I wish I had a pair of these back when I was college and graduate school. My time spent in Providence and Syracuse involved a lot of walking and those places do get winter! The blend of wool and mohair results in a little bit of fuzz factor.
Fuzz Factor

It is not the easiest trick to photograph yourself while wearing mittens. The Lorax is still too small to have her take the photo and she did not want to wear the mittens either. She was interested in seeing herself when I flipped the display around, set the self-timer and had the camera on the stairs...

And then she wanted to do more.

FYI, a samurai sword makes a great mitten display:


Nutmeg Knitting - My Etsy Shop

A while back I spotted a post on Ravelry by Kate of TotToppers.com - she was going to allow for knitters to purchase a cottage license, which means the knitter has permission to sell the finished product of selected patterns. I thought this was a great idea, reasonable in price, and I adore her work, so I jumped on the opportunity.

I am now an Official Licensed Seller for 4 of the Tot Toppers patterns: Cabled Tie Topper, Little Miss Muffet, Tiger Stamped, and the Checkered Square Cap.

I've got an etsy shop set up too.

A sample of what's there in the shop:
Nutmeg Knitting Sample

Custom work is accepted happily! I'm knitting as fast as I can on my own ideas of color combos and such and I am loving getting to try out some new-to-me yarns. I have made a sale to a local friend, so yay on that! Feedback is welcome too - and of course, if you happen to be in need of a baby / toddler hat, orders are welcome as well! :) Everything listed right now is ready to ship. I think this afternoon or tomorrow I'll make the "Tot Toppers" category be the "custom order requests" or something along those lines. I've signed up with the EtsyFAST and EtsyKnitters teams. I hope to be able to join the EtsyBaby team as well - need a few more sales first! Wish me luck!



We've had a stretch of not so great weather, but yesterday turned out to be a lot nicer than I thought it would be. A spur of the moment decision lead to a picnic on the town green with the Lorax. We have eaten outside before, but I made a big deal out of this - making sure to call it a picnic, telling her about the blanket we would sit on, packing her usual lunch fare. And you know what? It was great. She sat on the blanket, rolled around on the blanket, walked a bit away from me but not too far. We really need to do this more often. And sure, we can have a picnic in the backyard or in the family room if it's rainy, but there was something special about this first one.

I hope the simplicity continues - the weekend is supposed to be nice as well - we've got plans for a bathroom painting job and some mulch spreading and garden prep!


Unseasonable - part 1

I can not speak for any knitter other than myself, but I have a tendency to knit things out of season. I think you have to, in part because knitting can take so long that if you start that wool sweater in December it will be July before you finish it. Earlier this year, probably late February - early March I found myself almost inexplicably drawn to nearly obnoxious bright colors. And now, here were are in mid-May and the weather is getting warmer, and I am knitting Acorns (pattern by Suse on her blog).

They do make cute little decorations, but I'm not that organized for fall 2010.

This was a knitting job, to make up these samples for FiberTrades.com

In all, I knit up 10 Acorns, using a variety of roughly worsted weight yarns and some fingering weight yarns, and dpns that ranged from US0 to US10. Of course, I have forgotten to include anything for scale in my photo, but the smallest acorn was about 1.5 inches from top to bottom and the largest was just over 3 inches.
10 Acorns

Now that project is on its way back to FiberTrades.com and what knitting job do I have next? Bella's Mittens using Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky, elbow length, of course.


I may crochet...

I adore crochet. I still need to have out a "How-to" laminated cheat sheet for the stitches as well as my copy ofCrocheting in Plain English. I want to crochet, I really do. I am not going to turn in my needles for hooks, but I see so many interesting things out there and it is just that crochet can do some things that knitting can not. My Ravelry Queue for crochet mostly has toys on it, that's really what I yearn for. That and pretty much anything by Sarah London (I'm really in love with the Wool Eater blanket!) and Attic24 and these stars and the list goes on. I lurked on the Ravelry group for a Potholder Swap, but couldn't figure out what to do quickly enough and I certainly wasn't confident enough in my skills.

Then, I was invited to join The Dazzling Dozen Potholder Swap on Ravelry - here are the details: This swap will place you in a group of either 6 or 12 members. When a group has enough members, a “Featured Member” will be chosen for the month. Each member of the group will then crochet a potholder for the “Featured Member” and send it to them. The next moth, a different “Featured Member” will be selected and they will then be the lucky recipient of either 5 or 11 beautiful potholders. This group will accept members year round and signups will proceed on a rolling basis. As soon as one group of fills up, they will begin swapping and a new group will begin.
Totally my speed.

I have sent on my first potholder to this month's recipient (My month to receive is December). I really wanted to do the Stir Me Up (Rav link) pattern, I ended up confused, so instead went with Disc-Disc pattern by ChickenBetty - the yarn is an assortment of Sugar 'n Cream in the brightest colors I have - yellow, orange, lime green and hot pink. I think it worked.
(Front, "Terra Fuela" Ben & Jerry's pint for scale)

Close Ups

I have been trying to hold the crochet hook differently and I think that helped. I hold the hook in my left hand and I was a bit stabby with it. I tried to hold it more "pencil" like and I think I can sort-of make that work effectively. I can not hold it like a "knife" because even though I am left-handed I hold my knife in my right hand. It's proven to be a challenge just to hold the yarn in the right hand - my knitting muscles are quite well defined!

"I am Hutterite" - Book Review

"I Am Hutterite" by Mary-Ann Kirkby
From the booksneeze.com website and Thomas Nelson publishing company:
**A fascinating journey into the heart and culture of a reclusive religious community.

"I Am Hutterite" takes readers into the hidden heart of the little-known Hutterite colony where author Mary-Ann Kirkby spent her childhood. When she was ten, her parents packed up their seven children and a handful of possessions and left the colony to start a new life. Overnight they were thrust into a world they didn't understand, a world that did not understand them.

With great humor, Kirkby describes how she adapted to popular culture, and with raw honesty she describes her family's deep sense of loss for their community. More than a history lesson, I Am Hutterite is a powerful tale of retracing steps and understanding how our beginnings often define us.**

I am very happy that this was one of the choices over on booksneeze.com. I hadn't heard of the book, nor had I heard of Hutterites, but I like a good memoir and the idea of having to endure such a radical culture shift from religious colony to "English" in 1969 sounded really interesting. I devoured this book in 3 days - I found so much of the detail of colony life to be so engaging, if a bit slow to start (though in reading before bed I found it quite calming - maybe that's the qualities of the Hutterites coming through?) I had a bit of trouble in the beginning keeping all the relatives straight, but it didn't take away from the story. There is a family tree in the back of the book, along with a glossary for the Hutterite language sprinkled throughout the book - I wish that had been placed in the front of the book for my own reference. The book details life on the colony, her grandparents, parents and siblings, but I felt stopped short when it came to life outside of the colony. We are told of the authors early years in "English" school (middle school / early high school), but I would have liked to learn more about her adjustments into the outside culture and her trips back to the colony. Overall this was a very enjoyable read and I plan to share this with family and friends (Wife, "Mom", Knitter - I'll bring it to knitting for you!).
I review for BookSneeze

Disclosure: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program in exchange for a fair review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


What a Yarn!

There’s one love that we all share: yarn. Blog about a particular yarn you have used in the past or own in your stash, or perhaps one that you covet from afar. If it is a yarn you have used you could show the project that you used it for, perhaps writing a mini ‘review’. Perhaps, instead, you pine for the feel of the almost mythical qiviut? You could explore and research the raw material and manufacturing process if you were feeling investigative.

Yarn. I've got a whole closet full of it. And several drawers of a dresser. And a few bags scattered around the house. I have lusted after yarn. Yarn has taunted me. And yet, when I try to think about one particular yarn, my brain immediately says, "Well, it depends on the project!". True enough. I'd prefer to look at this on a project by project basis.

Baby stuff - Right now I'm really loving Berroco Comfort - it's an acrylic / nylon blend, but oh so soft to knit with. Great colors, great value, and I love that it comes in several weights. Also, machine washable? Perfect. I used this yarn to make a Tiger Stamped hat by Kate Oates
I live in UCONN territory, so for me, this hat is all about "Husky Love".

Socks My sock mojo has been hibernating for a while. I am working on a sample sock for Lorna's Laces using their Shepherd Sock (a superwash merino / nylon blend) in a top-secret colorway and I think I can feel my sock mojo returning. I have used this yarn once before to make my Neon Socks (Rav link) back in 2006 and I am proud to say that I still have and wear them! It's a great yarn, great colors and wears extremely well. Did you Vote for the new Lorna's Laces yarn line? And while you're on their blog, read up on the new colorway that Ysolda (yes, Ysolda!) helped envision!

Sweaters There are so many great choices for this, but in a heartbeat I would tell you to go invest in some Cascade 220. It's a worsted weight, workhorse wool yarn. Shows cables wonderfully. I fell in love with this yarn making my Central Park Hoodie. It was wonderful to knit with, is warm but not heavy or itchy. It is piling a little bit under the arms, but I wear it a lot and I am not gentle with it either.

Hats I think I would go with the Cascade 220 here as well. Maybe Brown Sheep. I've made a bunch of hats (I group baby hats with baby stuff, so here I'm talking about grown up hats) and don't feel particularly attached. I think it's because you really can use just about anything to make a hat and the end result will still usually (if you've knit it correctly) keep your head warm. Not a big investment of time or money (and if you did, I think it would be a bit foolish. One exception. The Shedir I blogged about earlier. That took a long time. Cables.)

Scarves / Cowls Yarn is an important choice here. You want something soft and warm but don't want to sweat or be eating bits of fiber fluff. I've made Dan a scarf out of Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande and man does that stuff call out to me whenever I see it. So soft. It's time I had a scarf of my own made with that yarn.

Lace I don't do a whole lot with lace, but I am looking forward to working with the lace I picked up at the CT Sheep and Wool festival from Mocha's fiber Connections and the lovely skein of MadelineTosh laceweight (a yarn that taunted me for weeks!).

I think that covers the basic areas that I knit. I will also tell you that in doing sample knitting for some yarn companies, and sometimes designers, I am incredibly lucky to get to try out new yarns before the general public. I just finished a wee item for Schaefer Yarn Company in a yarn that was so fabulous to work with I wish I could share some with each knitter I meet. And that new color from Lorna's Laces? You're going to love it!

TAGGING CODE: knitcroblo7


Revist a past FOo

Bring the fortune and life of a past finished project up to the present. Document the current state and use of an object you have knitted or crocheted, whether it is the hat your sister wears to school almost every day, or a pair of socks you wore until they were full of hole. Or maybe that jumper that your did just didn’t like that much…

Meet Patrick, the Penguin.


I made Patrick for Dan way back in 2005. I think that the pattern was from The World of Knitted Toys - I think. When we went to Hawaii on our honeymoon, there were penguins at the resort! The keepers told us about how the penguins find a mate and stick with that mate. So, for my new mate, I thought it was appropriate to knit a penguin. I started knitting Patrick on the sly - when I first started going to a knitting group at a local starbucks. But, it got to a point where I had to start seaming and I had to do that at home, in front of Dan. So I told him what I was making. He was still surprised! Patrick currently resides in my kitchen and keeps an eye on us.



This weekend, though gorgeous in weather, was spent snuggling with a sick little Lorax. She woke up on Saturday morning having thrown up at some point in the night / early morning. We got her showered and cleaned up and there was more vomit. Same story that afternoon too. Sunday morning too. It's been a bit stressful, never a fever though. Luckily though she is on the mend - that was apparent around 5pm last night when we got her up and she asked for chicken nuggets and fries. Um, sorry kiddo, not tonight. We went slow and steady with some fluids and cheerios and a few bites of pasta. This morning she seems a bit better, but still very sleepy / clingy. So, one step at a time. Oh and did I mention we had company this weekend? Fun times. I'm working on my final posts for the "Knit & Crochet Blog Week" - they will be up for this afternoon or tomorrow.
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