2011 - the objects

This year feels like I didn't create all that much, but I think I still did pretty well. My total for 2011 that I knit/crocheted or finished includes: 2 pair of mittens, 3 cowls, 14 people hats, 2 hats for Jackson, 30 hexipuffs, 2 stroller blankets, 1 pair of tinkerbell shoes, 1 turtle, 1 pair of booties, 4 shawls, 2 spoon coasters, 2 sweaters, 1 headband, 1 scarf, 2 pairs of socks, 1 vest, 1 grass, 2 crochet monster-things, 1 doll, 1 pair of flittens. And I had a baby, so that threw my momentum off for a bit. I have been stash diving and looking ahead to what the next bunch of projects will be - can't wait to share them!


for 2012

It's resolution time. I love the idea of resolutions, I really do. My follow through on any resolutions I have made for myself has gotten better the less stringent they are. Looking back at last year, here are some things that May, or May Not, Happen in 2012:
*I will keep working on the Beekeeper's Quilt
*I will keep working on the Neon Nightmare
*Knit Dan a new pair of socks. Did I tell you he wore out the Manhattan socks I made? Each sock has a large hole where the heel should be. And, he still wears them! According to him, his toes are still warm. As a knitter, I'm honored... as his wife, I'm horrified! Don't wear holey-heeled socks! This might have to take a top priority spot!
*Baby knits - I've got a list of 5 babies I want to knit for, all before July. I have patterns and yarns picked out, so I am in good shape to start that. This doesn't included any knitting for my own baby.
*A sweater for me!
*Read my knitting books - so many times I just go straight to the pattern sections but someone took the time to write these books I should honor that and actually read them!
*I really want to try steeking and some colorwork this year.


Photo Proof

My dad likes to take pictures. A. Lot. Of. Pictures. Granted, he is really good at it - he has a nice camera and with the grandkids he does get lots of practice. Looking at his photos from Christmas I noticed we have a lot of similar shots - photos of the kids, a picture of my brother and his girlfriend on the computer via gchat while we all gather around, etc. Having another photographer comes in handy for a different perspective and proof of some events.

We have had Christmas Crackers at the Christmas table for the last several years, I believe since my brother returned from his study abroad program in college. And his wife has always had them at her Christmas. Anyway, Christmas crackers come with a toy, a joke and a paper crown inside. Everyone wears the crown at dinner. This year, I ripped mine when trying to get it on my head.

I remember us all laughing about it, and here is the proof. I ripped my crown putting it on my head.

And here is my lovely family. Laughing at me in the "Oh yes, you DO have a big head that ripped your crown!" My sister-in-law was kind enough to try and blame it on my hair and clips. We all can see what's happening here. Thanks, Dad!
I especially love my brother's expression of horror!


I have decided to embrace it though - I took a photo from my Dad that had my uncle (who also claims to have a large head of hair) and I with a new crown, and I am using it as profile pic just about everywhere.

Yarn Along - December 28

from small things
~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~
I truly believe there is not much better than a big stack of books! I am a very lucky gal and this pile was given to me for Christmas. Make the Bread, Buy the Butter is fantastic so far - this book has made me chuckle several times. I love the "tell-it-like-it-is" - I have a cookbook that my mom and grandmother also have - when I got my copy I had to borrow mom's to copy all her notes (Gooey, Not worth the trouble, Looks awful tastes delish!etc). The Knitter's Book of Socks has been on my wishlist for a while. It is a readable book, a reference book, an inspiring knitting book. Good stuff. Dan's next pair of socks are coming from that book I believe. The Big Book of Knitted Monsters has some fun toy patterns that has me eyeballing my stash leftovers. And another knitting book - Baby Beanies. My kid's heads are only getting bigger and there is a new crop of babies due next year! At the bottom of the pile is a book my Dad made, "The Year Lorelai Met Nathaniel" - he puts together a photo book each year of some of his best shots. I do a similar project for the grandparents, but it is really nice to get one as well with different shots!

There is one lonely little hexi-flat. I am re-thinking the "Beekeeper Quilt" project. I am still planning to do it, over a long period of time, but now I think I do not want to stuff and puff these little pieces. This little hexi is 100% cashmere (LOVELY!) and the mini was sent to me through a "Secret Santa" swap on Ravelry. I knit it up on Christmas Eve while traveling and would keep stopping the knitting to fondle the fabric.

I love giving books at Christmas as well, and the Lorax received a new one that we have already read many times - Christmas in the Big Woods. Nate also received some new board books - Eric Carle and Dinosaurs, already big hits!

Christmas Knits

I have to say, I am quite pleased with myself and the gifts I knit for Christmas. There was no frantic weaving in of ends, and for the most part everything work as I intended it to. I found these great handmade gift labels to attach to each gift and include some care instructions on the backside. Each was received in the proper way, so I know I made good choices in knitting for the right people!

I made my first pair of thrummed mittens for my cousin. I found a kit at Rhinebeck this year that came with the yarn and fiber all together - I even went back to the Good Karma Farm booth to purchase a second kit and I do plan on making myself something thrummed because whoo-boy, they are warm and cozy!
Fleece Stuffed Mittens
I had to wing it a bit on the size, as my cousin told me she had small hands - but upon receipt she said they fit and really liked them, so that's a win!

I am so proud of crocheting my first wearable, the Cardiff Cowl, in Malabrigo Silky for my Godmother.
This was lovely right off the hook, and after a quick blocking it opened up even more. Win!

I also knit a cowl, Ptarmigan, a BrooklynTweed-Jared Flood design, for my sister-in-law.
Ptarmigan Cowl
The yarn is Delly's Delight - "Oh So Soft" 100% alpaca - that we actually both bought our first time at Rhinebeck together back in 2009. I have plenty left over and am seriously considering making this again, for myself. I really enjoyed knitting this and it was hard to wrap it up and give it away.

Keeping with my own tradition, I knit another Koolhaas this season. This one is for my Dad.
2011 Koolhaas
I obviously had some trouble getting a good picture of this one - the yarn is Cascade 220 superwash in a really nice chocolate brown.

I was going to make a Koolhaas for my brother as well, but after talking with his wife she told me he would be happier with a plain plain plain hat. After some back and forth for ideas she suggested the Regular Guy Beanie
I chose a slightly nicer yarn, Mountain Mohair from Green Mountain Spinnery, and enjoy the boringness of this hat pattern. My brother really liked it, so that's all that matters. Especially if it means he will wear it.

Now I am feeling the itch to cast on *ALL THE THINGS*! I do have a sample knit that I am working on and is my current #1 priority, but I've got a mental list going - earflap hat for me, earflap hat for Lorelai, new socks for Dan, next hat for Nate, hexipuffs (which I'm thinking I may switch gears and go hexi-flat and not stuff them). I was generously gifted several knitting books and a set of blocking wires so that only fuels the fire to knit more and knit faster!


Babies in boxes

Forget Stuffonmycat.com - I will take "Babies in Boxes & Bags".
Where else would you put a baby down while at the grocery store?

Do you have a feeling of deja vu? Because I certainly do.

Baby in a box
(Lorelai, April 2008)

Who ordered a dose of cute?


Professional Test Knitter

I am way behind on blog reading, thanks to a certain little nutmeg who seems to be sleeping through the night (*knock on wood that I didn't just jinx myself!!*). I do make sure to read blogs of my Ravelry friends and fellow knitters. Did you catch the YarnHarlot's post about professional test knitting?

I test knit. I sample knit. I have done this for friends, for designers and for yarn companies. I have been compensated in some way or paid for my work, fairly, and the resulting work is quite good, if I do say so myself. For me, there are many positives to this sort of work - I get to work with yarns I might not usually choose, on patterns that I probably wouldn't pick - it is good to expand my experiences. Each project also usually brings me a chance to learn or improve on a new skill. Even the most enjoyable jobs have the occasional downside and test / sample knitting certainly can have those moments, but it doesn't keep me from doing it.

Here's some of the work I have done: My Samples and Tests

I have put "Sample / Test Knitter" on my resume. I have worked with several well known names in the business. This sort of work requires me to work independently, sometimes with little direction, on a deadline and requires efficient communication. I would love to be "certified" as a test / sample knitter. I wonder if going through that "Master Knitter" program would be the closest thing? In the meantime, I will keep on knitting for my companies, I will keep on making friends with designers, and I will keep my eye on Ravelry and Twitter for test and sample knitting opportunities. Anyone hiring? I'm available!


Christmas Tree

I am making good progress on some items to go under the tree for others so I thought I would share our tree this year. I was playing around with my camera settings according to several tutorials I found on pinterest.

This shot looked better on the camera screen. Oh well. It does accurately show our lights. We have had big bulbs of color, all white, and this year we have green. It is different and is growing on me quite a bit.

One of the newest ornaments for the tree.

Our tree is "topped" with a crystal star that we received as a wedding gift.

I like this photo, but the quality of it could be better. Just a branch or two down from the star are these two angels. The angel on the left is a souvenir from our trip to Ireland and the angel on the right was a gift many years ago. I am not sure if it was from my parents (I think it was) or my grandparents.

One of the oldest ornaments on the tree, Woodstock, was a gift to me when I was a year old or so from one of my aunts. I really need to sort through my ornament box or get a better storage system going so it doesn't have any more chips!

Snoopy is there too!

And then this is a familiar ornament on my couch. The Lorax loves playing on the ipad, lucky kid. She's quite good at "Fruit Ninja" and "Snoopy's Street Fair".

We haven't yet gotten a family photo in front of the tree, I need to take out the tripod. At least I am in a picture with the kids, as usually I am the one to take all the photos!



Yesterday, the Lorax turned 4! I knew it was coming, and yet I am still surprised that it happened. Time has gone by so fast. I think that 4 is probably the best birthday yet - she was excited that it was her birthday, had fun telling people that she is 4 and that they should say "Happy Birthday" to her, and yet there wasn't any whining for presents but each item she opened was met with "OOOOH! I always wanted this!"

For the record, my girl, at age 4, loves Tinkerbell & her fairy friends, loves princesses and all things girly. She can draw, she loves books, she loves the Snoopy movies and Charlie Brown Christmas. She tends to start her day with a glass of orange juice and a cut up apple, she tries to be a big help in the kitchen and is a fantastic big sister. And we are starting to get into the joke telling phase (Knock Knock. Who's there? Little Miss Smartypants. Little Miss Smartypants who? I don't know.)

She says she is going to have 100 birthdays. I hope she is right.


Yarn Along - Nov 30

Wednesdays are for Yarn Along!
"~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr.~"

I finished "The Help" (really enjoyed it!) and have started "The Hunger Games" (I'm hooked!), but right now my kindle is upstairs. I've got one more part of the vest for Nate to finish and I am a thumb away from having a finished pair of thrummed mitts!

I've also been working on a knitting job for Lorna's Laces with Kristi Porter, so that has been fun. It is a project somewhat under wraps for now, so this is the best I can show.
Yarn and garment in progress.

As I was coming in to take pictures and blog this scene awaited me. So appropriate for Yarn Along, right?
She is reading a Disney Fairies book to her dolls. The last few times we were at the library she has been adamant about getting "books without pictures"! We read a chapter book (one of the Rainbow Fairies series) last week at bedtime, a chapter each night, and she seemed to like that. Would you believe this girl is 4 today!! That deserves a post of its own (hopefully with photos I do not capture on the sly!).


Age old question

If a knitter knits some item, and leaves it lying around, will it get worn and used?
Well, I'll be. I knit up this Moochie hat for the Lorax back when it seemed like winter was arriving early. She picked the pattern and the yarn, and when it was finished she wouldn't let me see how it fit. So I left it at our front hall near the coats and shoes. She went for a hike in the woods with her dad today and decided that she needed to wear her hat. This is a quick iphone photo from their hike, maybe I will be able to get a better shot later. I will take any photo I can get - and there are no tears! How far we have come! Yay!


Happy Thanksgiving

My favorite time / week / day of the year. I know what to get everyone, I know what to make, I do not have to worry about any returns. Four years ago I knit this hat while waiting for the Lorax to arrive. It is a perfect fit for my new little butterball.
Jive Turkey
May your turkey be delicious and bonus points if it is cute!


Yarn Along - Nov 16

From small things - ~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr.
As evidenced by the photo, there is a lot going on. I finally started The Help and I have been completely sucked in. Between reading this and watching Mad Men I am trying to wrap my head around what life must have been like for the older generations of women in my family who had to deal with those gender and racial issues. We have had a run off colds here too, so while I crave the chance to sit and knit, when that chance comes I do not have too much brain power for it. I have the body done on Nate's sweater, one thrummed mitten done, several more stripes on the Neon Nightmare and a pilgrim hat for Jackson.

Yes. A pilgrim hat for the dog, because I am ridiculous. And I need a silly break from the noise, the sick, the general picking-everything-up-multiple-times-a-day, and getting ready to host a houseful of people for Nate's Baptism this weekend and Thanksgiving next week. And I am wondering if I can possibly knit white leg warmers for the baby by saturday? And a shrug for me or a shawl? And why did I pick colors for previously knit shawls that do not match anything I might possibly wear this weekend?
Pilgrim Jackson
Good effort buddy, trying to look dignified.



The inbetween time of Halloween and Thanksgiving. Ignore the fact that Christmas stuff and music is in the stores and that "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (original cartoon version) was on tv over the weekend. Also ignore the awful "Autumn Nor'easter" that left me with the sudden onset of the feeling that winter is coming (or winter never really left) I realized that my kids need new hats. Lorelai has gotten two years of wear out of the puple tot-topper that I made, but it is time for something new. She picked out a pattern (Moochi from the Bambeanies book) and found some purple yarn in the stash. I finished it on Thursday. Will she try it on? Long time readers of this blog can probably guess that she declined. I'll try to call on the back up model, Jackson, for a photo shoot later.

In the meantime while browsing the rest of the Bambeanies I decided to make Nate a new hat. The candy corn hat was cute and I am not going to make him wear the turkey hat for the next three weeks. Maybe just the week of Thanksgiving - he tried it on over the weekend and my word, you have never seen a cuter turkey. From a swap on Ravelry I claimed my favorite yarn, Malabrigo, in "Citrus" colorway. Yellows and oranges are not my thing, but there is no denying the sunshiney-fun of this yarn. And with the leaves changing and daylight savings in effect (or over?) a little regular cheer is good.
Citrus Polpo
The pattern is Polpo - a very quick knit and the little twisty bits are the top are cleverly constructed. I love that the pooling is almost stripey. I think I may use the rest of this yarn to make a Monsters. Or maybe a vest for Nate?


Happy Halloween

Hard to believe that I can look outside my window and see foliage on the trees and snow on the ground! On Friday we went to a local orchard's pumpkin patch for a Halloween parade:
my little witch
My little witch.

Horse in the pumpkin patch
Prize-winning "cow" (he's really a horse, the outfit has a mane) - he won for best animal costume!

And then on Saturday we had to switch to a costume of a different sort:
pre-halloween snow
Crazy. I'm in the middle of making the Lorax a new winter hat. She did well with the mittens, but this year she's big into picking up the snow, so I need to find some better "play in the snow" mitts.

Today we will be rocking the costumes to the grandparents and that is about it. Given the fickle nature of a pre-schooler, I did not bother to make any costumes this year, except for Jackson. He doesn't complain or change his mind and is properly motivated by cheese. Inspired by this, "My Pimp Paw is Strong, I made Jackson a new hat and chains. It was meant to be - I found exactly one feather when I went looking in the craft supplies!

May you have more treats than tricks!!


Yarn Along - Oct 26

From small things
~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

It's been an exciting week around this blog. The Yarn Harlot, after meeting TheatreKnitter, gave a shout out / linked to my blog for the PatPat's Hats project! Oh my. My little blog got 3,000 views over 4 days!! Crazy in the best possible way and I am so happy to help PatPat's Hats. The response has been very positive - there is a facebook page and a Ravelry group. While the initial donation is going to be made in January, this is anticipated to be an annual event.

On to the Yarn Along - I finished "Tattoos on the Heart" - I really enjoyed reading about Homeboy-industries. I keep thinking of the Anne Frank quote too, about how despite all that happens, deep down you have to believe that people are good at heart. I've been considering Christmas knitting and have cast on a few projects, shown here, neither of which though are Christmas gifts. The purple thing I hope to show off soon as it was an impulse project. The red and brown striped item is going to be a sweater for Nate. I love the fall chill in the air, that also seems to be in my house - I don't love that as it is not good for being energy efficient, but I love the feeling of wanting a cup of tea throughout the day and snuggling under a blanket at night. I have also been able to work on a few rows of the neon nightmare without breaking out in a sweat.

I feel like I am starting to find a few more moments during the day for some knitting, thank goodness!! The evenings are more of a challenge, but I will take what I can get!


PatPats Hats

Just putting this out there again - I've gotten some lovely hats and seen several in progress! Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, fibers and time!!

Fellow Knitters, I'm putting out the knit-signal...

(credit for the logo goes to TheBookishGirl way back when!)

My good friend Betsy, aka Theatreknitter, and her family have had some major stresses to deal with. On Aug. 31st her nephew, Patrick, was brought into Yale New Haven Children's Hospital ER. On that day they found 3 brain tumors that were quickly removed . While he is meeting milestones and doing pretty well recovering from his surgery, there is still a long way to go. She would like to thank the nurses, doctors, and community of Yale Children's by donating "Pat Pat's hats" (PatPat is what Patrick calls himself) so that children undergoing treatment can get a warm hat while receiving treatments. We're looking for hats for preemies to teenagers, and everything in between. Can you make a hat or two (or more? Or maybe you would like to help in some other way?)? I am helping out as I can as a point person for collecting the hats. The hats will be donated after the new year.

You can message me on Ravelry (I'm nutmegknitter) or shoot me an email: nutmegknitter AT gmail DOT com
We have also set up a Facebook page and event as well - if you would like to "attend". I think it is set as a "public" event, but if you have trouble message me and we can figure it out!


Rhinebeck Rejuvenates

This weekend went by way too fast and it was a complete success! I loved being away for a bit with the girls on Friday and getting to see family on Saturday. Rhinebeck is such a fun time - inspiration abounds just seeing all of wonderful handknits and lovely yarns, and people! I was a terrible "bingo" player - my Ravelry username button was left in the trunk of my car! - and I was so distracted by all the other things to look at that my bingo card stayed in my bag! The hats were a huge hit - to the non-knitters (like, my husband) who question my taste level while I was knitting or showed the finished project to them, they just don't understand how well it worked at the festival. It was fun to be a part of the group with the sparkle hats too and even more fun to be walking about and hear, "Ooh, love the hats! Ooh, the baby has one! Oooh, so Mom, Baby & Aunt!"

My "loose list" strategy worked really well I think. I ended up with two thrummed mitten kits from Good Karma Farm - one is intended for a Christmas gift and the other is for me.
There were a lot of other lovely things that caught my eye, but I resisted - I have a lot more ideas going forward for sure!

Nate gave his aunt and uncle a real sample of what babies are like - he fussed quite a bit after dinner on Saturday, but they were really good sports about it - they stepped up and gave it a shot to walk with him / snuggle him / get him to calm down. Even the cats didn't mind too much, but I think they liked sharing Nate's play mat. Doesn't Arthur look happy?

And now, it's back to the grind leaving the wool fumes behind. Till next year Rhinebeck!


Two Months!

Babies change so fast - today is Nate's 2 month birthday and he is so different already. He's doing great at picking his head up, loves sleeping on his tummy, can usually find his thumb if he's on his stomach, and just yesterday started "talking" with a lot of cooing / oohing / aahing. He did great at his first fiber festival (more on that later). He is rather fussy in the car, but I think most of that can be chalked up to gas - he's a gassy baby. If you are patient and talk to him and make a variety of silly faces, you get some pretty great faces back:




Rhinebeck or Bust!

I am beyond excited that Rhinebeck is this coming weekend! I will be attending with the little Nutmeg, so it is not a complete vacation, but still, to be surrounded friends and family and knitters and fiber and yarns and have it all be NORMAL will be wonderful. Last year I made the effort to say Hello to people when I recognized them. This year I've signed up for Rhinebeck Bingo

Want a tip on how to find me? Well, like last year, all the members of SnB in attendance at Rhinebeck made the same hat. This year we are doing it again, only bigger / bolder and full of bling... well, some sparkle anyway.
I've made 3 of these hats - one for me, one for my SIL and one for Nate. Can't you just tell how much he loves it?! The pattern is Flirtatious by Cathy Carron - gosh I hope she's at Rhinebeck to see us!

2011 Rhinebeck Hat of Awesomeness
Seriously. Didn't the Lorax tell him this is just the beginning of the knitting nonsense I will try to put on him?

Hope you say Hi! Even if I'm not on your bingo card!
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