Thursday, October 25, 2012

More Autumnal Goodness

Some fall fun, above, and fall food, below. I love this season! Or as Neighbor JoCameron says, "It's not a season, it's an emotion." Yup

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pumpkins and Spice

O has fallen head over heels with Halloween this year. Starting in September he was inviting all of his classmates to his Halloween party. We've had to tell him many times over that we weren't planning on holding a Halloween party and yet he continues to devise games, invitations, songs... for the guests at HIS Halloween party. His teachers told the class no more talk of Halloween until October! On October 1st, he asked Papa if he knew what day it was... and then grinned from ear to ear because now he could talk about Halloween at school again.

I thought we better get in the spirit of things around here. I was inspired by some Halloween decor and paint chip Easter eggs that I saw on Pinterest, so on Sunday morning, Oliver, Etta and I got busy drawing and sticking and crafting. I present you our Halloween decor:

Paint Chip Banner

 Halloween Mobile

Coffee Can Jack-o-Lanterns

:: Paint Chip Garland. Sherwin Williams' paint chips had a punch on one side, so I just hole-punched the other and strung the orange yarn through. We drew on the paint chips with gel pens, but they didn't show up too darkly. From afar, it just looks like plain paint chips
:: Halloween Mobile. I spray painted an embroidery hoop and stuck store-bought (Target) felt Halloween stickers on either side of perfectly Halloween yarn (gifted to me from Julie!). This was the kidlets' favorite one and O wants it in his room.
:: Coffee Can Jack-o-Lanterns. This is an old one that Darling and I did pre-kids. I think I pulled it from a Martha Stewart Living magazine. You fill a coffee can with water and freeze it. Then use a hammer and nail to pound out your face. Pour the water off and voila! I fill the bottom with sand to set the candles in and use those huge stinky candles I won't allow in the house.

Next up: some ghosts to hang in the trees. Just need to figure the head part out...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tis the Season

Fall is such a season of opposites. Perfectly enjoyable weather with gorgeous autumn color juxtaposed with biting wind and sleet. End of summer relaxation mixed with before winter busy-ness. And that pretty much describes our weekend here. Pickling, saucing, canning, tractoring (whatever you may call moving soil), crafting, organizing, purging, pumpkin picking, and leaf peeping. (oh and knitting, but of course)

Happy Fall to you, fleeting and feisty though it may be!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Knit 3 Together

Finished up some lingering summer knits at the end of August and September:

Mini Manu Cardigan for Etta
Pattern: Mini Manu by Kate Davies
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Cove and Wash
Ravelry: Notes here

I picked up this project after being inspired by an online Knit-A-Long (KAL). This was a seriously fussy pattern in that there were so many details and techniques involved. I was done with the body of the sweater, but needed to still do button plackets and i-cord and pockets, oh my! And I'm not really a process knitter, I'm a production knitter, so many of those nuances get lost on me. All that said, I love the end result and I do think it was worth the extra time. Lovely sweater with a great fit. And a superwash super soft yarn! Winner winner. Really, the only problem with this sweater is that it made me an addict for Tosh DK, which is simply not an affordable vice.

Garter Yoke Cardigan for Moi
Pattern: Garter Yoke Cardigan by Melissa LaBarre
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Walnut (8013) and Noro Silk Garden (279 and 88)
Buttons: Vintage Gramma stash from Jenn + thrifted ones
Ravelry: Notes here

I felt guilty knitting yet another sweater for myself, so I started this excitedly in February, but tried to work on it between projects mostly. Somehow, that made me feel better. Whatever. This was an easy knit and a really lovely pattern. I saw examples using the Noro for the yoke on Ravelry and fell in love. Had to keep looking to find a colorway that wasn't too bold for my taste, but I think I nailed it. Love it. Unfortunately, that race training weight loss makes it a bit baggy. A good problem to have, I reckon.

Duffle Coat for Etta
Pattern: Duffle Coat by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport in Winter Blue (117)
Buttons: a thrifty find
Ravelry: Notes here

This is the pattern that never ends... I should have learned my lesson that when doing a bunch of modifications on a pattern, it's best to keep knitting. But I got bored with this one and doubted the sizing and so it dragged on. Endless rows of knit knit knit. Debbie Bliss patterns can be cute, but they require tons of seaming. And I am adverse to seaming. Why do all that casting off only to pick up stitches again? So I modified this to be done in the round. I was right on my guessing for the sizing (notes from Ravelry knitters tipped me off). The pattern goes up to 9-12 months, which is the size that I made. Here, you can see it is still roomy for Etta at 20 months. Why do designers make such short, fat baby sweaters? I attempted to foil that design flaw with this project, and I did. But barely.

Impress Dress for Etta

Pattern: Impress Dress by Anna and Heidi Pickles
Yarn: Plymouth Earth Oceanside Organic (bone and sand), Berroco Linen Jeans (Army Fatique and Fiddlehead)
Ravelry: Notes here

This dress turned out lovely and I really wish I would have gotten to it early in the summer (I meant to...) It just fits. She could still wear it this fall with tights and a cardigan, but I think I'll cast on another next spring, a bit larger. It was a pretty quick knit, although the pattern was not clear. Not sure if that was a translation issue or just poor editing, but I hesitate to buy the paid/sized version because of the errors. I think I can figure out biggering it.

Knitted Bangles for me and Kud
Inspiration: This project on Ravelry
Yarn: Nature Spun sport and a natural wool I got in New Zealand
Ravelry: Notes Here

These were really fun to knit. I just tested a gauge, measured the bracelet, knit a tube and seamed it on. Good, fun, quick - lots of compliments when I wear mine! I got a score of bangles at the thrift about a month ago and am planning on gifting heaps of these.

Fisherman's Cap for Darling
Pattern: Aran Watch Cap by Charlene Schurch
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky in Grove (and Charcoal)
Ravelry: Notes here

Darling has said that he likes the hats that I knit him, but that they aren't particularly warm. With the exception of one thick, brimmed tuque, they've all been without a folded brim. This one should fit the bill. And the Tosh Chunky is superwash, so unlike his cashmere cap, it won't be catastrophic if it slips into the laundry. So far, he loves it.

Wow - that's probably more knitting than you care to hear about... But let me tell you what's in the basket for fall projects before I sign off:

High Water for Oliver in Tosh Vintage

I'm doing the High Water as a KAL with Jods and Kristen [Knit 3 together, get it? Am I witty?]. I think I'll have a better chance of keeping up on the project and being monogamous this way. And I think I'll get the concept of a KAL better when it's, you know, real. Not online.

Middlefield Pullover for myself in Tosh DK

Jane Hat for myself in Tosh Chunky

(I told you I got addicted to Madelinetosh yarns)
Last 3 photos are stock pattern photos from Ravelry