Wednesday, December 31, 2014

WIPs, FO's & Year in Review

Time slipped away from us again.  The holidays have been crazy busy but with the New Year starting, we are going to try to keep on track with this blog.

We may not have been blogging, but we have definitely been knitting over here.  All of my Christmas knitting has been gifted so I can finally show you what I have been working on.

First is my dad's scarf.  The pattern is Malabrigo Waffles Scarf knit out of Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool.  He has a tan winter coat so I thought this would go well with it.

Dad's Waffle Scarf
I wasn't planning on knitting for my co-workers this year, but after seeing how fast this tree knit up, I decided to knit a bunch to give the girls in my department.  The little white duck was a special ornament for a friend who is retiring next week.

The trees are from the Christmas Knit Ornament Set by Amy Gaines

Jen and I have been doing a Winter Madness swap (original idea came from the Odd Ducks of Ravelry group).  We build each other a kit to make something out of our favorites or queue, get some goodies and include an ornament.  I have been in love with this Snowman Diorama ornament for a few years now and decided to make one for her. Now I need to make some for my tree and for some family members for next Christmas.

Jen here, just wanted to add that I was so excited to get this ornament. It is so amazing! I plan to leave it out all year long!

My final FO is my Breakup Vanilla socks using Desert Vista Dyeworks, Pretty Hate Machine self-striping yarn.  I am so in love with this colorway and can't wait to make a blanket square out of the leftovers.  This yarn is extra special to me because Susan of DVD held a contest in 2014 where you suggest musicians, songs or albums based on certain themes each month.  For November, I suggested Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine and my entry was one of the top 5 votes of that month so I won a skein in my suggested colorway!

Fish Lips Kiss Heel-Desert Vista Dyeworks Pretty Hate Machine
I just have a couple of WIPs on the needles right now (that I am actively working on...)

The first is a Tubularity using my Miss Babs coffee break kit that I got at Rhinebeck.

Endless Coffee Break-Tubularity

The second is a pair of Hermione's Every Day socks using Candy Skein Yummy Fingering in Confetti Cupcake.  The colorway was the exclusive January 2014 colorway and since my birthday is in January, these are my birthday socks.

I do not know how time keeps slipping from me! I also have given all my Christmas gifts so I have just a few FOs to share.

The first is my Snakes in a Grass hat knit in Malabrigo Arroyo that I had leftover from my Ginny Cardigan.  My grandma requested a hat for Christmas, so I thought that this one would be perfect. The yarn is soft and squishy, and it should be super warm for her. The hat was supposed to be slouchier, and if I made it again I would add a repeat to the cable pattern.

I made this little Bluebird of Happiness ornament as part of a local ornament swap. I even used some of my handspun to knit it up. I really like it, and can see using my leftover handspun to make lots more of these.

Lastly, I made this DNA scarf for John. I tried this pattern when I first learned to knit, and found it incredibly difficult.  I also didn't like the yarn that I chose to knit it up with. I was knitting a cotton blend, with wooden needles, and needles to do cables, so for me it was just a recipe for disaster.  This time I chose to use Cascade 220 superwash, and gave it another try. It was a success! John liked it so much too! He said it was even a good DNA pattern too heh

I have two WIPs on the needles, a pair of Fawkes socks for me knit up with Supernatural Yarns Pixie Sock - Yer A Wizard Harry Colorway.  This color was released for Harry Potter's birthday, and I just had to have it. The colors are based on the cake that Hagrid gives to Harry.  
I have made this pattern once before, and I really wanted another pair that was slightly longer. So I added a cable repeat in the leg.  The other WIP is a secret present for someone so I will share that later.

Jen and I thought it would be fun to go through this past year and pick our favorite highlights and projects from 2014.  It's nice to look back at the year and see how much fun we had.

My favorite FOs of 2014 would have to be...

 Follow Your Arrow MKAL.   I had so much fun knitting each clue at a time, with a group of people.  I still want to knit this again and switch some of the clue's around.  

Wild Thing by Susan Claudino.  This toy is so adorable!  I still have to knit another one for Jen so we can have matching Wild Things.  

198 Yards of Heaven.  This shawl was pretty therapeutic for me to knit and my mom loves it.

Pedestrian Crossing Cowl.  I knit this for a very sweet friend of mine.  Such a lovely knit, I need to make more of these.

My favorite FOs of 2014 would have to be...

  • Follow your Arrow MKAL - I also loved this project. It was fun to pick patterns as they came out. I can definitely see making another one of these.
  • Meadow Brook Shawlette - I test knit this shawl for a friend who is a designer. I decided to use some of my handspun and I just love how it turned out.
  • Winter Twilight Mitts - My first true stranded colorwork project. I loved these mitts so much, it was hard to give them up in a swap.
  • DNA scarf - I really loved that I struggled with this before, and now was able to finish it successfully. 

My favorite moments of the year?  
Maryland Sheep & Wool.  Getting to meet Renee, going to the spin-in, lots of shopping and lots of bestie time (even though my snoring made her want to throat punch me ;p)

Hearing the Yarn Harlot speak.  Hilarious.  I hope to hear her again in the future.

Rhinebeck.  I got to meet so many people!  Knitabulls, The Vintage Rose, Steph and Stacie from Must Stash!

Jess summed up my favorite moments of the year too! The only thing else I would add was going to New Orleans earlier in the year and visiting Diagon Alley!

Thank you all for being patient and for following us this year.  We look forward to more road trips, adventures and lots to blog about in 2015!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Playing Catch Up-FO overload

I have been totally slacking on this blog thing!  The end of October/half of November is always busy for me.  The church I belong to has a basket social each year in Mid-November and I am on the committee.  A couple of weeks before we usually have a meeting or two to go over last minute details, then we set up and on the day of the event I am typically there for 15 hours.  It's so much fun though and I won big this year!  One of the ladies on the committee donated a Game of Thrones basket.  It has a Winter is Coming pillow (the reverse side shows the Stark emblem), a season 3 soundtrack, a book that shows behind the scenes of the show, a chip bowl and cup set, a puzzle and a deck of cards.  I was the lucky winner of that basket!  I also won a Penn State themed basket and an Easter basket.

Aside from the basket social, I have been doing A LOT of knitting.  

I was involved in a Halloween swap in the Susan Claudino Designs group on Ravelry.  My partner loves Harry Potter so I customized the Wild Things pattern to make him look like Dobby.  I knit him a wee sock so he can show the world that he is a free elf.

I did a KAL with some Ravelry friends.  We were all excited for the season premiere of The Walking Dead, so we were planning projects using Desert Vista Dyeworks, If They Kill Rick.  I made myself a pair of vanilla socks.  I was supposed to wait for the premiere to cast on, but I couldn't help myself and started early.

If They Kill Rick socks-yarn is Desert Vista Dyeworks Viso, colorway:  If They Kill Rick
After the socks were done, I wanted another mindless project.  I cast on a Sockhead hat using The Cyborg's Craft Room, Softwear in Joan Collins Blazer.

Sockhead in Joan Collins Blazer

The Susan Claudino Designs group had another swap.  This one was a snowball fight.  We were put in teams of 3, all living relatively close to each other.  One person starts it off, sends a Snowball Buddy ornament to person 2.  Once received, person 2 asks person 3 which they would prefer and mails to them.  When they receive theirs, person 3 sends an ornament to person 1.  I made the owl for person 2.

Snowball Buddies owl
One of the baskets this year at the basket social had a vintage cradle, handcrafted by a committee member's grandfather.  My mom knit a beautiful blanket to place inside the cradle and I knit an elephant to go along with the set.

Elijah by Ysolda Teague
My final FO for this post is a cowl.  The Indie Design Gift-a-Long is going on.  One of our local knitter friends is a designer participating in the GAL.  I needed a gift for my boyfriend's mother for Christmas so I decided to participate.  I knit the Glowing Embers cowl by Simone Kereit.  I was a little intimidated with the pattern when I first looked at it, but once I started it was simple.  I love the way it turned out and have enough yarn left over to make another one, reversing the colors.

Glowing Embers by Simone Kereit-yarn:  Cascade 220 superwash

A woman at church asked if I would knit her a purple octopus that matched her quilt in her guest room.  I whipped up the body of this little guy with no pattern and used this pattern for the legs.  I held the yarn double, using worsted weight yarn and she asked for the eyes to be embroidered on.  

Octavius the Octo in Loops & Threads Solids

I knit a teeny dog sweater for my now ex-boyfriend's dog.  Since my boss has a Shih tzu, I am hoping this sweater will fit her dog.

The pattern is  Dog Sweater for Small Dogs.  The only mods made were the arms.  I didn't quite understand the pattern so I worked the arms like an afterthought heel and went back and picked up stitches where I felt the arms should go.

My last FO to share right now is a pair of Christmas socks.  This is my 13th pair of the year and I used Dancing Dog Dyeworks Twist sock in Holly Jolly with Linsay Pink for the cuffs/heels/toes
Socks on a Plane in DDD-Holly Jolly

What have you been up to, Jen?

That is a lot of FOs Jess!  October and November were really busy for me too.  In the beginning of November we hosted Journal Club at my house.  This is where the residents and faculty in the Emergency Medicine program get together to discuss research articles about different topics in medicine. It is nice for them to go to a house rather than the hospital, and this year we have a big enough house to host. There were over 50 (yes 50) people at my house.  It was loud and fun! 

 It is hard to see but my living room is full of people right now! The day after that we traveled to Orlando! We wanted to visit some friends who moved there this summer, see the expanded Wizarding World of Harry Potter (squee!) and visit John's grandparents.
Magic Kingdom, Main Street - so warm and nice out!
Got to ride the Hogwarts Express!

Dragon on top of Gringott's bank- randomly shoots fire

Seen in Knockturn Alley

Now these would be useful for Christmas gifts
 After Orlando we headed to St. Petersburg and saw a Chihuly exhibit.  It was beautiful, much smaller than the gardens in Seattle, but still neat to see

Now I can finally share my knitting! I finished the shawl for my sister in law. It is huge, warm, soft and I am sad to see it leave. This would be lovely to have in the winter time.

Next up I made a few ornaments for our year long swap. They were the last pieces that I needed to make!
Snowball buddy by Susan Claudino - modified to make it a snowman; Penguin Popper by Jill Arnusch
For DADA this month we were tasked to make an item designed by a fellow House Cupper so I chose to make this adorable monster bookmark by Cristel Brooks aka bellymonster
Monster Corner Bookmark
I finished up the socks I was making with my MDSW Miss Babs yarn. These Charade socks are warm, but the colors make me think of spring, which is nice in the winter time.

Next I knit up another Hermione Hearts Ron hat. The first was for my mother in law, and this is also a Christmas present. It is knit up in Mirasol Yarn Nuna, a super soft, silk, wool and bamboo blend.

I knit some Hufflepuff socks too this month! Jess says they are Steeler's socks and I am ok with that too. Jess got me this yarn as a gift, it is Alina Shea Creations Sunrises in the colorway "Hufflepride."  I love this pattern for self-striping yarns. I am not a big fan of afterthought heels, and this pattern makes the stripes look good enough to just keep going.  This is my 5th (I think) pair of Vanilla Latte Socks.
Lastly (phew!) I have my Smittens garland that I can hang on the mantle in our new house. These mittens are small, and take much longer than I thought they would. I think it is because they are small they are more fiddly.  

Hope everyone has a great rest of the holiday weekend!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rhinebeck 2014 Roundup

This weekend was an event that we look forward to every year. An event that people will travel thousands of miles to go to, the Dutchess County Fiber Festival, better known as Rhinebeck!  A good friend of ours moved to New York a few months ago, so Jess and I headed up on Friday and stayed the night with her.  She lives outside of Albany, so we went there for dinner to a place called the Recovery Room that is on the hospital campus.  

The next morning we headed out bright and early to Rhinebeck!!! Jess took some great pictures of the trip there.

We made it in pretty quickly and I sprinted to the Miss Bab's booth. Thanks to our friend Yana getting in line for me, and a woman giving me a skein out of her hand I got one of the Rhinebeck 2014 exclusive colorway skeins! We then headed to Into the Whirled, where I got some Falkland Fiber to try out.  So in less than 30 minutes I had gotten all the yarn and fiber that were on my list. The rest of my haul included a Sheep Incognito print! I have been wanting one of these and now that I have a craft room I decided to get one.
While Jen and Yana made a mad dash to Miss Bab's, I ran to the bathroom.  When I made it to the booth, Jen had already grabbed the Polydactyl Set for me that she knew I wanted.  I purchased the Coffee Break set so I could make a tubularity.  

Jen's Sheep Incognito print

I participated in a recent Kickstarter for Going Gnome and received a cute hedgehog kit.  So I was eager to stop by their booth and see all the new packaging.  I came home with a little mushroom home kit, it is an advanced kit so I plan to do the hedgehogs first and see how that goes hehe

One of the most fun parts of Rhinebeck is meeting knitters from around the world.  I was super excited to run into the ladies from the Must Stash Podcast!

Stacie and me!
Steph and me!

I even managed to get a skein of the awesome Must Stash yarn. It is self-striping, Martian Rainbow #12. I cannot wait to knit it up!
When I ran into Stacie from Must Stash, I asked her if she had a booth so I could try her yarn.  She didn't have a booth, but she had a few skeins on her to sell.  I purchased a skein of the coveted Dark Side of the Moon and am really looking forward to knitting a pair of socks with it soon.

Jess and Stacie

Jess and Steph

Must Stash-Dark Side of the Moon
I ran into so many Ravelry and Instagram friends.  We got to hang out with sarahbee for awhile.  It's always nice to see her each year.  We have been Ravelry friends for a few years, after being paired up together in a swap.  I also got to meet Vintage Rose, which was exciting for me since we are now pen pals!  We got to meet the Stockinette Zombies after Miss Babs.  Sadly, no pictures of them since the building was super crowded.  I also met Karen from Knit 1 Geek 2.  Finally, I got to meet Diane, from Knitabulls podcast.  I have been trying to meet her for the past 3 years and was on the lookout for her.  It was so nice meeting her in person.  She is one of the sweetest people and I adore her.

Me and Vintage Rose

Me and Knitabulls

Me and Karen from Knit 1 Geek 2

We ran into other fabulous knitting friends, but I do not have the pictures on my phone.  It almost feels like a reunion every year.  I am also proud of myself that I remembered to get a pic with Jess! We go to these events together and have very few pictures together.

It was perfect sweater weather and even though there were a couple of raindrops, the day was perfect.  I am currently in a Rhinebeck hangover and am having fun looking at everyone's photos from the weekend.