Almost there…

Having been fighting a rather persistent cold for the past few weeks, I took most of last week and all of this week off from the gym.  This gave me some really great chunks of time to work on my Super Secret Project.  It’s a project that tends to take a lot of time and space, and as it’s something of my own design, it also takes a lot of mental power, of which I don’t always have a great supply.  WELL!  Thanks to a few days of intense attention, it’s almost done!  I just need to do a few more steps and it’ll be ready to share.  YAY!

I hoped to share a photo of my French Toast’s debut out in the world (albeit mostly covered in a coat and scarf), but wordpress is not letting me.  Ugh.  Here’s a link to its project page on Ravelry, where I’ve already uploaded a few new pics. http://www.ravelry.com/projects/mhenry/french-toast

Hope you had a great Saturday!

 

 

Back to normal?

Well, after a few days of frustration with WordPress, it looks like I can insert photos again.  We get so used to instant gratification these days that it is actually kind of nice to take a break from the constant digital connections sometimes.

However, I did want to show you the plethora of baby hats I’ve been working on.  In total, I whipped up 8 Magic Coffee Baby hats in 11 days, while the Rainbow Marley (from a previous post) took me 2 weeks, on and off, because I found it so boring.

2 of the Magic Coffee hats aren’t pictured because the mama-to-be had her baby shower last week and I wanted them to arrive in Minnesota on time (they did!).  I sent 2 more off today, but I plan to make a few more items for the last mom on my list before I send her hats to her.  I have two left over that I’ll probably donate.

There are some scraps left over, but I think instead of more hats right now, I’ll put them in my bear yarn stash.

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And….. in bigger news, last night at Knit Night I finished my French Toast sweater!  It fits great, although I wouldn’t mind if it relaxed slightly from blocking.  I soaked it in Eucalan and now it’s lying flat while I think about evaporation.  I’ll get a better photo when I can.

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Now that the sweater is done, I have wound the yarn for my husband’s requested socks, and I’m trying to figure out if I have the right yarn for a hat to squeeze into the last few days of Cablepalooza.  I have my eye on the pattern Hermione Hearts Ron.

Sunday knitting

As usual, the kids were pretty squirrelly this afternoon and needed to get outside. Luckily it was a nice, sunny day, so we went to Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park for some tree climbing. They lasted about two hours, and I was able to finish another baby hat while supervising them. 

 
After bed time, I was able to put in a few rows of the hem ribbing on my sweater. With the continental purling, it’s slow going, but I’m getting there.

I’m having trouble with adding photos to my post! WordPress is being weird on my phone and my computer, so no photos today. I hope to figure it out soon!

    

 

Almost French toast!

Yesterday I finished knitting the second sleeve of my French Toast sweater, and tonight I knitted the 1/2 inch of neckline ribbing. The bind off was supposed to be a “sewn tubular” bind off, but I found that it wasn’t that stretchy, it was tedious, and it didn’t look that good, so I frogged back and just bound off loosely in pattern.

  I think it looks fine. I only wish I’d known about continental purling earlier- it would have made the center cable panel much nicer. Oh well. At least my ribbing is snug and neat.

 Speaking of ribbing, the last bit of work on this sweater is to re-knit the hem ribbing. You can see a little in the above photo how the hem flares a bit. I don’t like it! I’ll go down to the needle size I used for the sleeve and neckline ribbing, and do the magical continental purling to neaten it up.

 
I forgot to take a photo before I started frogging, but I bet you excellent crafters can see the difference in the ribbing. If all goes well, this sweater will be washed and blocked within a day or two!

More magic coffee!

Today I had more than usual daytime knitting opportunities, so by the end of the day, I had a new Magic Coffee Baby Hat completed. 

 

knitting in Golden Gate Park

 
This was knit with bulky and worsted weight yarns, so it’s bigger than the sizes in the pattern.

  
I added a Pom Pom to make it a bit more big kid-like.

It’s been a fun challenge to use up very specific yarns on just this one pattern. I still have enough left for at least three or four  hats, I think. I’ve decided to forge ahead and use all this yarn for Magic Coffee Baby Hats. What I don’t send to family and friends, I’ll donate to organizations that are collecting handknits for refugees. 

many possibilities!

Skeining, plying

Tonight I finally skeined the white alpaca I spun last year.  

 
It’s about 561 yards. I have the same weight in brown alpaca, so I hope it spins up similarity so I can maybe do a colorwork sweater or something to that effect.

With spinning on my mind, I started plying the brown singles I recently spun.

With a start like this, maybe I should make some spinning goals for 2016….

 

Park time = knitting time

Having had two days of long drives and adventures, I made a conscious decision to spend today close to home.  We ended up visiting both of the parks in our neighborhood, and I was miraculously able to finish one Magic Coffee baby hat, and also start and finish another one!

   
 
I’m getting so close to finishing that pink skein of yarn!!! I think another hat or two ought to finish it off!

On a roll

Having whipped up a Magic Coffee baby hat yesterday, I was inspired to power through the next one, and I finished it today. Here they are together.

 

the silky wool doea not make stretchy ribbing! no more silky wool ribbing!

 
Several family members and friends of mine are having girls in the next few months, and I found this hat so handy when the Wee Boy was a baby, so I’ll continue to knit these up for a while. 

I’m also super inspired to use up this pink  Elspeth Lavold Silky Wool from Stash Exchange 2014. At that stash exchange, I vowed to myself to use up my newly acquired yarn before the next exchange, and not let it become a repeat offender. I’d used some of it in a cowl, but I want to use it all up!

So to that end, I started another baby hat right away!

  
Because it’s stripes(less yarn used!) and baby hats (tiny!), this ball is getting smaller very slowly. It’ll be interesting to see how many hats I can eke out of it. I’m pairing it with different scraps in order to eventually have a good selection of hats to divvy up among the new baby girls. 👶

A hat, a sleeve, and Jack London 

Recently I found in my “Hiking in the Bay Area with Kids” book a short hike in the Jack London historic state park. I hadn’t known such a place existed! My husband was as interested as I was (we’d both read London books as children) so we decided to check it out at the next opportunity, which was today!

On the way there and back, I made a non-fussy Magic Coffee Baby hat. I cannot praise this pattern highly enough. If you need a quick, easy, great-fitting, free pattern for a baby hat, look no further!

  
Now, some pics of the park, the ruins of Jack London’s dream house, and the cottage where he lived and wrote books.

  
Wolf House burned down about a month before London and his wife were to move in.    
  

The cottage where London wrote novels and entertained guests.  
 

Apparently he tried raising cacti to feed cattle, unsuccessfully.
  

Back at home, I finished the first sleeve of my French Toast sweater.

  
It fits! I did the “continental purling” that a friend reminded me of. We went to a talk/book signing by Ysolda Teague a few years ago, where she’d mentioned it. Instead of wrapping the yarn as in a normal purl, you wrap it the opposite way. It worked! My purls are neater and much nicer. I’ll be reknitting the hem ribbing this way.