When it rains

You guys, we must be having bad luck lately. Or maybe a mouse, or worse yet, moths. *Shudder.* Now my husband has a hole right in the middle of his sweater!

(I don’t really think we have mice or moths… I think we just have two very active children and we’re always hauling them (and their stuff) all over the place, so we’re not as gentle on our things as maybe we should be.)

If I didn’t know better, I’d say this sweater got snipped by scissors. It’s not in a thinned-out patch, it’s just right on the belly. And there’s no obvious pull in the knitting, so I don’t think it got caught on a loose nail or anything. It’s a mystery!

But, luckily for me, that makes it pretty easy to fix, especially because I found some almost-identical garnet-red yarn in my stash. It’s not the original yarn (that’s long gone), but it’s close enough to not matter.

A little duplicate stitch and voila! Picture perfect. (It’s even less noticeable in person!)

Fingers crossed that this mend actually works.

What have you mended lately?

A little more mending

You know how I was so proud of the visible mending I did the other day on my favorite sweater?

I was totally patting myself on the back, pleased with how well it turned out and how much I liked the little red patch. I even was thinking that I should add some decorative bits of visible mending on parts of the sweater that don’t strictly need mending yet. You know, for aesthetic reasons.

Well, in a real Icarus moment, I went to further admire my handiwork yesterday, and I realized that… I hadn’t actually fixed the cuff. It turns out that I had only patched up part of the thinned-out section. Sigh.

Oh well, I guess it’s an opportunity for me to get a little more color introduced to the sweater, albeit not for “aesthetic” reasons. Ah well.

I picked up the dropped stitches with a little sapphire-blue wool, reinforced the cuff edge with some fairly random stitches and then locked the whole thing down with a little blanket stitch.

It’s not as tidy as the red patch was, but I was pressed for time and this should hold well enough. Fingers crossed that I’ve got all the loose ends this time around. But, if I don’t, well, then I guess I’ll just keep adding colors.

Have you ever had to go back and re-mend something right after you thought you fixed it?

For the Children

OK, so you know how I finished my hat for myself last week? And I was so proud of myself/of my hat? Well, my children have fully stolen it. And I don’t know if they have weirdly large heads, or if that’s just how kids are made (I know I certainly don’t have a small head), but my hat fits both of them pretty perfectly… even the 2-year-old.

So this is kind of a good news/bad news situation. The bad news is that I have to go back to my old, sun-faded hat while the children fight over my new “Rainbow hat.” But the good news is that I don’t have to figure out a new pattern for their Christmas hats!

Because the yarn they dyed the other day was the same base as my “rainbow yarn”, I don’t even have to re-do the math. So great!

So I’m already diving in, because Christmas is closer than I’d like to admit, and I have a feeling that the one-week timeline for my hat isn’t likely to be repeated.

And, I’ve got to say, it’s cool seeing the kids’ yarns getting knit up- I actually really like this color combo! I didn’t think it was going to look that good, but I’m really enjoying it! Now, can I get both hats done in a month? Time will tell.

Are you doing any Christmas Knitting?

Like the Wind!

WOW! Y’all! Guess what?

I KNIT A HAT AND I DID IT IN A RESONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME. I think it only took a week… maybe two? I don’t remember exactly when I started it. And sure, I had a lot more time on my hands this week because my kids got sick and fully passed out on the couch, watching Paw Patrol for 3 days, but still. (They recovered just in time for Daylight Saving’s Time to mess them up again… So fun!)

I made a hat and I’m so pleased with it!

It’s roughly based on Jason’s Cashmere Hat, a free pattern by Melissa Thomson, but worked in Knit Picks Muse that I had in my stash. It’s a super-cozy hand-painted single ply yarn. I didn’t have quite enough to make a fold-over brim, but it’s still pretty cute.

I just love the colors in this yarn. It falls somewhere between autumn reds and jewel-tone purples. Plus, there are little speckles of emerald greens, sapphire blues and coppery-browns. It was so fun to see the colors as I knit it up!

And, as happy as I am with the hat, I still can’t manage to take a non-awkward photo of myself. You’d think the I’d have figured it out by now… I’ve only been doing this blog for 9+ years…

Have you worked up anything satisfying lately?

Dying Sheep and Wool

My 4-year-old and I have been playing a lot of Minecraft lately. It’s something that I’ve really enjoyed sharing with them, and it’s fun seeing them learn about how to do something as complicated as playing a whole video game. It’s pretty cool.

What does this have to do with knitting?

Minecraft is basically “Homesteading: the Game,” so there’s more overlap than you’d think. For example, you could dig up iron ore, smelt it, make shears, find a sheep, shear the sheep, pick flowers, dye the wool, and make things with the wool- carpets, beds etc. (I swear it’s more fun than I’m making it sound.)

My kid’s favorite thing to do is to dye the wool while it’s still on the sheep. We have lots of purple, blue and yellow sheep running around the woods near our house. It’s pretty funny.

So, when we were digging through my stash the other day and they saw a bag of white yarn, they immediately asked me if we could dye it. I swear I’m telling the truth, but I totally understand if you don’t believe me. What 4-year-old asks to dye wool as a fun, after-school activity? Mine, apparently.

Anyway, I didn’t have any reason to say no, and I have plenty of old food coloring in the cabinet, so I figured, “Why not?”

I let the kids pick out the colors they liked, and let them pour in the vinegar and mix in the food coloring. Then I boiled the kettle, added hot water into the dye, and poured the mixture onto the yarn where they told me to do it.

Is it the most beautiful yarn? No. Would I have picked those colors? Probably not. But was it a fun way to spend the afternoon with my kids? Heck yes!

And now I have a plan for Christmas gifts for them- can I make two kid-sized hats in the next 2 months? Cross your fingers for me!

Have you done any crafting with kids lately?

A little mending

Just a quick little project today, and it’s one of those one that I’ve been meaning to do for… a year?

This is my favorite winter sweater. It’s super cozy wool that’s been worn in just the right amount so it’s not too scratchy. I love the cables, and the fit is perfect. The sleeves are just the right length. You get it. It’s the holy grail of sweaters (in my opinion, anyway).

But the problem with having a favorite sweater is that you wear it all the time, and eventually, it starts to fall apart a bit. Which is exactly what happened here. I must have caught my cuff on something, because it’s started to slowly unravel just a bit. I fully intended to fix it when I put it away for the winter, but, clearly that didn’t happen.

It’s also been several years since I knit up this sweater, so I have no idea where the matching yarn could be (assuming there was even any leftover). So, we’re going with visible mending. I pulled out some bright red yarn, knit up a little square and got to work.

I folded it over the edge of the cuff, covering both sides of the pull, after making sure that the “active stitches” were held in place by a stitch or two. I carefully sewed around the patch, and it’s good as new! Well, maybe not new, but it’s got plenty more life in it now.

What’s the last thing you mended?

Done-kin

You guys, I did it! I actually did it! I finished a project in a reasonable amount of time!

That’s right. I finished up my little no-pattern knit pumpkin, and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.

I put it together it one night after the kids went to bed. I stuffed it, closed it up with some sturdy cotton thread, and gave it a cute little “pumpkin” shape by sewing a couple stitches through the center and pulling them tight. I left it out on the coffee table, meaning to go out in the morning to find a nice twig to hot-glue on as the “stem.”

Well, the next day my husband took the “early shift” with the kids, and so when I got up, I was greeted by both very awake children taking turns chucking the pumpkin at each other as hard as they could and laughing like crazy. Ah, brothers.

Needless to say, I changed my mind about the “very pokey stick” idea. Instead, I knit a couple inches of I-cord and sewed it in place as a little loop stem, and called it a day. I have to say, it looks pretty cute. And it won’t (knock on wood) cause any scratched corneas. I hope.

Have you done any quick, successful projects lately?

Pumpkin

I’m back on the horse (sort of). I’m starting real slow, and digging (once again) into my stash. I’m all about easy, fast projects right now. I need something that I can work on for max 1 hour per day and get finished in a week.

I was inspired by the pumpkins I wrote about last week, and decided to go ahead and make my own. (Bonus, it will be a pumpkin that my almost-2-year-old can throw across the room without hurting anyone or anything. Which has been a problem… He’s got an impressive arm on him for someone who is literally knee-high.) Of course, I didn’t want to do anything like “following a pattern” or “reading instructions,” so who knows how it’ll turn out. It’ll be a Halloween surprise!

Basically, I grabbed a handful of half-used skeins from a craft kit I finished years ago (I think it was a basketry kit? All I know is that this yarn was not exactly meant for knitting. It’s soft and pretty, but very splitty). I cast on a multiple of 12 stitches (maybe 60? 72? not sure), and got knitting. I started doing a 2×4 rib, but then got bored and threw in some cable crosses every 5th row. I literally grabbed colors at random, and switched when I ran out. It’s all very scientific.

But I like how it’s turning out. My plan is to use some crochet cotton to close the top and bottom like a drawstring bag, then stuff it, and use a few big stitches through the center of the form to give it a more realistic “pumpkin” shape. Then, I was thinking I’d either knit up a little bit of I-cord for a stem, or maybe find a real stick out in the yard to glue in place as a stem. Not sure yet.

But, I’m feeling positive about this project, and I’m excited to see how it turns out. And if I have extra yarn, well, maybe I’ll end up with a little family of pumpkins. Fingers crossed that it turns out as cute as I think it will.

Are you working on any fall-y projects this year?

Inspiration: Over the Garden Wall

It’s officially fall (at least according to my heart, if not the weather), so it’s time for the annual re-watch of Over the Garden Wall.

Over the Garden Wall is a cartoon miniseries that’s super-weird, and is just wall-to-wall fall vibes. It’s cute and creepy and just makes you want to put on a cozy sweater and drink some hot apple cider on a walk through an overgrown cemetery.

It’s the story of brothers Wirt and Greg, and Beatrice the talking bluebird as they travel through a mysterious wood full of a host of weird and wonderful characters. A riverboat full of frogs that like to dance! A village of pumpkin people! An evil Beast stalking the woods at night! A mysterious woodsman who may or may not be trying to kill the kids! C’mon… what more can you ask for?

Anyway, here’s some patterns:

Look at this gorgeous afghan square! I could see making it into a washcloth or a tea towel, if you’re not up for making a whole blanket.

2019 GAL: Over the Garden Wall by Jacquiline Rivera

This is little Greg’s rock that he carries in his pocket (along with some candy and a frog whose name keeps changing). This little guy is surprisingly show-accurate.

Over the Garden Wall Rock by Mooeyandfriends

And, this isn’t precisely an “Over the Garden Wall” pattern, but I love the variety of these pumpkins. They definitely have the vibe of the show, and if you added little faces, they could totally be made into the folks from Pottsfield.

Pumpkin Parade by Norman Schwarze

Do you have any favorite fall movies or shows?

Re-Arranging

It’s starting to get a bit cooler, and I’m starting to feel the itch to pull out my yarn again. But I’m not going to push it yet. The last thing I want to do is get myself burned out on knitting. Which seems a wild thing to be worried about after 20 years of near-daily knitting. But, here we are…

Anyway, I haven’t been too creative lately. Life’s been wild- the big kid is back to school (Pre-K), which has been a wild transition- mostly good, but just a lot of getting used to, and weirdly less time for “me time.”

But one thing I have been able to do (that’s kind of craft-adjacent), is rearrange our craft area.

I didn’t plan to blog about it, so I forgot to take a “before” picture, but trust me when I say this is an improvement. I had my yarn in a half-broken dresser I got from Buy Nothing a few years ago. The kids’ art supplies on an avocado-green cart that I literally pulled off a street corner about a decade ago. And the books were on their own bookshelf, which was nice enough but fairly tip-y and probably not safe to have in a house with an almost-2-year-old who likes to climb.

Anyway, I got 3 big shelf/cabinet combos from Ikea that my 4-year-old helped me put together, and spent a couple evenings organizing everything in bins. And it looks great!

Now I just have to figure out how to get rid of this eyesore… Anyone in Seattle interested in a broken dresser?

How do you have your craft supplies organized?