Sunday, January 22, 2017

Chunky Inspiration

A few days ago a friend asked me to make a hat with super chunky yarn. I have been knitting a long time, but I must say that I was shocked to have to go to the craft store for SIZE 35 (!!!) needles. Even more surprisingly, I could have bought size 50 needles. I was basically lever-ing with turkey basters…

The upside of thick yarn and large needles is a hat that fully materialized in 50 minutes. The Loopy Mango merino yarn was super soft and just one twist more than basic roving, which made it very fuzzy to work with. A wonderful choice to make a very cozy and stylish hat with.

This new experience led me to contemplate the large amounts of Shady Grove Alpacas rug yarn that I have no idea how to use. So I cast on 24 stitches on those fat new needles and knit about 20 rows, at which point I decided the design was symmetrical enough and cast off.

It looks much nicer than I expected, and is super soft to stand on. The other reason I was inspired to make a rug was the terrible choice of tiling in my master bath: muddled pink marble. It is the worst combination of ugly and freezing cold, inexcusable in the face of the fact that it would have been easy to pick a different color, or at least put a radiant floor heating unit underneath.

This experiment in alpaca bath mat knitting seems to solve some of these issues nicely. I believe I shall be knitting this again to cover that hideous floor with more warm, cozy foot blankets.

The mat also doubles as a squishy rug to alleviate back pain while practicing the guitar. Bonus!

I have a few posts I need to catch up on. Hopefully I'll gain some new momentum soon. In the mean time, stay toasty!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Little Storyteller, Part 1

There was a lot of last minute knitting going on last week. You would not believe how much time the button band and buying buttons gobbles up! 

Pattern: Little Storyteller Hoodie
Started: November 20, 2016
Finished: December 23, 2016
Yarn: Hikoo Skacel Simpliworsted in colorways Blue Nile and Blooming Rose
Needle sizes: 8 and 9
Modifications: 5 short rows along the bottom of the button band to make the back longer

Our family's little 4-year-old storyteller was not sure about the gift initially. 

But she soon warmed to the attention and kept the sweater on the entire rest of the day! The hood was up for a good three hours… And she was chattering away merrily with her cousins and others.

Stay tuned to part 2, coming in August, for the young lady's birthday...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Frames for Sock Art

As you may know, my mother is an avid sock knitter. I have at least 25 pairs. So naturally I need a venue to give them a proper showing. Fortunately Dansko makes these amazing clogs: 

They are called Makenna, and when I went to my favorite shoe store, they were the only ones they had in my size. In other words, they had my name written all over them.

I might buy a few extra pairs, just in case Dansko stops making this style.

And call my mom with a wish list full of fantastic socks.

Monday, November 28, 2016


It will be a few more weeks before I can muster enough time and energy for another Peru post. Instead, I give you Uncle Milty:
Milty was ironically named last June before anyone could guess that he was a rooster!

He presides over his flock, Apollo and Jackie-O. Who knows which one is which...

...Unless you want to wait around to see which one lays which colored egg!
They are champion layers. I appreciate the plethora of cute tiny eggs for winter baking!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Knitting in Peru

I was so fortunate to make a return trip to Peru this month. Peru is a country where knitters sit on every street corner, though they are reticent to have photos taken. The highlands are filled with shepherds and their animals. Here is a posed view of the last rest day in the Cordillera Hyuahuash. I was actually sitting facing the mountains to see them myself.

Thanks to my two beautiful nieces for modeling the fruits of my labor: a second Fortnight hat by Jared Flood. The yarn is worsted weight by our late alpaca, Cassidy. (Thanks to all for expressing condolences after my previous post.)

The second hat: Squish Me by Anne Hanson in DK weight yarn from our alpaca, Moonstar.

Soft hats inspire sisterly love! (Click pics to en-bigger and see whole landscape view. For some reason blogger is not cooperating with the showing of sideways views...)

And lots of silly fun!

Joining the Yarn Along at Ginny's today:

More posts on Peru coming soon. Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Missing Your Kisses...

With heavy hearts, we announce that our beloved Cassidy took her last breaths sometime yesterday morning. Unfortunately we weren't home to say good-bye, and our neighbors taking care of the animals for us made all of the arrangements, which included the operation of a backhoe. We are eternally grateful and indebted. They are saints.

Cassidy was born just four short years ago. This was her first wobbly day!

As a cria, she enjoyed pasture time with her Momma Bella and her Aunts Greta and Moonstar.

She was our most sociable alpaca, who always ventured closer to visitors and friends before the others. 

Looking sleek and glossy (middle) after shearing a few years back.

Her photos with me also made her famous in the CHS yearbook in 2015. We wished all of my students "Good Luck" on this page that year.

Her worsted weight yarn had just recently become transformed into some of the most buttery soft hats. 

The cause of death is not known. The vet who performed the necropsy found nothing out of the ordinary. The heat has been horrible, though. Perhaps she got dehydrated or simply too hot.

Sweet, sweet Cassidy, you will be missed.

Shady Grove Alpacas Cassidy
July 15, 2012 - July 23, 2016

Saturday, June 25, 2016

It Takes Less Than a Fortnight

To knit the extraordinary Fortnight hat by Jared Flood of! What a nice surprise to have something fly off the needles at the breakneck speed of a few days after spending so long on the Color Affection Shawl.

This may be the softest hat ever, made from Shady Grove Alpacas Worsted in colorway Cassidy!

I made the version with the "ear flaps" that make the back longer. It is remarkably more comfortable than a hat with actual ear flaps.

As per usual, the fabric grew some after washing and blocking, especially the garter stitch section, and is now super drapey and pliable. Not that it matters with this pattern, since it sits firmly on one's head.

I'll definitely be knitting a few more of this pattern, and Cassidy worsted is my new favorite to work with!