Three things: Recently

Book with tissue paper flower (made by BK)

  1. Reading: Last night I stayed up waaaaaay too late reading a book. And the kicker is I still quit at only 88%, according to my Kindle. So many questions unanswered! There was just no way to stay up any later and make it to work this morning. (I was reading “How the light gets in” by Louise Penny.)
  2. Dreaming: I also fell down the rabbit hole last night when I came across these amazing advent calendars on Etsy. I looooove them. I am so tempted to scrap my knitted countdown (whatever holiday that ends up being for) and just make a ton of these. I initially saw the reindeer one, but BK said she really liked the snow globe one, and after reading about it, I like the snow globe one, too – because a lot of the days use pre-made pom poms! I’ve almost even convinced myself I could pull off the snow globe one before December 1 (yikes! my delusion is strong). Regardless, I would also love to make the birthday one (what a fun idea!) and maybe just the ornaments that go on the Halloween one. She also has a free heart pattern you can sign up for, and I’m tempted to scrap all the little knitted ones and make 14 hearts for Valentine’s Day. But then again, BK has been after me to knit this little superhero girl.  So that one will have to get done one way or the other.
  3. Planning: to knit this Peanut vest for a dear friend’s little boy. This pattern is so darling, and am looking forward to purchasing some yarn for it this weekend!
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Happy Halloween!

Just dropping in to wish you all a Happy Halloween! It’s my ultimate favorite holiday, and I can’t wait for our family of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to go trick-or-treating tonight!


I thought I would share the buntings that my mom and I made together when I was 4 years old. She sewed the pumpkins and stuffed the ghosts, and I drew the faces. We made three strands, cut to custom lengths for three of the doorways in the house where I grew up. Now they hang in my house every Halloween. I’m sharing my favorite of the three. Why is this one my favorite? Because you can very obviously tell that the one on the left is the one my mom did as a demonstration of how she thought the faces should be made. And then I obviously decided I did not like that, and promptly made every single one of them on all three strands smiley. 🙂

BK and I actually did a similar thing last week when she drew a ghost, and I suggested doing three ovals – two for the eyes and one for the mouth – and then she went right ahead and made a smiley face anyway. It’s great to be 4 and love to smile.

 

Knits I haven’t blogged

When we lived in England many moons ago, we used to frequently go on country walks at the weekend. It was a cheap way to have some fun and explore some new areas. Sometimes your path got blocked by cows and you had to turn around (true story), and sometimes it was fairly uneventful, but it was always nice to get out.

We haven’t really done as much walking since we’ve been back in America. There isn’t a whole Peak District in our backyard anymore, and we are in general much more dependent on the car.

But yesterday, we went back to our roots and drove to a state park for a walk to enjoy the last of fall. Normally, I would not say that the end of October is the end of fall here, but it has gotten very cold about 2-3 weeks earlier than usual. And the sun also seems to have deserted us.

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The colors were beautiful, and we really enjoyed our walk.

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Can you spot the ducks in the pond?

Since it’s chilly, I bundled up BK in a couple of knits that I haven’t blogged about yet.

The first is Little Honey. My lovely friend Kara gave me some leftover KnitPicks Comfy Fingering Weight from a dress she made her daughter. I had Little Honey on my favorites list already, and when I saw this yarn, I knew this was the pattern for that. I knit it pretty quickly because I was enjoying it so much. It’s also incredibly soft.

Little-Honey

My only regret on this is that I made the pockets very shallow. I kept lengthening it when I made it, so she would get more wear out of it, and then panicked at the end that it was too long, and truncated the pockets. It’s not a big deal, because she doesn’t actually want to use them for her hands.

And, the longevity plan worked, because I finished knitting this last year – and she wore it then, and it still fits this year!

The second is a “Top This” kit with a butterfly on top. I struggle with some of these kits because I don’t like the ones that only have a head on top – it really bothers me to see a bodiless dog or cat on top of a child. But once I saw my LYS had this sweet butterfly one – with a whole body – and it was pink and purple, I thought it was worth knitting BK one, since they’re cheap, quick and cheerful.

As she was wearing this, I was thinking that my main complaint with this is that the butterfly only attaches at the very bottom of his body, and it’s too floppy. It’s hard to keep laying just right. But then, BK started running and it was flapping and it looked like a butterfly trying to take off from her head. That made me laugh, so I forgave it.

The other thing I’m not super in love with this is how rough the metallic portion of the yarn is. However, the way it knit up, it’s above her ears, so she can’t really feel the scratchy bit on bare skin. But if you make one, I’d be mindful about which end you start from, because this could be an issue. I started from the opposite end of the skein at first, and it was going to make the ribbing itchy, so I ripped it out and went from the other end.

Our handwear on the walk was also worth mentioning. Mine because I still love these after knitting them 4 years ago (and the color looked great against the apple green of BK’s stroller), and BK’s because they are truly awesome. Nothing I knit will top these Turtle gloves, so I’m not going to try.

And, since it’s almost Halloween (hooray!!!), I’ll leave you with this creepy skull we passed on our walk. It thoroughly weirded me out, because it’s the only Halloween thing we saw, and it was covered in fake (I hope) blood.

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Three on Thursday

Knitting in Hawaii in the car

  1. Mr. Snips and I just recently returned from a flat-out amazing, wonderful trip to Hawaii, which is why it’s been so quiet here recently. It was a great trip that had a lot of time for relaxing and reading by the pool, but with enough fun outings that it didn’t get too restful. Above, you will see a picture of me knitting in our rental car, roof down (we had a convertible), and the sunset in the background. Bliss.
  2. I’m nearing the finish mark on a quilt I’ve been working on for a while, and will be handing it off to get it professionally quilted very soon. I’ve never done that, so I’m excited! The other quilts I’ve done, I’ve bumbled along doing some straight lines on my little machine. Since this one is for BK, and the fabric is out of this world beautiful (Magic by Sarah Jane), I want to make sure that it gets a fancier treatment than I can give it alone.
  3. It’s almost Halloween! I can’t wait! It’s hands down my favorite holiday. It may have something to do with growing up in a cornfield and always having to be driven to different houses for trick-or-treating. It’s not nearly as magical as what I always saw on TV where kids just walked out of their front door and went around the neighborhood. When we moved into our old house, I nearly burst from excitement when we had 100 trick-or-treaters come to our door (yes, I’m a nerd, I keep a tally). Our new house gets less traffic, but it is amazing to trick-or-treat in because it is basically a big loop. We also have a few neighbors who really go all out on the decorations and make it really fun. BK and I did the whole neighborhood last year and it was a blast. I can’t wait to go out with her again this year.

Three on Thursday: Back in gear

I’m joining in with Carole’s Three on Thursday. I fell off the Thursday writing wagon (and every other day, too, for a while!) and am now getting back in the habit.

  1. I’m giving this little blog a kickstart with some more regular posting. I hope you all come back and visit my little corner of the internet again soon. I am planning a range of posts – knitting, quilting, general crafting, mom life, and reading/book reviews!
  2. I’m desperate to start a So Faded Pint Sized sweater and even have the yarn picked out. But I’m afraid to start it, because I don’t want to stall momentum on the Flower Power dress. It would be easy for the excitement of the fade to overpower the miles of pink stockinette.
  3. This week has felt like a farewell tour to summer – last dips in the pools, last sweltering temperatures, and a last hoorah for our favorite summer clothes. It’s been fun to have what feels like a bonus week of summer. But I love fall the most, so I’m OK with summer leaving us, which seems from the forecast to start from today!
    flip-flops

What’s new?

Well, now that we’re approaching spring (I won’t say it’s here yet, it snowed yesterday!), it’s time for some new starts and some updates!

I’ve got a few projects on the go right now. Recently, Mr. Snips and I traveled to Sedona, Arizona for a little winter sunshine and relaxation, and I took two knitting projects with me.

Sedona

One is this super simple striped cowl. I bought these two skeins of yarn (Mrs. Crosby Carpet Bag in Spangled Cotinga and Squid Ink) because I fell in love with them at my LYS. Though I didn’t know what I was going to make with it, I knew I had to have them. Then I found this pattern was a nice way to showcase the beautiful colors, and it is terrific mindless TV knitting! I opted to make more stripes than the pattern called for, because I wanted to use every bit of the yarn. I’m not sure it’s going to work out quite perfectly equal… but we’ll see once I cross the finish line on this. Here’s a photo of when I was working on it at our lovely little hotel, which had its own fireplace. It was a little chilly while we were there, and the fireplace was the perfect touch! Plus, it made such a cozy atmosphere for reading and knitting.

cowl

The other was digging into my skein of Brenda and Heather Yarns in Who’s Socks. I LOOOOOVE this yarn. I’m a little biased, because Heather is my friend, but she and Brenda are making really beautiful yarns that I just can’t resist. And, this yarn is Doctor Who themed, so what’s not to love?! I originally thought I would make mittens out of this so I could see it more often on my hands than my feet, but I finally settled on Jaywalker because I thought the stripes would look awesome in this pattern. And I was right! Here they are on our beautiful drive back to the airport.Jaywalker

Fun fact – I joined Ravelry because of this pattern! Back in the dark ages (I think 2007?), I was searching for knitting patterns online and came across Ravelry. It was during the time you had to request access and wait. I saw the Jaywalkers on the home page of Ravelry, and knew I had to sign up – I wanted to knit those!! I had never made a sock before, and honestly, it was a little beyond my skill level at the time. But shortly afterwards, I started one. It took me six months to do the first sock. Mostly because I was terrified of the heel turn and stuffed it in a closet for four of those months. And since I had no experience with sock yarn, I used way too much on the first one, and the second one had to be a lot shorter. I took a picture for Ravelry with my legs crossed in hopes no one could see the discrepancy. Lol. Because I for sure was not taking out a whole sock’s worth of work! This was also in the days before I had an LYS, and I didn’t have much “in real life” support (my mom isn’t a sock knitter). I wouldn’t even think twice about trying a new technique now, not just because I’m more experienced, but also because I know so many great knitters I know I could get help with anything.

So now we’re home, I’m knitting along on these two things a couple of others… and I’m looking forward to my next vacation. 🙂

 

Ten on Tuesday: Drop everything and read!

This week, Carole’s prompt was 10 books that made you drop everything and read. I’ll tell you that I fought the very strong impulse to make #1-7 Harry Potter books. Because they are seriously and forever my favorites. But for the sake of variety, I chose the two most important HP books to me, and threw in a few others!

  1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – I happened across this book very serendipitously after school one day. I had never heard of Harry Potter before, but I finished this book before I went to bed that night. I was seriously enthralled with every bit. I don’t think I spoke to anyone the whole evening. And after that, Harry Potter was part of my life. It’s brought me a lot of joy, and connections to great people, and the books are the best!
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – This book came out two weeks before I moved to England to marry Mr Snips. I bought it at midnight when it came out and then practiced immense self-restraint and did not start it until I got on the plane. Then I sat by a poor, confused teenage boy who was traveling with his soccer team – wondering why everyone else got to sit with friends and he got stuck with the overly emotional stranger (in my defense, I was sobbing because of Dobby – it was terrible!).
  3. Something Missing – I read this for a book club, and it had me hooked. At the time, we were the thief’s target audience – a busy couple with predictable schedules who never would have noticed small bits of our stuff disappearing. I still think of this book regularly, though according to the book, he would have stopped stealing from us after we had BK.
  4. Suite Francaise – I was reading this on a plane and was so enamored with the complete beauty of this book that I did not notice we never stopped circling the city I was supposed to be leaving. The landing gear never came up, and we ended up having to land again at a very nearby airport, but I honestly didn’t realize it for a long time. I thought we were halfway to the destination when they announced we basically hadn’t moved because the book was that beautifully written.
  5. The Eyre Affair – Very witty and wonderful and about books. Genius idea. LOVE. In fact, read the whole series while you’re at it.
  6. A Life in Stitches – The best knitting memoir I’ve ever read. I really love Rachael Herron’s writing! I’ve read another of her books, and enjoyed it a lot, too.
  7. Snow White by Donald Barthelme – This is one I discovered in college. And though it’s a little trippy (Snow White is in a relationship with ALL of the dwarves), it hit me at the right moment and made me think differently about literature.
  8. The Little Prince – I bought this in English during the summer because I knew I would have to read it in French during the school year, and I honestly didn’t trust my French was good enough to understand any of it. But it turned out totally charming and wonderful and worth reading twice in two languages.
  9. The King in the Window – I read this when I worked at the library because I came across it when it was ready to be shelved. It was a captivating and magical read.
  10. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – Yes, it’s a silly but brilliant concept that a great President could also be a vampire hunter. But the author made it fit into Lincoln’s life, and I really enjoyed it.