child, gloves, hat, knitting, life, sweater

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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Fall in a Ball shawl close-up
knitting, scarf, shawl

FO: Fall in a Ball Shawl

You guys! I finished my Fall in a Ball shawl before fall was over!

Fall in a Ball shawl close-upI know, I’m surprised, too.

That was my goal though. My big goal was to have it finished by Halloween; my fall-back goal was to be able to wear it for Thanksgiving. And I blew both of those deadlines out of the water! I finished it a week ago Friday, and put it in to Soak immediately. It was fully blocked and dry in time for work on Monday.

I wore it all week like this:

How I've been wearing Fall in a Ball

I LOOOOOVE it. It makes me feel so seasonal, and happy.

Fall in a Ball Shawl back view

The yarn is Dream in Color’s September club colorway (I told you about how I fell for it here) and I knit with size 7 needles. The pattern is Bella Vista. I followed the pattern exactly.

Life has been… hectic, so I’m feeling pretty great about having this done in less than a month. This is the busy season for Mr Snips at work, which has thrown our schedules off quite a bit. We’ve been helped immensely by my mom and dad (BK and I owe them A LOT for all the help), but knitting time is still at a super premium.

Things are finally slowing down now, just in time for the leaves to be in their absolute most amazing fall glory. We’ve had a couple of days of fantastic weather, and I’m hoping we get to hold on to this perfect autumn weather for another week. Bring on Halloween!

life, Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday: Getting ready for fall

Well, my friends, much has been going on here at Chez Knitsnips. The most notable thing is that I managed to slice open my right pinky finger in one of my oven vent holes, and that has made both typing and knitting slightly challenging. I got my first set of injury stitches (4!) right across the pad of my finger, and I will tell you it hurt something fierce!

My recovery is moving right along now, so I’m up to participate in Ten on Tuesday with CaroleKnits again! The topic Carole has chosen for this week is “Ten things you do to your home to get it ready for fall.” Mine are:

  1. Decorate for fall. This usually includes some festive baskets.
  2. Decorate for Halloween. This includes a lot of things – and by that, I mean something in every room. I even put Halloween clings on the mirrors in the bathroom. I’m totally dedicated to Halloween!!
  3. Buy at least one potted mum. I usually kill it right away (on accident) – it is the only plant that we consistently don’t do well with at our house, but we keep trying!
  4. Decide on a Halloween costumes! So this isn’t part of the house, but very
  5. Buy, carve, and decorate with pumpkins!
  6. Buy Halloween candy. Yum yum yum. I have been resisting so far, but I dare say I won’t last much longer passing those bags of candy at the store!
  7. Stock up on coffee and tea. As the weather gets colder, the need to add an evening hot drink sounds too good to resist.
  8. Stock up on hot chocolate!
  9. Get out my pumpkin spice candle. Smells of amazing.
  10. Get out my beloved hand-painted ceramic haunted house that my mom made. Truly a treasured possession! (can’t find a picture of it at the moment – astounding, but true – but will try to share in a future post).

And there has been knitting going on, really and truly. I’ll share that soon, too.

cowl, knitting

FO: Scrumptious Cowl

Back in the summer, my mom and I attended a knit and crochet fair. I found this yummy yummy milk/soy yarn and couldn’t resist. Milky Whey yarn

It was so yummy that I decided the project must be something close to my skin and face, so I settled on a cowl.

After a bit of debate, I settled on the ever-popular Honey Cowl since I had never made one. But what I fell in love with was not the traditional pattern, but mintti’s modifications – I added two rows to the pattern that were just stockinette. Scrumptious cowlI think it adds a nice chain-like effect to the cowl. The reverse still looks nice and consistent enough that it doesn’t matter if you see the “wrong” side. Scrumptious cowl close-upThis yarn (Milky Whey) has a pretty extreme drape and is kind of floppy. I don’t mind it too much for something like a cowl, but it would be something to note if you were looking to make something more structured. It may be worth the trade-off for the extreme softness though! It had it’s first outing when it was cool yesterday morning. and I enjoyed wearing it immensely.

I still have about a skein and a third left, so I’m contemplating a hat. Any ideas for a nice floppy hat pattern?

rug hooking

Venturing into rug hooking: featuring Frankenstein

I’ve mentioned before that Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. It’s also one of my favorite times to craft. When I heard my LYS was going to do a Halloween-themed rug hooking project, my interest was piqued. Since the shop sells rug hooking supplies, I’d always been interested in trying, but needed the motivation that making a small Frankenstein brought. So on Tuesday night, I bought myself a chai latte (my fall drink of choice) and headed on down to the LYS to learn about rug hooking!

rug hooking with a chai

My first row turned out a little inconsistent, but by the time I hit the second side I was feeling more confident. It was suggested that I outline all my parts first and I quickly became addicted as I wanted to get to the next color and next part – a bit like the excitement of knitting self-striping yarn and trying to knit faster to get to the next color.

I’m hooked … Pun intended.

I worked for 3 solid hours on my little project, and this is what he looks like now:

Frankenstein

The little picture on the right is what he will look like when he is done.

I have to say that I have not stopped thinking about wanting to work on him since Tuesday. But I’ve had obligations this week that have kept me from open studio time at the shop. I have to do it there because I am borrowing both the frame and the hook.

I haven’t decided yet what I will do with him when I am done, but am thinking of making him into a little pillow on a ribbon that BK cold hang in her room. Regardless, I love his cute little face and can’t wait to work on him more!! I am even considering adding rug hooking supplies to my Christmas list, but I want to make sure the obsession will continue long enough to justify the investment. The only hesitation I have with doing more and more of this is that I don’t know what I will do I with my finished projects – unlike knitting where most of my projects are very practical. Any ideas?

fingerless mitts, knitting

FO: October Leaves Fingerless Mitts

I’ve had this pattern and yarn pairing in mind for over a year, and finally executed it. I have to say – this is definitely on my list of top five favorite projects of the year!!October Leaves Mitts

This is the October Leaves Fingerless Mitts pattern made with Bliss with a Twist in Day Lily. They are such a bright pop of orange with any coat, very practical and they make me smile every time I look down. I finished these mitts just in time to have them for the whole month of October, and I enjoyed every moment of wearing them. I have also worn them well into November, since we’ve been having unseasonably warm weather about once a week.  Thumb gusset of October Leaves Mitts

I love the double cable detail on the mitts – one simple one up the front, and one ending in leaves at the thumb gusset.

It makes me want to knit more fingerless mitts because they’re so practical. I can still rummage around in my purse and feel things, operate my phone, push buttons in the car… and still keep my hands warm. Do you have a favorite fingerless mitts pattern? If so, I’d love to know so I can consider adding it to my queue… 🙂