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!

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baby, knitting, Monday Musing, shawl

Monday Musing: Fall in a Ball

Oh, my friends. I have an obsession. And this is it:

Fall in a ball - Bella Vista shawl in progress

I call it “Fall in a Ball.” But what it really is is Dream in Color Smooshy sock weight in the September 2014 club colorway.

Right before I left knit night this week, the Evil Temptress Susan (aka – the LYS owner) brought out the newly delivered club colorway, and there happened to be a few up for grabs. It was so beautiful, and seemed like “fall in a ball” – all of the beauty of my favorite season in one skein.

Now, I have told myself no more highly variegated sock yarns, because I have been sucked in by so many, and it’s often difficult to find the right pattern to that shows off the yarn and has some pattern, but a pattern that won’t get lost in all that color.

But this, this I could not resist. Autumn is my favorite season, and I just loved, loved, loved it and imagined it as a shawl to keep me warm in my constantly freezing office for the season.

I didn’t opt for the pattern that came with the club colorway, but I found this absolutely gorgeous pattern that I thought would be just right. I managed to cast on and do a few rows Sunday, and I can’t wait to make more progress!!

hat, holiday, knitting, life, shawl

Holiday in review: Sonoma Valley

This past week, Mr Snips and I have been on an amazing trip to Sonoma Valley. And when I say amazing, I mean AMAZING. This trip was especially planned to mark a milestone birthday for me, and it was truly everything I hoped it would be.

We stayed at a sweet B&B (though it seems a disservice to call it that – it was spectacular) in a private cottage. It had a fireplace in front of our bed, and I found myself cuddled up in fronts of it several times a day, often with knitting in hand. It also served incredible three-course breakfasts which made to a great start every day.

Monday: We arrived in the early afternoon. After checking in, we headed to Sonoma Square to walk around and see what was there. After having a gander in the shops, we headed back and rested a bit before dinner. The hotel had free coffee and wine all day (you read correctly – FREE WINE) so I poured a glass and settled down on the terrace with my newest project, the Cabled Canuck (from my Monday Musing). It was glorious to be in the sunshine with wine and knitting. Glorious! We finished off the day with dinner at a local Indian restaurant.

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Tuesday: We hired a wine tour guide who could drive our rental car. This is a great idea, because you get a knowledgeable DD and you are paying less than if you rented a limo or town car. And since we were already paying for a rental car, it seemed very silly to double pay for a car. We spent all day going from winery to winery and doing tastings. We met so many lovely people. I expected a bit of snobbery since Mr Snips and are NOT knowledgeable wine conneisuers, but everyone was perfectly lovely and willing to help us find a wine we liked. The most notable purchase of the day was a pair of sweet little arrow studs I purchased from a winery. They are made by a local artist and I love them! They are simple and small. Which is perfect since BK has discovered how fun my dangly earrings are! No knitting happened after the wine tour, because there was no way to trust myself with either cables or lace, which were the only two projects I had with me.

Wednesday: We started off the day with a massage. If I hit the lottery, I would probably do that every day. We then got ready for the day and headed to two wineries. One we visited turned out to be my favorite, because of location, they had wines I liked, we had a lovely server and the place had a great ambiance. We also went back by Sonoma Plaza and did some more shopping. I spent a couple of hours tucked up in bed, watching some TV, enjoying the fireplace and working on my hat. We rounded off the day with a spectacular dinner at another local restaurant.

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Thursday: We drove over the hill/mountain to Napa Valley. We visited Yountsville, which was lovely, but lacked the fabulous ambiance of the area where we were staying. We then went over to Napa’s town center, where I visited Yarns on First. It was a great shop. They carried things I liked (like Malabrigo!) and had the store organized by color, which I thought was a nice touch. I bravely resisted adding to my stash, and instead purchased the deluxe edition of Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf for BK. It will be a few years before she’s ready to read it and learn to knit, but I’ve wanted her to have it since before she was born. Napa was a strange place; parts were lovely and parts were so under construction or vacant they looked like a scary ghost town. We had a nice lunch in the pretty part, and headed back. More knitting on the terrace ensued. We then had yet another fantastic dinner. Really, I was just overwhelmed by the variety and fantasticness of the food we ate there.

Friday: We left Sonoma Valley after the last lovely hotel breakfast and headed to San Francisco. The plan was to visit a few places there before taking an overnight flight home. We started in Union Square and hit a few shops there. We then decided to walk to the Painted Ladies which was a *horrible* mistake. We ended up in a very shady part of town – and I mean the shadiest I’ve been anywhere – and I was very scared. We turned back to Union Square and took refuge in a fabulous mall for a couple of hours. We headed back to the airport much earlier than planned and ended up with several hours to kill. After dinner and a look through every shop, we sat down. I took the opportunity to finally make it to my center panel of my Bigger on the Inside shawl and to work on this blog entry. So thankful I knit, or I would have been out of my mind at the long airport wait!

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Overall, the week was amazing. I tried lots of food I normally wouldn’t have and loved them all. The relaxed atmosphere and the very nice people made the whole thing a wonderful experience.

baby, Christmas, current projects, holiday, knitting, shawl, socks, Uncategorized

Startitis

Oh boy, my friends, I cannot stop myself from starting more and more projects!

It kind of kicked off right before I went on a road trip in mid-October, and I was concerned about having enough knitting for LOTS of riding in the car time. But I didn’t want just one project – oh no – I wanted an easy, mindless knit, a middle of the road knit and a complicated one. So what made the cut into my travel knitting bag included:

  1. Autumn Everyday Socks for the Gryffindor Common Room (Hermione’s Everyday Socks) – This was my easy project. I love to have a pair of socks on the go all the time. You may recognize this yarn from my Nutkin socks, which I abandoned for some time and then frogged. Since fall is here once again, I couldn’t resist picking up this yummy yarn again.
    Everyday socks in progress
  2. Seaglass Holden (Holden Shawlette) – I don’t wear shawls, but I COULD NOT resist this pattern once I saw one knitted up in my LYS. I had a beautiful skein of yarn dyed by my friend Mary Ann for a Scarf Saturday about two years ago, and it has some cashmere in it (I think! I’ve lost the label), and it’s luscious. Beautiful pattern + Lovely yarn=Irresistible This was meant to be my intermediate skill level pattern, but then I realized that most of the beginning of it is stockinette, so it turned out to be a mindless knit for the drive too, which was kind of nice.
    Seaglass Holden in prgress
  3. Bigger on the Inside – Completing this shawl as a knitalong with Smashing the Serene was one of my new year’s resolutions. I started it on the trip. This project and I have had repeated disagreements, and I am now running a billion lifelines through it — just in case.
    Bigger on the Inside in progress

    And this is not where it ended, oh no. I started some more stuff that I’ve left at home or started since I returned.

  4. Happy Autumn Leftie (Leftie) –  I originally thought this would be a travel project, but since I needed four balls of yarn for it, I thought it may be a bit difficult to manage.
    Leftie in progress
  5. Everyday Glamour Baby Mittens (His and Her Mittens) – Dear Baby Knitsnips has several pairs of mittens. One I made her as part of the Baby Hermione Trio, and a few pair made by her great-nan. I realized this week, however, that she does not have a pair of white ones, and that’s what she desperately needs to match this sweet little coat my mom bought her. I picked up a couple of skeins of Sublime while on vacation in white and so I began this project a couple of days ago.
    Baby Mittens in progress
  6. Baby Santa Hat (Santa Hat) – I also realized with alarm that Christmas is rapidly approaching and I had promised myself Baby Knitsnips would have this hat this year. Mostly because I made myself an adult version a couple of years ago, and I nearly squee with delight when I think of us in matching hats for Christmas photos! All it needs now is the bobble band and a pom pom.
    Baby Santa Hat

And let’s not forget I’m also working on a secret project that must be done by Christmas that I have completely abandoned for the last couple of weeks! I don’t know what’s gotten into me, but I want to knit all the things right now! Not to mention that I want to knit another shawl by New Year’s Eve (though like I said I don’t wear shawls. And this one would also be for me. I think I have an irrational knitting disease). I also had planned to make BK a Candy Cane Hat before Christmas, too, but now I’m not so sure it will get done. Fingers crossed that I will, as I can’t imagine anything cuter than a candy cane hat on my beautiful baby!

knitting, scarf, shawl

FO: Hitchhiker

I actually finished Hitchhiker quite some time ago – back in July.

Finishing it up, however, was so traumatic, I have only now been able to write about it.

The pattern said to knit until you have 6 grams left. Normally, I get a little nervous and never knit for as long as I’m meant to, end up with extra yarn left over, and scold myself for not trusting there would be enough. This inevitably leaves me with tiny bits of yarn left over that are far too small to be used in any other projects.

This time, I decided I would use every last inch of this Crock-O-Dye yarn, which is a lovely mix of superwash merino, nylon and silk. And besides, this is Hitchhiker, and it’s meant to have 42 points!

I could see that it was going to be a tight squeeze. Once I started to get apprehensive about running out of yarn, I starting running lifelines at the end of each repeat. I knit until I weighed it and the scale obligingly told me I had 6 grams left – just what the pattern said! – I was magic and on my way.

6 grams of yarn left to finish my Hitchhiker

I started knitting away at the last point. I started binding off. I got increasingly nervous. And then this happened. reaching the end of my yarn on HitchhikerI was knitting outside on our back patio, so I tried to keep the swearing to a minimum to spare the nearby children.

Then I remembered that I had encountered a bad spot in the yarn near the beginning and had to cut the yarn and start over. I wove in the ends where I had made the spit, and then took the leftover ends and spliced them desperately to the end of the yarn I was using to bind off. creatively adding ends to my HitchhikerAnd then I was left with four – FOUR – stinking stitches that I still could not bind off.

I was beside myself – I had believed the pattern, I had taken a risk I would not normally take, I believed those lying kitchen scales, I had spent a beautiful summer evening feeling completely on edge, and I was left here. Four stitches short.

But then, there was always that lifeline! But what would I do with that leftover six grams? No, I had come too far. Something else had to be done.

I went into the stash room and looked at my little basket full of odds and ends. I keep small scraps of different weight yarns to use for waste yarn, and there happened to be a fairly decent length of yarn left from my Clapotis. Sure, it didn’t match exactly, but I could cut out a blue piece and try to make it work.

And so I did. And I don’t think anyone would really ever notice. Even if they did, and unwisely said so out loud, they would regret it.

I think it’s beautiful, even though it’s only 39 points – not 42.Finishing HitchhikerIt’s a great light piece to wear when it’s just a little chilly. It has really been starting to feel like fall, so it’s already had one outing. Wearing Hitchhiker

 

 

 

afghan, past projects, shawl, throw

Christmas knitting

This year, I was a Bad Knitter. I only knitted two Christmas gifts and both were for my parents.

In my defense, I did a somewhat insane amount of knitting for last Christmas, and it went largely unappreciated, so I decided to scale back considerably. Last year, I made 31 dishcloths, two pairs of slippers and a hat.

I made three dishcloths per person for 10 of my female relatives. I started in June to make sure I had time to finish them all and not have to neglect my other knitting in the process. Each woman got a Christmas colored one, a solid one that had her initial on it, and a multi-colored one that matched the initial cloth. I tied them up with beautiful Christmas ribbon and put them in little Christmas tins. I didn’t even get thank yous for all of them.

So that accounted for 30 of dishcloths. Then I made my parents one, since I was on a roll. My mom and my boss were the recipients of the slippers, and that hat was for my dad. These last four were appreciated.

So this year, I decided less is more.

I’m an early Christmas knitter starter, so I began a shawl for my mom in July. It’s made of an awesome cotton/bamboo blend that I purchased from The Weavers Loft at the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival. I saw the yarn, bought a brown/blue/purple color for my mom, and walked around the rest of the booths petting my lovely yarn. Then, before I knew it, I was back at the same stall, buying a different color for myself. After looking for a simple but warm pattern (the reason my mom needs one is because her office is very cold), I settled on the Talbot Hill Shawl.  I think it turned out beautifully.

Shawl

Then, later in July, my parents bought a new house. They had lived in their previous house for 27 years, and it was the only house I ever knew growing up, and they built most of it with their own hands. So it was quite a big move for them. And for me, as they ended up moving much closer to us. I wanted them to have something lovely to commemorate their first Christmas in their new home, and the Cable Comfort Throw seemed like a great blanket to curl up on the couch with. I made it with it with Lion Brand Hometown USA, nothing luscious, but you can wash it and dry it (which is important for something you cuddle with all the time), and it is soft.

Though I started the throw early (in August), I realized quickly that the 9 skeins I bought would not be anywhere near sufficient when I was only getting 4” in length from each skein! On size 19s, with a goal of being nearly 6 ft long, this was not going to work. I went back to my local JoAnn’s, and they had no more of my dye lot. Panic set in.

I called a different location about 30 minutes away, and they had some. I drove there after work one day and bought all they had of that dye lot. I used the trip to justify a stop at a nice yarn shop nearby that I don’t get to visit very often (and just couldn’t leave without purchasing some Addi Turbo needles). Despite the nice detour, it still wasn’t going to be enough for my throw. I called another JoAnn’s, about an hour away, and they had more of my dye lot, too. I sent my dad to get every one they had. He had no idea it was for his own present – I made it seem like it was a secret for a gift just for my mom, so he didn’t ask any questions. 16 skeins later, I was finished. I think it turned out pretty well.

ComfortCableThrow

And my parents really know how to receive knitted gifts. They oohed and ahhed over the throw like no one’s business. My mom immediately wrapped up in the blanket. They commented on how beautiful it looked with the colors in the house. It was enough to warm my little knitterly heart.

So all in all, it was a merry, merry Christmas. I think next year I will continue with my less is more approach. Unless I get sideswiped by a motherload of kitchen cotton again.