Blanket Blocking

I finished my big blanket this week. The applied i cord was a breeze to put on, and it gives the blanket a great finished look. I’m so happy I decided to take that extra step. It only took about half of one of the two hanks of yarn I bought for it. I’m thinking I’ll try out some skimmer socks soon, as I love wearing tiny socks in my Chucks.

I brought the blanket with me to Cedar Falls, as my mom has a clothesline I could dry it on. I thought about just leaving it on my patio to dry, but then I remembered I have a large dog and two kids that run all over the patio and thought better of it.

Have you ever blocked a blanket before? I had not. The largest thing I’ve ever blocked, or even washed by hand, is a sweater (granted, that includes the cocoon sweater, which was basically a blanket). I was nervous. It felt like a large undertaking. I considered not doing it, but some of the yarn was given to me by friends with cats, so I knew I needed to wash it if I ever wanted to use it without sneezing.

Here’s how I blocked it.

Step 1: Let it soak. 20180522_134134597907800.jpg

I put it in the tub with cool water and two packets of soak and let it sit while I fed the kids lunch and put them down for a nap. Then I made bars (milk chocolate and caramel for the middle layer this time). I took the trash out. I got the mail. I was really looking for any excuse to avoid the next part, so it probably soaked for an hour.

Step 2: Roll it up

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I put the blanket on top of two cotton blankets to soak up the water. Then I rolled it up.

Step 3: Hang it up

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I hung it out on the line to dry. I draped it over three lines, which I hope will help it dry more quickly. I then spent about 20 minutes just staring at it and thinking about how pretty it is.

Have you ever blocked a huge project? How did you tackle it?

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Scrap Yarn Shawl Knockoff

A month or two ago my sister Mary-Claire sent me a message on Instagram about a scrap yarn shawl she thought was really cool. She didn’t say cool though, she said “While I think this is too much work for a Christmas present, please look at this and marvel at how awesome it is.”

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I looked at it, and thought it was awesome. I also thought it looked really simple. I offered to make one for her for Christmas. I thought I could find a pattern, but a search on Ravelry came up empty. Luckily it looks pretty simple. I think it is just a rectangle knit on fairly large needles. I’m thinking I will go with size 12 or 14, whichever ones I find first.

I sent her a few pictures to make sure we were on the same page. First I made a sample piece with paper. Then I used safety pins and an afghan, so she could get a better idea of the drape. I may have gone over board with illustrating it. I just wanted to make sure we were thinking the same thing.

I offered to do it all in one color. She is the sister that has requested something other than gray once. I assumed she would want gray. To my amazement she wanted color. I suggested I knit it as a fade. I sent her a few examples of a fade, as she is not a knitter and wouldn’t know that term. I was quick to offer fade as a way to introduce color, as I have wanted to try the technique for a while, and because they are so popular I’m worried I’ll be the last knitter to work on a fade.

She sent me her color selections and I ordered them right away. They have been sitting in my closet for a month. That changes today. I’m going to be casting on a gauge swatch as soon as I find my needles. I’m going to be keeping you updated on Mondays on my progress on the design and knitting of this piece. Mary-Claire gave the OK to keep you updated. I didn’t want her to see her Christmas present before she opened it.20180427_192904864481651.jpg

Have you knit a fade? Have you ever created a pattern when you couldn’t find one you were looking for?

 

Weekend Morning

6 out of 7 days I wake up and drink coffee while hanging out with the kids. I make them a full breakfast around 8:30. There is not a lot of time for relaxing and contemplation.

One day each weekend that changes. Today was that day. John was on kid duty, so I had a relaxing morning. I slept in. I drank coffee in bed and worked on the applied i cord on my blanket. I watched the latest Knitting Monk podcast.

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Do you watch the Knitting Monk? He is amazing. I get something out of each of his podcasts – every time I watch one I walk away thinking about the mindfulness of my craft a bit differently. In his latest podcast, which I watched this morning, he spoke about finding the opportunity in what you have in regards to your stash.

For me that means if I find something I want to make, I shouldn’t think about how I don’t have the yarn called for in the pattern. I should look at my stash and see if there is a way to make it work. Will that always work? No. Will it stop my from buying yarn whenever I see I project I think I need to make? Yes.

I am still on my yarn diet, and thinking about the opportunities to knit with the stash I have is something I’ve been trying to do more of this year. I have so much yarn in my house. I don’t need to buy more.

I am so thankful that I found that episode this morning. It set my day off on the right track.

Do you watch any knitting podcasts you would recommend?

Knitting Picture Books

My two favorite hobbies, knitting and reading, are things that I like to share with my kids. While I haven’t taught the kids to knit yet, they both pretend to knit while saying “In. Around. Through. And off.” Considering they are only 2 and 3 I think that is pretty good.

Both kids love to read and being read to. We have a lot of books, but I’m always looking to add to the collection. Some of my favorite books to buy are picture books about knitting.

These books are great for anyone looking for new books for their kids. You don’t need knowledge of knitting to enjoy them. They would also make a great baby shower gift if any of your favorite knitters are expecting.

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This book is about a little girl who finds a magical box of yarn – she can knit and knit and knit and never run out of yarn.  It is a cute story – who wouldn’t want an endless supply of yarn? I love how the knitting is illustrated.

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Everyone in our house loves Ned the Knitting Pirate. It is a fun read, with a rhyming pirate song to enjoy within the story. My only issue with this book is that Ned appears to knit exclusively with boucle yarn, and I just can’t get behind that.

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The Surprise, by Sylvia van Ommen, is one of Audrey’s all time favorite books. It’s a book without words that follows a sheep as she dyes her wool, knits a present, and gives it to her best friend.

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I love reading these books to the kids. We get to talk about the story as well as knitting. Do you have any knitting picture books to recommend? I’m always looking for more books to read.

WIP Wednesday: 19/52

Happy Wednesday! I’m only aware of the day because I keep checking the calendar. I’m still thrown off from our camping weekend.

I’m slowly making progress on the applied I Cord on my blanket. I finished the third side yesterday. It is so big it takes me a while to locate the yarn and find a good way to hold the blanket. If I’m sitting down for less than a half hour it doesn’t seem worth it to pick up.

I cast on socks before I headed down to Missouri last week. I’m using Felici in the Stone Harbor colorway. Felici continues to be the fastest sock yarn I’ve ever worked with. I’m already done with the gusset on the first sock.

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Over the next week I hope to finish this sock and start the second one. I also hope to finish the applied i cord on the blanket. Once I’m done with the blanket I’m going to start my sister’s Christmas present (I like to stay on top of holiday knitting).

Finished Socks

You guys, I am so tired. Remember how my friend and I took 4 kids under 4 camping? Over Mother’s Day weekend? That was silly. Don’t get me wrong, it was also fun, I’m just super tired. Audrey didn’t fall asleep the first night, no one napped Saturday, and last night Elliot tossed and turned and cried from 10-3:30. Thankfully Kirsten had some Tylenol in her suitcase (what a well prepared mom! Good job, friend!). Elliot finally fell asleep for the night a little after that. The other kids were up at 6:30. So, yeah, I’m tired.

The drive home today was long. My sister lent me her portable DVD player, and I threw screen time limits out the window. The kids enjoyed Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Bob the Builder for the four and a half hour drive. The drive was a half hour longer than normal because we drove through a horrible storm.

We finally made it home and the kids crashed. The napped until we woke them up for dinner. Their long naps gave me the time to finish John’s socks.

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Please note that the legs really are the same length – I neglected to make sure the socks were pulled up to the same height on the blockers. Oops.

The yarn is Madeline Tosh in the Home colorway. I love the colors, they are so calming. I love how the socks knit up, there was very little pooling. I did find knitting these socks to be a bit boring, which is often the way with plain vanilla socks. The boringness was exacerbated by the size of the sock needed to fit John. A 72 stitch round seems to take SO MUCH longer than a 64 stitch round.

I love that John adores hand knit socks, and I will continue to make them for him. I do, however, think that I will be making a few pairs for the kids and myself before I make him another pair.