A Quick Knit and Bacon Experiment

Sometimes a quick knitting project is needed. Something you can finish in a day, maybe two. Molly needed another winter hat so it all worked out quite well. Molly is at the stage where hats are a fun game. I put the hat on her head, she swipes it off and waves it about. Sometimes she tries to put it on herself. Don’t think of helping her cause then she’ll pull it back off and it starts all over.

I had some leftover yarn from this BSJ and a pattern for a cute hat. I lost the pattern though (!), so I just made it up as I went along, ending up with an elvish hat. The older brothers just love all things elf related so they’re excited about the prospect of Molly outgrowing said hat and having their stuffies get to wear it. In fact, Molly’s hat went for a round of trying on and has disappeared. SO, no cute photos of Molly “in” her hat.

As not to leave you photo less I’ll share with you a recent experiment in our bacon curing. Normally I cure our sides or bacon in the fridge with just maple syrup, brown sugar and salt. No nitrates.  I think I’ve done several posts on how I make it previously if you look under recipes. It’s good but, not like store bacon. I thought it was possibly the nitrate factor. Celery is a natural source of nitrates and I had plenty of celery in the garden. I made one half with added juiced celery and one without.

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With (below)

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We cooked up a couple of slices of each. They were tasty and pretty close in flavor. Although, we both thought that maybe, the one with celery was better; a little deeper in flavor. We would have cooked up a bit more for comparison’s sake but Sasquatch, that little puppy Megan had last year, snatch up the side of bacon and devoured it. So we’ll be trying that again and keeping a better eye on the dogs.

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Slippers: Take 2

DSCN7811The Bed Ped slippers just weren’t looking right so I frogged them and started over. This time I’m using Grandma’s Knitted Slipper pattern. They’re knit flat with worsted weight yarn held double.

To be honest, I’m not sure which part of the slipper this is. Perhaps the toe?  The sole is knit separately and both pieces are sewn together.  I’m sure, with time, it will be apparent. For now I’m trusting the pattern and knitting on.

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On the Go-veralls

After figuring out how to knit and purl my first project was a pair of On the go-veralls. Noah was 2 or 3 at the time. It was a bit ambitious but I wanted to knit something besides a scarf. Why not jump in with both feet!

100_1223 100_1224Luckily for me they turned out well. Now, I think the yarn drapes  a bit too much. They are super comfy!

Ever since, the On the go-veralls have been on my mental make again list. So when my Grandmother sent me a lovely knit baby blanket plus a skein of yarn I knew just what to do with it.

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Even though I made the 0-6 month size these are pretty big on Molly right now. I thought they might be as the leg was looking more like a sleeve for me! However, my gauge was spot on so I went with it. During the hip section I had an ominous feeling that I wasn’t going to have enough yarn to finish. Luckily I had a little wool left over from one of the Liza Rose scarflettes. So I added it in as stripes. Together they were exactly enough. Funny how that works out sometimes!

I expect Molly will fit into these in another 2-3 months (around 6 months).

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A Shalom-Inspired Cowl

 My Shalom cardigan is done! Well, except for the buttons. I used up every last bit of the Twiggy with just enough yarn left to weave in the ends. I found one never used skein of the same yarn – but its no where near enough yarn for two sleeves. So my Shalom will stay a vest. Since Spring has yet to show its face around here, and to use up that last skein, I decided to make a Shalom inspired cowl.

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Using the same twisted stitch pattern as the Shalom I cast on 78 stitches. After 3 ridges (of garter stitch) I knit 25 rows and ended with 3 more ridges. I used larger needles -size 10 rather than the size 4 I used on the Shalom. While this cowl won’t keep the stiff winter winds out it will be perfect for the (hopefully coming) warmer, but still chilly, Spring days ahead.

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Pebble Vest & Kanoko Pants

On the crafting front, I give you a couple more baby knits. Which means more baby photos!

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Miss Molly Stark is wearing her Pebble Vest which I modified to make it super tiny and fit a newborn. She has just about outgrown it now. I made this pebble vest previously, which fit Ezra at 21 months, however I managed to put it through the wash and felt it. It shrunk a LOT; Molly will be growing into it in no time.

Since this pebble vest is so small I gave it 4 buttons and made a small loop to fasten the button over the shoulder. The back is also a tad wider than the front.

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DSCN5654DSCN5643And a few more photos just because.  As you’ll see Molly is also wearing these Kanoko Pants. I’d been meaning to knit them for the last two babies and now I finally have.

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editing to add this photo, which gives a better view of the Kanoko pants:

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Another Liza Rose (or two)

I made two additional Liza Rose scarflettes for the holidays. (View the first here.) These weren’t for my gift giving; they were my first “commissioned” pieces. In exchange I received some yarn, which is always exciting (if you’re a knitter anyway)!

Here they are:

The yarn’s coloring looks a bit more brilliant in the first photo than it really is. If you’d like to see additional photos visit my Rav page: Liza Rose II  

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Depending on how the scarlet is worn you can either highlight the multiple colors or, if worn over the opposite shoulder, take the focus away from them.

Both scarf lets were knit in Lion Brand’s Amazing.

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Twiggy Cardigan

DSCN4647This is the second, or third, Jane Richmond pattern I’ve knit up (her Oatmeal Pullover is a favorite of mine). As I’ve come to expect of Jane this pattern is easy to follow and is knitting up fast.  Although that last bit likely has something to do with using bulky yarn….

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As You Wish

Satisfied with their hats, my boys have moved on to requesting additional winter wear. Scarves! Simple enough. Noah immediately specified his was to be in Hunter Orange. Happily, I have some bright orange Red Heart Super Saver. Not my favorite yarn to knit with but it was free and it’s machine washable. At least that’s what I’ll remind myself when I find it lying outside or tied to various things.

Ezra asked for a blue scarf. Another freebie acrylic yarn found in the depths of my stash box. I do think the rich blue color with suit Ezra. Ishmael’s scarf is, as of yet, undecided. Although his brothers say he wants the sparkly green yarn….

These are simple scarves. Just 30 stitches cast onto size 10 needles. Knit a row, purl a row, knit a row, purl a row.  A bit mindless, good for watching documentaries and planning to do lists.

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Three {KCCO/Yarn Along}

Out of the blue Ishi requested “knit me hat”. After I was sure that I had heard him right, and wasn’t hearing what I wanted to hear, I asked him what color. “Red” he replied quite confidently. How could I refuse?!

While hats are rather simple I decide to peruse Ravelry for inspiration and a better idea of how many stitches to cast on. Ishi climbed right up to take a look. Then Ezra had to see what we were up to. Soon the air was filled with “I like that one”, “No, that one” from Ezra and “that one”, “that one” from Ishmael. Soon Noah joined in. After narrowing the search parameters a bit and scrolling through many pages of patterns all three of the boys had picked out hats and the yarn to knit them with.

In a personal best, which I doubt I will ever beat, I have completed all three hats for my three boys, in three days at that! It helped that they were all rather small projects and two of them were knit with bulky weight yarn. It really does make progress go so much faster.

the details:

Ishmael choose the Techno Slouch (ravelry pattern page, my page here). In red, of course. I used some leftover Berroco Comfort (worsted) that I had gotten for the Steggie Hoodie (my ravelry page or this post). Using size 9 needles I cast on 80 stitches and followed the pattern as written except I knit 4 inches instead of 7 1/2 after the ribbing and before decreasing.

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Noah was immediately drawn to the mini-gnomey (ravelry pattern page, my Rav page for Noah’s here) because it looked elfish. It’s quite fitting for him too. The mini- gnomey uses size 13 needles with a strand of bulky weight and a strand of worsted weight yarn held together. For Noah’s we choose Cascade Yarn  Baby Alpaca Chunky in monterey bay blue with Plymouth Yarn Galway Worsted in gray.

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Ezra took the longest in choosing a pattern and changed his mind many, many times. After seeing Noah’s mini-gnomey he decided he wanted one just like it, but camouflaged. I had some leftover Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca grande Glow, a  dark green with a silver shimmer running through it (seen here on Ravelry or this post in the oatmeal pullover), and Cascade Yarn Baby Alpaca Chunky in  Van Dyke brown which looked camouflage-y together. They are both bulky weight, rather than one bulky and one worsted. It doesn’t seem to make much difference.  I didn’t have enough Van Dyke brown for the whole hat so Ezra decided to make the top of the hat the same Cascade Yarn Baby Alpaca Chunky in monterey bay blue we used in Noah’s hat.( Both Cascade Yarns were also used in this Cushy Baby Blanket; Ezra’s hat here on Ravelry). I wasn’t so sure of the color change mid-hat but Ezra loves it.

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Now I must make a hat for struggling_along. Not sure what pattern for his yet. Suggestions anyone? After that I think I’ll need one for me too. I’m thinking perhaps Wurm (Ravelry link). I do so like this one,and it might actually accommodate all my hair, we’ll see…

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Crafting for the Giving Season {KCCO/Yarn Along}

I’ve noticed that even though it isn’t Halloween yet, never mind Thanksgiving, a lot of stores have aisles of Christmas decorations on display. It seems earlier every year. While I don’t understand it I do find it to be a good reminder to get started on crafting gifts for the holidays. This way there’s a chance I might finish them all in time.

Now, for all my friends and relatives this will be a spoiler for somebody. I won’t say who but if you don’t want any clues to what you may be receiving this year then look no further.

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The Prismatic scarf (free pattern on Ravelry)  is great for those multicolored skeins. The colors are high lighted yet not over whelming. The pattern is a fairly simple 12 row repeat. I find a row counter to be a handy way to keep track of where I am between rows. I have a little ways to go yet so the scarf hasn’t been blocked.

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{KCCO/Yarn Along} Finally….Ezra’s Finished Pullover

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Strange how some projects fly off the needles while others take far longer than I initially thought. A couple weeks ago I finally finished Ezra’s pullover, the one I thought would be done for Thanksgiving, then by winter Solstice, then by his birthday…. My slow progress didn’t faze Ezra though. He still loves his sweater and since it’s in fingering weight yarn it’s still cool enough for the warmer temperatures. The only downside is that warmer temps means that Megan is shedding- everywhere!- and the black yarn seems to attract it.

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His pullover is pattern  #12 Boy’s Pullover from Knit Simple Magazine, Spring/Summer Issue 2010, in size 4, minus the collar.  This one is knit in pieces and sewn together. See my ravelry page here.

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Sweater Handbag {KCCO/Yarn Along}

DSCN9926A neighbor passes us down some clothes recently. One of the items, a blue sweater, was way too big but I liked the knit pattern. It made me think of a bag I saw on Pinterest. Coincidently, sitting right next to the sweater was a plaid shirt that didn’t fit anyone either. The two went together so well I grabbed up both and got to work.

DSCN9914After “borrowing” some handles from another bag it’s ready to go! I’m super pleased. It’s big enough to hold my knitting and whatever I’m reading at the moment yet it’s not too bulky either. Just right to bring along in the car- just in case the little guys decide to take a  nap.

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{KCCO & Yarn Along} Noah’s Sweater

A few weeks ago Noah’s vest, I mean sweater, was officially finished with some sleeves.

DSCN9626It was time to dye it! Noah had been waiting forever (he said) for this part. So we decided to use a couple of blue kool-aid packets as the dye.

It looked quite electric.

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DSCN9639Noah immediately wanted to ditch the spoon. Since it was just kool-aid I gave the go ahead and he dove in.

DSCN9643Sadly, it wasn’t the right shade of blue. It was more of a blueish gray.

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 I also had a regular dye packet in reserve. Noah opted to use it.  Since it contained some pretty harsh chemicals I did the second round of dyeing. And boy is it blue now!

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DSCN9659It’s a tad big but that hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm. Room to grow, I say.

DSCN9683And while we’re talking about Noah – he made his first bag on the sewing machine! A small drawstring bag for carrying around all those little things: legos, coins, small rocks, marbles etc.

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Ezra’s Pullover {KCCO/Yarn Along}

 I had just finished binding off Noah’s sweater (well more of a vest really) when Ezra asked me, in a rather injured tone, when I was going to knit him something. So I asked him what he had in mind. A  shirt, he replied. So I pulled up some patterns on ravelry (of course) showing him a few that I thought might fit what he had in mind. No! he said not like that. Oh.

That one. He was very confident. But in black.

Of course! How silly of me to suggest those other patterns. This one is so very much Ezra.

 A while back struggling_along came across a yard sale with a box of free yarn. Being the kind husband that he is he picked it up for me. This black is one of them. And it’s exactly what I needed. I did a swatch and now here is the beginning of the back.

I have a feeling there will be a lot of sweater knitting this winter. In less than a week we went from summer to fall:

to snow!

How did the boys feel about it?

There was much rejoicing, and a box full of Christmas ornaments were found and hung up!

While I’m not crazy about the recent weather it does have it’s perks:

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Moving Sweater- Complete! {Yarn Along/KCCO}

Last week I finished my second oatmeal pullover. I began this one right after we found out we were moving (cause ya gotta have a project when your in the middle of moving). It’s come in handy during long scouting drives (once all the kids stop fighting/fussing and fall asleep) and fittingly I’ve finished it just as we’ve entered into an agreement on what I hope to soon introduce to you all as our new digs. I dare not say more now as we have had worst (or maybe best from were we stand now) luck with real estate and I’d hate to jinx myself now.

Once again the sweater came out great. Last time I shortened it a bit – which I did not do this time. The only changes I’ll probably make in the future  would be to make the neck just a tad less wide and maybe add an inch or two in length.

I also finished the child-sized raglan. Once of these days we’ll be dyeing it along with, hopefully, Noah’s raglan- which I just began. Speaking of Noah, he took all of these lovely photos. Thanks Noah!

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