Miss Molly Stark’s Offset Wraplan

 

DSCN8282Molly Stark is on the move! Crawling, climbing, cruising…she’s investigating the world. In front of the kitchen window is where Molly likes to stand and observe from. We’re in the kitchen a lot. The chickens, dogs and cats seem to always be hanging out around there too; I’m sure they’re quite amusing to watch.

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 I finished this sweater almost two weeks before Molly Stark was born. A larger version of this sweater she looks so cute in. The neck is a little too wide but I think she might grow into it and it won’t seem quite so loose. If you happen to be reading this and you think you might knit an offset wraplan I recommend making the neck opening a little smaller and cutting back on the number of buttons. Not by too many, buttons definitely add to the sweater, but it’s hard to find 9 and that many really isn’t necessary. I managed to find these pink ones with little gold lambs on them.

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This isn’t a sweater I made but here’s Molly Stark in her spot, looking out the window, anyways.

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sharing with KCCO and Yarn Along

Shalom

Several years ago, when I first began knitting, the idea of undoing an entire sweater was unthinkable. Yet, for the last week or two I’ve been knitting up my second Shalom vest (free Rav link) while simultaneously frogging the Twiggy cardigan (post) I knit up a few months ago. Since I was pregnant and in the third trimester it was hard to guess what size I would be post baby. While the sweater did fit, it didn’t fit very well. Due to the negative ease and the stretching of the yarn my Twiggy was laddering all over. Every time I wore it I was reminded of everything I didn’t like about it. Rather than  keeping a sweater I don’t enjoy wearing I’m ripping it out. Hopefully this vest will be that extra layer I’ll want to wear  (almost) daily. After all spring has not quite yet reached our neck of the woods.

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Once again I’m using different yarn and needles than the pattern calls for and making a few modifications- such as adding buttons down the entire length of the front. I was going to add sleeves as well but since I’m knitting the Shalom up on smaller needles, to create a denser fabric that won’t ladder, its looking like I’ll be running out of yarn by the time I reach the end of the body. Nearly there!

P. S. I do think I’ll knit another Twiggy but with different yarn and perhaps less negative ease.

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sharing with: KCCO and Yarn Along

KCCO/Yarn Along {Reuse}

Sometimes the easiest way to have a new knit garment is to reuse a knit that’s already made. I was given a sweater and a pair of handmade socks that didn’t fit anyone in the family. Rather than tossing them aside I decided to turn them into something new. After removing the sleeves (sewing the armholes closed) and cutting the top of the sweater down into a waistband the sweater fit nicely as a skirt. The sleeves I made into legwarmers.

DSCN3536As for the socks I transformed them into wrist warmers. I cut off the toes, which were quite worn and darned once already anyways. Then I was able to unravel the socks. I left about an inch above the heel, before the ribbing. Using a small crochet hook I worked a simple bind off. This part is the wrist warmer’s bottom.

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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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Just one more row….. {KCCO/Yarn Along}

I’m making good progress! Just a little more then I’ll shape the shoulders and the back will be done. We’ve been having some gorgeous fall weather so we’ve been trying to take advantage of it: going on hikes,  hanging as much laundry as I can process out in the sun, cleaning out the pig pen, prepping the compost bin for the worms come spring, trimming the goats’ hooves….a million and one things to before the snow is here to stay. That doesn’t leave much time for knitting (much less getting those dishes done). But I find that once dinner (and the dance party) is over, and I read the boys a book, or five, everyone settles down and I can get my knitting out. One by one the boys drift off to sleep and I tell myself “just one more row then I’ll go to bed….just one more row.”

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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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     farmgirl friday

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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+ 2 sweaters {Yarn Along/KCCO}

I’m making slow and occasional progress on the springberry fingerless mitts as moments  quiet enough for focusing on lace repeats and increases are few and far between these days. Of course that doesn’t mean no knitting- just cast on a few projects that are mostly mindless knitting in the round. So I cast on another Oatmeal Pullover, this time in my favorite fiber- baby alpaca.

It’s going fast as you can see…..

Noah noticed I began a new sweater and asked hopefully if it were for him. He seemed quite dejected that it was not and requested one- and how can I say no to that- of course I’ll knit you a sweater! Somehow there seems to be a lack of simple raglan sweater patterns knit in the round for children. So I averaged the number of cast on stitches for my gauge and used my oatmeal pullover for inspiration- to well -as it’s now quite apparent the neck is too wide and low not to be “girly”. So poor Noah this sweater is not destined for you- but I will cast on another…

(Not really reading anything worth mentioning)

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Progress {Yarn Along}

It’s Wednesday!

I’m making good progress on the kid goat sweater…..

And I’m re-reading Surviving Off Off-Grid- definitely a book requiring some thinking and reflection. Which works out pretty well: read a bit, knit and think, read some more, knit some more, repeat.

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Goat Sweaters {Yarn Along}

Our goat, Ells, is hugely pregnant. Just by looking at her (which is in no way an accurate gauge) I’m thinking she has to be having twins, possibly triplets- and soon too.  I feel much better this year with the temperature being so relatively mild  but the first few days are hard enough for a newborn without battling cold winter nights.

Enter goat sweaters!

Last year I modified one of the kid’s (mine) vests for one of our kids (goat). Hopefully I can find it and, with luck, also knit up a sweater in time for Ells kidding. I found the pattern over at Fiasco Farms- an excellent site for goat info.

Reading wise I just finished The Birth House which I enjoyed immensely as the subjects of birthing and midwifes vs doctor are definitely  topics near and dear  to my heart.

I’m also reading bits here and there from The Beekeeper’s Handbook (great resource). One of these days I will have bees….one of these days…..

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Keeping Warm

About two weeks ago I finally finished my Oatmeal Pullover. What a great sweater! It knit up so fast (when I got the chance to work on it) and the yarn – baby alpaca- makes you want to knit it. I just love it. It fits great and is exactly that extra layer I’ve been wishing I had.

You can’t really tell from the photo but the yarn has a silver thread running through it. I knit the body using size 10 needles and dropped down to size 9 for the ribbing to help reduce the bulkiness.

So what’s on the needles now?

These fingerless mitts for my MIL. I’m just starting the thumb gusset.

These are cotton. The pattern is called Fallberry fingerless mitts (Winter 2011 in Knitty) but these colors say spring to me! I’m using size 2 double points.

What are you knitting?

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Darning A Sweater

In a few months I will have been knitting for 2 years (yay!). During this time I’ve had the fun, and challenge, of knitting a variety of items- mostly sweaters, hats and socks. Like this hoodie:

I haven’t had much experience darning – ok, until the sweater below I had no experience but it seemed doable and it would be a shame to let a perfectly otherwise nice sweater to unravel into oblivion.

The original problem was that the sleeves had become to long and tattered. I offered to fix that. Then seeing all the yarn I salvaged I figured I might as well fix the other holes with said yarn.

Sleeve- during- I started right in before I thought to take a before shot.

Here are a few before shots of the other damage:

An unraveling

A hole

A mess

and so on….Each spot was treated in a case by case basis. Not having darned before I made up my own approach. A few spots just needed a stitch, that had come apart and dropped, picked back up with a crochet hook and secured.

Larger holes required reattaching some yarn and picking up and re-knitting some stitches. For this I found double pointed needles to work best. Once the stitches where ready I either kitchener stitched the two sides together or wove them together trying to follow the same pattern of over, around and under as the knit stitches.

With the exception of the hole in last photo, the holes where rather easy to fix and weren’t too noticeable. The smaller the problem the easier and better looking the fix. Now the last section was mostly gone except for a few strands running across. I decided to pick up the stitches and try to knit back down – Incorporating the strands running across and weaving in the sides  with a tapestry needle. It required a lot of rebuilding and the salvaged yarn was a little rough but it came together- albeit a bit more visible.

The results:

Sleeves - bound off.

You can see that a few places look a bit wonky. I think blocking would fix it some although there’s no getting around the fact that it needed repairs. At the very least the holes won’t be growing any more.

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