Wednesday, April 23, 2014

spring cleaning, part 4, or, scarftastic

Another project done and dusted! This spring cleaning knitalong is really paying off. I started this Wisp scarf soon after Erik was born. I've knit this pattern twice before, and it's very intuitive and easy, so it was perfect for my sleep-deprived and baby-addled brain. I dug into my precious stash of Plucky Knitter yarns.
While I loved the yarn in the skein, I'm not 100 percent thrilled about how the colors knit up. Such is the way of variegated hand-dyed yarns, I suppose. Always a roll of the dice. I, however, am not much of a gambler, which is why I've backed away from hand-dyed yarns in recent years and returned to the land of solid colors.
pattern: Wisp, by Cheryl Niamath
source: Knitty, Summer 2007
yarn: The Plucky Knitter Merino Wool Handpainted Fingering Weight, Verde Valley
needles: US 7 bamboo straights

I skipped the holes and buttons, as I intended this to be just a scarf. The single-ply merino wool is very soft and cozy -- lovely to knit.
Happy spring from our little Easter bunny!
(Erik was a remarkably good sport about the ears.)

P.S. Speaking of bunnies, I just discovered this heirloom bunny blanket pattern on Ravelry, and I'm dying to cast on! I especially love this grey bunny blanket. Sigh, must finish a few more lingering projects first.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

spring cleaning, part 3, or, block party

Two more projects washed and blocked as part of the spring cleaning knitalong! Phew, does it feel good to clear the decks. Now if only I could get motivated to wash the windows and do some actual spring cleaning...

 pattern: honey cowl, by Antonia Shankland
yarn: Briar Rose Fibers Celebration, .6 skein
needles: US 8 bamboo circs

I picked up this yarn at the 2009 Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair. The Briar Rose booth is always one of my favorites to visit, and I linger there far too long since there are so many beautiful yarns that it's hard to choose. Celebration (sadly discontinued) is a 60/40 merino/bamboo blend, with plenty of sheen and drape. There's plenty of yarn left to make a coordinating hat (pattern suggestions are welcome!).

This pattern is easy and intuitive -- perfect knitting while tending to baby or at knit night. The length is great and perfect for doubling up. I don't love the rolled edge, so next time I knit this pattern (which I will!), I may skip it.

I'll post details on the other project soon.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

spring cleaning, part 2, or, Elsie revisted

Another project done and dusted! This wee cardi just needed blocking and buttons.

yarn: Rowan Wool Cotton, 2 skeins
needles: US 6 (4.0 mm)
 size: 6 months
my ravelry project page

Another Elsie Cardigan off the needles! I think this is no. 3. Great little pattern knit from the top down. I do think the sizing runs a bit small. I keep knitting this pattern since I love working the crochet picot edging at the end. Rowan Wool Cotton is nice to knit, but I'm not sure how well it washes and wears. Oh well, it just went to a fellow knitter's sweet new baby, so at least it won't get put through the dryer on high!
 This is how Erik likes to wear his crochet earflap hat:
And this is how I like him to wear his hat
 Silly boy!

Monday, April 07, 2014

spring cleaning

Ness at Bunnies and Bettas is hosting a spring cleaning KAL, and I'm all aboard this train. Spring's the perfect time for a fresh start, and quite a few projects in my knitting basket just need a few more rows, buttons, blocking, or (gulp) sleeves. Here's project no. 1, destined for a friend's new baby:

pattern: diagonal box-stitch crochet blankie
6.5 skeins, haze heather
hook: G/4.0 mm, Clover Soft Touch
my ravelry project page

I love this pattern! It's intuitive and easy, and working from corner to corner eliminates those pesky foundation chains (mine are always too tight). I've made at least four of these blankies already. The yarn is terrific, but sadly all the colors aside from marshmallow (natural white) have been discontinued. I needed just a smidge more yarn, and a fellow Raveler came to the rescue. Thank you so much, Sarah443!


How about cleaning out the fridge, too? I usually have the ingredients for this soup on hand (I keep ham in the freezer), and it's perfect on a rainy day.

Slow-Cooker Yellow Split Pea Soup

8 C. chicken stock
1 lb. dried yellow (or green) split peas, sorted and rinsed
3 medium carrots, diced (~ 1.5 C.)
1 medium onion, chopped (~ .5 C.)
1 medium stalk celery, chopped (~.5 C.)
8 oz. chopped ham or Canadian-style bacon
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
freshly ground pepper, to taste

- Mix all ingredients in slow cooker.

- Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or until peas and veggies are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent the split peas from clumping.

- Serves 8.