• Handicrafts

    Yarn Along

    Link up here.
    I am reading three books, but I am trying at the moment to finish Little Dorrit. And no, I still have not finished those other two knitting projects, but this is a Christmas present (a baby sweater). I am working on the back and front at the same time because it makes me feel like I am working faster and in order for the sweater to look more uniform.

    Here is my first holiday batch of yarn, from Knitpicks. I have another order from yarn.com coming, but the yarn I need for Christmas was back-ordered, so I am going to have to pick some up tomorrow. Yes, excellent timing.
  • Handicrafts

    Yarn Along

     I am still not finished with either of the projects about which I posted last time. I did finish The Unwanteds and started The Talisman Ring and Bleak House (pictured). I just posted the project and book I knitted/read most recently. I made two large yarn orders too, so look out! Link up here.
  • Handicrafts

    Yarn Along

    I am joining in the Yarn Along again.

    Yeah, that is the same yarn from last time. I pulled out that project soon after I posted. I still would like to master that pattern, but I need to just follow the directions first before I decide to modify.  I also should probably make it for a baby closer to summer or spring. Anyway, I am making a headband/ear-warmer with the Saxon braid/cable pattern. Isn’t it gorgeous?

    Did I post David Copperfield the last time? I was still technically reading it then (I have technically been reading it for over a year). I think it may have been The Secret Garden which I have finished. I have really started to enjoy David Copperfield. That usually happens with long Dickens novels for me recently.

    I have finished several more knitting projects since the last time. I forgot to take photos of two of them. A matching (same yarn as above except in peachy pink) ear-warmer/head band, knit double stranded with the aran braid cable as the main design and twisted cowl (I like the look of cowls better if I twist the cast on stitches once before I join) knit single stranded in garter stitch chevron.

    Plus these three

    We got started on an ear-warmer/headband craze last winter after watching the Hallmark movie “Let it Snow” last year. I loved the headband/ear-warmer that Stephanie wears when Brady first takes her skiing (here). Mom and my younger sister knitted a bunch of headbands last year (most if not all with simple braid cable), but only this year did I attempt any. The first one I tried was that pink one from  my last knitting post (I was not going for exactly like the movie). This one I made as a gift. I started it before the pink cable one, but I took this one out several times. I think I would like to make one for myself a bit more like the one from the movie. I did not use a pattern (I found one for sale, but it is fairly simple to figure out and not really that original a concept, so I did not consider it worth the buy).

     I used this pattern from Ravelry, but used seed/moss stitch instead. 
    I used this pattern from Ravelry, and I would definitely modify it if I used again (not enough shaping within the pattern; I pushed and pulled them into that shape, and they are not likely to stay that way).
    And I still have worked intermittently on a scarf/kerchief. I want to start a sweater, but I am waiting for a boatload of  knitting books from the library to help me fit it properly.
  • Handicrafts

    Knitting, Reading, Listening

    I am participating in the yarn along here again.

    I am of course both reading and knitting more than one book and project, but I will try to post the other items next week. Forgive any crooked photos; my personal computer is dead, and so my iphone set-up is not the same. I started out using this baby dress pattern and downsized on the needles and cut out a leaf at the top, but now I am winging it. Yikes.

    I have been listening to my younger sisters’ Adventures in Odyssey. I always for get how wonderful this audio series is!

    Here are some projects I finished since the last knitting post. I had most of one of the silver gloves and all of one of the purple gloves done already. All the beret and finger-less glove sets are done in time for fall! I will have to post a photo of them all together. I made the headband with one of the balls of yarn I bought in N.C. and still have some left which at the moment I want to try to use for baby slippers, perhaps with the purple yarn from my finger-less gloves (this pattern, and it has some errors in the final ribbed rows, but I love this pattern the best so far; the gloves are sooo pretty on)

  • Daily Life

    My Birthday, The Hollow Crown, Knitting, and Etc.

    I do not want to write a review of The Hollow Crown (the first play is overwhelmingly evil, and the last two are painfully wonderful; this is my mini-review), but since I mentioned The Hollow Crown previously, I feel duty compelled to give a warning as there are content issues in all (in varying intensities). If you are super oblivious, perhaps you could avoid reading and miss the problems; if you read warnings you will catch the problems.

    ANYWAY. Back to not-mind-contorting fun.

    I have four (yes, FOUR!!!) finished knitting projects to show. This also means that I have only three in my unfinished/will do soon category before I can start on new projects.


    From top left clockwise.

    The last beret! I like this pattern best (Little Flower Beret or Tam). The beret is larger, the head band area is smaller (less like a beanie, ugh, girls should NEVER wear beanies-so unfeminine, and only a few types of guys can pull them off), and the design is gorgeous (I purposely used this my-least-favorite yarn for the prettiest pattern) . . . even though hard to see because of the color.

    Next is the forever pink sweater which is quite tight but can at least go on me. If I tried this pattern again, I would need to go up a size. I think I might want to go up another size more and downsize on the needles since I prefer a tighter knit. The neckline is too tight and not flattering period; I would make it more of a scoop.
    White cuffs (Hetty’s Sunday Cuffs from the Jane Austen Knits magazine, May 2012; also available to purchase and download here) to match the white beret for my youngest sister. I had to go up a needle size and probably could have gone up another. I knit tight, but I think these also must have been sized small because the cuffs are still tight. I mean I know we have largish hands in our family, but I do not have issues with the fingerless glove patterns I have tried.

    Pink cowl for a gift (part of my longest ever gift procrastination . . . think like a decade :/). Do not look closely at this. I found this changing project irritating for a variety of reasons and so made up a stitch pattern and did not try to remedy all the mistakes (which it is a pain and sometimes danger to do with this yarn because it is easily destroyed). Oh, and despite the weird tinge of my iPhone app photo, the cowl is really just a light cotton candy pink.

    Ah, yes. I bought new yarn, sue me. Probably not enough in each ball for a complete project, so I will have to order more which requires a huge order because of course I must get the discounts! Oops 🙂

    I bought a lovely binder, so I can carefully store all my patterns in page protectors instead of dragging around the paper/magazines/leaflets and destroying them.


    I turned 24 recently, so we had a girls’ shopping day. I picked out loads of items from Half-Price and that was my gift from Mom. My brother gave me a Kohl’s gift card and my grandparents $50 (yarn?!) and a blouse. The cupcake is from Panera where we had lunch. Oh, and the box I bought from T.J. Maxx. I love these types of boxes. They are so elegant.

  • Handicrafts

    Knitting Update

    I am working on the final beret for my sisters. I finished the white cuffs to match the white beret and also finished the ancient pink sweater. I still have to finish the silver gloves, make navy gloves to match this beret, finish a pink cowl, and knit my other purple glove. Hopefully I can do this without starting anymore projects, but I am making no promises. The book I am reading is The Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff.
  • Handicrafts

    Yarn Along

    I am again, after a long hiatus, joining in the yarn along here.

    I have not finished one of my other yarn along projects nor many of my other knitting projects, but once again I started something new. It is a baby blanket for a baby due in June. I don’t know when the shower is (and did not even know there was going to be one when I started), so, to excuse myself, this project needed to be started.

    The pattern is from ravelry here and is free of course. I chose only three, rather than four, colors and added an extra 24 stitches to the width, and it is still going to be narrow, but then I knit rather tight currently.

    The book is Belinda by Maria Edgeworth. As our library’s Maria Edgeworth collection is rather small, I had to obtain it via interlibrary loan, and it came from another state (I find that rather exciting). I have read Castle Rackrent, Ennui, The Absentee, and Ormond. The latter two I have to write reviews (for the Classics Club) on I think, but the former two I read years ago. Ennui is hilarious, the best so far. Castle Rackrent was boring, and I don’t know if I understood everything. Edgeworth was Irish, although I think of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy, and from this rank she drew her subjects in the four I read. I need to pay attention to publication dates better for Belinda is set in London and is about English people and reads more like a Frances Burney novel (the three I read were published 5 to 23 years before Belinda) than like the previous Edgeworth novels I read although not quite so melodramatic as at least Cecilia and Camilla. I am reading the 1801 version I think or an early revision not the seriously revised 1810 version (which I think probably reflected the less decadent [than the Georgian standards] Regency standards and scruples). (I looked up the dates and except for Castle Rackrent the other Edgeworth novels I read were published 8-16 years after Belinda and contemporary to the Austen novels).

    Anyway, enough on literature. Here are photos of the finished shrug:


  • Handicrafts

    Crazy Knitting Lady

    I knitted many things over the last fivish months. It makes me feel so accomplished to cram them all into one post . . . so it looks like I have been more industrious than I actually have (I actually am now working on becoming fairly industrious in knitting; this post marks some of the beginning to this strange phenomenon). Ahem.
    I knitted my grandmother three scarves for Christmas . . . that was not my initial intention, but anyway.
    Here are two:

    I call this the lazy, untalented, un-crafty person’s knitting. I made these from packages of lace with pre-formed holes through which I knitted (I think you can also crochet them as with the similar mesh yarn). They each took no more than two hours. I also made an even simpler scarf by finger braiding a chain of mesh yarn which formed a long loop to be looped into an infinity scarf. I prefer this look to the feather boa one . . . if you must cheat and if you must wear this style 😛 (I am terribly afraid that the person for whom I made that scarf did not even see that it was a scarf and even if she did, she did not like it; oh well, the rest of the gift should have been okay . . . and that rest still fulfilled the $15+ requirement for the gift; but grrr, I still feel bad, hence this confession/explanation).

    I copied from sight this pattern for my mom from ravelry since I thought it was stupid to pay $4 for a simple design. It isn’t exact to a perfectionist but the same effect. This is the one for my grandmother.

    My Ravenclaw scarf. Ravelry had plenty of free “patterns” (more like tutorials because they are so simple). I wimped out and bought cheap yarn. I am normally a fiber snob . . . and should remain so because apparently I do not know how to buy decent cheap items. This stuff (Paton Metallic) is AWFUL. Wispy chains filled with black fluff. Fluff, not yarn. I am OCD and frequently felt compelled to pull out said fluff. Lots of it.

    For example:

    Ravenclaw all the way peoples. I am happy to report that I got Ravenclaw in a couple tests (or at least one :/) when I had only seen the fourth movie and that is all I knew of HP . . . Slytherin came next and then Gryffindor and then Hufflepuff. I also got Ravenclaw for Pottermore. Yes, it is official. Also, I love how a version of spell-check has the House names in it; I missed an “f” in Hufflepuff and right-clicked to see if Hufflepuff showed up; it did. Awesome.

    The white beret (Cascade Beret on ravelry, free) I finished in the fall. The first of the berets promised much earlier last year for my sisters when they saw my pink one. I guessed the wrong yarn weight so had to find different patterns. Great big sister. I prefer larger sized berets . . . in theory the size of mine which I wore all of once. Whatevs. The second beret I finished several weeks ago; I like this one (Ume Hat and Gloves on ravelry, free) better in both the pattern and the shape of the hat (the first one didn’t decrease as nicely). I have most of one matching fingerless glove done also.

    This shrug (this pattern) I finished a few weeks ago. It is a magnificently late Christmas gift; but there is worse, I have more Christmas gifts left to knit!

    I have several projects in the works (including that eternal pink sweater) and several in contemplation. I love being able to knit, and I love scrumptious yarn.

  • Handicrafts

    Yarn Along

    I am again participating in the weekly yarn along on this blog.

    I finished the book from last week’s link up, The Elite, but I am still working on the knitted top. I actually have three knitting projects on needles at the moment, so this time I am posting a different one (it is one I have worked on most recently and the one I am closest to finishing).

    Nonfiction, yay for me! I finished Gatto’s book Dumbing Us Down maybe a week or two ago. This book is more in depth. Um, the author seems a bit paranoid regarding government agendas, but then he knows and has read many more government sources than I have. I totally agree with his assessment of the results of public schooling, and as I am a former homeschooled student, a lot of the ideas regarding the negativity of public schooling are not new to me. I am not sure how helpful these books really are; they seem more damaging to a Christian homeschool crowd than otherwise because of the humanism and paranoia. Anyway, the pattern is a fairly simple pattern from Ravelry called Feather and Fan Shrug and it is freeeee!!!!

  • Handicrafts

    Yarn Along

    I am linking up to this yarn along here.

    Forgive my iphone photo of subjects on carpet 😛 And the horrible clash of colors.

    I have been seeing Kristen from Sew Technicolor‘s link ups but never really considered joining in (I am a bit of a ditz sometimes).

    Anyway. I have had this yarn and pattern for about 7.5 years. The yarn is a slippery, snaggy ribbon yarn and the pattern a bit much for the going on 16 fairly early knitter I was then. A couple years ago I took it up again and knit the sleeves at the same time. Those sleeves are fine, so this time I decided to started afresh on the bodice and knit both back and front at the same time too (hence all the strands going everywhere). Even now I still pull things out. (I may or may not be in the middle of pulling out a row, and I may or may not have pulled several inches out earlier today).

    This is my second try at the book as well. I posted hysterically when it first came out, and I was devastated. I still want to finish the trilogy. I just want to like the books with such wonderful princessy covers (and I tend to heartily dislike modern photo covers) and what was to me a pretty fun first book although I doubt The One can fix too much; The Elite just needs to be erased. This book makes me want to scream still even though I am closer to calm despair than previously. I will take immense satisfaction in giving it (America really) a one star on Goodreads.