BeerSox

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Babar April 8, 2012

So my nephew turned 4 this past weekend & I spent the whole Easter weekend with my brothers, sisters and parents knitting this lovely pachyderm which I edited to fit fingering weight yarn and to be mostly knit in the round.

The knitting pattern is from Woman’s Day and it’s free!

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The crown was a last minute affair. I was staying at my parents’ house, so I didm’t have access to my yarn & fabric stash where I had yellow trimmings. I knew just what series of picot triangles needed to be made to knit the crown, so I knit it in the same Madeline Tosh Sock yarn in Tern (I believe) that I used for the rest of Babar. My original plan was to dye the crown over with yellow food coloring, but it came out too muddy. I ended up bleaching it, then dyeing it with food coloring, since it was small & would most likely never really be washed.

Sure, he’s a bit lopsided, but so am I. And sure, his crown is set a-kilter, but I think any modern-day Babar would be.

Good points to the short adoption by my nephew is first introducing him to the Babar books, then taking him to the zoo to see live elephants the next day and talking about them for the next couple days before he got my hand-knit plush toy. Indoctrination is 3/4 of toy appreciation. Plus, he kept “discovering” the partially made parts throughout the weekend and playing with the parts excitedly each time. Ie playing with a partially stuffed torso with no head, arms, or legs at times.

He’s a pretty special 4 year old.

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FO: An Aunt’s Shawl II March 2, 2012

I had two of my aunts request shawls from me at my brother’s wedding in October. Shortly afterward, I took my trip to Peru where I bought some absolutely gorgeous yarn!

I got started on the first of the two shawls, improvising a zig zag pattern and just loved the final result!

It took me a bit of time to get back to knitting the second one. I had BeerSox orders to fill and knit myself a shawl at the beginning of the year.

At long last, the second Aunts Shawl is blocked and finished!

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At the Rodeo February 25, 2012

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At the rodeo, you drink what you can get. And that’s ABInBev products.

My lovely sister-in-law and brother went to the rodeo cookoff tonight and he sent me this radiant photo of his bride sportin a BeerSox!

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Categories: Finished Objects

Finished object: Shifting Stripes Shawl February 2, 2012

It has been a while since I had a good finished object post. After the ramp up to the holidays and lots of deadline client knitting, I decided to take a break and knit some things that were not BeerSox.

I love knitting them and seeing them find their places in the world, but I do love knitting other things like shawls and baby blankets.

So Christmas week, I took on two such projects. The first is a Shifting Stripes Shawl in the Pegasus & North Woods colorway. I loved it so much when I finished it that I decided to keep it. Plus Pegasus is no longer in production.

Here are a few progress and complete shots of it!

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An Aunts’ Shawl December 1, 2011

So a couple months ago, I received requests from two of my aunts for shawls that were light turquoise/green. I told them that the shawls would probably end up being backburner projects and they’d take a long time to finish. But I’ve finished the first of two!

I went on my trip to Peru just after the requests and I kept my eye out for appropriately shaded yarn. I picked out these two lovelies. One in and alpaca and silk blend, the other in alpaca and space dyed.

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I held them together to give it some variation in shade, while maintaining a constant color as well. I made a couple of swatches.

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I decided that a combination of garter stitch and random zig zags would work. I didn’t necessarily want the zig zags to be all exactly the same length, but have the same width.

And so I knit.
And Myks (who is sadly missing) helped.

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And I finished just after Thanksgiving weekend which I dedicated to shawl knitting. I blocked! Don’t you love the transformation that blocking performs on a rumply just-knit lacework piece?

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Tada!

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The second will be similar, but not exact.

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And the wedding jacket. October 7, 2011

So I swatched the lace with the yarn and needles I was using for the wedding jacket and I knit along.

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And I measured Jehnna and I knit along.

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And it was lace, so even though it looked a bit smaller than projected, I figured it needed a good blocking and it would all be good.

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And then I put it on a hanger.

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And I deflated. This is a 4 year old’s sweater. It is tiny. It is far too tiny. I may not be able to salvage it. I will rip out the arms. I will rip out the border and continue knitting for a while and then I will find the right place to put the arms. But not now.

Sometimes you simply make an error in perception. You want it to be right so you ignore those thoughts that it might be wrong.

And you learn to do it differently the next time.

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Texas Heat September 6, 2011

August was a record breaking sweltering month here in Texas. Every single day had a high in the 100’s. It stayed in the mid to upper 90’s overnight every night.

Texas is in a severe drought and just as we’ve gotten to enjoy some cooler weather (in the 90’s!) there has been an outbreak of wildfires to the north and west of us. Thousands of homes have been lost to the blazes, tens of thousands of acres of forest have burned, and countless people, livestock, and pets have been displaced as the state burns.
Here’s a map of the fires and smoke plumes in case you want to track it.

Houston has a light haze of smoke, and you can smell it in the air.

If you want to donate to the Central Texas Fire Relief Emergency Fund,you can do so at austincommunityfoundation.org. This is only one of many ways to help. A quick google search will give you a plethora of information on what is needed and where to help or donate.

With that said, before the fires broke out, I knew I wanted to make a new color yarn for my BeerSox to go along with and contrast to Irish Spring.

It needed to be oranges, reds, corals, pinks, mauves. It needed to be my favorite colors on the warm side of the spectrum. So I mixed up a few colors of dye, and let the yarn have it.

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Dyeing yarn is a rather new experiment of mine. I’m still trying to figure out how to dye in such a way that the end result is more what I expect and less a happy accident with the intended colors. It has always intrigued me to go through the adventure of receiving a skein of yarn and appreciating the colors in the hank, then seeing them lay out differently in a wound cake, and lastly seeing how knitting morphs it into a whole new colorplay!

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I decided that this colorway would be called Texas Heat and incidentally goes quite well with a heat of a different kind!

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Yesterday, I got to wish a hoppy birthday to my friend Cathy who runs the Beer Camps, Cocktail Camps, and Monsters of Beer for Live It Big. It was a beer-loving crowd of friends and cohorts and it was awesome to see so many if them busting out their BeerSox!

Cheers!

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The afghan adventure! September 2, 2011

Two years ago, I decided to knit a queen sized afghan. Simple, right? Well, I wanted to use Tanis‘s yarn for it, and so I had her combining colors for me and take photos so that I could decide from afar.

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But I was lacking something I love: Green! Tanis and I gravitate towards opposite sides of the spectrum. She’s a blue and purple gal, I’m a warm greens, corals, reds, orange, browns kinda girl. Rich earthy colors that are fun and bright, too. So I asked her to make a special color for me: chartreuse. I love all aspects of chartreuse, from the vibrant, to the muddy greeny yellow.

And so she did.

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This color was later renamed Lemongrass, but in my head, it will always be Katie Green.

And the final color choices were:

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Sand as a border, and the insides were: moss (now retired), amber(also retired), stormy, buttercup, royal flush, katie green/lemongrass, chestnut, orangeblossom, and spearmint. I added sunset when it came out, since I still hadn’t finished.

I had some colors on hand to start knitting with.

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And then the whole giant order came through after I got home from my summer vacation in Nova Scotia, where Tanis’s family and mine have cottages next door to each other and we became lifelong friends. Look at all that yarn!

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It had to go somewhere….away from Myks paws!

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And so the caged yarn was born!

So I spent months knitting and blocking hexagons (or as I referred to them, hexes).

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And it was put on the backburner during Christmas knitting, and making things for myself, and slowly, but surely, hex by hex, my collection grew. At one point in time, I crocheted together some of them to make a costume for an event.

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And it seriously fell out of favor when demand for BeerSox grew. But I kept chugging. One day this past spring, I realized that I only needed a couple more hexes to get to a twin sized coverlet. That’s about big enough to simply lay on top of my queen sized bed. So I gave myself a deadline. My 29th birthday. I had until my 29th birthday to put together that much. That’s a lot of crocheted seams!

So I laid my hexes and decided on a semi-random order.

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And started crocheting.

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And at about 1 am on my 29th birthday, I finished! I may still finish the last 20 hexes to make it the right size and I may knit a border on, but for now, It’s “done.”. It’s been living on my bed.

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And I took it outside to take some daylight photos before putting it back on the bed!

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