Posts Tagged ‘darlingbebe’

Season’s change

September 6, 2013

I never intended for this to become a quarterly blog.  Really, I didn’t.

The thing is, the one thing that has been a constant in this still developing new life of mine is my knitting.  I just have been hard-pressed to find time to photograph and write about it amid all the other chronicling, organizing, decision-making and traveling that over-fill my days, not to mention the owl-hours.

I think about this owl box with guilt even as I post over on Owl Manor.

I won’t claim that I have made one iota of progress clearing the blocking runway.  That will have to change soon, as my Rhinebeck projects will need to jump the queue to be shipped off to Spirit Trail Fiberworks for display.  Maybe then I will take advantage of a cleared guest room to address the rest.  Maybe not.  You’ll want to bet the “under” on that one, to be sure.

But I will offer some proof of knitting, and my own fallibility.  Here is a half-completed Arbutus in Spirit Trail Birte, having just come off

Arbutus - let 'er riiiiipppp

Arbutus – let ‘er riiiiipppp

the needles in the car, about to be frogged.  The colorway is Autumn Aurora, lovely deep blue violets.  Arbutus is a terrific pattern for a single skein of Birte, and it has a really nifty design for those of us who lack swanlike necks.  Through the magic of short rows, the cowl is divided into three joined rings of graduated size.  This allows for the back to not get too bulky on the neck, and the front to drape nicely.

So why the frogging?  It was just too dense for my liking.  Generally speaking, gauge doesn’t matter a lot with cowls ~ as long as you can get them over your head, that is.  Birte is a little lighter than the original yarn the pattern was written for, and I was playing around with needle size.  In doing so, it was clear that while the US 6 produced a nice springy fabric, it wasn’t the one I was trying to achieve.

When in doubt, rip it out.  No harm, no foul.  We’ll try again on my Signature circs in US 7, which I tend to knit a little looser with than the Addi lace-tips I had handy the first time around.

Because it has been so very long, I owe you all a look at my greatest, and lifelong WIP, too.  Here is Darling Girl last week, on

The Baker in all her frosting glory

The Baker in all her frosting glory

the eve of her last day in preschool, decorating every single one of the cupcakes she baked.  She grew almost three inches and two shoe sizes over the summer.  (This resulted in much unscheduled shopping since she outgrew fall clothing without ever wearing it!  Another reason for my blogging fail.)  She does love to bake, and to watch Jacques Pepin.  Go figure.  Must be Owl’s genes.  I can’t wait until we have a real kitchen to work in.

DG started kindergarten this week ~ and what a grown-up she became overnight.  I am not sure I can handle this.

All the more reason to keep the needles ~ and the camera ~ at hand.



December 31, 2012

This, my dear friends, is what knitting is all about: making one

Sock Joy!

Sock Joy!

Darling Girl happy.  Of course, she asked Nutmeg Owl to make her new “sleeping socks” the day her mommy returned from the Knitter’s Review Retreat in 2011.  Darling Girl had pushed her little toesies right through her beloved orange pair.

And so she asked mommy to please make her some purple ones.

How embarrassed should I be that it took me a year to complete them?  Is someone going to revoke my knitting credentials?

Because … it’s just … I’m just not a sock knitter.  Thanks to Melissa Morgan-Oakes, at least I can knit

RIbbed for a nice fit

RIbbed for a nice fit

them two-at-a-time when I must, but socks just don’t do it for me.  It’s not the ‘pair’ thing, either.  I like mitts, mittens, gloves … but something about socks just slays my desire to stitch.

So to knit these – on US 0 needles, no less, was a labor of love that lasted longer than a pregnancy.

The 411:

Pattern:  Emily’s socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes

Sweet soles

Sweet soles

Yarn:  Yarn Love Juliet in Blackberry Jam – the old formula, 25% nylon

Mods:  Size was a hybrid between small and medium.  I found that the special Emily’s Stitch absolutely kicked me in the tailfeathers.  So these became ribbed socks instead, with ribbing continuing all the way to the toe to make them nice and stretchy.

Project marriage score:  I don’t know.  It was sock yarn for making socks.  It was fine.  Didn’t knock mine off.  But I could blame the project as easily as the yarn.  Pass.

What’s important:  The Darling Girl loves them!


November 30, 2012

Happy Friday from your long-absent Owl.  Unhappy circumstances have conspired to keep me away.

On this otherwise dreary day, time to issue yet another “Merci!” to Goldybear, who delighted Darling Bebe with mittens in the perfect color and size.  Heaven knows her online aunties have been pining for a glimpse of her …

Little Miss Mittens

Little Miss Mittens

May your weekend be merry and bright!

Fiber Twisting

September 19, 2012

How quickly after Labor Day the weather crisps, producing brilliant skies and clear days perfect for fall festivals.

We’ve made the trip to the Coventry Farmers Market Fiber Twist an annual event with KnittingKittens.  Once a year, the market invites local farms and yarn shops to sell their fiber, yarn and other wares with the collection of organic growers, bakers and other vendors.  They come, and many bring their animals, too.

Have a treat!

I daresay my child is already fearless around alpacas, probably because she’s been around them so much.  She thinks nothing of putting out her little hand to feed them, even though she is a touch nervous ~ a good thing in every mommy’s book.   Each year this show attracts more alpaca farmers, which has been the case at the other local shows in the spring and fall.  Our climate is conducive to raising them and they don’t take much space.

Why are they called babydolls, Maman?

She is even more confident around the sheep.  Babydolls here, which are just the right size for her four-year-old self to be completely unintimidated.  “Look, Maman!  Their wool will make yarn for you for knitting!”  We have learned important lessons early chez Owl.

I was completely taken by the work of artist

Lavender and linen. What more do you need?

Ashley Van Etten under the brand Willywaw.  I could have merrily scooped up one of every linen screen-printed item.  Better yet, to have her make up some linens for Owl Manor … I escaped with only a lavender sachet and a promise to myself to indulge in more from this Narragansett, Rhode Island-based company.

With our friend Clara hosting a trip to Iceland now, it was fitting to find Three Dog Farm with its baskets of Icelandic wool.  If the only

Three Dog Farm Icelandic lambswool

Icelandic you know is Reynolds Lopi, you are missing out; more for the rest of us.  Others may swoon for cashmere, but KnittingKittens loves the stuff.  I was happy to secure a couple of skeins of lambswool from a sheep named Kyra that will make some soft and hardy mitts down the road.  It will never compare to angora, but you’d never call it “scratchy,” either.

Needless to say, Mr. Owl is all over the culinary possibilities of the

Connecticut-grown, indeed.

marketplace, while Darling Bebe posed with her favorite fruit of all.  Our kiddo would eat three apples a day if allowed.  Maybe more.  What a bright start to the fall festival season.  Can’t be  a bad thing for a knitter seeking her missing mojo.



December 8, 2011

Okay, I’ve let the Knitter’s Review Retreat post hang up there long enough that some of you have wondered what happened to me.  To prevent unwarranted use of Bullwinkle’s search and rescue canines, it’s time to send up a flare.

Darling Bebe's Sleepin' Sock

Re-entry after the retreat is never that easy.  Mine was fraught with this knitting irony.   I knitted a pair of socks for Darling Bebe at last year’s retreat, figuring it a great exercise to use the 2-at-a-time toe-up method I had just learned from Melissa Morgan-Oakes.  Little did I know they would become the Most. Cherished. Knitted. Objects. Ever.

The child has worn them to bed every night except for when they were in the wash.

So much for toe-up

And then, it happened.  While I was gone, blissfully charging along on some lace in pure ignorance, the child blew through the toe.  More like, she rammed every little piggy through.

This requires more than just darning ~ and I doubt I’m up for

Sleepin' Socks II - Yarn Love Juliet

the task.  So all other knitting had to go on hold so that Mommy could solve a Sleepin’ Sock Emergency, again 2AAT but top-down.  And with purple yarn this time, according to Her Nibs’ wishes.  Somehow I knew there was a reason I should not destash the Yarn Love Juliet in “Blackberry Jam.”  May the nylon in this yarn, absent in the originals, help with durability.  Then again, the child’s feet did grow enormously.

Cuff-down command performance

All other knitting is in time-out, that is, except for this little project.  Yep.  Duty knitting, pure and simple.  Duty knitting on deadline no less.   And it’s another sock.  Obviously I dreamed up this pattern (loosely adapted from the Chubby Sock on the cover of the Interweave book Christmas Stockings) when I was a new knitter ~ and before I had an inkling that my sister would have four children who would need them.  Of course, sibling greased the skids last year by giving me Signature circs in all of the available sizes for Christmas ~ so I never had any real choice about executing this last one.

Acquaintances have a common misperception that I am organized.  My real friends know: my yarn is organized.  In fact, I am so utterly pathetic that one friend five states away had a note in her calendar in July to remind me to start the dreaded thing.  Back then, I had deadlines for Rhinebeck knitting …  sigh.

It is fair-isle AND intarsia.  Worked upside-down.

Will someone please stick pins in my eyes instead?

Will someone please teach me to hold my yarn properly for stranding?

At least when I am past the big intarsia motif, I can join it into the round and triple my speed.   At least it’s on worsted-weight yarn.  And then I can go back to Sleepin’ Socks and knitting anything at all I want, with no deadlines and no duty.


September 30, 2011

The fall fiber festival season is upon us!  While I madly work to finish my last Rhinebeck assignment, I will keep my promise: the eye candy all you knitting aunties have been waiting for!

Look at this, Mommy! It tickles!

His face is so soft!

This is a merino. Mommy used merino wool to make my sweater.

Enough with the fiber, it's time for treats!

ETA:  There are several glamorous and adorable photos of KnittingKittens from said outing, but I have been prohibited from posting them.  One involves kisses from an alpaca.  It is too cute by half.  I consider it blackmail material.

*  DB’s sweater is Action, and I’m happy to say we will get at least another year out of it, like most Kim Hargreaves designs. 


February 14, 2011

Look at what Mommy made!

Yes, finally.  An ironic pattern name in light of how long this poor project languished.  I just couldn’t seem to get it together … literally. My fault, not the sweater’s.

The fact that this was started in (gulp) 2009 and finished in 2011 is a testament to the

Stand still? Me?

very generous sizing in my favorite pattern collection for children, Kim Hargreaves’ Pipsqueaks.  Almost everything in it is sized from toddler through 10.  That means patterns that are not babyish and intensely kid-friendly.  Many, like this one, are unisex.

I did modify the

Long enough to wear for a year

pattern slightly, in that I eliminated the short-row shoulders in favor of a straight ones and a three-needle bind-off.  I also eschewed the instructions to knit the collar flat and seam it, as I much prefer to work that in the round.  No harm, no foul, as this is just a kid sweater – not a particularly fitted piece where shoulder graduation was important.

The yarn, the discontinued Jaeger Matchmaker Merino DK, was just fine to work with.  It did lose some of its processed feel after a bath – which is a good thing in my book.  Just a nice workhorse wool.

(Gratuitous beauty shot) Look at that collar!

Having recently celebrated another birthday, Darling Bebe was in the mood to model.  She is so delighted when presented with anything Mommy knits for her … in fact, she was afraid to wear this because she didn’t want to get it dirty!

I assured her Mommy would be happy to wash it when that happens.



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