Family, travel, vacation

Beach Knitting

I’m working the second little bootie in the Fox Cub Set I’m knitting for Hubby’s cousin’s soon-to-be-arriving baby boy. I think these booties make great beach knitting because they’re small and uncomplicated while also not boring! πŸ˜‰ You can check out my project page on Ravelry here, and see a previous post where I began the Fox Cub Sweater Set here!

One of the things I enjoy most about beach knitting is that one does not lack for entertainment!

No need to turn on a podcast, or Netflix, or Hulu, or an audio book. There’s more than enough going on in real life at the beach to keep one thinking, laughing, and entertained during even the longest of stockinette or garter stitch stretches! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜„

Today I really enjoyed watching Joel and Vera building a sand track with tunnel for her matchbox cars…

Of course not quite all of the cars actually made it back home again… 😬🀭😜

But it was good fun! πŸ˜„

And then of course Vera begged me to make her a “sand blanket.” So…

This is “Vera Dragon” taking a little nap underneath her “sand blanket…”

And this is “Vera Dragon” smiling her sly little dragon smile! πŸ˜‚

Vera and I agree that braids are definitely a girl’s best friends at the beach! Not only do they look super cute, but they keep [most] of the hair from being blown constantly into one’s eyes by the wind, and they allow for the minimum amount of washing and combing possible (definitely a strong perk in Vera’s opinion!)! πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜‚πŸ’—

Adriana is such a peaceful, laid back baby! I watched over her for awhile this morning, and it was SO easy! We got in some quality snuggles, and then all I did was change one diaper, watch her sleep, and occasionally put her binkie back in her mouth for her!

Easiest babysitting ever! πŸ˜„

On a completely random note, meet The Amazing Acrobatic Squirrel who entertained us on the deck this afternoon!

All of us girls!

Evening really is a good time to walk on the beach! It’s so much cooler, less crowded, and the light is really pretty…! This evening a small rain cloud was just starting to sprinkle a few rain drops on us as we took this photo. Vera was wondering out loud how it would be walking back home in the rain… Good thing we brought some umbrellas! πŸ˜„

Love these colors, and the peaceful sense of just existing and accepting oneself and others for who we are that seems to roll effortlessly off the ocean waves…

What do you most enjoy about the beach?

~Happy Knitting!

Family, travel, vacation

To the Beach!

I’m at the Beach, Folks! πŸ˜„

It’s not exactly where I was expecting to be this week, but I’m happy to be here!

This is my sister-in-law Annelies, nieces Adriana and Vera, and brother Joel

My brother and his family very kindly invited me to join them for a week at Fenwick Island, DE. I wasn’t sure at first whether I’d be able or even if I wanted to go (given that Hubby could not join due to work, nor Sunny either because the accommodations are “no pets allowed”).

But a very dear family member offered to have Sunny join her and her dogs on her farm for the week! I am SO relieved knowing Sunny is in such good, and loving hands and enjoying her own little vacay with her best buds!

And then Hubby was adamant that I must go even though he couldn’t. So I did.

And I’m glad to be here. It’s so lovely to spend time with my brother and his sweet little family. We went for a little walk on the beach this evening…

Vera, Adriana, and Annelies

And the sea is gorgeous. So is the sky. And the sand.

And some very creative person built an amazing sand castle that looks like a lizard! It’s so cool, I had to show you:

Tomorrow, I plan to fit in some knitting time on the beach!

Did you or are you vacationing this year? Where do you like to go?

As always,

~Happy Knitting!

Family, Knitting

Group Knit Blanket for Carrie

A week or so ago, I read this post by Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner ofΒ Mason Dixon Knitting about how we can work together and knit blankets for individuals who are dealing with personal loss/tragedy. It really struck a deep cord with me.

So… I signed up to lead a Team Blanket Knit for a wonderful lady who could really use some warm, wooly love right about now!

Team Blanket for Carrie

I was absolutely stunned by the number of knitters volunteering to knit a square! Within a few days, my team had all the knitters we needed to complete our blanket! πŸ˜€

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Working on my blanket square! The stitch marker is helping me to keep track of Right Side and Wrong Side. πŸ˜‰

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If you’d like to see all the details as well as more blanket square progress pics, check outΒ my Team’s Blanket Thread.Β You can also check back here on my blog in the coming days to see our progress. As blanket squares begin arriving in the mail, I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my team’s progress as we assemble and finish our blanket! πŸ˜‰

Although my team is full now, there are other Team Blankets underway as well! If you’d like to join in and knit a square for someone, check out the latest MDK post about the group blankets and feel free to sign onto a team! πŸ˜€

Can I just say that I’m very deeply touched (yet again!) by how loving the knitting community is – so many knitters volunteering to knit a square to go into a blanket for a person they’ve never met and don’t know! Wow. Just wow! πŸ˜€ And can you imagine receiving such a gift?! Every stitch so full of love from so many caring people. I am certain all of this love will truly make a positive difference in the lives of all recipients!

Let’s keep on using our needles to spread the love, Knitters!

~Happy Knitting

Knitting, new patterns, Puppy

Knit & Chew!

Our morning Knit & Chew (usually out on the back deck) has become something of a ritual for Sunny and I. In fact, Sunny can get quite bossy about it if she thinks I’m taking too long making the coffee… πŸ˜‚β˜•οΈ

Knit & Chew: The unreasonably early morning version (indoors because it’s so early there’s not enough light outside yet for knitting)…

Would you believe me if I told you that getting up so early was originally Sunny’s idea? Sometimes I think she pretends she needs to go out just because she misses me! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’— Apparently, sleeping next to our bed isn’t close enough! πŸ˜‚πŸ’—

Wait. What? How did this get in here?!

It’s the “I’m so cute when I’m napping that Mommy can’t help herself” nap time photo bomb… πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚

Knit & Chew: The totally reasonable morning version…

And some sneak peeks at swatches for a new design I’m working on! More details forthcoming! πŸ˜„

The needles are Knitters Pride Royales, (the 10″ / 25 cm single points)…

And the yarn is Knit Picks Palette!

What’s on your needles today? What’s making you happy right now? We’d love to hear all about it! πŸ˜„

~Happy Knitting!

Knitting, Puppy, Spinning

Lesson Learned…

This afternoon while I was working on some sample knitting…

I learned a very valuable lesson:

Do not leave alpaca wool (waiting to be spun) un-attended while assuming that Puppy is still contentedly chewing the bone she was totally engrossed with 30 seconds ago! πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ™ƒ

Sunny: Who? Me?! No, I have no idea who got into the alpaca wool…!

SUCH an innocent face! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ’—

Sunny When She Thought My Back Was Turned: Hmmmm… Do you think she bought the act…?

Heehee!! Not for a second!πŸ˜‚ But it sure was cute! πŸ’—

Fortunately, it seems that Sunny was having so much fun pulling the alpaca wool out of its bag and spreading it around the house that she hadn’t actually chewed up any of it yet! So I was able to pick it all up and save it. 😊 Happy Ending! πŸ˜„

Knitting, Puppy

Sunny!

Hello! I’m Sundance β€œSunny” Inskeep! I’m a Giant Maso (drool-less) Mastiff. I’m 9 weeks old and I weigh 18.5 lbs. I like cuddling with my people, belly rubs, food, and chasing the odd leaf around the yard! πŸΆπŸ’—πŸ˜ŠπŸ’—

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We’re SO excited to welcome Sunny into our family! She’s our first puppy/dog and we love her SO much!

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Sunny loves to play with Hubby!…

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She loves to play in general! πŸ™‚

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We’re working on things like: “Let’s play tug-of-war with your rope toy, instead of Mommy’s hair!” πŸ˜‰

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So painful! But she’s SO cute! πŸ˜€

And: “We can snuggle shoes/flip-flops…,

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…but not chew them…” πŸ˜‰

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Sorry for the blur; it’s really hard to get a photo of her being still unless she’s asleep! πŸ˜‰

Sunny prefers to stay as close to us as possible,Β which is totally awesome! πŸ˜€

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I love that her definition of “together” seems to equal “touching” – Β most of the time! πŸ™‚

She’s still very young (not quite three months old yet), and she’s growing really fast so she takes lots of naps…

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AND she is the best of knitting buddies… πŸ™‚

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Don’t worry, the bit of red/pink on her fur is just a dab of nail polish applied by her breeder so they could identify her for us. πŸ™‚

…both outdoors and in! πŸ˜‰

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Here we are enjoying a perfectly cozy rainy day together!

In other news, I’m re-knitting a sample for my Kayla Infinity Scarf pattern (coming soon!)…

Kayla Scarf 1
This is a photo of the old sample, modeled by Annelies van Dam Barger.

We discovered during the test knitting that the edges roll badly (due to the stockinette nature of the knitted fabric) when other yarns are used. I really want knitters to be able to successfully use yarn from their stashes to knit this if they want, without fear of excessively rolling edges.Β So I modified the pattern to include a ribbed edging on both top and bottom. Several different edging options were considered, including seed stitch and garter stitch; but I chose to go with the ribbing because it seems to do the job while preserving the flow of the stitch pattern on the body of the scarf!

The new sample is still on my needles; you can see it in progress in some of the photos with Sunny above. πŸ™‚ So far I’m very happy with how the new sample is turning out, but we’ll have to see how it does in other yarns with a re-test! πŸ˜‰

Do you have any pets? What’s on your needles now? We’d love to hear all about it! πŸ™‚

Happy Knitting!

Family, Holidays, Knitting

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! I sincerely hope you were all able to enjoy a wonderful time with family and friends these last few days!

I’ve especially enjoyed the chance to spend some quality time with my sister, Hannah, and my littlest niece, Claire!

They live some distance away, but were able to come and stay for a few days over Thanksgiving, which has been a real treat! πŸ˜„We even got a chance to peruse the Christmas Tree Farm together…

Hannah, Claire, Mom, & an adorable little Christmas Tree!

… and celebrate Claire’s birthday with Cousin Vera and Aunt Annelies!

Happy Birthday, Claire!

Cousins play time! Vera and Claire are still just a tad too little to actually play together yet… but playing nicely close-by is totally awesome! πŸ˜‰

I’m also incredibly grateful for being able to live my dream of designing, writing, and sharing my knitting patterns, and for the support you all have shown me! A sincere and heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you! πŸ™‚

So how was your Thanksgiving? Did you get to spend some time with family? What are you grateful for?

Happy Knitting with Love,

~Sarah

Family, fiber festivals, Knitting

Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival 2017

Yesterday was as close to a perfect day as I am likely to get! πŸ˜ŠπŸπŸ‚

The weather was beautiful and it was Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival day in Berryville, Virginia;Β and I got to go with my sister-in-law, Annelies and my two-year-old niece, Vera!

We met up in Harrisonburg to carpool to the festival; and truly, the brilliant smiles with which they greeted me totally made my whole week! πŸ™‚

Well stocked with fabulous company and good coffee, the 1.5 hour drive flashed right on by and before we knew it, we had arrived at the festival just in time to get a prime parking spot! (An unusual occurrence for me! πŸ˜‚)

I showed Vera how to politely examine the soft and luxurious yarns on display in the vendor booths. Not only was this fun, but it helped re-direct the two-year-old urge to pull all brightly colored skeins off of the shelves and hooks! πŸ˜‚πŸ’—

But of course, the biggest hit of the day, by far, was the animals: Alpacas, sheep, and angora goats!

These adorable alpacas were so friendly and calm!

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The white one is named “Fenway”, and the brown is “Carpe Diem.”

 

They were just chillin’ and people-watching, and socializing with whomever came by to say hi!

Vera took a couple of minutes to warm up to the alpacas since this was her first time seeing them up close! Watching another child petting them certainly helped. πŸ™‚

 

Once she had a chance to get to know them a bit, she absolutely loved them!

 

I swear she was having lots of fun – right up until we asked her to smile for a photo!

 

Fenway was very cooperative and photogenic! πŸ™‚

Later on, the sheep really wanted to share a popcorn snack!

 

And across the isle, a super nice girl brought her goat right up close so Vera could pet it!

 

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In addition to enjoying the wonderful animals, I was also excited to snag a great book…

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…some gorgeous yarn…

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100% alpaca and SO soft! πŸ˜„

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…and a blending board!

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My plan for the blending board is to use it to blend my Angora Rabbit’s wool with Alpaca wool so that I’ll have enough to knit something special once it’s all spun up!

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Annelies was on a mission to find the perfect yarn to crochet a hat for Vera to match her new Winter coat! Here’s the yarn!

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And here’s the hat!

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By mid-afternoon, Someone was completely worn out from so much fun, and took a very good nap all the way home!

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A hand-knit shawl does make an excellent car-seat blanket, don’t you think?! πŸ˜‰

Do you go to fiber festivals? Do you have a favorite? Got plans to visit any this season? We’d love to hear all about it!

I’m excited to be heading to the Fall Fiber Festival @ Montpelier this coming weekend! Stay tuned for updates! 😊

Family, Hats, Knitting

Most Loved Project

The topic for Day 3 of the Yarn Love Challenge this month was “Most Loved Project.” This threw me off for a few days as I have difficulty determining which of my projects I love most! πŸ˜‰

But then it occurred to me that looking at this question from a Handknit Recipient’s perspective might be interesting. So now I’ve got a slightly sarcastic but humorous take on “Most Loved Project” to share with you! πŸ˜„

…Not long after we were married, I wanted to knit something practical for Hubby that he would enjoy wearing. Naturally, a hat came to mind!

When asked what kind of hat I should make for him that he would actually wear, Hubby said: “Black, and plain. No cables, no patterns, no colors; just black and plain.”

Of course, I thought: ” BORING!!” But I wanted to knit him something he would like, so I tried my best to knit him the black, plain, BORING hat! But…

I couldn’t resist adding a red angora lining! “Angora is so soft, and no one will see it on the inside,” I thought…

Hubby was dubious, but he did bravely wear the hat – all of one time, to a family gathering (my family of course)! Unfortunately, a bit of red fuzz from the angora lining emerged and remained mingled with his facial hair. It wasn’t glaring, so I didn’t notice it, and probably no one else did either. But Hubby was SO mortified when he noticed it in the mirror that night, that he refused to ever wear the hat again!

So the infamous black, plain, not-so-boring hat became mine and has been well loved and much worn despite the fact that it is too big for me! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Do you have a fun “Most Loved Project” or Handmade Gifting story to share? We’d love to hear it!

Happy Knitting!

Family, Knitting

A Good Visit!

Yesterday we had perfect weather for being outdoors! (In Maryland, that is! πŸ˜‰)

Claire enjoying the shade in the green, green grass at the park!

I got out the baby-carrier and Claire and I walked to the park for a bit!

Smile or smirk? Maybe a bit of both…?! πŸ˜‰
Under the tree with Auntie!
I’ve also made a lot of progress on the “Kayla” infinity scarf!

Kayla Infinity Scarf

Now halfway through repeat # 3,…

So nice to knit on the deck during 😴 nap time! πŸ˜‰

I’m finally almost caught up to my level of progress on the “Kathryn” scarf! 😊 (Which means that I am approximately 3/5ths of the way through both!) 

Kathryn Scarf

I’ve so enjoyed spending time with Baby Claire,…

Playing with Claire!
…and my sister and brother-in-law the last two weeks! 

My sister, Hannah & Baby Claire!
Brother-in-law, Everitte & Baby Claire at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival!

I can hardly believe that today is my last day here! I know I’ll really miss them when I go back home…

Happy Claire modeling her Foxy Hat!
Swing!
Happy Claire in the swing!

But I’m really looking forward to my next visit! I’ll be sure to make it SOON! πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜‰β€οΈ

Peek-a-boo, Foxy Baby Claire! 😘