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! 🤣🤣🤣🙃
Sunny: Who? Me?! No, I have no idea who got into the alpaca wool…!
SUCH an innocent face! 😂😂😂💗
Sunny When She Thought My Back Was Turned: Hmmmm… Do you think she bought the act…?
Heehee!! Not for a second!😂 But it sure was cute! 💗
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! 😄
Hello! I’m Sundance “Sunny” 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! 🐶💗😊💗
We’re SO excited to welcome Sunny into our family! She’s our first puppy/dog and we love her SO much!
Sunny loves to play with Hubby!…
She loves to play in general! 🙂
We’re working on things like: “Let’s play tug-of-war with your rope toy, instead of Mommy’s hair!” 😉
And: “We can snuggle shoes/flip-flops…,
…but not chew them…” 😉
Sunny prefers to stay as close to us as possible, which is totally awesome! 😀
She’s still very young (not quite three months old yet), and she’s growing really fast so she takes lots of naps…
AND she is the best of knitting buddies… 🙂
…both outdoors and in! 😉
In other news, I’m re-knitting a sample for my Kayla Infinity Scarf pattern (coming soon!)…
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. 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. 🙂 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! 😉
Do you have any pets? What’s on your needles now? We’d love to hear all about it! 🙂
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! 😄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! 😉
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! 🙂
So how was your Thanksgiving? Did you get to spend some time with family? What are you grateful for?
Yesterday was as close to a perfect day as I am likely to get! 😊🍁🍂
The weather was beautiful and it was Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival day in Berryville, Virginia; 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! 🙂
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! 😂)
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! 😂💗
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!
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. 🙂
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! 🙂
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!
In addition to enjoying the wonderful animals, I was also excited to snag a great book…
…some gorgeous yarn…
100% alpaca and SO soft! 😄
…and a blending board!
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!
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!
And here’s the hat!
By mid-afternoon, Someone was completely worn out from so much fun, and took a very good nap all the way home!
A hand-knit shawl does make an excellent car-seat blanket, don’t you think?! 😉
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! 😊
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! 😉
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! 😄
…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! 😉😂😂😂
Do you have a fun “Most Loved Project” or Handmade Gifting story to share? We’d love to hear it!
…I especially enjoyed the unusual construction and shaping methods used…
The hat is knit in the round…
…sometimes circular needles are used,…
and sometimes double-points.
The intarsia and shaping are accomplished using short rows…
…even for the ears!
After shaping the ears…
…you connect the top/back of the hat to the front/face of the fox hat…
…using a three needle bind off and keeping a number of live stitches in the center…
…to knit the nose! A very unique and very fun knit!
I had gotten some really cute animal eyes to use, but discovered that the stem of the eyes would poke through the hat too far and be uncomfortable when worn…
So I used buttons from my button stash instead!
A personalized label is the finishing touch…
I sewed the label on the outside of the hat so as to avoid any possibility of discomfort due to its presence.
Vera’s parents (my brother, Joel, and sister-in-law, Annalies), loved it!
But due to a sudden and unanticipated (by me) growth spurt, this little Foxy Hat turned out too small for sweet little Vera! 😢 (Or maybe my gauge was off? It’s possible…)
So I’ll be giving this Foxy Hat to my one month old niece, Claire; and knitting a larger Foxy for Vera! (When your aunt is a knitter, sizing issues are generally fixable in one way or another!)
Note to self: Always size up more than you think you need to when knitting for children! 😊
What was your favorite knit of 2016? Have you knit a Foxy or a Wolfie hat? What did you think of the process? Do you knit for children? How do you handle the possibility of sudden growth spurts? Feel free to share with us in the Comments, we’d love to hear from you!!
I don’t know about you all, but I find that during the Christmas Season, knitting time comes at a high premium, making efficiency even more important.
All of my dear friends and family know that if I could, I would knit something fabulous, exciting, and huge for each and every one of them for Christmas!
But alas, in this imperfect world, reality sets in and I discover (and re-discover) that this is not likely to be possible for me…
So in the spirit of both efficient and reasonable Christmas knitting, I’d like to share with you all some lovely knitting & crochet patterns I’ve spotted recently that are quick, relatively easy, and make great gifts!
The Pony Tail Hat – a delightful and practical current trend …
The Messy Mom Bun Beanie, by Ashlea Konecny, is very popular, very cute, and super easy to crochet! All you need is a size H (5mm) hook, some worsted weight yarn, and few hours!
The By My Side Ribbed Ponytail Hat, by Michelle Moore is an absolutely adorable crocheted cap version with a cute brim and the perfect spot for a gorgeous statement button or pin. SO chic! You can just see the ponytail hole near the bottom edge in the back view pic…
Here are a couple of really unique options! The Cardiff Bay Ponytail Hat, by Beth Ann Beck has a enchanting touch of simple lace and cable. Knit up in a bulky weight yarn, it would be a quick knit with lots of interest, and would make an exciting gift!
Child’s Ponytail Hat
Child’s Ponytail Hat
Child’s Ponytail Hat
The Child’s Ponytail Hat, by Gail Tanquary, is a riot of color and texture! It would knit up very quickly in aran weight yarn. Plus, the pattern is a free download on Ravelry! The bonnet type styling, the highly textured accent yarn, and the use of the yarn ends as fringe are all so creative!
The Headband/Ear Warmer – perfect for keeping ears warm while rocking fabulous hair! A few that caught my eye…
The Headband with Cable, by Elaine Phillips is a lovely and practical version of this handy accessory; AND it’s a free pattern on Ravelry. I especially love the way that it’s knit wider than normal so that it’s double-layered for extra warmth!
And the Nordic Viking Headband, by Randi Hjelm Debes, is knit in a bulky weight yarn. The pattern comes in several different sizes for both children and adults and incorporates a fascinating herringbone stitch pattern.
The Fingerless/Half Finger Mitt – a classic necessity…
These Fast & Easy Fingerless Mitts by Lisa M. Beamer make a perfect gift knit! Available as a free Ravelry download, you can choose between the knit flat version or the circular version. They’re perfect for using up odd bits of yarn leftover from other projects since they only need about 50 grams in worsted weight yarn.
The Muckle Mitts, by Mary Jane Mucklestone are so charming! The perfect knit for one who loves color work and/or fair isle knitting, they’d make a wonderful gift for a loved one!
And for someone who wants a bit more of a challenge, the Urban Necessity Gloves, by Colleen Michele Meagher. Knit in worsted weight yarn, these sweet little mitts are half-finger gloves with a button down flip-top! I know many who would absolutely love to have a pair!
What about you? Are you knitting gifts for loved ones this Christmas? Do you have a favorite go-to item or pattern that you turn to for gift knitting? Feel free to share in the comments!
Wishing each and every one of you peace and joy and wellbeing in this Blessed Season, and throughout the New Year!