Knitting, travel, vacation

Vacation Knitting

How many projects does a knitter need to bring on vacation???

That’s a very good question. [I suspect the answer may be different for every knitter, and every vacation! ๐Ÿ˜‰] This time around, I packed four projects that have been in progress for some time in the hopes that I’d finish or come close to finishing one or more of them… ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜†

Project #1: Fox Cub Sweater Set Hat & Booties

I finished the sweater portion of this set a month or so ago, in time to gift it to the parents-to-be at their baby shower!

I’ve been working on the matching hat & booties over the last few weeks, hoping to finish them before the baby arrives!

Booties just need foxy ears, and embroidered eyes and noses now! ๐Ÿ˜„

I feel like the hat came out smaller than I was hoping… I usually knit 3-6 month size for new babies because they grow so fast! Maybe I mistakenly knit the Newborn size? Or accidentally used smaller needles? Not sure what happened there… ๐Ÿค”

At any rate, I think (hope!) the hat will fit the Newborn for a couple of weeks at least, so I’m going to go ahead and send it!

But I’m giving serious thought to casting on for a larger size hat to send along as well… ๐Ÿ˜Š So much for finishing, right?! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’—

Got the ears and faces on the booties done, though!

Aren’t they cute?!

I confess that I like them so much that I could not stop taking photos! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜‚

I find knitting for babies SO gratifying! ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ’—

Project #2: Blanket Square for Carrie

This one I did finish! The knitting was already completed, so I just wove in my ends and blocked my square!

Project #3: Cowl/Snood Sample

That’s Pepper snuggled up on my lap there, “helping” with my knitting! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ’—

This one is for a new design I’m working on; a chunky, cozy cowl/snood. Part of my process is that I knit as I design, and there were a few specific design features I wanted to work on… so I knit until I ran out of yarn. Then I ripped it all out, made the changes I wanted to make in the pattern, and started all over again! It’s all just part of my process. Sometimes I have feel/see/do something in order to make a decision about it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So this counts as progress in my book! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Project #4: Capelet Sample

And last, but definitely not least, I also brought along a sample that I’m knitting for a new capelet design. I think this may be the third time I’ve knit this sample ๐Ÿ˜’… It happens that way sometimes! ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜Š Anyway, it’s a great traveling companion, and ended up being my go-to project for on-the-beach-knitting as its very portable and I’ve thoroughly memorized the pattern! ๐Ÿ˜†

How many knitting projects do you like to take with you when you travel? Do you prefer to cast on something new, or continue/finish WIPs?

~Happy Knitting!

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜„

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… ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿ˜œ

But it was good fun! ๐Ÿ˜„

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! ๐Ÿ˜‚

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!)! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’—

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! ๐Ÿ˜„

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! ๐Ÿ˜„

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!

baby, Knitting, Yarn

Happy Mail Day!

Look what arrived (in the middle of a torrential downpour no less!) today!

My yarn order from The Loopy Ewe!

Yarn always makes my day better, but a delivery from The Loopy Ewe makes me especially happy!

(They are super excellent and super quick, by the way; which is always good, particularly where yarn is involved! For example: I placed this order on Tuesday, and it arrived on Friday of the same week! ๐Ÿ˜„)

Usually when I order yarn, I do so with a particular project in mind, as is the case this time. (Unless it’s an occasional splurge on a gorgeous hand dyed skein that I can’t pass up! ๐Ÿ˜‰)

This yarn order happens to consist entirely of Cascade 220 Superwash; the pink is in their worsted weight, and the others are sport weight. I love this yarn for many reasons, but particularly for baby knits because of its softness and easy care (machine wash-and-dry-able).

So now that my yarn has arrived, I am totally thrilled to be able to get started this weekend on some knits for a new little niece and a new little second cousin who will both be arriving later this Summer! ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ’—

Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash in โ€œRose Petal.โ€

The pink yarn is for my new little niece,…

…who needs a Gullfoss blanket!

This is her big sister, Vera, three-and-a-half years ago, enjoying her orange Gullfoss!

The sport weight yarns…

Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Sport in White, Black, Picante, Silver Grey, and Extra Cream Cafe.

…are for a Fox Cub Sweater Set for my new little second cousin!

What are your favorite go-to knits and yarns for the babies in your life?

In other news, today was a happy mail day for Sunny too! While I was happily photographing my new yarns…

…Sunny was happily going to town on the tissue paper they came wrapped up in! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Although I wasn’t quite fast enough to get a photo of her in the act, I did manage to document her handy work (above), and her “I don’t know what you’re talking about because I’ve been laying all the way over here sleeping the whole time” face (below)! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

I didn’t mind her tearing up the tissue paper at all (if I’d had plans for it, I would have kept it out of her reach). It was just too cute and funny not to share with you! I promise that she’s a really good puppy who usually chews only on the appropriate items! Here’s a photo to prove it:

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and very happy knitting!

Knitting, outdoors

Beautiful Cozy

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What a lovely, cozy, December day it has been! I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such beauty – indoors and out.

For the last week, I’ve been participating in a black and white photo challenge on social media, which has been a lot of fun! I’ve found it’s really opened my eyes to see beauty in unexpected places, and given me a profound sense of gratitude for the smallest of everyday blessings. Here’s a link to the album if you’d like to see: Black & White Photo Challenge.

This afternoon I’ve been cozied up with a warm cup of good coffee and some deliciously textured knitting! I’m nearly finished with the center section of a baby blanket I’m designing for a friend. I’m loving a new challenge, the textured stitches, and this soft, gorgeous yarn! (It’s Cascade 220 Superwash Merino in color # 31 “Baby Blue.”)

What’s making you happy today? What are you working on? I’d love to hear all about it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Knitting!

 

Family, Knitting

A Good Visit!

Yesterday we had perfect weather for being outdoors! (In Maryland, that is! ๐Ÿ˜‰)

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…?! ๐Ÿ˜‰
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 ๐Ÿ˜ด nap time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m finally almost caught up to my level of progress on the “Kathryn” scarf! ๐Ÿ˜Š (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! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜‰โค๏ธ

Peek-a-boo, Foxy Baby Claire! ๐Ÿ˜˜

baby, Family, Knitting

A Knitting Auntie!

This week, I’m in Maryland helping to care for my five month old niece, Claire, so that my sister can meet a work deadline!

Claire & I have been having a grand time playing with her baby gym…


… going out for walks (sometimes several times a day!)…




… sitting up (with just a little help ๐Ÿ˜‰ )…


… and especially swinging in the swings at the park!! 



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During nap times, I’ve even gotten some knitting time in as well! 


I’m making good progress on Kayla’s infinity scarf now (you may remember that I had to rip back and start again a few days ago…)! 


I’ve already completed one pattern repeat, and am working on the second! 


How’s your week going so far?

baby, Family, Knitting

Almost Finished…!

First of all, I want to wish each of you a very Happy I LOVE YARN DAY!!


I’m going to celebrate by spending the whole afternoon – the ENTIRE afternoon, folks! – knitting and organizing my yarn stash! Are you doing something fun today?

So, what am I knitting? I’m working on this Striped Chevron Baby Blanket (by Jess DoomCrafter) for my little niece-on-the-way…


It’s had to stay on the down-low for the last while because it was a surprise!


Though it’s definitely been growing steadily, it wasn’t quite finished in time for sister Hannah’s second baby showerย last weekend…


I really wanted to have it all finished and ready in time, but life happened and it just didn’t work out that way.

So I wrapped it up, multiple balls of yarn, needles, and all, in a cute gift bag, and gave it to her “almost finished” as it was.

She loved it! And she didn’t mind at all that it wasn’t quite finished or that I had to take it back temporarily in order to finish it. (Sister Hannah is a fabulous human being who deserves lovely warm hand knits forever!)

I’m really close to finishing the blanket now – I just have a couple more rows of yellow before I can start the final long gray section; and then the garter stitch border! It’ll be finished in timeย to help keep Little Niece warm when she arrives! And that makes me really happy!

Have you ever had to give someone their hand knit gift before it was quite finished? How did it go? How did you feel about it?

Family, Knitting

Foxy Baby

I’ve been wanting to share this project with you for a long time, but it was to be a gift, so I had to wait in order not to spoil the surprise…!

My sister, Hannah, is expecting a baby girl later this Fall! We can’t wait to meet her and welcome her into the family that loves her so dearly!

Hannah has a thing for foxes… So it naturally follows that her daughter will be blessed with a love of foxes as well! (At least until she’s old enough to make her own opinions understood!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I found a pattern for this stunningly adorable Sleepy Baby Red Fox sleep sack for newborns, and just HAD to make it for her! I made a lot of progress on it during the road trip to Ohio the other weekend.


The stitches used are all pretty basic crochet stitches, so the actual crocheting part isn’t difficult…


The sewing up though, is a bit complex, but the pattern has helpful pictures, along with instructions on how to do each type of sewing stitch used…


Placement of the different pieces is critical, and I had to re-sew the ears on the hat multiple times!


Even now, I think one may still be just a tiny bit crooked…


I finally decided that if I kept fussing with it, I’d make it worse instead of better…



…So if it is still a tad crooked, it just means that this foxy baby has personality! โ˜บ๏ธ

9/21/2016 Update:ย 

I have been hearing from reliable sources that Hannah’s first Baby Shower was a huge success; and that she absolutely loves the fox! Here she is, opening it up…


Many thanks to sister-in-law, Heather LaRocca for sharing this precious pic!

Photo credit – Heather LaRocca.

Family, Knitting

In Progress

I’ve always been the sort of knitter who prefers to focus on one project, watch it grow, customize it along the way, block it with a flourish, and then move on to the next project.

But I have not been true to form lately. Before I’ve finished one project, I’m starting another, and then another…

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A pile of works in progress!

I don’t think I can honestly claim to be a one-project-at-a-time knitter any more becauseย I currently have:
… four shawls,

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Lacey Leaf Shawl
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Echo Flowers Shawl
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Serape Shawl
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Willow Shawl, worked in brioche stitch

… one pair of socks…

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Daisy Field Socks
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The second Daisy Field sock making some progress

… and a baby blanket on the needles…

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Simple garter stitch baby blanket with picot edging

With a baby sweater just about ready to be blocked!

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Yarn for baby sweater – Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Celedon and Fallen Cloud
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Baby Wrap Cardigan in progress!
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Just need to sew on the ties & block!

Waiting in the wings are: several pairs of mitts for friendsย , various baby itemsย for my newest niece or nephew on the way, and two toy rabbits!

All in all, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and quite behind with my knitting. As much as I hate to do it, I think it may be time to work on bringing my knitting expectations back into line with reality again… ๐Ÿ˜‰

What does your To-Knit list look like? Are you a knitter who enjoys working multiple projects at a time, or do you prefer to focus on one thing at a time?

Blogs I love, Knitting

A Big Welcome to Guest Blogger Borghildur!

Today I’m super excited to introduce you to one of my favorite bloggers: Borghildur (Bogga) of knittinginfrance.com! I’ve been following her lovely blog for quite a while now, and I always find her posts interesting and inspiring! She writes about her life in France, her passion for the fiber arts (knitting and hand-dyeing yarns and wools in particular) and crafting by hand in general. Something I love about the way Bogga writes is how she shares her life and love of fiber arts in such a real and down to earth manner. She gives a glimpse into the normal and the everyday of a fellow fiber artist, and it’s a wonderful breath of fresh air!

Something else I truly admire about Bogga is the way she has turned her passion for knitting, handcrafting, and the fiber arts into her own small business – a way to support herself, doing what she loves!ย That takes a lot of courage, commitment, and hard work. Many of us (including myself) have dreamed of this; it’s so exciting to see Bogga putting it into action every day!ย You can visit her blog, knittinginfrance.com, by clicking here; and you can visit her Etsy shop by clicking here.

And now for the piece by Bogga – Enjoy!

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THE PASSION THAT GREW OR HOW I WENT FROM BEING โ€œJUSTโ€ A KNITTER TO SELLING ONLINE

Hi, my name is Borghildur or Bogga as Iโ€™m known to most people. Iโ€™m Icelandic and I live in France. First off, Iโ€™d like to thank Sarah for allowing me to participate in her blog by writing a guest post, and thank you for taking the time to read my words.

So today Iโ€™m going to talk about this passion that grew from general interest to something much bigger and totally consuming. Knitting!

If you are reading this blog, Iโ€™m guessing that you too are a knitter and maybe also a crocheter and even a spinner and thus understand how this passion can be overpowering ๐Ÿ™‚

So to begin at the beginning, as a child in Iceland, I learned to knit (among other crafts) at school and I thought that was nice and my mother enjoyed knitting so she would help me out also. I would knit simple things like garter stitch hanger covers or scarfs. When I became an adolescent I lost interest in crafts and knitting and it wasnโ€™t until I became pregnant with my first child that I really got back to knitting. At the beginning of my pregnancy I lived in France where access to knitting supplies and just general interest in the craft was almost non existent! I did however manage to source some yarn by mail order and also bought some magazines with patterns. At the time I did both knit and crochet and my supplies were either Phildar or Bรฉrgรจre de France (you may know these brands). Then we moved to Iceland for a couple of years and I continued to knit on a regular basis.ย  Then we moved back to France in 1999 and havenโ€™t left since. When I came back knitting was still almost unknown though I did make friends with 1 person who knit like me! That was exceptional.

I think everything changed when I fell pregnant with my third child. I took time off from work to be a stay at home mom but still wanted to be active and do things. I also had this dream of making my own living and doing something I love and so I looked into selling my hand knits. I actually made 3 contacts with shops that agreed to buy and sell my hand knits. I did also do some commission knitting for individuals – those were only baby clothes.

baby set

As for the three shops, one was a shop in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland, that sold baby items and for them I crocheted softies/toys for small babies. That went on for about a year but as the crocheted toys did not sell as well as expected I stopped doing them.

baby bunny

Then there was the souvenir shop at the National Museum of Iceland. I worked with them for about 2 years. I would knit accessories out of Icelandic wool, loop and lett loop. Accessories for adults and children. I would mostly use traditional patterns and colour work and I really enjoyed knitting those and was super proud that my handiwork was being sold at the National Museum.

Here are some picture to give you an idea of the items I knit for them.

sjonvarpssokkarย hat and mitten sheep sets

traditional icelandic mittsย traditional icelandic scarfs

Then there was an independently owned and run souvenir shop in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland, and for them I mostly did knit and felted accessories. What I was most proud of there were my handbags that I designed and knit and felted for them only. I used Kuoni yarn (Estonian) and even though that was not Icelandic those did sell well.

handknit bag

my own design for knit and felted handbagsย more knit and felted hats and mitts

So this was really the beginning of me trying to turn my love of knitting into something that could bring me income. I soon realised that selling finished goods was not a viable solution. When you have shop contracts thats good but when selling to individuals, it is very difficult to get a valid price for your work and materials. And for shops, well if your things sell well, you need to find the time to fulfil incoming orders. So I abandoned this idea.

However this had opened up my mind to so many other things fibre related and I began to document myself. I would buy a gazillion books and read and learn about all sorts of knitting techniques, fibres, tools, selling techniques and so forth. I began knitting constantly, every chance I had. Hereโ€™s a picture of me knitting on my extreme knitting needles which I found quite interesting, although due to the size of the needles I always felt that I was not really knitting as the movements are not the same.

knitting on giant needles

In 2011 I suffered a back injury and was out of work for a year. During that time I seriously thought about how I could turn this passion and new knowledge into a job with an income. I began dyeing yarn (which I LOVE doing) and then later on I learned to spin (also a huge passion for me).

And that is when I launched my online knitting shop which I still enjoy running. I developed a passion for making stitch markers and knitting needle holders and sell those in my shop. And I even tried a little designing only I didnโ€™t actually write down the patterns like I should! I wish I had!! I designed a cowl and fingerless mittens and those I did write down but the super cute baby dress that has received lots of complimentsโ€ฆ. I did not write that one down!

baby dress

Isnโ€™t that cute? I used my own hand dyed yarn as well ๐Ÿ™‚

And the cowl and mittens also knit with my hand dyed yarns:

bogga mittensย bogga cowl

So as you can see Iโ€™ve come a long way from my child hood garter stitch scarfs. Iโ€™m constantly trying to learn more about fibre and yarn, how they can be worked, what the quality of each one is, how to best dye or knit them. Iโ€™m also progressing as a spinner and a hand dyer and maker of accessories. I really love what I do and as of recently I have started blogging as well as upped the ante on my social media presence and that is a great way to share my passion with others and continue to learn and help others on their way to more learning as well.

When I look over my โ€œcareerโ€ in the knitting business, what I love most is the actual knitting and spinning. Knitting has also introduced to me to a lot of interesting likeminded people and that is a great perk and knitters/crocheters are just such nice people as we all know ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you enjoyed reading about how my passion went from knitting garter stitch hanger covers to where Iโ€™m at now. If you too have dabbled in selling your work or if you have become obsessed with learning everything there is to learn about knitting/spinning/crocheting/dyeing Iโ€™d love to hear about your experience.

Thatโ€™s all. thank you for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

Bogga