Liberated Orphans of July

It’s the final hours of July 31. My goal was to finish eight long forgotten wips plus maybe a few extras to make up for June. Presenting the July Orphans. I have nine finished or frogged projects. While quite a few are for gifts, several projects also came from the wip bins.

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Here’s a close up of finished orphans eight and nine,  Foxy Malabrigo and Mama Fox. These are almost too cute to give away.

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Gracie managed to photo bomb every photo.

What’s in store for August? I pulled out a few more Orphans from the wip bins (this means new to the blog projects) and, of course, more gift knitting. Maybe some finished socks?

Ernie says staging all this knitting is hard work! Time for a nap.

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Best Ways to Beat the Heat

It’s officially summer here in the Pacific North West. It’s hot. Most of us don’t have air conditioning. That means we aren’t sleeping, and we’re grumpy. One of my favorite ways to combat a case of over heating grumpiness is with a float. Here’s my adult root-beer float.

025It also means I’m mostly working on smaller items. Baby gifts are perfect for summer knitting. Liberated Orphans five and six are just that. Here is my Matching Neighborly Milo and Neighborly Aviatrix hat. Both are made out of Malabrigo Rios in Azul profundo.

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I’ve also been making progress on my socks. I’m sure you’ve been wondering all week what I decided on stage six of Tour de Sock. Shockingly, I cast on another pair of socks. Okay, maybe not so shocking. I was making good progress on it when about two days ago it went MIA. I have no idea where I put it. The British Hubby even joined the search and rescue mission. My current thought it is it’s driving to different states playing the Mega Millions and Powerball. I sure hope it sends me some of the winnings.

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Update on other wips:

  • Earth & Sky: Still waiting.
  • Charity Malt: I’m on row 51 of the stokinette section.
  • Washington Mist: Liberated Orphan seven!

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I’m cute even when I’m hot!

I’m off to see if I can liberate a few more Orphans before the month ends.

Final Stage of TdS

Stage Six of Tour de Sock posted late Wednesday night. It’s a lovely cabley toe-up pattern called Entanglements. Toe-up socks aren’t my favorite. It could be I’ve simply made more cuff down socks. It could be I’ve never found a heel I really like. It could be I need more practice this way. It could be I’m looking for any excuse to cast on another pair of socks. Truth is I’m on the fence about casting on this pair. I’m making slow, but steady progress on my Shark Bait and stage four socks. Let’s see what I decide this weekend.

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I think those beady eyes are following me!

In Orphan related news, soon to be liberated Orphans five, six and seven had a soak today. You might just be able to make out which ones are in the suds.

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July is the month, I like to start thinking about any gift knitting I want to have done in the next six to eight months. I wound some yarn in preparation.

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What’s that bright green sock yarn doing in there?

Update on other wips:

  • Earth & Sky: Nothing new here.
  • Charity Malt: I’m on row 35 of the stokinette section.
  • Washington Mist: Could this be one of the projects that had a bath or am I still working on the bind off?

This week Ernie had the cutest poses.

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I can’t decide which side looks best. 

I think there will be some liberated Orphans this weekend!

 

Makers Market

On Saturday, one of my local yarn stores was having a Makers Market featuring local artists. I meet M.K. (Malabrigo K) for lunch and shopping. There was hand dyed fabric, jewelry, buttons, pottery and much more. M.K. found some really amazing wooden buttons that were finished with bees wax. They looked amazing and even smelled great. I acquired a new hand thrown mug. Each mug was so neat, I had a hard time deciding. Even the insides are neat!

M.K. and I had a good chat over lunch about our wips and what makes us uninterested in a project. Why am I still excited about some projects after months of hibernation while  others are just sort of blah? From now on I’m going to be more critical about my wips. Our chat inspired me to frog some wips I no longer love. Here are liberated Orphans three and four for July. Bittersweet and On the Lamb were both made out of Malabrigo. The pattern and yarn are still perfectly lovely. I just wasn’t excited to finish them.

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While I was frogging Orphans in the craft room, I was starting new endeavors in the kitchen. Introducing Sandra D the Sourdough Starter. Bread was one of the first items the British Hubby commented on when he moved to the States. Commercial bread here is very sweet and it can be difficult to find good quality fresh bread. I enjoy baking so the natural solution was to make our own bread. Admittedly, now our bread machine does most of the work.

 

I purchased Sourdough Starter on a whim one day. A few days later, the British Hubby confessed he doesn’t really like sourdough bread. This is going to be an interesting experiment. First, I had to feed Sandra D. Then I had to divide it several times to get the pH level correct.

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I used the first divide to make sourdough pancakes. While, they certainly don’t look as pretty as the professional photos from the King Arthur website, they tasted just fine. Sourdough pancakes have a tangy after taste. The British Hubby ate his with lemon juice and sugar.

Update on other wips:

  • Shark Bait Socks: I’m about half way with the leg chart on sock one. You can see the start of sharks! Here’s a photo. Should I be worried about the swimmers?

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  • Earth & Sky: No news on this one.
  • Charity Malt: The stockinette section is going to need 80 – 100 rows. I’m on row 27.
  • Washington Mist: I’ve started the bind off. This is the slowest bind off I’ve done so far, but I think I made the right choice. I’m really happy with how it’s turning out.

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Ernie’s new sleep spot is by my stage four Tour de Sock. You can’t really tell in the photo, but I’m on the heel flap.

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Four wips down and at least four more to go!

Marshmallows & Meditation

This week marked a special occasion for the British Hubby and I. To celebrate, we decided to make a family favorite: chocolate covered marshmallows. While you can use special equipment, we used a small sauce pan, wooden spoon, skewer and parchment paper for our chocolate adventure. The combination of milk chocolate and marshmallow was a little too sweet for my tastes. I think we need to keep experimenting with the type of chocolate we use.

We also marked the occasion by an exchanging of gifts. Here is what I got for the British Hubby.

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Here is what the British Hubby bought for me. We had a pretty good chuckle opening our gifts.

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Stage five of Tour de Sock started on Monday. I normally love a good color work sock, but I just wasn’t digging this one. I decided to keep going with my Shark Bait, Stage four socks and numerous hat projects. Although I haven’t made it much further on many of these projects since my last post, I have made some progress on my Matching Neighborly Milo. I also wound yarn to start the shark on Shark Bait.

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Update on other wips:

  • Earth & Sky: Still waiting for yarn and trying not to be annoyed that I bought yarn that was back ordered. It will get here eventually.
  • Charity Malt:I’m now on the stockinette section. Only 2 billion more inches to go until the border (okay, maybe it just feels that way).
  • Washington Mist: After exploring finished projects, I decided I liked the modified picot edge bind off best. Now I’m procrastinating since this will take forever to bind off. Maybe I’ll tackle it this weekend with a pot of tea.

I leave you with an action shot of Burt. Ernie is completely caught off guard.

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Shall I knit you a hat?

July seems to be all about knitting hats (with a side order of socks). I love knitting hats. It’s portable and relatively quick to knit (especially baby hats). They make great gifts. The British Hubby and I even have some for various holidays. I love to put on a new hat when it starts to turn chilly. I wear them around the house when I don’t want to turn the heat up. It’s no surprise my first two liberated Orphans of July are hats. Presenting The Giant Red Spot and another Aviatrix hat. The first hat pattern is Dear Hubbie by Hanna Maciejewska. It features Malabrigo Arroyo in Jupiter. The aviatrix hat is in Arroyo English Rose. This one is a spare that’s going into my gift box.

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I’m also working on a matching Mama and baby set of Foxy and Wolfie. This pattern looks much more complicated than it is. Once I settle on buttons and weave in a few ends, the baby hat will be finished.

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The next aviatrix hat is on the needles. Our next door neighbors are expecting their first child. You guessed it. They are having a boy! This is going to be part of a matching aviatrix and milo set. The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in Azul Profundo.

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I’m even winding yarn for more hats.

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I did manage to make a little progress on the current sock patterns in rotation. I think you can sort of make out a swimmer on my Shark Bait socks. Knitting socks like this is rather fiddly. I’m also making some progress on stage four of Tour de Sock. There are about 200 finished pairs. I’ve made it through one repeat of the leg chart.

Update on other wips:

  • Earth & Sky: This one is stalled while I wait on skein four to arrive. The skein I ordered is back ordered!
  • Chairty Malt: I’m done with the square section. Woot woot!
  • Washington Mist: Ready for binding off!

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Two Orphans liberated. At least six more to go!

We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat!

Today is a national holiday in the United States. Many Americans will celebrate with food, family, friends and fireworks. The British Hubby and I celebrate by watching Jaws. We have quite the collection of Jaws paraphernalia. Over the years, we’ve purchased t-shirts, hoodies and mugs. One mug even changes when you put hot liquids in it.

Last year, I found a sock pattern to help us celebrate. This weekend, I started my first Shark Bait sock. The pattern is Shark Bite by Lara Smoot. The plan is to have four finished socks for our annual viewing in 2017.

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I also started the stage four socks in Tour de Sock. The pattern is A Song of Beads and Lace by Sarah Bordelon. You can just about make out the first row with beads.

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Update on other wips:

  • Earth & Sky: This one is stalled while I wait on skein four to arrive.
  • Chairty Malt: 71 of 80 rows done on the square section.
  • Washington Mist: I have 10 of 12 garter rows done on the end part. I’m 800 stitches away from the border!
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You’re gonna need a bigger bag!