The sun sets on September

The hours are counting down. It’s the final moments of September. I was chasing the sun to get decent group photos of September’s Liberated Orphan Wips. You’re probably wondering if I managed to get those last two projects done. Presenting finished project number eight: Dishie in Ohio. I bought the softest cotton yarn while I was in the Midwest this summer visiting my family. I decided to use it for a set of Three Dishcloths. These are going to be baby soft face cloths for me. I have enough left over for at least one or two more cloths.

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Drum roll please. Here is Liberated Orphan number nine, Jupiter Mitts. The pattern was Ballydesmond. Again, nothing wrong with the yarn or the pattern, but I haven’t knit on them since March. Sometimes, my love it or leave it attitude towards wips is a bit harsh, but I want to get my wips down to a reasonable number.

Here’s a group shot of September’s finished wips. It’s a combination of very old wips and not so old wips with a few gifts in there.

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October is about 75 minutes away. What knitting adventures will I get up? I leave you with Burt in his kitty alcove.

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Button, button, who’s got the button?

Buttons come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Early buttons were flat and fit into a loop. The first button is around 5000 years old while the first button with button holes appeared in Germany around the 13th century. The first button makers guild was formed in 1250 in France. The first political button was from George Washington’s 1789 inauguration. Here’s an interesting article on the history of buttons. Scroll down to the bottom of the article. There is a photo gallery of some amazing buttons.

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Liberated Orphan wip number five has a simple yellow button. I wanted to keep this month’s aviatrix hat gender neutral. It’s going in my gift bin for when I need a last minute baby gift. The yarn is Malabrigo Arroyo in Archangel. Archangel is one of those colorways that looks vastly different on every base I’ve seen (and yet still fantastic).

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What’s this hanging out by my aviatrix hat? Why, it’s Liberated Orphan wip number six!  This was a cast on in Malabrigo March 2015. I’m pretty sure I haven’t worked on these since then. The pattern is Endpaper Mitts. I started it using Malabrigo sock in Light of Love and Alcauci. Both are still lovely, but I’ve lost my knitting mojo on this pattern.

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But wait, I have one more Liberated Orphan Wip! Milo II is the seventh wip for September. This is the second addition of the Milo vest. This one has the cutest heart cable pattern. It’s in Malabrigo Arroyo colorway Jupiter. This is part of an aviatrix/milo set for another coworker expecting their first child. Sorry about the crummy night time photo. I think you can sort of make out the hearts.

Update on other wips:

  • Portland Bias Scarf: Skein three has 19.20 grams left.
  • Frank in Pairs: Sixteen rows done in the second Frank section.
  • Dewberry Dancer: No progress on this one.

Ernie’s hanging out with some hot coco. I think he’s decide this new aviatrix hat is for him. You can just see it poking out beneath him.

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Two days left and two more Orphan wips to liberate. I’m off to knit!

The Equinox

This past week was the Equinox. A day of balance. There are 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark. The sun and earth are in geometrical alignment. September is traditionally a tough month for me at the day job. I always struggle to maintain a good work-home life balance. This year was no exception. However, two things are noticeably different this year. I’ve altered my workout times and routines, and I have monthly knitting goals. I’m happy to introduce liberated Orphan wip three and four for September!

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Finally, a finished Sky and Earth scarf. The pattern is Wheat from Tincan Knits. I’m using Malabrigo Rios in Cielo y Tierra. If you remember, I was waiting forever on that fourth skein. I probably could have finished the scarf without it, but there’s nothing worse than a scarf that’s just a smidge too short. Skein three has 51.40 grams left. Skein four has 70.79 grams left. (I see a matching hat being made at some point in the future.) At least one skein was significantly lighter than the others, but you really can’t tell since I alternated skeins while I was knitting. All four skeins are from different dye lots and different vendors so alternating skeins is a must if you want a uniform look.

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The fourth liberated wip is another scarf, Sands of Time. This very well could have been the second longest wip I had stashed away. I know it was started around the same time as my mystery blanket. The free pattern is Shifting Sands by Grumperina. I’m pretty certain the yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca. I couldn’t locate a yarn label so I have no idea what color it is. The British Hubby things this scarf is very dashing so it will probably end up being a gift for him.

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Update on other wips:

  • Portland Bias Scarf: Skein three has 21.45 grams left.
  • Frank in Pairs: Fourteen rows done in the second Frank section.
  • Dewberry Dancer: This one is still on row 26 of 36 in section one.

Ernie says, “Belly rubs are the best!”

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Five days left in September. Five liberated Orphans to go.

Hats: Some Assembly Required

You can always change your plan, but only if you make one.

You find the perfect pattern and the perfect yarn to go with it. Excitedly, you cast on and faithfully follow the pattern. About 3/4 of the way in you realize, this is the silliest and most convoluted way to make said object. You keep going.  You’ve already invested quite a bit of time in said object. Plus, you think it’s going to be a really neat finished project. So you persevere on. This is me with a particular hat pattern. For whatever reason, I blindly followed the pattern. The hat was knit flat and then seamed. There is no knitting police. I could have knit the hat in the round and been very content. Instead I knit it flat and seamed it. This hat has other embellishments that need to be sewn on. One part even has i-cord. You’re intrigued now, right? Below is a photo of the colors I’m using. This is a surprise hat for a sometimes follower of my blog. Just a teaser photo until the hat reaches it’s final destination in October.

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Update on other wips:

  • Earth & Sky: I have about 2.5 inches completed on the border.
  • Portland Bias Scarf: Started skein three! I’m on the home stretch now. Woot Woot!
  • Frank in Pairs: Six rows done in the second Frank section.
  • Dewberry Dancer: I don’t know why I thought I was already on section two. This one is still in section one, but I have 26 rows out of 36 rows completed.

Tonight Burt and Gracie had a staring contest. I think Gracie won. Burt got off the couch first.

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Still at just two finished Orphan wips, but there might just be one drying on some blocking mats.

A Cloth of Many Colors

Life is about using the whole box of crayons. ~RuPaul

We all tend to have our favorite colors or combinations of colors we gravitate towards. Since I was about four or five, purple has been a favorite color of mine, but there’s an entire world of color out there. This year, I wanted to branch outside my comfort zone to discover colors I wouldn’t normally pick especially for items like sock, dishcloths or gifts. Liberated Orphan number two is bright and colorful. Presenting Cloths of Many Colors, two cotton dish cloths using the Rank and File pattern. The bright pink and orange cloth uses Fantasy Naturale Multi by Plymouth. The blue and purple cloth is Sugar n’Cream. Both are 100% cotton. The bright cloth is for me and the other is going into my gift pile. Since these are small items, I’m counting two as one finished wip.

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In celebration of another finished wip, I picked out colors for our next blanket. Okay, I know I’m not supposed to be casting on a new project for every one I finish, but don’t these colors look great together?

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I’m going to try Plymouth Encore again since it’s so soft. I think this will become a Modern Log Cabin.

Update on other wips:

  • Earth & Sky: I have about 2 inches completed on the border.
  • Portland Bias Scarf: Skein two has 1.79 grams left.
  • Frank in Pairs: Eek, I worked on this one. I now have four rows in the second Frank Ochre section.
  • Dewberry Dancer: I couldn’t work on one without working on the other. Section two has 25 out of 36 rows completed.

This weekend, the British Hubby and I spent some time in the kitchen. I roasted some sweet potatoes and made Cherry Barbecue Sauce for the first time. This sauce will be great on chicken and tofu. The British Hubby loves lamb. Here it is resting after it’s been infused with sprigs of rosemary.

Ernie shared the new blanket with Burt. Burt says, “It’s soooo soft.”

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Two wips down and seven more to go. Stay tuned for a whirl wind of finished projects.

Twinkle Toes

Don’t ever let anyone dull your sparkle.

I love wearing hand knit socks with beads. No one can see them, but I know my socks have a little bling. It makes my feet feel extra special. Perfect for the gray gloomy days that are coming in the PNW.  I used to shy away from adding beads to my knitting. It’s much easier than it sounds. Knitty has a great article on the different ways to add beads. My personal favorite way is to use a fleegle beader. It comes in different sizes so you can get one for your favorite weight of yarn. A crochet hook would also work well. Here’s a photo of my Stage Four Tour de Sock with beads.

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The beads on these are very subtle. And yes, sock one is done except for closing up the toe. I keep trying to teach Ernie how to Kitchener stitch, but he’s all paws.

Update on other wips:

  • Earth & Sky: I have about 1 inch of the border done.
  • Portland Bias Scarf: Skein two has 3.70 grams left.
  • Frank in Pairs & Dewberry Dancer: It’s possible these two are going to start an uprising if I don’t start working on them soon. Maybe I could manage with less sleep.

Ernie’s excited for the weekend and more snuggle time!

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Stay tuned. I hope to have liberated Orphans this weekend.

Shadows, Spies & Hats

Deceit: the action or practice of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth.

So many interesting things can be concealed in the shadows. The element of darkness makes everything mysterious. You never know what’s lurking around the next corner. The Imperial War Museum of London has a display of gadgets used by World War II spies. Check out this article. I think the rodent bombs and pipe pistol are my favorite. Even knitting can conceal. Fortunately, mine doesn’t contain any bombs or pistols. Shadow wraps conceal a short row that’s used for shaping. Here’s my favorite tutorial. Malabrigo Wolfie uses shadow wraps to make the ears. They really are almost undetectable. See if you can find them.

The first liberated Orphan Wip of September is sort of concealed in a shadow of secrets. Okay, perhaps I just no longer remember some of the information. I would share it if I knew. Presenting My Longest Work in Progress! I have no idea what the pattern is. I used an unknown amount of Plymouth Encore in worsted weight with a US 8 needle. It’s about 65 x 55 inches. All the kitties luuuuvvvvv it. It washes nicely and is extremely soft for a wool acrylic blend. I would never guess it had such a high acrylic content. Neither would Ernie (he goes straight for it). Hubby even requested more blankets using this.

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Update on other wips:

  • Earth & Sky: It’s official. I’ve started on the border. This scarf might just be a contender for a liberated Orphan in September. (I know you’re thinking about time, right?)
  • Portland Bias Scarf: Skein two has 5.59 grams left.
  • Frank in Pairs & Dewberry Dancer: This morning, I heard grumblings about how winter is coming, and I’m going to need more scarves and shawls. Perhaps, I should start working on these again.

Here’s Gracie sunbathing on the deck. I think she caught me snapping photos.

One project down and eight more to go. I think maybe there could be some almost finished wips lurking in the shadows.