Hats

With the right hat, nothing else matters!

I love knitting hats. They come in every shape, size and creation imaginable. You can match them to your outfit, your mood or the weather. The options are endless. Liberated Orphan wips two, three and four are hats! Completed project number four, I’m no Chicken, has been in process for well over a year. I adapted this pattern from a baby hat. I giggled wearing this all over the house. It’s supposed to be a gift, but I might decide to keep it.

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Hats two and three are the wolf version of Foxy and Wolfie. These use Malabrigo Rios in Nimbus Gray and Natural. I especially love the button eyes. I pulled out my hot glue gun for the yellow ones. Aren’t these adorable!

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I have four completed projects and four projects that are very close to being finished. It’s November 30. I could stay up late to finish these (not really a good idea with the day job), or I could go into the Wip bins. Presenting November’s edition of love it or leave it. I haven’t knit on any of these in over a year (sorry about the crummy night time photo).

We made a cat cave for the kitties. It’s been a big hit! Ernie and Gracie are trying to pat at each other.

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I just barely managed to get eight liberated projects this month. I leave you with another stunning view from our like last week. Doesn’t this just make you want to quit your day job?

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Opt Outside: Black Friday Hike

Shall I not have intelligence with the earth?  Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself?  Henry David Thoreau

The Friday after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday in the U.S. It’s one of the most commercial days of the year. This is the second year REI and other companies have shut their doors and encouraged staff and patrons to get outside.

The British Hubby and I had a great day for a hike. We spent the day in the Cascades. When your day starts out with stunning views, it’s only going to get better.

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We had streams, bridges, mud, waterfalls, snow and not one but two lakes!

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Lunch time view. It almost looks like it belongs on a greeting card.

Here’s my second Mecha hat, Pocion Pioneer. The pattern is Pioneer Peak.

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Gratitutude

Expect nothing and appreciate everything.

Today is American Thanksgiving. For many this involves over eating, American football and time with family. When the British Hubby and I were first dating, I introduced him to his very first pumpkin pie. We quickly decided to make this foodie holiday our own, but with a unique twist.

Earlier in the week, I tried a new pumpkin dessert recipe, pumpkin bars with streusel topping. Burt’s given it two paws up! Burt eats almost all people food especially desserts, cake, bread and pastries. Once Burt ate an entire package of hot cross buns minus the dried fruit. To make these even more decadent, the British Hubby made some caramel sauce. 

 

Our main course is an all you can eat spaghetti bolognese provided by the British Hubby. This year the bolognese was made with spicy tomato tofurky and ground turkey. We eat bolognese, watch Westerns and the kitties nap. Well, today they sat in the box.

Cheers from the Pacific Northwest! Tomorrow is Opt out Friday. Join us in spending the day outdoors.

Mini Yarn Tour

The past three days, I’ve somehow inadvertently managed to end up in three different yarn stores. I would like to say I was strong and didn’t end up with multiple new projects, but let’s face you know that’s not true. Well, at least I haven’t cast on anything new, yet.

On Sunday, I meet up with some Mal Gals (Malabrigo Gals) for Mexican and an excursion to Tolt yarn store. Tolt has just celebrated its third year anniversary. They had a lovely display of local yarn that was knit up in various patterns from their Snoqualime booklet. It’s hard for me to resist local yarn, patterns or project bags. All three came home with me along with volume 1 of Interpretations. I haven’t cast on just yet, but the yarn is wound.

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Monday morning, I was in need of some buttons so I ventured to my local Ben Franklin’s. Recently the yarn section has started carrying high end yarns including my beloved Malabrigo. To my surprise, they had in stock numerous colors of the latest base, Caracol. These two skeins were calling out to me. This yarn is so interesting and different from other Malabrigo bases. It reminds me of stained glass. I’m pretty certain I have one pattern picked out so far.

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Tuesday the British Hubby and I did a little reconnaissance work for our summer vacation plans. This took us fairly close to the Canadian border. We had ham sandwiches from the lovely ham I made on Sunday (check out the recipe here). Scroll down for photos of our lunch time view. We also explored Apple Yarns. This store carries many lovely yarns, but it supports it’s own fiber studio! I picked out Sparkling Cider in color Festive Lights. I couldn’t resist having socks with a bit of sparkle. Can you blame me?

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Update on other wips:

  • Frank in Pairs: I’m about four rows away from stripe nine.
  • Dewberry Dancer: I just finished row 25 in section two! Woot Woot! I’ve switched to a longer cable, and I sort of want to say I’m 1/4 the way done with this section. Okay, that’s not technically true since each row gets longer, but sometimes one needs to celebrate the small victories.
  • Milo IV: I know I just finished Milo III, but this is the final Milo project for this year!

On Tuesday, I was sporting my very first Mecha hat from Malabrigo March 2014. The pattern is Alessa. The color is Teal Feather. This quick knit was perfect for the cold breeze coming off the ocean.

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“Look at me! I’m Ernie super kitty!”

It’s the last week of November. You are probably thinking I’ve been busy buying new yarn and haven’t knit very much. Well, today I was busy weaving in ends, sewing on buttons, soaking projects and there was even some whip stitch happening. Stay tuned for a parade of liberated Wips in the near future!

 

Holiday Knits

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop

The holidays are approaching. For many this means extra spending on gifts, personalized Christmas cards and stressful crafting. I like giving small handmade gifts with a personal note and a nice piece of chocolate. If you recall, in the summer I had planned to give patchwork dish towels. I have a pretty good stock pile of these towels so I’ll probably give some to my family this year, but I haven’t really decided on what to make for my coworker gifts.

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As the British Hubby and I are getting close to hat/scarf/shawl saturation, I like to make items for the gift bin so I always have a supply. I pulled out a wip from Malabrigo March 2015, Malabrigo Elevation. The yarn is of course Malabrigo Rios in Natural. The pattern is High Elevation by Cassie Munksgard. I’m on the second repeat so I think there’s a chance I can get this completed in time for the holidays.

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Knitting items on a deadline isn’t my favorite. It makes me feel like knitting is a job instead of my fun hobby (I already have one job). I did manage to finish Milo III for the baby shower last Thursday. Here’s the first completed wip for November! This is in Malabrigo Rios color Purpuras.

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Update on other wips:

  • Frank in Pairs: Eight stripes are completed. It’s measuring in at 27 inches.
  • Dewberry Dancer: Now that Milo III is completed, this one is back in rotation. I expect to see more progress on this one soon.

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I received several good suggestions for November’s movie theme. Drum roll please! Presenting: Decoder Ring Knitting Movies! Our first movie is The Parallex View. It has a very young looking Warren Batty. The gripping opening scene takes place on the Space Needle. I actually stopped knitting. The scene was intense, but I also thought I spotted a female reporter sporting a knitted vest. This 1974 movie contains a parade, shooting, bar fight, 70’s car chase (including a Duke’s of Hazard style jump), boat explosion, false identities and a very unusual death by drowning in a damn overflow. Numerous times during this movie, I completely stopped knitting the Milo III. I’m almost certain I saw coded messages in Warren’s hair (perhaps, buy more yarn). If you haven’t seen this 70’s flick, check it out.

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Gracie’s newest sleep spot. It’s where Burt normally sleeps!013

One wip down and seven more to go!

Small Comforts

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly.” -Barbara Haines Howett

This weekend the British Hubby and I decided to make a journey to check out a new yarn store and partake of some authentic British food. The Nifty Knitter is a cute little yarn shop with some luxurious yarns. This week the store is celebrating its Grand Opening with daily sales. Below is a photo of my finds. We were perusing the shop when the British Hubby saw a store sample and declared, “I would wear striped socks.” So we both picked out striped sock yarn. I’m going to cast on one pair this week. I know you’re thinking, I’m not supposed to be adding to my wips. When the British Hubby says he wants striped socks, the British Hubby gets striped socks. Wouldn’t it be neat if I could have them done for Christmas? (Notice I didn’t say what year.)

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We also stopped by our favorite British supply store for some salad cream. It was about lunch time so we picked up some British pies for lunch. Here’s a photo of my very first steak and mushroom pie. I’ve never been a big pot pie fan, but the American pot pie really isn’t the same as this British version. The British Hubby was delighted to find steak and kidney pies available.

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This is my favorite time of year to try out new recipes. These garlic butter smashed sweet potatoes are a tad over done (I may have set off the smoke detector more than once), but they still taste great. I often find sweet potato dishes are too sweet, but the garlic butter  and cheese provides just the right juxtaposition. This was three big sweet potatoes.

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Update on other wips:

  • Frank in Pairs: Just completed stripe seven today! The scarf is about 25 inches. See photo below.
  • Dewberry Dancer: No progress on this one yet. I can feel some jealous vibes coming off this one, but can you blame it? Milo III is hogging all the knitting time.
  • Milo III: I’m on the last owl repeat. Too soon to know if this will be ready for Thursday.

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Burt’s been sort of down lately. This time of year most of the local wild life is rather inactive. He can’t seem to figure out why. Today, he followed me all over the house when I got home.

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PCTP

If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

This week has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. Hiking and being out in nature has an amazing restorative effect. It soothes the soul. The British Hubby and I had a chance to enjoy mother nature on Friday. We had a short hike on part of the Pacific Crest Trail. The British Hubby found a lovely stream for us to picnic and relax. I love hiking in the Pacific North West. It’s pretty easy to find trails with amazing waterfalls, streams, babbling brooks and stunning views. Here are a few photos from our picnic on the Pacific Crest Trail or our PCTP as the British Hubby called it.

You can see the start of Milo III also made the journey. This is out of Malabrigo in Rios Purpuras to match the second aviatrix hat from last month. I’m on a bit of a tight deadline for this one. There is a possibility I won’t have this done by the baby shower.

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Below I’m modeling a hat from Malabrigo March 2015. It’s my Blue Mashed Potato Molly made from Malabrigo Worsted in Blue Mashed Potato. Worsted hats are so warm and squishy.

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Update on other wips:

  • Nothing new on these wips. I’m furiously trying to finish Milo III.

Here’s Burt in his anti-paparazzi phase. “No pictures, please.

Stay tuned for the first liberated Orphan Wip of November coming soon!