The Yarn is My Proxy

I’m trying to be a good little auntie.

I have a weird sibling situation that I finally came to a conclusion upon last year about how I’m going to treat all my present, former, and kind-of siblings:  I’m just gonna love them all.  More love always wins, right?

One of my sisters had a baby last week, and there’s nothing like the actual birth of a baby to really light the fire under one’s rear end to finish the crafties intended for said baby.  She had a little boy, and he is beautiful.

I’ve been working on this layette since October.  The plan was to finish it all before Christmas and then ship it so it’d be there before the birth, but…yeah.  Whatever, it’s finished, and it’s heading to the post office in the next couple of days to make its way to the chilly, chilly Canadian town that boasts one more beautiful baby boy as of last week.

The cardigan is the Little Coffee Bean Cardigan pattern, knit up in Plymouth Yarn’s Jeannee Worsted (51% Cotton, 49% Acrylic).  The buttons are from JoAnn Fabric.  I knit up a matching hat following the Basic Hat Pattern in The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns, by Ann Budd.

The blanket is crocheted, as is every blanket I’ve ever made from yarn.  (The idea of knitting a blanket makes me twitch a wee bit.)  The pattern is “Pastel Waves,” from Leisure Arts Our Best Baby Afghans, which I’ve owned for years upon years.  I used good ol’ Red Heart Super Saver for it, despite its baby-melting acrylic content.  I just haven’t reached the point where I can buy that much cotton yarn at once.  That also makes me a bit twitchy.

So I’ll send this off, with much love and many wishes that I could live closer to this new soul.  It’s somewhat heart-breaking to watch all these nieces and nephews grow up, and know that I’m only seeing it in photographs instead of experiencing it in person.  Sigh.  But, perhaps, they’ll be reminded that I care when they snuggle up in a blanket or sweater I’ve made for them.

That’s the hope–that they’ll feel my love and know that I wish I was right there with them.

Happy BIRTHday, Little Baby J.


This post is participating in Small Thing’s “Yarn Along,”
“Anything Goes Monday” at Stitch by Stitch,
and “Sew Cute Tuesday” at Blossom Heart Quilts.

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New Pattern: Harmony Wave Cowl

My second published pattern to date!  This cute little thing was designed for a scarf and cowl contest at Harmony, one of my local yarn shops.

Yes indeed, it is crocheted.  And it is lovely–I crocheted it in Blue Sky Alpacas’ Sport-Weight, and it is completely luscious-feeling against the skin!  I am definitely making more of these!

I’ve named it the Harmony Wave Cowl, in honor of Harmony’s contest, and for the obvious wavy stitch pattern.  It’s a quick pattern; I whipped this up over the course of two days of teaching school.

The original creation is on display at the Harmony shop until the end of the scarf and cowl contest on December 12.

In the spirit of the season, I’m offering this pattern for free until the close of the contest at Harmony.
Just hop on over to Ravelry, add the pattern to your cart, enter the coupon code HarmonyHoliday2013, and you’ll receive one download of the PDF pattern for free!*
Share the news, and enjoy your holiday season!

*Offer is good for one individual download of Harmony Wave Cowl pattern until 11:59 PM MST, December 12, 2013.  Please visit Cara Brooke’s design store on Ravelry.com to complete your transaction.  Registration for a free Ravelry account may be required for redemption of offer.

The Story of the "He Loves Me" Yarn

As mentioned earlier this week, Michael had to go on a last-minute business trip to Hawaii.  For a week.  Before he left, he asked if I wanted any souvenirs and I answered with my all-time favorite answer:  “Yarn.”

I didn’t expect anything to come of it.  It’s Hawaii; and yarn…well, that’s kind of a colder climate commodity.  I put the notion out of my head and tended to the joyous week of single parenting.

When he returned (with an arrival time of 7:15 AM at the airport one hour away and on a Sunday when I was scheduled to hold a choir practice and also sing a duet in church…) and got to unpacking his suitcase, he presented me with a skein of yarn.  And an apology for it not being the kind of yarn I usually like.

He then proceeded to tell me the story of how he came to possess that skein of yarn:

He arrived in Hawaii on Saturday.  On Tuesday he decided to google for the location of the nearest yarn shop.  He left his hotel room at 4pm to go to said yarn shop and, after navigating the chaotic streets of Honolulu, arrived at the shop at precisely 6:05pm.  The shop closed at 6:00pm.

He pushed back his Wednesday morning meeting and set out for the yarn shop in order to be there when it opened at 10am.  He arrived at 10:00 on the dot, but the shop wasn’t open.  Figuring there was some sort of Hawaiian laid-back attitude in regards to opening on time, he decided to wait for the shop owner to show up.  One and a half hours later, he was still waiting.  It was then that he noticed that the store hours listed were for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  The shop was closed on Wednesdays.

He walked in on Thursday at 10am and informed the shop owner that he wanted locally-dyed or spun yarn that was impossible for his wife to get in the State of Utah.  She said that a lot of people wanted that kind of stuff and that she tried to keep lots of it in stock, but he had happened to come to her store at a time when she had none of it in stock.  I’m not sure what kind of conversation and/or awkward silence followed that statement, but Michael’s telling goes on to say that at point she exclaimed that she might have one skein of something in the back.  “I’ll take it.”
When he presented me with the skein of yarn and apologized for it not being quite the right color, I silently agreed with him.  The turquoise was pretty and I thought the purple was sort of nice, but the blue-ink color was definitely not my style.  However, upon hearing his tale of his quest to acquire the yarn, my heart softened considerably and I pledged to make myself a hat from it and wear that hat until it died.
And so I proudly present the “He Loves Me” Hat:
Pattern:  Turn a Square, by Jared Flood

YarnNadezhda’s Crayon Box, colorway “Kahana Bay.”  (67% Cotton, 25% Wool, 8% Silk) and Berrocco’s Ultra Alpaca in “Lavender Mix” #6283 (50% Alpaca, 50% Wool) leftover from my mother’s Christmas Hat.

Needles:  US 8

Modifications:  I made the hat about 1.5 inches longer than called for so it could definitely cover the tops of my ears, and also have a little bit of extra space to accomodate any sort of pulled-up hairstyle.

Thank you Michael!
You are all sorts of persistent awesomeness!


Bluebird’s Winter Hat: Molly Beret

PatternMolly Beret from Never Not Knitting

Yarn:  Knit One Crochet Too “Crock-O-Dye” in Tomato colorway (#250) & Dale of Norway Baby Ull in Light Peach (#3403)

Needles:  US 1 & US 3

Size:  20″/Small Adult

I buy our winterwear during the summer when it’s 80% off, which limits the colors we can purchase.  This year, Bluebird had to choose between white/gray, grass/lime or a peach/coral winter coat.  (She was not happy about this because she wanted pink or purple, but alas, those are the colors that sell out and usually aren’t available on clearance.) 

However, the Brooke family is well-known for its love of the color orange and she went with the orange-hued parka.  Upon receipt of said coat I began to wonder how in the world I was going to match any sort of accessory to its non-traditional color palette.

Bluebird accompanied me on my Yarn Quest shortly following, and she spied the Tomato Crock-O-Dye yarn while we were investigating The Black Sheep Wool Company.  She brought it over to me and announced that she had found the perfect yarn to match her coat.  I agreed that it did match, and complimented her on her good eye for color.

Bluebird browsed through the Ravelry pattern database with me and chose the Molly Beret pattern, which just tickled me to no end.  (I think little girls in berets are just one of the cutest things ever!)  I paired up the Crock-O-Dye with some leftover peach Baby Ull from the Peach Yoked Cardigan and was quite pleased at how well the two yarns matched her crazy technicolor winter coat.

All in all, I really like the finished product.  I made it a touch too large, but her head measured 20″ in circumference, which was the small adult size.  However, upon further reflection, one wants a hat to fit snugly and should therefore knit a cap one size smaller to assure a secure fit.  It still looks cute despite its super slouchy appearance.  She receives compliments on her beret every time she wears it and her little face just lights up with pleasure whenever someone notices her hat.  I have more than enough yarn leftover to knit mittens or a scarf, but I have other projects that need my attention first.  (And I’m already in the midst of a scarf knit with fingering weight yarn and I don’t think my sanity could handle casting on another scarf in skinny yarn.)
A friend laughed at me when I told her about my predicament in trying to find a yarn that would match Bluebird’s coat and quipped that not everyone frets about matching their children’s accessories.  And I guess it’s just not an issue to a lot of people, but I garner great satisfaction out of attiring my family nicely and I experience pleasure in knowing that I created those items myself.  It’s such a fun process to pick out the yarn and pattern together and then watch your child’s eyes light up while they watch you create something just for them. 
However, the other children become very vociferous with their requests for handmade items when a sibling’s project is on my needles.  Next up is a scarf for Penguin.  But knit in a very bulky-weight yarn.  I can handle that.