Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Garter stitch, granny squares, and pumpkins: my favorites!

(This post contains affiliate links, assuming I can link them correctly.)

I have many unfinished projects.  It's kind of fun to have so many things up in the air.  I won't rest until I've knitted through a good chunk of my stash and enjoyed a few projects I've been meaning to get to.  Like this:

It's going to be a pumpkin hat for Ellis!  I could either say I'm making this because I'm the best aunt in the world, or I could say that I'm the worst aunt in the world because I'm just now making him a pumpkin hat.  Because I'm talking about my own self on my own blog, I'm going to go ahead and say that I'm a good aunt because he'll have this in time for a trip to the pumpkin patch.  This is the Punkin' Patch hat from Warm Hats for Wee Noggins.  I've made this before, but I think I'm going to leave off the leaf and tendril this time.  A straightforward stem knit in dark green should be just fine.  It's your standard baby hat--worsted weight yarn and a simple stitch pattern.  The pattern calls for #8 needles, but I'm knitting this with #7s because I have some bamboo double pointed needles.

That's another work in progress I decided to undertake--phase out my aluminum double pointed needles in larger sizes and replace them with wooden ones.  I don't really mind working with three or four needles at a time, but the clanging sounds nearly drive me up the wall.  This has been a quiet and quick knit so far, and I'm totally going to have it finished by Saturday (which is when I get to see Ellis.  !!!!!!!)

I'm actually taking a tiny break from it to knit this.

"This" being the Terribly Simple shawl.  It's garter stitch rows with increases at the edges on every row.  It's terribly simple and my mind wanders to things I should be doing differently or whether I would do things differently if I made this again and whether I should be working on this when my mom asked for a wrap a few months ago and it's getting cold out but I did make her a hat that might be too slouchy.

I usually have better luck with garter stitch and calming thoughts.  At least there are the color changes to look forward to.  I really enjoy looking forward to color changes.

I've knitted through the red since I took pictures of this shawl, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the gray will go from dark to light.

I'm not sure how well you can see, but there are three different blues in this.  I think I'll begin my bind-off process when I hit the aqua.  This wrap is going to be pretty large. 

And yes, it's for me.  I love the colors of this yarn, and I've always wanted to buy a skein of something like this ever since I found out they existed (I know, I dream big).  The yarn is the Handkerchief Trick from Magic and Moonshine, which is a light fingering merino.  And there's 500 yards of it, baby!  This is going to be an insanely cheerful little wrap that everyone in my office is going to be sick of seeing once I start wearing it to perk up every black item of clothing I own.  And I usually wear black at least 3 days out of the workweek. 

I stole the #6 needles from this project to work on the shawl:

I'm gaining a little bit of ground on this blanket of my own little design.  I bought another skein of white yarn, and I'm nearly halfway through the top part.  Then it's onto the gray!  I think I have enough.  This is fun project to pick up every now and then. 

Another blanket that's sort of lingering around is this: 

It's not really a blanket.  It's Square #77 from one of my favorite books, 99 Granny Squares to Crochet.  I'm going to make a blanket for a co-worker's grandson out of 16 squares.  Or maybe 20 squares.  It depends on whether I'll add green squares to this.  I know I'll be making some red squares too.  The grandson was born at least 2 months ago, and so I go between feeling like I should finish this up immediately or I should take as much time as I want.  Honestly, right now, I'm feeling pretty 'whatever.'  I've been making a few squares every weekend for the past couple of weekends.  I used up the last of the skein of the yarn I used for the blue squares, and I think I'll use up at least half of my brown yarn when I work the edging around this. 

Last, but obviously not least, I need a few hours to finish up Evelyn's little Tomten jacket.

I'm going to knit this hood for another month or so and then I think it will fit over her giant brain.  Her last two jackets fit her everywhere else, but when she wears the hood--and any time she wears something with a hood, she thinks she has to wear the hood--the shoulders get way pulled up and it all falls apart.

By "falls apart" I mean "looks wrong and goofy and can't possibly be comfortable".

So on to the hood it is.

Um, once I get the shawl out of my system. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Trip 2014!

The first time we took Evelyn to the pumpkin patch, it was too cold.  The second year we went it was too hot.  This year, though?  Perfect.  We went in the morning, while the weather was still kind of cool.  And there were breezes and shady spots when the day warmed up.  I know I'm carrying on about the weather a lot but I nearly vomited from the heat last year, and the year before that we accidentally took a baby out in 38 degree weather with nothing on her hands and then it rained on us.  So yesterday's beautiful weather was thrilling.  Seriously, I got thrilled.

Evelyn and I met up with Brook and Jessi for just a girls' trip.  Actually, Chris was there too but it doesn't count because he's Brook's husband.  Cody sat this one out because he really doesn't enjoy the pumpkin patch and Evelyn didn't even seem to notice he was missing.  She was delighted to tell him about our adventures later, and he was delighted to hear about them.

Also, we wore our matching hats.  I can probably die happy now, but I'll keep hanging on because I haven't finished her little Tomten jacket and there are more babies out there who need pumpkin hats and Santa hats.  I'm sure there are other reasons I should be pumped about this mortal coil, but right now I'm just really into making hats.

Anyway, on to the pictures!

Piglet races!  Tammy Swynette won and Jessi was so pleased.

A maze!  She did this at least 4 times.

She says she's going to grow to be taller than Chris.  I don't know how that will happen, but I don't doubt that it could.

This year she was big enough to ride the little train!  Most photos with me in them are by Chris.

I love my friends.  I love them even more when they haul my junk around in wagons.  Evelyn also rode in the wagon before we filled it up.  Girlfriend was flat-out reclining in that thing.  I had to wake her up at 9:50 just to make it out there around 10:30!  I think her day at the fair really wore her out.

Every year for these two.

I have one with her fake smile (after some bribing and coercion), but I like this one better.  She really was a trooper, though.

Her favorite part, after the maze.

She wanted me to be the sheep.

Such a good day.  We got a big pumpkin, but I haven't taken a picture of it.  Jessi paid for it to simplify getting out of there (it was starting to get crowded and we were starting to get hungry), and then she said I didn't have to pay her back.  That was very sweet.  Evelyn has colored on it with markers and it's sitting in the middle of our living room.   It's a nice reminder of a super nice time.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

We went to the fair!

The three of us went to the Arkansas State Fair yesterday.  We skipped the rides again this year, but I think next year we'll definitely have to go on the Ferris wheel.  Evelyn walked most of the time, which is why she watched a couple of dairy goat shows and looked absolutely riveted at the junior cattle showmanship show.  Cody and I tried to explain that her grandparents think she would enjoy raising show cows, but I'm not sure she understood.  She was pretty worn out.

Her favorite part was milking model cows.  Cody's favorite part was the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission trailer aquarium at the Hall of Industry.  My favorite part was going to the Starr Barn to freak out over all the fancy breed chickens.  (Cody and Evelyn were very patient and didn't even seem to be embarrassed by me.  And I was squealing a lot, I have to say.)

We saw a little bit of everything, ate some food, and held hands the whole time.  Maybe that was my favorite part.