introducing… a handspun blanket

if i have, in the past 3 months, seemed distracted, or not my usual bloggy self, this might explain some things. i found out right before rhinebeck that i was pregnant again.

handspun baby blanket

and when i showed up to my friend sarah’s house, she gifted the impending babe with this beautiful blanket. this is super special because sarah and i learned to dye and spin together back in vancouver. it’s also super special because, well, it’s a handpsun blanket!

handspun baby blanket

apparently there’s even some stuff i dyed in there. sarah used the subtle stripes techniques. it’s truly amazing in person, you’ll have to take my word for it.  thanks sarah!

and lastly, if you want to see the impending, here’s the belly at 12 weeks. since i miscarried late in the first trimester last time, i popped quite early this time. and since i had maternity jean hand-me-downs from a friend, i’ve been wearing them since 10 weeks.  it’s funny to wear maternity clothes when nobody really can tell your pregnant yet.  it’s like a very silly secret.

p.s. i am now keeping track of my pregnancies as they relate to fiber festivals.  one week before maryland last year i miscarried, and one week before rhinebeck this year, i found out i was pregnant again.

katie’s hatitude

cancer has been a journey for my mother-in-law (first talked about here, although katie has been talked about a lot on this blog because she knits too).  that journey has included a cold alaska winter and a body that was cold from the inside out.  it has required heated car seats.  and it has also required hats.  in the winter, i made her this one, this one, and this one. and now, while katie and ben were gone to france last week, i whipped these two up.

amelia earhart aviator cap [my project on rav]

katie's ameila

i love this hat! i might need one, unless i decide to cut off all my hair, then maybe not ;) i made mine from ultra alpaca on size 7 needles.  this is the hat katie requested, since slow knitting from numb fingers and chemo brain made her unlikely to make it.  (although, i must add, that she is working on a hat right now, it’s just taking a while.)

katie’s foliage [my project on rav]

katie's foliage

a friend cleaned out a bit of her stash, and gave me this skein of silk garden.
i immediately thought they were katie’s colors. now, if you want the lace to show up, i don’t recommend this yarn. fortunately, i just wanted some yarn overs and didn’t care as much about the lace.

i think these will be the last two hats i make for this journey. katie’s heading from us to mayo clinic to have one last surgery, then we’re hoping for things to be back to normalish.

dad’s log cabin

finally done!

dad's blanket

-mostly random wools from the stash all the way from dk to aran weight.
-size 8 needles – that somewhere in the middle of knitting were stole out of it and then i had a heck of a time figuring out which size needles i was using.
-the border is done in lovely squishy soft top of the lamb worsted by brown sheep. first time i’ve used it and i liked it quite a bit!
-here’s the helpful tutorial about i-cord that i used to figure out how to do the corners, although perhaps going up a needle size like rachel suggested would have been good.  blocking would probably fix the little bit of curl, but really, i’m just going to mail it.

dad's blanket

i’m really excited to get this to him.  totally a labor of love… because i know he’ll love it. and now that my mom’s retired and knitting – she and my dad apparently come to this space. hi mom! hi dad! your christmas presents will soon be on their way.

marian seaman scarf

i finally finally finished my christmas knitting this year and am planning to mail the package out this week.  this is for my mom.

marian seaman scarf

she likes scarves that are wide, fit well around her neck and tuck into her coat to keep her extra warm, so i thought a seaman scarf would be perfect for her.  i learned about them from this fabulous book.

marian seaman scarf

i used the beauty of a yarn that is alpaca with a twist, baby twist. size 7 needles. the yarn is so soft and really a great deal. here’s a close-up of the lace pattern.

marian seaman scarf

i made each side of this one from the bottom up and then did the scary thing that is grafting over ribbing. um. scary. so when i write up the pattern, it just may say good luck in that space :)

ben’s striped scarf

what is that they say about the cobbler’s child having no shoes? ben usually gets knit for on accident, although i did make him driving mitts last winter.

ben's scarf 2

and now i’ve made him a scarf!  he’s always wanted a scarf.  can you believe i’ve never made him one?  i can’t.

rachel calls this ben looking intense and european
ben's striped scarf

this was going to be for christmas.  i had bought the yarn and was knitting it on the sly, but we are heading to alaska in about a week – and so the deadline got moved up.  if i’ve seemed a bit off lately, it’s because his mom katie got diagnosed, had surgery, and is now in chemo for cancer in the span of a couple of weeks.  there has been a lot of family knitting going on.  ben’s scarf.  handspun socks for me.  chemo caps for katie.  comfort to be had and comfort to be given.  anyhow, ben loves his scarf.  he even went as far as to wish it wasn’t 70 degrees outside so he could wear it.  all i have to say about that is just wait a week…

ben's scarf 1

p.s. and the winner of the reflection hat patterns are: 16, 20, 29, 22, and 6. congrats!

p.p.s. the guidelines for this scarf is available here on rav and here on brooklyntweed’s blog.

ben's scarf 3

mom’s sampler scarf

mom finished her scarf! she likes them wide and short. we did a 3 stitch garter edge so that  she could choose whatever she wanted to put in the middle.

mom's scarf

the repeating on the second side was a bit rocky, but not bad for someone who hasn’t knit in 50 years. now she can wear it when she gets off the plane in montana tomorrow. brrr.

my mom’s knitting

my mom has not knit in years. she started making doll clothes when she was 12 or 13 (1956 or so) – sweaters, booties, and hats for tiny dolls. my mom, true to form, learned how to knit from a book (like me!). it was a little book with just the basics in it – green with a drawn illustration of a 1950s girl and some knitting needles on the cover. she still has it. i will try to get a photo for you all to see. (in contrast, i learned out of knitting and crocheting for dummies).

my mom and aunt marguerite at the art museum
mom and my great aunt

she tried to make herself a pink sweater and thought blocking would make it fit, but to no avail. it was way too short. it was the 1950’s, acrylic was all the rage and, of course, with no one to help her, she didn’t really know about gauge (or that blocking only works with wool). and she still doesn’t, but i’ll teach her :)

she gave up for a year or two, returning to knitting to try to make a young man she liked a sweater. think green and black stripes in soft yarn – probably with some angora in it (it was all the rage then). it took her forever and turned out small, but with loooong arms. luckily she had grown sick of that young man by that time anyway.

mom's hands

from that point, she took a hiatus from knitting and went the art route of working with her hands. she loved making pottery and sculpting and painting human figures. she went to school for 3 years to work towards a B.S. in education, and after that took a year break to study art, taking classes and going to museums in the bay area.

[then came the rest of university, beginning teaching, meeting my dad, him going to university, having children etc. all the while, spending much creative and artistic energy in the classroom]

mom knitting

fast forward to now. i am sitting next to my mom, while she knits a deep purple heathered alpaca scarf. she has retired and has time to do all sorts of new and exciting things. which appears to include knitting with her daughter. and i must say, this is actually an old thing, that she remembers how to do quite well.

family update

sorry all! no shop updates this week.

my mom’s visiting. we went south to see my great aunt who i haven’t seen since i was 10. while there we watched the new michael moore movie – isn’t that what everyone does when they go to the south for the first time?!?  the theatre was not full ;)

my great aunt and i

my great aunt said that she once knit a scarf for WWII war relief in britain. apparently it looked like all first pieces by new knitters look – in and out and in and out on the edges. she described it as ugly.  of course it got sent over anyway.  every little bit counts.

p.s. the winners of the snow cat hat pattern are 13, 8, 3, 7, and 17.  and i’ve sent the email.  congrats!

p.p.s. i will be at the tiny canary indie design market in columbus ohio mid november.  i’m looking for a couch/floor to accommodate me and amy in trade for merchandise.  if you have one, email me at cosymakes (!at) gmail (dot!) com.


these last few weeks, after living here two years, i’ve discovered that i love autumn. in montana, where i lived my first 26 years, i love summer. the sky is so blue and the dry heat so nice after a long winter. the mountains are so pristine, the lakes so lovely and ready to be swum in. the summer is even better there if you have a nice winter with lots of snow.  autumn and spring are short and swift in montana, times when i was re-starting school and too busy to notice.

in vancouver, it was the spring.  cut down a rainforest and put up a city and things start growing and blooming early and bountifully.  spring was refreshing.

but here, in pittsburgh which i now call my home, it is not summer that i love. i still like summer. i love the heat and the wearing of little clothing, but the autumn makes me want to get out and do things like the summer did in montana. the air feels so good, crisp.  mornings are sublime.  i want to walk, hike, and do the things i did in montana in the summer.

you may recognize this project from way back here. the colors are way more accurate in the photo from the previous post.
dad's blanket

i’m transitioning back into doing knitting and spinning as work this week, but this was my buffer zone, my liminal space for a couple of days.  and i must say it was a delightful space to be in.  for me, like for many knitters, the transition into autumn mirrors the transition into thinking about keeping my family warm and comfortable.  this afghan, crisp mornings, and the cool weather that calls for soups and stews from my CSA box produce makes me a happy happy girl.

what about you?  have you moved from one place to another and discovered your preferences change?  have you had a piece of simple lovely knitting see you into a new season?  how have you lived in the transition of the season?  what has changed in the last few weeks?

p.s. i whole heartedly encourage transtional behaviors that include knitting log cabins and thoroughly blame and thank the mason-dixon knitting ladies for the pattern.