Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater!

Oops! I haven't stopped by in quite a while.

I was too busy obsessing about my last-week's "decision" to knit the Hedgerow Socks for The Hubster (I stuck to my guns and he's getting them!), and also super-obsessing about us closing on our very first house (yippee!!!) to remember to blog.

Now, I'm back.

I couldn't help myself, and once I finally firmly decided that Hubs was actually getting the Hedgerows, I had to start right away. I know, I totally cheated and started knitting my Socktoberfest project before October began, but hey, I was way too excited to still be waiting. First, of course, I tested my gauge. Looks good, feels nice and dense, but the fibers are a little more abrasive knit-up than they are on skein. But because Hubs approved of the texture and the pretty-much-definitely pistachio green color of my fabulous yarn from Croatia, I had to get started right away.

I fell into the ease of repetition in this pattern. And, because I only really need to be able to count to 2 at any given moment, it's super easy to knit while I'm watching Project Runway or House on TV. (For looks, I did add in a row of purl stitches in the center of the K4, P2 ribbed top.) As for now, here's what I've completed:

I'm glad it's starting to cool off a little outside now. The socks should be finished just in time to hug a few cold toes. And I'm getting the itch to bake something pumpkin spice-ish. I wonder if anyone out there knits aprons to bake in...?


Are you ready for Socktoberfest?

...'cause I'm pumped!

A long-lost someone posted this on Ravelry, and it made sense to me:


A very simple concept with very few restrictions - Socktoberfest is an October-long celebration of the art of making socks. It is a simple celebration of the accessories that we make as crafters to cover our feet. Think of it more as a festival than a knitalong - people who love something come together and celebrate it!

I'm the one in the orange sweater, intense as all get-out, knitting my first scarf in Lion Brand's Homespun yarn, in a pretty lavender color. However, because that yarn was a little more difficult to work with and I had no idea what to expect (or even how to knit), my first-ever knitting project (a scarf shaped like a boy part, because of accidental increases, a sudden realization of them, and then immediate decreases!) became my first-ever frogged project. (Annnnnnnd, no, to this day I still haven't lived that one down.) Then, somehow, that yarn was lost in the process of living a dorm life.

From 2008-2009, The Hubs and I lived in Arizona for a year, and I worked with some amazing girls there who really kept the desert living doable for us southeastern weather lovers. Two of them really took an interest to my Desert Rose, and so I created a knitting party at my house, complete with cookies and a curious pup. I got to pass on my passion to someone else, and they both really fell in love with the craft.

Other than those experiences, I haven't ever really been a part of a group project or club for knitting. Socktoberfest is going to be another first for me, and I am so excited! I've been on my Ravelry account, flipping through so many sock patterns my eyes are doing somersaults. My goal is to complete two pairs of socks this Socktoberfest: one pair for The Hubster, and one pair for myself. (First, it was just one pair, for him, but I'm too excited about it to not knit a pair for myself.)

I'm planning on using a kind-of-pistachio-green-with-hints-of-red,-blue,-and-green-flecks-here-and-there wool/acrylic blend yarn I picked up on a recent family vacation in Dubrovnik. Maybe I'll use the needles I got there, too, just to keep the socks as Croatian as possible...?

The Hubster gets Hedgerow Socks by Jane Cochran, I've pretty much decided. They're just pretty enough to keep me interested in the pattern, and just fancy enough to be dress socks for a man without being pretty, I think. He's just excited I'm making any for him at all.

Once I've decided what I'm making for myself, I'll shout it from the rooftops!


Desert Rose, my first sweater

Here's a little blast from the (not-so-far-back) past, my beloved Desert Rose sweater. This was the first sweater I ever attempted, and the only one I have completed to-date. The pattern was originally titled Rusted Root, written by Sarah and Rachel, but I just fell in love with the feminine lace pattern of this sweater so much, calling her anything to do with rust or a root made me think dirty or weeds. I held a vote on my personal blog, and decided on the replacement name of Desert Rose.

This was the first project I ever knitted that had any sort of lace in it. It was also the project that taught me increases, decreases, yarn-over, knit two together, and other knitting instructions. Other than knitting these giant stockings for The Hubster, me, and our little fuzzy pup for Christmas, I hadn't knitted anything other than scarves until I knitted this sweater! I am just as proud of her today as I was the day I finished her, blocked her, and tried her on for the camera!

(P.S. If you reference my sweater here against the other Rusted Root sweaters pictured on Ravelry, you'll notice that my lace detail is on the opposite side of the front of my sweater. Yeah, I'm a lefty, and I knit as a lefty which means I knit everything backwards, and I think I forgot to switcheroo everything in this pattern. I was a bit nervous about the big project! So I think that's what happened with that.)

Mary Jane Close-Up

These two little baby dolls have turned out to be an extremely fun project to work on! I have enjoyed customizing them with their little undies, and have actually knitted down to their tippy toes by now. For both babies! Here's your next sneak peek:

A "Caution" tape worthy setback!

I've been avoiding a small problem.

When I started knitting in both little Poppys' panties (changing colors from skin tone to underwear color and back to skin tone again), there was a small opening where the two colors separated from each other. I researched on how to avoid this problem, and have long-since found an easy answer to my annoying little holes of problems.

The way to avoid these little holes is very easy. But the way to repair the holes that already exist is totally heartbreaking: I must unravel and start again.

I know, I know, it's totally devastating. But it must be done! Otherwise these sweet little baby dolls will be leaking baby doll guts before their sweet mommies can properly break them in and introduce them to all the other playtime friends.

So, it is now a terrifying but necessary fact - we are reduced to this image:

I thought it only fair to share the entire baby doll making process, and that includes both the happy progress as well as the sad little beginner's knitting-and-learning setbacks. Baby doll guts are just so sad and depressing. But I promise, I'm working quickly to make these two little friends as quickly as my aching knitter's pinkie will allow!

One Poppy, Two Poppy

I have been dealt a tall order: it is the dream of two very special mommies for me to create a sweet little lovable baby doll for two pretty little lovable girls. This is a project that looks much more complicated and fancy than any project I have attempted before, so I have a feeling it's going to be a big challenge. And I am so excited!

I met up with the little girls and their mommies to pick out the yarns. It seems cotton and bamboo are the fibers of choice for any girl under the age of 3 looking to cuddle and love the baby dolls that those fibers make. One baby doll is being made of mostly Patons Angora Bamboo yarns while the other is working up nicely from Lily Sugar n' Cream Cotton yarns.

From a modesty standpoint, and because big girl undies are especially fun for little potty training-age girls, I made a few changes to the body frame of sweet little Poppy. Once shoulders have been shaped, and sts for arms have been placed on markers, knit two rounds. Then I worked the rest of the body for modesty as follows:

Rnds 41 and 42: K 2 rnds
Rnd 43: K4 mc, K5 cc, K2 mc, K5 cc, K rest of rnd in mc
Rnds 44-47: K4 rnds cc
Rnd 48: K20 cc, K20 mc
Rnd 49: K4 mc, K5 cc, K2 mc, K5 cc, K rest of rnd in mc.
Rnds 50-56: K7 rnds mc
Rnds 57-60: K4 rnds cc
Rnd 61: K3 mc, K14 cc, K3 mc
Rnd 62: K4 mc, K12 cc, K4 mc
Rnd 63: K6 mc, K8 cc, K6 mc
Rnd 64: K7 mc, K6 cc, K7 mc
Rnd 65: K8 mc, K4 cc, K8 mc

Now little Poppy will have complete and cool modesty while her clothes are being changed from dress to skirt/top, to whatever-else-little-miss-playtime-wants!

These little dolls are just precious and I think it's going to be tough to part with them in the end. Wish me luck as I continue my project!