Free Pattern: Quick & Easy Toddler Size Throw

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Quick & Easy Toddler Size Throw

Yarn:  Bulky Yarn, holding 4 strands together

Needles: US Size 50 (a.k.a. vampire stakes ;))

Directions:

CO 28 STS holding 4 strands together. Work in stockinette stitch  (*K1 row, P1 row*)until blanket measures 36” long. BO. Adding a fringe is optional.

Finished dimensions are approximately 2’x3’.

For the blanket pictured I used Lion Brand Jiffy Solids in Blue (“Slate” 151), Purple (“Grape” 138), Gray (“Dark Gray Heather” 159).  I’m normally not a fan of acrylic but for a blanket that’s going to suffer all kinds of toddler abuse, it’s nice to have something that can be put in the washer and dryer as often as needed.

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Yarn-y Goodness

Color Basket

This week I made a trip to the craft store to look for some art supplies.  Of course I can’t ever resist peeking at the yarns, even though I normally prefer to buy from our LYS.  I’m glad I did look because I found this beautiful trio of bulky 100% wool yarns in soft pastels.  The colors in the picture really don’t do them justice!  One is a solid pale blue, another a mix of the same blue with sage green and beige, and then the last one– my favorite– looks like autumn wrapped up in a ball!  I can’t wait to get working with that.  I’d intended all of them for the kids’ knitting basket BUT…  it might just find it’s way to mine instead.  😉

Creative Endeavors

A most unusual occurrence this summer… I kept knitting!  I typically find I lose the motivation to knit in summer months; there are just too many other things to do.  But for some reason this year I’ve kept up with it and as a result I think I’m actually going to do really well with making gifts for loved ones this year.  See, every January I sit down and make a new “Project” sheet which lists birthdays and things I might like to knit for each  person.  At the bottom I create another list called “Yule” where I jot down people I’d like to knit a little something up for for stocking stuffer type gift, as well as bigger gifts for family members.  Finally, I make a smaller list of things I just want to try for the fun of it or to make up for myself.  Naturally, after all that work (setting up the list is half the fun )… I suddenly find myself in October with 5 different birthdays and the holidays (and yet more birthdays) looming just beyond… and I’ve hardly knitted a thing!

Anyway, I won’t find myself in such a plight this fall.  Though I may not get to everyone and everything on my list, I won’t be left so woefully behind.  So far I’ve knitted:

1. Another pair of the Alice In Wonderland fingerless mitts for my mother-in-law.  She specifically mentioned how much she liked them when I showed her the pair I had knitted up for myself.  She’s a composer and her hands get chilly in the winter when she’s working at the piano.

2. A toddler blanket for my nephew (see photo)  When he was up visiting this summer, he LOVED the 6-hour throw I made.  So I decided to make him a smaller version, using a different yarn (I despise Homespun!!).  I used the Jiffy yarn, because although I don’t like acrylic, I wanted it to be wash and dry for ease of care.

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Toddler Throw for H

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3.  I also made a pair of fingerless mitts for my father and brother, who share the same birthday.

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Fingerless Mitts for R

4.  I’m currently working on something NOT on my list, as I just found out recently about it:  an Owlie Sleep Sack for the my new niece/nephew who is expected in February!  I found the pattern at Ravelry (of course) and it’s adorable.  My very first cable project!  I finished that part last night and am very pleased with how the owls came out.  I find it’s a little tricky maneuvering the cable needle, but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it.  I really, REALLY wanted to find a nice yarn for this project; for it to be an heirloom piece.  I was loathe to knit with acrylic again, but I was worried about wool being to scratchy and/or too difficult to care for.  Lo and behold, I was ecstatic for find a very soft, hand dyed,  100% superwash merino wool that can be machine washed gentle and machine dried on low temperature at my LYS!  It’s called Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted and the colors are fabulous.  I tried to pick something gender-neutral and came up with a beautiful blue/green/purple mix.

Owlie Sleep Sack

Owlie Sleep Sack

Next up for September I have my mom, who I plan on knitting slippers for, and my neighbor, who I’m going to make a calorimetry for.  I guess that’s all for now.  Happy Knitting!

Wonderland Wristlets

We saw Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland when it came out a few months ago and really enjoyed it.  But, being the knitting uber-geek that I am, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful, delicate wristlets Alice wore.  So when I got home I went to straight to Ravelry and downloaded a pattern from Tiny Owl Knits (love her!).  I made three pairs, they were so quick and easy (one for me, one for Peep #2, and one for her friend).  It’s also the first time I have bought the actual yarn that the pattern calls for!  It’s really gorgeous yarn… light and ethereal, like knitting with spider webs.  I purchased a few more color combos and plan to make some more for gifts… everyone who sees them wants a pair!

Wonderland Mitts

Wonderland Mitts

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Good Reads (and Eats)

A friend of mine at our knitting group gave me a couple of books recently that were excellent.  Neither of them were my usual reading genre but I wound up thoroughly enjoying both nevertheless.  The first is called The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood (a local author to boot!).  

It was a sad, sweet story about how knitting can bring people together and also be therapeutic in times of tragedy.  It was so much more poignant than the banal Friday Night Knitting Club (*blech*) with multi-dimensional characters and a refreshingly unpredicable plot.  In addition to the compelling story it really made me want to try to knit a couple of different things I've never tried before (including my first sweater! But that's a topic for another post…) 

The other book, given to me by the same person, is a memoir written by Gesine Bullock-Prado (Sandra Bullock's sister) called Confections of a Closet Master Baker.  Talent must exist in spades in the Bullock family because Gesine is a superb writer who made me feel her passion for baking so palpably that I actually am planning to try several of the recipes (yes, the prose is dotted with recipes!).  I'm not a big cook, and certainly not any kind of baker, but seeing the world of baked goods through her eyes has inspired me to try my hand at whipping up a batch of Savory Rock Scones (scones are one thing I CAN do) and maybe

even the Maple Pecan Sticky Buns.  Mmmmm….  And as an added bonus, the book was unexpectedly and downright hilarious.  The author is funny, witty and doesn't mince words, especially when dressing down the shallow, self-absorbed Hollywood types.  Very few books have me laughing out loud like this one did.  Intrigued by the book, I had to go check out Bullock-Prado's blog over at blogspot and was so glad I did.  More anecdotes to enjoy, as well as many more recipes.  

Ah, I love a good read!  Now the only question is, what to move on to next?  I'm considering re-reading Mists of Avalon since it's probably been a good decade since I last read it and I've been feeling in a very Morgraine mood (I'll leave that one to your imaginations).  Or I may try to find something else by Ann Hood…  Then there are always my herbal tomes I like to dust off and peruse for more concoctions to whip up, my garden books to look for inspiration for this year's cornucopia of herbs, flowers, vegetables and fruit.  Or, I could just find comfort in the pages of my trusty ol' sci-fi/fantasy fiction… oh I dunno, what to read?

School Update

I haven't posted an update about school in a while, so here goes…

Things have been moving along pretty well, despite the fact that we've had several days this month of field trips and playing hooky!  We took a Monday off and went with some of our homeschool friends to see Avatar in 3-D at the iMax theatre.  (But, we made it up another day… that's the beauty of homeschooling )  The Peeps were so cute, they kept trying to reach out and grab things, like they weren't quite convinced it wasn't actually right in front of them, even though they knew better.  Gotta love kids…

We also took a field trip to Boston to see the Harry Potter exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science…. it was awesome!  I wish they had allowed pictures.  We loved seeing all the props and sets up close.  I'm such a knitting geek that my favorite things were getting an up front view of Ron's sweaters and other goodies knitted by Mrs. Weasley. LOL  But, the best was the gorgeous knit blanket on the end of Ron's bed!  I soooo wanted to snap a picture to reference later but I didn't want to embarrass the kids by getting thrown out of the exhibit.    It inspired me to start working on my own patchwork blanket; it'll be a great way to use up leftover yarn!  Fortunately the Harry Potter Lovers Group at Ravelry had some great screen caps (page down) of said blanket.  *drool*  Anyway, we spent the whole day, had lunch, and got to look around other parts of the museum as well.  Fun day!

Our book work is moving along on schedule and I hope to be finished with the bulk of it by late April early May.  The exception is history–Story of the World has 42 chapters and we do 32 weeks of school, so that means that even if we double up a couple of weeks we will go right into June with history.  Which is fine since we really enjoy history and with our other subject finished up we can really sink our teeth into the topics.

Speaking of history, we are spending the next few weeks studying WWII and the Holocaust.  Ugh.  I truly believe there are things worth fighting for.  I'm a peace-loving gal but seriously, sometimes people need a little ass-kicking!

Cool Head Wrap

I have been spending these cold winter days and evenings sitting by the
wood stove knitting instead of being here at the computer! This past
weekend I knit a couple of head wraps (Calorimetry) and thought I would share them here. I
love this wrap! It knit up in just a few hours, and is the perfect
solution to wearing my hair up in the winter when I go out. My hair is waist length now, so normally,
if I want to wear a hat out, it has to be down. Then when I get where I
am going, I have to put it back up. So I was thrilled to find this
pattern on Ravelry!

Calorimetry

Calorimetry