J’s Cardi F.O.- Yarn Along

J's pumpkin Cardi

J.’s Pumpkin Cardi was FAST- for me at least. One week!  I have never in my life knitted any item of clothing in a week.  J’s Cardi was based on Katrina Ballerina and is knit in one piece which I lengthened into another LCOEP and I changed the bottom pattern a little because I didn’t like the chunky looking bottom edging.  I used Berroco Vintage which for me was a bit of a gamble: acrylic yarn &possible squeakiness.  **Shudder**  Fortunately it was fine and as I said really really fast.

However I had a full two months before I could give it to J for her birthday, and I had grand plans for the dress I  wanted to make her to go with it so I procrastinated on finding buttons for it and I just hung it in the closet to wait for the right time.  It did finally get it’s moment in the light: she loves it and it looks sooo cute with her classy little Autumn Jersey Dress.

J's pumpkin Cardi and Autumn dress.

J’s pumpkin Cardi and Autumn dress.

I have been re-reading Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv.  Previously when I read this book it was as a mother of young children living in a village community with easily accessible and kindly woodlands and moors that my children were able to have some measure of freedom to explore.  Meanwhile they had friends who were never allowed to play outside a yard and then were never allowed to get dirty even in the yard: so they played video games and watched TV of course.  Now my kids are older our surroundings have changed as have their needs… I was hoping the second reading would be as inspirational to my as the first time but sadly it has just felt rambly and a desperately narrow-minded.  Part of the problem is mine: I have been learning more about food insecurity in America for a future home-school subject and when you know more about hunger in food deserts it makes “nature deficiency” sound like a first world problem.

I’m joining up with Ginny for a Yarn Along.

xx

Jo

The Knitter’s Dilemma- Yarn Along

I am nearly done with my Margaret Dashwood Shawl.  It is going to be delicious.  But now I am planning my next project and I am stuck between two:

Knit Picks, Gloss Fingering in Hawk @ Sweet Little Wood1: I was firmly determined to make Meritance for me from Knit Picks Gloss Fingering in Hawk.  Its just my cardigan.  I wear this style ALL THE TIME but I have never tried to knit an every-day-wear for myself.  All my knits are special wear or specific outfit knits.  For the every day stuff I always go buy cheap cardigans from Target wear them out and throw/donate them when they get too far gone for me.  But…

Berroco Vintage in Curry @ Sweet Little Wood2: I went to Chico and there I found the perfect yarn for a Heliopath Vest which I want to make for a gift. The yarn store (Heartstrings) was delicious! One of the best stocked that I’ve seen since moving to CA and it was really really hard to decide not to buy random stash yarn!  There was Sweet Georgia which I’ve never come across before but was so temptingly yummy.  Sadly it was faaaaaarrrrrrrrr outside my price range! Instead I got Borrocco Vintage in Caramel: it is mostly acrylic which I usually avoid… squeaky yarn… SHUDDER.  It feels very nice though- not squeaky- and it is for a younger girl and summer wear so washing frequently will be an issue.

So now I’m stuck in that delicious dilemma.  I have patterns, needles and yarn for both… which to cast on… hmmm.

I am reading very little at the moment that isn’t quick and done in less than 5 minutes. I’ve been busy and traveling but I have still got Sylvia’s Farm on the back burner and a library copy of Folks This Ain’t Normal in my waiting list.  I’m linking up with Ginny today.

Have a wonderful downward slide to the weekend!

xx Joanna

Organizing My Palette- Yarn Along

Over the last few months my supply felting yarn from the Knit Picks Palette fingering range has grown from a modest 6 balls to a whopping great bag of different shades.  I’m not complaining… its amazingly versatile yarn.  And did I mention it felts… sweet.

A easy idea for a  yarn cataloging system.

But when I last needed a specific shade of fingering yarn (that felts!!!) I placed my order from Knit Picks and when it arrived I realized that:

1: I already had that shade.

2:  I had no idea what other colors I had because I hadn’t saved the paper labels and I had at least three other repeats in my big bag o’ Palette.

So I started my own system for cataloging the yarn I had.  I wish I’d started doing this a year ago because it seriously saves me time.  When I get a ball of yarn I cut off a little 2 inch segment and tape it on the appropriate page of my sketch book.  In this photo is a specific page for Palette yarns because I have enough of that specific yarn to warrant it.  Others just go on a page by yarn weight (lace, fingering, aran, worsted, bulky etc) with a little bit of washi tape.  I write the color and name of the yarn on the tape and if i have more than one ball/skein I can write the number of balls or yardage available.  When I am contemplating a pattern I can flick through my catalog of yarn to see what I have.  And then when I run out of the yarn I can easily pull the washi and snipping of yarn out leaving a space for another ball.  Its not a perfect system but it works for me… and maybe you?

My reading has been a little slap-dash, squeezed into nooks and crannies between more physical tasks.  I have been reading (and being read too when M. feels like it) To Speak Well of God by John Pople.  The Bible reading planner we follow takes us through the old testament once and the new testament twice through the year divided into three daily readings so the end of the year always sees us reading Job, Malachi and Revelation before January starts the planner over afresh in Genesis, Psalms and Matthew.  I’m not sure if it is the reflective nature of the time in which I am reading through Job or just the wonderful mysteries to be picked apart in it but Job has always been my favorite book of the Bible to study and it fills my thoughts often in it’s themes of accepting God’s absolute authority.  M’s favorite book is Revelation and he finds that if he starts looking for uses of a symbol in prophecy he almost always finds something useful in Job.  To Speak Well of God is an amazing book and so insightful.  Some bible expositors can get bogged down in sounding too “educated” which sometimes makes the subject more difficult than it needs to be.  Pople’s writing style is intelligent but totally readable and if you have ever read a few chapters in Job and scratched your head or thought of it as just a long catalog of men speaking half truths before you get to God’s somewhat mysterious speech this book is full to brimming with totally bible based answers.

I’m linking up with the lovely Ginny over at Small Things.

Happy Wednesday to you all and I hope you have a wonderful New Year!

Jo

xx

Gifty- Yarn Along

As with most my crafts… I’ve been making hand made gifts all this week.  Its my passion.  The thing that gives me the most joy.  I guess if I did that 5 Languages of Love  gift giving would be pretty high on my list.  However I have worked myself into a corner with gifts:  I actually don’t enjoy being given thoughtless stuff.  I don’t like to receive stuff- any old stuff-  I like gifts that mean something to me or to the giver.  I would rather get a thoughtful heartfelt card than a diamond ring (except from you M.- don’t you get any funny ideas- you still have to buy me a diamond ring AND give me a heartfelt card).  I ‘recon there are probably others out there like me who feel cold opening a gift picked up in a rush or panic with no real thought put in.  Seriously if the cosmic forces ever bring the moment where (strangely) you feel its necessary to get me a gift  and it comes to buying something in a rush: don’t bother.

So on my finished list this week:

  1. The delicious but tedious Ombre Cowl for my mother-in-law’s birthdayOmbre Cowl

  2. A set of 5 travel needle tidys (again for my mother-in-law)Felted Needle Cozies: MIL Gift @ Sweet Little Wood

  3. 9 Gnome Home Pens from a Tiny Owl Knits Pattern for my little Hobbit/Hogwarts loving girlsGnome Home by Tiny Owl Knits Adapted for BIC pens @ Sweet Little Wood

Two seconds after the Gnome Home Pens were officially theirs they started customizing them!

Gnome Home Pens @ Sweet Little Wood

 Twisted beards are so last season… all the fashionable gnomes are wearing braids you know.

Gnome Home Pens @ Sweet Little Wood

 Some times a gnome’s eye sight needs a little help in the darkened corners of the burrow! (my personal favorite!!)

Gnome Home Pens @ Sweet Little Wood

And for those long walks through winding caverns when you head home from a night at the pub… head lanterns…

There are utility belts and tiny leather satchels in the dreaming.

I’m still slogging through S but I have had no time this week even to pick it up as my in laws have been visiting … longing to finish it now.

I’m linking up with Ginny again this lovely raining Wednesday.

xx Jo

 

Monday Project: Adaptable Gnomes

Saturday was the day where little owls across the planet were settling down in the branches of their TOKmas trees to share gifts and celebrate all things Tiny Owl Knits.  Its the day they Hoot and Holler and drink hot sweet stuff and nibble little treats sent by their friends.  I’ve had so much fun joining in the swap and I just need to say thank you to Walterbear for the lovely package she sent me: I have finger-less mitts!! Hoot Hoot!!

I've had so much fun joining in the swap and I just need to say thank you to Walterbear for the lovely package she sent me: I have finger-less mitts!! Hoot Hoot!! 

Part of the Tokmas swap rules was that one of your gifts would be TOK related and my spoilee had in her wish list Stephanie Dosen’s adorable “Gnome Home DPN Holders” which featured in my secret knitting (remember the lovely spilling bundle of gnome hats?).  Sadly I forgot to take a picture of the 5 little gnomes that flew off with a helpful owl to Canada but I have gone wild with ideas to use the pattern for!.   The pattern is sooo easy and sooo fun!

Secret Knitting Project Yarn Along @ Sweet Little Wood

First I made my mother in law some needle tidy’s inspired by the Gnome Home pattern:

Felted Needle Cozies: MIL Gift @ Sweet Little Wood

My mother in law is not whimsical in the least but I thought she might find some needle tidy’s useful because she does travel and knit a lot.  As I say this was “Inspired By” so its only loosely related… I just used some of the same felt-able fingering wool (from Knit Picks) and knitted up a few rectangles 12/14/16 stitches wide and about 4 inches long, sewed them into a tube and felted them around a pencil or several pencils where they needed to be bigger.  The largest rectangle (16 st wide) fits 10 mm needles when stretched a little.  Basically whatever size and shape you leave the wet felted wool in it will stay in.

THEN (and this is really really fun) I adapted the pattern for a Gnome Home for BIC pens:

Gnome Home by Tiny Owl Knits Adapted for BIC pens @ Sweet Little Wood

These are for my girls.  I used Stephanie’s pattern but shortened the body of the gnomes to 2 inches.  The felting takes care of any other size issues!  I used BIC crystal pens and cut off the little arm on the lid to make the lid fit on nicely.

Gnome Home by Tiny Owl Knits Adapted for BIC pens @ Sweet Little Wood

Once everything was perfectly dry a little bit of hot glue on the bottom of the pen and on the lid holds all the knitting to the pen parts.  It is not a permanent fix (so then you can move it to another pen later).

Gnome Home by Tiny Owl Knits Adapted for BIC pens @ Sweet Little Wood

How darn cute are they?

Gnome Home by Tiny Owl Knits Adapted for BIC pens @ Sweet Little Wood

xx Jo

 

 

Velvet Pincushion Balls- Yarn Along

I’m linking up with Ginny over at Small Things for her midweek Yarn Along.

Manos del Uruguay and S by J. J. Abrams- Yarn Along @ Sweet Little Wood

Not a lot of knitting achieved this week as I’ve been rollin’…  rollin’ with the Manos del Uruguay in the deliciously mossy “Velvet Pincushion”.  Seriously: I want the job of whoever it is that gets to think up the names for balls of wool!  Its a beautiful fine handspun which is for a special project I can’t reveal because my family read this blog… all will be revealed but not for a looong time… sorry.  I don’t have any tools for making balls so I just do it by hand.  I actually don’t mind rolling my own (as it were) because then I get a center feeding ball which is sooo much more pleasant to use than the usual ball chase…

ME: knitting peacefully in my own little world innocently pulling on ball of wool…

BALL: jumps around till it escapes the bag/bowl/basket/box it was placed in…

ME: knitting peacefully in my own little world innocently pulling on ball of wool…

BALL: winds its way around any available chair legs, my legs, family’s legs picking up any detritus from the floor as it goes…

ME: knitting peacefully in my own little world innocently pulling on ball of wool…

BALL: makes it’s way into the most filthy dust-bunny full corner it can find and proceeds to pick up any detritus it finds….

ME: knitting peacefully in my own little world innocently pulling on ball of wool…

BALL: artfully drapes itself across the path where one of the family are about to walk… trips up daughter/husband (delete appropriately) and gets hopelessly wedged into item of furniture requiring some minor surgery to remove…

ME: “Hey watch where you are….  oh dear.”

My book is responsible for the conspicuous lack of crafting and knitting this week: I am currently reading S by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst.  I am utterly consumed.  I cannot describe the book to you.  I cannot tell you what the plot is I just know I MUST read it.  I MUST know what happens.  It is a real thing, a living real thing in my head…. okay… breath… start at the beginning:

I was in the book store… with a gift card and a 25% off discount.  I had been given a gift and I was going to buy a book that day. No question.  Which is in itself so exciting: I love getting new books.  And I found this book in a black case mysteriously giving nothing away on its cover and looking so tempting but the whole thing was plastic wrapped so I couldn’t flip through it and figure out if I’d like it.  So I used my phone and looked it up on Goodreads– I find  Goodreads wonderful for scoping out a book before putting down good hard money on it.  The first review I clicked open captured me and I realized I had to have S.  

Manos del Uruguay and S by J. J. Abrams- Yarn Along @ Sweet Little Wood

When I got my book home cut away the plastic and removed the black case I held in my hand a stinky old musty library copy of a book called The Ship of Theseus AND someone had been writing all over  it AND they had left loads of notes and postcards shoved into it making it all bumpy!  I have been like an addict ever since but the book is so involved and complicated to read that you need two hands free, no distractions and possibly a note book beside you to keep track of things in.  Other than the Bible (and perhaps the 50 times I’ve read Pride and Prejudice)I have never spent so much time with a book! I have only made it 1/3 of the way through despite picking it up every time I humanly could over the last week… I am totally in love with it.  I just have this fear that J.J. Abrams who loves his weird unsolvable mysteries (think “LOST” and “FRINGE”) is going to leave me wondering and totally incapable of solving his impossible puzzles!

Manos del Uruguay and S by J. J. Abrams- Yarn Along @ Sweet Little Wood

BUT still I MUST READ…

xx Jo

 

New Designs in Snapdragon Shop

Hello precious friends!  I hope your Thanksgiving was beautiful!  Such a wonderful holiday but I am now wondering if its better to just scarf down all that pie really fast so it is out of sight and no longer taunting me with it’s cinnamon goodness or to meter it out and eat sensible portions… I never have been good at pie rationing.

I’ve got some new designs going up over at Snapdragon Snippets: great paper-crafting SVG shop with Wintry Christmassy yumminess!

SweetLittleWood.yarnandneedles-1.1 SweetLittleWood.vintagebaubles-1.1 SweetLittleWood.snowglobe-1.1

These designs will also be available through my Etsy store soon!

xx Joanna