Pay It Forward Handmade

I was checking in with The Blog Hub group on Ravelry, as I do pretty regularly and found a post from TammyG. She talked about a new meme for blogs called Pay It Forward handmade, so I headed over to TammyG’s blog Life & Yarn or Yarn & Life and signed up! Here’s the requirements:

1. I will send a surprise gift to the first three commenters on this post. The gift will be handmade by me. It will be sent sometime in the next 365 days. It will be a surprise. We all love getting surprises in the mail, right?

2. To sign up and receive a gift, you must play along, too. Pay it Forward on your blog, by promising to make a surprise for the first three people who comment on the post.

3. You must have a blog (that is updated, as I will blog stalk you to find the right gift for you).

4. After commenting here, you must repost this or something similar to your blog in 48 hours. If not, I will chose the next person who comments…

I think this will be so fun! At some point in the next year I will get a nice surprise, and I have a whole year to create 3 handmade surprises to give to some others and brighten their day. I want to give credit to Nomes’s Brag-a-long for creating this meme! Looking forward to seeing who I get to send some joy to!

New Yarn

I have new yarn, in more ways than one, this week. And all without spending money. It’s the best way, right? I won some yarn! I also dyed some yarn. First….the giveaway!

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I entered a giveaway on the Wool & Cotton blog. I found the blog on the Contests & Giveaways thread in The Blog Hub group in Ravelry. I wasn’t really looking around the blog, just entered the giveaway. Now looking back I realize it’s a pretty cool blog that I plan to add to my blog reader. The author Alexandra (Twinkleshine on Ravelry) lives in Thessaloniki, Greece. The yarn I won is from Shades of Light on Etsy. I won a skein of her Paris weight, which is a 100% Merino base heavy fingering weight. I chose the 39d colorway because the mix of colors, and depth of the color is just so vivid. The dyer is also located in Greece and is very talented. She has several different bases in her shop, one of which is Dehli; a 50% wool 50% silk mix. Very nice! Go check out the bog and shop!

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The other “new” yarn is really just new looking. I dyed 100 g of white Schoeller & Stahl Socka 2000 yarn. I bought this yarn in Germany for the purposes of dying eventually. I had the urge to dye some yarn this past week and chose this because the dyeing group on Ravelry has themes every month. This month’s theme is dying blends and this blend is 45% cotton, 42% wool, and 13% polymide. And since it was the week of St. Patrick’s Day I dyed half the skein willow green and half kelley green using Wilton’s dye. I love how it turned out, and I want to see if it will make a good Hitchhiker.

Autumn Colors

I have two finished objects to share this week.  It so happens that the weather has completely changed, and it is definitely turning into Autumn outside.  Both my projects seem to fit the color pallet of this season; one of my favorites. So it seems like a very appropriate welcome to the warm coming cozy sweaters, hot apple cider, baked apple bread, holiday season.  My favorite part about the season?  Warm drinks: hot apple cider, chai tea and (once I return to the states) Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  I’ll be looking forward to having one of those from Starbucks, but in the meantime I will just keep knitting things that make the Fall season so welcome.

First one reminds me of the leaves changing colors in Upstate NY, where the colors are much brighter than here. It is baby’s Offset Wrapland and Swirl Hat.  Made with Wollmeise 80/20 in the colorway Bob.  I absolutely adore this set and I think it will be coming with me to the hospital.  The tiny buttons are just perfect and have a little elephant imprinted on them.  I just need to find a tiny needle which I’m sure I have around here somewhere, to sew the buttons on with.

 

Next up is a yarn you’ve seen before.  I hand-dyed it with a burnt orange in mind.  I specifically remember calling the result a warm Pumpkin Spice, but also wasn’t to sure about it.  I even did a poll to see what other people thought and if I should modify it more.  Well I’m sure glad I kept it the way it was, because I adore it.  I bought the Spiced Pumpkin candle yesterday.  I must say it’s a damn close match colorwise. And I actually made the pattern I intended for it, The Gap-tastic Cowl.  I’m very happy with the finished result, and it was such a quick knit!

Head on over to Tami’s Amis and Other Creations to check out more amazing FOs for FO FRIDAY!

Knitting & Books

I can’t get enough of reading lately.  I’m not sure why, but I’m a book fiend!  And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!  But I thought it was only appropriate to be sure and join the Yarn Along today as well as WIP Wednesday.  So let’s start off with the books, shall we?

First we have Maus I: My Father Bleeds History & Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began.  If you are interested in Holocaust stories at all, or have kids who are, then I highly HIGHLY suggest these books.  They go about telling the story in a completely different way than a typical book.  You can’t exactly tell in this picture but they are Graphic Novels.  Basically, it’s like reading a comic strip that goes on and on and on.  Except it’s not exactly funny, but I can say that not all the comics in my Sunday paper were funny.  These are great books to study in classes because of the history and also the symbolism.  That’s actually how I originally heard about the books.  A local college required them for their WWII history class and for years I’ve been meaning to check them out.  I found them at the library the other day and my husband has started reading them also.  If you have a child who isn’t into reading, I definitely suggest you have them check these out.  Did I mention they are a true story (minus the mouse part)?

Next we have So That’s What They’re For, a breastfeeding guide. I’ve been trying to read up on the subject since I have no idea if I’m going to have the energy to read about it later on in my pregnancy.  Plus, as much as I can read on the subject the better. I’m going to continue reading the book because it seems to have some good information.  But, I don’t quite agree with the views of the author.  She basically writes about how evil using formula for your child is.  Now I agree that breast milk is best in most cases and you should do what you can to try to breastfeed.  But two of my dear friends who have recently had babies both tried and tried and did everything they could.  But breastfeeding didn’t work out, and the best thing for their child was to switch over to formula.  So, I’m going to take it with a grain of salt and look for the good information.  I have a few books in transfer at the library.  But if you have any suggestions for good resources, please let me know!

Next up is a book I just picked up and started yesterday.  You can’t really see the book in the picture, since my gorgeous knitting is hiding it.  The title is The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared.  The book is a memoir of a recent college graduate, and her story with her father.  When she was young they started a pact: to read every night to each other for 100 days straight.  Well, they ended up continuing this streak till she left for college.  I love reading, and grew up with an importance placed on reading in my family.  So this book caught my eye.  And with the baby coming, I’ve been thinking about what kind of books to get to read aloud.

Onto my knitting.  Above is the Brandywine Shawl I started months ago.  I picked it back up.  You know what that means?  That means my mojo is back!!  I’ve knit a few repeats of Chart B in the past few days.  I have of course also been working on my Hemlock Ring Blanket.  The future baby blanket.  I picked up the yarn in New Mexico, and for the life of me, I wish I could remember the shop I picked it up at.  The yarn is Single Ply Rayon Slub, by Interlacements.  My MIL and I decided to buy it and split it since we didn’t need 1400 yards each.  So, I believe I promised you a picture of it?

My Hemlock Ring: hard to take a picture

 

Out of the Loop

Oh my how I have been out of the loop.  For several reasons.  Between the pregnancy (and symptoms that come along) and traveling not only haven’t I been blogging, but I haven’t even been reading my fellow bloggers posts!  I opened my Blog Reader today and have 221 unread posts!  I can’t believe it.  I’m so behind!!  But I guess I have good reasons.  And I must admit, the traveling I’ve done the past month has been amazing.  I’ve already shared some pictures from New Mexico.  Had a great time in New York also.  But I’m going to admit that being pregnant and traveling across the ocean doesn’t always mix.  I had the worst morning sickness upon return, due to the jet-lag.  There’s also something to be said about the stress behind trying to see friends and family.  Not that I didn’t enjoy it of course, but there is stress.

That’s why last weekend’s trip was so welcomed.  And really what my body, mind and spirit needed.  It was my anniversary gift from the hubs, so naturally that means just the two of us!  We have lived in Germany for a few years now and there was no excuse for not traveling more so finally we did!  We went to Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch, Germany.  Two words.  The Alps.  I can’t even describe it, but I can try.  Amazing.  Breathtaking.  Serene.  Spiritual.  I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

 

They really do speak for themselves, huh?  I have other good news!  I got my knitting mojo back!  Well…..kind of.  I haven’t become as obsessed about knitting time as a I used to, but I am a quarter of the way through the chart for the Hemlock Ring Blanket.  And you guessed it.  It’s going to be a baby blanket.  I think between the traveling, and new (amazing) yarn the bug bit me in the ass.  I finally cast on for the baby!!!  I apologize for the lack of pictures today, but will share soon!  I haven’t taken any yet.  But I do know where you can see other WIP pictures!  Head over to Tami’s Amis and Other Creations for more WIPW posts!  Glad to be back!

How I Adore Swaps

Is there anything really, that picks up your mood quite like some surprise yarn arriving in the mail?  I think not.  I recently participated in a small, low key swap on The Blog Hub group.  The point of the swap was to de-stash something.  No purchasing new yarn!  Your pick could be for any reason, whether it was something you’ve had forever, something you hate, something left-over from a big project, or even something you love and wanted to share the wealth!  I personally think that my swap partner did the latter.  If she didn’t, well she’s lucky (and crazy!!), because I’m in love!

My partner’s Ravelry name is CLPetty and she’s the author of the blog Socks, Sox & Talks  (*psstt* you should go check it out!)  She sent me some sock yarn (surprised?!).  And boy do I love it!!  The color is called Tobacco Barn from Yarn Daze.  And she said that it reminds her of all the barns in Southern Indiana where she lives.  I live in Germany.  And I miss barns.  I mean the type of farms and barns you see all over in the states.  Things sure are different here.  So it’s really quite a perfect yarn for me. Oh, did I mention the squish factor??  It has a big squish factor!!! What shall it become?  Well socks of course!  I think anyway.  I’ve been trying to convert my sock yarn stash from all variegated yarn to some solids and tonals for more intricate sock work.   And I have a few possibilities in mind. Possibilites are:  Nebula by Cookie A.  Rivercat Sock by Brenda Patipa.  & Alpen Socken by Judy Alexander.  So, help me decide!

Something To Aspire To

Something to aspire to.Is there a pattern or skill that you don’t yet feel ready to tackle but which you hope to (or think you can only dream of) tackling in the future, near or distant? Is there a skill or project that makes your mind boggle at the sheer time, dedication and mastery of the craft? Maybe the skill or pattern is one that you don’t even personally want to make but can stand back and admire those that do. Maybe it is something you think you will never be bothered to actually make bu can admire the result of those that have.

Ok, I know I’m behind.  You really don’t need to remind me!  But I had a pretty darn busy weekend and just didn’t have blogging time.  I had a surprise baby shower to pull off on Saturday and I had some sun and a BBQ to enjoy on Sunday!  And yesterday I was just too busy trying to finish my shawl (which didn’t quite happen).  So back to Knit Crochet Blog Week even if it is a little bit late!

I bought a kit from Knit Picks 2 Christmas’s ago that I haven’t touched.  The kit is The Modern Classic Christmas Stockings Kit in the blue and white colors. I bought it after I was just knitting a bit but decided I wanted to knit a stocking!  The fact that is was color work didn’t scare me.  But now, it seems to.  I’ve only done two colorwork projects and they were both relatively small.  Nothing this complicated.  I really need to get over the intimidation that this pattern causes and just cast the darn things on.  And I should probably do it soon so my husband and I can actually have stockings for the next Christmas.  We have dollar store stockings.  And he has his old family stocking.  In my family though, everyone has matching stockings.  That’s what I want for my family too.  My hubs and I should have these stockings, and I’ll hold onto the pattern so I can knit the same for our kids!  It’s the beginning of a tradition, that hasn’t started yet!  I’ve made baby steps though. It is in my bin for my Knit The Queue project for the year!!