Gno Gnomes

I'll be delivering Sebastian's Christmas Stocking to his grandmother this evening. He lives in New York and she'll be going to visit in just over a week, so the timing is perfect.

Janet is a patron of Rusty's and we met at an event in October. When she learned that I was a knitter, she told me about Sebastian being the only grandson without a Christmas stocking -- her mother had knit stockings for everyone else, but had passed away before Sebastian was born, and no one else in the family was a knitter. He'd been sharing with his brother for years!

This is not my favorite type of project, though I knit two similar stockings for Mack & Addie when they were little, but she was so nice and I was sympathetic... so I agreed on the spot to make one for him. She sent me some photos and a few of her mother's notes... the original pattern was published in A Woman's Home Companion in 1945! I worked on rewriting the pattern so that it made sense to me, charting the name & date, and gathering materials. The plan was to focus on knitting the stocking while we were on our getaway to the North Shore.

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We made one stop Friday on our way north -- at Herschnerrs in Stevens Point -- because I realized that I needed a couple more colors. Everything fit very nicely into a portable project box.

I started on Saturday morning.

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The light was amazing from the huge windows in our cabin that faced the lake, the sun reflecting on the water -- it was blinding at times! I had the personalization finished by mid-afternoon.

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I had the girls & boys finished by noon on Sunday, and Santas were well underway by the afternoon.

Then the trees, and then the foot. It was knit flat until the foot, which was knit in the round. Ooops! I forgot DPNs, and I didn't remember when we stopped at Herschnerrs, so I checked with google... I knew there was a yarn shop in the area.

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Sure enough, just a little over two miles away! Playing With Yarn -- World Class Yarn Shop, according to their website -- and I would agree, but also add MUSEUM. I did not linger too long, but I did notice some Rowan Calmer in the clearance bin and that's a rare find these days. Anyway, I know my tension is very different on DPNs than on straights, and if these needles had been a little less pricey, I'd have bought 7s and 8s, but decided on only 7s -- up one size ought to be okay for a stocking that didn't need to fit an actual foot.

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That was Monday right around lunch time, and I closed the toe before heading to bed on Monday night. We were leaving for home on Tuesday!

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When we got home, I pulled out the crochet again for a few days while I mustered up the will to weave in ends. Not to mention Thanksgiving and two Airbnbs to prepare for guests arriving Friday & Saturday. All that out of the way, I sat down at my computer desk on Saturday afternoon to listen to Longmont Yarn Shoppe's Fiberside Chat with Sarah Schira of Imagined Landscapes (the GNOME lady... oops, one slipped in) and also to catch up a little with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee -- all of which I found informative & entertaining, and the perfect accompaniment to the weaving in & seaming.

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I gave it a soak on Sunday... it's pretty thick in spots, so it took a while to dry (I ended up hanging it over the shower rod instead of flat on a blocking mat).

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I made two very fat tassels, but ended up using only one... hung it up on my then-still-undecorated Christmas tree for a photo. Et voilà!

Details:

  • Ravelry Project Page: Stocking for Sebas
  • Pattern: Personalized Christmas Stocking
  • Yarn: Plymouth Galway (red, white & green) + other worsted scraps
  • Needles: US 6 (4mm) straights, US 7 (4.5mm) DPNs
  • Start to Finish: November 20 to December 2, 2021

I'm so excited to send it on its way today. And I don't ever want to knit another stocking like this again!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: 2018

Firstly, here's wishing Rusty a very happy {mind-blowing number} birthday!!

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He's getting a massage this afternoon and Lobster Bisque this evening and a few other prezzies, too!

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Also, we had a great Christmas except for the part where I ended up taking Maddy to the ER! SHE'S FINE!! She came home from visiting friends in Milwaukee in the early afternoon on Christmas Eve and went for a run -- so she was feeling pretty good at that point! We had a nice dinner, started a game of Monopoly, and watched a Harry Potter movie and she felt more and more lethargic as the evening progressed. She went to bed before the movie was even over and, well, if you know Maddy+Harry Potter... it's just not right. She had some other symptoms on Christmas Day, but was able to hang in there with us all, though declined to join us for our traditional Christmas Day movie (Mary Queen of Scots). My phone vibrated as we were walking to the car and she said that she'd felt lightheaded when she got up and fainted/fell/face-planted on the living room floor, resulting in a big gash on her lower lip (inside and out). Long story short, she got two stitches in her lower lip and was sent home with orders for ice, rest, and hydration. Hopefully, she'll be able to eat something soon. Poor thing -- she's leaving for The Land Down Under in 5 days!

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Joining Kat & the Unravelers for one last time in 2018! And there's a lot to talk about.

KNITTING:

I finished a pair of mitts and a pair of socks for Christmas presents!

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Not finished for Christmas: Ironworks Beret for Kate, and a pair of socks for Ali.

Ali requested the socks and I'd intended to give them to her, then decided that I really wanted to knit Maddy some socks and it sure would be easier to give them to her before she left for Australia! Both Kate & Al got yarn wrapped up with an "intention" gift card, and those projects will be next up...

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After I knit a few more Gnomes! This is the first, there's a second underway... along with a third and fourth!! Numbers 3 & 4 are styled after the Travelocity gnome, and for Maddy & Viv, so I need to finish them ASAP. I want to knit them for everyone!!

I'll do a complete wrap-up/review of my 2018 knitting in the next few days.

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READING:

The book currently on my nightstand is Fashion Climbing: A Memoir with Photographs by Bill Cunningham.

I'm still listening to Tom Hanks read Uncommon Type: Some Stories. I still seem to be in a "quiet period," but I've been listening a few days each week lately.

I'll also do a reading wrap in the next week. In a nutshell? I seem to be reading less.


FO: Windschief + 2017 Knitting Review

Well, I just love this little hat!

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It's my first FO -- both started & finished -- of 2018!

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Super cute. Fun & quick to knit, with the twisted rib section adding just enough to keep it interesting. I finished at Knit Night last night, and the kids just happened to be there!

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It was knit for Jün and he tried it on, but he did not want photos nor did he want to give it back! (I nabbed it later when he wasn't looking, and then Gin "volunteered" to model.)

Meanwhile, here's a snapshot of knitting accomplished in 2017:

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No one is more surprised than me that I finished 24+ items last year!

  • Two kittens
  • Two polar bears
  • Seven+ hats (some never made Ravelry)
  • One beard
  • Freak flags (double set)
  • Three cowls
  • Four shawls
  • Two pairs of mitts
  • One dress & two little sweaters for Gin (one of them started ages ago)
  • One ornament
  • One adult cardigan -- that had been in the WIP pile for almost 10 years!

(By comparison, I finished a grand total of nine items in 2016. Not my best knitting year.)

I was a fairly monogamous knitter last year, starting & completing projects in reasonable time, with focus & purpose. I think I started only three projects last year that remain unfinished: another pair of Squad Mitts, a gnome, and my Brambling Shawl. I didn't make any big plans or goals, just went with my heart... and I think I'll just stick with that!!


Unraveled: In the nick of time

Joining Kat & friends again this week...

KNITTING:

On Christmas morning, I sat the kitchen table with my coffee and put the finishing touches on two Sleepy Kittens.

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Whiskers & a bright pink nose for Gin's:

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And the entire face situation for Jün's:

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Alabama Chanin's Button Craft Thread is perfect for whiskers on kittens... who knew?!

I'd finished knitting the "shirt" for Junah's kitten on Christmas Eve.

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It's a little more "ruffly" than I'd intended, but who cares? He certainly doesn't! I also ran out of a green and the lighter color of yarn, so one sleeve and a few rows at the bottom of the top are lighter green!

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  • Ravelry Project Page: Sleepy Kittens -- Gin's & Jün's
  • Pattern: Sleepy Kitten Set by Susan B. Anderson from Making No. 4 / LINES
  • Yarn: 
    • Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted for bodies
    • Leftovers of Sweet Georgia Superwash Worsted & Plymouth Galway Worsted for clothing
    • A couple of yards of pink from a Crazy Zauberball for noses
    • AC Button Craft Thread for whiskers
  • Needles:  5 US DPNs for bodies, 3 US DPNs for clothing
  • Start to Finish:  November 19-December 25, 2017
  • Mods:
    • I knit the first (Gin's) exactly as written -- except that I first made the nightie/dress too short and then just riffed the lengthening by extending the ribbing (which I actually like a lot as it helps prevent flipping up at the bottom).
    • For Jün's, I simplified the knitting-in of parts a bit by eliminating a needle (on the "held" pieces, pulling the back stitch through the front) so I could knit two stitches together from two needles instead of three stitches together from three needles.
    • Also, inspired by the too-short dress for Gin's, I striped only the legs and to the "waist" of Jün's kitten (not at all on the arms) and knit a separate top.

I am currently working on making additional kitten clothing!

READING:

I received some books from my Amazon Wish List for Christmas!

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In addition to Handcrafted Bitters from Ali, there was Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder from Rusty, and Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art from Kate.

I am looking forward to all of those books, but I am still enjoying Tender At The Bone, by Ruth Reichl. Hopefully, there will be a bit more time for reading now that holiday madness is winding down!

I will finish listening to You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, by Sherman Alexie, today! This was an amazing book, and I'm sorry that I was unaware of Sherman Alexie last spring when he was one of the featured authors at Green Bay's inaugural UntitledTown Book & Author Festival.

How are things going with you? Are you reclaiming some knitting/reading time??