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Category Archives: knitting

knitting nancys

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I got it into my head the other day that I wanted to make a knitting spool for Pia and after poking around on the internet I found a tutorial for making a knitting ned (the male version of a knitting nancy, of course) at zencrafting.  This version called for popsicle sticks and toilet paper tubes rather than wooden spools and nails, which I thought would be much easier for little hands. Now Pia and I can knit together while Jim reads books to us. It is lovely.

On a trip to Knitch (our local yarn store) this weekend I noticed a new yarn by Berroco called Link which looks like it was made on a knitting nancy. Presumably a knitting nancy machine, but still. And it got me to thinking about what I could do with a long, long chain of yarn. Something like this, perhaps?  So I’m thinking that I will be trading in my needles for a knitting nancy, too. At least for a while. Who knew toilet paper tubes and popsicle sticks could add up to so much fun?


Off the needles, on the tree

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I finished the doll blanket for my niece a full 90 minutes before she arrived on Christmas morning – plenty of time to spare.

The boys also did a little crafting for Christmas gifts this year.  They helped make a few (20?) ornaments, but I couldn’t post pictures until they’d been handed out.  Tea’s were hand-prints-turned-snowmen and Pea’s were thumbprints-turned-reindeer.  The boys managed to not get craft paint anywhere but on their ornaments – a true Christmas miracle.  We also made a clothespin tree forest that I somehow neglected to photograph.  Tea has been asking if it’s too late to make gingerbread houses, so we may try to construct one sometime during the week he’s home on break, but I suspect he’s mainly interested in eating the candy decorations.  Maybe I’ll save myself the effort and just buy him a bag of gumdrops?  We’ll see…


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I finished the hat for Tea’s teacher while driving to and from Kyle’s family last weekend.  Long stretches in the car are my preferred knitting time – the scenery is ever-changing and I have a captive audience to ramble to.  The pattern was called “wurm” (Raveled here) and I loved it – the brim is 2 layers thick so it’s very polished-looking, and the ridges make it extra warm.  I knit it in my favorite yarn -the amazingly soft superwash (so you can throw it in the washer and drier without it shrinking) merino Malabrigo Rios.  I want one for myself.  I tried to forbid Tea’s teachers from wearing them at school so they doesn’t feel obligated to.

So now that those are finished, I am of course attempting to knit a very last minute blanket for the doll my niece is receiving for Christmas.  In my head, these projects are super quick.  In reality, I now have 90% of a finished blanket after 2 evenings of knitting, but 4,613 loose ends to weave in before Christmas morning.  Luckily I didn’t make anything for the boys this year so I have no other projects I’m frantically trying to finish up.


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I don’t usually push handknit gifts on non-knitters anymore, but Tea’s teachers both repeatedly raved about his Tiptoe hat and begged me to make them adult versions.  Without really thinking about it, I told them Christmas was coming.  But now, Christmas really is coming and my fingers are getting the hat knitting bug, so I decided to go for it.

This pattern is called Capucine and it calls for tassels on the earflaps and on the back of the head.  I skipped the tassels and added braids instead.

The assistant in Tea’s room loves pink.  This hat wouldn’t look good on me, but I think it will fit her style and look nice with the white jacket she wears and her long (long, long) hair.

One down, one to go.  The yarn for hat #2 arrived in the mail this afternoon and I’m excited to put the boys to bed so I can get going.

I guess we’ll have a picnic lunch today

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I finished knitting my first shawl last night and was eager to block it.  Blocking smooths out stitches and makes the project conform to the correct size and shape.  There are several different methods, but I wet blocked this project and pinned it to my Super Official Alphabet Blocking Mat.  Don’t tell me serious knitters don’t use kid toys for blocking.  I can’t be the first person to do this.

Basically, the shawl went from looking like a small mangled jellyfish to looking like a large shawl.



I used to think I wasn’t a shawl person, but it was embarrassingly exciting to see the transformation of the lace pattern as I pinned it out.  Maybe I will try this again sometime.


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I love afternoons when the wind is whisteling outside and the boys’ naps go long.  What is it about sleepy dog paws that smells so wonderful?

The replacement

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Last fall I spent a lovely afternoon photographing the boys in hand-knit hats.  Strangely, that was the last day we saw Tea’s red pointy hat. It disappeared off the face of the earth.

There was a cold morning last week when we needed hats on the walk to school.  Tea was very jealous that Pea had a hand-knit one and begged me to make him another one.  I found a cute pattern and let him pick the yarn.  With the exception of the band of linen-stitch, it knit up very quickly.  I’m happy with how it turned out and would knit this pattern again.  Maybe Pea needs a matching hat in a different color…

Now I just hope we don’t lose this one.

(Raveled here.)