All the blankets

Recently Mason-Dixon Knitting had a giveaway (nope, didn’t win that one) and they asked their readers to comment about blankets we had knit.  That question sent me down the rabbit hole of my archives where I unearthed photographic proof of my blanket production.

My first blanket (1) was for my grandmother when she went into a nursing home. The yarn was alpaca and was knit with one strand of burgundy and one strand of pink held together. It was just shy of twin-sized and very cozy – just what I wanted it to be to keep her warm without a lot of weight.
GH finished

It was quite a few years later when I knit my second blanket (2). This one was for the CattyAbode and it was a scalloped lace pattern knit in an acrylic blend. This one was all about the color blocking.
scallops

After that one, I quickly knit up a seed stitch baby blanket (3) for friends who were having a little boy. I couldn’t resist putting a pink border on one edge – Dad was into camo/hunting/the outdoors, and I wanted Mom to have a little relief from all the green and brown she was destined to live with.
Eliblkt

I was starting to amass quite a few partial skeins and saw this pattern which I thought would be a perfect way to stashbust. My father is constantly cold (I think there are 3 weeks in July where he doesn’t wear long johns), so he became the recipient of this blanket(4).
dads-blanket

And then Rexie’s impending arrival was announced so I stashbusted all my sock yarn to make a car seat/stroller blankie (5).
bblankie

All this reminiscing made my fingers itch to start another big ol’ rectangle! So I’m doing a little mash-up: I’ve got a twin-sized (#1), acrylic blend (#2), seed stitch (#3), random stripe (#4) blanket on the needles for Miss Rexie ( #5). Pictures to come soon!

Spring’s a comin’

And I’m getting itchy for some spring knits. Here are two that are grabbing my attention right now.

This cowl’s stitch pattern is just busy enough to keep me interested but not interrupt my Hulu watching. I have a skein of Cascade Yarns Alpaca Lace Paints in the Window Garden colorway that would be just enough for this knit.

springmist cowl

Photo and details can be found here 

But this sweater might have to move to the top of the queue. I looked at the project page for this design and didn’t see a bad knit in the bunch. I’m thinking a cushy textured, oatmeal-y color? Or maybe blue-grey? Or coral?

flaum

Photo and details can be found here

 

 

Winter comfort

Here are two items – though small – are making a huge difference in my comfort levels this winter.

The CatMan has been having some sinus issues, so he wanted to try a humidifier. We had a cool mist one a few years ago and it never seemed to do the trick, plus it was a hassle to deal with the filter. So this time around, I went with a warm mist, filterless system. It’s relatively quiet (except for the occasional gurgle) and pretty unobtrusive. So much so I didn’t think it was doing much, until I didn’t use it for two nights when the CatMan was away. After getting up with sinus headaches for those two mornings, I’m a believer!

humidifier

Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier photo via Target.

The second item is strictly for me: a new pair of slippers! So comfy and warm without being foot-stifling (and yes that’s totally a word!)

moccasin

Clover Moccasin Slippers photo via Target

Getting comfortable: The Hall

Some of you have been readers long enough to remember what our hall used to look like. And how we attacked one of its many eyesores. Then we transformed a bookcase into a closet. And that’s where it ended.
bottom of stepsI went as far as purchasing trim and paint to redo this staircase. The stuff is somewhere in the house.
staircase
But I’m wondering if something else needs to be done or rearranged to make the hall a little more welcoming. Here’s a not-to-scale layout: unfortunately, the cat litter area needs to stay where it is. Should I change the bookcase arrangement to wall hooks and a small dresser? Should I finish the steps first and then re-look at the situation? Thoughts?
hallway layout

Stuff that got knitted while I was gone

For Rexie:

A pair of legwarmers in a burgundy baby alpaca. I modified the pattern by adding a ruffle on each piece; I thought it would be a cute detail if she wears them with just a onesie.

The Fair Isle stocking: The toe didn’t felt properly at all so I cut it off and closed the opening with a whip stitch.  To finish the stocking, I lined it with a piece of olive velvet from the stash and used a wooden ring as a hanging loop. It was a lot of fun to knit and it’s gonna hold a ton of prezzies (for which Rexie will love me when she gets older!)

inside rexiestocking

And finally, this hat in a light blue tweed. It just fits Rexie now, so I’m going to cast on another one in the next size up.

For me:

Big Rubble is almost done, and after that, I’m thinking Imma need some boot toppers.

Word for the year – 2016

…is Comfort
comfort
As a noun:
1. a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint (ease, relaxation, repose, tranquility, contentment)
2. the easing or alleviation of a person’s feelings of ease or distress (consolation, solace, sympathy)
As a verb:
1. to improve mood or restore a sense of well-being

Over the past few weeks as I have been thinking about this year’s word, “comfort” would continue to pop up. I pushed it aside, thinking “Does this mean I’m just going to lounge around eating buttered toast and drinking hot chocolate?” (Which, it turns out, is not just my family’s comfort treat!) But the word would not leave me alone so I explored the concept a bit more.  As I’ve done in the past, I viewed the definition of the word through the lenses of my life. Physical comfort for me means continuing my yoga classes, getting new glasses – I know my prescription has changed, modifying my diet to alleviate systemic distress, and working toward a healthier weight. 

On the mental side, my comfort comes when I’m using systems and disciplines to keep me focused. I know habits such as maintaining my bullet journal, having a night-time ritual, and restarting a daily devotional and meditative time have given me a positive structure on which to build my days. Through 2016, I want to look into other habits to incorporate into that structure.

Emotionally, I want my relationships with family and friends to be comforting – giving comfort as well as receiving. I am still working out what that will look like on an individual level.

On the home front, I’m taking the pressure off myself. I’m the poster child for letting “perfect be the enemy of the good.” I’m going to follow Jen’s lead and let my home focus be on “comfort” – small projects that will enhance our day-to-day living.

So this is my jumping-off point. Did any of you pick a word for 2016?

Knitting Dichotomy

With Turkey Day vacation fast approaching, I wanted to find a travel project that was a relatively mindless knit (and nope, Rexie’s Fair Isle Christmas stocking does not classify!) I’ve downloaded this pattern (click on the picture to take you to the Ravelry page.) Now I just have to make a yarn choice: I’m thinking something in true navy or denim-y blue. Or maybe pinky-coral. Or a nice heathered chocolate. I can already tell this is gonna be a challenge.

    big rubble

    Big Rubble by Alison Brookbanks