My Vibrant Lonely Tree Shawl

I had a really wonderful time knitting this shawl.  I've wanted a lacy leaf-patterned knit shawl for ages but didn't quite have the courage to start a lace chart with a toddler underfoot.  Then I saw how easy and straightforward The Lonely Tree Shawl was.  Most of the knitting took place on a very long drive (thanks to German construction season) to the Bavarian Alps while the toddler snoozed and the mister drove.  I'm so lucky.

I used Tosca Light  by Lang Yarns in color 0053.  I held two strands from two skeins together and I'm really enamored with the effect. I was a bit worried that the oranges and greens would mix and make mud but they played really well together.  The only complaint I had about this pattern was that I wished I could keep knitting when I reached the end of the chart!  I had a good bit of yarn leftover and I usually go for a bigger shawl, though this one drapes just right over my shoulders or around my neck.  As luck would have it, Silvia Bo Bilvia released The Elder Tree Shawl with an endlessly repeatable chart and variations for any weight of yarn (it's a paid pattern whereas The Lonely Tree Shawl was free). I might go for that one next time! Probably would have done it this time if I'd seen it before now.

So, do I have enough shawls yet? Well, of course the answer is NEVER.  I'm a shawl girl, what can I say?  If I had to justify myself I would tell you that this is my first knitted shawl, the rest are all crochet. It has the most wonderful drape and texture and I've been taking every opportunity to wear it before the full-blown summer heat hits us.  You just can't have enough shawls, I tell you.

Until next time! Happy crafting.

April WIPs and Vintage Finds

SONY DSCSONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC Hello my lovelies.  I hope you're having a fabulous weekend full of tea and crafting.  I've been enjoying lots of time with Mr. Pickle and Toddler Pickle.  Yesterday we went to our monthly flea market for some treasure hunting. The mister got some electronic doodads to fiddle with and the little one got a new book of German songs.  I came home with a few tablecloths (one of which is destined to become a Mei Tai or Onbu), vintage buttons, a lovely little painting that looks so familiar, and a load of vintage linens that I'll be using for sewing projects this week.  I'm very excited to show you what I'll be making, so please watch this space!

As I was stashing my new treasures away I started rifling through my WIP basket.  The pile of yarn has been growing and when that happens I start to feel a little disconnected from what I'm making.  The obvious solution to this problem was to drag my projects out into the sunlight and take some photos.  My logic is that if I show you what I'm making I'll be accountable for finishing them!

On the hook I've got a granny square cowl from Knit Picks Chroma in Smoothie Fingering (a discontinued colorway) and some fuzzy fingerless gloves in a mix of vintage acrylic yarns.  It's a bit too warm to think about working on any sort of gloves, which is unfortunate because I'm also knitting a pair of wristwarmers that were supposed to be a Christmas present last year (oops). Also on the needles is my Lonely Tree Shawl in double stranded Tosca Light and my Stripemania socks which are determined not to fall prey to SSS (Second Sock Syndrome)!  Oh, and the pièce de résistance in crochet, my Lace Lux Maia Shawl.  I have less than a week to finish, block, and string a set of pearls to match.  Eek.  Here's a little sneak peek....Happy Crafting!

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Wool Longies

SONY DSCHello my lovely, woolly readers!  I've been sitting on these photos of my latest creation for weeks now, just waiting for an opportunity to sit down and type up a little note.  Toddler Pickle has been a happy little whirlwind all week with all the sunshine we've been graced with.  Much playing in the garden, utilizing the clothesline, and chilly evening walks have been had.  Life is good. But back to the wool. SONY DSC

These soakers were knit from the Ladybug Loops pattern and Knit Picks Wool of the Andes. I believe I knit the 18 month - 2 year size thinking the pants would need to be rolled up and that the bum might be a tad big...but no. They fit like an absolute glove.  They are perfect! I just hope they last us through the spring, since there isn't much hope they'll still fit next winter.  Oh well, there's always more wool. These are my second soakers from the Ladybug Loops pattern and I can't speak highly enough of it. It's fabulous and detailed and the pattern works wonderfully over a big cloth diapered bum.

SONY DSC SONY DSCWatching my little Pickle traipse around the garden in her home-knit pants gives me so much joy.  Knitting for tiny souls is as fulfilling as ever.  Hopefully I'll have some new socks and some instant gratification crochet creations in the coming days.

Wool on!SONY DSC

Toddler Sock Trial & Error

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCHello folks and sorry for my absence this week.  February has been a rip roarin' month for me at my volunteer job and Toddler Pickle is at an age where she can't be left to her devices for more than a minute without causing some real damage.  Nevertheless I have been knitting to keep my sanity.  Socks have been my drug of choice since they are so simple, the pattern easily memorized, and I can knit most of them without looking at my hands!  This is wonderful when you need to keep your eyes on a toddler or sneak in a few pages of Outlander (I am on book two and entranced).  Today I thought I'd show you a bit of a flop in my sock world.  These socks were started in November and apparently my daughter's feet have grown since then. Fancy that.  So by the time I started the second sock I had to go back and tick back the first sock to increase the length.  I made some stupid mistakes on one of the heels while I was away from the pattern, and the ribbed cuffs are just so short when I put them on Toddler Pickle's legs!  Alas, they fit, they are soft, and they are handmade.  They will probably only last for a month or so at the rate she's growing, but they do make me happy to look at. Knit on 2,5 mm Knit Pro DPNs with My First Regia in 1894 Dominik.  It was a beautiful yarn to work with, I only wish it came in a toddler sized ball!

Toasty Feet

SONY DSCMr. Pickle celebrated his birthday a few days ago so there has been a bit of celebrating in our house.  I baked a scrumptious German Chocolate cake from scratch which was mostly devoured by a group of us.  I'd never baked that kind of cake before but I adhered to the advice and directions of my trusty Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook (which very rarely leads me astray) and the result was one of my best ever cakes.  Mr. Pickle was pleased. Baking was not the only gift to be had, however. Oh no! What kind of birthday would it be in the Pickle House without a bit of woolliness?  Unheard of. SONY DSC Cold feet are a common complaint in our drafty house.  I believe I confided in you all before that I have never once finished a pair of socks so my poor family has had to warm their tootsies with store-bought socks and slippers.  Oh, the horror!  Well this week I put a small end to that, at least for Mr. Pickle.  These socks, knit up in bulky (or rather double stranded worsted) weight Patons Classic Wool are just the ticket for frozen toes.

The pattern I started to use was Fuchsia 12's 10 Hour Sock Pattern.  I decided to use Size 10 DPNs since I don't own 10 1/2s and knit the larger size. I found the directions for the larger size to be slightly underdeveloped, or perhaps I wasn't reading them well.  I've started so many socks that the construction comes to mind quite easily so there may have been some moments where I only half read the pattern and made up the rest.  The second sock was knit from memory and I think the heel turned out far better.  Alas, they both fit perfectly and you can't tell much of a difference when they're on the feet.SONY DSC SONY DSCBulky yarn is a joy to knit since it flies by and I truly think it took me fewer than 10 hours to knit these.  It was a breezy and fun.  They do eat up quite a lot of yarn though! I used almost two entire skeins of Patons Classic Wool that I had earmarked for soakers for Little Pickle.  Since I already have a pair of longies on the needles for her I didn't feel too bad about using her wool for something else.  It just means I need to buy more, right? Right. There can never be enough wool.

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