Orange and Yellow are just as Nice

The wonderful thing about indie yarn can be summed up in two words: gorgeous colors. It is rare to find the color combinations and unique dyes that the inde dyers use in commercial yarns. On the other, each skein is different which can be a positive or a negative. In this case, it’s a negative. The gauge of the blue yarn does not match the gauge of the orange yarn. Luckily, I found yarn in my stash that does match the gauge of the orange yarn: yellow Malabrigo.

The Malabrigo doesn’t jump out like the blue yarn did, but finding this yarn in my stash saves me from buying more Claudia hand painted yarn site-unseen and hoping that it will be the same thickness as the orange yarn.

Magnets and Hot Glue

I came across this tutorial on how to turn an ordinary dish into a needle nest.

What a great idea!

I searched my house until I came up with a dish that would work. Dan drove to Loews and then to Home Depot to buy me the magnets.

It took me 3 tries with my hot glue gun, but I got the magnets to stick.

Now I too have a pretty needle nest. Yay!

The Hexagon Swatch Changes Everything

The plan before I knit the swatch was to make an afghan out of 12-inch hexagons knit out of Manos del Uruguay and my handspun.

With the first hexagon finished, I’ve changed my mind on just about everything.

I love the demo colors so much that I no longer want to use my handspun yarn. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough Taos yarn for the entire afghan, so I’ll have to dig through my stash for a complementary yarn.

Knitting the hexagon and picking up the stitches after completing each section made me want to come up with a way to cut down on the need to knit so many sections and in turn pick up so many stitches. The easiest way to reduce the amount of hexagons needed to make an afghan would be to increase the size of each hexagon. Therefore, I plan to approximately double the size of each hexagon.

Knitting the hexagon also made me realize that the gauge didn’t match my estimate of 4 stitches per inch. Rather than a 12-inch hexagon, I ended up with a 9-inch hexagon.

I’m still unsure how I want to piece all the hexagons together. Should I make a circular afghan or a traditional rectangular afghan?

This exercise has made me hesitant about casting on for Elly’s blue and orange skirt. I really ought to knit a swatch first to make sure my gauge is accurate and to make sure the yarn is a good fit for the pattern. Sigh. And I was looking forward to starting it this weekend.

Updated Apron

I finished my 6th sewing project of the year and my 2nd Christmas gift (one can never start too early).

I cheated on this apron, since I bought the front side in a store. Full details can be viewed on my Elly Made blog.

I plan to take a break from sewing aprons even though I have 4 more ideas waiting in the wings and whip up some gadget cases. I just love quick and easy projects – at least they better be easy.

Homemade Bread for Breakfast

I hope you have enjoyed my Homemade Bread for Breakfast series. Dan and I have loved the results, so it is my intention to continue the series.

To expand my collection of bread recipes and to further my knowledge of how to make tasty breads, I bought the following book: Baking Artisan Pastries and Breads: Sweet and Savory Baking for Breakfast, Brunch, and Beyond.

The first recipe I tried my hand at was Orange Cranberry Scones.

Despite an incredible desire to alter the ingredients, I followed the recipe and accompanying instructions to the letter. Although the scones were fun to make thanks mostly to the rubbing technique (I might just retire my pastry blender after all),I felt that they weren’t rich enough. Scones should be made with heavy cream rather than the buttermilk or yogurt recommended; the whole point is that they are just a richer version of a muffin.

If you are wondering why I put sprinkles on my scones, it’s because I didn’t have any course sugar. I used what I had on hand: colored sugar. Dan thought it was “adorable” that I put jimmies on our scones. Silly man.

Elly is Feeling Better

Poor Elly started running a low-grade fever Friday night. On Saturday, she spent the vast majority of the day crying and complaining about being sick. Just when she started to recover from the fever, her eczema flared up causing her to itch like crazy.

The good news is that she is finally feeling like her old self again allotting me the time to resume my daily blog posts.

The bad news is that we’re pretty sure she is allergic to orange juice.

Another Growth Spurt

Elly recently shot up 2 inches. Most of her shirts had to be packed away because they could no longer cover her belly.

So, last Wednesday, Elly and I went shopping.

She needed more t-shirts, summer dresses, shorts and gardening pants. I found everything on my list at Evergreen Consignment shop in Pottstown.

I got all this for only $50.

If I had tried to buy this at a department store or boutique, I would have spent twice as much or more. With Elly growing at the rate she is, it doesn’t make sense to spend oodles on her clothes. She has to promise to wear her clothes for at least 1 year before I start buying her boutique clothing. With a little luck by the time she stops growing every few months, she’ll be old enough to sew her own boutique clothes.