i have wonderful friends.

(Yarny Old) Kim is the best!

Remember right after Rhinebeck, when I was sad because I’d not bought myself anything (in particular, a mini-skein set from Bartlettyarns), and had just endured a hellacious 6 hour drive as a toddler punching-bag? Well, Yarny Old Kim decided that I needed one of those mini-skein sets after all, and sent one to me, along with a super-sweet card! Thank you, Kim!

And not only that, so many of you left supportive, kind, and helpful comments on that post, and I’m oh-so-grateful for them. We’ll definitely be trying some of those suggestions the next time we have a long car trip, and it helps me so much to know that I’m not all alone in finding some of this stuff immensely difficult. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

The wool fumes on these mini-skeins are heavenly…

enjoying the wool fumes

That sheepy, lanolin smell is something I’ve loved ever since I first knit with Bartlettyarns, back when I knit Rogue (gosh, my hair was so BLONDE back then!). I’ve only ever knit with the worsted weight yarn before, so I’m very excited to get to try out the sport weight.

bartlettyarns miniskeins

And the hand-dyed colors are gorgeous! I definitely want to use these in something amazing, and the wheels are already turning in my mind over how I might design with them – paired with a light sheepy grey or oatmeal sort of color, these would be pretty gorgeous in a yoke design, no?

a kind of hilarious “FO” photo…

Look what arrived in the mail today! #officiallyPhD

A couple of weeks ago, my diploma arrived in the mail. Since I defended in the summer, my official degree conferral took place at a board meeting in October, though I can still walk in the Commencement in May (and since I still live here, I probably will, if my advisor’s interested in participating!)

So, here it is. That piece of paper I worked long and hard for. I think the disinterested toddler and cat walking through the background of the photo really do a lot to capture the reality of my life. I may have a Ph.D now, but to the kid and the cats? It’s just a boring (if strangely enormous) piece of paper. Way less exciting than a cup of milk and the prospect of dinner :)

things i make for maddy: mittens!

modeling the mittens for mama

I decided to use the leftovers from M’s hat to make her a pair of matching mittens. I traced M’s hand, and used it as a “template”, knitting the mitten from the top down:

Making a mitten for M from her hat-leftovers.

They were a really quick knit…I was soon onto mitten #2:

one mitten down, one to go.

The mittens have a row of eyelets above a short-rowed garter stitch cuff. The eyelets aren’t simply decorative – I intended to run a string through them so that I could tie the mittens together and string them through the sleeves of M’s jacket.

The thumb was created by casting on some stitches using the backwards loop method, and then picking up the cast-on loops and knitting upward – you can’t even tell where the picked up stitches are, I swear!

a pair of mittens for M

The short-rowed garter stitch cuff was designed to mimic the short-rowed garter stitch brim of M’s hat, and it’s split on the side to make for easier on-off. The cuff is edged in i-cord, just like the hat that inspired it.

She loves her mittens, and wanted to wear them all the time this weekend!

modeling the mittens for mama

Sadly, one of them has already gone missing – I (stupidly!) let her wear them to school yesterday morning. I’d meant to thread the string through them first so that they couldn’t get lost, but just plain forgot…and she came home with one last night. The missing one may still turn up somewhere, but for now, I think I’ll knit a third one…and she definitely isn’t going to get to wear them anywhere until they’re tied together! Actually, I think I’ll treat mitten #3 as a test-knit for writing up a pattern – I’d like to publish a pattern of “recipes” for the hat and mitten set, because they’re super cute, very practical and also quick knits!

Important last-minute addendum: the missing mitten has been found!

They found the mitten! (M had stuck it in her teacher's bag!)

It was in her teacher’s bag – M must have put it in there yesterday. Sneaky kiddo! I’m so relieved that I don’t need to knit her a third one – tonight I’ll make up a crochet-chain to attach the mittens to each other (and thread them through her jacket sleeves) so that we don’t have a lost-mitten scare like this again!