mice

Since I still have Fair Isle on my brain, here’s a quick little project to get your toes wet and use up your tiny scraps. Fair Isle Mice! How adorable! I might need to make one this week.

mice

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all the knitting

How about a knitting update? I have been just knitting my little heart out. It’s the perfect thing when you don’t have much energy for anything else. I was also motivated by the fact that my sister is having a baby girl in October, and there isn’t much that’s more fun to knit than tiny, cute, baby things. I’m doing my best to make sure she’ll be cozy and warm for her first winter. These photos all showed up previously as Instagram photos, but I’ve sent everything away, so they will have to do for now. Click the photos for my Ravelry project pages, links below go to the pattern pages.

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Patterns are:
Cascade // Beyond Puerperium // Sleeping Cedars

Is this not the cutest set? I also added little pearly buttons to the cardigan.

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Semis de Printemps // Béguin de Printemps

I didn’t want my other niece to be too jealous of her new baby sister, so I made a couple things for her as well. I love that little teddy bear pattern, and will probably make more, including one for myself because he’s just so cute. I added the garter stitch scarf in yarn to match the sweater.

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Sweet Peasy // Brambles Bear

I did make some things for myself, but need to get some better photos. There are also multiple adult sweaters underway at the moment, but they take so much longer than baby sweaters, I admit that I’ve fallen victim to the instant gratification of knitting tiny things. It’s still so warm, but I’m sure my motivation to finish the bigger projects will increase once it starts cooling off.

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fair isle

I got bit by the Fair Isle bug recently. It all started with the making of a hat earlier this spring. I’ve been doing a bit of reading and research, and made a mitten for a bit more practice (is it just me, or are mittens more difficult than hats? I had a much harder time keeping the floats even and not too tight). Then I bought some neon pink yarn to use for pocket linings on a sweater that I will not even be able to cast on until later this fall. It sat in my knitting basket, taunting me with its cheery brightness, especially next to the charcoal grey yarn I plan to use for the body of the same sweater. And then I had a vision of a Fair Isle-style hat in those two colors. So I printed up a few sheets of knitter’s graph paper, and got out my colored pencils and started coloring. I also have a basket full of Knit Picks Palette yarn, and pulled out a few more shades of grey to make an ombre background. I’m having a lot of fun figuring out a pattern, I knit a little, then color a few more rows on my graph paper, and knit a little more. If it all works out (and I’m thinking it’s going to), I’m going to be writing up the pattern to sell on Ravelry.

Color work like this is so addicting, I always want to do just one more row to see what the pattern will look like! Oh, and it seems that photographing neon yarn is really tricky. I’ll try to do better once it’s all done!

Some related links:

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birdwatcher

Well, hello! I think I’m back, I hope there are still a few readers left out there!

I thought I’d return with a quick app recommendation. The last few months I’ve spent quite a lot of time sitting on my porch. I wasn’t feeling too well earlier this year, and then I had a minor surgery to fix the problem (it’s all very boring and frankly, TMI for the Internet), and so then I spent my recovery time sitting and reading or knitting and watching all the birds in our yard. I started noticing a lot of different birds that I hadn’t seen before, and wished I had an easy way to identify them.

The Cornell Lab of Orinthology is such a great source for all things bird-related, and it turns out they just released a Bird ID app called Merlin. You just answer a few questions, and it returns a list of possibilities that includes multiple photos of each bird as well as recordings of their songs. So now I can sit on my porch, see a bird, open the app and find out just what it is in seconds.

Earlier this spring I found a beautiful, but sadly dead, little bird in the chicken pen. I had never seen anything like it before. Using the app, I’ve now learned that it’s a male Bullock’s Oriole, and that it was probably in the area for breeding season.

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By identifying the birds that you see, information is added to the lab’s database. The app doesn’t save the birds you find, which I found unfortunate, but you can send comments to the developers, and when I sent a message requesting the ability to do just that they were quick to reply that they have many such improvements planned for the near future.

I never thought of myself as a bird watcher, but I may have started researching binoculars for viewing birds.

Some related links:

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a good book (or two)

bury your dead

I’m behind on my book-reading goal for this year. I’ve been in a bit of a reading lull I guess. I have been reading the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny, which I guess you could classify as a “cozy mystery” series, but they’re much more.

Gamache is the wise and gentle head of the homicide division for the Quebec police. His team is tasked with solving murders all over the province, many of which seem to happen in the tiny village of Three Pines, located near the Canadian border with Vermont. The town doesn’t appear on any map, but it’s the kind of place I would like to live (except for all the murders, of course). There’s a cozy B&B, a bistro where the food all sounds delicious (seriously, I can’t read these books when I’m hungry), and the residents are quirky and charming.

I just finished the sixth book in the series (Bury Your Dead), and it was heart-wrenching and just a level above the previous books. A good mystery is my guilty reading pleasure, but these are more than just the mystery. The characters and locales are well-developed, and Penny is a gifted writer. I’m going to have to start rationing the last few books, so I can keep enjoying the series for the rest of this year.

One more recommendation: I recently listened to The Martianon audio. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I’ve never laughed out loud so much while listening to a book, and I’ve certainly never shouted in fear and frustration for the main character like I did with this story. The reader was fantastic, I’m really glad I listened to it rather than reading it. A brief synopsis: Mark Watney is a member of the second manned mission to Mars. It all goes terribly wrong, and he’s left for dead while the rest of the team escapes a violent wind storm. And that’s just the first few paragraphs. What follows is his struggle to survive, and NASA’s struggle to figure out a way to rescue him. There’s tons of science, which might sound boring, but is completely fascinating. In fact, that deserves the first ever gif on heylucy:
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knitting ADD

I’m a little scattered, knitting-wise, so I’m just going to throw a bunch of my recent knitting-related thoughts up here and maybe purging my brain will help me focus. I keep wanting to knit all the things and also buy all the things.

  1. Knitting Projects: I still have that list of sweaters to work on, and I really do want to get as many of those made this year as possible. The trouble is that I keep getting distracted by other things.citadel
    I just finished a hat, I have two shawls, and a baby bunting on the needles, and I am trying to write up a pattern for a pair of socks but I can’t make the chart work properly. So what do I do? I just go ahead and start one of those sweaters. Yeah, that makes sense.
  2. Yarn: I should write a post about stashing yarn. My stash is currently pretty great, although maybe a bit too big. That doesn’t stop me from wanting to buy more yarn. I’ve gotten a lot better about buying yarn with a specific project in mind. But then I saw this the other day, and there was no way to resist.dragonfly
  3. Knitting Supplies: I would like one of every thing from Fringe Supply Co., but especially this needle gauge, some bento bags (in natural linen, please), and a rice basket or three.
  4. Knitting Podcasts: Since I can’t knit while I drive to and from work, I like to listen to people talk about knitting. I’ve found that the podcasts I like the most are the ones with two people having a conversation. My most favorite podcasts right now are Knitting a Story (I like the way they giggle, and I think we would be friends IRL), and Prairie Girls Knit and Spin (I would also like to be friends with them, and I like their giggles too).
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lovely things

zimmerman

This is several years old, but I recently re-read this, about recreating an Elizabeth Zimmerman sweater. You can even buy the pattern (see here for more info). I pulled out Knitting without Tears and reading just a few pages was refreshing and inspiring. If you have any knitting fears, Elizabeth Zimmerman will wipe them away.

speaker1

This is perhaps silly and materialistic, but I really love my little Bluetooth speaker. It’s really light and it’s wireless, so I easily can carry it around from room to room and even take it outside. I have been listening to music and audiobooks everywhere. I looked at a lot of speakers, but I didn’t want to spend two or three hundred dollars. I also didn’t want to end up with something cheap and ugly that wouldn’t last. At $69, this was a little splurge, but a nice compromise. I’m not an audiophile by any means, but I think it sounds great for the size (about 5″ square by a couple inches deep). I also like that it’s not so “tech-y” looking. The “wood” is actually plastic, but you can’t really tell.

Fictitious Dishes: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Have you ever read a book that included a description of a meal so vivid you could practically taste it? I love this project, and have added the book to my wishlist.

lilacs

Spring is my very favorite, but I’m very sad my daffodils were nearly non-existent this year. The lilacs, on the other hand, were magnificent.

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