April 16, 2014

Using Up Sock Yarn Odds and Ends

It took me almost 10 months to land on the perfect project for the yarn my sister picked out for her birthday present last year. And then it took me a week to knit up this little shawlette. Here it is, blocked.

The pattern is Maluka; the yarn is Creamy Flame by Kollage Yarns. It's a crazy yarn: 80% milk protein, and 20% cotton. That's some weird science, people! Find my Rav notes here.

I have quite a bit of a skein left. Here's a round up of some patterns that use a small amount of fingering-weight yarn, perfect for using up sock yarn scraps. (Each photo comes from the site linked beneath it.)

Hair Accessories


Twin Leaf Wristlets (scroll down to find the pattern)

Other Funky-doo, Gotta-Knit-'Em Accessories

Egg Sox (just in time for Easter!)

What do you with partial skeins of fingering weight yarn?

April 9, 2014

Baby Lemon's Blanket

I wrote this post the evening of October 15, 2012. Why it has languished in my drafts folder for so long, I know not. But as I plan out our baby girl's blanket (Pine Forest Baby Blanket using Cascade 220 Superwash Yarn in Daffodil), I have examined Charlie's blanket over and over, pondering how far I've come as a knitter since I designed and made it. I definitely don't use much acrylic anymore; I made Charlie's blanket out of Caron Simply Soft, and I don't love how it has held up. Live and learn, I suppose. And Charlie's blanket was made with no less love, just because I used cheaper materials. Right? Right. Anyway. Without further ado, a post about Charlie's blanket.

I have four younger sisters. Growing up, we shared just about everything: Barbies, coloring books, clothes, Play-Doh, hair doodads, plastic horses, you get the idea. I suppose at different times, we each had things that no one else touched. I had my Legos and Erector sets, and some of my favorite books. None of my sisters played with them. (In all fairness, I probably didn't give them the chance. A perk of being the first-born and a natural bossypants.)

As is natural in large families, I got first pass on most of the clothes and the toys, simply because I was the first kid to grow into things. Once I got too big or lost interest, this shirt or that stuffed animal was passed down the line, until the youngest had her turn. After our family squeezed the life out of something, we either gave it away or, if we really exhausted its functionality, tossed it in the trash.

My youngest sister ended up being pretty sentimental. I cite the garbage collection of 1999. (You know, like some people collect dolls or shot glasses? That sort of collection.) She became quite attached to a blanket that was made by a friend of my mother's when she was pregnant with me. The blanket was a yard-long, pre-printed panel with a rocking horse. Lots of stark red, blue, and green on a white background. Very 1980s. It was tied with acrylic yarn and bound with a pleated cotton strip sandwiched between the front and back. A pretty simple blanket.

But to my youngest sister, it was Blankie. Forget going anywhere without Blankie. I tip my hat to my parents that she didn't drag into groceries stores or church. But it was always in the car waiting for her when she returned. She loved to cuddle with Blankie. Though we'd all slept on it, drooled on it, had our diapers changed on it, to my youngest sister, and to all of us, it was her blanket, and no one else's.

I made a blanket for Charlie, secretly hoping it would be his Blankie someday. Maybe it will be, or maybe it'll get passed around all my other children as Blankie did. Either way, it was a soothing to knit it during my pregnancy. The pattern was easy enough to remember without having to refer to it, but complicated enough to keep me engaged. It was my first stab at cable knitting, and I think it turned out beautifully. Just ignore the little unraveling issue on the border, if you please.

Linking up with Ginny for her weekly Yarn Along.

March 6, 2014


I tried thredUP.

Goodbye, clothes that I only wore a few times.

Hello, new clothes for Charlie.

Nice mission for a company. I approve.

Thanks. I think I will.

One t-shirt, three short-sleeved collared shirts, three pairs of shorts. All in excellent condition.

I hate to admit it, but I'm a sucker for clever and creative packaging. And pretty fonts.

How thredUP works: you send in gently used clothes, they give you credit in their online consignment store, you shop around, they send you the clothes you selected.

So, first, let's go over what I liked about my thredUP experience. For now, the sack you need to mail in your clothes is free. They mail it to you and cover the cost of shipping the bag back to their warehouse. Nice.

When it came time for me to shop, they had a great selection of brands and styles that I liked. Their standards are rigorous. No loose threads, no stains, no holes. Pristine. I'm pretty sure one of the collared shirts is brand new.

I also like buying used. I like the idea that something I bought for myself but didn't end up loving can have new life with someone else. While donating unwanted clothes to charity is always a great option, especially for clothes that show some wear, I do like getting a little cash back for my like-new clothes, or "shopping errors" shall we say.

Though I chose to shop with thredUP, I liked that I had the option to cash out my bag and walk away with the same amount of money I would otherwise receive as store credit. (Some consignment places offer you store credit or a lesser amount of cash.)

My thredUP experience wasn't without a few hiccups. Since they are offering their thredUP bags for free (I believe it is usually $4-5 to order a bag), they are extremely backed up. They received my bag on January 24, but told me they would not be able to evaluate my bag until February 28. Later, that date was bumped to March 5. I wasn't in any hurry to have my bag evaluated, but the company offered to expedite the whole process by paying me $40, up front, if I agreed to waive the bag evaluation. Or, I could opt to receive $20 immediately, then wait for my bag to be evaluated and receive the surplus, if any, later. Or, I could just wait. Browsing through the site, I figured my bag would probably fetch $25, maximum. I sent in a higher-end cocktail dress, a pair of jeans, several shirts, a sweater or two, and a denim jacket.

I pounced on the $40.

The clothes I picked out came to a little less than $29. For the brands I chose (Gap, Children's Place, Carter's, Kenneth Cole, etc.), seven items of clothing for $29 is a great deal. About what I'd pay for seven items of children's clothing at Savers here in Lubbock. The drawback for me was the cost of shipping. Orders of $50 or more ship for free, but I really didn't want to exceed my store credit, so I opted to use my credit for cover the almost $9 shipping fees. Ouch!

I'll probably use thredUP again if the bags are still free. I am a bit disappointed that they don't consign men's clothes. Mike could use a few new things, and I would have gladly purchased through thredUP had I had the choice. They also don't consign clothing for children under 12 months. I'm itching to buy Baby Girl Lemon some summer skirts and dresses, but I'll have to find them elsewhere. Being a pregnant lady, I'm not looking to buy anything for myself right now (though they do have a good variety of maternity items), but the kids will always be in need of new duds, so I'll always be able to find something to buy.

And that bonus white package that showed up today with the thredUP box? Brown edge Green Mountain Diaper cotton prefolds. So soft. So squishy. I love fluff mail!