Not again…welcome to 2021! Ya know, the second half.

All right, fine. My bad. Oddly enough, during a 1+ year pandemic adventure (everyone is healthy, vaccinated, and relatively sane, or as sane as they were before, give or take), I knitted a ton but didn’t post anything about it. Now that we’re (fingers crossed) emerging from this national nightmare (unfortunately the rest of the world is not), I’m ready to start talking about these projects again!

I’ve still been buying yarns and kits from We Are Knitters, Purl Soho, Lion Brand and other faves, and have added Wool and the Gang to my ever-growing yarn stash. Per usual, I’ve got several projects on needles at the moment. In the winter, I was in a heavy blanket phase, heavy in terms of both the yarn and frequency of projects. I gave a few away for holiday gifts or baby shower gifts, but one I kept was this one, mostly for my dog Bruce:

The yarn was repurposed from a different WAK project that was frankly too similar to the other blanket projects I completed from them. I nosed around Ravelry and found this pattern, Buttercream, from Cali Chick Baby (as you might imagine, a baby blanket, although they have another version that’s a big one). I paid for it, and you can contact them for the pattern either via Ravelry or The baby version they show is in a lovely off-white color – Buttercream, natch – in Alpaca, but the author indicated you can use any super bulky or bulky so away I went!

The pattern is one of those that are easy to understand and knit, and switches between a very straightforward garter stitch and what I’ve always heard called “drunken rib”, a 1×1 rib for 2 rows that alternates on the following 2, giving it a cool, *almost* basketweave look. In any case, fun and easy to do if you’re watching a movie (or on a Zoom call if you dare!). In any case, it’s now Bruce’s blanket, so I’m continually taking a lint roller to it to remove dog hair, but the unintended benefit is that it keeps the fuzzies at bay as well. The Fuzzies, of course, constantly doing battle everyday with the Dust Bunnies in my house. Hardwood floors! [shakes fist at sky].

Hooked on a feeling. Or at least a Hunch.

That’s pretty much how I feel about California…I am pretty sure I need to move back rocky_haunchesto New York, but really, it’s just a hunch. But shouldn’t you trust your hunches? Or your haunches? (Like Rocky).

Or your guts? Lily Tomlin said, “What is reality anyway? Just a collective hunch.” lilytomlinSo if I have an individual hunch, is it just as valid? Well, I’m going to go for it. We’re moving back to Brooklyn! I’ve got a feeling, a hunch, a Karen Smith weather alert, and we’re doing it.karensmith

In honor of the intuitive reckoning that drives detectives, Quasimotos, and, well, me, I present the Hunch hat, by Wendy Bernard of the fantastic blog Knit and Tonic. I knitted this extra slouchy (took the 1.5″ suggestion), using a bulky yarn that I frankly don’t consider bulky – Lion Brand’s Martha Stewart Craft line, alpaca blend. I’ve used this many times before, and it’s inexpensive, soft, and incredibly versatile. Imagine my horror when the kindly Lion Brand store employees told me it was half off – because they’re discontinuing it! Say it ain’t so, Lion! Or Martha. Or whoever. I immediately bought as many as I could take on the plane. A couple of skeins of Buttermilk, which I used in this pattern here, also used to make the previous Chevalier Mittens project for my friend Devon (I made a pair for myself too), and a couple of skeins of Pea Coat Blue, a pretty, almost marbled dark blue that’s not quite navy. No idea what to make with that at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

hunchinprogressBack to the Hunch…this knit up fairly quickly, as you might imagine with mostly all stockinette, but I particularly enjoyed top down knitting. Don’t think I’ve ever done that before, but it gave me more control over the slouch and allowed me to check the fitting more accurately (I think) as I went along. And the finished product? I’m pretty proud, not the least of which because Greg actually said, “Hey, you can like, wear that!”. I have a hunch that I can.


Lacey Throws, Exotic Dancer

My husband used to joke about a guy I used to work with, whose name, when said aloud, seemed to command the title, “Male Prostitute.” I never knew what the reference was, and I imagine he’s probably forgot it anyway. But one always seems to stumble upon great names that requires another great employment title. Trapper John, MD, is a good example. My best friend grew up in Orange County and knew a “Thomas Thomas”, or Tom Tom, and the inimitable Becky Doubledee, who was also lucky enough to have a giant DD sized set of cans.

In the same fashion, my husband often applies those sorts of titles to the knitting projects I’m working on at any given time. This particular project began with a visit to Seaport Yarns in the financial district, where I used to work and would often spend a quick 20 minutes or so during a slightly slow afternoon, whenever that happened. Seaport Yarns is a great store – lots of selection, and the lady who runs it is incredibly knowledgeable about yarn and gauge and all that crap. For example, I was looking for a Tahki Stacey Charles, and she suggested an alternative yarn, which has since become a favorite with me: Plymouth Yarns. The Baby Alpaca Grand, which is, of course, a chunky yarn, is so soft and delightful and much easier and less essspensive than the TSC, it was an easy choice. Plus, she had lots of nice colors at Seaport, and I selected a pretty dark heather gray, color 403, to make my Lacey Throws. The pattern was found easily and for free on Ravelry as the Happy Birthday Throw, by Emily Ivey, using Lion Brands Thick & Quick…to be continued in the next post.

But for now I give you the Happy Birthday, Lacey Throws, you naughty thing, you’re soft and comfy, and while you do tend to leave some lint on the couch, I like you anyway. You were fast and fun.

A Likely Story

Yes, I’ve been in planning hell. No excuses. But I’ve been in Dallas for Christ’s sake. However, it has meant I’ve completed and come close to completing some actual projects. My AA miles (not related to my wine consumption, but close enough) are coming close to allowing space travel, so I guess that is good too.

So! A completed project. I bought 4 hanks of Lion Brand yarn’s Thick & Quick wool yarn in a lovely burnt orange called Butterscotch. An aside: I really hate that they call this yarn “Thick & Quick”. It makes you slur the words. Or else I’ve had too much Cabernet already. It’s like my man friend’s joke about saying Linens N’ Things – you always sound a little drunkie when you say it.

Anyhoo – I actually made this scarf for my man friend. I hope he enjoys it! Also, I’m thisclose to finishing the Kelly cardigan mohair jobby. Hopeully will finish this week/weekend. I’ll be in Bloomington, IN, crossing my fingers for some quiet college town time. I am so excited!