FO: Sheldon the Turtle

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Pattern: Sheldon

Yarn: Misson Falls 136 Merino Superwash

Needles: 3.25 mm dpns (US 3)

Mods: None. Except that I accidentally didn’t do the icord thingy to attach the shell bits, but it all worked out.

Notes: I love knitting toys. I don’t mind all the finishing, although they involve a lot of small knitting in the round which tends to be harsh on my wrists. This is a gift for my little nephew Noah, although he doesn’t know it
yet. When G and I travel to the UK, Sheldon will be travelling with Maple to be given as gifts to our niece and nephew, respectively. This was a pretty quick knit, and stuffing and seaming as you go makes the actual finishing at the end relatively painless. And hey- a supercute turtle is pretty awesome. Even Yarn thinks so.

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I tried to get some photos with Gatsby, but he was decidedly anti-turtle. About two seconds after this photo was taken, he sunk his claws into Sheldon and started to bite his face. I think he looks a bit murderous in this photo- I should have noticed!
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Modification Mondays: Celtic Braid Dress

Original Pattern: Noyaux

Knitter Extraordinare: Donna (Rav Id)

Mods: Changed the lace pattern for celtic braided cables, and added them to the sleeves as well. She also continued two of the small cables over the back. Project page is here.

What Makes This Awesome: Donna did an incredible job turning the original pattern into this gorgeous, richly textured cabled dress/tunic. The cables look timeless and the cut of the dress is very modern- it makes for a beautiful hybrid piece. This is a really testament to the design that you can swap out lace for cables and have it work beautifully. I love it!

Modification Mondays: Adult Trellis Surprise

Original Pattern: Trellis

Knitter Extraordinaire: Katie (Rav ID, Blog)

Mods: Dramatically resized the classic baby sweater pattern to create a beautiful grown-up version for adults.

What Makes This Awesome:  I think the February Lady Sweater proved just how popular a pattern can be when it’s upsized for adults, and this amazing grown up Trellis sweater is so, so gorgeous. Just looking at the photos of Katie wearing her Trellis in winter is enough to make me absolutely positivity sure that this would be the perfect winter cardigan. I want one!! Project page, which includes lots of notes on how to upsize the Trellis sweater, can be found here.

What I’m into Now: Summer, Glorious Summer

It’s no secret that I like baking, cooking, and all sorts of other kitchen-y good things. However, it’s been a gloriously hot summer. HOT. which means cooking doesn’t sound nearly so attractive, since my apartment only has one window unit air conditioner, and it is at the opposite end of the apartment from the kitchen. But I’ve definitely tried my hand at some new things this summer. For example:
 
Making ketchup from scratch was probably one of the easiest and most satisfying from-scratch things I’ve done all year. It’s so easy, and much healthier than normal ketchup (since there’s high fructose corn syrup in most commercially prepared ketchups). And it tastes amazing!

(why yes, I did make ketchup from scratch and then use it with terrible, frozen food section McCains’s fries. I know that makes no sense. I put it on delicious home-made burgers a day later, I swear. )
Ribs. Specifically, this recipe, which makes the most delicious ribs I have ever had. You MUST try this recipe, it’s to die for. G and I are very particular about buying only local, organic meat from stores/butchers that can vouch for the humane treatment of the animals; so we don’t eat meat often, but when we do- we pull out all the stops. 

 This has also been my summer of sangria. I pretty much have a pitcher of it on the go in my fridge all the time. I do both red and white sangria, and I find it so relaxing to sit outside on our patio drinking sangria and relaxing, I’ve yet to remember to take a picture. But trust me- sangria, taken like a daily post-work vitamin, is good for the soul.

Also, I tried my hand at making my own insect repellent spray using these guidelines, and I had a lot of success. I found that the natural one I mixed up needed to be reapplied frequently, but I figure that’s a small price to pay to avoid DEET and other harsh chemicals.Has anyone else tried making their own bug spray? I’d be interested so see what other essential oils people have tried.

We’ve also made friends with the friendly squirrel that lives under our patio:

 (in the top left photo, he actually has a bit of ice cream on his nose! 
That would be G’s idea, of course) 
 

Isn’t he a cutie? Although I think we’ve become a bit too friendly with the squirrel- we’ve had to stop propping open the patio door for the cats, because twice the squirrel has decided to come into the kitchen, and once he actually chewed the lid off of some cocoa powder. Squirrels are much cuter when they are not terrorizing your kitchen!

Modification Mondays: Tweed Cloche

Original Pattern: Caroline

Knitter Extraordinaire: Arlette (Rav ID, Blog)

Mods: Although she thought she got gauge, her hat turned out waaay too big. Being an intrepid knitter, she figured felting it would help- but the double-thickness hem didn’t felt as at the same rate as the crown, and the pleats got even more out of proportion. So, she created a little rosette on the side of the hat with the pleats, and turned what was going to be an FO fail into a gorgeous, flattering, compliment-fetching hat.

What Makes This Awesome: The finished result is so lovely, I had no idea that it wasn’t her intention to knit the hat exactly as it turned out!  Arlette transformed what could have been a knit disaster for many of us into what is easily the prettiest hat I’ve seen in a while. I love her version! Project page, including details on how she did the rosette, is here.