Knitstant Gratification

The crafting adventures of a knitter, music lover, and hockey fan.

Archive for October, 2012

Garden 2012 Part 5 – Nearing the End

Posted by Andi on October 30, 2012

We did some work in the garden this past weekend. Sadly much of the work was pulling out most of the rest of the plants because the temperature is starting to drop. We picked the last of the broccoli and tomatoes. We also picked the last of the bell peppers.

green peppers

It made me sad to pull out the pepper plants because they were both still doing so well. We have lots of peppers to use now. We will have to find something fun to do with them.

We picked the biggest eggplants so they wouldn’t die.


We decided to leave the small ones on the plant and see how they do. Maybe it won’t freeze this week and we can have a few others. There were still new flowers on the plant as well.

(hopefully) future eggplant

If it does freeze, oh well, at least we got a couple we could use. My mom kept both eggplants, and we will come over to her house and cook them there.

We also kept the squash plant. There are blossoms, but no squash yet. We’ll keep it there until it dies to see if it will produce any squash. If not, oh well.

As we were cleaning up, I was looking closely at some of the leaves, such as these broccoli leaves.

broccoli remnants

It’s hard to see here, but they were almost a bluish green, and it made me wonder what color dye these leaves would produce. I don’t know how true it is, but I’ve heard that green plants usually don’t produce green dye. Anyway, I hope by next fall I have all of my dying gear together so that when it’s time to pull out the plants I can use them to dye some yarn.


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Stash Enhancement – Alpaca Yarn

Posted by Andi on October 29, 2012

I got some lovely alpaca yarn last weekend when we visited Blue Spruce Alpaca Farm. They had five different colors. I was able to eliminate two colors right away. One was a super dark brown that really looked black. It was really gorgeous, but I bought alpaca yarn that color at YarnCon a few years ago, and made a cowl out of it, so I was able to eliminate that color. There was a beautiful light brown, but it was almost the same color as the yarn Jane brought back from Peru that I have in my stash, so I was able to eliminate that one as well. There was a natural white, which I eliminated for two reasons. First, the sweater I made for Tim two Christmases ago was the same color, and second, I have some wool sock yarn I got at Greencastle in the same color. That left two colors. I went back and forth forever between them, and ended up choosing this.

Blue Spruce Alpacas yarn

It’s a brown heather, quite a bit darker than the light brown alpaca I have. It came down to this and a reddish color, but the reddish color matched my hair too much and I thought wearing a shawl or scarf the same color as my hair would be creepy.

Unfortunately I’m not sure exactly how much yarn I have. The tag on the skeins said they were 2 oz each, but didn’t give the number of yards. I asked the young woman running the gift shop, and she wasn’t the knitter in the family so she wasn’t sure. The gift shop had some hand knit items in it, and she showed me a small beautiful scarf and said that one skein of the yarn made the scarf. I figured I wanted to make something larger than that, so I bought three skeins.

I will have to do some swatching to figure out what gauge the yarn is. Looking at it in the skein, and seeing the finished scarf, I’m going to guess it is DK or sport weight. I’m still not sure how many yards I have, but I ordered a counter and will know soon enough. I’m thinking of making a small shawl out of the yarn, or maybe a cowl. Such beautiful yarn should be prominently worn, and I want to be able to feel how soft it is!

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IceHogs at Wolves, 10/13/12

Posted by Andi on October 28, 2012

Anyone who knows me knows that there are two things I’m obsessed with as much as I’m obsessed with knitting. One of those is hockey. Obviously I’m irate over the NHL lockout. Two weeks ago I was supposed to be attending the Blackhawks home opener with friends, but since there is no NHL season (yet — I’m still being hopeful there will actually be one), there was no game. Thankfully we have other hockey options here in Chicago. Instead of sitting home and pouting the night of what was supposed to be the Blackhawks home opener, a group of us went out to Allstate Arena to see the Rockford IceHogs take on the Chicago Wolves. The IceHogs are the Blackhawks’ minor league team. The Wolves belong to the dreaded Vancouver Canucks.

Honestly, the game was one of the most boring hockey games I have ever watched. But it was hockey. I’ve been waiting months for it. And a boring hockey game is always more fun than a night at home.

Chicago Wolves v. Rockford IceHogs

Chicago Wolves v. Rockford IceHogs

Chicago Wolves v. Rockford IceHogs

Chicago Wolves v. Rockford IceHogs

You can see more photos from the game, including the super cute little kids who played between periods, here.

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Posted by Andi on October 21, 2012

Yesterday Tim and I went to the Blue Spruce Alpaca Farm in LaPorte, Indiana for an open house. We got to watch some alpacas, listen to members of the family answer questions and talk about raising alpacas, and shop in the small gift shop. I bought yarn, of course, and Tim got a nice pair of socks.

Aren’t the alpacas cute??

Blue Spruce Alpaca Farm Open House

Blue Spruce Alpaca Farm Open House

Blue Spruce Alpaca Farm Open House

Blue Spruce Alpaca Farm Open House

You can see more photos of our trip to Blue Spruce Alpaca Farms here.

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Dinosaur Dishcloths

Posted by Andi on October 14, 2012

Here are some projects I have been working on for the past few weeks, but because they were gifts I wasn’t able to post about them until now.

Tim’s birthday and our anniversary are ten days apart. This year I am buying him one big gift for both occasions. Okay, so I haven’t bought it yet, but he knows what it is an is helping me pick it out, so he knows what’s coming. However, I wanted him to have something to open for his birthday, so I decided to make him something small.

It all started over a month ago when I asked him if he wanted me to make a sweater for him for Christmas. Although he thought a new sweater would be nice, he smartly asked me if I actually had time to knit him one. No, no I don’t. I don’t know why I even suggested it. He did say, however, that he needs new dishcloths as the ones he’s been using have started to become tattered. Because they were tattered I didn’t want to wait until Christmas to give him some new ones, so I decided to make some for his birthday.

Tim was a big fan of dinosaurs as a boy, so I found these four dinosaur dishcloth patterns.

Stegosaurus Dishcloth
Pattern: Stegosaurus Dinosaur by Knitted Kitty~Carol
Yarn: Lion Brand Lion Cotton Solid in Morning Glory Blue
Needles: US 6
Date started: September 16, 2012
Date completed: September 16, 2012

Tim is always around, so I took advantage of the fact that he was out of the house for most of the day on September 16 to get started on his gift. I was able to make the first dishcloth in one sitting while he was out. I wasn’t so lucky for the next two. I started each at our knit group, but wasn’t able to finish either of them there.

Pterodactyl Dishcloth
Pattern: Pterodactyl Dinosaur by Knitted Kitty~Carol
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Solid in White
Needles: US 6
Date started: September 24, 2012
Date completed: September 29, 2012

I managed to finish the pterodactyl dishcloth while Tim was sleeping.

T-Rex Dishcloth
Pattern: T-Rex Dinosaur by Knitted Kitty~Carol
Yarn: Lily Sugar’n Cream Solids in mod green
Needles: US 6
Date started: October 1, 2012
Date completed: October 6, 2012

I managed to finish the T-rex one afternoon while Tim was out for a couple of hours. Thanks to his sister who needed help removing a window air conditioning unit for giving me time to finish this one.

Brachiosaurus Dishcloth
Pattern: Brachiosaurus Dinosaur by Knitted Kitty~Carol
Yarn: Lily Sugar’n Cream Solids in mod green
Needles: US 6
Date started: October 8, 2012
Date completed: October 8, 2012

Last week I arrived about 30 minutes early to knit group, which was all I needed to finish this one on one day.

I should also add that Tim picked the green yarn himself, not realizing that I had ulterior motives for having him choose it!

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Happy Saturday!

Posted by Andi on October 6, 2012

Last Saturday we visited Tim’s family. We spent most of the afternoon in Michigan visiting two wineries, and it was such a beautiful day for it. The first one we went to was Lemon Creek Winery. It has a large tasting room, so even though there were a lot of people, it didn’t feel very crowded. Tim and I ended up buying two bottles of wine from there, a red and a white.

Next we went across the way to Domaine Berrien Cellars.

Domaine Berrien Winery

That tasting room is tiny, and it was crowded. However, they have a lovely back deck with tables and umbrellas, where you can sit and enjoy bottles of wine.

Domaine Berrien Winery

So that’s what we did. Tim picked out a bottle of wine, I picked out some cheese (the winery supplies the knife and glasses), and we already had some sausage. We found a table and enjoyed our food and drink.

Domaine Berrien Winery

And of course, I did some knitting.

Domaine Berrien Winery

We spent the rest of the day in Tim’s parents’ back yard. We ate dinner and took some target practice with a pellet gun. As it got cooler Tim’s dad started a fire in the pit.

Fire Pit

Soon we were all sitting around the fire. Of course, I did some knitting.

Fire Pit

And Tim made popcorn over the fire.

Making popcorn over the fire

We also toasted some marshmallows. I accidentally dropped part of mine in the popcorn bowl. Oops! Just for kicks I rolled the soft warm marshmallow around in the popcorn and made a little ball. It was surprisingly good! It tasted like a Rice Krispy treat, only with popcorn instead of cereal. So there’s a tip for you the next time you are toasting marshmallows and are tired of the same old s’mores — put it in popcorn!!

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