Batkus / Let nothing be wasted.

My sweet little cast on for Batkus, I am really happy that I chose this pattern for this yarn. It has been a little difficult keeping track of which row I am on, the pattern is a simple and easy (its only 8 rows repeating) but I've had to rip back a few times because I was increasing on the wrong side of the row, but  I don't mind. Im not used to working with such small needles and yarn, Im partial to worsted weights, but am finding myself drawn to the more delicate patterns and fibers these days. 
Sweet little baby hands. Look at how beautiful that kettle died yarn is, the variation of colors is amazing. It has me inspired to do some hand dying myself, In fact, I just ordered this book, in hopes of learning to dye some yarn in this coming year, which I will talk about later in this post.

This is the most accurate photo for the color, its so rich.

 Im loving the single ply merino. 

Sweet baby Julian learning to put on his hat. He is officially attached to it, Naomi kept trying to steal it from him, which was not making him happy. He even protested when I put it on. 

I have had a lot of ideas bouncing around my head this weekend. I usually don't participate in new year resolutions, my stance is that if you want something to change, you shouldn't consult the calendar, the verse, "be transformed by the renewing of your mind daily" is a little bit of a mantra to me. But! This year, I will be resolving to do something different. I am waiting till the new year to begin this so that I can prepare and work out some details. I know that it will be something along the lines of "Waste Less" but thats pretty vague. This weekend Xavier and I went to Park Com. Church, we didn't wake up in time for the morning service of the church we usually go to. The "theme" of the sermon this week was John 6, when Jesus fed the thousands. A lot of things that the teacher spoke on and pointed out were good things, true things, but the thing that called out to me the most, was this :

 “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 

Of all things to say after having done this miracle of feeding thousands of people from very little, Jesus is concerned with not wasting what is left over, and points it out. I know this isn't the highlight of the story, but this is what spoke to me, what challenged me. The last few months I have been doing a little research and poking around the idea of composting, and growing a garden this coming spring, canning seasonal fruits and veggies, this little nudge from the spirit is conformation for me. Let nothing be wasted. I don't want this to be contained to the ideas of wasting food, this morning I was doing the dishes and considering ways to use the least amount of water, I've always just let the water run while I was scrubbing and not plugged the sink, and when I actually thought about it, I was pretty convicted. (This is why my dad sometimes thinks Im becoming a universalist, because while some people think Jesus is telling them to stop listening to secular music, I think Jesus is telling me to grow gardens and to be mindful of my impact on the beauty of his creation..hah) Im also considering making a very bold commitment to not buy anything new for a whole year. (excluding things you obviously would never and or should never buy used, like panties, or tooth brushes. ) This would be very hard for me, especially because I buy ALOT of new yarn. I posted last week about recycling yarn, and I am really inspired to get better at it, and hopefully learn how to these recycled yarns with natural pigments found in nature. I would love to get a group together and go searching for black walnut trees and collecting their leaves to dye some yarn,  Or using turmeric, coffee, tea, copper, onion skins, red cabbage, chamomile, there are so many options. Apparently you can grow indigo in your back yard. I would love to venture into spinning as well, but thats a whole different conversation about being self sustainable...(why cant i just have a couple of acres of land in the city so I can have my chickens and garden and my little sheep?!) I'm so inspired! But to stay on topic, I still have to really work out the details of what this resolution would be, and Ill post more about it soon. 


Imogen / Lacey Batkus/ November / December

Its been a busy past month. Lots of knitting, baking, cooking, learning, healing. Our little Alexander thanksgiving was wonderful, I seriously love being able to enjoy good ingredients, putting them together with creativity to enjoy as a meal with the ones you love. Growing up, my dad would always try to experiment in the kitchen but I was always too picky to really try anything, so now that Im grown and have a little more adventurous taste buds, sharing new and different recipes with my dad is special. Xavier's brother was able to come and spend a little time with us and Julian, and my parents stopped in the next day. I thought I would be able to get more knitting done over the holiday but it took a backseat to the festivities, which I am ok with. This being a semi (incredibly late) thanksgiving tribute post, I suppose I should include something that I am thankful for. This year I am thankful for health. Julian is so healthy, and thick and strong and smart, my heart aches even thinking of him being sick, or having some sort of medical issue. There are times when nursing him gets to be difficult, especially now that he has some teeth, but almost every time I start to complain in my mind, I am reminded of how incredibly healthy he is, and how big! He's pretty much never been sick, granted, winter has arrived and that may change, but for now, I am thankful that I am able to nurse, and that he is doing so well. I am thankful that my dear husband Xavier is feeling better these days. The last few months have been difficult for us because he came down with a mysterious illness. It started with what we thought was food poisoning from our favorite sushi place. He was vomiting every few hours, couldn't keep anything down, headaches, body aches, for about a week and it just kept getting worse. After the second week of this rolled around he had lost about ten pounds and I begged him to go to the doctor, who said he had a viral infection and that all he could do was to wait it out. So, another three weeks and same symptoms, and they kept getting worse. Xavier is always so strong, and tough, it was hard for me to see him in so much discomfort (although at first I told him at least he could understand how it felt to be pregnant....hah). After another few weeks of this I sent him back to the doctor who diagnosed him with Hyperthyroidism, and gave him a referral for a specialist. A week and a half of phone tag with this specialist, she said that she wouldn't be able to see him to the end of January, meaning he would have to suffer through this with no help for another two months! I was sick of my poor husband having to deal with this, I called  and demanded that our family doctor write him the same prescription that the specialist would. Thankfully he complied and Xavier has been feeling better, he's been able to keep down most of what he eats and is able to get a little better sleep, which makes everyone happy. Oh dear, now Ive gotten myself all worked up. moving on....


 Oh cute baby Julian. I had some left over malabrigo rios from a sweater I made him, so I did a simple little baby cowl, and to my surprise and delight, he LOVES IT! Although, he prefers to wear it on his head, he seems to enjoy the colors, and how soft it is. I also caved and bought him an american apparel baby cardigan to match it..Im terrible I know. 


 Ta Da! This is my first actually acceptable cake of reclaimed thriftstore yarn. The tag said alpaca and the sweater was gigantic, so many yards of this yarn, I have three whole cakes with me in Chicago and more at my mothers house in Michigan. This pattern Im working on is called the Imogen Cowl, and is intended for a fingering weight yarn, but I think this yarn is more of a dk/light worsted, and I think I really like the definition in the stitches. Im using a size 6 needle, which is sort of difficult with this yarn but I think I like the texture its creating. This pattern is fun, you really have to pay attention though, so I can only really work on it at night, (although, I was working on it the other night and Xavier was watching the Walking Dead and I was so scared that I messed up probably six times and had to go back a couple of rows to fix it..) 

 I really like knitting with recycled yarn, I feel like I sort of rescued it. Im hoping to get a yarn swift and ball winder for christmas (hint hint) so that unraveling those thrifted sweaters is less daunting and time consuming. (If you'd would like me to do a photo tutorial please leave a comment on this post) Sometimes when Im in that homesteady, diy, lets get chickens and can some greenbeans mood I tell Xavier that I want to stop shopping at the yarn stores and just recycle sweaters all the time, but then I find THIS:

Madelinetosh Merino Light, in Ginger. Oh dear. So lovely. So squishy. So convenient! So expensive...and I loose all self control. Nina, a LYS was having an anniversary sale and it was 20% off, so it was excusable. 420 yards of bliss..what to make what to make...and for who? For me?! Maybe. I have landed on a pattern though, I wanted something that would show off the gorgeous hand dyed color variation but would still be texturally interesting, Lacey Batkus, seems perfect. Ill be casting this on today during nap time. I also finished two sets of mittens this week, one for my darling Xavier, and the other for my friend Charles, for his birthday. The first pair was our of some good ol Cascade 220, because Xavier is all about no nonsense, and the second pair was out of Madelintosh  Vintage in Fig, (I love everything about figs, by the way.) and they are gorgeous, photos soon to come for those.

So there it is, were all caught up for this last few weeks Ive been too busy to share my little projects with you!