FO: A Sweater for Cher

We adopted Cher from HART Rescue the day before Thanksgiving in 2013. Her Gotcha Day has become one of my favorite days of the year to celebrate.
This is one of the first photos I took of her, she was scared and so was I. I’d never had a dog before and I didn’t know what to expect, what to do and my husband was at work so I was all alone with this strange creature. But over the last 3 years I think we’ve figured it all out just fine and I realized that as much as she needed to be rescued, I needed her just as much.
Portrait of a Pup
This 12 year old dog spent 3 years in 3 different shelters before a rescue group picked her up. Sometimes I feel like she was waiting for me to find her and wondering what took me so long. As wonderful as she is I just don’t understand why anyone would give her (or Jellybean) up but I’m here now and she’s spoiled absolutely rotten for as long as she is with me (and I hope that’s a long time). So as the holidays are getting near and I am trying to coordinate outfits for a family photo (you may remember my holiday photo from 2015 and from 2014) I decided Cher needed a new sweater because she couldn’t repeat and I already bought a new sweater for Jellybean.
Cher's Max sweater
In a day I was able to whip up the Max sweater for Cher and I was so excited and wanted to share that I 1. only took pics with my cell phone 2. didn’t even block the sweater yet. Knitting dog sweaters is just as quick and adorable as baby sweaters in my opinion. Plus the sweaters in this book are all top down and easy to modify. My husband keeps saying I need to make a billion dog sweaters and sell them at Eastern Market. If only I had the time.
Cher's Max sweater
This was too cute to not share my Cher. I used leftover yarn from a scarf I made for Kendell a while ago, Berroco Vintage in the Black Current and Oats colors.
Cher's Max sweater
Cher of course promptly went to sleep in her sweater right after I snapped a few pics. I think she enjoys a warm and cozy hand knit. Clearly she’s the right dog for me. And since Jellybean is so small I’ll have to experiment and work on modifying a pattern to fit her tiny frame. In the meantime I’ll keep buying her little sweaters from my favorite doggy site, Baxter Boo. Seriously, they have everything and they always have a sale. And hopefully we will get a nice family photo of the 4 of us during the Thanksgiving break. I’m taking the rest of the week off to enjoy my family and friends and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving/rest of the week as well. But let me also say, I’m thankful for you! You come and read my blog, share comments and tips and give lots of support. Like I always say, yarn people are the best people.

Happy Thanksgiving!

FO: For Friends Who Love Football

I have a small circle of adults I’m willing to knit sweaters for in my life. My mom, my sisters, my husband, my BFF Jess and my cousin Safia are my main circle of people who will get hand knit sweaters from me and then of course most of the babies in my life. I have two other girlfriends I think of as sisters and one asked me in a random text if I’d be willing to knit her a Washington Redskins sweater. Well…I did.
Charmaine's Redskins hat
I have to preface the fact that because my house is a NY Giants household, I had to include a picture of Cher and Jelly in their Giants jerseys and require that my girlfriend Charmaine put that pic up in her home or office so people know where my heart belongs. I also made sure my husband was okay with me knitting in the burgundy and gold before I started, but because it was for Charmaine he gave it the green light. LOL And honestly I could’ve told him this was a Gryffindor sweater  and I think he would’ve been okay with that too.
Charmaine's Redskins sweater
I decided to make the Montagne sweater for Char. It’s a bulky weight knit (you can see the one I previously knit here on Ravelry) that’s super simple and I knew I could make it over a few days. I also wanted a chance to make this sweater again because I have never been satisfied with how the pocket turned out on mine. In the instructions they have you cast on new stitches and then sew the pocked flap to the inside of the sweater and I hate that you can see the stitches. I never got it to lay nicely. For this version I decided to knit front and back over the 35 pocket stitches and on the next row I held the ones that looked like purls to the back (to keep working in the round) and held the ones that look like knit to the front on scrap yarn to work after I finished the body. Once I finished the body (20 rows – 10 gold, 10 burgundy) I went back, knit the front flap of the pocket and then knit those stitches back together on the last round.
Charmaine's Redskins sweater
The end result was a much cleaner looking pocket and me being much happier with the end results. I also worked alternating 10 row stripes in the burgundy and gold, Berroco Vintage Chunky yarn. Unfortunately, the burgundy bled a little on the white collar and cuffs so it’s a very pale pink. I was worried it might make the yellow look orange but it held on to just the white and I was okay with it and Char could’ve cared less. She was just thrilled to have a new warm sweater in her team colors – she’s a season ticket holder and she’s going to the game in London this week and is taking it with her!
Charmaine's Redskins hat
I also decided to whip up a hat because you can’t just have the sweater, right?! Plus I had just enough yarn to make the hat and the sweater.
Charmaine's Redskins hat
For the hat I knit the Lodge Toque from Within, the new Jane Richmond book. The hat is knit with two strands of bulky weight yarn on size 13 needles. I whipped this up in about 2 hours and used the last of the yarn to make a big fluffy pom pom on top. I didn’t tell Charmaine I was knitting her a sweater, I just knit it. I knit it in my size because she’s a little smaller but I knew it would fit or have some room to layer a tshirt underneath for when the games are really cold in November. And because it was our alma mater’s homecoming I was able to deliver it to her in person on Friday. The best knits are the ones that make people happy and this one definitely made her day. I’m happy I was able to put a smile on her face and I know whenever she wears either piece she’ll always think happily of me.

So what’s the best knit you’ve made as a gift? Share!

FO: Hats for Hillary

I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone who has read my blog over the last few months to realize I’m voting for Hillary Clinton. I work in Washington, DC (when I walk out of my office building I have a straight line of sight to the White House) and I live in the Maryland suburbs and I’m fully consumed with politics on a daily basis. During the Democratic National Convention I ordered some Hillary swag that included a pack of embroidered patches. I wasn’t sure what I would knit with them but then decided a hat was in order.
Decisions, decisions. Knit up a hat in support of @hillaryclinton and now I don't know which patch to add. #imwithher #knittersforhillary #nevernotknitting
You may have seen this pic on my Instagram feed and I ended up making a Hillary Hat using the H and the Hillary16 patch on this red hat and gave it to my Mom. She’s been volunteering for the campaign in Northern Virginia and I wanted her to have some swag. I bought a skein of cobalt blue to use the heart patch on but then on Instagram I saw an even better hat to make!

I'm With Her Hat via Ravlery
I’m With Her Hat image via Ravlery

Yellow Cosmo is offering the I’m With Her Hat pattern for free!! I’m going to use the cobalt blue yarn for the hat and make my arrow red and probably add my heart patch on the side. If you’re looking for a way to show your support download that pattern!