Camilla Babe

Baby Camilla FO
Originally uploaded by reluctantMANGO
I love this sweater - the pattern is Camilla Babe by Carrie Bostick Hoge. I also love that I knit the baby version for the new mom-to-be across the street before laying into the adult version for me, because the garter makes too bulky a fabric for my frame. So I'll content myself with knitting one for every little girl baby I come across, and that's something wonderful coming from a person who rarely knits a pattern twice!
The yarn is Berroco Vintage, a machine-washable, super soft worsted weight that is beautiful to knit with. No pattern for the hat, just cast on and made it up as I went along. I love the square top hats for infants - the corners look like little cat ears!


Liam's New Coat

Fall 2010 004
Originally uploaded by reluctantMANGO
Such a satisfying knit, Zoe Mellor's Duffle Coat from her book Double Knits practially made itself up. Easy to memorize, very little shaping, and such a timeless design! Can't say enough about it. I did read some comments about the hood being shallow, so I went off on my own for that part of the coat, but otherwise I followed the pattern. Hopefully I'll have pictures soon of Liam wearing it... or I could use my own little model - though my wee Mango is almost three (SHOCK!), one-year-old Liam is close to the same size in clothes. Very healthy, and so stinking cute! And ultimately knitworthy: the sweater I knit for his baby shower was worn all winter long last year, and I've no doubt this one will get the same treatment. There's no better compliment, I think.


Rhinebeck 2010

Rhinebeck 2010 021
Originally uploaded by reluctantMANGO
Dear blog,

My 2010 Rhinebeck adventure reminded me of how much I miss writing, and how much more connected I felt when I was actively contributing to the online knitting community. Can we be friends again?

More about Rhinebeck soon... though I must shamefully admit that this photo of our combined purchases, taken upon our triumphant return, is the only one I snapped during the trip. There was just so much to see, so much yarn to pet, so much festival food to eat that I didn't even take the camera out of my bag!


Hallett's Ledge

Hallett's Ledge
Originally uploaded by reluctantMANGO
I'm so excited to be headed to Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend! A couple of friends will be joining me on this adventure, and I've knit a very special sweater to wear to the event! If you see me (and my Hallett's Ledge sweater) there, please do stop and say hello :)


Brandywine Festival of the Arts

Originally uploaded by reluctantMANGO

So the Brandywine Arts Festival was back this year, under new management and name, and I'm so glad! Lots of new artists and some old favorites. I scored this hat, made from a pair of pants - so cute! And a pair of plain silver hoops and three sets of interchangeable bobs to wear on them. I have a few stitch markers that would look great as earrings too! I love being able to support independent artists, it makes me feel good.

Edited to remove redundant 'cute' ness.


Free Pattern: Dionysus Socks!

Originally uploaded by reluctantMANGO
At long last, I give you my first sock design, Dionysus, which I began to create during a class I took with Cookie A about a year ago. They've been kicking around ever since, and when I read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series of books by Rick Riordan everything came together... the vines, the leaves, the fall colors... these are socks fit for the god of wine!

Available for free on Ravelry.


Knock, knock...

Who's there?


Blog who?



'nuff said.

Scrap hat in Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton. Ravelry link.

Waffle pullover sweater in Colinette Jitterbug. Ravelry link.

We do good work, don't you think?


What I'm up to:

1. Watching my little mango grow up - it's happening so quickly that I don't want to take my eyes off of him for fear of missing something. The other night I stepped away at dinnertime to answer the door, and when I came back, he had decided to try his hand at feeding himself. There was more on the tray than in his tummy, but it's just a preview for many more 'I can do it myself' moments that will make me feel so proud and yet so forlorn. He cut his first tooth last week, and the second is not far behind. Crawling is right around the corner; the legs know what to do, but the arms aren't quite ready to cooperate. It's mostly rocking front and back on all fours, then dropping to the tummy to army-crawl in the direction of whatever object he desires.
2. Knitting the first of four Waffles sweaters. I haven't completed more than two knitted items since my little guy arrived 8 months ago, but somehow I got it into my head that he and his three east coast cousins needed matching sweaters for Christmas. And that's not even the crazy part: they're all knit in fingering weight yarn!!! I'm loving the pattern - it's easy to memorize, plus it's adorable, and it looks great in the Colinette Jitterbug yarn I picked up at Stitches with Style. Wish me luck. I'm going to need it!

Ok, considering the above, Hey Teach (in the very affordable Plymouth Jeannee also from SWS) is on hold until next spring. But what a lovely thing to look forward to! I love this pattern - it's easy to knit, the lace is simple yet pretty, and it's flattering to the not-so-svelte ladies like myself. I'm missing it already, but as there is no deadline for this one, I'm going to have to get over it.
Other than that, I'm laying low... liking my new job, though the commute is killing me. Just celebrated my 6th wedding anniversary (we've somehow managed not to kill each other) on Labor Day. We're such an old married couple that we stayed in and got caught up on our laundry while we treated ourselves to a movie on the couch in our jammies, with a very sleepy baby between us. And you know what? It was awesome.


Opportunity knocks

Two posts in less than a month? Well slap me with a hank of Malabrigo and call me fluffy! Yarn Mama tagged me with the meme below, providing me with just the opportunity I needed to throw together a quick post and a quick baby update... babymango had his 6 month followup appointment after his head cooling treatment at birth, and in the doctor's words, he's PERFECT! I couldn't agree more :) Now, on to the meme:

You must answer the questions using only one word & tag four others.

1. Where is your cell phone? In the front pocket of my purse
2. Your significant other? Shopping for a Hybrid car
3. Your hair? Still looking good at 6:30pm. Thanks Garnier!
4. Your mother? Eastern Shore, finishing up her vacation
5. Your father? With mom
6. Your favorite thing? Eskimo kisses
7. Your dream last night? Can't remember
8. Your favorite drink? Top shelf margarita on the rocks with ice
9. Your dream/goal? More knitting time
10. The room you’re in? living
11. Your hobby? Knitting, reading, sudoku
12. Your fear? spiders
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years NOW? Midwest
14. What you’re not? skinny
15. Muffins? Raisin Bran
16. One of your wish list items? Deck for back of house
17. Where you grew up? Nearby
18. The last thing you did? pizza
19. What are you wearing? Work top, play pants, no shoes
20. Favorite gadget? Sirius radio
21. Your pets? Furry
22. Your computer?HP Pavilion
23. Your mood? content
24. Missing someone? no
25. Your car? dented :(
26. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
27. Favorite store? yarn
28. Like someone? yes
29. Your favorite color? green
30. When is the last time you laughed? 2 seconds ago
31. Last time you cried? two nights ago - nightmare!

Ok, I'm sure that my readership is dwindling due to my lack of posting, so if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged!


So long, so full

Someone recently noted that it's been quite a while since I posted on my blog. This is true, but if you've been following for any amount of time, you'll know that my life is very full right now (in a good way). Something had to give, and this blog was the first casualty! I miss it, I miss contributing to a community that I am enamored of and take so much pleasure from. I am certain I'll be back to regular posting in the near future, but now is not that time. I'm still knitting, though much more sporadically, and you can find all the details on Ravelry - my username is reluctantMANGO - come and friend me! The baby is growing by leaps and bounds, and to my eye is perfect in every way. He's going to be crawling before too long, so I will have my hands full. I'm also leaving my much-loved job of 6.5 years and going to work at a children's hospital in the area. It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make (small business vs. large business, casual vs. business dress, friends vs. colleagues) and in the end I felt I had to sacrifice some of my ideals in order to provide for my family. It's a good opportunity, great benefits, and a totally unexpected change for me - I was not looking for it, but once presented, I had no choice but to 'take one for the team' and make the move. I know, poor me, right? Seriously, it'll be good for all of us in the long run, myself included. The women I'll be working for seem genuine and honest and open, and they are willing to invest their time in me as I learn the ropes of a new industry. I hope it'll be a good partnership. Wish me luck.

I'll try to get some details up about my latest knitted FO's soon, but if I don't, at least you know why!


Bucket Brigade

Finished Bucket
Originally uploaded by reluctantMANGO

Well, here it is. My first FO of 2008!
Pattern: Better Bucket Hat by Amy Swenson
Yarn: Tess Designer Yarn Cultivated Silk and Wool, just over 1 skein
Favorite detail: Provisional cast on! Love to learn new things.

I've started a Bainbridge Scarf to match the hat, and hopefully they'll be done by Monday, when I return to work full time. I'll need something bright, soft, and absorbent *sniffle* to make it through my first day away from BabyMango. I'm looking forward to going back to work - I miss my co-workers and the daily challenges of life in horticulture - but I have a feeling that it's going to be a long 8 hours. Mr. ReMango will be staying home with the baby, since most of his classes are remote, and my Mom will be filling in when he has to go into school for labs. Knowing that he'll be with family makes it a lot easier. Wish me luck!


And for my NEXT trick...

Provisional cast on
Originally uploaded by reluctantMANGO
Watch me pull a provisional cast on out of my hat! Seriously, this is a very cool technique, called for in the Better Bucket Hat pattern by Indigirl. I love the shape of this hat, and as soon as I saw it I had to have it. I also needed a project that required less attention than the Anemoi Mittens I've been working on. Talk about intense! Anyway, I had this great Tess Designer Yarns Cultivated Silk and Wool yarn (Ravelry link) in a delicious copper and black colorway just begging to be knit up. It's been crying out to me for about three years now, so its time has come. It didn't knit up to the same gauge as the yarn called for in the pattern, so I had to do a little math *GASP* to adjust the pattern to fit. I think the hours spent playing Brain Age on my Nintendo DS during the last months of my pregnancy (you know, the months when I couldn't KNIT) really paid off, because I also won a blog contest over at SoapyKnitter by dusting off the math skills! More about that when my prize arrives. Where was I? Oh yes. Bucket Hat. So after I calculated for gauge differences, I got ready to cast on, and the pattern directed me to Eunny's tutorial on casting on provisionally. Her instructions have you cast on to a waste yarn, but Indigirl suggests casting on to a second circular needle. This is pure genius, because what we're doing here is knitting a hem. The purl row you see in the picture is the turning row, where I'll fold the hem up under the working needles and will simply knit the cast on row together with the active stitches to attach the hem to the underside of the brim. Et voila! An invisible hem with no sewing! Like I said, seriously cool - you should really check out Eunny's tutorial for a better explanation. Mine pales in comparison to her technical description.

Speaking of new techniques, I was surprised, delighted, and secretly relieved to see that RangerSarah has nominated me for the 'You Make My Day' award. I've been seeing this award flying about the knitblog community for at least a week and, frankly, I was feeling a bit left out. I know, boo hoo, right? Well, apparently RangerSarah is feeling inspired by my ongoing quest to learn more knitting tecniques and is taking on some colorwork herself. This made her day. And now she's made MY day! So I return the compliment to her, along with these other fine bloggers who regularly brighten my day:

Frog in Knots
Flint Knits
Radical Femiknits
Schrodinger Knits
Sunshine Creations
Yarn Mama

Canela & Comino
Homesick Texan
Kalyn's Kitchen
Mac and Cheese

Ok, so I picked more than ten... I could have chosen even more! I will admit that since BabyMango arrived, I've done more lurking than anything else, but keeping up with these blogs has kept me anchored to the outside world and inspired me to be more creative in my knitting as well as in my kitchen! That really makes my day! Hopefully I'll find time today to notify them of my nomination, but if not perhaps they'll track back and find it themselves. If so, congratulations! You're now tasked with nominating 10 bloggers who make YOUR day!


Happy Valentine's Day!

Just thought I'd share the lovely flowers Mr. ReMango and BabyMango gave me this morning. Hope your day is filled with as much love as mine!