Friday, September 23, 2016

Long time, few knits

I have been knitting, but everything I have been knitting has been going awry.  Ever have that?  Some of it is my fault, I know.  I'm either not paying close enough attention, or I'm not doing the math beforehand.  I recently purchased this pattern:


It's the Weekend Wrap by Cocoknits.  It is a fast knit, provided that you knit it according to the pattern.  Because I can't leave well enough alone, I haven't been knitting it from the pattern.  I started to, but when I tried it on, it wasn't as long as I wanted or as wide as I wanted.  So, I increased the stitch count and row count (given in inches).  Since I was halfway through it, it has been taking longer.  I had to take it all out, and then start all over.  And then I found a hole.  Then after the armhole my stitch count was incorrect.  So, it is a simple and wonderful pattern.  I just kept screwing it up.  I plan on doing this again, actually, as a Christmas gift.  There are so many projects I want to do, but I find that I have seemingly less time now than ever.  I think because I don't make time anymore.  I always wait until I'm done for the day, but I'm never really done for the day.  It's the curse of being a stay at home mom.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

The things we do

It never ceases to amaze me at what I will agree to when one of my children is involved.  My middle child, ever the girly girl and on the go, wanted a blanket for her dolls.  I had been gifted some acrylic yarn, and thought this would be a perfect use for it.  I have a pink, yellow and eggshell color that is from the 1970's.  I plan on making the blanket pink (because what other color is there?) with white daisies.  A pillow has been requested as well, and another blanket for the guest dolls.  Yes, this doll has a guest bed in her house and her friends sleep over all the time.  Five year olds have great imaginations.  I hope to finish this and my sock while hubby has surgery and doctor appointments in the next couple of days.  He is going for the first cataract surgery tomorrow, and the second will be in a couple of weeks.  Positive thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

August is called the "dog days" of Summer.  It is usually hot, and with nothing to celebrate, the heat makes the days drag.  I am trying to take full advantage of it, by trying to complete something.  I have a sock and a half, and hope to finish it within a day or so.  The sooner I am done with it, the sooner I can move on to another project. 

The front of my sweater is done, but I need to get started on the back.  Then I have the mittens for Christmas, at least 2 pairs of socks for Christmas, and the birthday sweaters to do.  Think I can get it all done?  Yeah, I don't think so either, at least not this year.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Travels

I spent part of the last week of June on vacation.  I had a lovely view from the bed and breakfast in which we stayed.



I did not get much knitting done.  But I did come home to some cucumbers in the garden.



They are small, but growing.  I also now have a squash, a zucchini, and a tomato.  And squash bugs.  But I also have Sevin dust.  I was going to post before now, using my new phone, but it wouldn't load pictures.  I have to figure it out.  I have three main projects that I'm working on...



My purple sweater is still ongoing.  I have divided the front and back, and have about 6 inches (out of 10!) for the front already.  It is slow, as I find I don't make time to knit like I used to.


It is also slow, because I broke another needle on it.  This time though, I can send the needle back (Thanks Addi for having that policy) and I will get a replacement.  In the meantime, I am using some straights in the same size to finish the front.


My Cup of Tea socks were going great, until I tried it on.  My big feet (and subsequently big ankles) are not loving the heel and gusset.  Which means all this progress is gone.  I had to start over, and add some extra stitches to make it bigger.  I'm about 12 rows into the cuff again.


This is the second attempt at the 12 Days of Christmas Mitten garland Mitten #1.  I didn't like this one either, so I ripped it back (again) and started a third time.  It is better this time.  The first time was too tight, the second too loose.  This time it seems to be just right.  It feels like a Goldilocks theme to me.

I have other projects I need to get to, but it's harder these days to make time to knit.  I'm not sure why, other than I always manage to do other things first and never have time leftover.  There are still birthday sweaters to knit, Christmas socks to get started on, and my Etsy shop to update.  I need to manage my time a little better, as I also have boxes to sort, repack, label and create a master list.  I also would love a break.  I just don't always get one.  How's your summer going?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Reflections

I have been thinking about my projects, current and past, and the ones I want to attempt in the future.  I have 3 currently in progress, meaning that I'm actually knitting on them actively.  The first is the My Cup of Tea socks, which I tried on last night and they are a bit tight.  Which means that I will probably rip them out and just knit a pair of plain socks for myself.  I could possibly adjust the pattern with some math, but the pattern won't stick in my brain for whatever reason, meaning that I have to keep a piece of paper in front of me.  That sort of defeats the purpose have having traveling knitting.  I want something that I can memorize or I don't have to think about and can pull out at a moment's notice to work on.  I may just "create" my own pattern - use a simple stitch repeat like the Bee Stitch and just get going.  I like something that I can stick in my purse and pull out when I have a spare moment.

I have fewer and fewer of those these days, as I am becoming my husband's personal assistant.  It's not really all that bad - he is just having a lot of doctor's appointments and I am the one who has to coordinate them all within his work schedule.  He's having cataract surgery in August, which is rough because he has to have them one at a time and each eye requires a week off of work.  Most people don't think that's a big deal, but it is when you don't have sick time or vacation, and if you don't work, you don't get paid.  We have to carefully orchestrate everything, and I get to be the conductor.  It's not as exciting as it sounds, I promise.

My 12 Days of Christmas garland got sidetracked, because the color combination wasn't quite what I wanted.  I got about 2/3rds done, and didn't like it.  Fortunately, it's small, so it wasn't that much work.

My sweater is still in progress, but working on the other 2 things means the sweater goes for TV knitting.  And since I haven't been watching much TV these days, there's not much progress on it.  I have split it for the front and back, and am working now on the front.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Midway through

I am just over halfway done with the purple sweater again.


This picture of the first time around is close to where I currently am on it - although the bottom does not curl like it does here.  That should have been my first clue, and at least part of this could have been avoided.  

My Cup of Tea socks are coming along - I'm almost to the heel of the first sock.  These are going slowly, since I'm only working on them for a couple of hours on Tuesdays.  Surprisingly, with the help of a handy little sticky flag, I make few mistakes and remember where I am in the pattern.

I am planning a couple of new things to knit, if I can make my fingers work faster.  First up is this:

                                        12dayskal2_small2

I'm trading out sport weight for the fingering it calls for, which will probably make them a little larger, but so much the better.  This is going to be a knit-a-long, not just online, but also through Bumbleberry.  Several of us who go on Tuesday afternoons are planning on knitting these mittens together.  I'm looking forward to it.  

I also think I have a couple of girly sweaters in my head as I have missed birthday sweaters this year.  I picked up some Eco+ in pink yesterday (on sale!) and I think the Littlest Princess will get that.  Princess will get a cardigan from pink and steel grey Sublime I already have.  I'm dying to use it up, as it's really pretty and I don't want it to go to waste.  I still have to work on Little Man's birthday sweater.  I haven't really started even looking at the translation of the pattern yet.  But all things in due time.

I'm already thinking ahead to Christmas as well.  I think I have 3 people down - socks for them.  There is a fourth who might get socks - I don't get any feedback from him on these things so I'm not sure how much he uses or appreciates them.  I think I'm going to do plain vanilla socks for everyone.  First of all, they are easy to knit.  Rather boring, true, but also easy while watching TV or talking.  Having a pattern distracts and if I keep it simple, they won't get messed up.  Also, they go fast because there is no pattern on the sock.  The simple pattern, or lack thereof, also lets me pick a really beautiful yarn to showcase.  I can probably knit a pair of plain vanilla socks in a couple of weeks.  This is great for time saving.

How about you?  Are you already planning ahead for the holidays?

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

A Cardigan?

I am not known for cardigans.  I don't think I've ever really had one.  I can't remember having any in high school or college, and now I've knit the body of one.


The picture is courtesy of Little Man (I think this next year we'll do more in photography with him in art, and you may see more of his photos).  It hangs low enough, and seems to be big enough around, before the collar.  Also, here's the purple sweater:


I am on the first new skein, having knit the first 2 of 4 from the body.  I will alternate the old and new skeins for length.  I may get by with only one, but I have an extra just in case.  I thought there were 3 skeins left, but I must have used 8 skeins instead of 7, so there were only 2 extra.  That's okay - I think I can still make it.  Here's the other project I've been working on:


It's My Cup of Tea socks.  I'm using my birthday yarn, Madelinetosh sock in Wilted Rose (hubby knows how to pick good yarn).  These are going slowly, mainly because I only knit them on Tuesday afternoons while at the local yarn shop.  The yarn came from there, and I feel weird about using yarn bought elsewhere when I'm in the shop.

Do you have those kinds of reservations?  I never had an issue where I used to live - I bought a good bit from The Whole Nine Yarns, since I had more money, and it was about 5 minutes from my house.  It was so easy to drive by there on a Saturday and stop in or head over there on Tuesday night and pick up something.  And I did, frequently.  So knitting with something I bought there wasn't a problem.  I usually wanted to knit on the yarn I had just bought anyway.

The yarn shop that's closest isn't that close.  It's a good 30 minutes away, in another town, and it's not as convenient.  And then there's the issue of money.  We have a LOT less.  Like one third of what we had before.  Granted, we no longer have a house payment, but still - it takes a lot of money to support 3 children and 2 adults.  If you had a reduction of your income by two thirds, you'd spend less too, mainly because it just isn't there to spend.  I'm a huge believer in using what you have too, so that's not a complaint, just an observation.  Hubby has bought me a lot of yarn over a couple of Christmases, so I have a large stash, and I like working from it.  Hence the purple sweater.  But I didn't get that yarn at that store, so I feel odd knitting on it there even though it would be the easiest to knit with a group.  And the group here is MUCH smaller than at TWNY.  And I mean MUCH.  This group averages about 5-6 a week, where TWNY averaged about 15-20 each week.  Hey, another third.  In any event, I haven't had the resources to purchase from Bumbleberry (the local shop) like I have The Whole Nine Yarns.  So I try to use what I buy from there, to knit there.  Those projects go slowly, but that's not all bad.  It's actually kind of nice.  How about you?