Friday, August 31, 2012

Trying to be good

I'm really trying to be good.  Honest, I am.  But have you seen this?

This is new, from Luvinthemommyhood, on the KnitPicks site.   It's the Mallory Cowl, and it's yummy.  I'm thinking everyone needs a cowl for Christmas now.  I definitely need one.  Can you make your own Christmas gift?

I'm working on finishing my sweater, but I still want to knock out a couple of these Owl Cozies for Christmas.  Yes, more knitted gifts.  They're easy, and I already have the perfect yarn for them, and I really want to cast on but...

this sweater keeps calling my name too.  So I'm trying to be REALLY, REALLY good, and not cast on until I'm done.  I'm close - I'm down the body, working on the increases, soon to be on the 1x1 ribbing.  Then, it's on to the sleeves.  I hope to be done in a week or two (more likely two) and if I'm REALLY good, I might be able to knock out the Owls Sweater too before the Knit-a-long ends.  I can at least start it, and maybe finish it up in October.  What a perfect October sweater!  I'm also going to try and get at least 3 of the owl cozies made for October as well.  What fun is a gift, if you don't get to try it out yourself?  I'm also thinking I should go ahead and make the Mallory Cowl for me, because if I don't knit me one, who else will?  Would you wrap it and put it under the tree?  Would that be too cheesy?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I know I've complained a lot about Pink, and most of it has been my fault.  Reading the pattern is a critical step in knitting, and it's one to which I should have paid more attention.  That being said:

Yet another horrid self portrait, yet you can see that I'm down to the waist shaping and I'm out of my pajamas (always beneficial).  When I can find my tripod, the self pictures will get better, I promise.  But wait - there's more!

I actually finished the Big Blue sweater!  Little Man was excited.  I still have yet to weave in ends, and add the stars, but the knitting is done.  It's big on him as anticipated, so he can wear it for a couple of years.  He did tell me it was itchy, but that's because I haven't washed and blocked it yet.  I don't know how much actual blocking the sweater needs, but I will wash it to remove any excess dye and hopefully make the fibers soften and bloom a little.  It's just Ella Rae Classic, a sturdy wool, so "bloom" is relative.  He seemed pleased with it, and that's all a mother could ask.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Problem With Pink

I learned to knit eight years ago.  I taught myself, and I'm pretty adept at it.  I won't say I'm the fastest, or best, or brightest, but I have figured a few things out about knitting and the kind of fabric it makes and how to manipulate the creation of that fabric.  That being said, why am I having such issues with this one, basic, simple top down raglan pattern?  See this?

 This got ripped back yesterday.  I tried it on (please forgive the horrible bedhead and pj's - it was REALLY early) and found it didn't fit quite right.

And do you know why?  Because in my 8 years of knitting, with a simple pattern, I have forgotten how to follow instructions.  The good news is:

I've not only knit back what I had to rip out, but I've surpassed it.  While I'm knitting the rest of the body, no matter how plain I THINK it is, no matter how simple, I'm watching and reading and re-reading the pattern until it's done.  My stitch count is off a little, as is my row count, but that's mainly because I changed the neckline.  I apparently am never quite happy with how a pattern is written, at least for big projects.  I'll follow a pattern religiously for mitts, hats, scarves, lace...but give me a sweater that's supposed to be plain Jane simple and easy, and I'll screw it up every time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Baby Steps

I'm nursing a hurt back, and self-medicating.  It's not a permanent solution, but it beats pain meds and another trip to the doctor.  I have no idea how it happened, but if I sit too long, I'm stiffer than heavily starched underwear.  So, even at work, I'm up about every 15 minutes, which means there's not a whole lot of knitting going on.  However, I do have this.

The blue sweater is actually more done than this; I finished the sleeve shown.  All I have left is another sleeve and the neck.  Pink is still giving me a fit, but I figured out what to do.  I'm altering (because what good is it if I can't fiddle with a pattern?!) and it's about back to here, or maybe a little farther.  I changed the neck increases, to get a deeper V, and actually added a few stitches to make the increases even.  I don't know why I can't get it to work out on paper, but I messed with it enough to make me happy.  Part of me really wants to figure out the pattern as written, and yet, I'm just going to go with what I have.

In other news, the Rasta cowl is complete.  I haven't taken pictures yet - wouldn't you know it, the day that I was going to take pictures, was the day that my back went out.  I hope that this weekend, maybe it'll feel better and I can take some pictures.  How's your current WIP going?  Any major success?  Set back?  New design feature?  Hope your week is well!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Missing Things

I've been nostalgic lately, probably because there's nothing new under the sun, and in watching fashion shows or magazines, I see things that bring back childhood memories.  In fashion, my rule is generally "if you were around during the first incarnation of it, you probably shouldn't wear it the second time around."  Hence why I avoid neon colors.  I was also looking at some "vintage" patterns, and have a few of them myself.  I have for example this book:

And I have to wonder if we look on these patterns and lines the same way we look at the 1940's and 1950's patterns.  Are they really that classic?  Or are we all delusional about the time, because we enjoyed it?  Is it because there was really something great in there to last, or because we remember the good times we had?  I can't remember if I showed you this or not, but I'll show it again.

I picked three skeins at Main Street Yarns and Fiber in Watkinsville a few weeks ago.  I hadn't been in ages, and it was nice to see where they had moved (yes, I know; they moved several years ago, but like I said, I hadn't been in ages).  The store is a converted barn, and it's lovely inside.  I didn't venture through the whole of it, because in the back, rumor has it, there are dyeing rooms and class rooms set up.  I just wandered a bit through the yarn.  It was nice and airy, with plenty of space to walk and look and touch.  There was an electric fireplace in the middle of the front room, and some lovely seats where my hubby decided sat while I looked (smart man - knowing it could take me a while).  It looked as though it were in between seasons for them.  They still had some summery yarns, but you could tell some of the winter things were coming in as well.  Still, it was a lovely selection.  If you get a chance, drop by and indulge!

Friday, August 17, 2012


I've been plugging away at Pink, as evidenced by my (slow but steady) progress:

See?  It's growing.  Slowly but surely, about the speed of a turtle - at least we're faster than a snail - I'm progressing.  In the center, you see Skein #2, and the raspberry color comes through better in this picture than the last one.  Even though it's working for me, I couldn't help it.

I went out to my craft space last night (more on that to come later) and look what I found.  She cried, pitifully, at me, to wind her up.  She had been sitting so patiently, waiting so quietly, and her cry was a soft one, so I couldn't help it.  I wound her up.  Don't get me wrong - I love the blue sweater, and Pink is lovely, but when this Rasta (color of Porrinho) started to cry, I just had to give in.  She's been sitting for a couple of months maybe, and soon after she was wound, she became this:

After only an hour of knitting, I'm about halfway done.  I found the pattern on Ravelry, by Kelly Hechinger who designed it.  The requirements were easy when I searched for a pattern: it had to be out of one skein of super bulky, it had to be a cowl, and it had to have no seams.  The rest is icing on the cake.  It's so simple, so easy, and yet just interesting enough to keep you entertained.  It's an incredibly simple pattern.  The yarn, Rasta, is simply heaven to work with.  Now, I love the blue sweater.  It's great, and Ella Rae Classic is a good solid wool.  But it does have a tendency to be a little rough.  It's a terrific workhorse yarn, which is what it needs to be for that sweater, as I plan on Little Man and Princess wearing it for several years.  Pink is also terrific - Spud and Chloe yarns are fabulous and smooshy in their own right, but a wool and cotton blend isn't always easy on the hands either.  Malabrigo, in all their ingeniousness, created Rasta as a 100% Merino wool super bulky weight to counter these types of yarns.  It's super big, to make a project knit up fast, and super soft, to help ease the drying hands of knitters.  This particular one is destined to be all wrapped up and put under the tree for my mother-in-law.  There's another one waiting in the wings for my mother, but I think that one calls for a different pattern.  I probably would have finished it last night, except before I could wind yarn, I puttered around a bit here:

Oh, it doesn't look like much now, but this is my craft area that has been recently established.  This is far from all of my craft stuff; most of it is scattered throughout the house.  It now has a home, a place to reside, and slowly but surely, like a sweater, it will blossom.  I added the wire shelves last night, and separated my craft stuff into kids' crafts, beading, sewing, knitting and crocheting.  The shelves will house books and patterns, and I have some more shelves that will be moved in here for the yarn storage.  I'd personally rather have a complete room to myself, but for now, I'm willing to share my space.  The rest of the room is a play space for the kiddos, and we've recently rearranged it so there's a nice little seating area in front of the fireplace, which will be my father-in-law's delight.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I keep running into to trouble with the Crossover Lace, so I think I need to give it some time and space.  Really - it's not you, it's me.  We just need a little break.  So, this one goes to the WIP/frog pond for a while, to see if we're really meant to be.

The lace pattern is nice, but it's definitely hard to see, and the instructions aren't very helpful when decreasing.  Here's a close-up of the unblocked lace.

But, never fear - for my hands are still busy, and I am making great strides with other projects.  Take a look at this one:

 This one is for Little Man, and all I have left are the sleeves and neck.  I'm not quite sure what to do with that bottom turning up, but I guess after a good blocking, it will lie flat(ter).  To up the coolness factor of this one (since blue is no longer his favorite color, he keeps telling me), this crafty momma is planning on getting some white felt, cutting out stars, getting some glow-in-the-dark fabric paint, painting said stars, and then sewing them on to look more like this:

Because every 5 year old needs a glow in the dark sweater.  Don't you agree?  This was the first sweater he liked on Ravelry (a nipperknits pattern), so I started modeling this one after that.  It really wasn't that hard.  He had already decided a plain blue sweater with a V-neck was what the blue yarn wanted to be, so I'm just going to add the stars that glow.  Unfortunately, I don't think I can find any glow-in-the-dark fabric, so I'm going to improvise.  It will also allow me to turn this plain blue sweater with stars back into a plain blue sweater if asked (because no one is THAT consistent to always want to wear glow-in-the-dark stars).

Don't cry over a frogged sweater though.  Look what I started to replace the Crossover Lace Sweater:

It's actually a sweater for me (shock and surprise!).  The picture doesn't capture the yummy raspberry color of this yarn.  It's Spud and Chloe sweater, and I think the shade is Popsicle.  I bought it a while back, and just never got around to knitting it.  I did have more done, but I found a place where I forgot to increase, and although I tried to save it, it was no use.  So, I had to start all over again, but this time I think it's even better - more even stitches, all the increases worked in the right places, and smaller stitch markers.

Today is going to be an odd day for me: I have some sort of sinus thing that won't go away.  Everyone else's has vanished, but mine.  Mine's hanging out, making friends, unpacking its luggage and putting it away, and that's just not cool.  Fortunately, I have a doctor's appointment this morning, and maybe they can figure out why my head is a troublemaker.  We'll see what the doctor prescribes, but I'm thinking an afternoon nap and some serious knitting time could make me feel a LOT better.  What do you think?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I still got it...

At least in the kitchen.  Check out what I did yesterday morning:

Those are yummy blueberry scones, with blueberries from our front yard.  Yep - homegrown yumminess.

Apparently, the time I spent at Starbucks wasn't wasted - I made a terrific latte for myself as well.  Some things come back to you like riding a bicycle.  Which reminds me, I'd love to have a girly bicycle - one with a basket and no gears...but I digress.

Knitting has not been quite so lucky for me.  I went to seam up the sleeves on the Playful Stripes cardigan, and found issues.  Like a dropped stitch.  Here I am, thinking all I need to do is just seam it up, and instead, I find severe problems.  It also wouldn't seam properly, so I think I need to take out the yoke, re-knit the sleeves, and then try again.

Fortunately, Big Blue is working up nicely, and I don't think I'll run out of yarn (one of the big fears).  I have about another inch on the body before the ribbing, and then I can hit the sleeves.

The Crossover Lace Sweater isn't going so well for me either.  I'm thinking of putting it on the back burner and starting back with Pink.  I've also been thinking about starting a Yoked Cardigan or two.  I have adorable buttons, and it would be SO easy to use them on one of those cute sweaters.  I have some others waiting in the wings as well, like the Elemental Pullover and another one that hasn't yet decided what it wants to be.  And then there's the Owls sweater I'd love to start, even though I know I don't have enough yarn (yet - it's on order).  So many sweaters, so little time.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Slow Progress, like a Turtle

I have picked up my Crossover Lace Sweater, but only one day this week.  There is a rhythm to the decreasing lace pattern, and other than messing up the last row, it went fairly easily.  I think I overloaded my brain with patterns.  It happens.  Sometimes you need some "mindless" knitting, and I left that out for a while.  It's about balance.

Here's Little Man modeling the Big Blue Sweater.  It's probably about a size 7 or 8, and he's not quite a 6, so he'll have a couple of years to grow into it.

I'm not sure if he REALLY likes it, as his favorite color is red at the moment.  But I know he likes having his picture taken, so we're good for him modeling it.

I've made very slow progress, just a few rows, but it's progress, nonetheless.  Here's a close-up:

It's something that takes a good bit of concentration, and that's in short supply.  Of course, it's getting better, since I have some "mindless" knitting (Big Blue) to do while I watch TV or go to Knit Night.

In some other news, the Atlanta Area Shop Hop is coming - September 29th to October 7th.  Several stores in the Atlanta area (9-10) are participating, and you purchase a passport for $1.  You make a $10 purchase at any of the stores, and you get a stamp.  Once you turn in your passport, you get put into a drawing for all sorts of prizes!  It's a lot of fun, you find new shops or rediscover old ones, pick up some new stash, and get a chance to win more stash!  The prizes are always really good too.  I've seen them, although never won.  Maybe this year, though!

Monday, August 06, 2012


For some time now, maybe about a year and a half, I've been having issues with insomnia.  It is occasionally, and sometimes predictable.  More and more often, it's becoming less predictable, and less controllable.  Last night was one of those nights.  Fortunately, I try to keep a good book handy, and this one is the one gracing my bedside table currently:

It's a continuation of "Friday Night Knitting Club" which a wonderful friend from my last job gave to me.  I read it and really enjoyed the story.  I know these books are old, but they are still well written.  I also recently read this one:

Some women are romance novel junkies - I'm a murder mystery junkie.  I find for summer reading, a light-hearted mystery works best for me.  I truly don't care for all the gratuitous sex in romance novels as a general rule - if it doesn't help the plot, I'm not interested.  But give me a good murder mystery, and I'll finish it up in a weekend easy peasy.

It appears we're all coming down with some sort of summertime cold; everyone is stuffy, coughing, sneezing, and the like.  Mine and hubby's throat hurts, so we probably have it the worst.  We'll see how the rest of the week goes.

Thursday, August 02, 2012


I'm still stuck at the same place for my sweater for the KAL, but I've been distracted.  It's an old one, but:

It's the Owls sweater by Kate Davies.  It's lovely as is, but a wonderful lady named Maritza at my LYS had knit one up, raved about the ease and speed, and now I want to cast on too.  I think I may have enough yarn left over from this to do it:

That is my lovely, wonderful sister-in-law in her Ice Skating Cape I made her for Christmas last year. It was in Cascade Eco Wool, and it called for 2-3 skeins, and I just got into the second skein, so I might have enough left (I have to weight it and do some math, which apparently is not my strong point, but I'm working on it).

I also saw this:

It's the Owl Coffee Cup Cozy, and I think I have just the right yarn for this - leftover Fresco in that lovely grey shade.  I did a summer shawl KAL with it, and still have a good bit left.  I'm thinking it might be a fun bonus gift for some people for Christmas.  I am almost done with the neckline for the blue sweater for Little Man, and then I can knit like the wind!  LOL!  A plain stockinette stitch sweater may be boring to some, but it's great TV knitting, or knit night knitting!  And it goes quickly.  That means - easy finish.  Hopefully.  If my math is right.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Peace, Be Still

I've been having the trouble the past couple of days of not being able to shut down my brain.  Sometimes it just keeps running and running - flitting from one thing to the next.  I hardly have time to land on one thing, before I have to jump to something else.  Meditation is something that I haven't really tried in a traditional sense, but even in Christianity, God tells us to "be still" and to "meditate on [His] Word."  With children, that's hard to do.  There's always something - cleaning, cooking, playing, learning, laundry...something vying for my attention 24/7.  So, I try to get up a few minutes early and have some quiet time.  Saturday mornings are especially good for this, since I don't have to get anywhere by a specific time.  The kiddos also usually sleep in a bit, allowing me an extra hour or so before anyone else is awake.  The constant pulling on my brain also makes me very deficit in my attention to my knitting and other crafts.  Here's just a small sample of my WIP stack:

This is my Cloudy Day Hat.  Well, it would be if I ever finished it.  I'm just a little over half-way done with it.  I hope to finish it for the fall.

Here is Princess' Playful Stripes.  I still have to sew up the sleeve seams and weave in ends and put on buttons.  This is one I also hope to finish by the fall.

Here is my sweater for the Summer Sweater Knit-a-long with Luvinthemommyhood.  It has grown since the last time you've seen it, but it's slow progress.  That lace pattern with the side decreases is really kicking my tush.

Here's the progress so far on Little Man's blue sweater.  It's based off of the Incredible Custom-Fit Raglan sweater; I just plugged in the numbers and cast on.  Of course, that makes it sound like I had a really easy time with it, and I probably would have, if I had read the directions VERY CAREFULLY.  Which I didn't.  Because when you have knitting ADD, that's the way you roll. :)

This is another sweater for me; it's Pink, from Custom Knits.  Or at least, it will be once I actually work on it.  It's stalled out (like so many other things) and taken a back seat.  This is a SMALL sampling of my UFO pile.  I'm trying to make my way through it so I'll have some room.  I'm going to attempt to relocate all of my crafting things to the playroom, even without air, in hopes that some other things can be shifted and rearranged, making the house more user-friendly.  Sometimes you just have to rearrange what you have because your needs change.

So, what's in your UFO basket?  Anything good?  Anything you care to share?