Thursday, January 18, 2018

In which I am bored

First, I just want to start by saying, I am LOVING the socks I'm wearing today. Which happen to be socks I designed my own pattern for and knit this summer. I keep seeing them on my feet and it is really brightening up my day--way more than usual.

That said, the socks I'm knitting now, while I am loving the yarn, I am being really worried that I didn't knit them tight enough. So, I want to set them aside. Because somehow continuing to knit them--and I am nearly done with sock #1 is just making me more anxious. And of course it is cold outside. Which you know what that means? Sweater time.

I remembered that I had a shrug pattern and yarn for it that I was going to make a "while back" and thought I'd dig that pattern up and see what it entailed. So Tuesday night, I decided I'd do that. An hour later....

Ok, I knew the pattern was in my "yarn cupboard" so I started there, but boy howdy was that a mess. I found the yarn first--still in its bag from the yarn store with receipt and everything, but I could NOT find the pattern. So I dragged lots of stuff out, threw things away (including ball bands from socks I no longer own and projects I can't remember and swatches and gasp even some small bits of yarn (because honestly, do I need 10 yards of dishcloth cotton or 5 yards of some sock yarn that I don't even have the socks anymore?). I even recycled a few patterns I had printed from the internet and will not make (toddler sweaters!). I put yarn all away (some in new bins because I had outgrown the cupboard) and have a library box full of magazines that were loose and FINALLY, I found the pattern. It was shoved between the yarn bins and the wall. Or maybe it had fallen. I don't know. All I know is that I had found both the yarn AND the pattern (and 6 other sock yarns I had forgotten about).

Of course after I found it, and looked at it I was so overwhelmed with having spent an hour digging through things and casually discarding things that I didn't have time to look at the pattern. Then last night I was way too tired to tackle anything new. So today, I got it out and thought I'd write about finding it. I started by taking a picture all artfully arranged.

I think this might be next in the queue. You know 3 years after I bought the yarn.

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And the receipt, as I said, is still in the bag. So, after arranging the picture and taking the picture, I dug out the receipt. I bought that yarn on 1/23/2015. Almost exactly three years ago. The yarn (Classic Elite Magnolia) is discontinued.

I feel like I should start this project on the 23rd. Perhaps I'd best get swatching.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Insert witty title here

First up some housekeeping from previous entries.

I mentioned last entry that I couldn't remember what yarn I made the double pom pom hat out of and I hadn't taken a picture of the cowl. So. I dug through the trash can in the tv room where I do most of my knitting and found the ball band. (I'm a terrible person I know). The yarn is Lion Brand Wool Ease thick and quick in "constellation". The yarn has sparkly bits in it that don't really show up well in pictures--and honestly even in real life they occasionally look a bit like lint. The cowl is just "cast on enough stitches in a multiple of four to be the length you want, k2, p2 ribbing until you are nearly out of yarn or it is big enough, BO."

Matching hat and cowl.

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Funny side note: My kids both have an instagram account (actually one of them has a a second nail account but I digress). At any rate, whenever one of them wants to post a photo they can spend hours (days occasionally) writing the perfect caption. They will ask everyone in the house "is this a good caption?" I am like the opposite because back when they would ask, "what should I caption this?" (which they never ask anymore) I would always reply something like "delicious dinner" if it was food or "my favorite selfie of the 200 I took today." And I tend to write captions like that. So I captioned the above "matching hat and cowl" because I am boring and what else would I say? (Although the children would have searched for something poetic about stars or the cold or something). Turns out to be good because It's lying flat and looks strangely enough like doll clothes, which I hadn't realized until Karen pointed it out! Perhaps I owe you a picture of it being worn--which honestly is how I would prefer to display my knits even as circumstances prevent it.

At Christmas, when we started the ill fated trip, I asked Facebook to tell me what I should knit. I went totally against the grain and pulled out this brightly colored sock yarn, i purchased a while ago called " Clouds and Rainbows". I just now went to look to see if I could point you to the Etsy shop listed on the tag, and discovered she doesn't do Etsy anymore, but has her own page so yay! You can find lots of different self-striping yarns At Artistic yarns by Abi. I might need the sock money sock yarn, I'm just saying. I had purchased this at my LYS and after looking at her page, I also got a pretty good deal as the price has risen.

Anyway, I'm loving the sock, but I'm feeling I'm knitting it too loosely on my smaller size 1s. I don't want to rip and try the size 0 though. Maybe I'll try it with sock #2 and eventually I'll have three socks?

Clouds and rainbows by #knitpurlgurl I am loving these so much

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The next time that I ask what I should take to knit in the car, I should really just take all the socks that need darning, because I hate darning, and being trapped in the car with nothing to do but mend might mean it actually gets done.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Catching up on december

Every week I add "blog entry" to my to do list and obviously it never seems to get crossed off. And now it's been a whole month so I should have gobs and gobs of finished projects right?

Well, I do have a few and I'll get to that in a minute. First, I wanted to note just how crazy December was for me. Usually, I attempt to finish all my Christmas shopping before school lets out for the holiday. That way, everything is purchased and hidden before noseybutt children are home asking 1million questions. Plus then, I can help them get their things ready. Also in past years, I've baked lots of sweet treats to give as small teacher gifts. I send out holiday cards, but they often get sent out late.

This year though. I did finish my shopping for the children before they were out of school but only because I spent MUCH of that last three days shopping and paid really crazy shipping so things would arrive before Christmas. Holiday cards got mailed Dec 23. And teachers got NO gifts. Seriously. I was sick and felt that maybe the real gift was not making marshmallows that had been coughed upon.

I did make marshmallows and salted caramel, but it was really late (like after school let out) because that's the point I felt I could not cough long enough to get things made. (like I was pretty well over things). So all those are still sitting on the counter slowly getting eaten. Thus the real reason I did the big giveaways. And yes, I suppose I could make up goodie bags for the teachers now but really? Not gonna happen--maybe next year.

We joked this year that I also dropped the ball in figuring out what I wanted to receive this Christmas. Was there yarn I wanted? a New sock club to join? No not really--I'm feeling overwhelmed right now with yarn. Then there was the joke that the one thing I wanted, i bought for myself because I broke down and bought a pom pom maker. I've never had good luck making my own pom poms with cardboard, but I love this little plastic thingy.

I bought a #pompom maker. Yes I know you can make your own #easierthanDIY

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I put it to good use, first making a pom pom for the white hat I finished in the last entry. And then making TWO pom poms for the second hat I made. (Remember--two girls means two hats).

I had extra yarn after finishing this hat, so I made a simple scarf to go with it. I haven't photographed it yet.

The pattern for the hat is Creative super twist chunky hat and it was free (that link is a PDF) but that's about the best thing I can say for the pattern--it was free. I had to math out to figure out size, and I think I made mine a bit too big. I had to google what a TW2 was as I had NEVER seen that notation. And it turns out, never done that stitch (but it isn't hard--in case YOU don't want to google it This you tube video explains it well enough.) The yarn is something I picked up at a big box craft store and I'm trying to finish this entry and post it before I got to zumba otherwise I'd go look for the ball band.

So--next on the to do list: take picture of the scarf cow and find the ball band! That and travel knitting gives fodder for another entry--so rejoice!

Sunday, December 03, 2017

TWO finished objects

I have not one but TWO finished objects to show off today.

First, i finished my kerchief. Officially Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief knit in Noro silk garden sock on size something needles. I'm officially terrible at remembering these things or writing these things down. 8 or 9 I'm sure. I STILL haven't blocked it, but I've worn it!

Selfie with a finished object #knitters #finishedobject

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Then I had a Thanksgiving trip planned and nothing to knit. I asked my kids and my facebook friends and got well.... Let's just say that I got a lot of great ideas but nothing sparked my attention. Then finally I had one girl say, "you promised to make me a cute photogenic cabled hat with a furry pom on the top." And while I don't remember promising this particular thing, I did have yarn to pull it off. And also time, as ten hours (round trip) of car knitting gets at least a good start on things.

She picked Sultana Cabled hat and I picked some yarn I had leftover: Loops and Threads Impeccable. This is an acrylic yarn, but it isn't squeaky. I have to say that usually when I plan car knitting, I am usually very good about a) reading the pattern over and bringing everything I'll need to finish the project even if that is seemingly impossible and b) bringing a backup project. I did neither. Heck, I didn't even bring page 2 of the pattern! I didn't bring DPN for finishing and I didn't read close enough to realize I'd need 2 cable needles! I'm honestly surprised that I remembered to bring the needle change I needed. In fact, I brought both of my interchangeable sets quite by accident.

Even with all that, I ended up having a second cable needle stashed in my bag, and I improvised DPN using interchangeable needles. I was able to pull up the second page of the pattern on my phone even. I did jinx myself by saying to my husband as we were within an hour of home--Wow this has gone so smoothly even with all the weirdness. Instantly a demon from another dimension snatched my cable needle. (actually it slipped right out of my knitting and fell so deeply between the car seats that I didn't find it until I had a sunny day that I could pull the car out and pull the front seat all the way up. My car had a very thorough cleaning.) Then I lost track of what row I was on and could not for the life of me figure it out. In fact the only thing that stopped me from finishing this hat in the car was that mistake. I put it down for 5 days even! Until Friday I was stuck in the waiting room at the car dealership. I pulled it out, and went over it backing up (tinking) until I figured out that I had actually conflated two rows and was finally able to find where I was. A very nosy lady in the waiting room eventually asked me what I was making and I told her and told her I'd spent the first 20 minutes undoing a mistake and she blithely informed me she would never have ripped just to find a mistake. (Insert Eyeroll here). And you know usually, I am pretty tolerant of my mistakes. This however, would have thrown off the last cable pretty significantly. I did finish it Friday night though. And the girl is happy. I need to buy a fur pom ("You know you can make that." said my nosy fellow car dealership waiting room lady. Indeed I do--she asked for something specific, which I will buy). I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Now, I guess I need to make the other child a hat they can look cute in for pictures.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

picture post

I promised some pictures, so here goes

First up a picture of all three costumes I made this year. Faces blocked because internet.

Halloween 2017

Next, I promised to show comparison pictures between the FIRST time I made pooh and piglet costumes--2005-- and the second time. Girls tried to recreate pictures, but you know.


And last--my current knitting project. Which is "Age of Brass and Steam kerchief" That I am knitting out of Noro Silk Garden Sock. I decided to run another pattern repeat and I'm not sure I'll have enough yarn. This has actually progressed enough that I may finish it soon.

Current WIP. #knitting #noroyarn

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I think that's all the pictures I was too lazy to pull together last time. Now back to my sewing machine....

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Halloween wrap up

It's November so it must be time to talk about the costumes!

As I mentioned int he last entry on October 19--I had not started Halloween costumes. Or maybe I had, I don't remember. I didn't mention it anyway. At any rate, I did mention that I was making three. Which is kind of a story in itself. You see, my daughters started high school this fall (you may now pause for a moment to hum Sunrise, sunset) and they weren't sure if a) they wanted a costume for school or b) trick or treating or c) both. Then they decided a group costume was in order. Then they decided that they wanted option c. BUT only if they could talk someone else into going along. They managed to twist their BFF's arm and ended up with: Winnie the pooh, Piglet and Eeyore.

The hitch was, that they wanted me to make them all "onsie style" costumes. BUT, I did have a pattern because I made the same thing last year.

Usually I compare my costume making with Project Runway. This year felt even more like that. I had a design meeting, an epic trip to a fabric store, picky clients, and a deadline that seemed impossible. Of course unlike project runway, I also had a pattern (two actually), unlimited access to most of my models, and no Tim Gunn.

Let me just say--I know next year will probably be more hectic, but MAN... someone stop me when I say--Oh yeah that should be EASY.

One thing I did different than the pattern last year--I purchased a different pattern that had an attached hood and I used THAT pattern to model the hoods after so I could make the hood attached. I thought this might be hard, but I picked a good "easy" pattern and honestly, I might actually use it to make a jacket later. The hoods were a little big for my costumes, but I just added darts.

One thing that both helped and hurt, I aimed for Friday. I knew we wouldn't need them until Tuesday, but I figured if I aimed for Friday and missed, I wouldn't be in a panic on Monday. And yes, and no on that. I had Pooh and piglet completely done Sunday. Eeyore needed to be hemmed and we couldn't do that until Monday late afternoon when everyone got home from school (including me because I had to work all day--boy howdy are little kids excited about Halloween).

Anyway, I don't have a good public picture of Eeyore right now, but I do have Pooh and Piglet:

They were trying to recreate a picture from when they were two and a half and dressed as "winnie and a pooh and piget" Again, I may have to do a separate picture entry because that costume pre-dates my use of Flickr.

Anyway, they did trick or treat with a group--and no they weren't the oldest trick or treaters--our first group included a guy who put out a cigarette before coming to the door and a guy with a (real) beard. Yes, unlike my stick up the ahem neighbors, I didn't hassle them, and I gave them candy. Maybe not the handfuls I gave later groups but that's the price you pay for hitting the door at 6pm on the nose. Come at 8:15 and I may dump what's left in your bag--regardless of how old you are.

They also wore them to school and were sweltering because that's a whole fleece suit--perfect for cold, possibly snowy Halloween. Not so perfect for overheated classrooms.

Oh and I started knitting something. I'll put that in my future picture entry.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Finished scarf

Maybe I should lead with the sort of good stuff. I finished something! First, before I get into the picture, or how I feel about it--let me just say that this is HEAVY and WARM and the weather is unseasonably warm for late October and so my plan for wearing this to show school pride on the big crosstown rivalry game is also in question. I'm sure no one sweats to death in the stands at late October football games and I don't want to be the first.

Scarf! Finished but way too heavy

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This is a scarf that I started as football knitting. I wanted a scarf on school colors but As I said in the last entry, this isn't quite the finished product I was envisioning. Yarn choice was really the downfall. And here's the kicker--I really don't have any desire to make the scarf I was envisioning. I mean I COULD go back to the big box craft store (or another one--we have two) and find more appropriate yarn for the project and crank out another scarf. But I'm feeling very eh about it.

Which brings me to kind of the bad news on the blog front. I haven't started knitting anything since I finished this over the weekend.


I'd like to say that it's because I'm so busy with other things, but the reality is--I don't have anything I want to knit. I mean I do have other things too--halloween costumes, which are going to be a major crunch this year as the costumes were decided upon late and I'm making an extra one for a friend so they can all go as a group. But by in large, I am just feeling very uninspired.

I poked around on ravelry for a bit the other day, but it felt like everything was a shawl or wrap and I just wasn't feeling it. I have a small metric ton of sock yarn I could dive into, but after knitting socks all summer, I'm wanting something different. I have yarn for a sweater that would be perfect to knit if I could focus on it (the infamous dollar and a half cardigan that's been on the to be knit list for nearly a decade). Maybe I need to stash dive. Or maybe I need to go the craft store and get the yarn to make the scarf I want (for next year? for playoffs? For basketball season?)

Or maybe I just need inspiration from you--Tell me about what you are knitting!