Friday, May 27, 2016

Flat sweater

Usually I knit after my girls are tucked in bed and while I watch TV with my husband and unwind. It gets me roughly an hour sometimes less depending. It means projects go slow.

Rare is it that I knit during the day. Maybe I feel it is too decadent to sit in the middle of my (usually) messy house and take time for just me. I do knit when kids are home sick, while they sleep the fitful fevered sleep that only sick kids manage to pull off.

I also knit in public--ball games, waiting rooms. I never feel self-concious about it. In fact, I've never understood why I should. I mean I get that if I am in a meeting and presumably you are paying me to sit in that meeting and be bored out of my skull that I maybe should feel a tad bit self-conscious pulling out my knitting. But at a baseball game? (Now watch I'll be in one of those news clips where somebody throws an arm out in front of my face to stop a fly ball from hitting me and like that poor kid on his phone the internet will chastise me--we do usually sit behind the net though) No.

But lately, we've not been watching TV. Almost 2 weeks ago my MIL had an acute attack of pancreatitis and we've been hospital sitting ever since. She is getting better, but man your pancreas is like Bruce Banner--mild mannered until it gets angry and becomes HULK SMASH!!!

We've settled into a new routine now and so for the last week, I go in for a couple hours and sit and chat if she feels like it and don't if she doesn't and basically I am just THERE for whatever while my husband takes a break from his constant vigilance in this regard. This is why I married him BTW--He is totally the guy who drops everything to be at your bedside. And during this time, I knit.

Specifically, I've been working on the central park hoodie I started for my daughter. More specifically--the last sleeve. Now, when I started the sleeves, I was at book club and every single lady there told me that when they do sleeves, they do both at once so they turn out the same size. And honestly, I do worry about that. Mostly though I was worried about the increases being sort of even, and keeping track of where I was. So I made a chart:

Keeping track of the sleeves

A photo posted by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

This has turned into a godsend, because I have carted this page with the sleeve back and forth in my purse to the hospital and I always know which row to increase on!

I've been there enough that today I took the other sleeve so I could get the sleeve caps even. (and we won't discuss how I dragged the whole sweater there, just in case I finished--I didn't).

So that's the story of how I managed to go from the last entry Where I only had part of the ribbing--to today when I only have the sleeve cap left to knit:

Flat sweater

A photo posted by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

Discharge is soon, but rehab comes next and so I'm guessing we have lots more waiting. Of course we hit 80 degrees Tuesday and have had 80 degree days every day since. Still, nights can be chilly. Plus we still have several baseball games to shiver through.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Lazy update

Progress continues on the cream sweater. In fact, I am so lazy I didn't want to set it all up for a photo shoot and instead, just sort of snapped it in it's natural habitat.


What you see there is a back, both fronts AND a sleeve. That sort of makes me feel like I am NEARLY done. But it also forgets finishing the other sleeve, sewing it all together, and adding a buttonband AND hood. Good thing it snowed yesterday! (Didn't stick but STILL).


Still so much sleeve to knit....

I have been taking this every where I go, and that usually is a bad thing when you have a sleeve (increase every X rows Y times!), so this time, I made a chart of which row numbers to increase on. And when I took it to the ball park for our first (really cold) game of the year I improvised.


I did end up with 3 too many stitches at the end, but in the interests of finishing, well I just bound off instead of trying to "fix" it.

The other project that is progressing is our caterpillar project. You do remember the caterpillars right? Well the cocoons have been in a tank in the garage over the winter. And last week I moved it outside in case sun was the deciding factor. No action yet, but I understand May is their month.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Cream central park Hoodie

So, I didn't mean to take more than a month to update. And to my credit I didn't just rest on the laurels of a finished sweater either. As I said--I was swatching and thinking about size for the next sweater.

In the end, I decided a 36" Central Paark Hoodie would fit nicely and started on it. To date, I have the back and one of the sides done. I'm at the point in the second side, where I need to set up the patterning. Just to give you and idea though:

Almost to the armhole! #sweater #knitting

A photo posted by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

That's the first side, nearly at the armhole. Like I said, that side is done, and the second side is started (ribbing is finished).

My problem is...
This is where people usually interrupt me to nod knowingly and say--yep, summer is fast approaching. Which is not the issue at all. I mean we live in Michigan. And while not Upper Peninsula, still north enough that I'm sure we'll be wearing sweaters at most evening events until Mid July at least.

No, my problem is that I'd rather be knitting socks at the moment. You see I have 4 new (since I started the sweaters) skeins of sock yarn and two more coming (which is not my fault because I'm in a sock club so some yarn just comes to me! and the other is ModeKnit in Purple rain and did I mention that it is PURPLE? I mean, clearly this is not my fault). I think part of the reason for this is that we've reached the time of year when I am a little sick of my current socks AND I have a pile that need to be darned.

So maybe we are fast approaching another "summer of socks"? I don't know. I do think I'd like to try some new sock patterns this summer. I may need two pairs going at once, so I can have something complicated and something easy. I just need to finish this sweater.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

finished object alert

Finished Object alert Finished Object alert!

The other day I sewed in the last end and BAM there was a sweater

Bam! Sweater #finishedobject

A photo posted by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

Yarn: Knit picks The Mighty Stitch in Gulfstream
needles: US 7
Pattern: Girl Friday

I made this for my daughter and she's roughly the same size as I am (she's taller and a bit lighter and wears about a size smaller than me) it does fit her, but I'm still hesitant to use her picture here on the blog. So I did the next best thing! I tried it on and Holey Moley guacamole it fits me.

Finished girl Friday sweater

Finished girl Friday sweater

Finished girl Friday sweater

I do think she will probably not wear it as much as *I* would like but that's ok (when she gets tired of it--it fits me!). I also think that the yarn is going to fuzz up . That sort of disappointed me because I would THINK that with a name like mighty stitch that's you'd get some good stitch definition. But alas, I'm guessing you'll get much fuzz and piling. That's based on how it knit and how it was when I handled it. It is soft though and the color will look fabulous on her!

And, I've already swatched for daughter #2's sweater. She wants a Central Park Hoodie only slightly longer than the pattern calls for (17 inch armpit to hem instead of 14 or 15 that her size calls for). I am hesitant to start with hers though. I made her a size 32 CPH out of the same yarn a few years ago (when I measured her chest at 25 and it fit her great up until this last fall). She's a 33 chest size now and I'm pretty close to guage. I know this sweater runs a bit small but I don't want to make it HUGE. I'm debating between the 36 and the 40. Probably I'll stick with the 36.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

bouts of mania

I keep having these bursts of...I don't know energy maybe... and it is making me feel like maybe my February blahs are full on bipolar. And then I just think nah, you saw the sun, you felt better and this is what better feels like.

So, I did this thing where I finished a sweater, and the person it is for tried it on and said the sleeves were too tight. And they are because I um, didn't so as much lace on them as I should, and the lace is stretchier than the stockinette. So I ripped out my beautiful seams (seriously, I got a compliment on the seams in the teachers lounge of the school I like working in the best) and knit a small panel and am sewing those in. So as they say--watch this space.

In the midst of my first bout of mania I had this idea. And I hate it when people say--I had this idea, but I can't really tell you about it but that's sort of what I'm gonna do. But I will say it is a gift idea for someone who isn't expecting a gift and probably could really use a pick me up. I wasn't sure I could pull it off but I mentioned it to my mom and my mom thought it was a great idea and well now I feel kind of stuck with it. Again, watch this space, because if it pans out I'll post it.

In the midst of my second bout of mania I decided to actually darn some of the socks that have been waiting since summer to be darned.

Darning egg? Stick? Rattle? @rachael.zarria

A photo posted by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

I would make a terrible 19th century gentle woman. My #darning is terrible

A photo posted by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

What actually got me going on that one was that my sock club package came with a mini nostepinne


and I had fun making mini cakes of yarn from my leftover sock yarn. And seriously, thats about all it will handle.


And what else would you do with a mini cake of sock yarn? Of course this pair probably should have been beyond mending but, cute little cake of sock yarn!

And my third burst of mania meant I went to a class today in spinning. Only not the fun kind of spinning, the biking kind of spinning.I haven't been able to run since October (due to an injury) and I have suspected that this is contributing to my feelings of blah. So, I thought I'd try some non impact type fitness classes. So far, I've done water zumba which made me feel uncoordinated and spinning which made me feel weak and old. But I may go back because according to my heart rate monitor I burned over 500 calories. I'll just have to see if I can move tomorrow.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Lost days

I'm not even sure what to say happened out there in the last waning days of the shortest month of the year. Something did though.

I could come up with a ton of excuses and some of them would be pretty entertaining, but instead let's focus on what did actually happen since Feb 15th when I last wrote.

First, things picked up at my "real" job. The one I have regular hours for. The one that means I help organize a major fundraiser (for the library) three times a year. So I marked the whole week off from the "freelance job and settled in to get some serious stuff done. Instead the world laughed at me and I spent that week in meetings at school (just normal parent ones not anything huge or individualized) and fighting with my printer at work over name tags for volunteers. I did not manage that whole week to do anything else on my list. I have no idea why. So no additional jammies got done.
I did however, manage to finish the sleeve pictured in the last entry and sew together the fronts to the backs before realizing that I was supposed to block it and THEN sew it. Oh well.

Somewhere in here, I did manage to block all the pieces of the sweater.

Then boy howdy. First, one thing you should probably realize about the part of Michigan I live in. We get snow, but not a LOT of snow. It is not uncommon for us to get 4-6 inches of snow for example, and not cancel everything. But, we do have 5 or 6 (I'm not clear because I have heard different things) snow days that will be "forgiven" by the state. So, in essence we can use up to that many days without going longer into the summer. This year we've had a very mild winter. There was a big snowfall at Christmas and not much of consequence since then. Our temps have been cold, but not "air hurts my face, my snot has frozen" cold.

Ok, so Feb 22 and 23 I was busy. I worked the freelance job, and my real job and got my hair cut and went to see a lecture (given by my husband). All the while the news was talking snowstorm. First it was minor, (1-3 inches) then major (8-12 inches) and then it seemed to change hourly--everyone agreed though it was going to start Wednesday. And then Tuesday we got a winter weather warning starting Wednesday at 11am. So when we got up on the 24th for school and there was not a flake in sight of course we didn't think school was canceled. But it was. And at almost exactly 11am it started to snow. and SNOW and SNOW. Eventually the rest of the week's school was canceled and we ended up with about 10 inches of wet heavy snow.

You would THINK that given this I'd have a finished object to show you. After all what was I doing besides sitting around and knitting?

I honestly have no idea.

I do know that somewhere in there I spent FOUR DAYS trying to pick up the stitches needed on mygirl Friday sweater for the collar and button band.

The instructions indicate that you should pick up the same amount of stitches on both sides of a marker you place, and end with an odd number. So I didn't even count (because um missed the part about even number I guess) and got 105 on one side and 126 on the other. Then I ripped. I did get the odd number I needed across the collar to get an odd number over all. Then I attempted to pick up exactly 105 stitches. Something on the order of 6 times.

When I finally managed it, I set the whole thing down for a day just to bask in the glory.

Then I started knitting the collar. I won't even tell you that I didn't quite understand the directions and had to rip out 2 inches of 1X1 knitting. Ok maybe I'll tell you that, but only because I can tell you that I did somehow manage to get to a point where I am now knitting the button bands.


You see in there was my birthday and also my second installment of a sock yarn and now I just want to knit socks! And wouldn't you if you spent your birthday money (in part) on these:
and then Your sock club yarn looked like this:

First rule of sock club is... Ooh pretty

A photo posted by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

Of course you would. But you'd keep on knitting the sweater like a good mom.

Sure you would.

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 15

Ok, so every day entries are probably not for me. Once a week does actually work much better and I should remember that. I am tempted to blame it on work, but I think it is actually that I don't sit at a computer for hours on end at work, and can't just jot things down on my lunch. basically, when I get home I find that I am better off if I can be present.

At any rate, I was not overly successful in last week's to do list, but I did manage to get some things done.

Perhaps most exciting is that I took a deep breath and laid out and cut the minion PJs.

I knew it was going to be short and a close one, but it turned out ok! I even had to trim the legs a bit (an inch, but still!).


I also got the One direction Pjs made, even though they are still awaiting hemming and the final say on if the elastic is right (I finally got smart and wrote down the measurements....)

I still have more to make. This week I put the butterflies and the dots on my to do list.

perhaps the most exciting though, is that when I took all these pictures on Saturday I was super close to finishing the second sleeve! And now, I have a few more rows until I bind off. Actually I thought I was ready to bind off, but it appears, I forgot a decrease row or something, so I need to do maybe 3 rows (I need to compare sleeves) and then bind off.

Hopefully, I can get the sweater sewed together and get the collar going this week!