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!

Monday, September 25, 2017


I know, I said in my last entry that I had another knitting conundrum and I was going to write about it the very next day. HAH! That is like the funniest thing ever that I would think that I would have time.

First, I do want to mention for future me that I did manage to buy the peaches from the orchard I prefer and I did get them all canned in early September. I've also been worried about tomatoes since I didn't join my usual CSA this year. I've been doing ok with vegetables at farmer's market, but I really miss their tomatoes. I did find a tomato vendor the day after my last entry who had bushels reasonably priced that looked a) ripe and b) delicious. They were good but small and somewhat watery. I canned them as regular crushed tomatoes. I didn't pressure can as the drop in liquid of those wigs me out. I still have a few pints from last year to use up so I think I'm going to be happy with having canned less this year.

Ok, so the conundrum. You see it got cold here (and then hot but that's a whole other story) and I got this brilliant idea in my head: What if I knit a scarf (or two) in gang school colors for the big cross town rivalry game, which is the last game of the season?

I had in mind a scarf in stripes, done in the round. Basically you knit a really long tube and then make it flat by putting fringe on the ends to hold it shut. So off to Joann's to find the right yarn.

I don't know about you, but when I go yarn shopping be it at a LYS, or a craft store, I get a little overwhelmed with all the choices. Craft stores are generally easier for me though because I don't get so distracted thinking about other projects, but when your project calls for something that is in abundance.... well usually that does me in. Joann's had SO MANY different choices. There was already striped yarn, there was novelty yarn, there was just plain red heart in the right colors, and there was Hometown USA which is a bulky but very soft acrylic.

Yes, I did basically choose it because of how squishy it is.

The more astute of you may actually see my problem coming before I even tell you.

Yes, a double thickness in this yarn was WAY too thick.

Yes, I did knit about 8 inches before deciding that

Yes, I did set it aside for nearly a week

Yes, I did rip it out and start over.

So here was my problem. I really really really wanted this yarn. I really really wanted a scarf that looked like stockinette stitch without the curling. I really really wanted stripes that looked effortless.

I could not decide what to do. My choices seemed to boil down to a) continue on and be unhappy b) return unused yarn to the store, get different yarn and be unhappy or c) start over with a garter stitch one layer scarf and be less unhappy. So I chose C. I ripped, and I started over with a garter stitch scarf that isn't perfect. The back shows the color changes, my stripes are so wide, I can't carry up the yarn and am having to do a lot of end weaving. But, I am going to have a scarf that I can knit at the next two football games and wear at the "big game" and it's going to be soft and squishy.

I probably won't make two though. If I decide a second one is needed, I'm getting thinner (scratchier) yarn and making the tube.

School color scarf (no not u of m thankyouverymuch)

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Finished objects

Sometimes when it has been a while since I posted I worry about the fact that I have no finished objects to show off. I mean what possibly could I have been doing?

Today I have two finished objects and a whole quandary that is most likely a post in itself. I'll type that up if I have a chance today too.

In the meantime--on to the FOs!

First up the "secret project I was knitting was a pair of socks for my mom! Back in June when she came to visit, she heaped on me 5 balls of sock yarn (seven actually, but enough for 5 pairs of socks) and said--it would be nice if you (hint hint) made some socks for me. Well one ball is pink, one is purple, one is blue, one is alpaca (and would probably felt immediately) and the other became this:

Surprise socks for my mom! #handmadewithlove #handknit

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The yarn is Cascade yarns Heritage handpaint in dark sunset. Which I can see is discontinued. I'm pretty sure I used my smaller sized ones for these. See this is the problem with knitting something and then waiting to write about it until I mail it, and am sure it has arrived. I can't remember what I did. Mostly I knit these at baseball games--and it is a plain toe up pattern that I've memorized over the years, but is from an article in Interweave Knits that Ann Budd wrote. My plan was to finish these before she came to visit this fall, but then due to scheduling, there is no fall trip planned. So instead I mailed them.

But baseball season wasn't over (still isn't if you follow the majors, but this is high A ball we're talking about and they didn't make playoffs, so over) so I started what I was calling "Rally socks" and they almost worked as our team was one win shy of breaking .500.

I really cranked these out--even though technically I finished them after baseball season. I didn't have enough left to knit on these as my first football season as a band parent kicked into gear. Again, the same basic toe up pattern. Knit on 2.25mm needles. The yarn is Modeknit sock yarn in a limited edition colorway called Purple Rain.

Finished socks in time for the weather to cool down

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I love this yarn. It is squishy and pretty. I'm sad that I finished except that I have a great new pair of socks.

Now that the weather is turning, I'm trying to decide some things about my next project or projects and am running into some issues. I'll write about those in another post.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

purple socks

I honestly have to go look to see when it was that I last posted. I was thinking I had skipped July entirely. I didn't. but I did start working on a project that is now finished that I still can't tell you about... YET.

So I'll tell you what I can tell you.

First the jam/preserving update. I'm struggling this year to get peaches in enough quantity to can. The orchard that I use must have had a bad spring because they stopped cherry sales WAY early this year and I had to find another vendor. And they aren't promising peaches in quantity until MAYBE after labor day. Timing wise that's ok for me. Kids go back to school and I have time to sit and peel peaches. It's the maybe part that is frustrating me. If I wait until labor day, then I pass up other vendors, probably. If I don't, I might miss out on my very favorite orchard. In the meantime, I made one batch of peach vanilla jam with mostly peaches bought from another vendor. I'll be making regular peach jam as soon as the 1/2 peck on my counter ripens. I may can a pint or two too if they get to ripening faster than we are eating.

And knitting... after I finished the secret project, I cast on immediately for a pair of socks for me.

Knitting on the road. Ok the parking lot as I wait.

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The yarn is "Purple Rain" by Modeknit yarn. This was a special colorway designed after the death of the Artist formerly known as Prince. I bought it then and have been admiring it on the shelf where I out it after I wound it (because it was so pretty!).

You can't tell in that picture, but I am knitting this in the car. This has been the week my girls started marching band and I've spent more time waiting for practice to be over this week than I care to admit. In addition, before band season started, I had my knitting time back! Every night we have been watching a little tv again, only instead of this being quiet adult time that it used to be after kids were in bed, it has become family time. We like reality shows like Face Off and Chopped, but are anxiously awaiting the second season of Designated Survivor. I'd also like to share project runway with my kids, so I'm looking forward to that. I think when school starts up again, that will slack off simply because of time. But car knitting will almost certainly continue. Also, I'll need to figure out if I can knit during high school football games. I don't know how cold it will get before I'll need mittens. But I could knit mittens and then I'd be prepared I guess. Heck, I have always wanted to learn to make Thrummed mittens.

Saturday, July 08, 2017


Every year I write some variation of "summer is kicking my butt" and I guess I should stop thinking of it that way. Summer is a time for me to be present with my kids (and they are 14 so you know that if they want to hang with me, I should take that!), and just enjoy not having to be up at 6:30 and rushing around until we fall into bed at 10:30.

Summer is also a time when I think many people don't want to knit sweaters or blankets, because they are so big they are hard to drag places, and also it is hot and you don't want a huge blanket ON you when it is 90 degrees. A few summers ago, I declared it to be sock summer--in which I was going to darn and knit only socks. Last summer I finished sweaters.

This summer--I'm just taking things as they come. At least that's what I'm telling myself. Last summer I knit all summer on a pair of socks and boy howdy. The first sock was too narrow. So I knit the second sock a bit wider (and it is still snug), and I ended up ripping the narrow sock out. Then I um put it aside.

Then in November, I started another pair of socks. And this one gave me such fits. After, I finished that I also set it aside...

So with the last two sock projects ending up as single socks, You can understand why I was super excited to actually FINISH a whole PAIR of socks!

Finished #socks swipe for a closeup.

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I actually finished them on the drive to our vacation destination. And was doing the bind off as we decided every morning what we were going to do. But of course that meant that we still had an eight hour drive home (which turned into a lot more because of traffic). Things had been so hectic in us trying to get going on vacation (a mere week after school ended and children were still comatose from the stress relief after finals--and right in the middle of a short strawberry season) that I simply had no time to plan a new project. So I grabbed the ripped sock, needles I thought I had used and went with it.

And I spent 4 hours knitting a sock that was way too big.

So, another rip, another start (which thankfully was all in the car so no options for starting something else) and now I actually have most of a sock. No pictures though because again summer...I'm living it not photographing it. Plus, I have to save something else to write about maybe while girls are at camp. I'm actually thinking about digging out the OTHER pattern for the OTHER single sock and perhaps this can be second sock summer.

So, I also mentioned strawberries. I made 6 batches of strawberry jam this year. And a double batch of strawberry lemonade because I accidentally bought enough lemons to make that happen (go me). Today I picked up sour cherries at farmers market so, cherry jam is happening today! Sour cherry jam is one of the grossest things for me to make, but also it is one of the tastiest.