Monday, November 05, 2018

Halloween post op--pictures

I promised pictures last time, and pictures you shall have.

First up the teenagers asked me the weekend before Halloween if I could help them do a group costume with their friends. And I said--Yes, if we can do minimum fuss. So Each friend bought a blank t shirt in a different color and my job was to make the t-shirt look like an M&M. Pinterest had ideas and I found an M template. Quick trip to the craft store and I had this iron on stuff that you print designs on and then iron it on your tshirt. It was white though and that was all I needed. I made four M's and then sent two off to school Tuesday with ironing directions and ironed two onto shirts and BAM, costumes.

That's good because of MY costume. You see, I had some last minute alterations on my costume because the size I had to make assumed a busty woman and, well that was a bad assumption. So Much taking in was required, but in the end, I was a fabulous Ms. Frizzle. Complete with Lizard. And don't worry--MANY many kids knew who I was.

And finally, I am trying to make time to knit a little every day so I can finish these socks and maybe try something else. I love how the purple ended up at the heel so I have a front and back shot for you.

Am hoping for more time to knit and maybe a bigger project or two. We'll see.

Monday, October 22, 2018

costumes

I have on my to do list to blog and I really really really want to get a good chunk of my list done this week. But I don't really have any updated pictures. All I have are old pictures--and a whole lot of anxiety.

Ok, so my daughters declined Halloween costumes this year (well at this point I hope they aren't going to spring something on me last minute) but a new job in the children's department of the library means that even though I didn't have my schedule for Halloween until recently, I am hard at work making myself two costumes. Well one and a half.

I decided at first that I would be Olivia the Pig. and then I learned a co-worker had done that last year and may do that again. So I decided to be Ms. Frizzle from the magic school bus. So I bought some planet fabric and a dress pattern.

View this post on Instagram

Started my Halloween costume. Any guesses?

A post shared by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

And thus begins the anxiety portion of our adventure. I have measured myself and have made the size the pattern says to make--which happens to be the largest size the pattern makes. Yes, a commercial pattern. And the waist/hips section are really close to my measurements. I've had to let go of the number attached to this size as it is larger than anything I've ever purchased. I have finished everything on the dress except the zipper. I figured that if it didn't fit, I would add some fabric there. Well, I tried it on last night and I think that it will fit. So also on the to do list: sew in the zipper.

The second costume is for the library's Harry Potter week. I'm recycling a Harry Potter robe made for a certain fourth grader and wearing black slacks, and a gray v neck sweater. I've made a dicky (love that 1960s word) out of a shirt I picked up at a thrift shop and now all I need is a tie. I was feeling like I should make or buy a few different colors and wear this all week, but the robe says Gryffendor so maybe once is enough? And really, I am thinking I may need to make the tie.

I'm hoping that I'll have some pictures next time. I'm also working on a sock that I'm sort of half thrilled with. And one child is telling me she wants a red cardigan, so I know more knitting is coming soon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What I did last summer

So summer.

Yeah

It was busy! Which yeah duh given that it has been crickets around here since June. So here goes: What I did over my summer "vacation"

First I should say that I put vacation in quotes because I don't know if I mentioned this on the blog but I started a new part-time job in May. One I'm super qualified for and in my chosen profession (librarianship). The downside is that unlike the last 15 years, I had to work at least as much (sometimes more) in the summer than in the fall/winter. It is only 20-24 hours a week but when you are used to 10 hours max, it is a change. It meant a lot of adjustments to me and the family, and some things that we normally do and enjoy did not get done this year.

I made copious amounts of jam. Something on the order of 6 batches of strawberry, a batch of sour cherry, a batch of blueberry and a batch of peach. I did not can any peaches--we still have 12 jars or so that will make it until February. I did can tomatoes, but only 16 pints as opposed to the 25 or so I've done in the past. I didn't freeze any sweet corn. Heck I barely ate any sweetcorn this year. I also froze 8 pounds of blueberries.

We also didn't go swimming like we have in the past. Some combination of work and the girls getting old enough to feel self conscious meant that we went maybe three times. I was sad. I love going to the pool. But I didn't have the energy after working to drag them there.

And as long as we are honest, I spent a good chunk of the summer still battling the plantar facsitis that put me in a cast in the spring.

We did though end up going to a ton of baseball games! And I had a co-worker expecting a baby. And so, I decided to make a bunch of baby socks. They were fun and quick. However, I had no idea how big to make them and patterns are for people who can stop and read instead of someone who drops their yarn and has to chase it 4 rows down.

So yeah, scrap yarn in a variety of sizes. And at the time of her shower, I still had a pair on the needles. so I finished that and gave it to her on Monday after the shower.

We also went on vacation, and all summer I worked on socks for me, which I finally finished.

I hate that picture though and I have no idea why. Anyway what made me mad about this pair of socks was that.... well do you remember me mentioning WAAAY back when I started them that i found two knots? Well I think that the knots left out a chunk of the color pattern. So when I went to knit the second sock and I started at the exact same place, I still ended up with different socks. You can tell I started toe up because the feet are the same, but you can almost see where I encountered the knot because THAT'S where the patterning shifts. grrrr.

Now that baseball season (minor league any way) is over, I do have a sock on the needles, but I'd like to get back to knitting things with um patterns that I can read and follow. Also now that school has started, I'd like to get back into the habit of writing and posting something here weekly again.a

Monday, June 04, 2018

stalled

So a funny thing happened. First the not so funny.

I decided to rip back the sock I was knitting because it didn't fit anyone. I usually just eyeball socks because I knit toe up and maybe I'm stupid or whatever. Anyway no one in the house could get it over their heel. Rather than leaving it as a Cinderella sock, I ripped it and made it bigger. Then i was knitting along during a baseball game when suddenly the DPN I had in my hand fell apart.

It is my weekend for broken things.

A post shared by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

I mean it isn't the end of the world, I know some superglue will fix that right up but MAN. Not so the second thing broken--our windshield experienced some major damage either during that game or a chip that we hadn't noticed decided to majorly expand in the night. No superglue in the world will fix that.

But on to the funny part--the knitting.

So, when I last wrote I was considering a scrappy sweater. I dug out like almost all of my scrap yarn and weighed it and approximated measurements and.... decided I needed more yarn. Sigh. But in the deep stash dive I also emerged with enough Knit Picks Comfy sport in a bright red that seems to be discontinued, to make a short sleeved or lacy sweater. And so I spent many a long day searching ravelry for just the right project. And I also swatched to see what type of gauge I'd be dealing with.

Swatch is still drying from it's run through the washing machine, so I haven't measured it yet. I also haven't picked a pattern either so that works. Here is what I'm thinking though, so maybe if anyone has any suggestions, or opinions they can weigh in.

And I'm sorry, I can't figure out a good way (without stealing every image and plastering it on blogger anyway) to show thumbnails of what I'm thinking.

First up is this beauty from DROPS. I don't love DROPS patterns, they seem overly fussy to me. But I really liked the lace detailing on this one.

Low tide is a little bit longer than I was imagining, but again, that lace detail is divine.

I'm actually leaning really heavily towards CeCe by chic knits. It seems to have everything I'm looking for: lace, 3/4 sleeves, and looks good on nearly everyone. I'm torn because the pattern calls for thicker yarn than I have.

Also in the running is Miss Lemon I love love love the lace on this. I worry about the snug fit as I wasn't looking for such a fitted piece.

Another one that I like is Greensleeves, but I'd have to adapt it to make it shorter sleeves and ironically I hate the pockets. Even though I love pockets, those look a little out of place. Plus, I don't have quite that quantity of yarn.

My real issue is finding something in a sport weight and an adult size. Most of what I found is DK weight. And I know this is my fault because I searched either DK or sport before I did my swatch.

So that's where I am--still knitting the same sock as I was a month ago--trying to find a sweater to knit. Feels like I've made zero progress.

Do you have a favorite lacy summer cardigan that would look good in BRIGHT red? Tell me about it in the comments.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

thinking

I must confess that if the ONLY item not crossed off my weekly to do list was "blog" I would probably not be writing this.

My knitting is going eh. I am nearly done with a sock and I tried it on and because I do not ever swatch socks and just eyeball my toe up numbers it does not fit. It fits my foot, but I struggle to get it over my heel. In fact it doesn't fit the smallest feet in the house even. I KNOW I need to rip it out. Or more likely since that section had two knots that were a pain to deal with, I'll rip and probably use that section of yarn for leftovers and just start a new sock. Except I find myself a little tired of socks.

Instead because the heat is nearly upon us and I am starting to very slowly wash out my sweaters for storage (And then I'll start washing the cardigans I keep out all year long--also must remember to buy more wool wash*) I really really want to start a sweater.

I was initially thinking that maybe I should FINALLY tackle the dollar and a half cardigan. Which I KNOW I say that at least 3 or 4 times a year every year since the pattern was published which means I've had that in the queue for um maybe 10 years. But the reality is that every time I look at finished versions of that sweater on ravelry, I see women my shape wearing it and I just don't like the look. I will never be that shape, even if I diet myself to that size. And while I think I can look good in a lacy sweater, I'm not convinced that is the one.

But, I do own a sweater's worth of brown cotlin and so I was thinking a brown cotton linen sweater would be nice. Also I could wear it on the chance I finish it before fall (assuming I start it before fall).

I also own a sweater amount of leftover yarn. I have a baby blue ultra alpaca from that time I tried to adjust a pattern and failed. I have some green Quince and Co Lark leftover from a green central park hoodie I made. (as an aside, I wish I could write out in the open the longer story of that sweater and how it has come full circle for me, if you know me--ask me about it sometime). And some of the same yarn in purple from Estelle. I wondered if I got out all those yarns out and weighed them if I would have enough for something striped.

But trying to find a scrap yarn project on ravelry is HARD. I think made harder by what I ALWAYS do. I always seem to have a picture in my head about what I would like. In this case I want:
a cardigan
probably raglan
with a zipper
long sleeves
ideally knit in one piece so I will be SURE of stripes matching on the body
I don't mind paying for a pattern, so that's not a problem, although ideally free or already own the pattern would be a plus. Of course I may be going about the searching all wrong. I could probably try just looking for a zippered raglan cardigan and then making it striped--instead of looking for patterns specifically designed to use scraps. Or I could go the disaster in the making route and just cobble together my own pattern.

So to sum up: I'm sick of socks, I'm giving up on ever making the dollar and a half cardigan and I could make a summer cotton/linen sweater instead OR a scrap yarn cardigan. It's like a cliffhanger as to what will happen! * I prefer Soak. I realize this is controversial. I use it for non-wool items too.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

knots

Sometimes when I'm just knitting along I don't feel like I have enough to really write about. And I am just knitting along. And yes, still the first sock (it seems like some people in my life ask this regardless of when the last time they saw me knitting and asked this SAME question).

I did stop knitting on it for a few days because I was so frustrated. I found a knot! And I hate weaving in ends in socks! It actually took two tries at a russian join to fix it and even now I can still see where it was. Then! I found a second knot. (insert eyeroll here). I tried another russian join, when it slipped out, I just gave up and started the new yarn. And now that I'm knitting, I'm wondering if it is going to mess up the pattern of colors. Not that my socks have to perfectly match, but it would be nice if they were close you know.

I don't want to say that I'm tired of knitting socks, but I have been itching to take on a bigger project. Like sweater big. And yeah I know I say that a lot but it's about time to start washing sweaters and putting the ones I won't wear away for the summer. (I usually leave out a couple of cardigans) And I want a new sweater. Of course I don't have yarn for a sweater sized project*. I do though, have lots of leftover yarn all in about the same weight. And I was thinking stripes would be REALLY cute. It wouldn't be all the same material--like some Ultra alpaca which is 50/50 wool and alpaca and some 100% wool, but then I wonder if it would work.

*Ok, I do, but I am kind of saving that for the dollar and a half cardigan even though every time I try swatching for the dollar and a half cardigan I get all wigged out because it seems hard to follow the stitch pattern AND I don't really get gauge and I love that sweater so much I don't want to mess it up, but it WOULD be the perfect summer sweater.

Regardless, it seems as if there is some swatching and or searching ravelry for patterns in my future.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Cast OFF!

First I should start with two "cast offs" as it were. First--I got the cast on my foot off--and I have graduated to a "walking boot" There are several good things about it over the cast: 1) I can take it off to shower, and to put on clothes, so I don't have to worry a bunch about if my pants will fit over it. 2) I can walk a little easier in it 3) My socks peek out! This is good because I finished the rainbow socks!

I love them and have worn them a couple times. I had a great time seeing the toe peek out of my boot this week--it's the little things.

And of course because I think I just am going to knit socks forever, I started another pair.

I wasn't sure I wanted to start another sock but for some reason I love this color way.

A post shared by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

This one is a yarn I got at my LYS's clearance sale on my birthday a monthish ago. I think the colors are terribly ugly but somehow I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. I can't even really explain it. And it is a workhorse yarn (Online supersock) so I am guessing they will last forever.

I also bought three skeins of Debbie Bliss Bluefaced Leicester and I really want to use it for... something. 300 meters isn't a lot to make something substantial--so sweater is out. Even a shrug is probably out. That leaves scarves, cowls, hats, maybe mittens. And I'm being fussy. A cowl would be nice but sometimes when I wear cowls or scarves, I feel like I'm wearing a bib. I don't really wear hats (I'm an earmuff person). So I'm stuck.

Bought on sale. Only had 300m -- what to make?

A post shared by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

It's really pretty though, so maybe a lacy cowl? Maybe a small scarf/shawl thing? I don't know. In the meantime, I'll be plugging away at the socks.