Thursday, December 22, 2011


At the last possible moment, I finished the second teacher gift. This one for the teacher's aide.


Both gift have been given, and very much appreciated.

This year I used gift tags from Jill AKA Kniterella. Kniterella makes great gift tags, and has a whole line of funny ones, but I chose to go with the more traditional. If you ever saw her funny tags and thought, it wasn't quite right for your occasion, then you should know that she also has these (and lots of others too!) and they look really elegant.


The pattern is Fishtail lace scarf this one in Knit picks Shimmer. I used a size 4 needle.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I know I'd be doing terrible at the posting every day thing, but I set my expectations LOW! Post more often and when you sometimes go weeks without posting even once a week is more often.

I've been a little panicky on my gift knitting, so I need to get back to that, but I wanted to tell you al about the OTHER gifts I'm making this year.
You see, I'm making clothes for each of my daughters' 18 inch doll. I bought a few patterns when Joann's had them for $2 a piece. They were out of the one I really wanted that had PJs and a bathrobe and underwear(!), but I really wanted to make PJs. Because I had this great flannel I wanted to use.

And so I have been sewing away on doll clothes. And so far the only completed outfits I have done are the jammies. As everything else either needs snaps or buttons or to be finished. I'm thinking three outfits for each daughter. Jammies, a coat and pants, and a jumper dress with leggings and a shirt. And so I present to you the jammies


The panda flannel is perfect for this daughter:
panda jammies

And pink monkeys are a great choice for the other:
monkey jammies

I can't decide if the closures go in front or back. Maybe they look better as fronts, but the pink monkeys came out a little crooked.

Anyway, I still have snaps to sew on the coats (and buttons) and one jumper dress and one shirt to finish and some snaps to sew on both jumper dresses. And ten days. TEN. Plus a scarf to finish.

Monday, December 12, 2011

operation upgrade wreath

I am feeling really rushed on one of the presents I am knitting for Christmas. Panicky even. So I'm taking time out to tell you about something I did when I could have been knitting. In fact I'm taking the 15 minutes of knitting time I have this morning to tell you about the 45 minutes of knitting time I "wasted."

See, my outdoor wreath (plastic) is old. In fact we bought it at an after Christmas sale in 1997. And frankly I was tired of it. I wanted a new one. However, a trip to Michael's told me that unless I wanted to shell out $50 for one now or take my chances and try to get it after Christmas for $25 that I was stuck with my old wreath.

Thankfully I was not alone on this shopping adventure. The intrepid FinnGarian was with me and she pointed out that all the Christmas ribbon and floral doo-dahs were 50% off and gave me all the moral support I needed. Also she sent me a webpage to learn to tie my own Christmas bows. Plus she clued me in on the need to buy floral wire. So really this was her fault! But less than $10 later I had supplies for my very own do it yourself operation upgrade wreath.

So I dragged one (I actually used to have a matching set) out and took the before shot:

I removed the blue bow and a possibly real pinecone (which fell out when I removed the bow) and set to work.

First, I played and played and played and finally got the bow tied the way I wanted it. (see This site is what I eventually used. Then I played with placement of the bow vs two "things" (one was a silver bird and the other a purple fern thingy) and got them where I wanted. Argued with my daughters on placement and then wired them in. I think it looks great:


Purples don't always read true with my camera, which also highlighted to me that the purples were just a tiny bit off. Still I love it and it is now hanging up outside and I'm happy. Plus I have learned that if the purples feel dated to me next year a change out is as easy as 40 minutes and a few $ at the craft store.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

ipod sock

Normally, I probably wouldn't post this project, but I am trying to update more this month to jump start me into the habit of updating more often all year long.

So I finished this tiny little ipod cozy. I made it out of leftover sock yarn that is knit picks, and given to me by the lovely Karen, but I've lost the ball band. It is discontinued at any rate. I just wanted something to keep my ipod from getting scratched when it is in my purse. It also gets cold in my office which is very chilly, but I only notice that when I slip it into my pocket.

I didn't follow a pattern, I just basically cast on "enough" stitches and used a 2X2 rib until it was long enough then kitchnered the end.

The reason I probably would not have put it up here is this: it looks a little wonky. In fact it looks really wonky like my tension was uneven or something. At first I thought it was because while I am usually pretty good about not getting loose stitches between my dpns, I'm not so hot at that when the first stitch on the new needle is a purl. And that happened a bunch until I said--look let's fix this. I don't mind how it looks, but you know it was a little disappointing.

Then I was between projects, as I had to order yarn for teacher gift the second and I had a day where I needed something to knit. So I started some socks. Just some basic toe up jobbies out of some knit picks felici. I decided though to knit these a little tighter than normal, but only after I had about 1/2 inch of toe started. So I unravelled and then looked for my zeros, since I was sure that the needles I was using, which had come almost directly from the ipod sock were ones. But my needle case had both sets of ones missing (you know there are two mm sizes to size 1 needles right). I decided to see which ones I was using, because maybe if I were using the big ones, the smaller ones would be enough. And that's when I discovered it.

On my ipod sock, I used two different sized needles.

wonkiness explained.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Teacher gift the first

I am a really indecisive person. I am. This has carried over a lot to my knitting. There are many times that I can't decide on the patterns, the colors the yarn and times I can't decide if I like the gauge I have.
Probably the think I worry the most about is gift knitting.
I like to make a Christmas (holiday) gift for the teacher that my daughters have. And I also make a gift for the classroom aide if there is one. Even if she's assigned to help a particular student, because I know her presence makes the class run smoother.

When they were in Kindergarten, I made scarves for both the teacher and the classroom aide. I made the same pattern from different yarns, and I ended up liking the aide's scarf better. And I think she liked it too because I saw her wear it many many times. In first grade I made the teacher a scarf that was a bit more dressy. I don't think I ever saw her wear it, but that's ok because she has a teenage daughter who may have worn it or she may not have been a scarf person. In second grade, I got on the necklace kick and made a ton of necklaces including one for the teacher and the aide in the class who was by coincidence the same aide who had been the kindergarten aide.

This year the teacher is very young/hip and so for once I didn't really worry too much about her gift. My daughters assured me she "wears lots of scarves and not all of them look warm." So I bought some Shadow Tonal from knit picks (with color help from my girls who really do have an eye for color) . OOh I see that Blue yonder, the color I used, is being discontinued.
Anyway, I had a pattern picked out to use with it, but when I was searching ravelry for um something anyway, I came across this free knit picks pattern called Fishtail lace scarf.
It is a quick pattern that knit up really fast:

Lace scarf


Have I mentioned how much I want to keep this for me?

Next up: the girls have the same instructional aide as LAST year and kindergarten so this is her third handmade item from me.

Friday, December 02, 2011


So, I had this crazy idea that perhaps I was behind enough to try to put up a post every weekday in December. But then Dec 1 came and went with no post from me. And I had the best of intentions too, I just got a little too busy working on the doll clothes I'm sewing for Christmas, and then I spent my "designated blog time" agonizing over a decision that I need to make. (career wise rather than knitting, so it is kinda boring).
But I did prepare for blogging by photographing my recently finished sweater!

New sweater

The sweater pattern is Estelle and the yarn is Lark in crocus from Quince and Co.

I can't remember the needle size but ravelry tells me I used a size 6. I could have made this a size bigger I think. It doesn't quite close in the front, and while the length looks fine I was thinking if it were maybe an inch longer, I'd feel better about it. But no way am I ripping out the 350 some stitches I picked up for the edging to add an inch or two. I did rip out both sleeves because I initially made them too long and this time got them just about the perfect length.

I don't think it is supposed to close in the front, as there are no buttons, but it does make me feel a bit chunky to not have it close. At any rate, I like it and it is warm. And warm is good as we got our first snow of the fall (winter) and I'm feeling very chilly. In fact this got so warm that I had to take it off when I was cleaning up after dinner because it was a might too warm. But earlier int he day I ran into the grocery store with out a coat (41 degrees) because I just felt warm enough with this sweater on.

Monday, November 21, 2011

the LIST

I hesitate to say this, but I feel I have this real bipolar relationship with my knitting. Sometimes I have a gazillion projects I want to do or have started and sometimes, it takes all my energy to even think of one. But I hate calling it bi-polar because it seems like I'm making light of something that is actually very serious. And I do not wish to make light of it. At the same time it is a pattern I've noticed--either I feel all meh about knitting or sewing anything or I want to knit it ALL.

Lately, I've been in more of the down stage. I started working on my Estelle sweater to kind of move me out of it. And I've drudged along convinced that I may not be making the right size on Estelle and then suddenly it is finished. Except that the sleeves are a bit too long and the length is a bit shorter than I'd like. I did rip out the sleeves and need to re-knit the cuffs. I'll have to think about length because that would mean ripping out the 250 something stitch edging.

Then I realized that I needed to get going on teacher gifts and so I started a Fishtail lace scarf in shadow tonal (and I am coveting it). I knit on it all the time and while I feel like it is not growing at all, it seems to magically grow overnight. At last measure I have 41 inches.

I also realized in the middle of Estelle that I need to knit some sort of thing to carry around my ipod in and started a sock, but I really think I need a felted something.

Then I was asked to make a chemo cap for a middle schooler in pink/orange or something funky, and bought yarn.

But I still need another idea for a teacher gift for the classroom aide, who has been in the girls' classroom 3 of their 4 years in elementary school (So I have, in past years, made her a scarf and a necklace). Although she has a new winter coat since I made the scarf.

To top this off, I'm thinking that it would be especially nice to make some extra doll clothes for Christmas this year. And Joann's had patterns on sale for 1.99.

You will notice that there are no pictures accompanying this entry. This is because I am lazy. I have been so bad with photos this year that come mother's day when I go to make calendars for my mother in law, I will have NO pictures. And my kids are always my favorite subjects.

Nothing in this pile is finished, but I'm hoping that over the next few weeks, some of it will be and I will try really hard to photograph things in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


I've seen a lot this year about taking back halloween for girls. Basically calling for the end of the slutty costumes. I totally agree with this by the way and am horrified at the differences I see in boy and girl stuff generally (last year one of my girls had "boy boots" because only one style of "girl boots" were actually waterproof and they had one of that style in their size--and I have 2 girls the same size). But I thought oh my girls are eight, they won't have that much of a battle, if we stick to the pattern books like we usually do.

Well, thank you Simplicity for putting the adult costumes in with the kids costumes in the pattern book. One of my daughters saw this:

She thought the black swan was the creepiest thing she EVER saw and instantly asked if she could be that. After much discussion we agreed I'd buy this pattern:

And make it all black. This was deemed acceptably creepy.

My other daughter could not decide for a long time and then in the end decided to be this primarily because of the hair.

Actually these costumes didn't go together badly. The main problem I encountered was the sequined fabric for the rock star. It was hard to cut, gummed up my sewing needle and was impossible to press. The tu tu on the ballerina costume wasn't even sewn, it was merely tied on. So tulle is awkward and everything, but one afternoon had the whole thing done.

I think they turned out well.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

yarn thoughts

I don't really have much new to report. I'm still working away on Estelle and still putting the finishing touches on the halloween costumes. (one sleeve and some elastic and a hem respectively)
I've aslo been searching madly for thy frequent buyers card for my LYS as I want to buy something and I think was close to the reward.
Alas, it is nowhere I have looked. I have a gift certificate to knit picks (and one for my LYS--hence the card search) and I've been thinking about using it for MONTHS and my thought process always goes something like this:
I'm almost done with what I'm knitting, what do I want to knit next?
hmm maybe socks? Yes, but I have a ton of sock yarn in my stash.
Ok but maybe I want more conservative socks. like black maybe. but I never wear black. ok maybe brown?
I really don't need any more new socks, I have a lot of handknit socks, one for every day of the week plus extras.
but I don't have red.
or brown
Man I'm chilly, I should knit myself another sweater.
I already have 6 sweaters that I knit and a few I bought
Well I don't have a red one. I saw a nice sweater that was in red in a book. hmmm what was that book again?
Oh yes, Knits that fit the Sophisticated hoodie Although the stitch pattern would be a pain
I don't have any red socks to wear with it.
Maybe I should just buy some red yarn and make a different sweater.
Maybe I should just knit from my stash.
There is no RED in my stash!
Sadly, this kind of thinking goes on for a while, until I convince myself that I need red yarn. Then I fail to find a pattern I like and a few months later I see all this red yarn in my stash and think--why in the world did I buy all this red yarn?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

picture-less update

Sometimes it is terribly hard to keep this blog updated. Not because I'm not knitting. or sewing. I am, I really am. But rather because I don't have any pictures of what I am working on. And so a month later I still have no pictures, but thought I'd update on my progress. knitting: I cast on for Estelle, which if you don't care to follow the link is a cardigan knit from the top down int eh round with some waist ribbing and feather and fan borders. I'm using the recommended yarn (Lark from Quince and Co) in a purple. I LOVE it. Lark is squishy and it felts well (so be careful). I'm on the first sleeve, which I had started to knit in the wrong sized needle, so had to rip out about 5 inches and start again. I'd have a picture of it except that I have not figured out how to photograph purples in a way that they look true to color. Halloween costumes: This year my daughters have decided after carefully looking at every single pattern book at Joann Fabrics to be: a rock star and an evil ballerina. The evil ballerina was inspired by the section in the pattern books where they mix the adult "hootchie" costumes with the kid costumes. My daughter saw a picture of the Black swan and immediately decided that was the creepiest costume in ANY book and demanded to be that. Basically I'm making a black ballerina costume. Yesterday I finished the tu tu. Which was the last piece for that costume. Imagine 15 yards of tulle cut into strips and tied. The rock star shirt is finished and I hope never ever ever to have to sew with confetti glitter fabric EVER again. It doesn't iron (it melts the glue that holds the confetti on), and it gets your sewing machine needle all globed up. Thankfully the rock star pants are shiny pink fabric, and relatively easy. How great is it that I'll most likely be all done with costumes nearly 2 weeks before the big day! Also no pictures because I think costumes look better ON kids ON halloween. So pictures later. Other than that, I'm just enjoying the nice weather here in Michigan, knowing that when my Estelle Sweater is done, it will be cold enough to wear it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Whenever I try to talk to my husband about knitting, say try to get an opinion out of him he says to me "yarn yarn yarn yarn yarn". (Imagine that done in a Charlie Brown adult voice). But in all honesty most of what makes knitting fun and fabulous or disappointing is yarn. When I first started knitting, I was like a lot of people and entranced by yarn. Sadly for me, a lot of that yarn was yarn I would not use now. Then, I was attracted to Fun! Interesting! fibers. Now, I want simpler yarn.

I say this all because it goes a long way in explaining why I thought it would be a good idea to buy enough yarn to make a vest in Moda Dea Dream. In green no less! Can you imagine, I'd have looked a bit like Oscar the grouch. It explains why I have a poncho made of homespun. It feels like a big blanket and is comfy but oh my goodness I hope to never have to knit with homespun ever again, it is so squeaky.

I made a pair of socks out of tofutsies and they got multiple holes in it and I decided that perhaps soy yarn isn't great for socks.

It also explains one of the oldest skeins in my stash. I knew that it was banana silk, but it took a search in ravlery to determine it was Frabjous fibers banana silk. Multicolored of course. I just have one skein. I have no idea what I thought I would make with it. I just look at it and know that I bought it because it was shiny and silky and made of bananas! I dug it out the other day intending to make a scarf from it. I tried a drop stitch pattern and was unsatisfied and ripped it out. Then I started a narrower garter stitch scarf, and a movie at the same time. So now I have an almost 4 foot long garter stitch scarf in banana silk... and I hate it.

While I was trying to decide what to do--rip it out and make something narrower, rip it out and do nothing, rip it out and try a new pattern--I started Estelle in a yarn that is more me these days: Quince and company Lark.(in purple)

Of course any and all suggestions about the banana silk are welcomed.

yarn yarn yarn yarn.....

Monday, September 12, 2011


I'll get back to yarn and knitting soon. but one reason I have not been writing so much is that I've been really busy with food! I made the peach jam of course, then froze enough peaches for a crisp and for several peach lassis. I still have another week of peach season, so I may freeze more--or maybe make some fresh lassi. Or you know I do actually eat fresh peaches. Liz, friend of mine told her facebook friends that she was going to cook every recipe in Jamie Oliver's food revolution. A friend of hers said she should blog about it. Like every day! Like Julie and Julia! Sure, let's make both cooking and blogging a chore. But she did blog or maybe just note on facebook two recipes she'd made, and they both sounded really good. So I checked the cookbook out of my local library. Let me tell you, I love this cookbook. I love that the steps are laid out. I love that the recipes are easy. I love that every recipe has a picture and STEP pictures. My kids gravitated towards a shell pasta dish which also happens to be on his website. My kids actually do eat a lot of vegetables, (and one lists quinoa as a favorite food) but since they were so gung ho (it was the shell pasta) that was the first one we made. And oh my was it good. First off, it took less than 30 minutes to make. then it was good. THEN it made a ton so we had leftovers. My girls had 2 helpings each. I managed to snap a picture of it: P9070006 Then our farm share has been giving us a lot of winter squash. While I have a few butternut squash recipes I like, I am usually stumped when it comes to acorn squash. I don't like them except in soups. Enter Jamie Oliver and his sweet potato and chorizo soup. My husband made it substituting an acorn and a butternut squash for the sweet potatoes. Again. Oh my. My children thought it a "little zippy" and only had a spoonful. so we have a ton leftover. Which is ok because YUM. I didn't take a picture and he doesn't have the recipe online, but trust me on this. It was good. I have 2 or 3 more recipes I want to try from there. I have no need to cook my way through it, but I am enjoying it. Back to yarn next time.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

busy back soon....

I have been busy lately. I will get back to writing more regularly soon, but in the meantime I finished some socks. socks The legs are a good reminder of gauge issues--one leg was done on larger needles (a fact which was forgotten by me until I finished the second sock with smaller needles). needless to say the pattern on the socks doesn't match.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

long over due...

It has been a month almost since I last updated. I still haven't made the peach jam, although maybe next week. I've made two batches of pesto--one is in the freezer and one in the fridge and then I knit this:


It is the Lodi cardigan I mentioned in the last entry . I ended up with yarn leftover, so I could have made the sleeves a tad longer. I ended up using buttons that I originally purchased for my first central park hoodie, but I think they look better on this sweater.


What I did not think looked good was how I looked compared to the model in this sweater. I feel frumpy while she looks very chic. Then it was pointed out to me that perhaps if I buttoned the cardi in the middle, it would accentuate my waist and I would look not as A line and boxy. and lo and behold when I went to look at the picture to link to this entry, what did I notice--the model is wearing hers with a middle button buttoned! All in the styling I tell you.

I keep thinking that this is the time to start the dollar and a half cardigan. That way it will be ready to wear when it starts to get cooler. but then I start to feel all overwhelmed.
Patterns are on sale at Joann's over labor day weekend, so halloween costumes are just around the corner!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

summer knitting

Jam update for posterity: 3 batches of strawberry, 1 batch of sour cherry, blueberry to be determined. Peaches just coming in.

sock update: I'm tired of making plain socks

Back in April, when my LYS had it's annual sale, I picked up seven skeins of Rowen summer tweed in denim, thinking that I would make a summer short sleeved tee. Then summer actually hit and the thought of wearing yarn, even cotton/silk yarn, repulsed me.

Before that happened though, I picked a copy of Summer 2011 Knitscene, because it had several top down raglan style Tee patterns.

A few days ago, I threw down the sock I was knitting because my goodness was I bored and I started contemplating something different. A sweater maybe. I dug out all my stuff from the dollar and a half cardigan and decided that would be too hard. I need something simple but not mindless. So I dug out the summer tweed and started envisioning a shrug. I have a pattern I want to make someday, but twice now I've gone into it with yarn, swatched and missed gauge by enough that I don't dare attempt it. But something funny happened while I was swatching, I started seeing not lace, but a raglan style shirt/cardigan something.

And so, last night instead of reading before bed, I flipped through Knitscene looking at all the patterns, looking for one with the gauge I had and the amount of yarn I had (because sale =none left I'm sure). I'm reasonably close on both gauge and amounts on the Lodi Cardigan . I'm only 75 yards short--surely that's the difference between 3/4 length sleeves and short ones?

Please somebody get ready to say I told you so, in a month when I complain about being too short to finish.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


It has been a while but I have many things to report. First, I made 3 batches of strawberry freezer jam. I ended up having lots leftover from last year but I think that had to do with making 2 batches of blueberry instead of one, and then not making the strawberry ganache that I frequently make. So I made three again this year. I only have one more jam from last year to use up now, see it is easy to give away extras.

I also went on a long car trip to see my mom and brought along my rainbow socks, dyed from a sock blank that I spoke about last time. I cast on shortly after I posted that entry--a basic toe up. I struggled with--should I make them super long or should I save roughly half the yarn for something else and decided I could do a rainbow scarf too if I stopped. So I did. When we got back from our short trip (1 week!) I had this:

rainbow socks

And a few days after we got back I had this:
rainbow socks

These have to be the fastest socks I have ever knit. EVER. And I've started a new pair. But now I'm thinking perhaps I need a second project going. Either the rainbow scarf (lacy!) or a sweater--maybe dollar and a half as I am feeling braver.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Thanks to everyone who commented on the crooked shrug. I am going to try it open and see how it feels. Right now we are in the middle of humid weather though so I'm not sure when I'll feel like having a shrug on.

Also I'm not sure when I'll feel like wearing socks again, but when I do I'll have these: Green socks

I just finished the second sock--after having the first one done for a few months.

Pattern is wandia from Sock innovation
Yarn is a handdyed from Threadbear Fiber studio which seems to have closed.

It wasn't really the sit by the pool and chat kind of pattern, though, so for summer I want to have something easy going. Just some nice plain vanilla toe up socks. Something I can pull out and knit on and chat with people while my kids play. I have just the thing of course. Sock blank!

A while ago (maybe 2 years!) I dyed a sock blank from knit picks
rainbow blank
The idea is that you then knit two socks at the same time from it, unraveling as you go. I haven't mastered the whole two at a time thing, and while I may someday, that's not quite the summer thing I had in mind. so I unraveled mine and wound two balls. I did discover I didn't get the dye all the way through so it is whiter than I want, but ahhh well....


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I'm shrugging about this....

So, the shrug. I finished it. I had to russian join on the buttonhole band to get it to cast off. And I could not pick up the 83 stitched I had on the left front. I got as for as 60 and was out of room.

And my friends there is a good reason for this, because of course the shrug that I have had to repeatedly rip and reknit has not gone gentle into the night. Oh not, it has a major flaw. One that if I want to really fix, will require a HUGE chunk of ripping. And frankly, given that I think I might have 10 yards of yarn left may not be even feasible.

Anyway, when I wear it open it looks like this:


Looks good doesn't it. And that is the dress I bought it for and as you can see the purples, while not totally true in the picture, do actually match! And it looks really good until....

You think about buttoning it. And that's when you'll realize that somehow someway I managed to knit one side almost two inches longer than the other.

shrug problem

I think the two inches is in the sleeve cap. I have no idea what to do with it. And at this point, it might be easier to walk lopsided. Although truthfully it doesn't show if it is unbuttoned, but it doesn't hang quite right.

There is a reason that I called this blog Disasters with yarn......

Thursday, June 09, 2011

shrug again

I thought by now I'd be showing you a picture of a finished purple shrug. And I would be too if it weren't for you pesky kids. No wait, I would be if it weren't for one little tiny problem.
I think I'm running out of yarn.

I have all the major pieces knit. I have them all sewn together. I have the collar and the button band done. And I have little tiny balls of yarn left. And so I also have a major hangup.

Last night I took a deep breath and started in on the buttonhole band. I finished it! I had yarn to spare! I tried it on and whoops. See, on the button band I had picked up 83 stitches and on the buttonhole band it came out to like 56 and I thought "well I am just spacing them farther out and that's not a bad thing." In reality I was... let's just say not in reality. I don't know why but for some reason I didn't pick up stitches all along the front, I missed about an inch at the top and about 2 on the bottom.

So I ripped it out. Actually I'm thinking of renaming this shrug on ravelry to the frog shrug. I think I have had to rip back on almost every piece of this. I can't remember about the back and I think the first sleeve was pretty uneventful.

So now I have a little less yarn (because yes I wove in my ends and trimmed) and more buttonhole band to knit. I'd buy another skein but I bought this yarn OVER a year ago and I really don't want to pay another 9.50 to use such a small amount. Also--this yarn doesn't russian join very well.

Alas, I think I just need to take a deep breath and knit. I am SO close.

Friday, June 03, 2011


I have not been sewing lately, so I have no new blocks to show off. But I am making progress with my purple shrug:


Plus, I have one sleeve done. I hit a snag with sleeve two and need to rip back 3 rows and am being all wah wah wah about it.

One thing that really saved me on this project was this blog. When I picked it back up I couldn't remember all the modifications I had made to the pattern. See I'm starting with a henley pattern and converting it into a shrug. So i lopped off the entire bottom half. But then I couldn't remember what size I had been making (39--thanks Ravelry) or which needles I was using (3 and 4--thanks again ravlery). And then on the hem, when I started the new side (right I think) I looked back at my old blog posts and I mentioned, I'm making a bigger hem than the pattern calls for because it curled as written. So then I counted and the pattern calls for a 5 row hem and I had made a 10 row hem. I'm so terrible at writing out details that frankly I am amazed I was able to pick this up a year later and have it not look so mismatched.

Other mods I have made: I am making short sleeves for this, and debated heavily if the sleeves should have the hemmed border or start directly with lace. I decided on hemmed in case the lace curled. I went ahead and did the three needle bind offs instead of blocking each piece separately on stitch holders. And I need to figure out the collar and button bands since I went for a provisional cast on hem instead of a sew it together hem (seriously IK--whipstich?).

I think if I were going to do another one of these I would probably not do the garter selvedge and instead do a stockinette selvedge, because generally I am good at sewing up, but I really hate sewing up garter stitch.

I was hoping to get this finished by yesterday so I could wear it out for a fancy lunch. But I have a fancy dinner and another fancy lunch coming up soon. However, I don't think that it will be done in time for those either.

Friday, May 27, 2011

selvedge log cabin

I don't know if I've ever said as much here, but I don't sew a whole lot. Mostly I knit. But for me sewing is kind of cathartic. The rat tat tat of the machine, the alone time in the basement where it is cooler than the rest of the house, with usually just me and the radio, soothes me when I am stressed. In the days leading up to my grandmother's death--when we knew this was "it" I quilted a double bed sized quilt, just for the comfort of the rat tat tat.

I've been sewing nearly every day these days. It is cooler in the basement, and I can lose my thoughts in the fabric.


I've been doing these selvedge log cabins--throwing on scraps and making something (hopefully beautiful) from them. The pattern calls for 36. I have 10. I have no idea what I'm going to do with this when I am done. I don't need another quilt, especially of that size (the blocks are 9.5 inches).

Thursday, May 19, 2011


And now for something completely different:

selvedge blocks

My MIL has given me 6 bags of selvedge edges ever since I saw a book about quilting with them. Now I guess is the time to do something with them....

Monday, May 16, 2011

Central Park Hoodie!

Last Monday as the temperatures soared into the upper 70s, I finished my all wool Central Park hoodie.

I did get a chance to wear it for a few hours at work, where the air conditioner made it comfy. but I didn't really get a good picture until Sunday when the temps went back down into the 50s.

central park hoodie

It fits! And I have one skein of the beautiful Lark (in leek!) from Quince and Company left. I can not recommend this yarn enough. And when I had to get more (I would have been one short in my original), Pam Allen was gracious enough to make sure I had the right dyelot. It is so sproingy and was such fun to work with.

I was going to say, I can't wait to wear it, but I am really looking forward to summer. Instead I'll say--I'll be taking every opportunity to wear it. Or maybe I'll just have it out this week. At any rate, I loved knitting with this yarn so much I bought the pattern Estelle and enough yarn to make it (for my birthday).

Monday, May 09, 2011

perfect storm

About a year ago, I got fed up with this shrug I was making. In the picture you might be able to see why:

I had the left front nearly done before I realized that the arm hole decrease was about 1.5 inches shorter than the ones I'd made for the back. And it was lace, and I just couldn't focus enough to rip it back. So I put it away and moved on to other projects.

Until Saturday.

Saturday a perfect storm occurred. The day was sunny and warm, but it wasn't the first sunny warm day. My kids were happy to play outside and didn't seem to need anything. My husband was off at a work function and the dishes were clean.

In the end, I ripped back row by row, backwards counting on my counter. Thankfully, the lace pattern is easy to read and so I realized I was only a row or two off in my rough counting. Soon, I had the yarn wound up and had knitted a few new rows. Since then, I've done most of the sleeve decreases. I'm going to finish this, and in time to wear this summer too.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

tale of two sleeves

I have a confession about sleeves. I don't really like making them. It probably stems from the first ever sweaters I knit (about the 5th and 6th things I ever knit respectively). Both sweaters were the same pattern, same yarn (different colors), done on the same needles and all 4 sleeves came out different lengths!
I have gone so far as to do both sleeves at the same time to get even lengths. Mostly, I find just paying attention to the pattern usually gets me within a few rows. And this was the case in my sleeves for the central park hoodie. Because of the pattern, I was able to determine, that I was within 4 rows.

I suppose I should also say that I don't pay much attention to row gauge. I always figure that the pattern will say--knit until piece measures X inches. I do pay attention to stitch gauge, but I also confess, I don't record before and after blocking measurements.

I suppose that it is no surprise then to note that if you compare a blocked sleeve to an unblocked sleeve you get this:

Blocked one is on the right.
Ironically the one on the left is a little longer.
Not so ironically, these are going to be really long on me.

Friday, April 22, 2011


I have all the major pieces done on my Central park hoodie, and I have the extra yarn, although now I'm sure I have way too much. And I had an idea to do an entry about blocking that puppy. But it will have to wait.

I also have a bunch of knitting I want to do--almost all of it summer knitting, and I'll blog about that once I get my thoughts in order.

I did repair my daughter's sweater, but I only took pictures of the hole before and the hole after and not really any in process. So I'll tell you this, she managed to snag and break off some yarn in such a way that it was really only effecting 2 rows of stitches. So I did what might be seen as a spot of darning--I wove in the end real good, looped the two loose stitches several times, wove around it, in case it was loose in other places and wove in the ends. Then I noticed one of the cuffs was a little ratty, so I cut it off, picked up the stitches and knit a new one. You can tell if you look at it, because the new does not look lie a child wore it happily through two years of outside play. I also bound it off with a sewn bind off because it felt clever. And I wanted to get her hand through it.

I'm glad I made those sweaters big--even though it might be time this winter to make new ones.

I also finished an object:
Don't look at it big because it is blurry. Of course photographing earrings is hard--if you don't believe me you should check out etsy!
I finally figured out the whole how to get them on the earring thing. I think stitch markers might be in my future. Of course I didn't make one pair, I made three. Two blue and one green.

I don't know, but I think I might not be as good at this whole jewelry thing--I took three necklaces to the mom to mom sale, marked them $10 which I thought was fair, and none of them sold. So remember how I made so many and I didn't have any for me? Well now I have three. I'm going to make another one just for me, and I wanted to make earrings to match, but I don't know quite how to do that yet. The closest I have is a blue necklace, and those blue earrings, which I wore to work the other day as a set and no one said anything, which means either--ha you look terrible or wow, we didn't even think they looked homemade. I also bought a dress, which just happens to look good with both of these (and needs a little shrug--see summer knitting decisions). I guess I like them and that's all that matters right now.

Ok, next time, I hope to have a big list of what I want to knit this summer!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

easily distracted

I had an entry started but I think this might be a better one to describe this and any other long absence I have from this blog. I am easily distracted.

I say this because I still haven't finished my central park hoodie--although I am on sleeve number 2 and I am certain I will have enough yarn to finish that sleeve, but not enough for the hood and trim. I'm attempting to get more. Usually my second fear is that it will be too small (or too big) and so I've been blocking pieces of this sweater, and I'm more hopeful of its fit.

But I haven't been spending as much time on that as I could. I started the second sock of the screaming green variety--have gotten it cast on and 1/4 inch of ribbing.

Then there is this sale thing coming up this weekend and I wanted to make a few necklaces to see how they'd sell. So I did.

Then at the library I got ahold, by accident because Dewey was so helpful in putting the knitting books near the beading books, this book on making stringed beaded jewelry that shows you how to make earrings that I LOVE. And it doesn't look too hard. (Stringing beaded jewelry in case you are curious). And honestly stitch markers are very similar in construction.

And then one of my daughters brought out a sweater I knit for her and it has a hole. And I thought, I'll blog that repair. So I have that in the works!
So you see, I distract easily, but I hope that it will all come together soon and you'll see post after post after post. Now, though, I need to go buy some earring findings.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I'm still here!

You'd think after a month of not posting, I'd have a finished object to show you. I don't, but I am making progress:


For some reason that picture has some odd colors, my carpet is grey and the sweater green. I'm loving this yarn (from Quince and company).
I have the back and most of the sides done. I'm still worried about my usual sweater things--fit and running out of yarn.
I was trying to get it finished in time for St. Patrick's day, but this isn't going to happen.

I also had a birthday in the time I was gone, and got lots of gift certificates for yarn, so I'm trying to plan some projects. My husband tells me I probably have enough sweaters though. (as if such a thing exists).

I am also making lots of other beaded necklaces for an event coming up. I think I've lost my tremendous excitement for them, even though I am still enjoying making them.

So, I've been busy even if I haven't been posting. Hopefully soon I'll have some other projects to show off.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


February is a busy month for me. I'm not sure exactly why but for some reason February gets crazy every year. And this year is no exception. In fact if my kids did not have a rare 4 day weekend, I'm not sure I'd have the time to write this today.

I have been knitting though--I finished the first of the screaming green socks:
Screaming green

Pattern is Wanida from Sock Innovation the yarn is from ThreadBEar in lansing--some of their handdyed. It really is VERY green. My problem is that I'm kind of being handicapped by my indecision. YOu see I finished this sock over a week ago and I haven't started the second. Not because I don't like the pattern or the yarn, but because I'm not sure this sock isn't way too big.


See when I knit my gauge swatch, I decided that the pattern gauge wasn't as important as the fact that the sock had to actually fit me. So I tried on my swatch and discovered it was a little snug. So I ripped out and went up from a size 1 to a size 1.5. But all along the knitting I felt like this sock was just HUGE. Except every time I put it on it fit. It isn't snug like some socks I've knitted are, but I am afraid that by the end of a day of wearing them it will feel all baggy and loose and I'll hate that. So I've put off starting the second sock. Although honestly I could make a second sock on the smaller needles and see what happens.

In the meantime, I've decided to knit something else for a while:
central park hoodie

I seem to be on a green kick.

Friday, February 04, 2011

red and gold

You would think that a snow day (or two) would make for some knitting results. But alas, I still have about an inch more on my screaming green socks and then I'll start the toe--which makes me feel like I have HUGE feet (the better to walk through the snow with).

But then I remembered, I made this:
red and gold

As a birthday present for a friend, I went and bought red and gold beads special as these seem to be the colors she wears the most. I still have yet to finish one for me. Better get on that!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I'm not sure what happened to me but for some reason I've been having problems getting excited about my knitting. Maybe I felt like I was making too many mistakes and getting worried about starting new things in case my knitting had been jinxed or something.
One project that I had had sitting for far too long was this pair of baby socks:

baby socks!

I had the second one ready to kitchner and I realized they were not the same size and somewhere along the line I had made an error or something. So in an effort to exorcise the knitting jinx, I finally ripped back and finished the second one properly. Now I just need to get them mailed to where they need to go.

Jinx fixed, I started a pair of socks for me. The pattern is from Sock innovation and the yarn is a hand dyed (not by me) called appropriately enough: screaming green. I'm pretty sure they are going to be too big, but they do go over my foot.

screaming green

I think it might be residual jinx feeling. But I am prepared to rip this one out, if indeed when it is done it is too big--and restart it on smaller needles. I am.

In the meantime, I'm psyching myself up to start a new central park hoodie. I looked back at Ravelry and found that ARGH the one I made that is very very snug when I close it is a 40 (supposedly) so this one will probably be a 44. That SHOULD be 8 inches of ease normally, but I'm just hoping to get 4. Hmm maybe I should make the 48.

Oh, I was also asked how the girls liked their doll hats. They were received with glee, but then demands were made for coats. knitted coats. SIGH.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winding and swatching

Ten days into 2011 and I'm just getting around to writing. Bad me. Of course you'd think I'd have some huge finished project to show too. Sadly, despite having travelled 12 hours in the car over the holidays, I have nothing really to show. I ended up taking a pair of baby socks, and I do have those sort of finished but when I was showing them off I noticed one was a bit smaller than the other, so since I haven't finished off the toe, I'm going to unravel it a bit and make it match. So I don't want to photograph them until I have that fixed.

You think I might even have a resolution, but sadly no on that either. I thought about making a list of things I'd like to knit in 2011, but that seemed a little too much like work, where I make goals and objectives all the time.

So far though 2011 has been about getting ready to knit.

I received from my mother in law, who sticks to the lists people give her, enough Lark in the color Leek to make a sweater. I think that another central Park Hoodie is in my future. So right now I'm swatching. I actually felted my first swatch because I didn't realize that even my washer on delicate would be too rough. So the second swatch got hand washed, we'll see--unwashed I get gauge pretty easily.

I also bought a new pair of shoes to replace my beloved loafers that I usually wear to work with my hand knit socks. These shoes are more a mary jane style and show off way more sock than my loafers did, which has me wanting more socks. Only not plain socks. I want socks with interest! Socks with a detail on the foot! I'm thinking Wanida from the book Sock innovations And I have just the yarn. Sadly though it is still in a skein and so needs to be wound and swatched.

So that's 2011 so far for me, winding and swatching.