31 December, 2009

Eep! 2009 Wrap Up

So things got just a little crazy with the ILs coming and all. The second half of December there has been silence from me and I apologize for that. I'm still knitting and still behind on FOs. Nothing new there.

Anywho! 2009 wrap up. This was a pretty busy year with a few more projects then last year. 36 total. Of these 7 were adult sweaters and shrugs. 5 were sweaters for children and babies. 7 were hats. 2 were traditional scarves. 6 were shawlettes. 5 were socks. 4 were misc. small projects. That's a lot of knitting.

Another way to look at it is the yardage.

Yardage totals for 2009:

January: 937 yds
February: 1286 yds
March: 1466 yds
April: 1093 yds
May: 909 yds
June: 759 yds
July: 1886 yds
August: 1679 yds
September: 1465 yds
October: 879 yds
November: 1217 yds
December: 1498 yds

Total to date: 15,074 yds or 8.57 miles

That's a lot of yarn being knit up. Over 8 and a half miles' worth of yarn. I think I will continue to keep track next year and see if knitting mostly sweaters changes this at all.

All in all, 2009 was a good year for knitting, though it had a very bad start. Remember Year of the Frog? At least that changed about mid-way through. Imagine what I could have knit had my whole year been like the last 4 to 6 months. Or better yet, imagine how much I would have knit if I had not piddled away so much time on Ravelry and was knitting instead.

Happy New Year everyone! I'll be back with more FOs and other knitting posts tomorrow.

13 December, 2009

Back to FO catch up

Sorry, got side tracked for a few days. Some more pictures have been taken and I can get back to documenting all of the FOs I have been behind on. The good news is, I'm finally current after this post. "Current" meaning I'm less then a month behind, though I do have projects building up again. I've been knitting up a storm as if to try and squeeze all the yarny goodness I can out of 2009. All in all, I'd say that's a good thing and I'll work to get pictures of my most current work after it's done blocking. On one piece, I'm sewing in some lining.

First up: the much kvetched about, never-ending cardigan. That's right kittens, it's...

Pattern: Whisper Cardigan (Ravel it)
Needles: US size 5
Yarn: The Plucky Knitter Cashmere Silk Laceweight: 2 of Hearts

Whisper. Three and a half months on needles. About 90% of that time was the damn sleeves. If anyone plans to knit this, do yourself a favor: do. not. knit. on. 12" circulars. Just don't. You will hate it. Your hands will cramp. You will hate the sweater. My Snobs group debated this rather in depth and magic loop seems to be the best way to go with the sleeves on this to avoid cramping and ladders.

The following notes are taken directly from my project page. I used every last bit of this yarn, with maybe a yard left over, but I think it was less. Almost all modifications made were due to necessity and not enough yarn, with the exception of the sleeve shape. I left it the stitch count of the widest part of the sleeve and shortened it due to personal preference. Other modifications included 2.5” of the 1x1 rib vs 3”, and the body length was closer to 6” then 8.” Had yarn allowed, I would have made the ribbing the full width and done at least another inch on the body. Due to my own shape, I may have also added a section of straight knitting before adding the increases every other row so that they hit under the bust.

If it isn't obvious from my notes, I ran out of yarn. Lesson learned: when buying a limited hand dye, be a bit more cautious about how you use it. You can not just go buy more. I bought the yarn first then picked the pattern. I have some additional thoughts now that I've worn the sweater a few times. One, even though I made the large, I would have shortened the back sections just a tad because it's a bit too loose across the back. This makes it very comfy but taking out 1/2" from each side would have made a world of difference. Two, I think I would have used short row shaping to bring the front ribbing out a bit further to do a better job of covering tank top and bra straps. Despite that, this is one of my favorite knits to wear. It's soft as a kitten's belly and warm without being hot. So nice and light. I will definitely knit another and probably mod the bejeesus out of it.

Oh look! We're to the end of November, finally.

Pattern: Wurm (Ravel it)
Needles: US size 5 & US size 7
Yarn: Mama Blue Troika Sport: Mermaid

I LOVE THIS HAT. That pretty much covers it. I love the color. I love the whimsical shape. I wish Troika sport had about 10g more in the skein so I could have done one more pattern repeat, but this was good enough. I used every last inch of yarn. Love, love, love. And it makes The Husband smile.

Last, but not least, finished in the first days of this month...

Needles: US size 2 1/2
Yarn: Unwind Yarns Merlot Fingering: Cheeky Monkey

These were a gift knit for my sister and will be in the mail in the next day or so. I want to keep them. This pattern was super easy to memorize, but looks complicated. It's just a simple slipped stitch pattern with 4 stitch cables on the sides to give it some stretch. Because of the pattern, it takes forever to do the leg, but once you get past that part, it flies. The only modifications I made were larger needles since I knit tight, shorter leg because I wasn't sure how the sock would fit the leg and my sister is an anklets kind of gal, and a shorter, wider toe since the "normal" way doesn't fit me properly and looks funny. Happy, happy, happy.

That's it for tonight's installment. I have three more FOs in various stages of finishing and a project on needles I could easily finish tonight.

06 December, 2009

Resolutions 2010

Anyone who has followed this blog for long knows that I failed miserably at all of my 2009 resolutions. Throughout the year, you will see post after post of my attempts to find a way to make it work out, only to end up with more yarn then I started with. I did succeed in one of my goals that I set for myself later in the year: I managed to use up a good-sized portion of my random skeins of fingering and sport weight variegated yarns. There's a reason 2009 was a big year for hats and shawlettes for me.

It was a bad year for reducing stash size, and I was not the only one feeling it, as my Yarn Snobs group can attest. The monthly diets were fun, but more of a yardage tally then a stash reducing effort for the majority of us. Stash down groups and threads were all over the place on Ravelry and more are popping up this month. One group has a thread about going Cold Sheep in 2010; pretty cute name for stashing down. The NaKniSweMoDo group is setting up for their 2010 challenge, which I'm taking part in. It's a dodecathon: 12 adult sweaters in 12 months. Many have echoed the sentiment that they would like to knit solely or mostly from stash this next year. Excess stash seems to be plaguing the online knitting community as a whole; it makes me wonder about our counterparts who do not participate in Ravelry or maybe have no internet access at all.

Right now, I'm participating in the test mini-quarter of our 2010 Stashdown effort. To date, I am doing pretty well: averaging 2 yards out for every yard bought. Something rather amazing has happened in the last month of participating in this effort. I have found the zen in regards to yarn buying that I spent the rest of the year desperately trying to find. When I wasn't looking, I found some of the peace I was trying to buy with yarn. I did make one large purchase at the very beginning of last month, but about mid-way through, yarn lost its temptation for me. I ignored all of the Black Friday yarn sales. Good ones. At my favorite online yarn stores. Even the one I consider to be my virtual LYS.

If I can keep in this frame of mind, my resolutions for 2010 will be easy peasy to keep and I won't feel so embarrassed by my complete failure with almost double the yarn I started the year with. I've been mulling them over for months, wondering how big of a fall I was setting myself up for. Now, I think it just may work, so I'm going to blog about my knitting goals in 2010. They're solidified now and I'm hoping I've found ones that I can stick to but are still challenging.

Most of these revolve around the fact that while I love knitting and have been having a torrid, passionate, and mostly exclusive love affair with it for the last two years, I do indeed have other hobbies I'd like to work on but can't, because I feel obligated to use up most of my yarn first. My stash has become a hindrance to my creativity in other areas; something a lovely bunch of yarn should never be. Stash is nice, but perhaps having more then a dozen sweaters' worth of yarn in one's tote is a bit excessive. For me, anyway.

My ultimate goal for 2010 is to get to the point that in 2011, I can quilt, sew, read, art, embroider, or whatever-else-my-heart-desires without feeling obligated to knit a sweater first. I hope to find balance in my hobbies.

To achieve this, I plan to:
  • Continue to knit down my random fingering weight skeins of yarn. I would love to complete a minimum of 3 pairs of socks in 2010 as well as 2 other accessories using that type of yarn.
  • Make a good effort to win one quarter of the Snob's Stashdown 2010. In my fantasy world, I will be the Stashdown Queen for the year. I'm hoping to make 2 out of 4 quarters with no yarn purchased/in, just yardage out. Hopefully, I will not be gifted or given yarn either, since these will count against me.
  • Participate in the 2010 NaKniSweMoDo challenge almost entirely from stash. I plan to purchase the yarn for one sweater later in the year, after I have cleared several times more out of my stash. I will not do this until I am about to cast that particular project on. At the end of the year if I make it to 12 sweaters in 12 months (or beyond!), I plan to reward myself with buying yarn for one new sweater project of my choice--this could also be a skirt or a dress project.
If I can do all of these things, I should start 2011 the way I want to: with 2-3 sweater quantities in my tote and a small handful of other projects to work on when I feel like it. If all goes well, I will be able to resist impulsive stashing and purchase yarn for a project when I'm ready to work on it. Because truly, that is the greatest crime my current situation has committed against me. I am unable to purchase yarn for a new pattern I love now because I have so many obligations already in stash.

More back-FOs

Welcome back to FO Catch Up 2009!

The first one tonight is another August FO, this time finished at the end of the month. 2009 seemed to be the Year of the Shawlette.

Pattern: Hayworth Shawlette (ravel it)
Needles: US size 5
Yarn: The Plucky Knitter Merino Cashmere Nylon Fingering - Jezebel

Overall, a very quick knit and I loved the Deco style details of this shawl. It was nice to see lace that isn't overly girly and floral, but rather, geometric. The yarn came from my short stint in The Plucky Knitter's yarn club. Once again, it's been so long since I finished this that I'm unsure if there were any special notes I would have liked to write down about it. From what I remember, it was easy to follow and I'm happy with the results. I've noticed that MCN blends do not like to stay blocked, however. I originally had pulled the points out further, but you can't tell. I do like the more mellow points vs. what I had while blocking it.

Next up...a shawlette. Surprise?!

Pattern: Traveling Woman (ravel it)
Needles: US size 7
Yarn:The Plucky Knitter Merino Cashmere Nylon Fingering-
Leona Stevenson

I finished this in mid-September; getting closer to the present! Enjoyable pattern, went really well with the color way. I love the juxtoposition of the lace with the more masculine colorway...though it was inspired by a Big Shouldered Broad. Pretty easy pattern to follow and didn't give me any problems that I can remember. Once again, MCN doesn't seem to like to block out and the points on this one didn't come out. I might try to block it one more time or I may just leave it as-is.

That's it for the second installment of FO Catch Up. I still have 4 more FOs to blog; one of them is photographed and ready to go. I may push my photographer to help me get pictures of at least one of the other three for the next installment.

There was a question asked in the comments of my last blog entry: I know my camera has a timer feature, but I've been too lazy to figure it out. I'm sure it likely has a remote we could purchase for it, but I'd need a tripod as well. I tend to prefer a human behind the lense. And I'm lazy, did I mention that already? However, I may have to push myself to utilize this option as it is likely The Husband will deploy again in the future, leaving me sans photographer. I probably should not bank on The Boy and The Girl to be models when this happens. :)

Finally catching up on FOs!

But since I do not want to be up much longer tonight, I'll post up the most over-due for now and save some of the pictures for tomorrow or coming days.

I am horrible at remembering to get pictures of my finished knits and then blog them. It doesn't help that The Husband hates helping me photograph and can be impossible to nail down for a shoot. It causes him pain and annoyance, apparently. We speak different languages when it comes to communicating what I want focused on in a photo of a hand knit. Either he zooms way in to the point that you can not see the whole knit, or he's so far out that it's a rather boring portrait of me. Someday, we'll get it figured out.


Anywho! Most over-due knits coming right up. First, finished in April...

My second Ishbel. Took me long enough. It's embarrassing, but I did not weave in the ends on this and block it until the post I made about the pile of FOs I needed to finish up. It was too hot to wear scarves and shawlettes by the time I finished in April, so it wasn't a priority.

Second, and last for tonight, finished in August...

Pattern: Eyelet Cap (ravel it)
Needles: US size 3
Yarn: Mama Blue Troika Sock-Pit

I wish I could remember if there is anything special to say about this. I know that I knit it in a lighter weight yarn then called for in the pattern. I also did not knit a really long ribbed section and then fold it over and sew it down. I just made it shorter to wear that way. Once again: Texas, very rarely gets cold enough to need heavy duty knits.

I'm short and to the point tonight. There will be more pictures soon as I continue to play FO Catch Up. *Cue the cheesy music*

02 December, 2009

Holiday Knitting

Sorry kittens, it's all text and musings today.

I've been noticing a trend on Ravelry and the Blogosphere: posts about winter holiday knitting--Christmas in particular--are popping up at an alarming rate. I'm starting to wonder if I'm the only knitter not busting her balls (ha, sorry, couldn't resist that one) to make every member of my family a gift with time I do not have. Truly, this puzzles me. I am working on one holiday knit but not firm on the deadline. Perhaps I'm a bit odd, but I believe in giving gifts when I feel the urge to rather then on a schedule with dates dictated to me. It defeats the purpose and spirit of a gift. Just a personal opinion there. For holidays and birthdays, I'll send well-wishes and treats instead.

But, oh my! The stress and panic that is jumping off my screen as I read these forum posts and blogs. Why do knitters do this to themselves?

The ones that stick out most to me are the ones that I've seen argue that they love to knit for others and that's why they do it; it's a good and selfish thing for them to do. However, you're going to have a hard time convincing me of this point when my own blood pressure is creeping up reading about your unrealistic list of gifts that must be completed in the next three weeks. The writer herself admits that she'll have time for nothing else but grinding, non-stop knitting while she slaves over these gifts. These gifts she's...enjoying...to knit. Right. If the written word could hyperventilate, these posts would be doing it.

The other posts that seem to be just as prominent are the, "SCREW IT, I am not knitting for anyone anymore," posts. These usually come with an amusing but sad tale of ingrate relatives and friends who have no appreciation for the handknits that were gifted to them. They have no idea of the agonizing process of finding the right colors and fibers, the right pattern, and then the hours of labor that went into that gift. None of this is a surprise to me. What does surprise me is that the poster/blogger was once of the mindset that handknits were expected and something that were owed. Somehow these handknits were saving them money, because apparently, time isn't worth anything. If one has the skills, she owes it to the world to make them things.

Bitterness and anxiety, the internet is full of it for knitters this holiday season. It's the most wonderful time of the year?!

I'm of the mindset that a phone call and personal chat is worth more then a physical gift for most special occasions. Gifts are nice, but I like to think there's something extra nice about them when they're completely unexpected. Whether that is due to the time of year they're received or the fact that I do not gift every single year, it doesn't really matter. I like to flatter myself and think there's something refreshing about my approach, but I'm sure most would think that I'm inconsiderate and cheap.

So, I have a question for those of you out there who are reading this entry: what is your gifting philosophy, and are you currently killing yourself to crank out handknits or other homemade gifts for the holidays?

30 November, 2009

November yardage totals.

Hard to believe it's time for these again! And yet, here we are. November was more productive then October, but still a bit lower then I would have liked. (Someday, I'll get the FOs pictured and blogged. REALLY.)

Yardage totals for 2009:

January: 937 yds
February: 1286 yds
March: 1466 yds
April: 1093 yds
May: 909 yds
June: 759 yds
July: 1886 yds
August: 1679 yds
September: 1465 yds
October: 879 yds
November: 1217 yds

Total to date: 13,576 yds or 7.71 miles

14 November, 2009


I gave into it last night. How pretty are these?

It's been awhile since I've worked on a sock. I justified the cast on because these are a long overdue knit for my sister. I've been meaning to cast on for them for almost 18 months. Long time to put something off... but the original yarn I picked up was not what I had hoped ,and I had more recently picked up a similar colorway that is much cleaner and less muddy looking. It took me awhile to find a good pattern to pair with it. Thus, they are being called the Overdue socks. Her birthday was 01 October and I hope to have these finished before Giftmas so that they may be a 4th quarter of the year gift for her.

So far, I am loving this pattern for highly variegated sock yarn. You know, the kind we all can not resist but then once we get it home and try to find a pattern for it, very few work beside the basic vanilla sock and a few that have been made specifically for variegation. (CookieA's Monkey Socks and Grumperina's Jaywalkers jump immediately to mind. There are some others, even an entire book of patterns dedicated to them. Note: I have not read the book nor do I own it. Looking through the Ravelry page, it didn't strike me as anything too terribly different then patterns already offered...)

The ones made for variegated yarn all seem so...similar. I think that's why the Aquaphobia socks have grabbed me; they stand out from the chevron patterns and biased stitch patterned socks that are usually offered up. The speckles are fun and allow colors that wouldn't usually touch in a colorway to be right next to each other. I can definitely see myself making a pair of these for my mother out of the yarn I have leftover from her first pair, and at least a pair for myself. I bought some LE Lorna's Laces from JBW last month that would be lovely in the pattern. It's orange, brown and a lovely reddish purple. I can think of at least two more sock yarns I have in stash that would work well for this.

Anywho. Back to the specific colorway of the socks I'm working on... portions of it remind me of the colors from Starry Night. Love it. It hurts a bit to use this yarn for my sister since I bought it for me, but I keep telling myself there will be yarn leftover. Her feet are the same size as mine and I rarely use more then 210yds for a pair of socks. Which means I could very likely knit myself a shorter pair out of the same yarn or use it for another smallish fingering weight project. I am already mourning the "loss" of this yarn when it leaves my home. However, I think my sister will be thrilled with the colorway as blue and yellow are her two most favorite colors.

On the other hand, it feels great to know that once these are done being knit, the FO will not be sticking around in my house taking up space. As it is, I have to be honest and clear out FOs that do not fit quite right and either toss them or reclaim the yarn. It's funny how when you make something, at the time it seems great and you have no complaints. But as you gain experience and have something to compare to, you realize that maybe that sweater/socks/hat/etc isn't quite as great as you originally thought. Suddenly, it goes unworn sitting in a drawer taking up valuable real estate. (If it wasn't already doing so from the time it came off needles!) I have a few pairs of socks that definitely fall into this category as well as a couple of sweater knits. Green Gable without the HBD I should have put in, I'm lookin' at you.

Because, really, the true testament of how successful a knit was is if you wear it and how often you go to it. (Process knitters might take offense to that, but I'm a bit of both. I find flubs and flops to be important learning opportunities as well as entertainment. However, the ultimate success of a knit is in the finished object and its wearability.) Out of all my my FOs, only a handful get worn on a regular basis. The rest have just been sitting in the closet. I've been hesitant to clear out the "duds," but really, why should I be? They are more personal in that I made them, I put time into them, but at the end of the day, is a sweater I made that I'm not wearing any different then a t-shirt I haven't worn in ages? I have pictures of all my FOs; even without the actual knit, I have evidence they existed that I can reference. (And the photos do not take up physical space. Only on my hard drive and my Ravelry page/Flickr account.)

Definitely something to think about as I'm working on decluttering the rest of my life.

12 November, 2009

Overdue post about my trip...

I lost my blogging mojo for a few days here as I've been trying to get past the torso o' doom on my husband's sweater. I am pleased to say that it is finally off needles and I am now about to start on the part I consider worse then the torso: the sleeves. I am not a fan of knitting those at all. And once again, he has the longest arms known to man so they are going to take a bit. That, and I am fighting Castonititis. I'm hoping I can resist until this current sweater is off needles.

Anywho! Trip...

Overall, it was rather uneventful. Nice quiet drive, nothing much on the back highways to get down to San Antonio. Despite nommy food bribes, The Husband did not get off of work early enough to ensure we'd reach Comfort in time for me to properly explore The Tinsmith's Wife, though I did end up stopping in. I arrived 10 minutes before store closing. (We learned the hard way that A] one does not speed AT ALL on the back highways around small Texas towns and B] make sure the insurance card you printed off makes it to the car before leaving. Yes, we got hit with a speeding ticket and a citation for lack of up to date insurance that we are now dealing with. UGH.) I did manage to find the size of Addi Turbos I needed for class--but really didn't, I would have been fine with straights or any old size 9's from my current needle stash, might have liked that better, actually as my Options have sharper tips--and I spent a few minutes in the store looking around and trying to take a mental stock of what they carry. If I'm still in Texas when it comes time to restock my tote, (hey you out there, stop laughing! It'll happen...) I will definitely make the trip back there to give them business. Very nice little shop filled with lovely yarn, cute accessories and a HUGE stock of Addi needles. They have an incentive program as well, to keep you buying. I doubt I'll ever fill my card, so I may have to pass it on when I'm finished with it. This was all on Thursday.

Friday was spent in San Antonio for The Husband's physical--10 whole minutes, totally worth that ticket...--and finally meeting a friend I've had for 5 1/2 years but have not seen in Meatspace. Late afternoon, we made our way up to Austin. Nothing knitting or yarn related here, so no need to put too much detail into it.

Saturday, we bummed around until my class at 2:30 at Hill Country Weavers. Where I got to meet...

Jared Flood, in the wild.

Sadly, this is the only picture I took. I would have thought that a class with Mr. Brooklyn Tweed would have brought out the cameras, but I was the only one and questioning the appropriateness of taking pictures in class. SO, this is the one that I quickly took and then put my camera away. I did not want staged photos either, just something candid to show what was going on in class.

He is just as nice and easy going as I've seen mentioned in other blogs. Sweet guy, cute as a button and very helpful. The class was full of information on the topic (Designing your own Aran Sweater) as well as information related to it. I learned how to cable without a cable needle, how to do a crocheted steek, and a bunch of information about the amount of ease needed depending on the yarn weight one is using in a sweater. The last bit of information is left very vague in most books I've read to date. For some reason, it always gets glossed over and no one mentions that the heavier the weight of yarn one is using, the more ease should be built into the garment. It makes sense and I'm amazed that never occured to me before. (Because DUH, heavier yarns will take up more space and the inside circumference is not going to match the outside measurement you take...because the yarn is taking up more space.) It also explains why I've had such abysmal luck with the Central Park Hoodie, where I have both yarn weight and cabling working against me. If I decide to try it yet another time, I'll be sure to get 0" ease or maybe just a touch of positive ease in the size I pick. Third time is the charm, right?

Related to this, he also touched on the very popular notion that to decide how much ease one likes in a sweater, we're told to measure our favorite storebought one for measurements. Since yarn weight is almost never taken into account, it is never mentioned that store bought sweaters are often made of very fine thread, rather then bulkier yarns. So while the sweater you choose may have 5" of negative ease--like my favorite one I picked--it will not work for DK, Worsted, or heavier weights. Which, once again, makes total sense and should be somewhat DUH, but it is never mentioned anywhere. Very enlightening class and I have renewed confidence in trying out a heavier yarn weight project for myself.

I'll get back to my projects soon, folks.

08 November, 2009

Wherein I apologize for being a toolbag...

Before I blog about my weekend and class, I wanted to post this up on my blog just in case the woman who talked to me at HCW reads it. (And I'm hoping she does so she can message me on Ravelry.)

It took about two minutes after you left for me to realize that I had been gauche and rather rude and I feel terrible that I did not quite catch your username so that I could send you a message. It was so sweet of you to come up after class and talk to me; I was so surprised someone knew who I was based on one of my sweaters. Thank you for being so nice, even if I'm a tool sometimes.

05 November, 2009

How could I forget to blog this??

There will be some silence from me until the end of the weekend, cats and kittens; I'm going out of town.

To Austin...Hill Country Weavers, in fact.




a class with Jared Flood!

I'll hopefully have some pictures and notes to blog about when I get back. I'm all kinds of excited.

So while I'm disappointed that I'm unable to travel to be at larger wool gatherings like Sock Summit or Rhinebeck, I can at least meet the random knitting superstar here or there. It's even better that I can learn something from the ones I've met.

"See" you Sunday-ish!

03 November, 2009

The First Batch of "Catch ups"

The Children's edition, perhaps? By the time The Husband got home, all the light was gone. I hate the time change; it's going to make it very difficult to get pictures of all of my knits. (I did manage to tackle that pile and only Whisper has ends left to weave in.)

Pattern: Gooseberry Hat (Ravelry download)
Needles: US size 5--2 circulars
Yarn: Yarntini Variegated Sport--Black is the New Yarn

This was a one day knit, started and completed on 01 September. Which doesn't seem like it was that long ago, but it has already been two months. Anywho! Pretty much left this pattern alone. I went up a needle size from the recommended one since I'm such a tight knitter, and then added a stitch to each section to compensate for my gauge. (104 stitches vs. 96 called for in the pattern.) I also made the body of the hat 1/2" longer then called for as my children tend to have large heads, and as written, the pattern is for 6-9 month olds, not a toddler like The Girl. I love how the yarn striped and pooled for this. Too much fun! (I used this same yarn for my improvised mitts and was disappointed that they did not stripe like this hat did.)

Needles: US size 9
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted- Marine

This knit was put on the backburner for awhile and took about 6 times as long as it should have. This was really easy and straight forward to knit. Overall, I'm happy with it, but I have a small list of "should'ves" for it. I should've gone up a needle size instead of winging it and modifying the numbers. Or else I should've left the numbers as they were since my son is very thin and it would have fit anyway. Though I am glad that I messed with the neck opening and made it much larger because of the aforementioned large head. Since I knit so tight, I did not bother changing needle sizes like the pattern called for. Once again, good thing I didn't, especially with the neck. I will need to block the sleeves just a touch longer on this. They're great when The Boy is standing with his arms down, but they ride up when he's moving--which is all the time.

Two down, five more to blog in the coming days.

November is off to a good start...

Though I will admit this is less then encouraging to see. That pile is sitting next to me as I type.

To date, I have finished 26 knit projects this year--#26 was cast off this morning. Which is great, but maybe 1/2 of them have been properly finished. I suspect that 2009's being the Year of the Frog has made me cautious to fully finish a knit, just in case I'm going to rip it back out. Perhaps I've just gotten lazy about the last steps in the knitting process. One of my goals for today and tomorrow is to weave in the ends of everything in this pile (and there are more sitting around the house but I need to round them up...UGH), get it photographed, and finally start blogging them. That's a lot of unblogged projects. In the pile pictured, there is my son's sweater, a shrug, my Whisper, 3 shawlettes, and 2 hats. A fair amount of work.

As the title says, November is off to a pretty good start, knitwise. I started the month with 4 sweater projects on needles, and I am now down to 2. All this only three days into the month! I'm excited, are you excited?! More exclamation points! AHEM. I should be able to finish my husband's sweater and cast-on something small for myself so I can keep combatting random fingering and sport weight stash. Then it will be just me and my Coraline. I hope to have 'er done before December is over so I can then work on a birthday gift for my mother to start off my tentative sweater dodecathon. (BTW, dictionary.com is telling me that this word does not exist. Shame.)

Wait, I lied. There is a too-cute-to-be-true little girls' jacket and coat pattern (ravelry link) that was released yesterday that I want to make for The Girl before we take our Giftmas photo and head back to Wisconsin in February. Can't imagine a knit for a 12-18 month old in Aran-Bulky weight yarn would take all that long, however. It shouldn't distract me for more then a week at most.

I also want to get started on some sewing projects soon, including a new quilt for our bed. ( I have purchased some awesome books I should do reviews for in the future.) I ordered enough Kona Cotton solid to do the top and back and hope it will arrive shortly. I should prewash and start cutting out the parts that I already have. I'm doing a custom size--The Husband is the biggest cover hog so I have to make our blanket extra wide--and already worked out all of the details and math. Really, the cutting and deconstruction is my least favorite part of quilting, so I may as well get a start on it since I will drag butt during that phase. I'm keeping things very simple this time around, so it shouldn't take too long once I get the worst part over with.

This is looking to be a good month.

01 November, 2009

Redesigning my blog...

I'm hoping to pretty it up some more and make it a bit easier on the eyes. Oh, to have my own domain and some more style sheet know-how!

You all will have to let me know how it's looking. :) Sometimes it is hard for me to tell; I have a widescreen moniter and very little stretches it or displays oddly for me.

Tally for October 2009

And now you can see just how "blah" I was this month; I did about half my usual yardage. However, in the wee hours of this morning, I finally finished the never-ending Whisper cardigan and I'll hopefully have FO pictures up soon. So, low yardage, long-term UFO off of needles.

Yardage totals for 2009:

January: 937 yds
February: 1286 yds
March: 1466 yds
April: 1093 yds
May: 909 yds
June: 759 yds
July: 1886 yds
August: 1679 yds
September: 1465 yds
October: 879 yds

Total to date: 12,359 yds or 7.02 miles

At least it wasn't my lowest output of the year. I'm hoping to hit 9 miles by the end of December. It would be nice to make an average of 3/4 of a mile per month, even though I originally wanted to make 1 mile per month.

17 October, 2009

No knitting mojo to speak of...

So I've decided to do a post with a couple of my non-knit finished objects. Because I do on occasion do crafts other then knitting, but with two children under the age of 4 and no dedicated craft room, it's hard to do them.

The first is a long over-due sewing project from when I was back in Wisconsin in May. Most of the hard work was done, admittedly, by my mother.

There is a story that goes with this project. I fell in love with a large wedge project bag made by a seller on Etsy who has a fan following on Ravelry. There were some bags she did with a Japanese MonokuroBoo print that I loved in particular, but she ran out of the fabric before I could place a custom order. I managed to find the fabric on Etsy, bought a fat quarter and a yard from another shop, and then emailed the bag seller asking if I provided my own fabric and paid the full custom price which usually includes materials, if she would make the bag for me. Sounds reasonable enough, one would think.

The answer I received back disappointed me. It was a no, citing the age old reason of, "if I do it for you, I have to do it for everyone." I'll openly admit, I hate that reason and reading it made me angry. Angry enough that I decided not to purchase any bags from her in the future and make my own to show off.

So, I looked up tutorials on wedge bags and came upon this one for a triangular prism bag, almost identical to the others (I had long suspected the Etsy shop in question used free tutorials and modified them to sell and searched thusly). Here is where my mother comes into the story. She took the tutorial and the finished bag measurements that I wanted and made the pattern pieces for me. She then sewed up a mock-up to make sure it would work out when it came time to use my own fabric. It was my idea to use interfacing on all the pieces to stiffen it up.

The results were well worth it.

I plan to make more of these, whenever I find the pattern pieces or make my own from the tutorial. Not bad for a project inspired by a negative emotion and childishness. This bag takes a mere fat quarter of both the outer and lining fabrics and is large enough to hold a medium size project. That is a skein of sport weight yarn, 250 yards, to give an idea of the room inside. You could easily fit a baby sweater in it, or a scarf.

The second is a quickie with no story. It's my first hand embroidery that I did on a plain t-shirt for The Girl's first birthday last month.

Pretty cute, eh? Admittedly, I think this would have turned out a bit better in a 100% cotton shirt, instead of one with 2% spandex for stretch. The smaller backstitch is fine, but the other stitches seem loose. Overall, I'm happy with it and think it turned out well.

30 September, 2009

FO catch up...

Or Attack of the Size 7 Needles?
I am so ashamed. I have many FOs to blog about... and fully finish before I can. I admit it, I find little thrill in the finishing details once the actual knitting is done. Ends need to be woven in. Scarves need to be blocked. Pictures, many pictures must be taken. Then there is blogging. Sometimes, it is easy for a project to slip through the cracks. And by "a project," I mean, half a dozen projects. 2009 had a strong start for organization and keeping on top of my knits but I'm quickly losing steam.

Anywho, I have some knits to share. All children's knits which seem to be my thing lately. The Boy and The Girl are quite happy about it. The Boy moreso since he understands what is going on; The Girl would rather throw off her hats and try to wriggle out of her sweaters. Treacherous little thing, she is.

Pattern: Eyelet Yoke Cardigan (Ravel it)
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece

Needles: KnitPicks Options US size 7

Overall, this was a very easy knit that I completely converted from a bottom-up seamed pattern to a top-down seamless one. I reversed the directions (turned the decreases into increases, etc) and did the sleeves in the round. I'm not sure why so many people want to bother with seamed sleeves; I have an immense dislike for them. They never fit me right and I can never get them to fit into their armhole properly, despite being careful to make them the same size. This fits her pretty well as a normal cardigan at the moment, but it has room for her to grow into it and it will be a cute cropped cardigan as she gets bigger. This was a great way to use up some of my Cotton Fleece leftovers.

Pattern: Hurricane Hat (Ravel it)
Yarn: Malabrigo worsted-Marine and Hollyhock
Needles: US size 7, two circulars method

These were super quick, straight forward knits. Each took roughly one day of knitting. The very last decreases get a little confusing, but they look like the turned out all right. I knit them a bit smaller then gauge to fit a toddler head rather then an adult. In February, we'll be heading back up to Wisconsin for a wedding and neither of my little Texans are used to that type of cold. I've been working on some nice warm woolen knits for them to keep them toasty. It seems a bit early to start, but I like to be ahead of schedule when I can be.

Pattern: Whirligig Shrug (Ravel it)
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece
Needles: US size 7

You have probably started to noticed a theme here. All projects have been easy, and all have been on size 7 needles. This one is no different, I assure you. Very basic top-down raglan with some seed stitch ruffles. Really simple U cables, a little purl ridge edging and voila! FO. Easy, but cute. I suspect Japel could be even more successful as a children's designer. Once again, these were leftovers from one of my projects. I was surprised at how little it took, the pattern seems to seriously overestimate the yardage required. Other Ravellers have made the same comment, so it isn't just me. For now, this is a touch too big for her and falls off her shoulders. No bother, she has her blue cardi for now. Someday, I'd like to upsize this for me. For the time being though, I have plenty on my plate.

On a non-knitting note, Blogger and its formatting are starting to drive me batty. It should not be this hard to get everything to look proper. I finally had to leave my entry as-is and leave it. Why does this blogging platform hate me so much?!

And blogging blahs, apparently

I've been rather quiet this month since I have no pretty photos to show off...well, a couple, I should blog those later. For now, this is my monthly yardage post.

Yardage totals for 2009:

January: 937 yds
February: 1286 yds
March: 1466 yds
April: 1093 yds
May: 909 yds
June: 759 yds
July: 1886 yds
August: 1679 yds
September: 1465 yds

Total to date: 11,480 yds or 6.52 miles

So while my yardage was decent, it was not what I had been hoping for. My first week of the month was fabulous and almost as much as the next three weeks I knit. Though I did have a slump, so that considered, I didn't do poorly at all. I had really been hoping for a mile a month for the rest of the year.
Oh well, do better next month, right? I get to do a new cast-on, which will cheer me up.

15 September, 2009

I haz them

The dreaded Knitting Blahs. I've already ripped my "Glee." Just wasn't feeling it. At the moment, I'm not really feeling anything. I want to knit, but nothing is appealing. Knitting slumps are the worst.

12 September, 2009


What you see is my frogged Viking Cable CPH. Well, all of it minus the back panel, which has been steeked and framed to become wall art. I could not bear to rip that part out. This is ~800yds of MadTosh Worsted Cherry. I realized that had I focused on knitting for as long as it took me to rip this out, I would have gotten a lot done. This had been seamed. All the ends were woven in. It was a nightmare. No exaggeration. There was swearing. I tossed it on the ground in frustration at one point. But something felt right about frogging today, so after 6 months of sitting in my closet, neglected in a bag, it saw some natural light.

Now, I believe it is time to cast it on just as quickly. I can not bear to have this yarn back in stash and I do not want to have it unused for forever. I think I'm going to make a modified Glee. (ravel it!) If you look at the examples, I plan to make an open deep V-neck. I will not be putting closures on. I hope I have enough to do this; I'd be very sad if I didn't. I already know I'm going to be in end-weaving hell when I'm done, since so much of this is in smaller balls. When I said it was a nightmare to rip out the CPH, I meant it. In one spot, I couldn't find the tail for the seaming yarn at all and had to guess & snip. Took me a couple of tries to find the correct one. WHOOPS.

Other then that, no real big project work. I knit a couple of hats since my last post and I'll get pictures up eventually. The weather has been very rainy and dreary here, which I usually love, but for some reason wasn't agreeing with me today. However, I ADORE the lower temperatures it brought. I wish it would be in the 70s every day. But I know that realistically, it will not happen until November, which makes me a sad little bunny. I'm not a hot weather kind of gal.

02 September, 2009


September has started off as a productive month. I knit a hat for The Girl yesterday and made great progress on my Whisper Cardigan today. I am finally out of the neverending sleeve on a 12" circular and onto some nice back and forth knitting for a little while. Whoo! Seriously, I cast this thing on in July. It's rather ridiculous how long it's taken me to get that silly sleeve done so I could start working on the back. I'm hoping the second sleeve will go more quickly as I now know that YES, it does end at some point. And if I'm focused, it won't take 6 weeks to knit it. (I know because I knit ~20 sleeve rounds before I got to the back today.)

Trying my hand at designing once again. The hat I knit yesterday was from a highly variegated skein of Yarntini sport which I could not destash and decided to get some use out of. The hat used just under 1/3 of the skein.


I cast this on and I'm writing down what I'm doing as I go along. Most armwarmer/fingerless glove patterns are written from the arm down to the hand. Which is nice, if one has smaller arms and doesn't need to fiddle which huge decreases. Or if one isn't working with a very limited quantity of yarn and she's unsure of just how much it will take for each glove. I'd rather cut the arm a bit short then run out before I get to the bottom of my hand. So far, it's been pretty easy. It took me a minute to figure out how to make the thumb hole. What I did is looking nice and I'm on my merry way. I have plans to nip in the wrist with some more ribbing and then do some serious increases to fit up my arms. I'm still deciding if I want to leave the thumb as-is, or pick up stitches and knit a little thumb sleeve.


So far, the color is pooling rather then striping, but I have hopes that once I cast on more stitches to go up the arm, that will resolve itself.

I'm surprised I haven't succumbed to the siren call of arm warmers before now, since they seem to be perfect for me. I hate having cold arms, but I hate having a cuff or ribbing hit my wrist area even more. If it goes down over my hand, I'm fine. But anything binding my wrist up to my elbow is no good at all. I might eventually get enough yarn to do a nice long pair all the way up my arms, and I have sketches laying around for a sweater with built in fingerless gloves. Which the Husbeast would hate, but I would love.

I should find that sketch and look at making it a reality.

31 August, 2009

Yardage for August 2009

Yardage totals for 2009:

January: 937 yds
February: 1286 yds
March: 1466 yds
April: 1093 yds
May: 909 yds
June: 759 yds
July: 1886 yds
August: 1679 yds

Total to date: 10,015 yds or 5.69 miles

All in all, a pretty good month. I would have just broken the 1 mile mark except that I had to deduct out for a frogged project. C'est la vie.

I did succeed in reducing my projects on needles this month, though it was through frogging and hibernation, not actually finishing them all. 3 of the 4 FOs I have this month are new cast ons. Though, I have only two active projects on needles for the time being, while I decide what I want to do with the hibernating ones.

Here's to a productive September!

30 August, 2009

Progress pics

I just took The Girl's sweater off of needles today; need to weave in the ends and decide if I want to put button closures on it. Here is a WIP picture of it from yesterday. You can almost hear her saying, "OK, Mom, put the camera down, take the sweater off of me, and finish it already." This knit has been a great way to use up some leftovers from sweaters I've made myself. I have this same yarn, but in the dark pink, I used for my Rusted Root and I'll have to make her another cute cardigan. Since it's Cotton Fleece, it will be comfortable year round in Texas. 80% cotton and 20% wool to keep it light and allow it to bounce back into shape after washing. When I have the FO picture, I'll have to post up the specifics of all the modifications I made to the pattern.

And Hayworth is finally blocking. I should have an FO post for it in a day or two. Not much else going on here, so that's it for now. (Yes, I'm using my bed as a blocking board. Wish I had thought of that sooner. I'll have to reblock all my shawlettes that way.)

27 August, 2009

Progress update

And back to knit-related posts. For now, anyway. Eventually, I'll have more crafts on here then knitting.

Finally finished knitting my shawlette today. I swear those last few rows seem to take forever. It's still unblocked so I'm not calling it an official FO, but it's close. I just need to get off my butt and block it then take photos. Even though I haven't been doing so well on the yarn diet front, I have been doing a great job of knocking out projects in my single skeins this year. I have shawlettes and hats to thank for this. I'll likely cast on another shawlette/scarf very shortly after I knit another small project that has a deadline.

My Whisper cardigan is slowly getting there. I have about 4" of the first sleeve done now and even though I'm knitting a bit tighter then gauge, it fits my arm, so it's all good. I'm not sure I'd want a more gossamer fabric then this. I don't really see the point in something completely see through. I'm also not 100% sure what this yarn will do when blocked. It's a cashmere/silk blend so I know it will grow in length from the silk content. I'm intentionally leaving everything just a touch short to compensate for this.

Also making some decent progress on DH's sweater. I have 8 of 14" of the body knit before the next cable section and it's coming along nicely. I have a hard time determining my gauge in ribbing, so I've gone up a needle size since I started to make my fabric just a wee bit looser. Now it seems to be just right. I've been getting an insane amount of knitting out of each skein of DiC and I suspect that it may be like other indie dyed yarns where it will say a yardage on the label, but sometimes you get bonus yards. I've barely touched the second skein and I'm already this far. 8 skeins seems to have been a gross over-estimation and it's looking like I'll have enough yarn for a cropped cardi for me or else a sweater for The Boy. I do owe him a handknit and he'd be darling in grey. If I feel like putzing around a bit, I could make him a sweater to match his daddy. Now wouldn't that be ridiculously cute? I think to make one for him, it would take maybe 2 full skeins of DiC, so we'll see what I end up with.

I will soon be casting on like a maniac as some of my favorite groups are all doing KALs this fall. So watch out for an insane number of cast ons in the coming weeks. I may have to give up my internet time to keep up with them all.

26 August, 2009

Fabric related today...

I am a huge fan of Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy line, but didn't learn about it until well after it was out of production. There is a possibility it could be reprinted, with enough interest. This is a pretty new site, but there are already 188 signatures on the list. Please help get this reprinted! I can not afford $40/yard of the rare scrap that comes up for bid on eBay and I really want yards of many of the original prints.

19 August, 2009

Rough Month

August has been rough for my projects. So many froggings. So many put on hiatus and will likely be frogged. My projects are living in fear as I decide what few stay and who is getting the boot. I went from 6 projects on needles to 2 I am working on and keeping. So what are the lucky two?

My putzy and languishing Whisper Cardigan is staying. I'm hoping that if I focus and make an effort to knit 10-ish rows per day, I will get past the sleeve o' doom and hit the body which will go much faster. When I saw everyone in the Snob group complaining about how putzy and horrible the sleeves are to knit, they weren't kidding. Laceweight in the round is a nightmare. 12" circulars are uncomfortable on the hands. I get too many ladders with DPNs. I do not have an adequate needle to Magic Loop and still need to try that out. So, slowly knitting on a 12" circ it is. Someday, I'll get longer cables for my KP interchangeables or buy some longer Addis to ML with. Despite all of this, the yarn is a dream. So soft and pretty. I've been happy with all the Plucky yarns I've tried to date and this one will definitely be purchased again in the future.

The other keeper is the Husbeast's second sweater: the Columbia Cable Pullover by Shibui's Fyberduck. I haven't gotten far in this, yet. I started off alternating skeins, but for some reason, can not get it to work without little holes where I'm switching, so I've gone back to using one at a time for now and hoping that all my skeins are alike enough that there will be no obvious transitions. I've successfully alternated skeins in the round before, I'm not sure why it's so hard this time. Oh well. (And yes, those are the new KP Zephyr tips. So far, I'm liking them. They are so much nicer then other plastic needles I've tried in the past.)

Hook: J
Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream

I spent the last three days working on a crochet stash basket. It's a bit too floppy for my taste, but it will hold yarn. This was a good practice to get ready for the crocheted toys I plan to make my daughter for her first birthday, which is fast-approaching.

09 August, 2009

9 days in...

and I already cast-on a new project. I'm trying to keep it to a minimum, but we'll see. Everything else I'm working on just isn't appealing to me at the moment. I want to make hats, so a hat it is that I chose.

It's from the new Fall Vogue Knitting: the Eyelet Cap by Cathy Carron. I can not wait to block it because it is mind-blowingly pretty when you can see the color changes in the MamaBlue "Pit."

I love hats and I have a couple of free patterns I plan to make with some random sportweight skeins I have hiding in my stash. I may not be sticking to the plan for August, but I am getting rid of some yarn that up until now, had no plans for it. And I have been destashing this week, so I deserve a little something for my loss. :) Because seriously, it is hard to accept that some yarn you're not going to use anytime soon, no matter how pretty or how much you like it. I'd ideally like to destash a bit more, but we'll see. There is a second pattern in the new Vogue that I think will work for some of my other yarn, but I suspect I'll burn out on hats before I get to it.

Despite this little detour, I finally have some pictures of my other projects.

I'm finally using my RYC Cashcotton DK and irritatingly enough, in the original pattern I bought it for. Yes, I spent months agonizing over finding another pattern, just to return to the original. So far, it's looking OK. I'm not loving it. I bought some Aquamarine dye I plan to use on it once it's knit. Crazy and risky: knit the sweater then dye it. I like to live on the edge at times. At the least, I'm hoping for the FO to be a couple of shades darker. Ideally, I'd love for it to be a nice deep color. I have to finish knitting it first and I'm ~10-15% finished.

Another project I worked on this week is my BFF socks by CookieA. I cast these on in May and haven't touched them since. It's not that they're hard or anything, just became sidetracked and hadn't been in a sock mood. In all truth, I was in one for a couple of days and am back out of it. I'd like to push through this first sock at the least and go from there. Pictured is the cuff, but I have done the heel flap and turned the heel as well. Once I get past the gusset, it will fly.

Not much else going on around here. This afternoon, there is a meeting in town to set up a local Knit and Crochet Guild. I plan to attend, but I'm trying not to get overly excited about it.

04 August, 2009

Good Start

So far, August's goal of getting as many projects possible off of needles is going well. I started the month with 7 projects on needles--6, if you do not count the leftovers blanket and really, I don't believe it should count. Of the 6, I already cast-off one yesterday and will have pictures to show for it later in the week. Now I am down to 5 WIPs that I want to knock off my needles.

Remaining are: my second lacy baktus (30% done), my July Mystery Socks (50% done, cast-off the first sock last night), my BFF socks (20% done), my first Whisper cardigan (only 8 yds into it), and my Cherry Cardigan (about 35 yds into it). I hope to finish all the accessories and make decent progress on the two sweaters. I do not think I'll get all of it finished this month, but I should be able to get some good yardage racked up for my monthly total.

As I said, I cast-off my first Mystery Sock (aka Cerise) last night. It is a universal truth that it is impossible to take a decent picture of a finished sock on one's own foot. This is good enough that you get the general idea, though.

For the leg, I did heavy alterations. There were supposed to be apples, or apples and watermelon, depending on which version of the leg you decided to do. I didn't want any fruit other then cherries and I knew I was going to need to do a lot more increases to get the sock to fit a few inches up my calf. SO. I did the first cherry section as-written, did one additional set of increases before the second checker pattern, did that, then did another set of increases so I would have 4 cherry motifs per needles instead of 3. By the time I reached the ribbing, I felt some simple single color space would be nice again rather then the corrugated ribbing.

I learned a couple of nifty techniques with these socks. I can now do a Turkish cast-on as well as Sewn binding. Neat stuff and more simple then you would think.

Now, I just need to work on the second one.

31 July, 2009

This month's Third FO

Pattern: One Skein Wonder by Stefanie Japel
Needles: US 7, Knitpicks Harmony interchangeables
Yarn: MadelineTosh Worsted

I'm calling this, "Third time's the Charm!" since yes, it is the third time I have made this pattern and finally, I have been successful in making it fit. I added a simple yarn over lace pattern into the back, just in case I didn't cast on enough stitches. The first couple of repeats are a little wonky, but after I got the hang of it, things straightened out. I learned alot about placing a lace pattern into a garment.

Yardage for July 2009

So I didn't quite hit 2000yds, but I did knit more then a mile this month. July 2009 was a personal best. I still could have knit quite a bit more had I not been so distracted.

Yardage Totals for 2009:
January: 937 yds
February: 1286 yds
March: 1466 yds
April: 1093 yds
May: 909 yds
June: 759 yds
July: 1886yds

Total to date: 8336yds or 4.74 miles

I think I'll focus on reducing my number of projects on needles in August. It was nice to find a way to keep myself from buying massive amounts of "birthday yarn," but the result was 7 projects on needles. I usually have 2, maybe 3 on at any given time.

29 July, 2009

FO catch up

I haven't had the energy to blog my FOs as of late. Even though I am getting plenty of sleep now, I am worn down. Worse then I have ever been. I have a doctor's appointment on the 7th to start the process of hitting my head against the wall which is military healthcare.

Anywho. Knitting. FOs.

I have two to show off today and another that still needs to be photographed. I have yet another right on its heels. I've been pretty productive this month, despite giving into castonitis to curb any impulse yarn buys.

Pattern: Tie Back Shell by Connie Chang Chinchio
Needles: US size 7, Knitpicks Harmony Interchangeable
Yarn: Cotton Fleece

The first I'm showing was completed second: it's my Tie Back Shell top that I named my Sea Shell. Not the best picture of it, but I'm having an issue communicating what I want in knitwear pictures to the husbeast and he just doesn't *get* it. He either zooms in way too close or he wants to be way out. Someday, this will get resolved. Though, I knew even in highschool that he is not a portrait photographer; it's never been a strength of his.

Overall, I really like how it came out and I like the pattern. I had to tweek this alot and I'm not sure I knit any of the pattern as-written other then the belt. I made the skirt longer, the bodice much shorter, and none of the three components are the same pattern size. The armholes were good until I did the reverse single crochet trim and now they're a bit snug. (Two more rows of knitting per side and I suspect I would have been free of this issue.) I might have to redo them, but I'm going to sit on this for a bit while I contemplate what to do with the bow on the back. Even though I knit the Cotton Fleece tighter then the recommended gauge, the bow is on the floppy side and I'm having problems tying it in a pleasing manner. I'm thinking of doing some surgery and changing the back closure.

The only thing I would have done differently would have been to put in a horizontal bust dart like I suspected I should. It does ride up a touch in the front. I'm hoping with weening my daughter, that might be less of an issue in a few months.

Pattern: Lacy Baktus (ravel it)
Yarn: Squoosh Fiberarts Merino Cashmere Sock
Needles: US size 3, Knitpicks Options fixed circulars

This knit was easy and mindless. Great later evening TV knitting. No mods. Followed the pattern as-written.

16 July, 2009


I focused on my Tie Back Shell today and the front section of the top is finished. I have to knit the back, do some minimal seaming, and do some crochet trim on the neck and sleeves. Then it is done. I might have an FO before the weekend is over.

15 July, 2009

Very tired

But I thought I'd make a quick blog entry and show the progress on my mystery sock. The first sock is up to the end of the most recent clue.

So far, I'm really happy with it. Fun pattern, pretty easy to understand and follow. There was an unclear part about turning the heel, but I had enough sock making experience to realize what I needed to do and it was A-OK. I could not figure out the wonky increases and how to properly line them up with the stripes but EH, nothing that bothers me so much that I'd rip back to fix it. I'll try a little harder on the second one.

I definitely prefer working toe-up on socks. It's much easier for me to get a proper foot length and there's less guess work involved. I've also discovered I prefer a short row heel to a heel flap. Go figure. I currently have a pair of top-down socks on needles and after those, I think I'm going to look up the toe-up version of Monkey Socks to use the yarn I have caked for another pair of those. LOVE that sock pattern.

Now I have 6 days until the final part of the pattern is released. So I'm going to start work on the second sock and try to finish another project I have on needles in the mean time. I slowed down on my shell top but started to pick the pace up on it today; I'm hoping to focus on it from now until the weekend. I'm very close to finishing the front piece of the bodice and then I have to work the back. I'm hoping to have an FO post sometime soon with a couple of pictures.

14 July, 2009

More cast ons

Got together with irunnaked last night for a knit date at our local "book store," and we cast on for the July Mystery Sock together. Can't really call it a real bonafide book store as it focuses more on video rentals, music, and video games. The book section is rather small and limited. My kingdom for a Borders or Barnes and Noble store!

Anywho, had a great time and would have been better had we not had to listen to some pseudo-intellectual drivel the entire hour and a half we were there. Why is it that the people who are the most obnoxious also speak the loudest? I won't go into too much detail, but some of the gems of the loud conversation we could not help but overhear included feeling superior and oh-so smart now that they were in college, and man, everyone resents them now because they are always right and correct their stupid friends! Said the two people who could not go more then three words without using the word, "like," about 90% of the time. Another? Like, have you noticed that like in the 80's, like everyone used to dress the same and like, had to have the same car? Again, said by a young man who was wearing what looked like a tee shirt from Abercrombie and I'm pretty sure he was not born in the 80's. (There is apparently some movie mocking this concept. I don't think times have changed too much, kiddo, you're not exactly a unique snowflake either. Also, he did not understand what satire is. But not going into that.) And the last; I noticed that the male counterpart of this conversation kept looking over our way. My suspicions were confirmed when he suddenly said, "have you ever noticed they just do the same motion over and over and suddenly, BAM, they have a shirt?" Yes, I do believe that is how knitting works, Oh Observent One. Now shut up and drink your coffee.

I hope the next time we meet there he is not at the cafe. But no more about that, onto the socks!

So far, it's been a fast knit and my son loves the pattern. He keeps talking about mommy's "beautiful socks," while petting them, and my 9 month old daughter is also enamoured with the project. She keeps exclaiming, "ooh," as well as a baby sound suspiciously close to, "wow," and making grabby hands at them. Watch out socks, the baby's gunning for ya!

I'm a bit further along then this now, just finished the increases for the gusset, but I wanted to work on other projects as well. Right now, I have more on needles then is usual for me. For some reason, it just feels right for July and I'm picking and choosing what I want to work on based on the day. I'm slowly making progress on my Sea Shell top. I've divided out for the front and back and am a couple of inches above the bottom of the armhole on the front piece. It won't be too much longer and I'll be shaping the neckline and finishing up. I haven't wanted to work on the lace too much with as distracted as I've been, and stripes on socks are a bit more fun. Especially in Robin's Egg Blue and a Berry Red.

10 July, 2009

Not dead

Just knitting like a mad woman after finding the "export to Excel" function on Ravelry's stash page. I have 26 miles worth of yarn. Holy cow, it's a yarn marathon! And not ESK's which is of a wholly different nature and spirit. My first weigh in for this month's Snob Diet was Wednesday and I weighed in with 564yds for the week. That is either a personal best or it's pretty darn close. I'm hoping to keep that pace up all month, so I'll likely be scarce. I've already made a good start for the week by finishing up my scarf--pictures later when my photographer gets home and I weave in the ends--and giving myself 150yds for yesterday alone. If I can resist the siren call of the internet, I should be able to hit 2000 yds this month easy peasy. (Scary thought: at the rate of 2000yds per month, it would take 13-14 months to knit up everything I have currently stashed.)

If I can, I'd also like to keep that pace up for August, so that by the time my 1350yds or so of sportweight from Sundara arrive, I've used up more then three times what is coming in. I've decided that if I have to stash enhance, it must be to a much smaller scale then what I'm knitting up, or else I'll go from where I am to much more. Very much like real life yo-yo dieting.

Anywho! Today, I've gotten back to work on my Tie Back Shell and am well into the lace section. I'm hoping to make a huge dent in it this weekend with DH home to help again. While I'm not going to hold my breath, a couple of days of solid knitting would finish it up and I'd be looking at two FOs with half of the month left to go!

July is already making me feel like a rock star.

07 July, 2009

Picture heavy: thinking out loud

It's no secret I have a large stash of yarn. It's also no secret that I'm attempting to reduce the amount of yarn I have in stash and get to a more manageable amount: an amount worth 5 or fewer projects plus a few skeins of sock yarn. (Since I'm mainly a sweater knitter, that's still a lot of yarn.)

Another non-secret? I have a hard time resisting Indie dyers, especially a few particular ones. One was having a Limited Edition posting today and for the first time in awhile, I wanted 4 or 5 of those colors very badly. Something in me started making desperate grabby hands and pleading to own this yarn. ALL of this yarn. The urge was so strong, so bad, I had to think of something I could do in order to quiet it and resume control before I made a huge purchase. I tend to have really good luck at these fiber feeding frenzies and chances were, I'd come out with something.

I emptied out my totes and forced myself to photograph my pretties. I also have reassigned projects to some of them and have decided to publicly document it and then redo my physical check list I'm working on. It's bothers me that it's out of date and incorrect. Also on said check list is a makeshift calendar where I keep track of how long I've gone without a yarn purchase--I'm currently on my third week of no new yarn again after a bit of buying.

Anywho, onto the Picture Post O' Doom...

This is our queen size bed with my totes dumped out upon it. Well, most of the bed...

There is the second half of the bed. I attempted to make groupings of yarn to make them easier to document. (Not pictured is a small amount of dish cotton--seriously, dish cotton is not stash--and a few random skeins of acrylic I have lying around that I use as waste yarn. Oh, and two sweaters I have yet to frog and reclaim the yarn from...) Doing this also made it easier to repack my totes in a way that made more sense. Yay for organization.

First up were all the sweater quantities...these make up over half of my stash.

1. Sundara FSM in Flaming Flamingo (3 skeins), becoming a Broderie if I ever get around to it.
2. MadelineTosh Worsted in Cherry (~2 skeins), becoming a DiC shrug.

Seems harmless enough, right? Not much there, all the pictures will have such small quantities, one would assume.

Oh wait, here's another 4 sweaters instead of 2 like the last picture.

1. Allhemp6LUX in Caviar (6 skeins), becoming Uhura after I clear out some stash that is even older then this.
2. Dream in Color Classy in Grey Tabby (8 skeins), becoming a sweater for DH if I can bring myself to work on a non-selfish project. Though it *would* clear a ton of space in my tote if I worked on it.
3. Sundara FSM in Irish Lass (2 skeins), not sure about this one. Maybe a Featherweight Cardigan? Maybe a tank top of some sort? Too pretty to let go of--one of my LE scores--yet almost too pretty to use and need to find the right project to showcase it.
4. MadelineTosh sock in William Morris (3 skeins), see Irish Lass. Pretty, highly variagated, will have to give it some serious thought. Will have to alternate skeins.

6 projects, still not THAT bad...

SURPRISE! More sweaters.

1. Sundara sock in Limeade (1 skein) & Beach Glass (2 skeins), becoming Tempest #2.
2. Sundara sock in Raspberry (2 skeins) & MadelineTosh sock in Twig (1 skein), becoming Tempest #3.
3. Rowan 4ply cotton in a discontinued color called Magenta (10 skeins), plan to make a brand spankin' new Phildar pattern out of it when I get around to translating the directions into English.
4. Sundara Sock in Poppy (4 skeins), February Lady Sweater.
5. Sundara Sock in Marigold (1 skein), not enough for a sweater yet, it's waiting for the perfect grey to pair it with for a colorwork project.

Uh, we're up to 11 now. Well, 10.5 if you want to not count the future yarn that will go with number 5 from this batch. That's a lot of sweater projects, surely I can't have more...? Right...?



1. Rowan Cashsoft DK in Pool (10 skeins), this priorly blogged yarn is still making up its mind what it wants to be. Right now, a pattern called Buttercup looks to be the winner. This will be my first cast-on after my current projects as it has been hiding in my tote the longest.
2. Madelinetosh Worsted in Moorland (2 skeins), another DiC shrug.
3. MadelineTosh Sock in Jade (3 skeins), I'm thinking Featherweight for this one.
4. Sublime Yarns Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK (10 skeins), looking to be Mary Jane. This yarn feels like kittens. SO SOFT. I can not remember what the colorway's name is, but it was rather fitting.
5. Sundara Sock in Garden of Delight (5 skeins), another LE score and very similar to the MadelineTosh Sock in Jade. I'm waiting to see what Cosmic Pluto's lastest cardigan in the works is like. I'd like to do a lacey light cardigan with this. So add it to the undecided pile.

16 sweaters. That's all she wrote about those.

Though there is other yarn hanging around in my stash... now we need to talk Sock Yarn.

1. Shibui Sock in Pebble (2 skeins), I'm thinking another pair of Monkeys.
2. Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Olympic Rainforest (~ .5 skeins), sock yarn for my mother, still need to think of what the second pair I make her will be.
3. Dyet Yarns in a colorway I can't remember and I realized this is not on my Rav stash page (1 skein), not sure what I'll do with it quite yet. Socks? Mitts? Something else?
4. Knitivity's Downhome Sock in Tropical (1 skein), will become a pair or tow of socks for my sister.

4 fingering weight non-sweater projects.

By now, if anyone is surprised by multiple pictures, then I'm surprised.

1. Sock Yarnista (3IG) Kinsale in Icing Blue (1 skein), thought I'd use it to make Selbu Modern and then changed my mind. Now considering it as the background color for this month's mystery socks in SKA.
2. My yarn I dyed at DFW Fiber Fest (1 skein), socks for DH of unknown pattern.
3. MadelineTosh Sock in Waterlily (1 skein), going to become the feminine counterpart to my current scarf project.
4. Yarn Love Elizabeth Bennet in Ancient Forest (2 skeins), tiny part will be part of said mystery socks, but unsure of the rest. Can I bring myself to wear silk on my feet?
5. Patons Stretch Sock in Sugar (2 skeins), basic ribbed socks. I know, a non-snobby yarn! GASPEH.
6. TOFUtsies, colorway unnamed, (1 skein), probably more basic socks since these are so variagated they hide patterns.
7. Dale of Norway Baby Ull (~.5 skein), leftover from my brother's hat and no use at this time.

11 fingering weight non-sweater projects. Man, these are just adding up.

And of course, there are more.

1. Dashing Dachs in Caribbean Goldfish (1 skein), once again, basic socks.
2. The Plucky Knitter MCN in Leona Stevenson (1 skein), not sure what to do with this. Scarf?
3. Sundara Sock in Cherry Blossom (1 skein, soon to be 2), Saving up for a sock weight cardigan or maybe a wrap.
4. Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Amy's Vintage Office (2 skeins), more Monkeys or other pattern that's good for multicolored sock.
5. Mamablue Troika sock in Pit (1 skein), planning to make a scarf with this one.
6. The Plucky Knitter in Jezebel (1 skein), mystery sock knit and then ...?
7. KnitPick's Dancing in ? (1 skein), *yawn* basic socks.
8. Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Sundae (1 skein), socks, not sure what kind.
9. Unwind Yarns in Cheeky Monkey (1 skein), thinking of using this in another scarf pattern with some undyed merino.
10. Unwind Yarns in Pink Mink (1 skein), undecided.
11. Squoosh MCN sport in Froggy (1 skein), Entomology.
12. Yarntini Variegated Sock in Cherry Cordial (1 skein), undecided.

So that's um....23 fingering weight projects.

Next, Lace. From here on out, these will be so much shorter and easier to blog.

This is my one picture of lace stash.

1. MadelineTosh Lace in Thunderstorm (1 skein), Whisper Cardigan.
2. The Plucky Knitter Cashmere Silk Laceweight in 2 of Hearts (2 skeins), Whisper #2.
3. MadelineTosh pure silk lace in Hibiscus (1 Skein), I'm thinking Hanami?
4. Madeline Tosh pure silk lace in Cherry (2 skeins), thought I'd make a top but now am thinking a Fountain Pen shawl or something else.

4 Laceweight projects.

I originally thought I'd blog the next few pictures, but honestly, none of them have projects and I'm getting sore between the shoulders sitting here so long.

These, by far, are not the most worrisome part of my stash.

The purpose of this post was to kill my stashing urge and believe me, it worked. I have so much work to do. OY.