Monday, May 28, 2012


I actually don't have a theme or idea at all for this blog post (not that I ever actually follow my themes, I mostly just write what pops into my head and edit a little later), so I'll just give a little update on my WIPs.
First up, Katniss. I finished the first sock yesterday. I even wove in the ends. Check it out:

I love the braided cable so much! I had to guesstimate on sizing, and I won't know if it fits til July, but I sized it a little big because she's still growing. These are for a friend whose birthday is in early July.

Second, DM's Lacey Throw. I worked the last 2 rows of the beginning moss stitch border and started the patterning (before I realized I had messed up and increased a stitch and had to rip back two rows). It's starting to look like a project and less like a pile of yarn with the intent to become a project:
Even though this afghan isn't due til Christmas, I wanted to work on it because I didn't want to cast on for the second Katniss sock. I guess I probably do suffer from second sock syndrome, but not in the way most knitters do. Most of us don't want to start another because it's boring to do the same pattern twice. I just thought this pattern overly difficult to read and I hate actually casting on and working the first few rounds on DPNs. I'm not saying I find it difficult or anything, I just don't enjoy that part of the knitting experience. For me, knitting is all about enjoying it. Since I almost never keep the products anyway, I'm not so much a product knitter as a process knitter.

That's it for projects. I guess I should probably start that second Katniss sock or the yellow socks for my other friend whose birthday is in July. Coincidentally, the two are actually sisters, so I can't just knock off and do one but not the other. I have to do both or neither, otherwise jealousy abounds, as I know it would between me and DS.

I got my paycheck Friday, and I've decided that I want to set aside $50 of it every paycheck for knitting related purchases. I know if I have a budget, I'll stick to it, but if I don't I would probably spend wildly. Yarn and other knitting related items are the only things I spend wildly on, and even then I mostly have some idea of what to do with them, but it's still good to limit myself so I don't buy everything I need at once. Anyway, I took my $50 and went to the LYS (which actually isn't too local, about a 30-45 min drive with traffic). I took NB, who if you recall, I was teaching to knit. Though she took to it immediately, she really had no interest whatsoever, so when I asked if she wanted to accompany me, I expected her to react with an opinion akin to the one you would have if someone asked you to watch grass grow with them. But she said she'd love to, so we went. I picked up some black sock yarn for my Tardis socks and some white bamboo nylon blend yarn to dye rainbow sock yarn for mom for her birthday, plus a row counter, which would have been seriously helpful when I was knitting my owl sweater and then I wandered for a while with NB in tow.

We sat on one of the couches to talk a little about knitting and to examine their display items, and of course there was yarn next to us. I picked up a skein of Freia Ombre Lace in just about the most beautiful blue colorway I've ever seen and admired it, saying how much I loved it and would like to take it home, but that I had no plan for it and it was lace. My only lace project has lain dormant in my project box for months because I never have time to work on it between birthdays and Christmas, a fact that still shames me because I've never completed a lace project before. It's about time too. I've been knitting for 7 years now, and lace shawls are my favorite item to gawk at. Anyway, NB told me I should buy it anyway. I said it was $32 and would put me over budget by about $8 and she said it's only $8. I said I have no plan for it and have never even finished a lace project. She said buy it anyway. I said I shouldn't. She said buy it anyway. So I did. It's quite beautiful:
I couldn't get a perfect picture of it, but this is close. The pale blue on the very outside of the skein is actually more teal. The colorway is called Atlantis, and I'm in love with it. I've even queued like 10 different lace shawls in an attempt to find the perfect one for this yarn. Check out my Ravelry queue if you're interested. 

Quote of the day:

Me: It's rainbow, I want it, give me!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Here's a quick list of the things I've got in the making:

Katniss socks for Renee, whose birthday is in July:

DM's afghan, which still pretty much looks like this:
Tardis socks, which also have not gained any yardage lately:
Today, I created a scarf for DM's childhood zebra toy, because that's what she asked for as a birthday present. I knit it in k2 p2 ribbing long enough to circle his neck, then picked up stitches at the cast on edge and worked a 3 needle bind off to avoid sewing, since I hate sewing knitted work. Here's some photos of that:

I frogged DS's hat again because I hated it. The decreases weren't working right, and knitting it was becoming a chore, so I crocheted her a hat instead:

 The colors are actually much prettier than that, but I only have a phone camera so I can't really depict them well. It's a bright blue, a dark green, a royal purple and a dark almost black purple. K and I had crochet group on our own last night, and since we went to the Panera closer to her house, we were near her favorite Big Lots which she swears has the best yarn. She got me a whole bag full of cool yarn there. It's all acrylic, but super fun colors and really soft so I was excited to get the yarn for this hat. It's 70 grams and only cost $3. K bought the yarn for me because I gave her a bag full of all the leftover yarn from the Hello Kitty Afghan, plus a lot of other odds and ends that I won't use but she might, so she said it was fair trade for her to buy my yarn. I also got the yarn for Zebra's scarf there, plus 100 grams worsted weight in a bright orange, and 50 grams worsted weight in a Noro-esque colorway: bright pink, orange, and gray.

I still have another pair of socks to do for my other friend with a July birthday, but DM's birthday present is out of the way, and so is DS's. I might even have time to work on NS's afghan, or DM's Christmas afghan, or maybe even my Tardis socks! I can't wait til all the obligatory birthday knitting is over and I can work on a project I enjoy again.

Since I started this week out with the exciting realization that our well (like for water) has run dry, and DS's caused a whole lot of family drama throughout this week, I feel like the simple joy in being able to choose my next crafting project is totally and completely deserved. Plus I got paid today and it was my largest paycheck yet!

I don't have any specific quote of the day, but today NS and I had fun scaring the kids with an elephant beetle. Most of the boys screamed like little girls, but the girls wanted to hold it and play with it. The whole experience was seriously funny. NS decided she wanted to keep it, so we were trying to find a name for a comic book hero/villain with horns and it took us waaaaaay too long to think of Loki, considering the fact that we're both comic book nerds and have recently watched both Thor and the Avengers.


Since I've blogged a week and a half ago, not much has happened. And by not much, I mean my knitting is suffering (silently of course since I've never encountered yarn or needles that could talk). Last post, I talked about DM's Mother's Day socks, and teaching NB to knit. Since then, DM has received her socks, which she happily squealed over, and I've neglected to take modeled photos of them. Be assured, they look great, if a little short. I did finish that circle scarf for NS's mom, and gifted it to her on Mother's Day. It was 3 strands worsted weight (2 aqua and one a light blue like the one in this) and straight double crochet in the round with a size Q hook. It turned out great, but since it was such a quick project, I neglected to take pictures.

I haven't touched my Tardis socks at all, mostly because the deadline for DS's birthday is looming (May 25th) and her present is an unmitigated disaster. I first cast on a hat with one 50 g skein of Mochi Plus, which looked to be not enough from a very early point. Then when I finished the pattern with half left and tried the hat on, I knew there was something wrong. I decided never to use a pattern that doesn't include gauge information again. The next attempt found me running out of yarn so I headed to the nearer LYS (which is actually a pretty crappy shop for being so expensive, and they never have what I want) and SURPRISE, they didn't have any Mochi Plus. They had some chunky weight in their bargain bin, but nothing even remotely close to what I was working with. So I finally settled on a 100g ball of something else, which I reasoned was twice as much as what I had before, and would definitely suffice, though it meant I had a skein of Mochi and nothing to do with it. I quickly churned out this adorable crochet hat:

I've worn it twice and I love it to death. I did have to redo the last few rows to tighten up the crochet "ribbing" but that didn't take too long at all. I don't enjoy the join line that's so clearly visible, but I wasn't sure if I could do it in spirals instead. After some experimenting with other yarn, I know I can, so one day soon when there aren't so many birthdays coming up, I'll take it apart and redo it.

I'm just at the decreases for the crown on DS's new hat, but they aren't working out in the perfect spiral effect I wanted and I messed up a little so I've had to tink back like 3 rounds. This is what it looks like so far:

The colors are weird, but definitely her. She will love it, but the pattern is a modified version of the hat she got for Christmas, so I really don't think she'll appreciate the time and effort that went into it.
I addition to DS's birthday, two very close family friends have birthdays in July, and I have to make socks for them, and DM's birthday is at the end of June. We discussed what she wants because the only handknits she's ever actually liked were the 2 pairs of socks I've made her, and the 2 afghans: here and here that I've made her over the years. I told her that there was no way I could crank out an afghan in that time (which isn't true: Hello Kitty only took me a month, but that was working on it every second I could so I didn't want to set myself up for another project like that), but she could have socks if she wanted. She said that she didn't really care as long as I acknowledge her birthday, which sounds like a yes to me, so I guess I have to cast on 3 pairs of socks this month.

I had planned to make a pair of Owlie socks for one of those family friends for her birthday, but I cast on and had to double up the yarn (Cascade 220 fingering weight) in order to get gauge, and then the charting proved to be a little too complicated for me, and the pattern itself was obnoxiously over-complicated. I mean seriously, who puts cables in the cuff of a sock? Ribbing isn't good enough any more? So I have 100g of a wooly yellow yarn that I'm gonna use to make a pair of plain stockinette socks. I'm crossing my fingers, hoping I have enough yarn since it needs to be doubled up, so I really only have half of that.

I think the other girl's socks will be made of the same yarn I used for my Owl Sweater because her favorite color is green, and I have some leftover yarn I can use. I have yet to decide what yarn I should use for DM 's: I still have some pink variegated yarn leftover from the sock yarn binge my DS encouraged, and some more yarn in the same color as her Mother's Day socks, but I don't think I want to use that because she'd confuse the two pairs. I might get some Patons Kroy for her, but what I really want to do is get a vegan sock blank and dye it rainbow for her. I'm having a hard time finding yarn that meets my requirements though.

Quote of the Day:
Me: Floyd head-butted me in my womb
And along the same lines

Kid: Babies come from hoohas.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


This past Saturday I went to game night at my friend's house, and my friend's mom gave me a basket full of knitting supplies that she'd won in a raffle. It was all wrapped in cellophane and looked to be full of some really nasty acrylic yarn, but when I got home and inspected the contents, it also contained a pair of Knit Lites, which are straight knitting needles that have light-up tips, a set of Boye US size 3 dpns, and a set of 3 crochet hooks sizes G, H, and I. Since I don't use straight knitting needles I don't know how useful the Knit Lites will be, but they're dead brilliant so I don't mind that. The dpns and the crochet hooks are definitely useful though.

In other news, I completed DM's Mother's Day socks today during naptime. I actually Kitchenered the toe of the second sock while standing and walking around checking on sleeping children. Here's a photo:
I'm kinda pissed that the yarn was un-dyed for a section. I didn't have enough yarn to just cut the section out, so there's a white stripe on one sock. Check it out:
These socks are actually the second pair that I've made following this same pattern, and last night I hit a slump in the middle of the second Mother's Day sock. I really didn't want to work on it anymore. At first I thought it was second sock syndrome, but then I realized that it was the fourth sock, and fifth counting the one I started for me that I had to set aside to work on birthday and Mother's Day projects. So basically, I had fifth sock syndrome, which seems a little more appropriate to me.

I also started teaching NB to knit. Sunday night she learned to cast on and she learned the knit stitch. She picked it up so quickly, it was actually pretty amazing to watch. I taught her the long tail cast on and she was able to do it correctly the second time. The next time I was over at her house, her mom picked up the swatch she was working on and started knitting. She did it perfectly as well. I asked her when she learned and she said she couldn't remember and that she hadn't known she could do it until she tried. It was also pretty amazing.

The first day I taught NB, I drew this for her to teach her what the different types of fabrics look like:

When I wrote Knitting Theory at the top, she insisted that I had to call it AP Knitting Theory because it was a crash course and she wanted to learn it really quickly.

Because NS's mom is kind of like a second mother to me, I think I'll make her a nice circle scarf as well. I'll do some simple crochet so it'll be done in time, but it'll be nice to get her something.

Quote of the Day:
Evan, stop eating your shoe!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


This week has been a little tiring. Lots of late nights (there was a Rise Against/A Day to Remember concert on Monday and the Avengers movie at midnight on Thursday), so I was super cranky at work. I don't think the kids suffer much from that, but I'm starting to get super pissed off at how my boss and my coworkers talk to me, but that's another story. As far as knitting goes, I completed the Hello Kitty Afghan on May 2nd. I just had the sewing left to go, and it really only happened because I was watching Farscape and needed something to keep my hands busy and it was the closest UFO. Here's a photo of that:

 That second photo is of the backing. Excuse the wrinkles, as this was straight out of the washer, hanging to dry. I think it really is quite adorable, even though I hate Hello Kitty. It's in my car, in a brown bag along with a notecard with care instructions written out onto it. I struggled to find a delicate way to say that when acrylic catches on fire it will melt to skin, so it isn't a good idea to leave the baby alone with it, but then just went with "This item is not flame retardant." Since it's 100% acrylic though, care should be super easy for the mommy, which was the goal because new mommies have enough to worry about.

Anyway, I also started two new projects, and plan to finish one and start another new one in the next week. As you probably know, Mother's Day is coming up, so I started a pair of socks for DM. They're the same pattern as DS's socks (I've made 2 1/2 socks using this pattern and I still love it, no second sock syndrome here), but in a beautiful blue colorway. It's Premier Yarns Serenity Sock Weight in Indigo. Here's a progress photo (or two):

I also started the TARDIS socks, probably for me since I have til Christmas to make the 2 other pairs, and because it would be nice to test the pattern out before gifting the product. I have cleverly named them the It's Bigger on the Inside socks on my Ravelry page, (*Edit: Since Knitty has that It's Bigger on the Inside shawl, I renamed my socks Sexy, cause, you know, they will be, and also cause the Tardis's name is Sexy). I've only gotten about 4 rounds in to the ribbing, but I switched it from twisted to plain ribbing because in my head I was worried that twisted ribbing wouldn't stretch as much and also because I didn't really see a difference in the fabric when I googled it (google for the win, by the way, most useful knitting tool around). Here's a progress photo of that:

I'm also planning on starting DS's hat as soon as I finish mom's socks, but it'll be tricky knitting both of those projects because much of my knitting happens at home, no matter how much I talk about naptime knitting. At naptime, I have to keep at least one eye on the kids at all times, and abotu halfway through, they start waking up and giving me hell. Anyway, I had to switch patterns for DS's hat, because the one I had called for size 10 dpns, which I couldn't find, and I really didn't want to buy circs since I've never needed size 10 circs for anything, and I probably never will. I chose this pattern instead. It's similar to the one I made her already, and it's cute and requires only 100 yards of yarn, though that is still more than I have in that colorway, I might have to switch yarns for the crown, or maybe make a smaller hat. I don't know, I'll figure it out later. Here's a photo of the yarn I chose for that, balled up with my crank yarn winder:

I forgot to say that when I went to ball up the Tardis yarn, I tangled it so badly that I spent the whole day untangling it. Probably 5 hours total went into the mess I created, but I managed to wind it up without losing any yarn.

After I finish with DS's hat, my mom's birthday will be coming up, so I really won't have much of an opportunity to work on those Tardis socks til the end of June. We're going on vacation for a week in the middle of June though. We're going to a cabin in Georgia, and since I won't be working for a whole week, I'm hoping to get a lot of knitting done.

Let's review my April Monthly Goals:

I said I wanted to spend 45 minutes daily on the HKAD, which I did faithfully. I finished the entire afghan in a little over a month, a feat of which I am seriously proud.

I wanted to read 2 books by the end of the month, and I only managed one: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa.

I also wanted to finish mom's socks, and one other (single) sock, which I definitely managed. I even cast on for a pair of socks in DS's pattern for me and had to abandon them to work of DM's socks of the same pattern, plus I cast on the Tardis socks. Lots of socks to go around here.

My last goal was to keep the blog updated by posting once a week. I only posted one blog post late, and only by a day, so I think I succeeded on that front.

My goals for this month will be:

Finish DM's Mother's Day socks

Start and finish DS's birthday hat

Start DM's birthday project (probably socks but I'm not sure).

Make some progress on NS's crochet afghan (my crochet projects have been seriously lagging behind recently)

NB has jokingly asked that I teach her how to knit, so I want to at least teach casting on this month, if she can put up with learning such a girly skill.

I'd like to finish at least one book this month. It will probably be a reread of Stoneheart by Charlie Fletcher, which I have on audiobook.

Quote of the day (DM, talking about her encounter with Emmett the cat):

"I said, 'Emmett, you have dandruff,' and Emmett said, 'Purr.' I said, 'No seriously Emmett, you have dandruff. Maybe you should try some Head and Shoulders,' and Emmett said, 'Purr.' So then I said, 'You know, sometimes I feel like we don't communicate very well,' and Emmett said, 'Purr.' So I said, 'Purr,' and Emmett said, 'Stop mocking me.'"