Category Archives: Etsy

I’ve Knit 2.53 MILES this Year?


This is ridiculous, right? I mean I do actually have a life, two jobs, friends and family – but I double checked the numbers and they are correct. Thanks to Knitmeter.com I have mathematical proof that I have knit 2.53 miles/ 4451 yards/ 4070 meters. Yowzer boss.

Here is the most recent collection of things I have knit since 2014 began.

My Favorite Beanie

My Favorite Beanie

12218079056_39e5b974b6I decided to knit something I had already knitted once before, the Orchids and Fairy Lights beanie by Tiny Owl Knits. I bought this pattern ages ago (if you’ve read my blog before, this is the beanie that got me to quit complaining about my silly hand and start knitting again.) I know the pattern is for sale through Tiny Owl Knits, but I don’t think that it is in Stephanie Dosen’s book Woodland Knits – if I am wrong please correct me – although the book is equally amazing! I used Lions Brand Superwash Merino Cashmere (which I found at the infamous garage sale last year). I added another repeat this time to give it more stretch and frankly I am still in love with it.

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Another Design

Another Design

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Since I have been knitting leg warmers almost non-stop since the whole Polar Vortex shenanigans started, I thought my head was going to explode from looking at Red Heart Super Saver.  So when I got an order for legwarmers and fingerless mitts I was itching to turn the cowl I “designed” into fingerless mittens. I took a design I didn’t like from 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats*20 Scarves*20 Mittens in Cascade 220™ (60 Quick Knits Collection) and reworked it till it suited my needs – as well as my fancy-shamancy design aesthetic. 😉

I’ve read over and over that you only have to modify an original pattern by 25% for it to be called your own – since all I took from the original pattern was the mock cable I am calling it mine. As soon as I get to it – or when my main job allows outside internet access again – I will be putting it up for free on Ravelry. Side note: I kinda love it.

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Sock Yarn Beanie for the Loving, Patient, Wonderful, Supportive, Handsome Hubby ;)

Sock Yarn Beanie for the Loving, Patient, Wonderful, Supportive, Handsome Hubby 😉

This is my first sock yarn beanie, and I am in love! I knitted this is a white heat during the Polar Vortex/Level Two Snow Emergency that left me trapped at work. I used, of course, Patons Kroy Sock Yarn in Gray, Brown, Red Marl as well as Patons pattern. Sock yarn, even on a larger needle, is becoming the thing that my arthritic hand is falling in love with. I am not sure if it is the weight or less motion involved in the actual knitting, but I can knit almost with pain – which is wicked awesome. I love this beanie, and lets face it – the hubby needed another hat!

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And legwarmers 🙂

30" of 1980's goodness! ;)

30″ of 1980’s goodness! 😉

So that catches me up on what I’ve been making since my last post. I have started several super awesome projects, things that I am really excited about and cannot wait to share. I actually finished three projects in one day, which meant the next day I casted on five more projects just to keep up – this makes sense right? Either way, I cannot wait to get far enough along in these that I can share them with a community of yarn lovers that I respect so much!

I will leave you with one question if you will allow me that friends and neighbors – if you had the money for the pattern, the yarn, the needles yada yada yada – what would it be?

Knitting and Kindness


After my last gloomy-gus post it is time to get back to track with the positive things in life. Also, this is far less annoying!

Let’s start with the kindness!

My birthday is two days after Christmas, and thus I rarely ever give a crap about it. We’re so burnt out after December – and the three family birthdays that come before mine – that by the time the 27th rolls around I just don’t care anymore. I’m not looking for sympathy, I just really don’t give a hoot about my birthday.

But this year I got two very unexpected presents from blogging/knitting/kindred-spirit buddies! I was gifted with patterns from my Ravelry Wishlist!!!! TEEHEE! I won’t mention names because I know one for sure wouldn’t want me to mention it, but it was the best birthday ever. You guys know who you are and I am so thankful that you thought of me – and I cannot wait to buy yarn to make your patterns come to life. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Now to the knitting!

Despite being silly busy with work and family I am actually getting quite a bit of knitting done. Let’s see….where to start…

First pair of finished socks for 2014!

First pair of finished socks for 2014!

Thanks to Socks with Sarah (#sockswithsarah) and the Knitmore Girls Operation Sock Drawer (#operationsockdrawer) I’ve finished the first pair of socks for 2014! These are Patons Kroy 4-Ply Jacquard in Fiesta Jacquard. I was so inspired but the finished pair – and the fact that sock-rockets make my hands happy – that I’ve already started another pair. Also, for whatever reason, socks seem to tame my OCD addled Panic Monster. All in all socks are a clear win.

The next is the Honey Cowl by Madelinetosh – which is also a free pattern on Ravelry. It was a knit-along that I found on Instagram, and since it was in my queue I took it as a sign. I made it with Caron Simply Soft in Pagoda. I made the largest version of this cowl and it took a whopping 630 yards, but the finished project is so soft and so warm that it was work every single stitch. Honestly, I think I will be making  a lot of these for Christmas next year.

So Long!

So Long!

So I like a good collage, so sue me!

So I like a good collage, so sue me!

The last is actually pretty boring. I made a generic pattern for leg warms meant specifically for being worn over your pants in this frigid weather. Well, word of mouth spread and now I have an order for five pairs. They’re made with Red Heart Supersaver and take about 260 yards a pair.

Yea for knitting and reading subtitles!

Yea for knitting and reading subtitles!

30" of 1980's goodness! ;)

30″ of 1980’s goodness! 😉

I have so many things I want to get my hands on that it is killing me. For now I am going to work through some orders and plan for all the things I can do to get in trouble. I am curious though, what are you dying to get your hands on? Friends and neighbors I am just DYING to hear!!

 

The Things We Do For Love


I have been avoiding blogging for about a week, a silly thing I know but the lingering feeling of being a sellout has kept me from my desire to write about knitting. Here’s the back story.

Since January 1st, it has become evident that my family is in the weeds. Money is tighter than ever and the time to step up and do what needs to get done has come. I’ve been working at both jobs, but I’ve also 1) laid flooring 2) spent an entire weekend (about 21 hours total) stripping wallpaper 3) shoveled snow and 4) walked dogs. Pretty much any task that can help us out financially I’ve attacked headfirst. There is no such thing as doing a job that is below you, I don’t think that exists. If you do a job well, then there is no such thing as a bad job.

Unless you sell out….which I have.

I have been working, for months, on a cabled hat pattern. This secret little project of mine was what I had hoped would put me on the knitting designer map, or at least the Ravelry map. I’ve made this hat so many times it is mind-blowing – thank goodness for Halos of Hope and other charity organizations that take knitted items. I wrote the pattern for every weight of yarn (except bulky), I had sizing for babies, toddlers, young adults, men and women. The idea was to create a variation on the same pattern that could be worn by every member of a family – be it blood relatives or the family we’ve created for ourselves. The cable pattern was noticeably the same, but as you got older, and the hats got bigger, the cable pattern would continue to grow and change slightly. Pretentiously, I was thinking of the movie The Fountain and how the tree continues to grow and change (ehh…admitting that makes me feel all James Fracno-y). Finally, about a week ago I was ready to write the pattern in PDF form to get it all ready to go on Ravelry – then I had lunch with a friend.

My Pretentious Tree of Life

My Pretentious Tree of Life – Photo Credit IMDB – The Fountain 

My friend, who luckily doesn’t read knitting blogs, is a very successful lawyer in her part of the world. In-between being as young and successful as she is she’s also found time to have three kids – all by the ripe old age of 31. We went to lunch to catch up ( she offered to buy, who says no to that?) and went on … a little incessantly …. about how great her life was going. I just wanted to add a little to the conversation, so I pulled my newly printed pattern out of my bag and showed her my pattern.

I was excited, besides the people I had photographed in the hats and my husband, no one had seen the pattern. I told her how I each variation was just the cables growing – from baby to adult the pattern grew in complexity while still obviously matching the one before. I pitched her my idea, and she went for it.

In less than 10 minutes I somehow had manage to sell her the patterns for $100.00, agreed to make her entire family their hats, agreed to never photograph my work and never make the pattern available to the public. She wanted this family of hats for her family, no one else’s. If I hadn’t just come off a weekend of mind-numbing, hand-breaking paper removal I would have thought twice – but that’s not what happened.

I keep telling myself that the pattern may have never sold and that a hundred dollars is better than nothing – not that I totally believe that. I’ve told myself that I have created something unique and wonderful for her family, but since she paid twelve-hundred dollars for a stroller I doubt that these hats will ever register for her family as “special”. I’ve been tip-toeing around it ever since I did it, but I feel like a sellout. There, I said it – I am a sellout. But one hundred dollars pays for four co-pays for my father-in-laws doctor visits – so it is time to suck it the f*#k up.

I wonder, is it more that my ego has taken a hit? Or is there some feeling of intellectual theft under duress? Maybe I am just blowing smoke – more than less likely that’s all there is. Either way friends and neighbors, if I designed one thing I am (hopefully) sure I can design another.

Everyone Needs Some Eye Candy


Max loves knitted socks.

Max loves knitted socks.

Guess who showed up to work two hours early by accident? This kid! I am going to try to cram in a post while I have some real downtime, it’s actually pretty darn exciting! Okay, let’s get on with the good stuff.

~ Socks with Sarah Progress #sockswithsarah ~

I currently have two pairs of socks on the needles, one for myself and one for my Dad. I am working on my socks everyday – even if it is just a row or two. I find that knitting socks is my knitting happy place at the moment. Is it bad I want to finish my Dad’s socks just so I can work on my socks exclusively? I’m gonna go with no, it’ll help me sleep better at night.

Both socks are a variation on the Knitmore Vanilla Sock pattern. My Dad’s socks are Patons Kroy in Flax and mine are Patons Kroy Jacquards in Fiesta Jacquard.

My Dad's First Sock.

My Dad’s First Sock.

 

~ A Very Berry Fascination ~

After my husband spied my newly organized stash, he asked me a simple question; “Why do you only make one thing in each color when you have multiple balls?”. After I quit giggling from the multiple balls comment I couldn’t come up with a good answer. Does “I am so sick of that color when I am finished that I just have to get another” work?

Well, no. It really doesn’t.

So I took on the challenge of taking two balls (teehee) of Red Heart Soft in Berry – which has a whopping 256 yards per ball – and decided I was going to knit through both. I started with the Twisted Toque from 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats, 20 Scarves, 20 Mittens. I liked the pattern; the errata was small, the hat was easy to make and virtually brainless, which is a plus these days. I will say that the length measurements given were a bit long though, so long that I ended up folding the brim just to make the hat work.

Another 4am FO.

Another 4am FO.

 

The second project was from the same book, kinda. The pattern was Mock Cable Wristers and I hated this pattern. There is a vividly fierce hatred of how this pattern was written – so I changed it. I elongated the cuffs so they were 4″ and more of a gauntlet style, I changed the position of the thumb. I changed the purl increases, I added a thumb, I added length to create fingerless mitts, I did Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Cast-On and Bind-Off. Basically, I stripped the pattern to the bare bolts and started over.

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This took a full ball and about 20 yards of the second – leaving me to figure out what to do with the remaining 236 yards. I decided I wanted a long cowl to go with the revamped mitts. I wrote the pattern (which I will be making available for FREE on Ravelry just as soon as I get it done). I took the basic concept of the faux cables and just fiddled with the stitches. I wanted them to pop out at you a bit, and I wanted the cowl to be nice and wide and a little less dense than the cable on the mitts.

Ta-Da!

Ta-Da!

That took care of both balls (teehee). Now I am just so ready to get my finger on a new color that it is eating me alive!

Oh yeah – I finished the mitts from last week. Side note: that horrible join blocked out really nicely. I would have taken a picture but they were out the door and into someone else’s home very quickly.

That blocked out … seriously!

That blocked out … seriously!

So that’s it for me today friends and neighbors. I have week 2 of my 52 weeks of new experiences all ready to go – I just need to find the time to write it. Who knows, maybe I can show up to work early again and get it hammered out. Happy Thursday blogger buddies!

 

 

 

Week #1 of 52 Week Challenge & Some Finished Objects


First Glove….From a Chart!

First Glove….From a Chart!

Oh how my hubby had no idea what he was doing when he picked out his favorite pattern out of my newly acquired book. 60 Quick Knits was a Christmas present this year from my dad, his adorable opinion on knitting is that it all should be quick! I am actually really enjoying it so far, just remember to check Ravelry for errata – I have found a lot of entires that were just a little off. So this is the Cabled-Cuff Mitten Pattern, knitted with Patons Worsted Wool. So where did I learn something new this week? I learned (try not to gasp) how to read a chart!

~ You Couldn’t Read a Chart Before this Past Week? ~

Well, no. I have no problem following a chart in the round, at least in the past few months – but a chart knitted flat – akin to bamboo shards under my fingernails. I hated the idea that one symbol having two meanings, I just couldn’t understand why on earth they couldn’t just make a “knit as written” chart.

When they hubby pointed to the mittens that he liked the best, I saw that flat chart and cringed. I’m not gonna lie, the first 7 rounds were….difficult. I pushed through and by the end of the first repeat I finally understood the purpose. I was getting the hang of it after the second repeat and by the third I was gladly going left to right, right to left and realizing that there was a ligament reason for making a chart this way. Final thoughts – YEA FOR FINALLY BEING ABLE TO READ A CHART!

~ How About Some Finished Objects! ~

Christmas, birthdays, New Year’s …. blah blah blah…. has slowed my FO list down quite a bit. However, I still feel like sharing.

It may not be super interesting to look at, but this is a custom order for a new customer. Her sister-in-law went to school in Jamaica where her school colors where purple and gold. I took one of my stitch dictionaries and found a way to combine a standard rib with a zig-zag. I know that it would show better on smaller needles and s solid color, but it actually turned out really well. I added a slip-stitch border to keep the sides nice and clean and she was very pleased. *Dramatically wiping my brow!*

SInce WordPress isn’t letting me preview the post – and I cannot remember which order I put these in – please just roll with me.

  1. The three (rather boring/ rather repetitive) things I have been commissioned to do this week is  20 dishcloth – 10 Christmas Colors and 10 Pink (these are not done yet).
  2. Another Christmas Stocking – which is actually quite nice, but you’ve already seen a gazillion pictures of them. Sorry friends and neighbors.
  3. AND of course, a few ruffles. I have an order for 5 OSU Buckeye Ruffle Scarves – all done *insert deep sigh of relief*

Yea Cabes and Bobbles!

Yea Cables and Bobbles!

This is yet another concoction of the genius that is 60 Quick Knits – with some big changes on my part. The pattern is the Bobbles & Cables Cap by Suvi Simola and is a decent pattern. I changed the 1. The cast-on 2. The bobbles (which I made bigger) 3. The cable progression was continued another round 4. and I slightly felted the hat when I was finished (no pic of that yet…because I suck).

I made the hat larger and longer to felt the pattern because it does wonderful things to bobbles and finicky cables. It tightens everything up and gives is a delicious fit. I made the cap with Ella Rae Classic Superwash in Kiwi and chucked in into the dryer. The result? Pretty amazing – slight felting give the hat a denser feel and makes the bobbles seem more natural and less like a hanging hemorrhoid 😉

I need a Post-Felt Picture….bad Rachel.

I need a Post-Felt Picture….bad Rachel.

Okay friends and neighbors, that’s all for me today. I will be back with more on my sock stashing, thanks to Knitting Sarah and her #sockswithsarah year-long Sock KAL. I am working the instep on my fourth pair of socks – pretty epic! I need to finish those mittens (yea for reading charts!) and I’ve unearthed my Fiori Autunnali and my Jayashri Pullover. Until next time – remember, if the gimp can try it you can too! 🙂

Selfishly Knitting Socks with Knitting Sarah’s Year Long KAL


Oh socks….if only I could write an ode to just how much I have fallen in love with sock knitting. I’ve only knit three pairs in my knitting lifetime – all since October of last year. Still, there is something mesmerizing and just plain zen about knitting socks. I liked Knitting Sarah’s KAL idea so much I started last night!

They are almost perfect!

They are almost perfect! – Pardon my superhero PJs.

I finished my third pair of socks in a white heat around 4am. The pattern is a weird mishmash of all sorts of free patterns I have found online and Clara Parkes’ The Knitter’s Book of Socks. They are almost perfect – they need to be about two rounds longer in the foot and four stitches shorter in the cuff and we’ll be good to go. I think that Patons sock yarn (this is Patons Jacquards in Aqua Jacquard) is a really nice yarn for the price as well. I love these socks….I want them to come out of the dryer before I go to work….here’s hoping.

And since I like to use photos to tell a story of knitting goodness – here is my pair of socks photogenic journey!

I feel a bit selfish knitting socks, because I am knitting socks for myself. I love my for my Etsy store and I love knitting for people – but sometimes working for hours and hours on something you hope someone will love can a little discouraging. When I am making socks I am tailoring them to fit me like a ….glove?…..sock glove?….I am knitting them to fit me. I don’t have to worry about the color, I picked the color – of course I love it! I don’t have to worry if there is a little snag because Max kneaded it – I can fix it and I am the only one wearing them. And of course the biggie….they’re mine 😉

Well, time for work friends and neighbors. Thank you so much for the KAL advice. Go see  Knitting Sarah’s KAL page, it is very low-key and such a wonderful idea. Cannot wait to get back to you with some finished goodies! HAPPY JANUARY 2nd!

Happy New Year & Hello 2014!


Howdy friends and neighbors, it seems a new year has begun and that means big plans to fill the next 365 days! Oh the plans I have, not resolutions so much as grand plans for all the things that I want to get into in the next 52 weeks. Let’s see the list shall we?

  • Find a year long KAL – any suggestions would be helpful by the way.
  • Join KALs to meet even more amazing online knitters
  • Finish a sweater
  • Finish that lace beaded lace shawl.
  • Find that perfect sock formula
  • Stash bust 50% of my stash
  • Actually spin things I want to share on the internet 😉
  • Try my hand at designing more intricate things 
  • Try weaving – it looks like fun!
  • Keep all my social media up to date. aka Ravelry, Twitter, Facebook,  Flickr (my personal favorite), Tumblr and Instagram
  • Be so much better about updating my Etsy store
  • BLOG MORE!

But here is the one I am really, really excited for….

~ 52 Weeks of New Experiences! ~

I never make New Year’s Resolutions – they usually lead to disappointment. But this year I want to try something new, I want to try 1 new thing a week (or a total of 52 new things in a year). This can be knitting related or anything else my mind dreams up. Life is too short to not keep learn and trying new things. I already know what I want to do for week 1, which is really exciting!, but I am going to have to keep reading blogs, books, magazines and anything I can get my hands on to keep expanding as a person.

This is going to be a very full year indeed. So now I beg for your input friends and neighbors – what knitting are you doing this coming year? Heard of any good KALs? Seen something that tickles your fancy? Please share! I am here and sooo ready to listen!

 

The Last Birthday of My 20s & Finished Objects


My 29th birthday was actually December 27th, but I resisted the urge to post that day. We found out a friend has stage 4 cancer and I didn’t want it to be a whiny, self-indulgent post. Things have settled a bit and that means it is time to get back on the blogging horse. Let’s start with what I’ve finished since my last post, it’s my birthday (weekend) and I will post how I want to! 😉

 ~ Some Finished Objects ~

1) The first one is yet another Christmas Stocking. You’ve seen pictures of them in my last post so I won’t bore you again.

A Shameless Seflie.

A Shameless Seflie.

2) This is the Podcaster Cowl by Susan Ashcroft. I made it with Lions Brand Vanna’s Choice Worsted in Dusty Green. I LOVE this cowl! It has been a while since I’ve done a pattern that has a written, 24 row repeat (which I thought would be annoying but wasn’t at all) so I was a bit slow going at first – until I saw the first leaf come together. When that leaf popped out at me I was off, I couldn’t wait to get to the next leaf, before I knew it I’d been up for 22 hours and my cowl was done. All things considered I don’t look too scary in that picture. Also, this cowl in a worsted, slightly variegated Malabrigo would be breathtakingly beautiful!

Legwarmers are great for watching movies - and keeping your legs warm.

Legwarmers are great for watching movies – and keeping your legs warm.

3) Obviously, these are leg warmers ;). For whatever reason my Mom loves leg warmers and is demanding them in high quantities. She’s not making a (horrible) fashion statement, her legs just get really cold when she is driving our out in the weather. T

This is my own little tube design. The top is a 1by1 rib that goes over the knee and will stay there securely. I balloon out the calf section because she has big calves (a floor nurse for 30 years has given her very strong legs) and the ankle is a decreased section in 2by2 rib so it will fit securely across her ankle. The finished decisions are; thigh 16″, calf 20″, ankle 12.4″ and the total length is just over 20″. They are not pretty, but what the Mom wants…the Mom gets!

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Chemo hat design pattern.

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Designing cable-y goodness.

This is the really similar to the cabled hat I made for my first custom order – I just took out the cables I didn’t like and replaced them with new ones. As a result, the hat doesn’t have any weird bulges or gaps. Who wants that on their head? It’s made with Red Heart Soft Yarn in Aqua Verde. I did the pattern on 4.0mm and 4.5mm needles (US 6 and US 7) up to 6″ and then began the decrease. As you can see, it is really tight on my head – which means it’ll be perfect for someone with no hair. The color has a bit of a sheen to it and I really like the color ….  all in all pretty happy with it.

~ My Sock in Progress ~

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Magic Loop CAN be Magical!

This is my own, weird sock formula – meaning I am stealing bits from all sorts of sock patterns until it fits me just right. Sometimes I feel like Goldie Locks trying to make a sock…. Anyway, the yarn is Patons Socks Yarn in Aqua Jacquard. My plan when I finished my “perfect” sock was to knit it in something a little more expensive, but I actually really like this yarn. I’ve been wearing (and washing) my first two pairs of socks all month-long and they look just like they did when they came off the needles – so why mess with something that works? Higher end sock yarn will come, but for now my Patons and I are very happy.

Also, for the first time in my entire knitting history, I am using magic loop – Huzzah! I went on YouTube and found a video I liked and off I went. I think the 40″ cord is a little fiddley (I found it sifting through my destroyed yarn stash after the pipe bursts, no idea what I had it for) but I am getting the hang of it. I am really looking forward to turning the instep, I just haven’t picked up those stitches since turning the heel. Also, with long, pointy needles I 1) don’t break them and 2) can knit backwards on the heel turn – something I’ve been dying to put into practice.

~ My Birthday ~

This post is getting pretty long, so thank you for hanging in there. I guess, from a knitting perspective, the best way to get what you want for your birthday is make a list. Non knitters have no clue what to get you, and how could they? So, to avoid getting two bags of yarn that someone got for $2.00 at a yard sale and thought it was priceless, make a list 😉

One more amazing thing friends and neighbors! I did get an AMAZING birthday present from a near and dear friend of mine that I am dying to brag about. May I present….MY NEW YARN PET!

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Almost 1,000 words and time to sign off. Have a great rest of your weekend and I hope to see you all really, really soon!

Knitting Panic Monster & Finished Objects


Max admonishing me for not knitting my sock.

Max admonishing me for not knitting my sock.

I was sitting in a waiting room today, mindlessly knitting on a project when it struck me….I appear to be suffering from knitting ADHD. Usually, my best brainwaves happen in the shower – years of showering in the dark, preparing to make my body think it is nighttime and thus time to think, removes all the fuzz from my brain. But sitting in this waiting room today it just hit me: I am afraid to finish my big projects because I am afraid I am going to muck them up.

This is silly. My Panic Monster may be in fine form lately but I refuse to be beaten by the means of that little bugger. So going home I told my husband I was going to finish two projects today – turns out I finished three. 🙂

Sock 1 of 2.

Sock 1 of 2.

So this is the first sock of my third pair. I am no longer really following a pattern – just taking bits and pieces from a lot of patterns to find something that I like. Despite doing the toe decreases a little wonkily the sock fits like a dream! I also really like Patons Jacquards – this on is the Aqua Jacquard, and working with size 2.25mm needles really isn’t that scary.

The Boneyard Shawl is FINISHED!!!!

The Boneyard Shawl is FINISHED!!!!

11474926796_8640bc545cThis, friends and neighbors, is my finished Boneyard Shawl! It is a free pattern on Ravelry by Stephen West (he was the one who designed the Dustland Hat, which is awesome) and I love it! I should be embarrassed to show a picture of it before it’s bath and block, but I am so excited that I finally finished it. I did the Russian Lace Bind Off for Cast On, Bind Off which is gloriously stretchy, and the yarn is Bernat Mosaic in Aura. I don’t really like this yarn to be honest, but the color progression is lovely, so I will forgive it. Again, it was another long-term project that was languishing in my cabinet, just waiting for me to put in a couple of hours and finish it.

My Design!

My Design!

This super bulky, cabled cowl is one of the first of (hopefully many) my designs. I geared up my noggin, picked up some sticks and string and let it rip 😉

It was knitted on size 15US needles with Lions Brand Hometown USA in Little Rock Granite. It may be acrylic yarn but it knit up really nicely, and more importantly handles the two cable needles and 9 stitch cable really well. The only problem I’ve encountered is the seaming, everything lines up perfectly but there is that little row where the sewing shows – if you’re looking. Which…I am.

I would really like to write-up the pattern but don’t think I should until I figure out the seam – what would be the point of putting it out there without a way to finish it seamlessly? Hmm….I find the whole thing a little baffling.

One day, three projects and I feel like attacking everything in my knitting cabinet. I was fortunate that my WIP cabinet is in our den, if it was still in the basement the burst pipe would have taken all this work. Now I just have to tackle that sweater….and with that friends and neighbors, I will leave you with my thoughts on that!

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Good News, Bad News & Oodles of Photographed FOs


Max - maxing and relaxing with some yarn.

Max – maxing and relaxing with some yarn.

Alrighty friends and neighbors, this is how I’m gonna try to put weeks of blogging into one post. First off, let’s get the bad news over with – bad news will be in red and good news will be in green (Christmas-y huh?). So, let’s begin.

GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS

  • Gloria, my amazing niece, is in the top 10% of students in the midwest and will be sitting for a ACTs in January – she’s in the seventh grade!!!! 🙂
  • I broke my tailbone. BUT the snow has been beautiful!
  • Trevor’s Dad has cancer. BUT the treatment is doable, and his crazy hair from the treatments makes him look like Bill Murray.
  • My special stash was ruined when a pipe burst. BUT I still have loads of yarn to play with.
  • I had to get a second job. BUT I was able to get a second job in this economy and at this time of year.
  • Trevor and I shared our 11 year first date  anniversary! 🙂
  • Orders seem to be slowing down. BUT I had my first Etsy store sale.
  • I’ve broken four pairs of needles. BUT I can rewrite patterns for straight needles, something I had never had to do before.
  • 2014’s money may be worse than 2013’s.  BUT I married Prince Charming and we can survive anything.
  • I lost my LYS. BUT I have found a new yarn store. It’s a drive and I won’t be able to go often, but everyone that works there is lovely!
  • I’ve been avoiding blogging because I don’t want to lose my online knitting community.

I guess it is silly not writing, but it feels like my projects (or my yarn) are really that special to blog about. Since the incident at the LYS my knitting mojo has been….none existent – I am constantly doubting my ability and my finished product. Again, silly. It is time to take a breath and move on. Get back to blogging and back to sharing with the amazing online knitting community. Who knows, I may even have a pattern to share soon!

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FINISHED OBJECTS!

I don’t know if this is everything, probably not but this is the best way to catch up with all the things I’ve been finishing. The scary part is that there are multiples of several of these project – I will spare you several duplicate photos and do one pic of each. I hope you enjoy.

I actually feel like I haven’t really knit that much in the last month, not until after I got a good look at the photos. I think for next year I am going to do the Knitmeter to see just how much damage I can really do. I think that is it for me today, I have bared my soul and now it’s time to get to knitting. I will be back, getting over this insecurity is something you just have to push through – no other way around. For anyone reading this, thank you for sticking with me, it means the world.

A Little Sparkle to Kick Off December


Oh, it is good to have Dragon Speak back again! The plan is to try to write shorter posts – so as not to bore you into a coma – but the actual process of getting that post finished is back to being utterly fantastic!

So I am working through a rather large back catalog of things I was knitting before I almost blog faded, here’s to hoping I don’t repeat myself. The rather large production in knitting is in direct proportion to the change in weather – and the return of illness to the Buckeye State. My OCD and emetophobia  tend to top the charts from the end of October till May, which sucks on a whole lotta levels. I sleep less, consume copious amounts of anything with vitamin C in it and look forward to warmer weather – which is insane because truly, I love cold weather.

The only bonus to my emetophobia, and my Panic Monster, being far more active than normal is that I tend to get a lot more accomplished – like knitting! See? this is me looking at a silver lining.

 – It Sparkles and Shines –

My very loving mother found almost 20 balls of Red Heart Boutique Midnight at a smaller craft store where my grandmother lives a few months ago, and it being such a good deal she bought every last ball of it. This particular shade is called Shadow (how fetching!) and is a mix of pinks and grey’s, and to be honest it’s actually quite pretty. Now, Red Heart is not my favorite thing in the world to work with but this yarn doesn’t have the oggey feel to it that Red Heart Super Savor has, my goodness it even has a little wool in it!

Being presented with 20 balls (teehee) is intimidating, so I’ve slowly been working my way through the collection. With the Shadow I made two projects: 1. My very simple no-look cowl and 2. The Amanda Hat by Gina House with as many improvisations as I could dream up to make it my own. Let’s start with the cowl….

The cowl is a super quick, super simple rib/stockinette/rib combination, best of all I don’t have to look when I am knitting the stockinette section!

Now for the hat – the original pattern is The Amanda Hat by Gina House on Ravelry, but I had to try to make it a little more my own. I used Cast On, Bind Off to give me a little inspiration on how to get started, I only did one pattern repeat to simplify the top of the hat, then used a fantastic new decrease that I’ve been toying with. All in all, I am pretty satisfied with the outcome.

Why are collage photos so much fun? It's a mystery!

Why are collage photos so much fun? It’s a mystery!

That’s it for me today friends and neighbors! Just in case you would like to share, what are you doing this blustery December to add a little shine to your life?

With WIPs to Keep Me Warm


I just love snow!

I just love snow!

It appears to be Wednesdays again, funny how that seems to sneak up on me every week! With the holiday weekend coming up and Trevor, Max and I celebrating alone for the first time every, I am tickled pink to have plenty of projects to keep me warm. Wanna see what’s on my needles? Brace yourself, there are quite a few projects going on!

– The Projects –

In keeping with the different projects on different needles theme I have more WIP than ever….and I kinda love it! Being a monogamous knitter (or just knitting ruffles) gets so incredibly dull. I guess I will start with the smallest needle and move my way up.

Second Pair of Socks

Second Pair of Socks

The second sock is well on it’s way, which will be completing my second pair of socks ever!

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If you’ve read this blog before, this is where I was in the lace pattern BEFORE I had a nosebleed and had to frog the entire thing. I still love knitting it and my Mom is chomping at the bit for me to finish.

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  • Pattern: Hinagiku Hat on Ravelry by 87cafe – It is pretty heavily modified by still very much so their pattern.
  • Needles: Size 4US (3.5mm) and Size 6US (4mm)
  • Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash Sport Multis COL. NO. 108
  • Progress: Hopefully finish tonight.

I am in love with this hat, and since the OSU Buckeye’s are planning annihilate the 7-4 Michigan Wolverines I want it ready to wear by Saturday. 🙂

jayashri sweater - week 4

Pattern: Jayashri Sweater from Craftsy
Progress: What is the word for a frown-y face? 😦
Needles: Size 6US (4mm)
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss DK in Fedora

My KAL sweater (a knit along that was MY idea) has been sadly languishing in my knitting cabinet. I am hoping to finish the ruffle order after work tomorrow and play with it this weekend. I am hoping to finish it by New Year’s Eve….we shall see.

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This is a truly horrible picture – my apologies!

  • Pattern: Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West
  • Needles: Size 9US (5.5mm)
  • Yarn: Bernat Mosaic in Aura
  • Progress: I’ve done 9 of my intended 12 repeats – on the second ball of yarn (≈  410 yards)

I needed a piece I could take to work when I am “sitting” with a patient (I’ve been picking up hours sitting with confused/suicidal patients at night). It is the kind of knitting you can do without looking and the pattern is super simple. I started with hand spun but whimped out and switched to the Bernat (which I don’t endorse at all). I can’t wait to finish this one so I can make another one.

And finally….

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  • Pattern: Double Knitting Baby Blanket from my noggin!
  • Yarn: 2 strands of Lion Brand Pound of Love in Antique and White
  • Needles: Size 15US
  • Progress: I am currently in a black hole where it doesn’t seem to be getting any bigger, I’d say 1/4 of the way through.

A friend asked for a big, fluffy blanket that could be used as a floor mat as well. I know the stigma on Pound of Love but you can wash it everyday and nothing happens to it. The double knitting is practice for a Lucy Neatby design I want to try, and after this blasted blanket I should be ready.

– You’ve Made It to the End! –

So that’s it for me friends and neighbors, loads of things to do and not enough hours in the day – just how I like it. I wonder if I am the only knitter with so many WIPs going at once, I mean really – what is a normal number of WIPs to have on the needles?

In case I don’t talk to you before the (US) holiday, Happy Thanksgiving! Oh! and since I am currently down a LYS do a little Black Friday yarn shopping for me, I can live vicariously through your purchases! 😉

Time to Start Fresh


Holy crap I almost blog-faded! I could make loads of excuses (and more than less likely will do just that :)) but as my dear Lottie from Lottie Knits would say “it’s time to get off my bum.” Oh! Also, it’s snowing – which greatly improves my mood!

Knitting Weather!

Knitting Weather!

So, for anyone that is still reading this languishing blog, here is what has been going on the past few weeks to contribute to my blog-neglect (see? excuses already!)

– The Excuses –

  • No Dragon Speak Software – My NaNoWriMo gal has been plugging along so well with her novel that I told her just to keep it till it goes on sale on Black Friday.
  • My Mom retired – Yea! 
  • I had an order for 43 ruffle scarves – this brings my year total to….wait for it….319.
  • I have gotten a boat load of questions from hospital workers since it snowed, and now have a nice little influx of non-ruffle knitting.
  • 4 baby showers.
  • 2 weddings.
  • My father-in-law has changed Alzheimer’s medication and is being treated for skin cancer 😦
  • My LYS asked me not to come in because they were afraid my hand would scare off new knitters.

– The LYS Experience –

Before I retell this story, if you follow me on Instagram you’ve already heard it, feel free to skip ahead (there’s a picture!). Also, I am going to keep this as short as possible – mainly because dredging it up makes me über cranky.

So back around the time I last posted my LYS owner called me to tell me knitting was canceled. No big deal. The week after that I called the shop to see if we were meeting that night and had the oddest reaction from a gal I’ve known for years. She told me _______ would call me back. About 20 minutes later ________ called me back and asked me not to come to knitting that night; they were having a meet-and-greet for new potential knitters (in a younger crowd than our knitting group (even though I am 28)) and she didn’t want my hand to scare them off.

My reaction was to go get on Instagram and connect with knitters who, in my mind, would be able to be objective because they’ve never seen my hand.

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I. Was. Heartbroken.

The support from knitter’s on Instagram was so overwhelmingly awesome that I should have just snapped out of it. So what? I don’t have an LYS anymore…..

Nope, not going to work.

Instead of feeling the love from the  99.9% of  knitter’s who are freaking amazing, I ran down the rabbit hole of knitting all the time to prove that I could do it. This is a fun mixture of stubbornness, OCD,  and my very own Panic Monster. I have been eating, sleeping and knitting….and not a whole lot else. I have kept all my social obligations and haven’t become a hermit yet but saying I got a little obsessive would be putting it….lightly.

– The Fresh Start –

So here I am friends and neighbors, ready to get back to what makes me happy. I love writing and I love reading your blogs. Both of these things have been severely neglected. So there will be some catching up to do (lots of catching up to do) so please be patient. I am slowly going to try to work the comments and questions that I’ve received – especially regarding patterns – but it may take a little longer than normal.

Also, I follow loads of you on Facebook – I haven’t “liked” or commented on your blogs because my Facebook account and my WordPress account aren’t linked – but I have been reading your work. Rob’s Surf Report and A Tangled Yarn are just two that I read every single time they post. The Knitterly Hook-er is one of my favs to follow on Instagram. If you want to follow me on either of these sites click → FACEBOOK LINK ← or → INSTAGRAM LINK ←. Both of these sites get updated daily because I can use one hand to upload and type.

– SPOILERS!! –

Stick with me and I promise I will try to give you something awesome to read or stare at – as awesome as I can make it! Here is a itty-bitty preview of what I’ve got up my sleeve:

This took three and a half hours to type friends and neighbors, every minute both cathartic and totally renewing. I can’t wait to catch up, happy Tuesday!

November Makes Me Think About Pie. . . .


But since I don’t want to weigh 400 pounds I decided that rusty/pumpkin-y yarn was the way to go. This is another “original” design – a better way to phrase this is “stitch dictionary modification integrated with tried-and-true beanie bind-off”. However you take it, I like how it turned out.

The Vogue Stitchonaries  have been a huge source on inspiration on making some things that are more mine, as in I didn’t download it off of Ravelry. Maybe this will be the start of something wonderful design wise, maybe not. Either way I am really happy with the outcome.

That's me!

That’s me!

So you start with the fancy, schmancy stitch pattern – then figure out how to write it in the round. Not the most creative thing in the world but I have to start somewhere. For those that are interested this is a herringbone stitch with a ribbed section in-between, which I found to be super fun knitting wise.

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

Then you work the pattern till desired length, for me this is about 3 1/2 inches. it ensures that the ears will be covered and kept warm. Then work the beanie until it reaches desired length, again, for me this is about 6ish” or a total of 42 rounds. It may seem really anal to keep track of every round I do, but hey, you know I have OCD.

Then you do the tried and true 15 row decrease (I will include this at the bottom of the post). What do you get when you combine all these knitting ingredients: a hat. Moron 😉

The bummer is that these hats look way better on than they do on the poor Styrofoam head, it looks a bit silly on the head to be honest. They fit like a dream though, nice and snug around the ears and a little looser at the top of the hat without feeling slouchy. Oh! This is Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in Rust – just in case you were curious.

 ** The Tried-and-True 15 Row Decrease ** 

  • I start with 100 stitches on size 7US needles (and worsted weight yarn) because I like a dense, warm beanie.
  1. K8, K2tog
  2. Knit
  3. K7, K2tog
  4. Knit
  5. K6, K2tog
  6. Knit
  7. K5, K2tog
  8. Knit
  9. K4, K2tog
  10. Knit
  11. K3, K2tog
  12. Knit
  13. K2, K2tog
  14. Knit
  15. K1, K2tog

Leaving a 20″ tail, sew live stitches in the round twice and remove from needles. Pull tight to keep the top of the hat from looking like a bellybutton and weave in your ends.

That’s all I have for today friends and neighbors, although if you have time I would like to know what you think of the hat. I figure with the vast amounts of smarts you possess you will come up with a way better way to do this.

The Scarf That Had Identity Issues – Free Pattern!


  • Written by: Rachel Folk (kinda)
  • Editing and Written Pattern by: Trevor Folk

So I showed progress on this scarf…um…last week? Anyway, the more I worked on it the bigger it got. I know, I know – it’s supposed to get bigger but this scarf seemed to get wider as well.

This is how it started:

So Far...

So Far…

And THIS is how it ended:

Chilling on my couch.

Chilling on my couch.

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Yowzer boss!

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Max’s Front Window Perch

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Yup. It’s THAT big!

By the time I bound off I didn’t know if it was 1) a scarf 2) a table runner or 3) a decorative couch cover. It was gorgeous by they way ( I used two strands of Caron Simply Soft in Pagoda) and I was really enjoying looking at it on the back of my couch.

Luckily my Mom fixed the situation by calling it a “drape” and took it quite literally off my hands. She had it in her car so fast I didn’t even get a picture of her wearing it. She has pure black hair (and since her hair color is real she has natural blue highlights) and it looked stunning on her – I should have gotten a picture dagnabbit!

I thought about seeing if I could actually sell a pattern, but since I can’t seem to work out the logistics of sizing I will share it for free. Knit at your will, sell the completed projects on Etsy – I don’t really care. I figure the pattern deserves to be out in the knitting universe.

** The Pattern **

  • Needles: Size 15US (10mm) Straight Needles
  • Yarn: 2 Packages of Caron Simply Soft in Pagoda (2 strands necessary if you are hoping to achieve thickness) – (why does everything knitting related sound so dirty?- TF)

Cast On 36 Stitches

Set Up: Knit Four (4) Rows Seed Stitch.

  • Row 1: K1, P1, K1, P1. Knit to last Four (4) stitches. K1, P1, K1, P1
  • Row 2 and all Even/Wrong Side Rows: P1, K1, P1, K1. Purl to last Four (4) stitches. P1, K1, P1, K1
  • Row 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1; *K2, SSK, K2TOG, K4, (YO, K1)twice *;  repeat from * to last Seven (7) stitches. K4, P1, K1, P1
  • Row 13: REPEAT ROW ONE (1).
  • Row 15, 17, 19, 21, 23: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1; *K3, YO, K1, YO, K4, SSK, K2TOG *; repeat from * to last Seven (7) stitches; K4, P1, K1, P1
  • Row 24: REPEAT ROW TW0 (2)

Repeat rows 1-24 until desired length (Rachel went till she was almost out of yarn and cursing -TF). Do Four (4) rows of seed stitch and BO (bowl obstruction? -TF) loosely. 

******** ******* ****** ***** **** *** ** *

So there you have it friends and neighbors, from my noggin to yours. I want to give a big round of applause for my husband who is putting up with me. (You’re welcome -TF). I also wanted to add that I am reading all of your wonderful posts but not commenting as much as I would like. No worries, Dragon Speak will be back eventually. I hope you like the pattern, it is the very least I can do to share because all of your blogs are making me a better knitter, spinner, crocheter and person.

Man that was cheesy – I’m out. 🙂 (Do people still say “I’m out?”. -TF)

My Cat Made Me Make This


When I was taking a break from knitting, aka wearing two braces and icing my two misbehaving hands, my cat went on a yarn bender. I found him Saturday night with my knitting cabinet open, yarn strewn across the floor, and him curled up in my WIP bag. So, I got him a new ball of yarn and he slept all night.

My little buddy with his yarn.

My Maxwell and his yarn.

Little did Max (or Trevor for that matter) know that I was planning on making something with this as soon as the braces came off. When all you do all week is work, talk on the phone (I couldn’t drive with the braces and all my close friends have new babies) and marinate in your need to make something, you get very creative in…um…sneaking around.

So, as soon as my hands felt close enough to ready I casted on. I really like this yarn, it is Patons Classic Wool in Harmony and it will be nice and warm this winter. The first hat I did had a ridiculous thick brim to keep your ears nice and toasty.

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Feedback from the hubby was that, while it was good for me and all my hair, that for him the brim was just a little too wide. So, what would any good knitter do when she already has the yarn and didn’t get yelled out for knitting? I made another one!

This one is half the height of the first hat brim-wise, but otherwise all the same design ideas. The best news being that this one went over swimmingly with the hubby! I have to agree with him that the smaller brim looks really good on him and once it gets a bath it’ll lose all its itchiness.

So again, a little sparse on content but lots and lots of pictures! Thank you again for sticking with me while I try to hunt and peck out blog entries – I am enjoying all your blogs so much and I cannot wait to get commenting again!

October 21st – 31st Yarn Photo a Day Contest Pictures!


It’s November 1st and I am already missing this photo contest! It was so much fun to watch what everyone was posting and have an excuse to over share on Instagram every day 😉

So let’s finish up the month in style – here we go!

21

 

Day 21 was FO. This was my first pair of handmade socks – which I am so in love with that I have casted on another pair!

22Day 22 was SPOON. This was the first textured knitting I ever did (I can’t find the pattern on Ravelry, so if you do lemme know). It was pretty eye-opening to see that knits and purls could actually make things like a dishcloth interesting.

23Day 23 was INK. This is my little table next to my knitting chair, and there is always an abundance of different colored ink to work through a project. Also, my iPod holder has a finger protector on it, which is kinda awesome.

24Day 24 was SHADOW. This is a book that I picked up at my local used bookstore that has been languishing on my shelf, just waiting for me to be patient enough to learn it.

25

 

Day 25 was PROJECT BAG. This is my favorite, favorite, FAVORITE knitting bag! Who doesn’t want to think about snow when they are lugging around their knitting?

26Day 26 was FAVORITE MUG -or- CUP. This mug is from Starbucks, I think it came it out two Christmas’ ago. I love it, so much so that when the vases came out at Target last year I bought them too.

27Day 27 was CHAIR. I know, I know. This is not a chair, but it my favorite place to knit when we go to our cabin in the woods – if it isn’t flooded that is. 🙂

28Day 28 was MAIL. This is my mini sock collection of Yarny Cakes yarn that started my Bee Keeper’s Quilt. It is super addictive and amazing to work with, I’m kind of in love.

29Day 29 was RIBBING. This is pretty self-explanatory. Also, I deplore the hunt and peek method of typing.

30Day 30 was SWEETS -or- CANDY. This is a knitted, felted donut stuffed full of catnip for Max. He loves this stupid thing, I even found him with it hiding in my laundry basket.

31Day 31 was aptly HALLOWEEN. These are my new pair of in progress socks which are flying! I think if a candy corn and a Tootsie roll had a yarn baby, it would look like this.

**** **** **** **** **** **** **** ****

So there it is friends and neighbors, a full month of knitting themed pictures done! Now, what is going on in November? Any ideas about what will fill out this month? If you’ve heard anything through the blog-line let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October’s Written Content May Be Sparse


I want to apologize for my blogging neglect, I have a good reason I swear!

I was at my local hand doctor’s office last Friday, shooting the breeze with a nurse that used to work on my unit when I was introduced to a fellow….sufferer? No, that’s not right, a gal that has temporarily lost the functionality of her dominate hand. We got to talking and she was super bummed that she wasn’t going to get to do this years NaNoWriMo, something she has been looking forward to all year. Totally understanding how irritating it is to have your dreams shot to crap by a failing appendage, I loaned her Dragon Speak software to see if it would work for her.

So far things are going great on her end, she’s had a week to practice getting used to oral dictation and she is all ready to write. When she gets the money she’s going to buy her own spiffy version, but I told her not to rush (also to wait and get the $200.00 package because it is way better) and take her time.

The blog may be a bit sparse on written diatribes – I know, your all crying into your coffee right now – but there is still plenty of knitting to show off. I hope you won’t mind photo heavy posts – because I have loads to show off!

Friends and neighbors please bear (bare? I never remember) with me and I will keep you apprised of all the goofy, knitting shenanigans I can get into.

OHH!
You can always follow me on Instagram (I post all the time) and my Facebook Page (because I who doesn’t love a fan! ;))

Multiple WIPs to Combat Hand Fatigue


I was able to pick up my needles this week but quickly realized that I was going to have to find a sweet spot to appease both of my hands. This gave me the best excuse to cast on several projects, I mean, I have to keep my hands happy!

I have found that different types of needles, different needle sizes and different types of yarn are the best way to keep my hands from feeling any fatigue – also, I never get bored working on one project. Pretty awesome in my book, maybe this whole arthritis thing isn’t so bad after all! 😉 So here is my WIP run down:

Size 2US DPN – Sock Weight Yarn – Patons Jacquard & Stripe Socks #104

What a finished pair looks like. It smells like victory though!

What a finished pair looks like. It smells like victory though!

I casted on another pair of these immediately after I finished the first, I am only on the ribbing so no picture yet, but they are fantastic to knit and easy on both hands.

Size 4 Circular Needles – Lace Weight – Fiori Autunnali Shawl

What it looks like finished - photo courtesy of  teresat2 on Flickr

What it looks like finished – photo courtesy of teresat2 on Flickr

This pattern is from the Craftsy Class New Directions in Lace. It is an incredible early Christmas present from my Mom – and there are beads! I am still a bit daunted by how much work it is going to take to finish this beast, but it’s just so pretty I don’t care. Romi Hill creates the most beautiful work and her class is so full of information I’m surprised it didn’t cost more. If you like lace, like learning, want to try something new and work with a stellar pattern – go sign up for this class.

This is where I am in the pattern:

Yes. I am scared to take off the belly button cast on.

Yes. I am scared to take off the belly button cast on.

Size 5US Circular Needles – DK Weight Yarn – Jayashri Sweater

Jayashri Pullover from Knit Picks

Jayashri Pullover from Knit Picks

This is the kalallnight that Stacy over at Musings and Motion and I are making. The pattern is available from Knit Picks and if you still feel the urge to join feel free! I have a feeling that Stacy will finish way before I do and I wouldn’t mind the company! Here is where I am so far:

jayashri sweater - week 4

Size 7US Circular and DPN – Worsted Weight – “Hat on the Brain”

I have gone on a mini design kick trying to make a bunch of different beanies. I am trying to have a very styled brim (usually combinations of stitch dictionaries) and working my way through a list of hat decreases. I just finished the one last night, the rusty orange beanie above ↑ so I will need to cast on another one today.

Size 8US Straight 7″ Needles – Worsted Weight – Looped Loop Cowl

Courtesy of Ravelry. © lavidaloca

Courtesy of Ravelry. © lavidaloca

Here is a super fun cowl by Kirsten Johnstone that I just had to cast on – despite the fact that straight needles make both my hands hurt and the pinkie on my right hand usually gets rubbed raw ( you know, since it just lays there and doesn’t move…man…that sounds super dirty ;)). Anyway, I had to give it a go and here is the progress:

Total length needs to be 44" - still a bit to go.

Total length needs to be 44″ – still a bit to go.

Oh! For fun, here is Lucy Neatby showing the coolest provisional cast on I have ever done.

And finally….

Size 15US Straight Needles – Two Strands DK Weight – Eyelet Scarf

This was another attempt to create something out of my own noggin….and some stitch dictionaries. I am trying to combine different variations on eyelet patterns so it looks swirled. I started it before I hurt my left hand so I can only work on it maybe 20 minutes a day. The color is beautiful though so I don’t mind looking at it everyday.

So Far...

So Far…

So that’s the low down on my WIPs for Wednesday. I hope you’ve enjoyed my ranting and hopefully I have given you an excellent excuse to cast on more projects – you must think of the health of your hands!

So friends and neighbors I am interested to hear, if you would like to share, how you combat both boredom and hand fatigue. I was once a fairly monogamous knitter (no more that three projects going at a time) so this is all new to me. Feel free to share – I love to listen!

October 9th – 20th Yarn Photo a Day Contest


Let’s see if I can get back into the blogging groove, starting with loads of photos should help! Okay, here we go!

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So here we have day nine, socks! I finally casted on my second sock, um, almost four months later *sigh*. Spoiler Alert: there may be a post on this later this week. 😉

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Day 10 was themed around morning. I was at my Mom’s house, drinking blond coffee and staring lovingly at knitting that needed finished. Still healing that day so there was no knitting, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t look….longingly.

11

 

Day 11 was circles, and boy howdy does this chart have circles in it! It is a small section of a chart I am working on right now (not all of it, I swear). I am still pretty intimidated by charts – this one is growing on me though.

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A was for Abundance! This is a snap of my LYS after they had actually stocked everything, seems my timing was impeccable. There is something so magical about a fully stocked yarn store – so wonderful, so fluffy, so full of yarny possibilities! Goofy? Yup, but I’m embracing it!

 

13

 

Day 13 led me to sharing my secret weapon – my yarn/needle chart. I carry a laminated copy of this (OCD has some perks) in my wallet and pull it out when I am second-guessing myself. It is a very handy little thing to keep with any knitter.

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Day 14 was a sign that my not-so-secret knitting needed a rest. This is the compression glove that I use on my arthritic hand. These are Thermoskin Arthritic Gloves and can be found on Amazon, which is pretty amazing because they are amazing! They keep my hands warm, pull the swelling out of my hands and have a nice grippy texture. Excellent little investment.

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Just so you know, I know my knitted pumpkin isn’t really edible…but it still looks delicious!

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So the knitted part of day sixteen’s key challenge was actually my keychain. It was bought off of Etsy – forgive me, I have no idea what Etsy store it was – for Christmas last year. I will try to find the seller of this amazing key chain because I am really rough on my keys and my keychain is still in pristine shape.

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For my imperfect photo I chose the hot mess that was me trying to use a ball winder without a swift or chair. The yarn danced merrily around my laundry room until the giant knot from Hades appeared. Four hours later I learned my lesson.

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These babies are of course my Addi-Click lace interchangeable needles. My thoughtful hubby got them for me and they have changed the way that I knit. They are AH-mazing!

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Day 20 featured the antique ball holder (gesh, why does all knitting terminology sound so dirty? ;)). It is made of iron and hangs proudly in my laundry/office/knitting Mecca room.

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That’s it for knitting pictures this week, I hope you enjoyed them as much as I loved taking them!

One more thing – I was wondering if any knitters/spinners/crocheters/readers have seen any events that are starting in NOVEMBER! I have had so much fun doing this little side challenge that I am chomping on the bit for something to do in DECEMBER!

Friends and neighbors, any suggestions are really appreciated!

 

Photo Heavy Custom Order Progress!


This order came in from a nurse who works with my Mom. She is a hunter who wanted 1. Something warm 2. Something aqua (I suppose so she won’t get confused for a deer) and that was all….the design was all mine!

** The Scarf **

Now the pictures are not great….or even good, but I had to do a quick job so I could get it to my Mom’s and out for delivery. The stitch pattern makes it look like rib on one side and a basket weave on the other. Simple and fun, easy to knit and super easy to memorize. Which is great, because it was about 82″ long.

** THE BEANIE **

10126777146_aed6f77051So I found the idea for this pattern on Ravelry, it’s called Claudia and it was perfect. I just decided that I wanted to make it mine.

I changed the cast-on edge for the ribbing. I elongated and doubled the band so it was super thick, gotta stay warm for hunting. I kept the trellis cable the same but again elongated the body by about another inch. The customer (I need to call her something else, customer sounds sooo pretentious) has a lot of hair and needed a hat that would fit over her hair being pulled up. To finish, I did a super long decrease – adding another inch and changing the stitch pattern for the finishing. It looks a little silly on the dummy head but it fits like a dream!

I am really happy with how it turned out. It hadn’t had a bath or been blocked when I took the pics, I did that my Mom’s house, but you get the basic idea. It blocked out far less pointy and the stitches really popped when it was stretched. I tried on the hat before I washed it and I will most assuredly be making this for myself in the near future.

So that’s it for me friends and neighbors, how about you….any projects you are just dying to get on your needles/hook/sewing machine/ etc.? I want to hear!

All Night KAL – Week 4 – Time for Body Work


jayashri sweater - week 4So despite the rather poor photo quality (I like browns in my house, obviously) the Jayashri Pullover is coming along quite nicely! I finished the decreases and now it is on to either six or seven inches of straight body work.

This should be the easiest part of the sweater, just mindless knitting in the round allowing some length to accumulate. I am a little worried about the bust increases, it is something I have never done and I have a rather ample bust. For now though I am just going to enjoy some straight up mindless knitting.

I am worried about the time factor this week, because this week looks insane! I have loads of ruffles that need done and two adult female from my Etsy store to do. I also have to go to work, feed myself and my husband (and the cat if he is good) and sleep. I’ve been keeping a pretty good pace and I suppose that one good day would keep me going, I just haven’t figured out where to put that yet.

Hopefully there will be nothing but good news next week and lots of extra stitches to take pictures of. Maybe, if I’m good, I will even remember to take the picture against a lighter background. Who knows? 😉

Not much to look at yet friends and neighbors, but it’s getting there. What I am wondering is how do you not get in a garment making rut? Is the seemingly endless amount of stitches like second sock syndrome? And most importantly, does working on a long-term goal make you have a serious case of startitis (thank you Knitmore Girls), because I have a million things I am dying to cast on in my Ravelry queue right now!

Hope you all have lovely days filled with good food, good friends and error free projects!

 

 

Where Would I Be Without You?


If this doesn’t warm your heart, then I don’t know what will!

Trevor and Alissa and Yarn

 

For those who don’t know, I am incredibly arthritic in my right (and dominate) hand. When the great Ruffle Scarf Endeavor started I was okay with the knitting, not okay with pulling all the yarn apart. By the end of the night my hand was a ghastly purple bruise, even with ice and Advil the swelling was hard to control. My Etsy Shop had never really done any business until the ruffles, and since I was helping to contribute to our household I never said no to an order.

After a while though my hand was a mess, I couldn’t hold utensils to eat and my knitting was slowing to a snail’s pace. Well, here came my incredible family to the rescue. It started with my husband. Trevor started pulling apart yarn and placing them in the reusable bags we use to grocery shop. My hand was starting to heal but still lagging, and I felt pretty darn guilty for asking him to help.

Then, miracles or miracles, my niece…my Gloria…wanted to help as well. She’d come over after school and just pull yarn without ever being asked. It seemed natural to her to just hunker down and help. That’s just how she is. Before you know it, I was back to full knitting ability and my hand almost looks flesh-colored again!

Trevor and Max and Yarn

If I’ve ever lamented over anything, and I mean anything, then it was because I didn’t realize just how lucky I am. Being rich would be nice, no doubt about that – but I would never trade it for these moments, these amazing people in my life. Somehow I am lucky enough to have my two favorite people (and my favorite cat) helping me to do what I love, arthritis be damned.

Seriously friends and neighbors, does it get better than this? ♥

Worst. Idea. Ever.


I am going to try to keep this as quick as I can, if only to shorten my humiliation at retelling this story. I want to say first and foremost that yes, I’ve learned my lesson. So….here it goes.

Stitches_Pic1LOGO_KasMelloI have been making baby blankets for Stitches From The Heart ever since I learned how to knit the garter stitch. I have a very special place in my heart for this organization which supplies an assortment of baby items for preemies. Closer still is the bereavement sized items that are always needed and this is the size I spend most of my time knitting. I suppose they need more of these made because it is just a bit too depressing to knit something for a baby that will never take a breath, but I know first hand just how important it is to the grieving process and how much it means to the families.

The bereavement blankets are usually far more interesting pattern wise, I spend more time on them and try to make patterns that I feel are peaceful. Anyway – I try to send in two blankets a month (preemie and bereavement sized). Since my Etsy Store actually started bring in orders though I have been having some trouble keeping up with the preemie blankets. Oh hell, I haven’t made one preemie blanket in almost four months.

Then I thought I had a great idea…knitting machine! (SPOILER ALERT: Not a great idea)

NOT So Ultimate After All.

NOT So Ultimate After All.

My idea was that I would use the machine to run off flat, stockinette panels. Then I could embroider and edge the blankets by hand. I had all these wonderful notions of sending this charity tons of blankets. I would be busting my stash, be able to spend more time on the special touches and quit feeling to guilty about not sending in both blankets.

I went to Jo Anne’s with my 50% off coupon and bought the Ultimate Sweater Machine. Yes, I felt guilty about sending in only half handmade items, but I reasoned it was better than nothing at all. Oh the things we tell ourselves.

Gloria and I picked it up, brought it home, set it up and ….huzzah!…it didn’t work. Not even a little. This loud, piece of crap could never even knit a row. It jammed, it got stuck, it screeched, it howled, it begged for mercy. Between the three of us (Trevor, Gloria and myself) we tried everything we could think of for two days before I put it back in the box to return it. I HATE this stupid machine – if it wasn’t for the money I would set it on fire in my back yard.

I’ve learned my lesson – there are no shortcuts in life. I actually feel pretty guilty about trying it now, as if the protesting machine was trying to tell me that I was in fact cheating. So now I am going to try to schedule a time of day when I work on my blankets. If something is important you take the time to do it, and you take the time to do it right. There, now you know my incredibly embarrassing story. I would rather have been caught having sex in front of my neighbors that admit to trying to cut corners.

What about you friends and neighbors, have you ever tried to cut corner’s with good intentions? Or even better, how do you whip up a cute baby blanket and still keep up with all your other obligations?