Category Archives: Family

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My Baker’s Dozen


If you don’t give a hoot about my problems, and really? who could blame you! Please feel free to skip down to where you see #mybakersdozen – that’s were it gets good.

 

I have worried over this post, the first post in a long time, the way an old Italian grandmother worries over sauce. I have written, erased, edited, trimmed, fluffed and dismantled every word at least once without much success. It turns out that what I want to do is really quite simple, even if the circumstances that have gotten me here are not. So bear with me if you can and I’ll try not to ramble.

So here it goes.

This has been the hardest year of my life. I could talk about the struggles that my friends, family and myself have endured but it’s a long freaking list and really, you don’t need to know it all. The one main thing I will discuss is that Trevor and I had to let go of the dream of being parents.

My MS has gotten worse in the 32 months since my diagnosis and in November we were told I was losing functionality in my right leg – my good leg. While the chemotherapy seems to be keeping new lesions from forming, the 22 buddies I already have squatting in my brain and spine are pissy little buggers. We are currently working our way through a variety of immunosuppressant drugs to try to prevent any more loss of function in my leg (where the majority of my problems reside) but the more we go through the harsher they become.

The way my treatment is going there is no way I would have a successful after-pregnancy; most MS patients see a vast improvement when pregnant but once the baby comes, well, mama might be screwed with a 76% increase of having the worst exacerbation to date. To top off that crap pie I would also have to start my chemo within 24hrs of birth, and it was with this news that we decided that parenthood wasn’t going to happen.

Losing this hurts in a place I didn’t know was exsited until it was. It was that split second of understanding that life wasn’t going to go the way I wanted it to go that broke a little piece of me, that place that hurts now. Typically I can laugh off anything, I can shake off bad news with the vigor of a wet dog but this one, I just can’t. I knew I had to sit down and figure out how to live with the awful knowledge, how to get back to who I was.

I threw dozens of ideas out there; all the things that I found interesting and wanted to learn more about were fair game, but to be honest, most of them were rubbish. *and yes, I am an American using the word rubbish, but I have a degenerative neurological disorder, so get off my case! 😉 * There were so many half realized ideas, they all had some potential but none of them were working. I wanted to find something that gave me a feeling of purpose again, a feeling that I could use this otherwise wasted maternal instinct to, perhaps, better the world. It’s a lofty thought but hey, why not dream big? This was the realization of the #mybakersdozen

#mybakersdozen

Here it is. Finally!

Once the little thought nugget of knitting for others for a year entered my mind it never left, it grew. I felt like it was an opportunity to make a small difference in the world, to cast little bits of light on others because isn’t that what all mothers do? Cast out the shadows and make you feel warm, safe and loved? That’s how my Mom has always made me feel, and while I will never get to do that for my own child, I might be able to do it for others.

Starting December 1st I will spend 13 months doing nothing but knitting for others.*I decided to go with 13 months because I lose so much time with the chemotherapy treatments and who doesn’t enjoy a little cushion?*

The rules I have set for myself are very simple

  1. I cannot knit for myself unless the project was started before 12/1/2017 because I need the bags and needles
  2. I will not buy any yarn*

*I will not be buying any yarn in 2017, but there is no way to keep yarn from coming into this house. Everyone who knows me buys me yarny things and I’m not going to discourage that. But fair warning, that yarn may be for someone else 🙂

So simple really, I want to see if I can bring a little light into the world. Spread a little love to find my way back to myself.

I want list is much bigger. I want to highlight knitters on Instagram who make me smile. I want to send gifts to people who inspire me, who help me not only find a creative outlet but also the thing that brings me peace. I want to highlight a charity each month and have projects that coincide – the problem with this is that once I started researching charities I found loads that I love and would want to share. I want to send handwritten letters and take the time to tell people how they make me feel, which is normally like being wrapped in a hand knit blanket…with handmade socks, tea, a roaring fire, classical music and my cat on my lap not being an a**hole.

There will be more posts, more updates and if this grows (like I’m dreaming it will) more and more love to share. I have only one expectation – that one person, yes one, will see/read/hear about this in the next 13 months and suddenly feel a little kinder, a little more like giving to others.

April’s Month of Knitting


Holy cow. If ever there was a reason  to blog more (and there are so many reasons) it is that this month in review post takes forever to do! The strangest thing about my lack of blogging is that I find myself thinking about what I would write about quite often, it just seems my follow through is lacking. So friends and neighbors, here is to a new month and a new shot at getting more written. Until we see how that goes I would love to share with you what I’ve been up to this past month.

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  • Pattern: Alano Dakos’ Oak Grove Mitts
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo in Escorias
  • Verdict: Everything about this pattern is amazing. and the yarn…..oh the yarn!

Cafe Au Lait Mitts

Cafe Au Lait Mitts

  • Pattern: Cafe Au Lait Mitts by Paula McKeever
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo in Escorias
  • Verdict: I will make these mitts over and over and over again. There was enough yarn in the one skein of Malabrigo Arroyo to both sets of mitts – which makes me so happy. If you have a chance I give this pattern the MUST BUY seal of approval.

We. Must. FREE RAPUNZEL!

We. Must. FREE RAPUNZEL!

  • Pattern: Free Rapunzel by Tiny Owl Knits
  • Yarn: Lion Brand Hometown USA in New York White
  • Verdict: Obviously the hat is adorable, but working with this thick yarn and size 13US needles about did my little arthritic hand in. I love the pattern – it was easy to follow and so much fun to do – but I just don’t see myself doing it again. Plus, the hat is for a very niche audience. I gave it to Gloria who loved it but can’t think of anyone else who would be worth the pain. 😉

I LOOOVE these socks!

I LOOOVE these socks!

  • Pattern: Afterthought heel by Laura Linneman
  • Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Neon Now in 3 Blue Yellow Green
  • Verdict: I LOVE THESE SOCKS. I LOVE THIS YARN. I WANT TO LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE IT IS MANDATORY TO HAVE A PAIR OF SOCKS LIKE THESE FOR EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE WEEK!! 🙂

Prince Charming Needs More Socks!

Prince Charming Needs More Socks!

  • Pattern: Knitmore Girls Vanilla Socks – at least a variation on the basic pattern.
  • Yarn: Berraco Comfort Sock in Blue Grey
  • Verdict: I’ve made loads of Vanilla Socks so obviously the pattern is a go to. The yarn, well….it’s acrylic and I didn’t like working with it as well as wool. I felt like it was sliding all over my needles and the shaping on the instep didn’t feel as solid. This being said the socks turned out great and the hubby likes them better than wool – so there you go.

Diamonds

Diamonds

Dripping in Diamonds

Dripping in Diamonds

  • Pattern: Diamond NeckLace by Susan Ashcroft
  • Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Soft Pink
  • Verdict: I love Susan Ashcroft and everything she does – this is no exception. This is going to be a perfect present for my Grandmother for Christmas. If you’re looking to try something in the round with some texture – this is an amazing pattern to try. The chart is very intuitive and easy to read and it knit up very quickly.

Sparkle!

Sparkle!

  • Pattern: #21 Cable-Accent Fingerless Mitts by Lori Steinberg
  • Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna’s Sequins in Amaretto
  • Verdict: I received the 60 More Quick Knits Sport Weight for a friend and realized, to my dismay, that the only sport weight I had was this Vanna’s Sequins that my Mom got for $0.97 at a Micheals sale. The yarn is actually not bad to work with if not for the sequins, but they grew on me. I also changed the pattern quite a bit to fit my needs (and common sense) and can’t wait to try this with a really crunchy wool.

Chemo Cap

Chemo Cap

  • Pattern: Just a sock yarn beanie with a basic decrease.
  • Yarn: Patons Kroy Sock Jacquards in Aqua Jacquard
  • Verdict: Chemo caps take about 5 hours from start to finish, and a printed yarn makes that work look like it took four times as much effort. Patons has a sock yarn beanie pattern that is a good place to start if your interested and it is very easy to change pretty much everything once you get a feel for how it should be constructed.

Holy Cowl!

Holy Cowl!

  • Pattern: Basket Weave and Ribs Cowl by My Noggin’ (that would be my brain)
  • Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Worsted in Wedgewood
  • Verdict: Well, it came from my brain so I hope I’m happy with it! I have three skeins of this variegated yarn and needed something to break it up. The ribbing changes the texture enough so that the colors seem to pop – so for all three skeins I am going to try different variations on ribbing to see what I can get. The pattern used the entire 210 yards and it super warm.

YOU MADE IT TO THE END! THANK YOU!!!!

I have a lot of ongoing projects that I really, really want to talk about and I have a new passion that needs discussion. SPINNING! Here is to another month of trying to forget that I have too much to do and making time for the things I love. Cannot wait to catch up with all of you! And also, thanks for hanging in there 🙂

A Month of Knitting: Part 2


For someone who complains about having no time to knit, I sure get a lot of it done! There is this space of time, usually when I am at my mother and father-in-law’s house that things just seem to get done. Most of the Instagram  pics I take are there, although my blanket tends to go where I go. If you are interested in seeing what I am doing in real time, I suggest Instagram – that seems the easiest way to keep up with knitting. Plus, there is always awesome eye candy there. 😉

Okay, so here we go.

Opal Socks.

Opal Socks.

Patons Socks

Patons Socks

Trevor and I's Matching Socks.

Trevor and I’s Matching Socks.

  • Pattern: All variations on The Knitmore Girl’s Vanilla Socks. (#sockswithsarah)
  • Yarn: Opal Bicolor in 5503 (being discontinued), Patons Kroy FX in Cameo Colors, Patons Kroy Stripes in Blue Gray Marl.
  • Verdict? : I love making socks, I just love it. These are my brainless knitting socks – I just cast on and go with it. Trevor finally got his first pair of socks and it chomping at the bit for a another pair – I am so happy to oblige!

Afterthought Heel

Afterthought Heel

  • Pattern: AfterThought Heel Socks by Laura Linneman
  • Yarn: Patons Kroy Stripes in Bramble Stripes
  • Verdict? : I love how the afterthought heel looks, but making it was a little unnerving. I didn’t do a true afterthought heel (where you…shiver….cut your knitting) but rather where you place waste yarn and join. The second sock went much smoother that the first, by then I had figured out that I needed to pick up more stitches to avoid any unsightly holes. I am going to wear these socks as much as possible before I do another pair – they just don’t seem a sturdy as a gusset. But the pattern itself was written very well and it was fun to try something new.

I like filters…teehee

I like filters…teehee

16 Cable Hat

16 Cable Hat

  • Pattern: 16 Sixteen Cable Hat by Circé Belles Boucles
  • Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Worsted in Plum Heather
  • Verdict? : I LOVE LOVE LOVE this pattern. There are really only four cable rows (five if you do the slouchy, which I did) and the effect is so dramatic. I had purchased this pattern forever ago and *slouching with disgust* forgot about it. I was surfing patterns one night and was like “Why can’t I have money to buy this beautiful pattern! Blast!” – before I realized that I already owned the pattern. The hat took two days to make and as soon as I bound off I wanted to cast on again, and again, and again. Five stars to this pattern!

Love Train

Love Train

  • Pattern: Love train by Susan Ashcroft
  • Yarn: Premier Yarns Serenity Sock Weight Solids in Charcoal
  • Verdict? : Since this is the third Susan Ashcroft pattern I’ve made in a month there is obviously not enough good things to say about her stuff. I got this ebook from a friend who wanted two of the four shawls made for her. (I promised I would not take photos of her finished objects as she is claiming she made them herself 😉 ). The yarn wasn’t great, but it was far from bad. All in all this shawl, which is going to be a very merry Christmas present for ______ cost about $5.00. It is nice and stretchy and the yarn is very soft, not to shabby!

Mikado Cowl

Mikado Cowl

  • Pattern: Mikado Cowl by Susan Ashcroft (I am sensing a pattern here)(HA! PUN!)
  • Yarn: Red Heart Super Soft in Seafoam
  • Verdict?: LOVE! Just another Stitchnerd design that made me fingers sing. I actually made this in one day, I just kept thinking that I had to see it finished as soon as possible! I have already given this one to a friend and my Mom wants two more to give as Christmas presents. It’s a great deal – she buys the yarn and I get to knit the pattern and throw a card into her package.

25 Hexipuffs

25 Hexipuffs

  • Pattern: Beekeeper’s Quilt by Stephanie Dosen
  • Yarn: Oh so many….
  • Verdict? : Needs its own blog post.

So there is March’s finished objects. There are always other things chilling on my needles that I haven’t shown yet, but hopefully I will be back soon. The most important thing about blogging/knitting/spinning is that you can’t allow it to make you feel guilty – it’s here to be enjoyed. Friends and neighbors, I am going to try to remember that blogging is fun again and I hope to see you again soon.

A Month of Knitting: Part 1


It’s been over a month since I last posted, hard to believe given that I used to be so devoted to keeping up with it. The thing is, when time is precious you begin to…covet it. When I’m not working, with family or friends I want  to be knitting or spinning. It’s even stranger because as I am knitting I am actually thinking about writing about it. What to say, questions to ask, things to share – these things bubble in my mind and quickly as my needles navigate the fiber.

So in the interest of keeping up with the blog I am no longer going to pressure myself into doing it, I am going to let it be something that is enjoyable and not just another obligation. That being said, I cannot wait to share all the shenanigans that I’ve gotten into this past month. Hope your still reading friends and neighbors – and I hope it was worth the wait.

The Bend Hat

The Bend Hat

  • Project: The Bend Hat – Event Charity/Single Skein in Ravellenic Games
  • Yarn: Red Heart Super Soft – about 175 yards worth.
  • Verdict?: I really like the pattern, but the ribbing was a bit big for my taste. I will definitely make this again – just shorten the brim by half.

Cross Timbers

Cross Timbers

  • Pattern: Cross Timbers by Alexis Winslow
  • Yarn: Patons Classic Wool in Plum Heather and Dark Gray
  • Verdict? : I really loved this for my first colorwork pattern. I did, however, block it till it screamed and it was still too tight. I used the largest amount of stitches called for, but if it doesn’t block for me (oh please let it block for me!) the I will know to add pattern repeats to make the circumference bigger. It still came out to 11” length wise so I don’t know if this is what’s suppose to happen or if I knitted too tightly – even though after watching I went up a needle size.

Gloria's Doctor Who Mitts

Gloria’s Doctor Who Mitts

  • Pattern: Rose Tyler’s Fingerless Mittens by Dana Berry
  • Yarn: Zitron Trekking 6 fach 6 ply in 1806 Blue Grey
  • Verdict? : I really enjoyed this pattern. The chart was well written and the mitts look just like the ones from Doctor Who (except not pink – Gloria would hate pink). When I make them again for myself, I am going to knit the back section instead of purling. I don’t think that it will change the integrity of the pattern and I hate purling in the round on such small needles.

Leaves on the Line

Leaves on the Line

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  • Pattern: Leave on the Line by Susan Ashcroft
  • Yarn: Casscade Yarns Heritage Silk Paints in Fall (9801)
  • Verdict? : I LOVE Susan Ashcroft! If I had the funds I would buy every pattern she has ever written and make them all at least four times. The idea of measuring your yarn for a pattern is freaking ingenious. You get the most out of your expensive skein of yarn. I cannot wait to give this to my Aunt Kathy!!

Purl Ridge Cowl

Purl Ridge Cowl

  • Purl Ridge Cowl by Stephen West
  • Yarn: Red Heart Boutique Midnight in Misty
  • Verdict? : Great pattern – totally brainless and ends up looking far more intricate that it actually is. It is also a great stash-busting project and I will be making loads of these for the holidays.

So here is part one. There was a lot more knitting going on than I thought, so breaking it up seemed the best idea. I hope your still there friends and neighbors – I know I’ve been a crummy blogger but I am at least going to try to get caught up with your blogs. Missing your blogs is like missing a friend, it hurts and it’s super annoying!

 

So, What’s in the Box?


It has been a … less than stellar day, which means it is the perfect day to share something awesome.

A little while ago (during my B.A.D.D. period) I was at work when I received this picture from my Mom, Dad and husband….

What's in the Box?

What’s in the Box?

No one would tell me what was sitting in my living room – or what was in the box. I thought that it was a book Trevor and I had been trying to sell. Finding the right seller for rare books can be difficult and tedious, and we have a doozey we found at a garage sale.

Of course I got mandated at work that night, and after 16 hours all I could do was come home and crash. To be honest, I forgot all about the box. I even forgot doing the horrible impersonation of Brad Pitt from the movie Seven when he yells “what’s in the box?” (spoiler: it was a head). The terrible impression made from hours 4 through 11 in my shift were soon forgotten after that the sucky-ness of work caught up with us and well … we all forgot.

Trevor had been twitchy all week and all I thought his second job was catching up with him. With his Dad being sick and working all the time of course he couldn’t remain the Zen Master of the Universe. It’s still strange that I thought that though – because the only other time if our eleven year relationship where I have seen him twitch like that is before he proposed.

So when I came home one night, this is what I found sitting in my living room … no longer in the box …

My first spinning wheel!!!!!

My first spinning wheel!!!!!

My first spinning wheel! The present, from my family, was a (very) early 30th birthday present. As it turns out, everyone was waiting to see my response to the gift – so much so that I spent two hours on the phone before I could even sit down and look at my new toy. The wheel is an Ashford Spinning Wheel Kiwi 2 and unfinished – which is perfect. Everything about it is perfect – except my spinning 😉

Here goes nothing

Here goes nothing

So friends and neighbors, who are also spinners, I am begging for any tips/tricks/advice on how to make the perfect yarn for my perfect family!

No pressure 😉

 

 

The Joy of Socks


This is something new, trying to post a blog from my iPhone.

I would like to add a great big thank you to this post to my parents. They bought me a cell phone (a ridiculously nice cell phone)  and put me on their because they wanted me to be able to call them from the hospital – where my father-in-law is currently residing. I never really got the whole cell phone thing, I can take it or leave it – but their generosity is unremitting.

So, I finished another pair of socks! Once again I’ve gone with Patons Kroy Sock Stripes , this time in Blue Striped Ragg. I love these socks, I mean I always love socks but these were just so much fun to watch knit up. Stripes are amazing, you think “one more color, one more color” and before you know it you have a sock! Same pattern (Knitmore Girls Vanilla Socks) same technique (magic loop) same amazing outcome (socks). 🙂

Oh Sarah, the things you have helped me accomplish! Sarah, and her #sockswithsarah KAL has made me a sock making monster – it’s amazing!

Next up, a pair for the hubby. I am going to to a little more shaping in the calf section, but other than that I am keeping to the formula I have fallen in love with. After his pair is finished though, I think it is time to jump into the unknown waters of toe-up socks, two at a time socks or Spiceman Socks. Who knows!

Okay, this feels a little too weird as a writing platform. Till next time friends and neighbors!

WIP Wednesday


So far the B.A.D.D doesn’t seem so bad….hardy-har-har. However this is going to be very short, as I hate discussing things I haven’t finished yet. It seems a little redundant, but I am trying to recover my blogging ability – I miss you guys when I’m not on the site.

1. Fiori Autunalli – It has been successfully frogged and is not sitting in time out until I can look at it without breaking a sweat.

Bad Lace… or Bad Knitter...

Bad Lace…
or Bad Knitter…

2. Jayashiri Pullover – I have actually pulled this out of hibernation! I am slowly putting the mileage on it and all I need is another two inches to do the bust increases. Who knows? This very large (oh goodness it is soooo large) pullover may actually happen.

Look! Progress!

Look! Progress!

And finally…

3. The Rose Tyler Doctor Who Fingerless Mittens – A FREE pattern on Ravelry, I thought that these would be perfect for my Doctor Who loving niece Gloria. I love this pattern, I love the mitts… I HATE purling in the round on size 1US needles! I am hoping to get them done before March. By the way, the picture is courtesy of ©Dana Berry because I want to do a blog post when they’re all finished!

© Dana Berry

© Dana Berry

So those are the big to-do’s on my knitting list. Of course there are also leg warmers, but for the life of me I cannot post another picture of leg warmers. So until next time, which I hope is soon, have a great hump day!

Suffering from B.A.D.D.


Or Blogging Attention Deficit Disorder. 😉

It’s been almost three weeks since I posted last – this is pretty horrific but sometimes life just gets in the way of the fun stuff. My father-in-law was hospitalized with C-Diff (if you don’t know what this is, don’t Google it. If you do know what it is, feel sorry for him). Obviously having someone to care for with an intestinal problem made my Panic Monster go into overdrive, it’s the nature of the beast I suppose.

So for the past two weeks, between working and taking care of family I have been washing my hands – a lot. I have actually started wearing medical gloves with ointment in the to not only heal my hands but also to allow me to knit without getting blood on the yarn. They are doing much better now – so it’s time to get back to work!

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?

Sarah & My Love of Socks


It is pretty amazing that I finished my first pair of socks in October of last year. Now, working on my seventh pair, I am a true sock knitting convert. This is my newest addition to my ever-growing sock drawer – and maybe my favorite.

Rusty Stripes Socks by Patons Kroy Socks

Rusty Stripes Socks by Patons Kroy Socks

There is something so utterly enjoyable about knitting a sock – since my first pair was officially finished I have never even remotely suffered from the dreaded “second sock syndrome”. There is this zen like state that is achieved by knitting socks, especially socks with stripes

When I am knitting a pair of socks with stripes I will often be heard muttering “just one more color!” and watching it grow is just mesmerizing in the best way possible. Knitting Sarah’s Socks with Sarah KAL (#sockswithsarah) has given me the perfect opportunity to indulge in selfishly knitting for myself and my loved ones. My Dad received his first pair and the hubby is already hinting – quite loudly – that he would love some socks. Before I move on, let’s enjoy a montage of sock-y goodness, just for giggles. 😉

Yea socks!!

Moving on. I have mainly been modifying the Knitmore Girls Vanilla Sock Pattern for my own socks. Before Sarah came along, Operation Sock Drawer had me yearning to fill up my dresser with handmade socks. Other patterns I’ve tried were the Patons Simple Socks and the Men’s Basic Sock Pattern for my Dad.

Also, I’ve only used Patons Kroy Sock Yarn or Lions Brand Sock-Ease yarn so far. I really like the Patons yarn, but the Lions Brand just hasn’t grown on me. It’s gonna have to though, because after the pair of socks I casted on yesterday I am out of sock yarn except for two balls of the Sock-Ease. This isn’t really that scary, I don’t need to buy Malabrigo sock yarn and there is still Premier Sock Yarn (at a whopping $2.99 a ball) to try. I will keep my eyes out for sock yarn sales as well.

I am, at least as of right now, firm on my decision not to integrate patterns into my socks for two primary reasons: 1. I don’t have a cable needle that I can wield on sock yarn and 2. I like the brainless knitting. Socks are meditative, I think I might have mentioned that, but it is also fabulous for my hand. So what are my plans to not bore Sarah to death?

  1. Afterthought Heel.
  2. Fish Lip Heel
  3. Toe Up Socks
  4. Houdini Socks
  5. Spiceman Socks
  6. Two at a time socks

So there’s my plan friends and neighbors – now back to knitting!

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.

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!

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.

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! 😉

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? ♥

Breaking the Ruffle Scarf Diet


I broke my ruffle yarn diet after I hit 100. Yuppers friends and neighbors, this girl right here has made 100 ruffle scarves – and all but 7 are sold! There are still orders for 5 more and I am waiting to hear back from a few groups, but I have decided to put them aside for a bit. Here’s how it happened….

** The Break-Up **

I awoke to Trevor and Gloria unfurling ruffle scarf yarn for me on Saturday. I am not ashamed to admit that I teared up looking at the two of them pondering the inner-workings of the complicated yarn, as if it was an awesome mind puzzle. I can knit the scarf in less than an hour if I don’t have to pull apart the yarn so this saves me a ton of time! I decided right there and then that I was going to take a break, I was going to be able to knit them so much quicker that it was time to do what I was dying to do. I guess you could say the ruffles and I are on a break.

So I got up my needles and made three baby hats!

I have a love/hate with making baby things – I am choosing to look at the love part at the moment. The hats are adorable and they knit up so quickly. Working with circular needles, heaven! I was going through all my baby patterns trying to find my next thing to conquer when something changed…..

** The Email **

So this morning I received an email from Lolly over at Lolly Knits and (take a deep breath) it was the Katniss Catching Fire pattern! If you are new to this blog or didn’t read the post, I made a desperate call to anyone that could help me figure out how to make this for my niece. She did it and it is fabulous! I was so excited that I printed out the pattern, got in the car and bought everything I would need to make it.

I got home in a mad flurry, rushing around trying to plan how to make this as quickly as possible when I saw my loving hubby shooting me the stink-eye. When I asked what was wrong he said ” you have so many things started and you haven’t finished them”. I tried to explain that I was NOT a monogamous knitter and that I just had to make this Katniss Cowl right now! Trevor being the sage that he is proposed something then….

“Why not use the pattern as a way to motivate you to finish started projects?”

Well that adorable butt-head had a point, and I’ve started to run with it.

** So Much to Do. So Little Time (and Patients) **

So I sat down and looked at my UFOs, and tonight I finished my super thick, warm and comfy scarf.

I have quite a few other things on my list to do before I get to knit the cowl, but with the motivation instilled in me by Trevor I am hoping to plow through them. Imagine, an empty UFO basket! It won’t last but I am going to run with it!

** UFOs Begging to be Finished **

I think that is all of them (oh God PLEASE let that be all of them!!!!)

** For Your Viewing Pleasure **

Well friend and neighbors, you’ve made it through my rants and my newest goals. Coming soon to a computer near you will be a segments on: What I am Drooling Over on Ravelry and if I can manage it Interviews with Bloggers. Until then, here are some super adorable pictures!

Have a great Wednesday!

I Just Don’t Think I Can….


Knit another (censored) ruffle scarf!

I know I am complaining and whining for no good reason, I really am self-aware enough to know I sound like a brat. The scarves are getting my name out there, they are bringing in extra money that we desperately need and people really like them.

Honestly though, after I hit 50 I just started to stare at the yarn with wild contempt – like it had killed my dog wild contempt. The knitting I’ve gotten used to, can even do it fairly quickly now but it is the pulling apart of the ruffle yarn that kills me. It takes me about 40 minutes to unfurl 30 yards and is killing my hand. Knitting I am used to, pulling apart miles of lace I am not. Not to mention the tedium – I just want to purl!

I am whining again…I CAN’T HELP IT! My Mom has been selling these things like hotcakes and my husband is so happy for the extra fundage – there is no way I would dream of complaining to them. So sorry friends and neighbors, but I needed to vent.

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** On the Plus Side **

I gave away a few knits today – which felt wicked awesome! My Grandmother received my first lace shawl (Oh no! I didn’t take a picture!). My niece got her Link-like Hat and my Mom received a boatload of OSU Buckeye Flower Pins and a cowl I was making before the orders got too crazy (Oh no! I didn’t take a picture of it finished! I suck!). I (censored) LOVE giving presents!

Another awesome thing I got to do today was mail out the Surprise Mystery Box for whatimuptotoday – winner of the 100th post giveaway! Oh – I cannot wait to see what she thinks of the goodies!!!

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** Moving Forward **

So I’ve had a few ideas of what to do with my blogging time (which I am really, really missing right about now) with no new knitting to blog about. So again, I am asking for comments, questions, considerations and suggestions. To start basic though, here are a few brainwaves I’ve had so far:

Also: Seriously thinking of starting this Knit Along the second or third week in September – any thoughts?

Jayashri Pullover Pattern on Knit Picks  (Finished Bust Measurements 34″-62″)

♥ 100th Post GIVEAWAY! ♥


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When I started this blog I wondered if I would last a week, now here I am several months later getting to share my 100th post! I am going to say thank you a million times over at the bottom of the post, but let’s get to the good stuff shall we? Time for the GIVEAWAY!

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The rules for this giveaway are pretty simple actually, as much as I would like to use this post to up my numbers, I decided to go a little bit of a different way. So, here we go:

  1. First of all, list YOUR passion (knitting, crocheting, writing, art, etc.).
  2. List YOUR Etsy Page -or- small business website (if applicable).
  3. List YOUR FAVORITE Etsy Store Page -or- any small business site (a link is preferable, but I can look it up).
  4. Tell me a bit about WHY you love this store.

That’s it friends and neighbors, easy as pie. I want to be able with my 100th post to highlight all the talent out there in the our community. I want to shed some light on all the small businesses out there that are just trying to make a go at something they love.

The drawing will be up for one week (thus ending next Wednesday the 21st) and on Thursday I am going to announce the winner AND an entire post with links to your stores and your favorite stores. If it kills me I am going to promote all the hard-working folks out there just trying to make a name for themselves.

And for all your hard work?

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** A MYSTERY GOODIE BOX FULL OF THINGS SUITED TO YOUR CRAFT/PASSION**

Within my budget of course, but you would be amazed with what I can do on a shoestring budget. The winner’s tastes and treats will be centered around the information you provide me – you won’t be disappointed!!

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I guess I am not totally beyond shameless self-promotion, but I want to reiterate that doing the following WILL HAVE NO IMPACT ON THE OUTCOME OF THE DRAWING – THIS IS JUST OUT OF YOUR KINDNESS AND YOUR INTEREST IN….WELL…ME.

  • Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AllNightKnits – All Night Knits
  • Follow me on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AllNightKnits – All Night Knits
  • Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelFolk4 – @RachelFolk4
  • Follow me on Instagram: http://instagram.com/allnightknitter – allnightknitter
  • Follow me on WordPress: Below ↓↓

I know somewhere in my mind that I will never get the following I would get if this is mandatory, but I just to want to roll like that. I hope that I have proven myself worthy of your following – that is the best thing I can hope for! 🙂

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When I started this blog I was floundering. Trevor and I faced the tremendous weight that I may never be able to carry a child and the thoughts were all consuming. We both have parents that are ill (my Mom with COPD, Trevor’s Dad with alzheimer’s and Trevor’s Mom with Diabetes) and the weight and worry that we 1) couldn’t fix it and 2) couldn’t make them grandparents was crushing me alive. It was hard to even take a breath; all my close friends are pregnant or new parents and I had never felt so alone in the world.

Then came this blog, this blessing. I know it sounds like I am laying it on pretty damn thick, but I wonder if I’m doing it any justice. With you I have shared my family’s history, some of you know who my GG is just by name and through you she still lives on. I have shared hilarity (my neighbors bumping uglies) my fears (my Panic Monster) and my simple joy of knitting.

Every day I am inspired by all of you, your posts have pushed me to try new things, learn new things and I have become very close to some of you – as close as the internet will allow. I guess you can say that you, my very own version of the constant reader, reminded me how to breath again.

So thank you, thank you so much.

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One more quick thing. If you feel like this blog is serving a bigger purpose than just a giveaway then please re-blog this post. The more people who see it and respond to it means the more small businesses that will be highlighted. I am just one little person who really wants to make a difference – if you can, please help!

A Quickie – I Believe I was Buried Under Ruffle Yarn


I have been working doubles for the past few days, thus no posts. Add to that the pressure of 1) trying to figure out how to organize a Knit Along 2) work being so busy I cannot even read my blogs and of course 3) F&*King Ruffles…

These are just the NON-dupliaceted ones.

These are just the NON-dupliaceted ones.

These are just a few – a few – of the ruffle scarves I have finished. Basically what you are looking at is all the different yarn colors, if I had taken pictures of all the ruffle scarves in my house right now I never would have gotten around to actually writing this post. I’ve missed blogging, I’ve missed reading your blogs. I miss living in a less ruffly world 😉

** WHAT I’VE BEEN READING**

Since I didn’t have time to check my book reviews with Rob over at Rob’s Surf Report (my new best friend for helping me figure out how to write a decent book review) I am just gonna show you what I’ve been reading this past week or so.

A special thanks to Hannah Rose over at A World Created for suggesting Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. This books was a rarity, something as hard to find as good Mexican street food in Ohio. It was incredible, anyone interested in period pieces, not shy of a little gruesomeness and a truly unique experience go check it out.

**  WHAT I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO**

This is my favorite Bon Iver song – Skinny Love

** MY PLANS FOR THE WEEK **

  • Get my Ravelry Page updated – it is so far behind.
  • Get all the Stitch Patterns put in the upper header.
  • Make a bazillion more ruffle scarves.
  • Organize this Knit Along -or at least get a good idea of it.
  • Write my 100th post!! 🙂
  • Figure out what to write for my 100th blog post 😦
  • Knit squares for the Get Well Soon Blanket (more on this is the person I am knitting for will let me discuss it).
  • Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair in Saturday!
  • Sleep.

** THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND **

I have no idea where the next 100 posts will go, what direction content wise. All I know is that, just in case I forget to mention this in my 100th post, without you bloggers I wouldn’t be becoming the knitter I always wanted to be. So, thank you.

Oh yea! This is the cartoon my husband gave me this weekend assuring me this is how he felt. Well friends and neighbors, even though it was a joke you have to wonder!

Poor Trevor is Living in a House of Ruffles!

Poor Trevor is Living in a House of Ruffles!

Can Trying to Sell on Etsy Deminish the Love of Your Craft?


In my ever so humble opinion, the answer is overwhelmingly yes. At least at the moment.

I don’t think I am alone when I say that I check daily (okay, multiple time a day) the stats on my Etsy store, my Facebook Page and even the stats on my blog. Every day though, I am left wanting. Still no sales, still not enough followers – thus not enough people seeing my work – and as for the blog, that’s a whole other thing.

My blog, my happy place, is doing very well. I wouldn’t dream of changing my community here on WordPress – I don’t long (that much ;)) for numbers in the thousands. However, I received an email from a fellow blogger that suggested, in lieu of my 100th post (which will be here soon) to try to use it to get more people to follow me.

Your 100th post is a great time for a giveaway, and giveaways mean exposure! Make them work for it – make them follow you on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Etsy, whatever. Make them be exposed to your stuff day in and day out- maybe then you’ll make some money! Good luck with that – just make sure what you are giving away doesn’t suck!

Wow. I know that the email was well intended but….wow. I have been happy just letting it smooth it’s way all by itself, the whole “build it and they will come” theory. Apparently, that is not how this works. More apparent is the fact that I don’t really like it.

I also don’t like knitting the things I have been knitting. In the hopes of making some money or getting more attention for my pages I have been working on things that are not on my priority list. I want to finish my shawl, I want my sock to find it’s sole mate ;). I want to try double knitting, learn to crochet, play with new knitting books and practice my spinning. Is there a way to do both? I see that there are some knitting stores that do very well and some that are just like mine, something akin to a frozen tundra. What is bothering me at the moment is the overwhelming feeling of failure – something my Panic Monster thrives on.

So what is a gal to do? Do I put aside the projects that I think will sell to focus on things that bring me happiness? Do I shut up and do what I need to do because it has been over two months that Trevor has been employed? Do I crawl into the fetal position and start eating my own hair? What? Seriously…what?

There has to be some happy medium, some place where I can remember how much I love knitting and still make things that people may want to purchase. I guess I am just still really new to this, usually when I knit it’s because a) the pattern demands it b) it would be perfect for…(fill in the blank) or c) this would be teaching me something new.

So maybe I will take the weekend and try to remember why I love knitting so much – do an internet blackout, or at least stay away from anything that is going to make me feel like such a damn failure.

So, friends and neighbors, what is a girl to do? ANY HELP WOULD BE MONUMENTALLY APPRECIATED!!

A Knitter’s Dream Garage Sale!! GOODIES!!


Okay, it may be yet another day and the lace shawl is still on my needles but I have a good reason – well, three good reasons. The first being that I am over-thinking this so simple a beginner could do it pattern so much that I keep making mistakes. The second is that I was slaving over my Etsy Store, worrying about selling anything. Ever. The third is that I hit the mother-load of all garage sales today!

We were just driving back from my parent’s house when we saw the garage sale sign. Now normally I am not a garage sale kinda gal, more because I am always afraid to leave my car on the side of the road than anything but something caught my eye. “TREVOR! SPINNING WHEEL!” I screamed and he found a safe place to stow the care and on we went.

Arriving at this sale was like arriving at a divorce court. A married couple, clearly quite angry with one another, were bickering like small children. What I gathered from my eavesdropping (I have now shame) is that she decided to take up knitting about two years ago. When she did she must have spent a fortune on everything she bought – and she bought everything! Drop spindles, fiber, yarn, spinning wheels (yes, wheels), needles and memorabilia for her “craft room”. Then, well, she never touched one bit of it. The husband had simply had enough and just wanted the room back. Thus, friends and neighbors, my goodies!

** My First Ball Winder **

My pretty new ball winder.

My pretty new ball winder.

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It’s an actual Standwood!

My first ball winder cost $2.00 (retail on Amazon is $59.87). I could have cried I was so excited to see this. The two spinning wheels (each costing a mere $15.00) had both sold, but the winder was mine! I learned the hard way that I am going to have to buy a swift, as you can see below, but who cares!

** My First Purchase of Fiber **

I have actually only spun one hank? skein? load? (what the heck to I call a pile of wool?) before so I was hesitant. They were selling drop spindles for $1.00 (I bought another one) and the two sections of wool cost $0.50 cents. FIFTY CENTS!

Fifty Cents! Now...what to do with it?

Fifty Cents! Now…what to do with it?

** Knitting Antiques Anyone? **

These two of these three pieces came out of an old factory in Ohio. The two spindles were from a plant the made wool in Southern Ohio during the first World War. The cradle is an antique she found in a store. You open it up and put your center pull ball in and close the sucker tight, then proceed to hang it for easy access. Total price, $1.00. AWESOME!

What an incredible day, so many good finds! Now I just need to figure out how to spin the fiber into pretty yarn (advice is appreciated) and untangle my newly purchased Cascade yarn. Oh – and price a good swift (also, advice is appreciated!). I am feeling so good, how about some flamingos?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Just in case the slideshow doesn’t work – I’ve never tried it before and the pictures are just so fun!

Stitch Patterns Weeks 18 & 19


It seems that since this month has begun I have been trying to play catchup, every single day. I cannot believe it is Sunday and I am JUST getting around to posting not one, but two weeks worth of my great-grandmother’s stitch patterns. Well better late than never I suppose.

So, friends and neighbors, with no further adieu I present the stitch patterns for weeks 18 and 19!

** Week 18 – The Tulle Stitch **

The Tulle Stitch

The Tulle Stitch

  • Needles: Size 5 US (3.75mm)
  • Yarn: Bernat 100% Cotton in Blue
  • Stitches: Multiple of 2 + 1 Stitch -or- ×2+1 ( I also alway do at least 1 stitch garter on either edge)

kythkek – Row 1: *K1, yarn forward, K1*. Repeat till last stitch, K1 (Okay. So “yth” for you non-veteran readers means “yarn towards heart” in my great-grandmothers scrawl. As for the “e” that popped up – after a little investigating it meant “end”).

pand p3-1 – Row 2: P1, *P3, slip 1st stitch of these 3 over other 2stitches*; repeat to end. ( I am going to beg mercy at giving up after 4 frogs trying to figure this out. I turned to a stitch pattern book from the library – which is also where I found the name of the stitch. I mean, come on! Who could figure out what “p3-1” meant!)

k1an kythkRow 3: K1, *K1, yarn forward, K1*; repeat to end. (I had already decoded this before turing to the stitch book – thank you very much ;))

p3-1ep – Row 4: *P3, slip 1st stitch over second 2 stitches*; repeat to last stitch, P1 (Again, the book reaffirmed what I (might) have figured out – but it was still nice to know that I would be giving you a readable pattern).

So for fun (more my fun than yours I suppose) here are the unedited photos….

and here are the fun, edited ones…..

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ONWARD!

** Stitch Pattern Week 19 – Horizontal Weaving / The Wave **

The Wave Stitch (or Horizontal Weaving).

The Wave Stitch (or Horizontal Weaving).

The real pattern is called horizontal weaving (thank you LYS!) but under her notations it was called the wave. She actually made a baby blanked out of this pattern – it was adorable!

  • Needles: Size 5US (3.75mm)
  • Yarn: Bernat 100% Cotton in Blue
  • Stitches: Multiples of 3’s + 1 stitch -or- ×3+1st.

k – Row 1: Knit all stitches (*JUMPING* *CLAPPING* *GIGGLING*! It is like Christmas morning to find a pattern that has a no-brainer row).

kskip2pythk – Row 2: K1 *Slip 2 stitches purl wise (with yarn in back), K1*; Repeat to the end of row (Okay, this was a head scratcher to be sure. If you are “skipping” then you must be slipping…right? RIGHT! Moving right alone to “yarn towards heart” and your home free!).

Again…unedited….

and the far sharper (both literally and figuratively) edited ones….

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Since I took the photos with my Canon instead of just my iPod I thought it might be fun to see the difference in the unedited vs. the edited photos. It gives me a little more perspective on what I can accomplish with a little bit of touching up. It also lets me play with filters – which is always fun!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this weeks installment and I wonder, friends and neighbors, which pattern do you like better?

One Lovely Blog Award!


One Lovely Blog Award.

One Lovely Blog Award.

Receiving blogging awards is still such a surprise to me. When I started this blog almost 18 weeks ago I never imagined anyone would read it let alone recognize my existence with an award. This particular lovely came from Movies, Silently. I love her blog, it was in fact one of the first blogs I started reading when I started my blogging adventure. Silent Movies are her specialty, but it doesn’t stop there. She’s cunning, funny, stylish and her posts are always a fantastic read. Seriously, do yourself a favor and pop over there – I will wait. 🙂

So, down to the rules of the award.

  • Add the “One Lovely Blog Award” image to your post (Check!)
  • Share seven things about you (Check!)
  • Pass the award on to seven nominees
  • Thank the person who nominated you and add a short blurb about them.
  • Inform the nominees by posting on their blogs 

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

** So, 7 new (and supposedly interesting things about myself) **

  1. I met the love of my life when I was 17 years old…on a blind date. We both worked for the same chain of movie theaters and a friend thought it would be the perfect set-up to get Trevor to run into her arms (we really are that different, and difficult ;)). Eight months later we were engaged!
  2. When we moved into our condo in 2004 our next door neighbors were meth addicts. These were the scariest moments of my life! When their cat wandered into our yard with infected wounds from being punctured by needles Trevor and I gave them two choices; 1) Give us that cat and go away or 2) we are going to call the cops and have you arrested. Fatty never liked us, but I think we gave him the best (and last) 3 years of his life.
  3. It has become a good luck/ family tradition for the men in the family to get heat stroke on their wedding night. My grandfather, my dad and my husband were all incapacitated on their wedding night. We got home, I put my husband to bed with Advil and Gatorade and went downstairs and ate the white chocolate fondue pot he had prepared 😉
  4. When I was I was working at the hospital in college, I was going through the ER to get to my car and saw a man self-canabalizing. That’s right friends and neighbors, he was eating his own fingers. I dutifully told the nurse what was happening in the hallway and the proceeded to go get my own lunch.
  5. In high school I was running after my crush after a concert. Being that I was in high heels and a skirt (and horribly clumsy) my shoe got stuck in-between the sidewalk and the grass propelling me, and my skirt, forward. After recovering from my humiliation ( it didn’t take long, stupid crap like this happens to me all the time) we realized the foot was in fact very broken. On the plus side, my crush carried me to the car, ER and home. Then made a joke to carry me around all the time. I was elated – and that feeling never changed, even after I found out he had a crush on my brother.
  6. My all time favorite band is The Smiths. You may think it’s music to wallow in, but I love it!
  7. I have an unnatural love for horror movies. After my OCD made normal things in life seem terrifying, watching a horror movie – and being scared and something you SHOULD be scared at – makes sense. There is not a lot I haven’t seen – and Martyrs is the best/worst of them all.

Okay. Done! Now for my nominees!

  1. A World Created – Hannah, until we started conversing I thought that all internet friendships were supposed to be creep and weird. Now I know that a true bond can be created out of kindness and passion for your craft. Every post seems better than the last.
  2. Traveling the world….and much more – Your blog shows your deft hand with your craft and a sharp wit that makes your posts a pleasure to read. Bonus, you were the first person to really help me make the Katniss Shawl for my niece – I am indebted to you!
  3. Lottieknits – You know why you are getting this, your kindness knows no bounds. For the rest of you – go read this blog! It has snippets of everything you would ever want to read about. It has been a constant source of inspiration to me.
  4. lollyknits – Just another blogger that I desperately wish was my next door neighbor. Decisive and funny, her posts are a joy to read. Her pictures make me jealous (this is a good thing and a compliment) and again – another kind soul that is always willing to lend a hand.
  5. MonsterYarns – Although it seems like everyone already knows this blog, I am going to suggest you quit reading mine and go straight over yonder to MonsterYarns. The post is fabulous, the writing superb! Not to mention that some of the comments I have received from this blogger are hilarious!
  6. Rob’s Surf Report – A great writer, blogger and friend. There is always something to heavily consider after reading his posts – and not commenting doesn’t feel like an option. I am inspired by the free way he writes and voices his opinions.
  7. Creative Writing with the Crimson League – This is a newer blog (for me) that I’ve started following. Do you have a blog that you just cannot skip, even if you’ve been up for 20 hours? If not – head over, you shant be disappointed!

Alright friends and neighbors, two posts in one day again but totally worth it. Signing off for a bit and I will see you tomorrow….unless something else decides to flood. 🙂