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.

Oh No! Thor Has More Knitwear I Want!


After the post about the Katniss Cowl, you remember? The one where I blatantly begged someone smarter than me to not only design it but let me knit it? Well, here I am again.

My niece and I went to see the second Thor movie this weekend and we saw this…

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Amazing hat.

Amazing Cowl.

Amazing Cowl.

Amazing hat AND cowl.

Amazing hat AND cowl.

Maybe this time I will figure it out….well, probably not. But if anyone sees these photos and feels inspired I cannot wait to see what you come up with!

 

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!

The Katniss Cowl Revealed!


Check it out – it’s AMAZING!!

lollyknits

I knew that this was destined to be mine from the moment I saw the first Catching Fire trailer.

Introducing the Katniss Cowl…

Katniss Cowl 1

I have to say, I love Katniss Everdeen. Unlike a lot of heroines in YA fiction, she is tough and takes care of herself. However, she’s still human, and she has many loving relationships that mean everything to her. She has a balance that I feel like a lot of female characters lack. While she spends most of the books kicking ass and taking names, she’s not just a stereotypical Amazon. She has depth, and we can understand her feelings, even if she can get a little angsty at times. (What teenager doesn’t? Even if they aren’t destined to save the world.) As awful as it would be to live in the dystopian future that is the setting for the Hunger Games, Katniss can handle anything (and…

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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!

OH NO-es Bleed :(


There was a moment to absolute, poignant sadness in my household this week – and that is when a nosebleed undid hours and hours of lace and bead work. Sounds dramatic doesn’t it? Well, it was…darn it!

Since typing is a pain (literally and figuratively) I shall tell the story in pictures.

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

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

I saw the design of the Fiori Autunnali by Romi Hill and enrolled in the Craftsy class.

Bellybutton Cast On - Done!

Bellybutton Cast On – Done!

So I casted on using the bellybutton cast on that Romi Hill teaches in the class, I love learning new things.

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Without ruining the secret sauce of the project, this was the end of chart A and the beginning of the most complicated lace I’ve tried so far.

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

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

It was going so beautifully, it was lovely and sparkly and the pattern was super simple to work with. I couldn’t believe that I was scared of it, Rosemary Hill has created the easiest, user-friendly pattern I’ve ever done.

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

BRACE YOURSELF

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

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Ripped off the needles and hiding the blood….

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Beads cut (oh my, yes, I cut) off the work and re-strung – ready to start again.

Working in a re-circulated air workplace makes for a dry nose, and if you are prone to nosebleeds (I am, obviously) you are a little…how to put this delicately…screwed. One sneeze and I had bled on my lace, my cat, my couch and 65 rows of knitting were undone.

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

No worries though friends and neighbors, I re-casted on my lace and have already finished chart A. I have installed lifelines, highlighted my chart and coated my nose with Neosporin. Once I get a better picture of progress I will share.

So I would like to know, if you would like to share, what is the weirdest thing that has caused a knitting disaster? Nosebleeds, tiny questing fingers, pets or mother nature – anything goes and I would love to hear about it. Continue reading

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.

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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!

Two Years Ago I Couldn’t Manage to Hold a Spoon, and Now…


I just finished my first pair of knitted socks.

Size 2 DPNs - EAT MY DUST!

Size 2 DPNs – EAT MY DUST!

I thought this would be a good way to come back to my blog, to show some massive progress has been made. It wasn’t made in the week (5 days – Trevor would have added this here so I am going to add it for him) I took off but in the past two years. Two years….that is still really hard for me to wrap my head around.

Two years ago, from April to October I 1) lost my grandfather 2) lost the idea of motherhood and 3) loss all functionality in my hand. I was down, I was so down I didn’t even realize it. I couldn’t write, drive, eat, lift, get my hair clean, put in my contacts or give the finger in traffic  – and I was told it was never going to change.

I saw a knitting pattern by Tiny Owl Knits – the Orchids and Fairylight’s hat – and I knew I had to figure out how to knit that damn hat. It took three very long months of practicing calligraphy to learn to write again, another two months to figure out how to hold my needles (and write legibly and consistently). I found an amazing woman who showed me I didn’t really need more than seven working fingers to knit. She spent two days a week with me in the public library going over everything I thought I had already learned. She gave me swatch patterns to work on, made me write out my GG’s patterns then knit them. She built up my confidence far more than she built up the muscles in my hand.

A year later, I finished my hat. It took 4 months of monogamous knitting but I did it.

It’s been a week and I am ready to come back, my right hand is still a bit sore but my left is totally healed. I can look down at the stupid appendage, all swollen and purple, and feel nothing but grateful. My hand works as much as I need it to, and I will have to learn to treat it a bit better.

For now, it is 36º in the Buckeye State and I am curled up, wearing my new hand knit socks. And friends and neighbors….that’s pretty awesome :).

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.

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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!

 

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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!

 

Kinda Ribbed, Kinda Basket Weave Reversible Scarf – FREE PATTERN!!


Trevor here: Rachel wrote this pattern, all by herself she’s asked me to add, for a friend of that knitting website. I am here copying and pasting it for her here.

Gloria Here!: The site is Raverly, and the scarf is officially named Kinda Ribbed, Kinda Basket Weave Reversible Scarf. Here are some pictures – which aren’t great but I might get to add some because she is going to let me play with her camera! And don’t forget to check out the Tags Section – it’s epic!

 

Okay. So I am doing this with the hunt-and-peck method so if there are errors just message me back. This is just how I did it – a change in gauge or yarn thickness will change things. Duh, huh? 😉

Needles: Size 11 US (8mm) Straight 8” Needles
Yarn: Two (2) Strands of Worsted Weight Combined for thickness (this was Red Heart Shimmer in Red).

CO 44sts (+/- 5sts for width change)

Pattern

Row 1: (RS) – P3, K3, P2 rep to till last 6sts; K3, P3
Row 2: (WS) – K3, P3, K2 rep to till last 6sts; P3, K3
Row 3: Repeat Row 1
Row 4: Knit
Row 5: Purl
Row 6: Repeat Row 2
Row 7: Repeat Row 1
Row 8: Repeat Row 2
Row 9: Purl
Row 10: Knit

** Repeat rows 1-10 till desired length **
** Repeat rows 1-3 once more **
** Bind off all stitches knit wise **

**** My Notes ****

-I put stitch marker on “wrong side” (it’s reversible, so there’s no wrong side) but it’ll help keep things moving

-I slipped the 1st (first) stitch of every row purl wise to keep the edges looking tidy.

Have fun! I can’t wait to see pics because this pattern is super quick and super easy. Yea! Stitch Pattern Books! 🙂

 

Taking A Week To Heal


  • Dictated by: Rachel, courtesy of Dragon Speak.
  • Edited by: Trevor – an amazing husband.
  • Links by: Gloria – whose better with computers than Trevor.

If you have been following this blog for a while, you may know that I am arthritic in my right – and dominate – hand. I have managed to do everything the doctor’s said I would never be able to do with a gleeful “(censored) you!” attitude since 2011. However, I didn’t realize how much of this depended on my left hand being fully functional.

Without boring you too much, I injured my left hand early last week doing something utterly stupid. I really wouldn’t expect anything less that a stupid accident to completely derail my  life but hey, I’ve gotten used to it. I spend most of last week trying to figure out how to keep doing all the things I normally do with little success, and now here we are. I have officially wrecked both my hands, because I was trying to accommodate one hand at a time. Basically if my right hand was happy, my left was mad. And if my left hand was happy, my right had was super mad. As a result I have been left with two incredibly angry hands.

SO, I am going to take a week off from, well, everything. I am not going to post anything this week – although I am hoping to get caught up with some of my blog reading. I’m going to try to not knit, type, lift more than 2 pounds, make fists, or use a knife (which means *sigh* Trevor is going to have to cut my food again). I am going to ice, elevate, schedule Advil, wear braces and try to heal up my hands.

Seriously, I don’t know how my little brain is going to handle this. My OCD and my Panic Monster start to return when the weather gets chilly – really that little bugger’s optimal time to muck up my life is from October to early April. With no outlet on how to handle that, I’m not sure what is going to happen. All I want is to find a little piece of mind in doing the things I love – right now I feel like I’m up (censored) creek without a paddle.

I know that this seems like phenomenal amount of complaining, but when I think about how my coping mechanisms are being altered I start to get pretty nervous. More than less likely I am going to try to keep knitting (no, she’s not – added by Trevor) (she probably will – added by ♠Gloria♥) but the amount of time I can do it is going to be very limited. It seems that only certain needles for certain amounts of time don’t make me want to curl up into a  ball and cry.

Anyway – You can always find me on Ravelry as RainyDayStitches for personal messaging or on Facebook as All Night Knits. If your super bored I am also on Twitter (which she doesn’t really know how to use – added by Gloria) and Instagram. I can do nice and short messages, typing with one finger on my iPod is totally doable but anything longer may have to wait.

I am really hoping that this time next week I will have TONS of amazing stuff (she does, I live with her amazing stuff allover the house – added by Trevor) (she’s gonna kill you for saying that – added By Gloria) to share with you, it will make me decidedly less boring to read about. For now, have a wonderful week and enjoy your fiber twice as much for me!

October 8th – 13th Yarn Photo a Day Contest! #yarnpadc


Feeling a little behind lately, but here are this weeks photos for October’s #yarnpadc photo contest!

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For a full explanation of these photos or if you really enjoy knitting photos, follow me on Instagram!

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!

My First Real Big, Bad Frogging Experience


If you’ve perused this blog lately, this photo may look familiar to you. . . .

20131004-052842.jpgNice huh? Well, not anymore!

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The brioche stitch is something I have never done before, so of course I thought I would try it for the custom order. I am looking at this particular order as a great learning experience, so why not try something new…and throw in a cable…and use two strands of yarn…

This is not easy, I am not sure why but it just isn’t. The pattern base is set up knitting the first and last stitch and in-between knitting (sl1, yo, k2tog). This shouldn’t be difficult, but for some reason I was dropping stitches left and right and then left again. I threw in a lifeline and thought “Hey! We’re in business!”

I had almost five feet (yes – 5 feet…:() when my lifeline broke while I was working a cable. I spent about…oh, I dunno, 2 hours wrestling with trying to get it back on the needles. I loved the look, I loved feel and I didn’t want to let it go. It was the moment I accepted defeat that I pulled out my niddy-noddy and used it for something that just shattered my knitting soul.

10092860745_fc80d50bcfAnd so I frogged two days and five feet of work. I didn’t shed a tear – but I cursed like a drunk sailer on leave discovering they’ve landed in a place with no women. I am re-knitting the yarn in a straight brioche to get the rhythm of it, then I am going back to this pattern and I am going to knit the (censored) out of it!

I do want to share, in my defense, the factors that may have contributed to the utter failure of this scarf:

  1. I was using two strands held together for thickness.
  2. The two strands are acrylic (as asked for by the customer – sever allergies).
  3. My cable needle was too small to hold all those stitches.
  4. I was using plastic needles, so everything was slippery – and NOT in a good way.
  5. I used a frayed piece of leftover yarn as my lifeline.
  6. I bit off more than I could chew.

So I’ve learned my lesson friends and neighbors, don’t knit off more than you can chew. Ambition and learning is great don’t get me wrong, but some times you have to start at the very beginning to get a handle on it. Has this every happened to you? Have you tried to skip the necessary learning steps and made a massive mistake? Or on the way more optimistic hand did it work for you?

Cannot wait to hear from you, and thanks for reading – it still blows my mind that you do! 🙂

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!