Tag Archives: patterns

The Incredibly Heartbreaking Story of How I Came By My First Skein of Malabrigo


Has there every been a time in your life that you really, truly wished there were hidden cameras recording the moment for posterity? Well on January 29th such a day happened to me at my new Local Yarn Store. I want to share with you the story as close to verbatim as I can, because the incredible oddness of it was blessedly unique.

~Setting the Stage~

I was sitting at a long table at the front of the shop. I had come in for a bar of Lo-lo to Go (which was 75% off) but remained lingering – throughly content to fondle the yarn and work on my pattern.

A woman comes in through the back entrance with a cake of (yummy) yarn in her hand. The weather is crummy, we are actually just a few hours from getting 10.5″ of more snow and she was obviously in a hurry. Here is the conversations that ensued. 

  • Woman: I would like to return this please. I don’t have the tags but I remember what it is and I should be in your system.
  • Clerk: I am so sorry but we cannot accept returns on yarn that has been caked.
  • Woman: ….
  • Clerk:  I wish that there was something I could do but there is no way to inventory it.
  • Woman: ….
  • Clerk: If you’d like I can suggest a pattern for you to…
  • Woman: I only buy one project worth of yarn at a time and I decided not to do a project with sock yarn. I am going to use worsted yarn, so I cannot use this.
  • Clerk: (makes desperate eye contact with yours truly) I am sure that we can modify the pattern you are doing so you can use sock yarn. Let me have a look, Rachel – what do you think.
  • Me: I love modifying things!

I walk over to the checkout counter and the strap on my purse breaks, spilling the contents of my purse all over the floor. I laugh but the woman is looking at me strangely, strangely enough that it actually makes  me nervous. The clerk is pulling up the pattern on Ravelry when the woman turns her full attention to me….

  • Woman: What’s your name?
  • Me: Rachel, what’s yo….(cut off)
  • Woman: Do you have a stash?
  • Me: Um, yes I d…(cut off)
  • Woman: Do you knit with sock yarn?
  • Me: Yes. (I have temporarily given up on more than one word answers)
  • Woman: Do you like this yarn?
  • Me: Yes, it’s lovel….(cut off)
  • Woman: Do you have a project that could use this yarn to the best of it’s abilities?
  • Me: Um…
  • Woman: A pattern. Do you have one planned?
  • Me: Yes.
  • Woman: What is it?
  • Me: The Hogwarts Express Shawl
  • Woman: And who is it by?
  • Me: Susan Ashcroft.
  • Woman: When did you buy the pattern?
  • Me: I didn’t. It was a gift for my birthday from a very dear f….(cut off).
  • Woman: When was your birthday?
  • Me: December 27th…? (at this point I wasn’t sure)
  • Woman: Let me see your queue.

At this point the store clerk is staring at me with open mouth amazement. She hands me her iPad and I pull up my queue. There was the message from my gifter and the pattern.

  • Woman: Here you are. (She’s handing me the freaking cake)
  • Me: I cannot just take this, at least let me buy your worsted yarn (I didn’t have the money for this, but I was flummoxed and I did owe her one).
  • Woman: Do I look poor to you?
  • Me: Uhhh…No. (she didn’t – but then neither do I)
  • Woman: I can afford my own yarn thank you. Here are the specifications on the yarn (she pulls a scrap of paper out of her purse). Just do me a favor.
  • Me: Uhh….anything!
  • Woman: Let this be your next finished project. Go home and cast it on, and use it. I hate languishing yarn.
  • Me: Okay…

At this point she turns back to the befuddled store clerk and lists, which such precise clarity the yarn brand/weight/name/quantity that she needs. The clerk all but runs away to go get the items the woman asked for, leaving me alone with the woman. I was planning on thanking her again and giving her my Ravelry name so she could see the FO when she said….

  • Woman: My daughter was on Xanax.

I am confused, then I realize that when my purse spilled open my own anti-anxiety medication bottle fell out of my purse – she must have seen it.

  • Woman: She committed suicide several years ago when she quit taking her medicine. She lost her job and lost interest in everything she did – I didn’t notice.
  • Me: I am so sorry….
  • Woman: Can you do me one more favor?
  • Me: Anything.
  • Woman: Tell the people you love to pay attention if you cannot list, on the spot, something you are passionate about. To pay attention if you quit doing something you so obviously love. Tell them to pay attention.
  • Me: I promise.

Friends and neighbors, thank you for letting me share this story.

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Knitting and Kindness


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

Let’s start with the kindness!

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

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

Now to the knitting!

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

First pair of finished socks for 2014!

First pair of finished socks for 2014!

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

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

So Long!

So Long!

So I like a good collage, so sue me!

So I like a good collage, so sue me!

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

Yea for knitting and reading subtitles!

Yea for knitting and reading subtitles!

30" of 1980's goodness! ;)

30″ of 1980’s goodness! 😉

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

 

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.

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!!!

♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠

** 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″)

A Quick Call to Knitters, Crocheters and Designers!


I know I should be reading and not perseverating on this but here I am, at my computer ready to beg.

Gloria emailed me these pictures of the cowl? shawl? that Katniss is wearing in the new movie Catching Fire and she desperately wants to see if I can make us a matching pair. I don’t know if the matching pair statement was thrown in there to melt my heart, thus making it more likely that I would try to venture into this endeavor….but honestly, I don’t think so.

So here’s the deal. I have pictures of it underneath but I think this pattern is crocheted, and I cannot crochet. First problem there. Second problem, I have never tried to copy/write a pattern….ever. So ANY HELP IS SO, SO, SOOO APPRECIATED!!!!!

 

Profile

Profile

Movie Poster

Movie Poster

Close Up

Close Up

Another Profile

Another Profile

Movie Still of Neck Close Up

Movie Still of Neck Close Up

Side

Side

Finally! So Much GOOD Stuff to Report!


My oh my dear friends and neighbors, my cup runneth over! A shopping spree on Etsy is starting to arrive, projects are getting finished and life is recovering its equilibrium. Where to begin, how to begin? Well, how about the beginning!

 ♥ Finished Projects ♥

I know it is Wednesday and I should be showing pictures of the copious amounts of WIPs currently taking over my living room, but I cannot resist sharing good news today. I finished two projects in the last two days; sitting outside and getting that much-needed vitamin D, I watched projects just keep growing and eventually flowing off my needles.

The first is the Graham Hat. I found it hunting down knitting projects for my dear Hannah Rose (hmm….hope I got that right) over at A World Created who was starting her first knitting project. I fell in love with its simplicity – and the fact that it isn’t copy written so I can try to sell it – and casted on. Wanna see how it went? Well, Hells Bells, I am giddy to show you!

I am very pleased with how it turned out, and the berry colored yarn is so ridiculously soft, I cannot get over it. I found it my stash (since T is out of work I am going on a stash-busting mission) and had forgotten it was there. Well, turns out that worked out just lovely.

The second project is one I have shared before, the Entrelac Knitted Cowl from the Craftsy Classroom. Once I got a handle on how it all works, it was the most mindless knitting I have done in a long time, which is fantastic! How could something that looks that complex be so easy to do? Practice, patience and lots of knitting love!

Oh, so much good stuff…and there’s more to come!

♥ Etsy Love ♥

In a rare show of support from my Mom, I was recently given a prepaid credit card to do some shopping on Etsy. The idea behind it was to be able to see how the shops worked, how things were packaged and how well the shops operated. It would have been perfect if she hadn’t said “Oh, you know. In case you ever actually sell anything” but today I just don’t care that it was said. I got online, searched my shops and my blogs and made some purchases.

I didn’t realize Hannah Rose was going to get two shout-outs today but here it goes. Hers was the first shop I went to, I had remembered a post showcasing earrings that made me drool and I thought this was the best place for me to start. A World Created is her store on Etsy and I am just head over heels for it, so many diverse things and such incredible prices. I bought the pair of earrings that I’d fallen in love with and to my surprise, there was a free ring in with my purchase! It felt like Christmas getting the mail this morning!

My New Earrings!

My New Earrings!

My new - and unexpected - Ring!!

My new – and unexpected – Ring!!

 

MY. NEW. EARRINGS!

MY. NEW. EARRINGS!

Even as I am writing this post I have the earrings and the ring on, I feel a bit like the girl in the picture. Just so soft, so feminine and oh so happy. The best part about the ring is that it is adjustable, so when my silly hand swells I can keep wearing it!

My second (of three) purchases was not from a blogger but from one of the best sellers on Etsy. I received a skein of Shimmer Silk Yarn (200 yards/.5oz) of lace weight yarn from WCMercantile. I am going to start working on my Beekeeper’s Quilt here shortly, and I thought this would be great for either embroidery or knitting. The packaging was sparse and to the point, but the yarn is really quite lovely!

Summer Silk Lace Yarn.

Shimmer Silk Lace Yarn.

My last package should arrive tomorrow from another blogger with talent to spare. Oh, this post has just been so much fun to write. The nagging Panic Monster cannot be bothered to pester me when I am in such a good mood. I have put off – at least for today – the fears and trepidations of facing life with an unemployed husband, an offending appendage, and facing the loss of health insurance. I am all about sitting in my garden, smelling the sweet herbs just waiting to be made into something mouth-watering. I am going to knit with abandon, love like there’s no tomorrow and cannot wait to post again.

Thank you again friends and neighbors! Your support, kind words and talent push me a little further each day to being the person I know that I can be. Have a freaking awesome day!