Tag Archives: stash busting

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.

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!

11162225563_bc8e446102

FINISHED OBJECTS!

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

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

A Little Sparkle to Kick Off December


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

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

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

 – It Sparkles and Shines –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Worst. Idea. Ever.


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

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

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

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

NOT So Ultimate After All.

NOT So Ultimate After All.

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

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

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

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

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

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!

What a Wonderful Weekend ♥


This weekend I turned off my computer – turned off any access to the internet at all and embraced a simpler life. I gardened, I went for long walks, I read and most importantly I rediscovered my love for knitting. It sounds strange that just three days could change my perspective – I guess I owe that in large part to all of you. My own version of the constant readers. 😉

I owe all of you a great deal of thanks. Praise and admiration for all of you that helped me clear my head and rid me of my Panic Monster. All of your comments, your feedback and you kind words reminded me that if you love something, well, that’s all that matters. I could write thousands of words in this post, but I think I will let the photos speak for themselves.

Thank you so much for reminding me that I truly love my craftiness.

♥♥ The Shawl ♥♥

My Baby Being Blocked.

My Baby Being Blocked.

It’s had a bath, it’s being blocked and I am just head over heels in love with it!

♥♥ The Cowl. The Cape. The Shrug. All in One ♥♥

The Stash Busting Beauty.

The Stash Busting Beauty.

I have been sitting on this pattern for months, the beautiful little stash buster that it is. So my aunt Kathy’s Christmas Present is all done!

♥♥ Hexipuffs for My Beekeeper’s Quilt ♥♥

Hexipuffs.

Hexipuffs.

I haven’t made a single hexipuff for weeks! I’ve been so busy worrying about selling that I forgot how much I love this quilt. Even though Max ate part of the brown one (no great loss, it was super cheap sock yarn) the Yarny Cakes yarn – the gorgeous purple color way – was a freaking delight to work with! Here is Yarny Cakes BLOG, the FACEBOOK PAGE and of course the ETSY STORE.

♥♥ The Stitch Pattern That Became a Scarf ♥♥

Horizontal Weaving -or- Waves Scarf.

Horizontal Weaving -or- Waves Scarf.

Another wonderful stash buster! The scarf knit up in a few hours and I was pleasantly thrilled with how it turned out, front and back. Just wish I had taken better pictures, after I blocked it but before it got mailed to a friend. 😉

 

♥♥ The Ruffle Scarf for my Mimi ♥♥

Yup. Another Ruffle Scarf.

Yup. Another Ruffle Scarf.

I know I was going to swear these things off but when your grandmother (my Mimi) tells you she loves it and would you pretty please make one – you do. You know what’s funny? I really liked making this scarf….perspective is everything.

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

So for a weekend I put the outside world out of my mind and knitted. Knitted so much in fact I cannot believe my needles aren’t smoking! Now it is time to go back to the real world, but that doesn’t seem so daunting now. It has its perks – now I can catch up on all my favorite blogs! So I wonder friends and neighbors, do you have a favorite pattern?

I’ve missed you, I thank you. You are all overwhelmingly amazing!

 

A Fiasco at the Zoo & Oh Crap! FROGGING!


When I get stressed out I knit – I know, I know, big surprise there. I turn to knitting as a way to calm my mind, I just should have figured out that a project that requires my full attention was not the best way to go.

Frogging over 2,000 Stitches. *SIGH*

Frogging over 2,000 Stitches. *SIGH*

I was so intent on blocking the trip to the zoo (more on that later) from my mind that I was solely focused on finishing my lace shawl. The problem, as you can see above, is that when you aren’t paying attention you end up screwing up 10 whole rows and over 2,000 stitches. To think it had been going so well….

It is a pleasure to inform you now that after two hours, and a lot of cursing, the shawl is back on track. I really am hoping to get it finished either tomorrow or Tuesday – but boy oh boy I wanted to finish it today.

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

** The Zoo Fiasco **

What led to this particular frenzy of knitting was a trip to the Columbus Zoo on Friday. It should have been a fun little outing; Trevor, Mom, Gloria and I bundled into the car (despite the heat) and made our way towards furry, fuzzy goodness. It started very well – just look at Trevor and his new best friend.

Everything seemed to be going so well, until my Mom’s first asthma attack.

All things considered it really wasn’t that bad, since her diagnosis with COPD almost 10 years ago we’ve all gotten used to varying degrees of attacks. Two hits on the inhaler, some water and cotton candy and we were on the move again.

We saw polar bears….

Some Blue Mallards….

and baby elephants…..

Things seemed to be going pretty well – until they weren’t.

We were standing in line to get on a ride about dinosaurs of all things. I should say that no one but my mom wanted to do this, but she was like a little kid – so excited to go see the dinosaurs. So we humored her, put away our cameras and stood in line. I didn’t even know anything was wrong until she was grabbing my shirt and pushing through the throngs of people behind us.

By the time we were clear of the crowd her asthma wasn’t going to be easily controlled. Two more hits on the inhaler didn’t seem to damp it down, neither was hot water. I left her in Trevor and Gloria’s care and ran to some poor kid selling ice cream to see if he could get me a medic cart. I scared the hell out of this kid, but my insistence – as well as my fear that my mom was going to drop dead at the zoo – made me determined to get what was needed.

He radioed the cart and I returned to where my family was perched on a bench. I should have been freaking out when I saw here EpiPen but oddly enough I am always calm in stressful situations. It’s usually only after that my Panic Monster and I get reacquainted. She was holding it in her fist, shaking from tears and adrenaline released from four monster hits on her inhaler in less than two hours. All she could keep saying was “I want to go home”.

By the time the cart there all I wanted to do was go home too, unfortunately the cart held 3 and us being 4 I had to run behind the cart. This isn’t usually a big deal but my shoes were not fit for running and after about 35 minutes of this (the cart was kind enough to take us to the care) my shoes were full of blood.

My mom is fine – physically she is fine, mentally is another story. It breaks her a little every time her asthma takes something else away from here, and it has been doing that pretty steadily for the past 10 years. So, to work out the frustration of knowing my mom is mortal I temporarily ruined my lace shawl.

Silver linings right? The trip was great (except for the asthma). The shawl is going great (except for the marathon session of frogging). My mom is better (for now) and life keeps going.

Ahh, it feel ridiculously good to get that off my chest. As a reward friends and neighbors, how about a few more photos? You’ve earned it! 🙂