It has been since I last bought yarn!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Just a Bunch of Stuff to Share

Well- after being paralyzed with fear to knit anything I seem to have moved past my overwhelmed state and have cast on a few things.  YAY!

Firstly- the Polaris mittens are off the needles.  RELIEF.  Well at least the first set it off- I still need to knit a 2nd one for the other pair, but I've decided to rest that until I get a few other things out of the way first.  They are currently blocking and will hopefully be "glam photo ready" soon.  I do have a concern that they are rather tight, especially the thumb and I regret not going an even higher needle size up.  But let's all cross our fingers that the wet block will stretch them out a bit.

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(I'm serious- CROSS YOUR FINGERS.  Do it now please!)  You'll note I've crafted myself some creative mitten blockers thanks to this little handy tutorial on the interwebs.  (Apologies to a not often used Sesame Street placemat.)  The good news it that I've had time to creepily stare at Parker's teachers hands and I think they are small enough to still fit.

*sigh* I've had enough time to creepily stare at Miss Jen's hands because we've had a small set back in our preschool attendance and now I attend preschool full time.  In an effort to try and keep me as removed from the classroom as possible, while still providing support to my anxious little one, I knit off in a corner for some parts of the class when he's comfortable enough to let me away from his side.  It requires simple knitting, and so I brought a self striping sock to work on.  I'm looking on the bright side and saying "well at least I'm working something out of my stash!"  It's funny to see the other children react and I have fielded a lot of questions about "what are you doing?" from a curious group of 3 year olds.


Since Polaris is finished I also wanted to knit another one of the grown ups in the classroom a small present and so I cast on the "Warm Hearted" mitten pattern from Knitty.  Perfectly titled for the person I plan on giving them too.  (She is a teacher aide assigned to work with a developmentally delayed child, but she has made every effort to try and comfort and settle my little guy too, and he really feels safe and comfortable with her.  I'm devastated because I just found out that her little guy is moving and she will not longer be in the classroom after December.)


I really wish my classmates from my "20 Tips and Tricks" class at Vogue Knitting could see that picture above because they'd see that I do, in fact, know how to a Latvian Braid- as I was unsuccessful doing it in the classroom.  These are looking sharp and I can't wait to see them as they come together.

Because this block has also become a platform for me to show off other crafty things I have accomplished recently, I want to brag and show you what else I made last week....

I am now in posession of a 3 year old (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?) and to celebrate we had to, (HAD TO) have a Bob the Builder birthday cake.  My friend tipped me off to cake pan rentals in the city (BRILLIANT!) and I was able to "fake it" enough to come up with an awesome cake.  I am insanely proud of myself for this!

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Back to knitting and enjoying my (fleeting) nap times!

Friday, November 7, 2014

And So I Made Monkey Slippers

A few days ago my sister posted this on my Facebook wall...

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She was mostly kidding.

The thing is, she's sort of needed a little cheering up and I thought to myself, well... THIS is something I can do!  And so... quietly, I found a pattern (same pattern author) for grown up monkey sock slippers and a few days these were staring at me...


Pattern: Sock Monkey Slippers by Janet Jameson
Yarns: Lion Brand Vanna's Choice solids in "taupe", "cranberry" and "linen" (ACRYLIC!  EEK!)
Needles: US 10.5
Notes: What a highly satisfying, quick pattern.  It's well written and yields adorable results.  I WILL make these again.  Heck- I might even make the booties too!  So cute!

        

I thought the element of surprise would be best, so today while my sister was at work I snuck in and delivered the slippers and left them for her to find.  (Yes mom, I also took out Etta (her dog) for a pee.)  I was on a phone call when my sis got these- but this post popped up on her Facebook page quite quickly...


And then through out the night I got updates on what her new cozy friends were doing...



This was a quick and easy project and TOTALLY worth it for putting the smile on my sister's face.  I'm so glad I decided to whip up a pair and surprise her.  My sister has always been sweet to appreciate the knitted items I've made for her (here and the weird one here, and oh yah the cute one here too!) and this was no exception.  I love knitting for her because she loves the things I make her.  It's a win win!

And so- if she asks... I'm most likely going to knit it!

(Best not ask about the mittens right now, they are still in time out- THEY KNOW WHAT THEY DID!)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Cursed

Last night I was downright gleeful.  I had 10 rows to knit down to finish mitten #3 to have at least 1 complete set and I was so excited to be close to finished the mitten.  I was so excited I fished the yarn out of my stash for my next mitten and printed the pattern, telling myself casting off the 3rd mitten would be the rewarded by casting on a new mitten.

It wasn't until I cast off the mitten and tried a pair on that I discovered the problem.  Can you spot it?

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...


...



YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!  HOW did I not notice this sooner?

(Still guessing the error?  I have THREE right hands.  THREE.  I should have TWO right hands and ONE left hand.  Instead I put the thumb in the wrong place.)

I just can't... even... understand how I did that?  How did I not catch it in my last blog photo where it was obvious there too?  See?


HOW DID YOU NOT CATCH IT?  How did WE miss this?  WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME THAT I KNIT AN ENTIRE MITTEN AND DIDN'T CATCH THIS!?

Why can't I just finish these damn mittens?

Clearly this yarn is cursed.  I tried to knit with it a looooong time ago and it bit me in the butt then too.

I did the only thing I could do- I frogged back to where I just was beginning the thumb increases.

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 And then- I did the only thing I could bring myself to do- I put this project in time out.  I'm not touching this thing for a week.  I'm going to do something else and PURGE myself from this experience and then, I will hopefully pick up and start again.  I clearly need something easy and mindless- so I'm going to knit a simple pair of socks and tell myself I'm not the biggest idiot in the world... even though I feel like that right now.





Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Cuteness

Warning: Today's post will contain a lot of cute... you've been warned.  If you have reached your cute maximums for the week you may want to wait until you have recovered before you read on.

My little girl bunny is done!

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Bunny Pattern: Boy Bunny with Piebald Patch by Julie Williams
Yarn: (Body only) Mission Hills 136 Merino Superwash (discontinued)
Needles: US 2
Notes: The only changes I made were to put the piebald patch on the opposite side of the head to play nicer with the look of the girl and the boy bunny together.


Dress Pattern: Seasonal Dresses Pattern by Julie Williams
Yarns: scrap sport weights
Needles: US 2
Notes: The only problem with this pattern is that I'm tempted to knit more adorable dresses than I'd ever need.  I mean seriously... look at the capped sleeves on this thing....


TOO MUCH ADORABLE.  How can anyone not completely die over the cute of this little dress?  It is irresistable.

But, the real question is does the little boy bunny approve of his new friend, especially after waiting so patiently?



I think so....

Secondly, I can share that Halloween is super cute around here this year too.  Parker is a somewhat hesitant Halloween participant, but he was adamment about what his costume would be.


Thank you to my crafty mother, who has, once again, stepped up to be costume making genius she was when I was a kid.  (And oh yes... there are more penguins hopefully mom and dad can get in the shot tonight!)

This year our Jack O Lantern was less ambitious than in other years, but this was again, what Parker wanted after looking at pictures on the internet with mommy...

      

Oh - you want more knitting updates?  I have those too! (They just maybe aren't as cute)  I've knit 2 sections for 2 more charity blankets....

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And this is the current status of the mittens- which have just seen way less progress with everything else going on these days.


The leaves are off the trees now and snow is in the forecast this week, hopefully it means warm and cozy knitting nights at home!  Happy Halloween readers!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

3's The Charm...

As I mentioned in my last post I'm knitting mittens for my son's VERY patient pre-school teacher for a gift at Christmas.  As usual, we've hit a snag.

I'm insanely good at denial.  I tell myself, "I'm over-reacting", that "it will block out to size" or other stupid things that make me knit waaaaaay more than I intend.  I knit an entire mitten...

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And when I tried it on, it fit tightly.  It had always fit tightly, for some reason I told myself it's okay.  I had my mother in law try them on and they didn't fit her hands.  I knew.  I knew then that I had to go up a needle size. *

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The problem with the blue-y green yarn I'm using is that it doesn't lend itself very nicely to frogging.  So ripping out the mitten wasn't the answer.  The answer was to start again.

*Sigh*

And so I did.

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(Bigger needle size next to smaller needle size)

So by now I should have a completed pair of mittens and moving on to more exciting pastures... like MORE mittens.  But, instead, I'm beginning the 3rd mitten. I've also told myself, if there's enough yarn, that I'll finish the tiny mitten too and give it to my sister, who has teeny tiny hands. 


And if all that extra knitting wasn't enough... I've hit a snag in my pattern and there seems to be a missing stitch, so I'm probably going to have to go back a few rows in order to discover where and what I went wrong with.  UGH.

And so, because suddenly this mitten is a giant pain in the ass I'm knitting that little bunny pattern like a fiend, excited by that project instead.  


Oh she's going to be cute!  Her little boyfriend can hardly wait!


Also distracting me this month is some Halloween crafting... which I will reveal on Halloween but for now- here's a sneaky peek.  Can you guess what my son (who picked out what he'd like to be himself) is going to be?


* Aside... I'm also the creepy mom in Parker's class who is obsessively staring at poor Miss Jen's hands trying to ascertain if the mittens will fit.  Don't mind me... just checking out your hands!

** For those who asked last time- the mitten pattern is POLARIS (Ravelry link)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Sock Well Travelled

I never intended for my plain "Vanilla Bean" socks that I started back in January to be a "travelling sock".  I just wanted an easy peasy project that I could work on but also pick up and put down simply.  But, as I wove in the ends to the second sock on the airplane, back from another trip, I realized that this sock has been there through it all on our rather aggressive travel schedule this year.  (And it goes to show you that I'm a terrible vacation knitter!)

This sock saw the shores of Maui in January...

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Experienced Vogue Knitting in Seattle in March....


Came with me to San Francisco in April...

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Kept me company in Vancouver in May...


Saw another fews rows in Saskatoon in June...

(It rained almost the entire time we were there... just imagine rainy-ness and stir crazy toddlers....)

Saw me through the great "wearing the same dress as the Mother of the Bride" calamity in Vail in July....

(Before)
(After)  

Got a bit of attention in Los Cabos and San Diego in August...



Started to look like it would end in Banff and Pheonix in September...



And FINALLY finished on the way back from Montreal in October...

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GOOD LORD... it's amazing this sock isn't also collecting Aeroplan points!  No wonder I haven't knit much this year, I've hardly been home!  It really does go to show just how little knitting I tend to get done when we travel, as this was a very simple project and it took me TEN MONTHS to finish!

SHOW US THE SOCKS ALREADY..... oh yeah... the socks.

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TA DA!

Pattern: Vanilla Bean Striped Sock by Emily O'Grady
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici in "Splash" (sidebar: I CAN'T believe Knitpicks discontinued this yarn!  Although on the other hand, I'm relieved because I could never say no to this stuff!)
Needles: US 0 (2 mm)
Notes: What a great GREAT pattern for striping socks.  It's still very very simple but you have to try and line up your slip stitches, it's the only time you need to pay any attention.  Quite frankly it was a welcome change from the standard sock pattern!  You will likely see these again!  Also, as usual, my anal rententiveness shined through and I cut the yarn at the hell to line up the stripes.  It's a pain to actually weave in the extra ends but I NEVER regret that decision.

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That's all the travel we've planned for this year so hopefully it means I can finally sit down focus, blog more, KNIT MORE.... you know, the usual promises absentee bloggers seem to make.

There's more to say about the mittens but I'll save that for another, less picture heavy post.  I'm still sort of in this "OMG - OVERWHELMED" phase where I'm not sure what to focus on and knit.  I'm not sure why I can't get over it, but the travel hasn't really helped me focus either.  Hopefully things are going to amp up now that I'm home, and going to be so for awhile.  :-)