It has been since I last bought yarn!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February Follies

It's been another busy week here at Chateau Nennie, a lot of starts and stops and truthfully, frustration.

Let's start with the good... another finished Baby Bootie/Hat Set.  This time for my neighbor who's daughter is expecting a baby mid Feb.  This is grandbaby #1 and she was so excited she told us at like week 8... knowing we don't know her daughter and couldn't tell anyone else.  Thankfully all went well and baby is very nearly due.

Untitled

Pattern: Booties- Cable Cuff Booties by Caroline Brook
              Hat- Cabled Teddy Hat by Marinda Lariz
Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Sport (stash down!) in white
Needles: Booties- US 5 and Hat- US 6
Notes: I've knit this so often you've heard all I have to say on them- but I knit them regularly for a reason.  The results are smashing and highly satisfying and the mama is always happy with them.

Untitled

I've already moved into the last 2 remaining sets.  The hat was already knit but I've also begun on the booties.  I'd like to finish this set up this week and gift to Mama by Monday next week if at all possible.  (Should be.)

I also got the chance to rescue a friend who had a knit-related crisis.  (She is not a knitter and as I far as she professes, not really all that crafty...)

Untitled 

I told her I should be able to help her out and a quick assessment and picking up the stitches later- I was able to assess the damage.  (not that bad at all)

Untitled

Picking up the stitches, getting the right number of stiches knit together again and a quick finish off the top and this hat is ready to party.

Untitled

SEEEEEEEE NON KNITTERS!?  You'll never know when you're crazy friend that knits all the time will come in handy!!

Now for the bad.  And it's ugly.

The blanket is gah.... the blanket is slowly sucking my desire to even knit.

Untitled

I liked the swatch (last week) and figured out the right number of stitches and set to knitting.  All of this took me the better part of a DAY that I essentially wasted getting it right.  A DAY of childfree distractions.  (Which just feels SO wasteful...)

I got about 50 rows in and it just became straight up apparent that it wasn't working.  The pattern doesn't show up that well.  Don't let the picture deceive you- it actually shows up well in a photo for some reason, but seeing the blanket in real life you lose the pattern and it just didn't look right.

Untitled

And so- I frogged it.  *sobs*  I kept the cast on because I figure whatever I'll do will be mosaic-y and I'll likely be within the number of stiches give or take a few.  The length, after I pulled it off the needles, was good so I at least know where I need to be.  (Although I'm considering going up a needle size...)

Untitled

Truthfully, as of this writing, I'm not sure what I'll knit.  I'm still stubbornly holding on to this "knit the same pattern reversed" idea that maybe I just need to break free of... for my own sanity.  I'm heavily leaning to "Baby Bricks" which I have done a lot.  (A LOT)

What sucks is that this blanket is holding me up.  I'm stressed.  Babies are due in March and I'm already likely going to be sending them late.  I need to gear up, get myself sorted and SET TO KNITTING.  I also am apparently going to need to scientifically figure out a way to slow down time and to sneak in a million extra stitches.

So that's where I'm at this week gentle reader... I'm sort of lost in the woods on what to do and where to go from here.  If any of you have any inspirations- PLEASE SHARE THEM... I'm feeling a little lost.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Busy Busy

Somehow it's January 27th and I am just getting around to a 2nd blog post.  That should give you an idea of the kind of pace that we've been keeping around here.  One can hardly sit down and knit- let alone post to a blog!  There's just been a lot of background distraction this month and it doesn't lend itself very well to focus on other things- especially hobbies.

BUT- the child is currently sleeping in and I cannot... CANNOT go another day thinking "I need to update the blog" so here we are- finally getting around to telling you what's up.

The good news is that my JAN 26 deadline on the warm smooshy socks was MET and I delivered them to my patient friend last night.

Untitled Untitled

Pattern: Inglenook by Adrian Bizilia
Yarn: Illimani Yarn Silky Baby Llama
Needles: US 4 & 5
Notes: This is the first time I have ever done short row heels and only a small handful of times that I've done toe up.  The toe up was much for satisfying this time than my other experiences with it, but I'm not sure I'm in love with the short row heel.  It's clever, and it works for this pattern, but for an average sock I'm not sure I'm convinced.

Untitled

The pattern is a great smooshy reading sock kind of pattern- and the yarn!  OH THE YARN is sooooo nice and soft and SOFT.  Did I mention soft?

Untitled

I had originally bought the yarn in a sweater quantity - but realized after a disappointing swatch that the silk weighed the sweater down and it would never drape as nicely as I would like.  Oh well- it does fulfill a destiny with these socks and who knows- there might be some more warm reading socks made up again in this stuff.  The socks are quite cozy and are a perfect "stay in on a cold night" kind of present that could be perfect for a lot of people.

With the socks finally off my back I was able to switch gears and back into some of the other priorities.  I delivered 2 white baby hats to my friends when I was in Saskatoon 2 weekends ago (HELLO -40 degrees every day!!)  Eager to have them out I didn't even take a pic of the 2nd one!  But never fear- I'm already working on another white hat, and booties, for my neighbor's daughter and I'm hoping to have that finished up by the weekend.

Untitled

I also, thanks to a whole day of being able to devote my attention to it, (THANK YOU MiL for babysitting!) was able to finally get around to swatching and planning out the baby blankets for my cousin expecting twins.

Untitled Untitled

I love the idea of 2 blankets in opposing dominant colors.... (one with pink dominance and the same one again this time with white dominance) and I finally got around to casting on and knitting.

I'm a bit anxious about these blankets as my cousin is due in March and I know that twins in particular aren't great at going full term.  I need to really focus in and get moving on this one and I'm hoping now that the math and figuring out part is all complete, I can focus soley on just knitting, fast.  This is a pattern I've designed in part with a stitch dictionary- and I'm planning to make it available once I have the projects knit.

I still need to squeeze in a brown bootie set (hat is done) for another mom at preschool in the next 2 weeks and still one more hat and booties before the end of Feb.  And then, please mom's at preschool, let's lay off the baby making so I can knit other things?  There is so much to knit and there is NO TIME it seems, to actually knit it.

Untitled

I will try to be better at updates now that some things are winding down here- and send me a little knitting mojo?  I need to get some closure on some projects here so I can start planning out other things.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Year, New Distractions

I had hoped that my first post in the New Year would be to show you a completed pair of those snuggly socks.  Alas- I have nothing to show you except basically where we were the last time I was here telling you I hoped to finish them shortly.

Untitled

I'm seeing my friend on the 26th and I am DETERMINED that they will be gifted to her on that day- so I need to get these done- hopefully I will carve out a little time this weekend to add some stitches and next week it will be THE priority.

Distracting me this week is a little crisis on the kitty front.  My little black kitten shadow started limping Wednesday morning.  I'm not entirely sure how he even hurt his foot, but when I couldn't get him into my regular vet, I had to take him to vet emerge.  (Parker will now have to go to a lesser college because we spent his college fund on Shadow at the vet.)  A shaved paw and some xrays later they think that he sprained a toe and ordered him to a week (minimum) kennel rest.  I'm not sure what's sadder at this point- a kitten with a limp or a kitten ordered to stay in a kennel and not play.

Thankfully my mother lent me her dog kennel so Shadow can have a larger place to stretch and convalesce - but he is not happy.  It's also a bit of a pain because we need to stay somewhat close to home to make sure Shadow has access to his litter box fairly regularly.  We have managed to avoid accidents thus far and even have found ways to entertain him.

Untitled

Here, Shadow is watching his favorite YouTube show- called "Party at the Snow Hole" where various birds and squirrels come to visit and eat nuts.  He loves to keep a close eye on the birds and every so often tries to give them a swat.

We even downloaded an App for him to play (low impact exercise is ok)- and here's a short video of my little guys chasing a mouse.  (Must keep them keen on finding and killing mice!)

Untitled

As of this post, Shadow is still limping, which is a bit of a concern.  If you think of it can you send him a little "get well" mojo?  I'd prefer it if we could keep away from the vet for a bit (gah so many vet visits!)-  and just have my happy, healthy and playful kittens back.

I've also had to set the socks aside because I wanted to take 2 hats to take with me this upcoming weekend for friends that are both expecting their second little ones.  I opted out of booties for both of them because I just don't have the time.  I had some leftover white yarn and thought Polar bear hats would be cute.  (The bows are because my friend just found out she's having a girl.)

Untitled

Once I get back from my girls weekend this weekend (so excited!) I'll be able to refocus and get back to finishing those socks and focusing on the 2 baby blankets I need to knit.  (That's another post for another day...)  Hoping to get into a big swing of things here soon!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Closing Out the Year

It's the last day of 2015 and I need to finish out the year on blog posts.  As I mentioned in my last post, I didn't get around to discussing the Christmas gifts this year.

Untitled

I got the 3rd edition to Barbara Walker's Charted knitted treasury.  (All I need is #1 now!)  There's a great mosaic in there that I might use for the twin blankets I have to make in the new year.  I also got a much beloved Pudding Yarn gift card.  Pudding is far and away my favorite yarn shop in town and I always ALWAYS find a way to use these.  (Keep 'em comin' family!!)  I showed a lot of restraint this year when it came to the Pudding sale, and walked away EMPTY handed.  I still love and appreciate a good yarn sale, but I'm a lot more discerning now about what I actually buy on sale.

Untitled

I also got a fancy pencil crayon set and markers to expand my "coloring ability" and I've already opened them up and started trying them out.  (I love the way that it lays down the color and the pigment is really rich!)  It's likely something you'll see more of in the new year.  I really quite enjoy the adult coloring so I'm glad that I got some new materials to work with.

Not to worry- there are has been some knitting too.  You'll notice that on my "to do" list, that I had hoped to finish by the end of January there is still one item outstanding.  I need to make a nice pair of comfy, reading socks in soft worsted yarn.  While I'm disappointed that I'm not going to say "finito" to these on Jan 1, I am close and should hopefully finish them up in the first week.  So, not too far off the schedule.

Untitled

These are a nice change from my regular knitting.  The yarn is incredibly soft (llama and silk!), it's worsted so it knits up quickly and I'm doing toe up- which is a nice change in pace.  The above photo is what I knit in a day, (mind you my child was at grandma's so I had more time than usual), and so I'm hopeful that I can have them out the door early on.

Untitled

I've also started in on more baby hats and booties, since I have a lot of them to hand out in the new year.  The first two need to go to mom's the second week of January so I really need to sit down and grind out some booties!

I've found that I don't really like to set a full year's worth of resolutions because it's hard to stay committed to something a year from now- but I do like "short term" goals that I'd like to reach.  And so, in the short term, I'd like to have the following completed by the end of March this year:

1) 5 Baby Hats and Bootie Sets
2) 2 Baby Blankets
3) Make some progress on the sweater that I started and abandoned for Christmas knitting.

Hoping you are feeling as blessed as I do in 2016.  Happy New Year! (Just look at all the handsome boys I'm surrounded by EVERY DAY.)

Untitled

Untitled Untitled

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Holly Jolly Christmas

Whelp.... the gifts are unwrapped and all are aware of what I've been working on- so I suppose it's time to reveal them to you.

The Shark Blanket!

Untitled

Untitled Untitled

Pattern: Shark Attack Blanket by Kari Provencher (I went to high school with Kari and I still think of her with her maiden name... I do this to all my friends I knew before they were married.  So, apologies to Kari and her husband whom I'm sure is lovely, but this was made by Kari Dennis in my mind!)
Yarn: Bernat Softee Chunky Solids in White, Red and True Grey
Needles: US 11 and US 13
Notes: I modified the teeth in this pattern to be garter stitch vs. lacey and my mods were:

CO 5 sts

Row 1: K1, M1, K4
Row 2 (and all even rows): Knit
Row 3: K5, M1, K1
Row 5: K1, M1, K6
Row 7: K7, M1, K1
Row 9: Bind off 5 stitches, leave one stitch on the right needle, knit 2, M1, K1

Repeat until necessary.  (I needed 12 teeth also)

As we learned previously, I am terrible at reading patterns but had I read through the pattern initially, I would have known how simple this pattern was.  I will admit that the 35 inches of stocking stitch nearly killed me.  Like DEAD.  God I hate stocking stitch.  But otherwise this project was very simple to "whip up".  Which is probably good since Parker is now requesting his own shark blanket... but that's not going to happen for a while yet.  (sorry kid)

As predicted my sister loved it.  She totally didn't see it coming and there have already been various stuffed animals and her dog "being eated by a shark".  (Apologies to Etta who will probably endure many "shark attack" photos.)

Untitled

Untitled

The socks came down to the wire this year, BUT, on Christmas eve I managed to weave in the final end and wrap up the socks for my dad on Christmas morning.  (Unblocked... GASP)

Untitled

Pattern: Globe Trotter Socks by Jodie St. Clair
Yarn: Lang Yarns Super Soxx in colorway 630.0427 (sexy name!  Sorry can't find a link for these) and Lang Yarns Bebe in Navy blue (discontinued so no link- this is possibly one of the oldest yarns in my stash so yay for it being done!)
Needles: US 1
Notes: I find whenever I knit a men's sock yardage is usually a problem.  That would have been the case here, but I decided to do contrasting cuffs, heels and toes and that stretched my yarn enough so that I had enough for the very end.  As usual, I went to great pains to line up the stripes to match, which was hard in this yarn because the color transitions very gradually and you had to look really closely.

Untitled

Dad loved his socks- and promptly wore them on our cold Christmas day.  He frequently takes his dog Jennie for a walk and these socks will hopefully keep his toes toasty warm.

Untitled

The week leading up to Christmas was challenging- I had intended to blog and finish those socks waaaaaay before Christmas Eve but distractions got in the way.  Both of our kittens got quite ill and didn't eat for several days.  Our best guess is that the bag of food was tainted.  Anyways, a couple of visits to the vet later and an immediate change in food, both of our kittens are back to themselves.  (THANK GOD.)

Untitled

My child celebrated the cats getting better by coming down with a very nasty and snotty cold.  :-(

Untitled

He's a trooper but poor kid would love to have a break from having his nose blown.

On top of that Christmas baking needed to be done and I couldn't help myself... I made Christmas gingerbread kittens!

Untitled

Now that the Christmas knitting is done I've had to dive head first into the next couple of challenges.  Tomorrow is the annual boxing day sale at Pudding so I will save the next blog post to tell you what's coming up next and what I got for Christmas this year.

Merry (belated) Christmas to those who celebrate and I'm looking forward to cutting my teeth on some new projects in the new year!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Second Sock Suckies

The shark is finished.  I'm not posting photos of it in case the intended recipient gets spoiled.  However, those of you on Ravelry can enjoy many photos that I took of the finished project.  I'll post the details once the gift is unwrapped.  I am so relieved it's done.  That was a lot of stocking stitch to knit!

As I mentioned before- I just had a sock set to finish.

Untitled

On the upside the leg knit fast.  In fact, delightfully fast.  But now- I'm deep DEEEEP in throes of second sock syndrome.  I could not want to knit anything less than the half a sock I have to knit.  I didn't like where I ended up on the heel and so ended up ripped out the entire heel after I knit the whole thing last night.  It seems whenever I make a mistake my "mojo" just evaporates.  *POOF* this project made me think hard/made me feel dumb... I don't want to knit you.

It also appears that *someone* would prefer it if they were his socks....

Untitled

[In general the cats are proving to be handknit fans... they love the blanket MiL knit for my son.  (His beloved "cold blankey".)]

Untitled

I will finish the sock.  I will.  No.  REALLY.  I will.  I WILL FINISH THESE.  But I wonder if part of my distraction comes from the fact that I'm looking at a busy knitting year coming up.  I won't add them to the list now- but I have FIVE baby hat/bootie sets to knit by the end of spring.  FIVE.  Plus there are 3 baby blankets that are also going to need to be done.  In general- I'm going to be BUSY BUSY. *

Anyways- enough whining about the socks... back to the grind.  To leave you on a happier note- I give you Parker's return to skating this past weekend.  ("I'm making ice angels mommy!")

Untitled


* do you like how I'm complaining about things I'm making myself do?  I must like to torment myself...

Friday, December 4, 2015

Into the Belly of the Whale...

Let's cut to the chase... progress on the shark is going swimmingly.

Untitled

I just did a little color fastness test on the various colors to make sure when it comes time to washing this puppy I won't run into a sea of regret.  (I have learned the hard way too often that NOT checking this in advance can be a painful lesson.)

Untitled

Now that I have read the whole pattern I was able to take off and really get running on it.

Untitled

The main body is knit and now I'm adding the details.  I'm really REALLY impressed with Kari's pattern here.  It's so clever!  Plus, knitting with bulky yarn is super fun because you can actually see your progress.

This is the last picture of this project now until I gift it- but I'm hoping that it will be in the finished pile soon so all I need to do is knit a sock.  I can knit a sock fairly quickly.  As long as I have 7 or so days I think I can get it cased and so far I'm tracking to be on that pace.  (SO. FAR.)

I might be a little slower these days because the coloring thing also seems to be happening frequently.

Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled

It's just so SATISTFYING to fill a whole page and see the outcome.  I've been knitting more than I've been coloring but sneaking in a few coloring moments here and there too.

Other than that- we're just prepping for Christmas here and gettting excited about a certain someone's potential visit.

Untitled

Now.... BACK TO WORK.