It has been since I last bought yarn!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

NEWS BULLETIN

WE INTERRUPT YOUR REGULARY SCHEDULED KNITTING MOJO WHINING TO BRING YOU THIS IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:

I finished something.

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Pattern: Cuddly Monster Blanket by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: Diamond Luxury Collection Pure Wool in 930 (Blue) and 934 (Blue-Green)
Needles: US 7
Notes: Instead of stuffing the hands I left them flat as I figured it would make the inevitable need to wash it a lot easier.  It's a whole "lotta" garter stitch.  You will hate garter stitch when it's over, but you will also love the finished product.

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I'm the first to admit this... I gave this project a whole bunch of hate nearly from day one.  I didn't like the way the colors were blending and worried about the blue being too purple.  I worried about the size being too small.  I wanted desperately at several points just to be done the whole thing.  But in the end... when the last end was woven in and I took a step back I surprised myself by liking it.  Even husband was like "hey that turned out great!"  It's really stinkin' cute and I think the couple will love it.  (Even if it's a little late... oops!)

It feels good to have this off the needles and I've already started thinking about the next blanket that needs to get going soon.  I'm setting the goal to start Aug 1- so I have some time to mess around on Ravelry and find something I can really sink my teeth into.  I'm weirdly motivated on this so I'm hoping blanket #2 is what get the mojo back into the swing of things.

In other news- I've had two hours to kill time this week and both times I brought my Take 5 sock to work on, only to completely ignore it.  I realized that I didn't want to work on it because it was bothering me that the (hardly noticeable) problem of the pattern not lining up was subconsciously bugging me and I didn't want to work on it.  So- I fixed that problem.

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Left is before, right is after.  I frogged the entire leg- which sucks... but honestly I'm more interested in knitting it today than I have been in months so it was the right, but difficult call.  Hopefully we can get that off the needles soon and drive ahead to something else.

Also I need to report that my foray into the Stampede wasn't it's usual success- mostly because I didn't really put in my regular effort.  I entered my Sydanmaa Mittens from waaaay back.  They are lovely, they are knit perfectly and they are so soft... but I'm being honest- they aren't show stoppers.  And I knew that going in.  I was not surprised that I didn't win anything.  The good news in all of this is that the theme next year is "WILD ROSE" and oh lordy do I have some ideas swirling in my ole head!  So who knows... hopefully I can build on that momentum.

Speaking of building on momentum... (and entirely unrelated to knitting)... THIS HAPPENED yesterday and we are VERY. VERY. EXCITED.

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And so now my days will be spent outside trying to build on this momentum and get us to a good place by the end of the summer.

YOU MAY NOW RETURN TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED KNITTING.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

That's One Slow Ass Monster

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Hey Jen how's the knitting slump?  "bout the same".  Can you tell?

Thing to admit #1:

Guys- this blanket in my "glory days" of knitting would have potentially taken me 2.5 weeks.  TWO. POINT. FIVE. WEEKS.  How long has this thing taken me?  Longer than I care to admit.  Long enough that the baby is BORN and I'm still dragging my butt on this.

Thing to admit #2:

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The main part of this blanket knit up slow.  So. SLOW.  But in the end... it's actually kind of to the small size of how I knit these and I feel badly.  Will the receive-ee's of this blanket look at me and be like "you're phoning it in"?  It's cute... but it's also... to the small size.

Thing to admit #3:

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I only have a few things left on this.  I am painfully close to being done.  Like eyes and some teeth and a quick foray into kitchner stitch to seal up these ears.  I could, potentially finish it this weekend.  I won't likely (because time... WHERE ARE YOU?)- but I could.  And the idea of moving on to something, anything else, is vastly appealing.

I'd like to knit something small next.  A quick "Oh yeah- I made that"- just to feel like I've accomplished something.  But the truth is at my current pace, I actually need to start another baby blanket for other friends due in Sept STAT... if I stand a chance if getting them the gift once baby is born.

I'm still here.  It's still happening.  I'm not going anywhere... just at an insanely slow pace.  I'm waiting the slump out.  At some point the desire and motivation to knit is going to hit me again and I'll take off... in the mean time I'm riding this out and hoping inspiration strikes soon.  Thanks for sticking with me guys... I appreciate it!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Monster Mish Mash

Well- the good news is that I'm knitting now more than I have in the last 2 months... as things start to wind down we find our evenings with an hour or two where I can sit and commune with the needles again.  The bad news is that even that doesn't make this blanket seem to go any faster.

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Yes.  It's progress.  But I've forgotten what a time/yarn suck garter stitch knitting is.  It's slow.  (Note to self....  keep it light on garter stitch projects from here on out!)  The good news is that the rows are starting to feels shorter as the decreases have started adding up- and it's, in theory, faster knitting from here on out.  Would love to make some real progress on this soon- just so that I can move on to some of the moving pieces on this to at last feel like I'm getting somewhere.

Also, this weekend, after having a discussion with my MiL, I decided to enter a simple project I knit earlier this year into the Stampede.  The idea of not participating at all kind of had me down and I decided I could put something in- even if it wasn't my usual type pieces.  I'll keep that a surprise until the entry is in.  Usually I enter something I've knit that I'd categorize as "extra special".  This time I'd more categorize the project as "nice job"- but nothing outstanding.  It'll be interesting to see where that stacks up in the grand scheme of judging.

And that dear people is it.  I'm hoping next time I'm here, it's to celebrate the end of a seemingly endless forray into garter stitch and the blanket will start taking (faster) shape.  Do not fret pets, for there is hope in July.  A few morning/afternoon camps are planned and I'm hoping to capitalize on some knitting then too.

I'll leave you with this photo I took last week of Parker and I at the park- because it's cute and, well, it's my blog I can do what I like.  Haha.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Actually....

**THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TIME IN THE DAY TO DO ALL THE THINGS I WANT TO DO!!!***  (she screams into the black abyss)

It's June?  How is it June?  My kid just started Kindergarten!  I just got into a working schedule and soon school is done!?  HOW IS THIS HAPPENING!?  It just seems like every time I should have some time to sneak in a few rows of something... there's something else that says "actually... no" on the schedule.

"Actually No... you can't knit this weekend... you are going to be blowing your kid's mind with cool space stuff at the Johnson Space center...."

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PS. The Saturn V Rocket is HUGE.

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"Actually No... you can't knit on Tuesday.... you volunteered to chaperone a field trip to a farm!"


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(I was super excited to pet the wool of a sheep... the kids could care less about what I had to tell them about wool and lanolin.)

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This is a total aside but it was one of the "fun facts" posted and it was so interesting and also horrifying at the same time.  (Jeez Boy Bunny... leave her alone for a minute!!!)

Actually you have to go here, actually you have a meeting there, actually you have an event to attend here.... ACTUALLY ACTUALLY ACTUALLY.

It's sad that I'm ACTUALLY looking forward to a rainy forecast this weekend where maybe we can indulge in a few movies and I can ACTUALLY KNIT for a change.

There has been a "smattering" of knit progress... the hat(s!) are done.

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Pattern: Cabled Teddy Hat by Marinda Lariz
Needles: US 6
Yarn: Cascade Anchor Bay 18 Taupe
Notes:  You'll note I knit this twice.  I finished hat one and realized that I began the decreases one repeat too early... and so I cast on hat #2.  I'll keep hat 1 for another babe... and #2 will go to Kindergarten teacher.  I've decided to just give her the hat and skip the booties.  I don't have time and baby might not want wool boots when it's born in August anyways.

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This pic shows that yes, there is actually a size difference... it's small but its significant enough to me to cast on #2.

I also finished the Ballband dishcloth!  (go me!)

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Pattern: Ballband Dishcloth
Needles: US7
Yarn: Some of the Lily Sugar and Cream stash of indeterminate age
Notes: YAY!  I have met one of my yearly goals- this is dishcloth #3!  (We'll get to that at some point on this blog and check in.... today is not the day.)  I love this pattern- highly recommend.

I've also worked on (truthfully I just mostly look at this on the couch and feel badly it's not seeing progress) a bit of the Monster blanket.  I had  a moment of panic the other day that this isn't going to get done in time.  If it doesn't I might have to gift the bunny blanket - which I'd be okay with in this case.  On the upside I'm feeling less "wary" of the colorway now though and still comfortable gifting it to a little boy.  Just need to make PROGRESS now.

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So there's where I'm at this week.  Hopefully I can capitalize on the rest of this June and get some progress out the door.

Monday, May 22, 2017

That's One Way To Do It

Usually I'm a mono-knitter.  It means I have project that I'm committed to.  I'm faithful.  I work on that project.  Sometimes I divert into 2 projects to take off the edge off the one.  But usually it's just one.  However, with this slump I'm in, I'm finding that part of my issue is that the project that I should be working on isn't cast on yet... and just the idea of casting on seems too big.

This weekend I got a lot of things done that have been sitting on my "to do" list for awhile.  I decided to try a different tactic on this slump- just cast on everything.  Everything.

So, with that in mind say hello to...

THE DISHCLOTH (ballband pattern)

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THE BABY HAT (Cuddly Teddy Hat... Again.  Such a great pattern)

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THE BABY BLANKET (So cute!)

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I bought yarn for the baby blanket on Sunday.  I woke up and said to myself "I just need to get the yarn and go."  And so I went to the only yarn shop that was open at 10 am and bought my yarn.  The whole experience was more efficient than I usually am.  Hopefully this bodes well for the rest of the blanket.  I've chosen a periwinkle blue and turquoise green for the blanket... although the blue is looking awfully purple here.  I'm not sure I'm happy with it.  Your thoughts?

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The yarn next to each other the blue looks bluer... in the blanket purple-er.  I'm not sure how to proceed.

I figured I'd just get them all on the needles and then pick up what my brain wants to do that day.  This way there are no excuses saying "I just don't want to put in the effort to cast on.  That's done.  It's just a matter of knitting.  I took all the work out of it.  This is either a really fantastic idea to attack the slump or it's going to blow up spectacularly in my face when I decided it's just too overwhelming to concentrate on.

The sock has also seen a lot of progress since the last time I admitted I wasn't really knitting.

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I realized last night though there's a problem.  The stripes match BEAUTIFULLY- I've mastered that skill pretty well.  The problem is that the tiny pattern DOESN'T.  I can't decide if that bothers me enough to rip out the entire leg on sock two.  I figured out that I knit the pattern earlier on sock 1.  I am leaning to rip it out and go again because it bothers me... I just can't decide if it bothers me ENOUGH.  Haha.

So lots to see here- hopefully it means the finished stuff just starts falling off the needles.  At least there's a bunch of STARTED stuff now... right?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Big Slumpin'

"Do you even knit anymore?"  It was the comment my husband made 2 weeks ago while we were away re-visiting New Haven and I couldn't hide what I had pretending to ignore for the last few weeks.  I haven't really been knitting.  I'm back in the slump.

Honestly I don't even really know what I've been doing with my time- but it's very little knitting.  I'm not sure what it is right now.  I just don't have the brain power to sit down and knit.  At night I sit on our couch, I pull my knitting on my lap, and then proceed to ignore it for use-less stuff on my phone.  I've been watching TV... something I never do. I listen.  I watch my knitting.  I'm always furiously working on a Stampede project this time of year and not even that can motivate me out of slump this time.  I'm not entering.  I don't want to.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

It could be that we've been away from our home the last 5 weekends out of 6.  Week days seem to be in a never ending game of catch up from things not done on the weekend.  My brain can't focus on anything.  I zone in and out and knitting even the simplest pair of socks seems like such an effort.  Mon-Thurs night are busy with soccer and other activities and it feels like we're barely home.

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That's not to say that I've gone completely without it.  Progress is happening.  I still take the simple Take 5 sock out to some of Parker's classes and that does seem to help me get some rows in.  Being away for the last few weekends has meant airplane trips and I'll knit 5 or 6 rows before sitting back and putting it away because my brain "just can't."  It's been enough to get me on sock #2.

Maudie has suffered spectacularly.  I don't think it's seen any progress since my last blog post so many days ago.  The mere idea of taking it out of the bag and taking the 3 minutes it would take to assess where I'm at is too overwhelming.  What happened to all my steam on this project?  Where have you gone mojo?

The baby blanket I needed to have already started is still in "I can't decided on a pattern" phase.  Although I think I'm honed in on an idea.  I'm waiting for a book from the library and then hopefully enough juju to get out the door and buy yarn and cast on.  I've chosen something painfully cute but also simple... because my brain can't handle any more than that.  A simple knit can sometimes be the right project to rally the knitting mojo.  I've also been made aware of another impending wee babe in November who I would also like to knit for.  I sort of know what I want to knit for that family but I also shudder at the thought because it would require effort I don't know I'm up to putting in.

I need to get out of this slump.  Last night, sitting on the couch about to watch TV I even found myself missing it.  I thought to myself "I miss my knitting."  And, just like that, I picked up the simple sock and worked on it for 3 hours.  It was good.  I felt hopeful that the slump is winding down.  I thought about a few things I could do.  Here are my "Goals to July 15" to try and get me towards some progress and less in a slump.

1) Knit baby blanket (I'll share more when I have committed with yarn and a cast on)
2) Knit baby hat/booties for Parker's Kindergarten teacher
3) Finish Take 5 Socks
4) Knit Dishcloth #3

I'm letting go of Maudie for now.  Maybe this summer I'll pick it back up again- but maybe just the idea of a "big effort" project is too much right now and I need to take this slump slower.  Ease myself into something to do with my hands and see if I can rise to a few new challenges along the way.

I'm sorry that it means that the blog has suffered.  I really have no intention on fully stopping the knitting- nor this blog, but I've learned forcing myself to do anything is the sure-est way to not actually get myself to do it.  I have to WANT to do it.  And for that to be something I want right now, I need to keep it simple.

Cross your fingers I'm back here in a week with something to show you?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

HOW IS IT MAY?

April... where did you go?  How did I only manage one post in April?  How is it May already?  I guess with various holidays and reintigrating back to snow and 4 hour time difference to contend with, not to mention the start of soccer and various other spring things- knitting and blogging takes a back seat.  I am still sort of flabbergasted that April happened in a cloud of mystery.  It's like "How did I lose a month?" but it's May now so I guess we drive on.

I lied when I said that ski season was coming to a close.  Snow in the mountains was too stellar to ignore- and so this last weekend we gave it our all and left it all on the hill until next season...  Knitting suffers on these trips because really, there is basically only energy enough left to put on one's pajamas, wash one's face and then collapse into bed out of exhaustion.

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There is progress on the socks- so I guess some knitting happened in April.  (Did April even happen?  I'm in denial.)

Maudie in particular is starting to look like a sock....

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And even Take 5 isn't taking a long break...

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I know at some point I need to plan for another project, a baby blanket in particular but I've been struggling to really find the motivation or "right pattern" that inspires me to cast on.  I'm hoping for a more "organic" experience where the right pattern will just jump out at me and I will cast on with ferocity.  But right now I look at pics and can only hmmm and haaa and I'm really coming up short!  So- a cute baby blanket...  (something really REALLY PAINFULLY CUTE).... got any suggestions?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sun Blocked

Pardon my little hiatus there... it was the most wonderful time of the year... HAWAII VACATION.

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Needles to say- we are very relaxed now.

I am always loathe to advertise my not being home until AFTER I AM HOME... but yes, life came to stand still there for a bit while we soaked in some much needed vitamin D on Oahu this time.  I had intended to get out a brief blog post prior to our departure, but like all days leading up to a vacation, things got busy.  I had done everything I could to get those Jelly Bean socks done, and it came down to 2 more ends needing to be woven in... which I finished this morning.

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Pattern: Vanilla Bean Striped Socks by Emily O'Grady
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici in "Jelly Bean" (huh- KP doesn't currently have any Felici on their site!)
Needles: US 1
Notes: This is such a great pattern for self striping yarn.  Just enough to keep it interesting but still delightfully simple.  I feel like Felici was made for this pattern!  As usual- I cut the yarn in order to allow for a perfect striping sequence, and while it's extra ends to weave in, I NEVER regret the choice.

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Like all good vacations, I do set out to have some projects to work on.  And as always, I always plan for more than I knit.  Progress did occur... but it was slow to potentially non-exsistent.  Meet "Maudie" and "Take Five"- you'll be seeing a lot more of them I'm sure.

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While we were away a good friend's first baby announcement came through- so it appears there will be a baby blanket on the needles soon!  Spring is going to be exciting!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Snow Plowed

Hey.... weren't you grinding away at the knitting and promising progress?  Yes.  Yes I was.  But then the snow in the mountains was apparently "epic" so we got sidetracked with a last minute ski trip....

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(It WAS good snow... and good skiing.. and I'm pretty sure nothing can compete with those views!)

The good news is, despite this little longer than planned blog break, I DO have progress to show you!  A third heart blanket it in the "finished pile" now!

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Pattern: Baby Heart Blanket by Deborah O'Leary
Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love in "white" and "pastel pink"
Needles: US 9
Notes:  I decided to do all hearts this time and I really like how it turned out.  I. STILL. HAVE. MORE. of this stuff.  I'm not sure it's enough for an entire blanket but I'll try and use that up at some point this year.  Feels good to at least be CLOSE to a finish line on these giant balls of yarn.  I will say this... those balls have yardage for DAYS.

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I also managed to hone in on some sock progress and have even started #2!

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AND... the great news is that the weather is warming up... meaning the snow in the mountains isn't all that great anymore.  Less time devoted to skiing means MORE time devoted to knitting... so things are looking up!  Either way there should be more to show and say soon!  Stay tuned!

Friday, March 17, 2017

☘ Top 'O the Knitting Day to Yah... ☘

I'm not all that Irish.  Can you tell?

In honor of Saint Patrick's day, I made some rainbow cookies.  (Totally unrelated to knitting but it's crafty and I'm proud of these so I have to show 'em off somewhere!)

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March has moved along quickly, and so have my projects.  While I'm not done, I certainly can see some progress being made.

The blanket is creeeeeeeeping towards the finish line.

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 I've sort of reached that "meh" point where I don't really want to be knitting on it anymore.  I'm hoping to just go all out this weekend and get it off the needles so my brain can do something new.

The sock is still delighting me enormously.

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I love the colors (and the pattern for that matter) and they just make me happy to work on.  I've been purposefully getting to Parker's school early just so I have more time to knit on them.  I'd really love to have these finished up by the end of March just to feel like I've gotten some things done.

I'm still considering the sweater.  I still love it- but I need to make sure I'm ready to make a commitment to a sweater.  With spring around the corner my brain tends to start looking fondly at smaller/less warm things and a sweater feels like a big warm thing to be sitting on my lap.  I have also found out that one of the Kindergarten teachers is pregnant and so I think I will squeak out a little teddy bear hat and boots for her, because it's too cute not to share.

Progress has been slower than I've liked, but we find ourselves very busy over here at "Chez Nennie".  There are solar systems to build....

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And big ski trips and achievements to be had.

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(My kid, skiing blue and BLACK runs this last weekend!  So proud!)

Ski season is going to start winding down here... and hopefully I'll find a little more time for "knitting season" again.  In the mean time, I'll just keep grinding out what I can and that will get me to the finish line eventually.

Have a happy St. Pat's everyone!