It has been since I last bought yarn!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Warm Hearted

WHEW- Christmas is MADNESS!  MADNESS I say!  And while my "party season" will be winding up today- I thought I'd try and sneak out a post and let you know that the Warm Hearted mittens are finito!

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Pattern: Warm Hearted Mittens by Rose Hiver (FREE PATTERN!)
Yarn: Red: Little Knits Sockulent in colorway 11 Navy: Lang Yarns Bebe in Navy Blue (OMG this yarn has been in my stash FOREVER.)
Needles: US 2
Notes: You'll note FOUR successful attempts at a Latvian braid!  

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This is the first mitten I've ever knit that was just a breeze.  No stops and starts- just straight forward knitting and perfection.  Warm hearted left ME warm hearted and it was a great pattern to knit.  I'm going to be  Rose Hiver knitting junky I think!

The pattern is just lovely and I'm so pleased that they knit quickly and beautifully.

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These were finished on Sunday and a quick block later they were ready for Miss Esther.  Unfortunately she wasn't in class when I planned to gift them to her, so I'm hoping that the school will be able to forward them on to her.  I will miss her.

Also- in the mind set of being warm hearted, I have completed my most recent sections of the Butterflies charity blanket for WCOBB.  They're bright and colorful, and sadly STILL haven't eaten up all the extra spare green and yellow acrylic yarn I've got in my stash!

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And NOW- now I can indulge in a little frivolous knitting..... what to knit now?!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Start Celebrating

Shoot!  I wanted to get one more post out in November and here it is Dec 1 and I'm just getting to it now.  Oh well- on the upside I have much progress to share.

Firstly- let us celebrate the END OF THE POLARIS MITTEN DISASTER!  (Or at least, near the end, as I technically have to knit the smaller mitten too- but I can at least GIVE this pair to it's intended recipient.)

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Pattern: Polaris by Rebecca Blair
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine  (so soft!) in colorway 1285 and Little Knits Sockulent in colorway 1
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm)
Notes: My issues with these have been well documented on this blog, this is ENTIRELY my issue and not the fault of the pattern.  I didn't do the extra  folded over inside area that the mitten calls for, and I probably regret that, given that despite powerful blocking the cuffs still don't lie perfectly flat.

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I will be honest- there's 2 errors.  1 is on the thumb and essentially invisible, so it won't eat at me but if you look closely at the cuffs, you'll see I got a bit hasty on my fourth go at it, and I skipped knitting 2 rows.  (At the very bottom- you'll see it.)  I am letting it go, (as much as I am able to),  but man I'm just so relieved I got these done.

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Going up a needle size improved the sizing, but I knit these tight.  I relied heavily on the blocking to add some additional space in the mitten and I think, thankfully, that worked out pretty well.  All I need to do now is wrap these puppies and give them to one of Parker's teachers for Christmas.

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I'm was so relieved that I immediately cast on the next mitten I wanted to knit.  Meet Warm Hearted by Rose Hiver.  (free pattern!)

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The pattern is perfectly named for it's intended recipient, and unlike Polaris, these have actually been a breeze to knit so far.  In fact, I'm well into mitten #2 already.  (That's a good thing- I need to gift these on Dec 11!!!!)  I'm really glad this has been relatively pain free as Polaris nearly put me off mittens for good!

Since Warm Hearted is going SO well, there's this stupid voice in the back of my head that says "why don't you just knit a plain pair of mittens for Parker's music teacher too? "  But, I'm hoping I'll regain my senses and stop listening to the voices in my head and instead pay attention to the more rational side of me that says "QUIT WHILE YOU ARE AHEAD!"

And I suppose we can also celebrate that I've made as much progress as I have on my plain Jane self striping socks- because it means my son has been content to play and let me knit in his class.  (Now if only I could leave... baby steps!)

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I'm going to try and squeeze as much progress as I can in the next few weeks, and I'll do my best to blog the progress, but now starts our Christmas season, which is insanely hectic at the best of times.  At least I don't have any Dec 24/25 deadlines this year!  Let's celebrate the progress I've made and be excited to know that there's more to come!

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!