It has been since I last bought yarn!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May Heyday

Hey!  It's May!  AND... to usher in a new month, we have NEW! THINGS! TO! TALK! ABOUT!

One of those things are moving along at a good click so we should probably talk about it!  Parker has been in a music program with a phenomenal teacher since he was 12 months old.  He loves Miss Patti, I love Miss Patti, everyone loves Miss Patti.  And, because of that, we've done her music class one day a week for the last 3 years.  Sadly, this is our last semester with Miss Patti and I'm crushed.  I really like Miss Patti!  So, of course, because she's been such a part of our lives for the last 3 years, I thought it would be nice to make her a pair of music mittens.

I had originally wanted to design a pair, but time was less supportive of that idea, and I decided to MODIFY an exsisting pattern to make it a little more personal.  The earliest "favorite song" Parker had in his music class was "Baa Baa Black Sheep".  Before he was really even talking he'd request, (DEMAND) to be sung "Baa Baa", "Baa Baa".  We'd walk into Miss Patti's class, look her dead in the eyes and say "BAA BAA"- as if to say "we better be singing that song lady!"  And Miss Patti would totally oblige Parker.

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And so- I modified the pattern to have a cuff with the music to Baa Baa Black Sheep.

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It required a little graphing, and perfecting, but I think it turned out pretty great.  Now, I'm well into mitten one and hope to have it off the needles and #2 cast on this week.  (Dream big!)  I'm mildly concerned about length with this mitten (length of the hand) so we'll see how we end up.

Miss Patty's mittens need to be done by early June when it's our last class- so I'm hoping to have them well ahead of that in mid May.

Next up on the needles, freshly cast on is the baby blanket for the baby due in early June.  Since it's for a colleague in his office, husband helped pick out the pattern, and of course, he picked out something more complicated.

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It's "Morse Stitch", a unique way of creating a bobble.  So far the pattern is quite interesting and I think it's going to knit up lovely.

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I even bought yarn (GASP) for this yarn because I wanted the right "color" and softness.  And so, Debbie Bliss "Baby Cashmerino" joined my collection and so far I quite like knitting with it!

Once the first section of the blanket is done (and it looks like after some serious blocking), you pick up and knit a hefty border.  I'm a little nervous about that, but I've been finding that getting out of my comfort zone has worked out great this year so far, so I'm hoping to continue on the momentum of it.

And that, lovely reader, is what you're going to be seeing and hearing a lot of in May.  Back to knitting!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Heating Up

Things have been heating up over here as I've managed to finally get those Love & Liquor socks off the needles!  

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Pattern: Love and Liquor by General Hogbuffer
Yarn: *swoon* Rhorspatz & WOLLMEISE "pure" 100% Merino Superwash in "VAMP".  (I'm not going to even attempt to link it- it's too hard to get!)
Needles: US 1
Notes: I didn't knit these on 2 circulars as suggested in the pattern, instead I used 5 DPNs.  This pattern was EXTREMELY... extremely well written and really holds your hand through the various steps.  It looks (and sounds!) challenging but once you get into the meat of the pattern it's actually not too hard.

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It's been a long time where I've just been WOWED by my knitting.  But I am proud of myself for these.  I need to show you the back of the heel.  The heel construction is VERY different on this and you actually kitchner stitch the seam together before picking up and knitting the leg.  LOOK at this kitchner stitching.... IT IS ART!

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I really enjoyed knitting these, even though I entered with a considerable amount of trepidation, I am glad I sunk my teeth into it.  Also I really enjoyed new techniques and the unsual construction of this sock.  In general, I am VERY happy with these and it reminds me that taking on a challenge is often worth it in the end!

Finishing these has forced me to get serious about the next two deadlines.  I need to fire on all cylinders here and get two projects done by the end of June.  (which EEK- isn't that far away!)

I want to knit a pair of music mittens for Parker's music teacher.  I had originally wanted to design the pattern but reality set in and I realized I just didn't have the time to devote to a design.  That's not to say I could just leave "well enough" alone though.... I am in modify mode on a lovely pattern.

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I've also finalized my blanket plan for the next baby due in June.  (It never ends.)  And I'm excited to get into that pattern also- although it will require a yarn purchase, so we'll discuss it at a later date.

Here we go- knitting progress is heating up again!

Monday, April 11, 2016

2 Socks, No Pairs

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Well, on the upside I have completed TWO socks, just not a pair.  On the downside I'm not going to have two PAIRS done by Friday.  (original goal)  They DO look smashing though, don't they?

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I've decided to put those lovely Hermoine socks away for a bit and save them for when my next travel dates occur.  They're the perfect kind of travel knitting, easy to set down and pick up again.

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I decided Love and Liquor needed to be done (they are so beautiful!) but I sort of kept procrastinating casting on the toe.  Not to worry, I finally did, and now I can jump right into the second sock and hopefully (maybe) have that set finished by Friday.  (dream big!)  I did, as predicted in my last blog post, rip out the kitchner and I'm so very glad I did.  I did a much better job this time and these really do look quite awesome.

L&L has been a great project for me, as it's forced me to try (or in some cases retry) a bunch of techniques I don't normally get to work on.  I always enjoy (but also find frustrating sometimes) new techniques and this project is rife with them.  Whether it's toe-up (Judy's Magic Cast On!), a very different heel decrease, kitchner stitch and Elizabeth's Zimmerman's sewn bind off, I'm really stetching outside my knitting box and it feels good.

I will admit that progress has been lighter than hoped because I opened up my coloring book and got sucked into that again.

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I've completed two pages since I've been home from Maui and I'm working on #3, and I'm quite enamored with it.  (I realize I spent my last blog lamenting my lack of knitting time so one would wonder why I'm choosing to use the spare time to color, and GAH- I don't know.  I am a walking contradiction.)

Hopefully this week I'll finish page #3 and then I can dive nose first back into the knitting.  Likely a pair of pretty mittens will be "on deck" along with a blanket, so stay tuned... progress should keep moving along.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spring Vacation

The indecision on socks should have been a give away, but our annual sojurn out to Maui to get some much needed Vitamin D just finished up and hence my little absence.  Fear not!  Actual knitting was done on the vacation, and thankfully NOT because the weather was crap.  (It wasn't.  I can't remember a time with better weather!)

I packed ambitiously on this trip.  In fact, other years I have taken knitting and not even knit a stitch.  I took not 1, but TWO socks to work on and both saw progress!  It helps that I also packed along my Mother in Law and she's a good knitting influence on me.  We made sure to always knit with a view...

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But let's talk about WHAT I knit... shall we?

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Love and Liquor is a bit of a brain bender, (especially for me, a devoted TOP DOWN sock knitter)-but it's looking more and more like the pattern.  (Although I'm going to rip out the kitchner and attempt again... I'm not happy.)  This sock is going to be a show stopper.  Also- bonus?  WOLLMEISE!

Hermoine's socks are also looking well progressed- although I'm currently living the fear of running out of yarn.  Damn you delightful but short in yardage Koigu!

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Unlike where I usually lament the over-ambition in my packing, I'm actually glad I brought two projects.  Mostly because for some reason I can't stay up past 9:00 pm in Maui out of pure exhaustion.  And, the ability to work on something very easy was mostly appreciated in those "late night" knitting sessions.  As noted, Love and Liquor is going to look amazing but it requires my focus and attention and when I need easy I can switch up to the Hermoine's socks, which looks great but is also much more "traditional easy sock".

Honestly... it's just fun to work on something that isn't an enormous blanket! (Although that has to kick in again soon as another baby is due in June.)

I'm surprised I made as much progress as I did, to be honest, but it does help that my child is more able to entertain himself (thank you STEVE JOBS) and let mommy enjoy a little airplane knitting time.  But I'm also surprised I got as much in when we were so busy!

Constructing sand castles...

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Digging enomouse holes (my kid LOVES the beach)...

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"Surfing"...

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Deep sea diving on a submarine...

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Climbing volcanoes...

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Or just "chillaxing"...

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We had an amazing vacation- and I'm so glad we got to go.  (Especially since it meant I also got to knit some smaller things for a bit!)  I'm going to try and knock both of these projects out by mid April (ambitious much?) and I'm sure we'll talk "next projects" soon!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Twins!

Well- I went a day past my original plan on having these done.  BUT the good news is that they are done AND the babies are out in this world and most of all I CAN KNIT THINGS THAT ARE NOT BLANKETS!  (hurrah!)

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Pattern: Mosaic Blanket by Purl Soho
Yarn: Red Heart Soft Baby Steps in "White" and "Baby Pink"
Needles: US 8
Notes: I added a thin border throughout just because I felt like it needed it.  (4 rows on the bottom and 3 stitches on either side, which yes, necessitated an extra ball, but I felt it was worth it.)

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This is an excellent pattern to cut your teeth on mosaic knitting.  The pattern is simple and intuitive and, in my case, knit up quickly.  I loved the idea of reversing the colors on each one so that that they are twins but also distinctive in their differences.

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These are lovely and I'll likely knit this again if I need a quick knit but for now I'm happy to move on to bigger and more importantly, DIFFERENT things.  (I usually get blanket ennui midway through ONE... thankfully the ennui hit midway through #2.)

I celebrated by casting on something new.

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Last post I couldn't decide between a number of projects but I was able to focus and decided on Hermoine's Everyday socks.

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Lest you give me too much credit I actually decided to work on TWO pairs of socks, and Love and Liquor should be cast on tonight.  L&L is considerably harder and requires much brain power.  When I can't give it my full attention I'll switch to the considerably simpler Hermoine's.

I also managed to squeak out a charity section on a blanket that showed up last week.  The blanket's theme was from Monster's University- and so of course I had to knit a "Sully" section... mostly because I have the best family photo from Disneyland with that character.

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And that folks leaves us here- new beginnings and new things to talk about.  Hopefully some smooth sailing on the knitting front ahead!

PS- I thought I should also add the cats are back to normal and very happy to be living a cone free existence again!

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Monday, March 7, 2016

Distractions Everywhere

The good news is that, as of this posting, I'm on track to meet my goal for this week.  The final hat set is done (thank God) and brings the tally up to 6 hats and 3 booties.  GAH.  No one get pregnant for awhile, I NEED A BREAK.

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Pattern: HAT- Cabled Teddy Hat by Marinda Lariz  BOOTIES- Cable Cuff Booties by Caroline Brooke
Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Sport in "white"
Needles: Hat- US 6  Booties- US 5
Notes: Love BOTH patterns- SOOOOOO need a break from knitting them.

As far as the blanket goes I'm 2.5 pattern repeats from the goal and we'll see.  I want to be there on Wed.  I really do.  But I don't know it's going to be feasible.  New temporary goal is to cast off the blanket on Saturday and begin the blocking process.  No pictures because it looks the same as last time only like 2 repeats longer.

What I'm really struggling with is my "next thing".  I have "starter-itis" and I want to KNIT! ALL! THE! THINGS!  Specifically socks.  I'm due for a good sock.  The problem is I just can't decide on WHAT I'm going to knit.

Is it Love and Liquor in the much beloved Wollmeise?  My brain will likely BREAK at some point 'cuz this pattern is hard y'all.

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Is it the Take Five socks from my ample Felici collection?  Simple. Simple.

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Or is it Hermionie's Every Day socks in the Koigu that I feel strongly compelled to knit with?  Sorta Simple.

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I can't decide.  Can you?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ennui Strikes Again

Last week it was ALL MOMENTUM.... this week it's been a fight to just meet the goal.

The goal is met... but I'm having a tough time moving forward.  GUYS- I'm SO. OVER. this blanket pattern.  I'm ready for something new and exciting... which isn't great given there is still half to knit.

I finished the hat, except for seaming the ears on...

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But on the upside I've also started the booties- mostly because I just don't want to knit the blanket right now.

Sadly I've knit so many of these I feel the same kind of ennui for the booties too BUT I'd like to give this set to the mom at school on Monday, so I need to drive forward on this.

And yes, I did reach the half way point on the blanket but I just can't seem to get myself  to knit the rest.

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It doesn't help that it's been busy around here on the non-knitting front.  I feel like I'm running every day (because I am) to a different event for this guy.  (But at least we're improving..)

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AND- the high maintenance cats are slightly more high maintenance this week thanks to a "very special operation" that only Bob Barker feels good about.  (I feel badly... but they are fine.)

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Knitting time feels harder and harder to squeak out right now.  It happens but it feels like the time I get I have to fight so hard to make any progress.  SO, because despite the ennui I was able to get it mostly sorted... this week's goal:

1) Finish the hat and bootie set

2) Get 5 repeats done on the blanket.  5 is reasonable self.  You can do 5.  You got this.  Really.  YOU. CAN. DO. IT.  (so do it!)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Progress Report

True to my word, I met last week's goals and I'm proud of myself because I'm actually making decent progress on this plan.

Blanket #1 is off the needles, ends need to be woven in and blanket still needs to be blocked- but it's done.  And that feels good.

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Blanket #2 is on the needles and moving at a decent clip.  I'm pleased that this pattern knits so fastly!  (Good choice me!)

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When you put the two blankets together you can really see the difference.  I hope my cousin likes this and thinks it's neat... because I'm quite pleased with myself.

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AND- I finally got off my butt and got my charity blanket section out the door.  Do I love it?  No.  But I couldn't just let it sit in the corner anymore.  I try to get those blankets out the door FAST and it was driving me nuts that I hadn't accomplished that yet.

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Good thing it's done because I just received word I'm getting another.  I have stepped back considerably my charity involvement this year, allowing myself the time to work on my own stuff- but I'm hoping to pick that back up again later in the year.  I do have yarn for hats- which will get knit (eventually), but I've decided not to sweat it until the summer when I'm more focused on small, simple projects.

Since short term goal setting has been working well for me so I'll keep setting out my intentions.  I'd like to get to the half way point on blanket #2 by next Wed.  In that time I'd also like to knit the final baby hat for a pregnant preschool mom so I can get that obligation out the door too.

February has proven a fruitful month, and I'm hoping the pattern continues!  Back to knitting!