It has been since I last bought yarn!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monkey Off My Back

The latest marathon purse project is done! The monkey socks have graduated from my purse to my feet!


Pattern: Monkey Socks by Cookie A.
Yarn: S. R. Kertzer On Your Toes Bamboo in "Iris Multi"
Needle: US size 2
Thoughts: I started this sock on July 19, and despite some pretty faithful lunch time knitting sessions, it took me until the end of October to finish. This is the most popular sock pattern on Ravelry. Apparently it has been knit 10,396 times by Ravelry members!! Those are some pretty amazing stats but it's easy to see why people knit them so much. They look complicated, but they aren't. This is a relatively easy and enjoyable knit and the perfect break "just interesting enough" pattern that is good to give the brain a break. If you haven't knit these, what are you waiting for!? (*cough* ANNE *cough*) ;-)


I'm going to be honest, the Monkey pattern is a great knit, quite frankly, this particular yarn and it's pooling are leaving me somewhat underwhelmed. I had to shorten the leg repeats by one just to have enough yarn to finish the project. (I do suspect that I may have had enough to knit the additional repeats, but my heart couldn't take the pressure.) To celebrate the end of the monkey sock- I cast on a new project right away.

I love Cookie A sock patterns so much- I'm knitting another one. Meet Marlene!

I started Marlene last Thursday. She looked like this:


I am so enchanted by Marlene that by this Wednesday she looks like this: (color is more accurately represented in the above photo.)


This is SUCH A GREAT PATTERN! It's just fun to knit and it really makes a yarn pop! I'm just chomping at the bit to sneak in a few rows here or there. It's the perfect purse project. (I also see to be going through a "purple period" at the moment... please bear with me!)

All this new and exciting sock progress has you worried doesn't it? Well fear not- I have not abandoned Beef.

Beef Block

Look what's off the needles and blocking! I blocked this blanket meticulously. I measured each "beef circle" so that they'd all be the same. I measured border. I measured everything. I used 90 zillion pins. But it's so satisfying knowing I can't do anything on it while it's wet!

And tonight? I'm facing my old foe "crochet" and we will battle to the death until one of us comes out triumphantly. (Read: I'm crocheting a picot border onto the blanket.) Notice all those who are in my vicinity- I may be uttering words my mother didn't teach me this evening while I attempt to vanquish the crochet beast.

I'm so close to finishing this blanket, I can practically taste it!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

These Are My Confessions...

There is something so exciting about doing something you're not supposed to. There's the thrill of the new experience, the rush of the way something new touches you and with your heart racing and adrenaline pumping you don't care about the consequences, you enjoy the moment, no matter what it brings.

I confess, I had an affair....

... I cheated on the Baby Beef Blanket.

And it felt so good!

Those slippers were simply too magical to resist. I had to make them. I HAD TOO. It was a deep, primal urge I simply couldn't ignore.


Pattern: French Press Slippers by Melynda Bernardi
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool (100% wool)
Needles: US 15
Notes: If I was a smoker, I would totally light up having completed these. This is an incredibly easy item to knit- and felting wasn't nearly as terrifying as I thought it would be. What's even better- I used nearly the entire skein, I have MINIMAL leftovers, I can't make anything else! You can knit these in two evenings, or if you're me, a whole Saturday. If, and WHEN, I make these again, I would felt the shoe parts for longer and the strap for shorter. But in general I am extremely thrilled with these.

It went from looking like this pre-felting (pardon my iphone photo):


To this- post felting.


In a word? AWESOME.

But once I allowed myself to cheat on "Beef"- I couldn't stop. I just couldn't.


Does it help if this is intended for his little head?

Pattern: Hat (my own = CO 48 sts and fake it like you know what you're doing!) & Booties #7 White Booties from the book.
Yarn: Classic Elite Jil Eaton "Minnow Merino" in white and blue
Needles: Hat- US 8, Booties- US 7
Notes: This yarn is SO yummy. If I had a mint, (which is what I'd need to afford a shwack load of this), I would buy it and dive in like Scrooge McDuck used to with his money. This stuff is made of yummy and possibly kittens.

As if these distractions weren't enough- I kept it up. I confess I also knitted up a baby hat to add to my pile waiting to go to the hospital, giving me three more hats to add to the running total.


Yes. I know. I'm sick. I should be ashamed. I shouldn't be flaunting this blatant affair on this blog like I am. But I cannot help it. I NEEDED a break from the blankets. And, lest you stay up at night worrying yourself about my Beef project... I thought I'd let you know that I spent my entire Sunday knitting on it. (Yes, all this casual knitting took place on Friday and Saturday- perfect knitting weekend!)

Behold... Beef progress!


I'm nearly done the fourth section- just one more after that. I'm hoping for a reprieve from this bad boy by the weekend. There are two things I'm considering; outlining the words "Li'l Beef" which is barely recognizable right now (dammit!) and the cow eyes with a light brown color, and secondly, potentially adding a crochet (*VOMIT) border. I feel like the blanket is going to need some loving finishing and I worry that I don't have the patience to see it through. But let's get there and cross that bridge when we need to.

It felt good to cheat. I know I can't always allow myself cheating like that, but it was so satisfying to do something, ANYTHING, other than a blanket that I was more than willing to break my resolve. Having had a little distraction, I'm ready to keep on tackling Beef. Hopefully next week we'll be "oohing" and "aahing" over my FINISHED blanket.

Bless me knitters for I have sinned.
(and I still don't feel bad about it!)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Mother Nature delivered the cold air and snow quite a bit earlier this year and we celebrated CDN Thanksgiving with snow on the ground and warm sweaters on to protect against the chill. Apparently there was no time for fall- we went straight to winter. The minute the air changes outside, my mind begins to wonder, and daydream about all the projects I’d rather be knitting than the ones that I am currently knitting. This year is no different.

Here’s the thing, Mother Nature not only delivered snow early- she also brought Baby Beef early. I’ve quickened the pace on my blanket knitting as I am now overdue on delivering it too it’s rightful owner- but I can’t help but look ahead to the finish line and see hope for a new and exciting projects...

... AFTER the last blanket is knit. Yes folks, there is STILL ONE MORE to go. JOY! /sarcasm.

Since there is progress on the blanket, but none that is particularly picture worthy- I thought I’d use this space to publicly daydream about the projects I’d like to knit up this fall/winter.

I just saw these yesterday and it is EVERYTHING in me not to run out and buy the pattern ASAP and abandon everything I’m working on and just KNIT THEM ALREADY.

FP Slippers

French Press Slippers. (All pictures here are property of the designers and not my own!) I want one in EVERY color! (And I can’t promise that I won’t attempt to sneak a pair in the near future!) Oh I hope that these are as fun to knit as they look!!

Of course because there’s snow on the ground, I have renewed desire to knit these socks!


Snowflake socks!!(Rav link only) So pretty! So delicate! So wintery!

And then, of course, Cookie A tempts me with her socks… I have the perfect colors of Kai Mei in my stash!!!! And don’t even get me started on Marlene and my desire to knit that pattern!

But of course it isn’t just socks and slippers that call to me. It’s mittens. Mittens still seem to be my obsession ‘du jour’ and I cannot seem to quell the need to knit them.

First of course, I owe my father in law mittens from over a year ago. He has every right to kick me the butt and insist I drop everything and knit these all ready. He hasn’t done this mind you, but he wouldn’t be without cause is all I’m sayin’.


Cruiser, coming soon to a blog near you!

Then of course my need to need to faire isle is out of control suddenly… with Bird in the Hand and Kiss the Frog mittens. And lately, for unknown reasons, I can't stop thinking about how warm and cozy my hands would be in these two beauties:

Bella’s Mittens


and All the Water mittens:


And, since I'm going to be in NYC in early November, I got to make a WEBS order. I love WEBS, but their shipping to Canada is just too high, good thing their shipping to NYC is entirely reasonable! Yesterday I ordered yarn for my Stampede entry this year. (Let's leave it a mystery for a little while longer...) I also managed to coerce the husband in to agreeing I needed yarn to make this

Doesn't it look cozy? Don't you just want to wrap yourself up in a sweater like that on a cold day? Me too.

So with all these knitterly distractions, (curse you Ravelry and your inspiring patterns!), you can imagine why I'm trying to knit just as quickly as I can so I can get going on some of these other, more interesting pursuits.

See? Wasn't that more fun than seeing the Beef blanket look virtually the same as it did last time? I'm so looking forward to moving past baby blankets for awhile!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Drano for Knitters...

My friend Erica and I have this joke that always makes us giggle. It's not a particularly witty or sophisticated joke, but it makes us laugh. In a lot of ways, that joke can be applied here.

What's this?


It's a whole bunch of these...


Hmmm... on second thought, that might actually only be funny when cocktails are involved.

Either way- my incredibly bad joke serves to show us one thing, I HAVE UNCLOGGED THE KNITTING BLOCKAGE and finally made some decent progress on the blanket. It's basically taken a month of hmming, hahing and second guessing myself, but I've finally started to dig in and start making progress.

After my last blog post, where I confessed my disdain for the pattern, I did some soul searching. I even had the mother in law search too- and got the honest opinion. That blanket was not good. I was fooling myself. After hearing the truth and saying it out loud to myself, I knew there was only one thing left to do. Go back to the drawing board.

I ripped out three skeins of knitting...


It was actually a very good decision. Not only did I discover that I had miscalculated my gauge along the way and had FIVE extra inches in width that I didn't want, but looking at all that garter stitch I just couldn't care about it at all.

Some careful math later and realizing I was over-complicating something very simple, I adjusted my border to five stitches on each end and JUST KNIT THE PATTERN five times over. It maybe took me 5 minutes to plan out. Considering it took me close to 2 hours to write everything out on the wildly disappointing version, I took the ease to which this came to me as a very good sign.

And so I'm knitting a blanket finally. And just in time too! By my calculation this kid could show up anytime now! I began knitting in earnst on Friday, Oct 2. Today is the 5th. My big goal is to have HALF this blanket done by Friday. That's 2.5 patterns. I'd appreciate any and all positive thoughts you could send my way! :-)