It has been since I last bought yarn!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Oh people. The last blanket. The LAST blanket remains. And I could not want to knit something less. I am in full procrastination mode.

Here's the thing, for Baby Beef, I had to work from a dishcloth pattern and modify it so that it would turn out right. It involved effort. I couldn't just look at an already there pattern, I had to make it up and it was hard and it required brain power. But, once I figured out what I was doing, I sat down and just DID IT.

For this next blanket, I've committed myself in a much larger way. The blanket is for one of my best girlfriends. I was there when she and her husband met and I thought "wouldn't it be nice to tell their story on the blanket?" And with that thought, my brain stuck to the idea like glue. Yes there are million "already there" beautiful blanket patterns, but I really want to do my idea. Using dishcloth designs, each square represents something significant about their life together.

Everything started coming together really nicely when the SUPER AWESOME Lisa, of Digknitty Designs responded to a small question on Ravelry by offering to really help me out. I decided to use all of her patterns for consistency, especially after she offerred to alter one of her designs to accomodate my needs and design FROM THE GROUND UP, a special request. She didn't have to help me nearly as much as she did... but she did and for that she will always be awesome in my books. (I will also be pimping her site here during the duration of this blanket- so PLEASE, go order something from her. She has a million designs, and I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but she's AWESOME!)

But now I'm in the planning stages and there are so many reasons why I keep telling myself that I'm not getting this blanket done.

1) I hate the yellow I ordered. HATE IT. I have changed my mind and decided to knit the blanket in blue and off white only. EXCEPT, that I ordered yarn with a whole blanket in mind and now I'm pretty sure I'm not going to have enough of either color to finish. That's not a big deal, I can call Knitpicks and place another order, but there's no guarentee on dyelots and I can't get more off-white until Dec 18.

2) The baby was born yesterday. (I can't even comment on the level of guilt I'm experiencing over not having a baby blanket for one of my BEST FRIENDS. I am a terrible person.) It's a girl. YAY... except that I was knitting blue and white. The baby room is blue too. If I'm making a knitpicks order anyways, should I just change gears mid go here and order pink?

3) Lisa's patterns are awesome. But they are designed for dishclothes and I am one of the most anal retentive people alive. I am rewriting every one of them, so that they are all the same size. This involves going through every pattern, re-writing it and adding or subtracting (or both at the same time) stitches to make every square, well, square. It's tedious, time consuming work and I just want to knit, not think.


I've had more than one instance where it dawns on me that what I've done is wrong, and had to throw out the entire set up and begin again.

4) I do have the cast on number, and 10 rows of the border knit, but the minute I'm done the border I have to commit to how I want the "story" laid out. And I can't make up my mind at all!


5) I told myself that my father-in-law would disown me if I didn't get him his mittens. (NOT TRUE- I wanted any excuse I could find to knit with the soft alpaca.) And so, instead of working on this pattern earlier, I finished a pair of lovely mittens for him in the SUPER lovely alpaca yarn.


Pattern: Cruiser by Cailyn Meyer
Yarn: Jubilee Alpaca from the Wool Emporium in Saskatoon
Needles: US 5 & US6
Notes: LOVED the yarn. ADORED the yarn. Have maybe thought about rolling around in the yarn more than once. I liked the pattern too- a great easy knit, although ABSOLUTELY would knit a thumb gusset instead of doing the afterthought thumb. A gusset would have 100% satisfied me.

Father in law seemed to like them a fair bit, and so at least that's one issue off my conscience.

So now, I find myself running out of procrastination excuses. The baby is HERE, the patterns are purchased and half written out, I won't allow myself to cast on ANYTHING else until I make some progress on the blanket- so really that just leaves me to actually KNIT THIS BLANKET. Except that I don't want to.

My Tuesday knitting lunch crew, (Anne & Mel) and I have been jokingly calling this next blanket my "Magnum Opus"- because it's such an undertaking. For me, I haven't even started knitting it and I'm already struggling with my desire to knit it.

That's where all of you come in. I need you to hold me to this- I need you to ask me about this blanket... OFTEN. I need you to suggest finishing techniques, and ideas to help combat procrastination. I need to finish this blanket, and I'm hoping that you, dear reader, can help carry me there. We can get through this together- hang on tight!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Where's the Beef?


It's the moment we've all been waiting for! Beef is FINISHED! (I'll give you this moment to throw confetti in the air, pop a bottle of bubbly and hug your closest relative, preferably a knitter.) It's off the needles, and after some soul searching I decided it was okay with out any additional corrections made to the center.


Pattern: Modified Hay, Baby! Cloth by Elaine Fitzpatrick and my own chart for "Li'l Beef with Star" for the center square
Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Sport (10 balls) in Ivory
Needles: US size 5
Notes: By keeping the color simple, this turned out simply lovely, and after some careful blocking the little beef faces really "popped" off the blanket. The only disappointment I have is that the center square didn't turn out as I had hoped.


You can tell what it says ("Li'l Beef") if you look at it long enough and in the right light, but I wish I would have just done a stocking stitch center and top stitched over it after. Oh well. I hope the parents will forgive me and focus on Ms. Fitzpatrick's cute little cows!

What I did do right- was the picot crocheted border. Yes. I just used "right" and the "C" word in the same sentence. Check out this EXTREME CROCHET CLOSE UP! (Sensitive knitters may want to look away...)


After picoting the pink sweater last year, this crochet thing might have rubbed off on me because I was quite pleased with the finish on this blanket... even if Crochet is the craft of the devil.

It feels so good to have this blanket off my plate, I'm actually ready to start thinking about the last and final blanket of the year. (Which I swear to myself and my readers that I will do everything in my power to finish before 2010.) I've even started to put together the idea and the story for what I'm doing. You'll be hearing a lot more of that in the future though, so I won't discuss it now.

In the mean time I've been biding my time with small projects... I even finished up one of the purse socks and have started #2! {new record?} (My office can't seem to capture the color right, they look so dark here, but alas... it's this lighting or nothing!)


And hats! In counting my documented hats on Ravelry today, I realized that I have shorted myself in hats on this blog. I should have shown 41 done prior to this blog post- and now I've got FIVE more to make it 46 hats done. I'm actually on track and where I should be for the 52 hat goal! Go ME!


To celebrate all of this progress I did the one thing I've been dying to do. I cast on the Cruiser mittens for my father-in-law with some of that dreamy alpaca I bought the last time I was in Saskatoon.


The mitten knitting is glorious, (just as I remember), but this yarn... there are not adequate adjectives to tell you how much I love this yarn. I LOVE THIS YARN! It's so soft and dreamy to knit with. There seems to be a little oil left from the processing, just barely any at all, but it's making my hands so soft while I knit with it. I LOVE THIS YARN! The next person making a trip to Saskatoon may have to bring me more. There are so many things I want to make with this stuff. Did I mention that I LOVE THIS YARN!? Because I do. I love it with my whole heart and soul. I love it enough that my husband should be mildly jealous. I wonder how he'd feel if I started cuddling up to the second skein instead of him? Hmmm....

While I ponder what to do with the second skein of this wonder fiber- I think I'll got back to knitting the mitten and enjoying the first. I can't decide if I'll be happy or sad when I knit this stuff up.... stay tuned I guess.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

That's A Whole Lotta Yarn!

Faithful readers and those looking to keep me honest will note that recently my "Days gone without buying yarn" haven't been getting very high. In fact, it seems recently I've gone on a bit of a yarn bender.

We were in New York this last weekend and part of my pre-New York preparations involved making a WEBS yarn order. I love WEBS. I love ordering from WEBS. I hate paying shipping charges from WEBS to Canada. SO- when the opportunity presents itself, I decided to take advantage of really great shipping costs and ordered up some yarn.

First up I bought yarn for my "Mystery Stampede Project". A little "Shepherd Baby 3 Ply Wool" in this lovely color of "Baby Pink".


But I couldn't just stop there, not when I've been longing to make this sweater FOREVER. Say hello to my new friends "Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky" in Grey!


I'm actually quite proud of the restraint I showed when faced with the selection and awesome prices of WEBS! I could have done a LOT more damage.

I didnt stop there- although I will admit that this next purchase was more out of necessity than stash vanity. Here we have the yarn to knit up the last blanket of the "YEAR OF THE BLANKET" in Knit Picks Comfy Worsted in Marlin, Creme Brulee and Ivory. (Creme Brulee is a little disappointing color wise, I hope I can make it work with the rest of the blanket.)


I've made room in the stash boxes and told myself that I will be busting this out by the end of next year. What I love about new stash is that it represents new beginnings. This yarn has the potential to be so many pretty things, and I can't wait to show them off in 2010.

PS: For those of you wondering about the status of Beef, it's done. I'm just waiting for a day when I have the right sunlight to photograph it and that's been a challenge. I'm hoping this weekend I can give it a proper photo session and can show it off to you all very soon!

PPS: Since the time change, I've lost daylight hours to take photos at home- brace yourselves, I'm going to be taking a lot of project/stash photos at work while I can still maximize the sunlight that I get in my office. The light is right- the setting is less than desireable. Bare with me!

PPPS: Hey co-workers! YES, I'm taking picturesof yarn in my office. YES, I appreciate that this is a little odd to you. NO, I'm not going to stop and quite frankly, for the amount of time it would take to explain why I'm taking photos of yarn in my office, it's probably best not to ask. Let's just all pretend that seeing my photograph yarn in my office is very, very normal.

PPPPS: I knit 6 more hats. I'm almost back on target again!