It has been since I last bought yarn!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Having Fun Again

I'm having so much fun!

Yes. You heard me. There is no whining in this post.... just happy fun feelings about knitting this week. Stepping away from obligations gave me a chance to really throw myself into some fun projects.

Firstly, I proud to announce that the 52nd hat is off the needles and I have fulfilled my resolution to knit a hat a week this year.


These six hats are the last of the bunch for the year. I haven't decided what to do about next year. I've knit 104 hats in the last two years for the hospital, and well, I'm thinking that 2010 might be the year that I cut back a little, and focus more on what I want to knit. I'll get back to you on what I decide.

I also knit a hat and mitten set for little Jack Ryan over Christmas. Unfortunately he and his parents left for their holiday before I could give it to him, but it's a cute set all the same!


Pattern: My hat pattern and the Frazzled Knits "Wee Baby Mitts"
Yarns: Leftover Bernat Satin in Red and White
Needles: US size 3 for the mittens US size 8 for the hat

Christmas this year, was as lovely as ever. My husband bought me a pair of Signature Needle DPNs and I can't wait to try them out! My family decided to give me what I wanted most, and several Pudding gift cards were happily opened from under the tree.

This was, without coincidence, a well timed gift, as my MiL and I went on our third annual boxing day yarn sale EXTRAVAGANZA. (This year we were joined by Anne and Jocelyn who seemed just as enthused about the yarn sales as we were. I say, the more the merrier!) To say that Pudding was mobbed this year is an understatement. Pudding was OVER RUN with knitters looking to score deals, and thankfully they seemed ready for us.

I showed considerable restraint, especially given that I feel like my stash is a bit big-ish right now and needs some culling down. However, a call from my Grandparents on Christmas day did warrant some purchases. (Grandpa wanted to know where his socks were, apparently he wanted a pair.) I decided to pick up the yarn to make both of them pairs, since I didn't really have "their colors" in my stash.

For Grandpa, who wants 'plain' socks, I see another pair of Mr. Pitts in my future with the very manly "Regia 4-fadig Tweed" sock yarn.


For Grandma who didn't ask for socks, but I decided I can't just send along one pair, I picked up some "Online Supersocke 100 - Florida" in a lovely purple color. I haven't decided what pattern I'll make exactly, but I think I'll keep it simple too.


(Kudos to the husband who did a great job capturing the purples in this.) I'm hoping to send these are anniversary gifts to them for their March 17th anniversary. Keeping the pattern simple should make it easier to grind out 2 pairs. (hmmmm... perhaps this could be my Rav-Olympic challange...)

While yarn shopping is fun, it's not the fun I'm alluding to in this post. I'm back knitting the Marlene's, (to which I am perilously close to running out of yarn) and alternating with knitting the Bird in Hand mittens, which have had some troubles of it's own. (But that's a story for another time.) It's fun to work on both projects and see progress. In the background I'm listening to "Craftlit", the podcast for crafter's who like books*.

Craftlit is a GEM of a find, and it's the perfect listening while I knit. She focuses on books that are in the public domain and therefore free to make available to the public. So far I've listened to Pride and Prejudice (LOVE THAT BOOK SO MUCH) this fall, and now over my holiday I've listened to the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and currently making my way through Henry James' Turning of the Screw. Heather is a former school teacher, so each week, along with chapters of the book she talks about some history and key things to listen to, making the story come alive. I loved my English classes in high school and university and I'm having so much fun combining the two hobbies I love- reading and knitting. (As Heather says, "If your hands are too busy to pick up a book, at least you can turn one on.")

So that's been my holiday so far; podcasts and knitting- and quite frankly, I'm in heaven for it. Hopefully I'll be able to squeeze in another post before the end of the year and show you some completed items. In the mean time, I'm going to get back to having my fun. I hope your Christmas holiday has been productive and enjoyable as mine so far!

*The Podcaster Heather always says this, and it just describes the podcast so well.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bits and Bobs

I have officially stepped back from the blanket. I appreciate all of your thoughtful comments and votes on my last post. Many of you are encouraging me to step back and start again, although those of you close to me have encouraged me to stay the course with the pattern. I've opted for a mild compromise. I have decided to stick with the original pattern idea, to sit down and rework the palm tree, but also order new colors, suiting a girl. New yarn will save this. Right? **tap tap** Is this thing on? Bueller???

Since the blanket pressure is off until the new year (Knit Picks ordered today)- I've fully immersed myself in as many distracting projects as possible. I turned this:

FPress 2

Into these (I love this pattern SO MUCH):


Pattern: French Press Slippers (of AWESOMENESS) by Melynda Bernardi (Who, by the sounds of it, seems like a total sweetheart!)
Needles: US 15
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool in "Leaf Green"
Notes: LOVE THIS PATTERN STILL. I'm mildly perturbed that it looks like I may have skinned Kermit the Frog alive*... but they couldn't be more awesome.

Full Disclosure: I bought 3 skeins more of yarn to make more pairs of these and may have already just about finished the most recent pair. (Nello.. I'm looking in your direction, care to disclose your foot size?) I'm going to ask you to stage an intervention at some point. This project is so addictive and SUCH a crowd pleaser.

Aside from being addicted to slippers, I also managed to get my section of the WCOBB blanket "Ilanaaq" done. Despite the elventy billion miles of stocking stitch, I actually think this turned out pretty great. I love the cohesiveness of the pattern.


And finally, FINALLY, I got around to casting on my "Bird in Hand" mittens, which are going to be SMASHINGLY awesome. (Can you handle it? I can hardly handle the awesome.)


These tiny knitting distractions have been JUST what the doctor orderd as far as attempting to re-find my knitting mojo. But, even if I didn't have these distractions, I would have had this:


(L-R: Nancy, Rhonda, Shirley (mom), Phyllis (MiL), Sylvia, Mary, Robin, Carolina (our newsest knitting convert), ME (UGH photogenic and I don't ever show up in the same sentence), Renell and Kylar (who I'm sure will want to be a knitter when he grows up.)

We had our knitting group Christmas party and it was a blast. It's hard to wallow in knitting self-pity when such an enthusiastic and encouraging group of ladies are there cheering you on. It's a rare event that we were all able to be there, but I'm sure everyone would tell you that we love our little knitting group. My "Knitwits" night is the one I look forward to most of all. I know most of you lovely ladies read this blog- so THANK YOU for all your encouragement and support this year, you are by far my favorite cheering section and I look forward to all we're going to make in the new year. Can I recommend slippers? (Are we going to have an intervention at the next night in January?)

So that's what my little knitting world has been like leading up to Christmas. I feel good. I'm having fun. And that's what it's all about... right? I'm doubtful that I'm going to get a Christmas post together by Thursday, (there are just too many distractions), and so I want to take this time to wish my faithful readers, (all 8 of you- haha) a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!! See you at the Boxing Day Yarn sales! (Oh yes, I'm going!)

*No frogs were harmed in the making of the slippers. It only looks that way.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Epic Fail


This is supposed to look like a palm tree.

Yes. I realize that it doesn’t look like a palm tree. This is a problem because I followed the exact same pattern above, on the blanket… and it’s not looking much like a palm tree either.


Which means 2 things.

1) I screwed up transposing the pattern. (It should be noted that this in NO WAY DigKnitty’s fault or error in pattern writing. This one is ALL ME. *sobs*)

2) I have to rip back to the start of the second row of blue squares, because the center square is not going to resemble anything like a palm tree. That is going to greatly hinder my progress t0 “git ‘er done”.


I’m really struggling with motivation on this project, especially since over the weekend the husband, (who from time to time suffers from “brutally honest syndrome”) broke it to me that he couldn’t really “see” the patterns I was knitting.


I can, but I’m a knitter- husband, and the recipients of the blanket are NOT knitters… what if they can’t see it either? What if they think the blanket is just a bunch of oddly knit blue squares and are like “THIS is what we were waiting for?!” This is an epic blow to my knitting ego.

My knitting ego was smarting already because on Tuesday I also had to rip out the entire second sock for the purse sock.


(Thankfully I was only the cuff and one pattern repeat in.) I kept running out of stitches and when I started to tink back I started dropping stitches. The only way out was frogging the entire thing and starting again.


As if one trip to the “frog pond” was bad enough, I made 2 this week. (*more sobbing*) So, I’ve done the only thing a girl can do, when faced with this type of situation. I’ve put both projects in December time out. I need to step away. I need to clear my head. I need to not feel like an epic knitting failure. To soothe my rattled ego I did the only thing I could do to make myself feel better. I bought yarn. (Oh Loopy… you shouldn’t be so easily available to me… you’re the high I don’t need, but want so badly.) I think I earned my “Loopy Groupie” status with that one.

I also told myself I could cast on a new project, and bought the pattern for Bird in the Hand mittens which I have been chomping at the bit to knit. But, before I can cast that on, I need to fulfill my obligation to the latest WCOBB blanket that showed up on my doorstep last night. It’s the perfect thing I need right now, an all garter stitch blanket. Just knit stitch after knit stitch. I can’t screw that up, can I? (Somebody knock on wood!)

While I’m knitting these stitches I find myself thinking about what to do about the Magnum Opus blanket. I’m worried the patterns won’t show up. All this work would be for naught. I’m seriously, SERIOUSLY, considering casting this idea aside and just ordering more yarn to knit my friend a new blanket (Ravelry link), with an already lovely and established pattern.

What would you do (pretend you are an anal retentive perfectionist with a big knitting ego)?

Voting closes at Christmas. Help me decide!

Until then, ATTENTION KNIT GODS… bring back my Mojo!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

1/3 Done is Still Better Than Zero Done!

It seems that professing on my blog my non-desire to knit this blanket actually was the kick start I needed to finally get my butt in gear and KNIT THE BLANET.

Yay... progress!


The last part of the story is finall depicted on my "Magnum Opus" project for Brandy. (I have to knit from the end to the beginning... so last parts first.)

I am, as usual, full of self loathing and doubt, on this project. I'm not happy with my chosen colors, (especially since this is for a girl) and I'm feeling like this is a rather stark, BLUE! then WHITE! blanket and there's not a smooth "color transition". (How is that for anal retentive?) The blue yarn is also pilling. I'm really not happy about that. This might be the Knit Picks project that ends the new "blanket yarn standard". Pilling does not a pretty project make.

Okay. Enough fussing. I am trying to love this blanket past it's faults.

Let's look a little closer at the designs, shall we? (There is NOTHING wrong with those!) (Please also be patient with me, when this blanket is done, I will do close up shots of the BLOCKED finished pictures and they are going to look so much better... but no sense blocking this early in.)

First up, representing "and then they had a baby" in the story of my friends, Lisa Vienneau & Allison Barret's design "New Arrival Stork Washcloth".


Second, representing their two very special furry family members, (Benny & Teddy), Lisa Millan's really cute "Puppy Love Dishcloth".


Thirdly, and designed by special request by Lisa Millan (WHO IS AWESOME, by the way...) the Toronto skyline, representing where the couple moved after they got married.


So yes, I can say that progress is finally under way. I am almost certain that I'm going to run out of yarn into this project so I may have to lift my promise that this blanket will be finished before 2010. I will say, instead, that I will work on this project and this project only until I run out of yarn and have to order more. Fair?

Okay- off to re-work part 2 of this blanket so that we can keep this progress train chugging along!