It has been since I last bought yarn!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

If At First You Don't Succeed...

I put this project in a time out over December- and then, kept using the yarn order, (that was quite late), as my excuse not to pick up the needles and try again. I then got the late yarn order and still couldn't get myself to frog the old blanket and begin again.

But, then, the husband watched Batman Begins one Saturday afternoon- and it all changed.

At one point in the movie Alfred asks Bruce Wayne (Batman) "Why do we fall?" and Bruce dutifully responds "So we can get back up" and I felt like the universe was sending me a message.

Why do we fall? So we can get back up.


We've been here before, however there are a few key changes:

1) The color is a vast improvement for a little girl. Pink and purple and GIRLIE. I feel 90% better about this blanket based on the change in colors.
2) I figured out where I went wrong.

I sat down and I looked long and hard at that palm tree pattern. I matched things- and I was still coming up short. I then decided to ask Lisa at DigKnitty if she could send me a chart. Lisa came through in a heartbeat and sent the chart instantly. (Have I mentioned how awesome she is? Let's get back to that. BUY FROM LISA!) The chart made it all make sense and I figured out where I was going wrong! I even figured out that I had made a drastic error transposing the square next to the palm tree too! SO, feeling a lot more confident, I am ready to accept the challenge to move past this project.

So hang on to your hats... here we go again!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Little Rabbit Foo Foo

It started like this:


A few hours later it looked like this:


A few days later it looked like this:


Pattern: Honey Bunny by Yvonne Boucher
Yarn: Bernat Satin in "camel" and a little left over white
Needles: US 3
Thoughts: I love knitting this pattern! The results are immediate and it's just SO. CUTE. It's a great last minute present that knits up quick.

I thought it might be a good idea to knit a few quick little baby gifts and try and get ahead of the "TSUNAMI of BABIES" that tends to interrupt my planned knitting. Especially since I was waiting for the new yarn to arrive to make the blanket that shall not be named. (Yes, we're returning to the horror next week.) This little project doesn't have a home yet, but I'm sure some little girl will be happy to give her a cuddle.


The End. :-) (Can you handle the tail? I can hardly handle the adorable wrapped up in that tail!)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Little Birdy Told Me...

A little birdy told me if I didn’t finish my mittens with the birdy embroidery it would bother me forever… and so, I did what the birdy told me and finished them up.


In my opinion the Birds make the mittens! Aren’t they cute?


A little birdy also told me that it’s about time I showed you a picture of the Plain A$$ socks since they were finished a long time ago.


Pattern: Sock Recipe: A Good Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl McPhee aka "The Yarn Harlot"

Yarn: OnLine Supersocke Cotton Beach Colour in colorway 945

Needles: US 2

Notes: My gauge is looser it seems these days, and the US 2 wasn’t the best of choices. Mental note to self- go down a size for a tighter fit. I knit these so fast I impressed myself! It took me 2.5 days to get both socks off the needles and on the blockers. Impressive!

I love being able to just knit, aimlessly without thinking. This was a great distraction. Even the pattern lines up beautifully- and the anal retentive in me enjoys that everything is asymmetrical and looks the same.


I’ve obeyed the little birdy about showing you the mittens and the socks, but it wanted me to show you something else too. I’m hesitant to do this, scared to be honest with you and myself, but I’ve decided to put it out there publicly.

The little birdy wanted me to show you MOST of my stash.

Sock & Fingering Weight Yarn


DK & Worsted Weight Yarn


(The little birdy was thoughtful enough to not make me show you my acrylic stash and leftovers that sit in the box without a project on the horizon. That’s my “shame” stash that only I am privy too.)

It’s time to admit to myself how much there is and to set some goals in dealing with it.

This is the stash that I’ve collected that needs to get smaller. I’m not suggesting that it needs to disappear overnight- but I will not get a new box for stash. I love this yarn. It is time that I knit with it. Current stash storage is tight. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is going to fit in that box right now. I chose not to knit hats this year so that I may, instead, focus on stash busting a little more.

If you double click on the photos above, I’ve added some notes that will show up on the flickr page when you hover over stash items. Some plans for the stash are revealed there. My goal is to whittle this down by half. I will show you these pictures again, sometime in the summer with the used yarn blurred out, and again in December, so I can publicly assess what I’ve used up.

If, and when I’ve made room in the boxes, I can add back to the pile**… specifically I will buy the Rowan Lima yarn that I have not stopped obsessing about and make something beautiful with… but only, after there is some stash down progress here.

I’m looking forward to making some beautiful projects this year, with yarn from my stash!

As for that little birdy, he wanted me to show you two other things I’ve gotten around to starting, but I told him to take a hike. Birdies have gotten so demanding! (We’ll discuss on the next blog).

** as always exceptions to the rules will be made. There will and always will be room in my stash for Wollmeise. If I stumble over a Loopy Ewe update, I’m scooping that stuff up! Also- baby blanket yarn won’t count, because there will be a little bit of that too this year.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What I Knit on my Christmas Vacation


Today is, sadly, the last day of my Christmas vacation. Tomorrow I return to work and get back to the grind- but today, I have one last day to reflect on how awesome it is to live a life of leisure.

I knit a lot this vacation. I listened to podcasts, I watched the first two seasons of Mad Men, maybe the first 3 of 6 Star Wars movies and most of all, I knit through all of it. With that kind of focus on the knitting- there was bound to be some progress. I finished the following before New Years (and therefore will be counted in the 2009 list of my FO's).


Pattern: Marlene by Cookie A
Yarn: Estelle Cadenza in sexy colorway name 955 (purple). (PLEASE YARN PEOPLE, it is so much more fun when you NAME your yarn instead of giving it a number.)
Needles: US 2
More Pics because these look smashing: (if you are a Ravelry member there are always more photos on that site)


Thoughts: I couldn't start the new year with an old purse sock. I decided I had the brain power to commit to the sock so I just went for it, and was surprised how quickly, (and without errors) I was able to grind this sock out when I put my head down. The yarn makes the project just pop- and I really hope they keep my dear friend Melly's feet warm!

Also, keeping my hands warm, and knit to sort of matching my Burberry scarf:



Pattern: Bird in Hand by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Cascade 220 in 8505 and 4102 (or white and pink)
Needles: US 1 for the cuffs and US 3 for the hand portions
Thoughts: I know that I'm supposed to embroider the bird in the thumb of the mitten- and lord knows I tried. I'll still try, but I wish I had heeded the advice of everyone else who knit these and embroidered before I seamed up the thumbs, so far all attempts at embroidery have failed. I also wish that I'd done a different color palette. The pink is light enough that the pattern doesn't really "pop" out, and you have to look at it for a bit before you get the effect of the pattern.

I did really love the braid and the cuffs. I want to put a braid in everything now!


In general I'm a little disappointed with these mittens. (Although they are incredibly warm and practically bullet proof and I will wear them for the remainder of this cold winter!) I'm still knitting fair isle too tightly. I had to rip these mittens out three times to get a hand size I liked. Here's the difference between the hand on US 2's and the hand on US 3's. (3's are a much more comfortable fit.)


My stranding still pulls and puckers and I'm annoyed with myself that I haven't mastered this yet. I want to sit down and knit with Magses and have her show me what I'm doing wrong. Her fair isle always turns out so beautifully and smooth. My cuffs are perfect... but my hands are not. I wonder where the difference is? I still want to get good at this technique... I will still try more mittens, but I'm hoping that there will be a magic moment where the light bulb turns on and I get it.

With the mittens and socks off the needles, I found myself staring down at a New Years project-less. Having knit the Marlene's and Bird in Hands, I was longing for something simple. Really simple. I cast on a plain a$$ sock, and I'm enjoying the reprieve from having to pay close attention to a chart and counting my stitches. I made pretty impressive progress in a very short amount of time. (I would so love to finish these today!)


Who doesn't love a project that is mostly knit stitch?

As far as New Years resolutions go, I've decided not to pressure myself into hats this year. I'm staring down another year of baby blankets, and every time I take some time off from the blankets, I end up knitting hats to try and catch up to my total. I'm missing out on knitting the projects I do want to knit because I'm trying to stay up to date on the hats. It's not to say that I won't be knitting hats. I just won't be attempting to knit 52 of them. My only other resolution is to whittle away at the stash more aggressively. My Loopy Ewe order arrived on Wednesday last week- and it contained the most beautiful stash addition.


This is Madelintosh in "Window Pane". It's so unbelievably squooshy I just want to squeeze it in my hands all the time. I might take it to work to squeeze it when I get stressed... this seems to have the magic powers to make any bad day disappear.

I have a lot of yarn. It's time to knit it down. I love my stash. I love what's in my stash- I just need to get to KNITTING my stash. 2010 is going to be a good year if I just knit with my stash. So I'm going to try. I'm not going to make promises of no slip ups along the way- I'm weak, and I'm also flush with Pudding gift cards from generous family members. (I'm also dreaming of Rowan's "Lima" yarn and what I could make of it, I have fallen in love. But I won't allow myself a purchase until I make some room in the stash boxes.)

2010 is off to a great start- looking forward to see what I'm going to make this year!