It has been since I last bought yarn!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's the End of December!? WHAT!?

Yeah- December crept up and got the better of me and time wasn't there for a blog post.  I kept telling myself I'd catch up once the Christmas hub bub was over- plus I could regale you of tales of Boxing day yarn deals and I'd make up for it with a big post Christmas blog.

Then we all got sick.  Again.  And then Boxing day wasn't what it normally was.  And quite frankly... I found myself having not really knit anything, and not much to tell you.  But guilt it is a funny thing and I've decided to get at least one more blog out there before the new year.

First- let's talk Christmas haul.  There were books for inspiration, gift certificates from enablers (including the husband... so he can't complain about yarn acquisition!) and a circular needle holder case and glorious T pins.


The Quick Baby Knits book is probably going to see some action in the new year (one "for sure baby and 2 friends who have dubbed 2013 "the year of baby makin'"), and I have a goal to learn how to double knit something, hoping that the master color knitting book will hold my hand through that process.  As usual... great haul and thoughtful gifts from family members.

As I mentioned Boxing Day wasn't it's usual yarn diet binge of gluttony.  The are 2 reasons for this: 1) I was missing my Boxing Day Yarn Saling Enabler/Companion... better known as my Mother in Law. Unfortunately she had to attend a funeral- which one can hardly fault her for.  This meant I didn't have anyone to get caught up in a frenzy with.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing.  Frenzy yarn purchases lead to "why the hell did I buy that" stash items.  2) Even if MiL was there to go crazy with me, I'm not sure I would have.  I have systematically been working through my stash pretty well, and quite frankly, it feels good to get things going out the door.  I've become a smarter yarn consumer- less caught up by great deals (although I still feel weak when alpaca/cashmere/soft yarn are on sale... I'm only human!) and more thoughtful about what I buy.  I've finally gotten to a place where just because yarn is on a great sale, doesn't mean that I have to buy it.  I'm more a "buy what I need" kind of girl and it suits my stash and me just fine.

And yes, I have done a bit of knitting... just a little but enough to call progress.


Dad's sock- second one cast on.  I will fully admit I have second sock syndrome pretty bad with this one.  I just don't feel inspired to knit it.  I'll probably have to instill a "knit a so many rows" rule and reward myself with something else in order to complete it- and given that it's Dec 30... I'm going to say that the liklihood I finish these before Jan 1 is not exactly a reality.  But taking one unfinished item into the New Year isn't so bad, so I won't be too hard on myself.

Speaking of the new year, I do have a few knitting resolutions or goals to achieve.

1) 3 baby blankets.  I know.  You're sick of them.  I'M SICK OF THEM.  But these are 3 special friends who will have baby #1 and quite frankly... I want them to have something made by me.  You're going to have to see me through this.  I've got a couple of interesting projects planned... hopefully that will see me through the monotony of blankets.

2) Double Knitting.  I mentioned this above but I would really like to learn how to double knit.  I love the idea of a reversible fabric and feel ready to tackle this particular project.

3) 12 (+) Pink hats.  12 is the minimum that must be done. I bust out the purple acrylic stash in 2012... 2013 I need to bust down the pink stuff.  The rules are slightly different, the pattern can be the same but no hat can be identical, I have 3 balls of pink acrylic, I know I can achieve this.

4) Leftover Stash.  I need to figure out something for the leftovers stash.  Stash that has already had a destiny but I also have enough to have a second destiny.  I hate throwing this stuff out but OH MY GOD I have a lot of it and I need to do something with it.  Ideas and suggestions will be gladly taken into consideration.  (I'll address this situation in particular in another post on another day.)

I'll finish this post off with a slight peace offering... something to apologize for the lack of blog posts this month.  Here's a cute pic of my kid... late Christmas greetings and just ever so slight early New Years greetings!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

RSVP with Mittens!

It's that moment we've all been waiting for!  The Wedding Mittens are FINITO!


Pattern: Wedding Mittens by Jorid Linvik
Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit 100 Merino 2005 (Purple- I can't find a link!) and Knit Picks Bare- Superwash Fingering Weight
Needles: US 3
Thoughts: If I were a smarter/less lazy knitting, I would have figured out a way to do a gusset on these mittens.  A gusset just provides a nicer thumb than picking up the stitches.  The lack of gusset wouldn't stop me from knitting the pattern or any of Jorid's patterns again.  (She wrote the failed Doggy mittens pattern too... I might pick those back up again...)


These mittens are for my friend Erica, who is marrying Scott (hence the "E" and "S" initials in the hand), this January.


I've been wanting to knit these mittens for awhile and when Erica announced a winter wedding, it seemed like the right thing to send her.  I'll be sending her these along with our RSVP... we are coming Erica- it better not be too cold!!!  The purple is hopefully close to Erica's chosen wedding colors.

If you're like me, I always like to see the inside of stranded knitting- and so I've taken a few shots for you with the inside/outside view.  I'm getting better and better at faire isle mittens, and almost feel ready to bite off a project with more than 2 colors.  ALMOST.  (Let's not be crazy/over-confident now!)


Also off the needles for 2012 is the purple hat project.


Pattern: Various- although most are from the Sensational Knit Socks book by Charlene Schurch.  You can look on this link to my Ravlery page, that hopefully better outlines what hat is what pattern.
Yarn: 2 balls of Bernat Baby Softee in "soft lilac"
Needles: US 6
Thoughts: I actually had enough yarn to knit 14 hats, well 13 full hats- I had to add some white striping to the final hat in order to get me through.  It's great to have all of this out of my stash!

The goal for 2013 is to knit 12 more hats, this time in pinks, to bust the pink Bernat Softee out of the stash.  I'll set my minimum to 12, but I have enough stash to probably knit more than that.  Rules will be similar, no hat can be the same.  (Stitch pattern CAN be the same, but color scheme can't.)

With those two projects off the needles, I'm hoping to close out my year by finishing up the Balearique socks, started so long ago.  I've picked up those again and this is my progress so far.


Can you imagine people?  I might be starting off January 2013 with a clean slate.... a year of exciting, new projects to knit.  So tell me- what should I cast on to start my new year?

Thursday, November 29, 2012


You would think by my last post that I have spent the last 7 days furiously completing my mittens, and they would be fresh off the blocking pins in order for me to model and brag about here.

You'd, unfortunately, be wrong.

It's been a rough week over here at Chateau Nennie.  My little guy spent the better part of Wed night showing us the contents of his tummy.  Then on Thursday night my big guy, spared me the visual, but offered up repeated sacrifices to the Porcelain Gods.  Thankfully big guy needed 24 hours and was doing much better, I cannot say the same for little guy- who just kept getting sick.  SEVEN DAYS LATER I feel confident in saying "he's getting better"- but he's not 100% yet.

And so, as it goes with sick kids, I didn't do much other than hold him close and pray that he'd get better.  When he was sleeping, so was I.  Knit wise, I was basically frozen- I couldn't bring myself to knit even when there was quiet time... I couldn't concentrate.

Yesterday was the first day where, (knock on wood) his tummy seems to be settling down and I felt free to pick up my needles after he went to bed.  I'm pretty close...


BUT- I had to implement a new rule to stay on track for the hat goal.  Before each thumb is knit, I have to knit a hat.  So, once this blog post is done, a new hat is going on the needles and I'm going to curl up with a cup of tea and my audiobook and enjoy a little "me" time... because that's been less of a priority this last week.

Hopefully there will be some more FO's to show you before the end of 2012.... or the end of the world, if you believe those silly Mayans.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Conversation With Myself

Brain: You're overdue for a blog post.


Brain: Yes, but it's been a week and you should update your progress.


Brain: Can you just do something short at least?


Brain: You're not being rational.

Heart: That's your job sucker !!

Brain: How about a compromise? A short update using your iPhone ap?

Heart: Make it snappy... Must. Knit. Mittens.

Brain: happy now!?


Monday, November 12, 2012

Sucess! Glorious Success!

I will dispense with the niceties and get right to the meat of this post.  I HAVE SO MANY FINISHED THINGS TO SHOW YOU!  O. M. G.!!

(*as always, you can click on the Ravelry page to see more photos... you just need to be a member)

Thing 1: Diamond Cable Blanket


Pattern: Diamond Cable Blanket by Nancy Hearne
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Greenland Colorway 3501
Needles: US 8
Notes: There is absolutely nothing wrong with this pattern- just for whatever reason, (blanket ennui?) I just found this painfully dull to knit.  Lovely results- BORED. CITY.  I may have cast on less stitches and increased on row 1 of the pattern in order to have a less ruffly border- but otherwise everything turned out exactly as I expected it to.


This lovely specimen is off to my husband's best friend from high school, who welcomed a little boy named Elias, a few weeks earlier than expected.  The day I cast off this blanket, Elias was born- so I say that was some pretty swell timing!  (Thanks also to the MiL who helped with the whole blocking thing!)

Thing 2: Victory Mittens


Pattern: Fightin' Words by Annie Watts
Yarn: Koigu Premium Merino in Yellow (125122) and Blue (232950)
Needles: US 2.5
Notes: These were really cute and knit up REALLY fast.  I need to remember to "relax" when I knit mittens.  I knit these quite tight and even after a good blocking, they're "snug" to a hand.  Also I didn't love the different cuff she had me knit.  If I were to knit these again, I'd stick to good 'ole 2x2 ribbing.


These were intended for a friend of mine running a 10K... or was it half marathon?  I can't remember.  The point is, they were intended for her and the run, which are long past.  I'm not sure they'll fit her hands though- or if she would even like finger-less mittens.  So, I might sort of offer them to her, with the promise of attempting to knit a bigger size if they don't fit.  I guess we'll see.

Thing 3: Smitten Mittens Part 2 (THREE THINGS!  Can you believe it?  I hardly can!)


Pattern: Emma's Mittens by Minh Hoang (Ravelry download only)
Yarn: Jubilee Alpaca (remember when I bought this so long ago?)
Needles: Cuff- US 5, Mitten- US 6
Notes: I knit these for my sister who lost the original pair.  I made some changes to include a gusset- I've made that link available here.  I have told sister that there are replacing these.  These are pure and precious alpaca.  Blood or no blood- I will make her suffer should she lose these.  (I'm mostly joking... I'd be serious if this was cashmere!


So what am I doing with my unfinished object free time?  Mittens.  I am obsessed.  OBSESSED with mittens.  I want to knit ALL THE MITTENS. (From a blanket obsession to a mitten obsession... it's a good thing KNITTING is my choice drug!)  There was a scene from "That 70's Show" that basically sums up my mitten obsession.  I found it for you:

(Context: Donna suspects Eric of cheating when she finds panties in his car... this is a fantasy she has about confronting him about it.)

People- I am Eric... except replace PANTIES... with MITTENS.  GLORIOUS MITTENS!  I want to roll around in my sock yarn and make mittens.

And so... without a guilty conscience I cast on a lovely "wedding mitten" for a friend of mine getting married in January.  I thought she should have some lovely mittens and I've been wanting to knit this pattern for awhile.  I bought yarn... I cast on... and three days later I had this...


... a nearly finished mitten.  That is when I stopped LYING to myself and admitted that once again, I have pulled the tension tighter than a lady's face in Los Angeles (did you see what I did there?)- and there was NO WAY this mitten would fit a hand.  No matter how much I kept telling myself that my friend had "slender" hands.  Slender hands yes.... hands the size of toothpicks NO.  So a frogging I did go.

I've cast on again with bigger needles and have already admitted to myself that I need the smaller needles back and just need to repeat to myself OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN- R E L A X.  So yes- more mittens are on the horizon.

(I also knit on the sock one morning this last week and made a hat- but this post is already epic in length, so I will save boasting on that for another time.)

Also- today is my baby's birthday.  He is the BIG ONE YEAR.  I'm not really sure where the time went, but OMG, I can't believe how fast it went.  


But now I must get back to my mittens (and to my child... haha).  It feels so good to have the freedom to knit what I want again.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thumb Week

Nope.  I haven't blocked the blanket.  Maybe tomorrow?

Instead of focusing on the "what should be done" let's focus on what I'm going to do this week?

TWO MITTENS... who just need thumbs.


This week's goal is simple.  KNIT THE THUMBS.

I kind of hate knitting thumbs on mittens.  It's small work and piddly, with all of those needles in there.  I really need to just let it go because there really is such a SMALL amount of knitting involved to get myself over the finish line on both of these projects and it frees me up to knit something else.  Like socks... or potentially more mittens.

I had a chance to wear my Paris mittens the last few weeks (boo early cold snap!) and I'm so enamored and proud of them, I just want to knit more.  This time for a different coat- so um... more mittens are probably in our future.  (At least it's not blankets?)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Just About There

I will kill any and all suspense- the blanket is OFF the needles!  (And none too soon, literally the day after I cast OFF- baby arrived... early!)  I am allowing myself to feel just the teensiest amount of relief. There is still the task  of blocking... which as we know, tends to be another procrastinate thing for me.   But- I allowed myself to indulge in the relief that the blanket was done.  First of all- I knit two more hats.  (8 down, 4 to go!)

Willow buds

Crossover Rib

I was going to move on to the socks next, but I got a call from sister, distraught about having lost those mittens I made back in April.  (Here)  She apparently lost them in a cab- and even went as far as to call the cab company and have them search their lost and found.  Since sister is so upset - I am knitting her another pair... in ALPACA.  In that yarn I was so deeply in love with when I bought it in Saskatoon SO LONG ago.


Here are Emma's mittens... AGAIN.  I am kicking myself with this pattern.  I made modifications the first time- modifications I wrote down.  Modifications I threw out, thinking "I probably won't make them again".  I am KICKING myself that I threw out my mod's... because I'm starting over by scratch and trying to remember what I did.  I think I'm on track so far- and I've got a thumb gusset to prove it.

The one downside to this lovely alpaca is that it's fuzzy and it blurs the pattern a lot more than the original.  But, I've decided that's the price sister will pay for losing original mitts.  If sister loses ALPACA mittens- there might be a battle.

Once I'm down to the thumbs on these- I'm thinking about having "thumb week" where I knit the thumbs for these mittens and the cute victory mittens that I haven't forgotten- just procrastinated.  (And yes, the socks too- I will knit those socks eventually.)

I'm trying to keep myself from having a large "unfinished object" pile like last year.  I would love to kick off January this year with a fun project and nothing in my head that I need to finish first.

All of this rambling is really that, rambling.  Because before I get ahead of myself I'm going to keep breathing ENORMOUS sighs of relief that the vampire blanket is finally OFF the needles and I can knit fun things again!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Vampire Project



This blanket is eating my SOUL.  It is sucking every last ounce of joy and love of knitting RIGHT. OUT. OF. ME.  There have been nights when I couldn't even bring myself to pick it up, and because it felt too guilty to start something new, I just didn't knit.  At. all.

This project is the equivalent of a vampire in knitting.


Before we send hate mail to the designer- I need to say it.  This isn't her fault.  There is absolutely no reason for me to have thought I would have been this bored by a project.  It has cables and different stitches in different sections- it's not boring.  I have to refer to the pattern regularly.  For whatever reason this seems to be my "Waterloo".  (It's okay if you sing the ABBA song in your head when you see that word, I do too.)  I just can't seem to get past it.  It literally feels like I've been knitting this project forever.

I did try a side project- a brief distraction of cute to try and get me over the hump- but not even this little Newborn Pumpkin set could excite me.


Pattern: Hat is the hat from the Wee Leafy Baby Set by Pamela Wynne and the Mittens are Easy Summer Baby Mittens by Urszula Tanouye and the leaves are from the Hat pattern.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino

(I just HAVE to knit little babies due in and around the October 31 pumpkin hats.  HAVE TO.  I cannot help myself.)

Even this cute little project cannot seem to illicit much joy, because I knew I had the blanket to return to.  I need to get this beast off my needles- before it completely makes me hate knitting.  Did you gasp?  I gasp even typing it... but I'm this LOW.  I don't even know if cashmere can save me at this point.  Send "knit fast" vibes and prayers for knitting time so I can get past this project and back on track again.

Monday, October 1, 2012


You can always tell when I'm not particularly "stoked" about a project, because I  find it particularly hard to blog about.  I don't have much to say about my current project except that it's still happening.

I am a little over half way with the Diamond Cable Blanket but I feel nothing for it.  The pattern isn't particularly boring- but for whatever reason I am BORED. STIFF. and just rather "meh" about the whole thing.



I don't even know what to say beyond this.  I am only half way done and I will be knitting this for longer still.  My maternity leave is quickly coming to an end and so the free time is also going to cease to exsist shortly... and with it my knitting time.  So- brace yourselves for a long ride with this project.

I also started another wee pumpkin hat, as there's another baby arriving around Halloween this year, and I just feel like it's my duty to make sure it has a cute pumpkin hat.  (It's also for my boss, and quite frankly, the suck up points probably won't hurt.)


But again- *yawn*

I'm not used to feeling a certain amount of "ennui" with my knitting.  I'm usually gung-ho, especially when it comes to cables, but right now I can't seem to muster much excitement for anything.  I'm not entirely sure why- because I find myself desperate to squeeze in a few hours of knitting time but then getting those few precious moments and feeling rather "blah" about the whole thing.  Maybe I just need to hurry up and get this blanket OFF the needles so that I can allow myself to feel inspired again.

Have I officially hit my "blanket saturation" point?  Is this the blanket that finally breaks me to STOP KNITTING BLANKETS!?  I might be there... someone remind me of this post when I threaten to knit another baby blanket.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It's a Blanket... Again

Well, I threatened it in my last post and I'm not one for idle threats- I started another blanket.  It dawned on my suddenly last week, my mat leave is ending in the middle of October.  (O. M. G. how did that go by so quickly!?)  And, while I'm planning a part time return (hopefully), it still means knitting time is going to start disappearing, as Parker will be napping at daycare while I slave away in the salt mines instead of sneaking in a few blissful rows.  (*takes a moment to sob*)  Given that I wanted to make a lovely cable blanket for a friend due in November, I needed to capitalize on the time remaining.  So, this is me capitalizing.


I wanted something superwash and I also wanted something immediately so I packed up the baby and we went over to Pudding Yarn to squish and feel yarns and pick out something nice.  There were two options, Cascade 220 (which is always great) or this lovely, squishy yarn they had- a Superwash Merino (Cascade Greenland).  The price difference was considerable, and I felt somewhat guilty so I called the husband for his input.  (It's for his good friend...)  God bless him- he said "Buy what will make you happy" and I didn't hesitate- this is going to be the "Diamond Cable Travel Blanket" in Greenland.


This is one of those patterns that requires a little brain power.... I need to be thinking while I knit this.  I've already made one cable cross error (BAD ME) that I've decided to let go and not go back and fix.  (I don't think it's too obvious.)  I have to tell you though- this yarn is DREAMY to knit with.  It has such a delightful "sproing" to it and it just jumps around the needle.  I'm so excited to knit with this- hopefully that means progress is going to move quickly.


It also means that other projects are sort of being neglected.  I know, I just pulled myself out of a unfinished object hole, but I guess I'm going to dive back in.  (oops)  I did also complete two more baby hats- but the photos of those aren't particularly special so check out my Rav page if you're one of those people who simply must see.  

The good news is that, so far, this is the only blanket I have planned for the fall- so hopefully once it's off the needles we'll be back to small projects and more variety on the blog!  Now, to go back to concentrating intently on knitting!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Catching Up

As I said in my last post- things were a little busy in that last part of August.  We left for a little California sunshine on Aug 22, and I don't really like to announce our vacations on the blog... especially since a 1/3 of my house was already boxed up- that's like doing have the work for a thief!  I took a little knitting with me on the trip...


These will be the Belarique socks by (Spilly Jane Knits)- and (surprise?) they're going to be for my dad, for Christmas... I think.  Now that wee Parker isn't as "wee" as he used to be, travelling with him was quite different.  I managed to only knit a cuff on my entire vacation... but I'll take the win!

We got back to Calgary on Aug 30 in the evening.  We took posession of our new house on Aug 31, and with the tremendous help from our parents, we moved and unpacked my kitchen that day.  (As well as packed the rest of the house.)  On Sept 1, our movers showed up and we moved in.  From that point on it was a flurry of unpacking, organizing and reveling in our new space.  One FAB perk to the new space?  I have a knitting cabinet all to myself... for all my knitting/crafting supplies.  I love it so much!


So, yes, that left me with very little knitting time.  The good news is that things are slowly coming back to normal and I even finished knitting a hat last night!

Yes, that would be my first "knitting related news"- I've decided to knit 12 hats again.  I had refrained from committing earlier in the year because I didn't know how much time I'd have to devote to charity with the baby... but now that we have a schedule (MOMMY WIN!) I can absolutely squeeze a few hats in here and there.  I've decided to bust some acrylic stash- and set a few boundaries.  All of the hats will be purple (to stash down what I have) but they all must be in a different stitch pattern.  No stitch patterns the same!  I've completed 4 so far...  (I have until Dec 31 to finish)


Also on the "to finish" pile are the "Victory Mittens"- that just need thumbs, so I should hopefully get those off the needles soon.


With the air cooler, I think it's safe to say that fall is soon returning.  (I'm actually cheering for a frost right now as I have a wasp situation in my backyard, rendering it un-useable at the moment.  I am assured that once we have a frost, the wasps will be gone.  So, COME ON FROST... and then go away for a long time.)  There's another baby (not me this time!) due in November which I'd like to knit a blanket for- so I think it's time to put an end to my "hiatus" on the big projects and begin planning that.  Plus, I still want to make MITTENS like a fiend, so there are probably going to be a few more of those showing up.

I'm feeling excited for fall- it's primo knitting time! (PLUS- I have a FIREPLACE and is there anything more quaint and cosy than curling up next to a fireplace and knitting?!  I think not!!)

Friday, August 31, 2012

I'll Be Back

Hey, in case you were wondering where the heck I've been- I've been here, but just busy.  Husband and I (along with Mr. P) just came back from 8 days in California.  Today, we packed up our house and tomorrow we officially move.  So the blog is not forgotten, just not high on the priority list at the moment.

Knitting (and blogging) will hopefully return to a more normal pace next week when we're a little more settled in (and my internet is back up).  Until then- enjoy a photo of me and my "little" guy from our vacation.


(My husband would want you to know that he took this brilliant photo and I want you to know that he's a photo rock star.  :-D)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Golden Moment

It's another GOLD MEDAL (our second) for CANADA!  My Ravellenic project is complete!


Pattern: Paris Mittens by Andrea Arbour
Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Superwash (cream) and Regia Classic 4 Ply (beige)
Needles: US 2.5 (3.00 mm)
FINISHED: Aug 10, 5:30 pm!
Notes: FAB pattern.  I tend to knit stranded mittens tightly.  (I'm working on this...) So a needle size up (or 2) is usually the right call for me.  I knit the "large" version" and would do that again- fits lovely in the hands.  I will admit the thumbs are a little longer than I'd like, but in general they fit pretty well.  I adapted the cast off differently and will at some point make those notes on the Ravelry page.


I've noticed a lot of improvement in my stranded knitting (despite still knitting too tightly)- and the stitches, especially after blocking, evened out beautifully.  I can't wait to wear these in the winter.  (BUT I CAN, wait for winter... :-D)


If you missed any updates, or want to see my daily progress on this project you can click here and see my re-live my Olympic glory.

Oddly enough, finishing these mittens, I immediately cast on another pair.  I was SO satisfied with my results I wanted MORE.  Plus, I'm sort of going through a "MUST KNIT ALL THE MITTENS IN THE WORLD" thing right now... so I couldn't resist.  Brace yourselves, because I am possessed by a mitten demon at the moment.


Say hello to my "victory lap" fingerless mitts, "Fightin' Words".  I have a friend who I think will get a kick out of these.

ALSO- before I forget and never post about it- prior to the Olympics I finished the Cupcake set!


Patterns: All Buttoned Up No Sew Raglan Cardigan (Sharon Mooney), Saartje's Booties (Saartje de Bruijn), Teensie Weensie Mittens (Sarah Abbot), Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat, (Keri McKiernan)
Yarn: Shepherd Baby Wool 4 Ply colorway 4504  (2 balls)
Needles: Sweater US 3, Booties US 1.5, Mittens US 1, Hat US 2.5
Thoughts: I love all of these patterns!  Combining them together makes SUCH a cute little baby set for a little girl.  This is all "newborn size" so the next person to tell me they're having a little girl, I shall foist this on them!

And now I must walk in the Olympic stadium one last time, wave to the other Ravathletes and cherish my gold Parisian Triumph!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

All Thumbs...

... LEFT!


Today's blog entry will be brief because I'm on a roll!  (And hopefully by the end of this blog the baby will decide to nap instead of complain loudly about needing a nap.)

When I last posted, things were looking dire- the gauge swatch lied to me.  LIED and the mittens were knitting too tight and looking wonky.  I was seriously concerned about being able to finish.  A half size needle later and here we are- looking simply smashing.

The cast off on these is actually quite brilliant, but I couldn't make it look the way I wanted it to, so, instead, I kind of fudged the end, added four rows and am VERY pleased with how these cast off- thanks to a little thought on my part.  I will post my instructions for the changes on my Ravelry page once this project is done.

I will note that the left hand is a little tighter than the right- thanks to my tight knitting (am I stressed?)- but I'm hoping we can even that out in the blocking process.

To watch the day by day progress you can click here to see my daily iphone photo.  (Or you can click on the link on the sidebar ---->.)

I'd love to have these blocking by Friday!


*Yes, the baby just fell asleep while I was reading the preview of this.  It also just started to rain- PRAY there's no thunder in there to wake him up!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


My Olympic glory could be in jeopardy.  I spent the day in the virtual "medic" tent trying to salvage a knitting fail.

Things started out very well... I cast on at 2:00 pm and the bambino had a SUPER nap allowing me lots of uninterrupted knitting time.  By the time I had viewed the opening ceremonies, I was doing pretty great.  (These pics are from my Ravelry page- reminder there's a link in the sidebar {----->} so you can monitor my Olympic progress.)


Saturday, buoyed by some good napping again, I was able to really make progress.


This photo was taken at 8:00 pm.  The tragedy happened somewhere around 10:30.  I finished the cuff section and I had three nagging issues:

1) The picot cuff looked crooked
2) The white yarn seems to be too thin to stand up against the beige yarn and the stitches were looking a little off.  (Beyond blocking help, off)
3) I could barely, BARELY get the cuff over my hand and it fit tight on my wrist.


I decided to admit the false start and start again.

I recast on this afternoon making a few adjustments.  I went up a needle size, because even though I knit a GAUGE swatch, that swatch LIED to me.  (I can't even bring myself to look at the gauge swatch right now I'm so mad at it.)  Secondly, I changed the contrast color yarn.  I had a creamy color knitpicks in my stash that had more "heft" and "loft" to it, and I think it will stand up better to the stitches in the beige.

So far, I'm right.

(MUCH better)

It hurts to have lost two days of knitting to this failure- but I'm hoping that I can "deal with this injury" early on and that it won't destroy my Olympic gold medal dreams.  I've told myself if I can knit the entire hand by Thursday, I'll still be in good shape to finish.  Wish me luck!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Parisian Triumph (Hopefully)

As promised we can now start talking about bigger and better things- like the Olympics around the corner.  (Although thanks to those of you who commented about your disappointment in your 3rd place finishes too... we should start a club... and I see the competition for next year being MEGA fierce with just us to contend with!)

For the last two Olympic games I have participated in the Rav-[REDACTED] (see here for context*) "games" wherein we commit to knitting some kind of project(s) for the duration of the Olympic games in order to "medal".  In 2008 I knit a pair of challenging Cookie A socks and in 2010 I committed to two pairs of socks and in both cases I was successful.

(My Ravelry "gold" medals for finishing)

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do this year.  I want a challenge, I also am kind of "socked out" (I'm sure you've noticed...) at the moment and I couldn't just get excited about knitting another pair of socks or multiple pairs. I also need to be realistic, I have a little one that takes away the knitting time and I want to challenge myself but not over-reach.  And so- I've decided to mix it up this year and compete in the MITTEN MEDLEY for Team Canada.

Ravellenic 2012
(I am ridiculously proud of my crappy photoshop skillz in making this icon and was giggling furiously at my clever-ness.)

I've chosen a lovely Faire Isle (eek!) mitten pattern to match my winter coat.  (That's not the designer, just someone who has already been successful knitting these.)  I have a serious soft spot for Paris- I know they're the "London Games" but I couldn't resist these mittens any longer.  I picked up the right yarn at the Pudding Stampede sale and have completed my "Olympic training" by swatching for the project.


(This allowed in the context of the games... you wouldn't run the marathon without training and I wouldn't dream of casting on my challenge without knowing what tool I would require to knit it with.  In this case it's a US 2 DPN.)

Starting on Friday I will cast on.  Blogging progress everyday would be tough (and take away from the time I'll need to complete these), but I have made my Ravelry page public and thanks to a lovely photo app on my phone, I will post an update picture every night for you to track my progress.   (I also have created a quick link in the sidebar there so you don't have to go looking for this post each time to see how I've progressed.  -------> check it out!)

I'm excited to get started on my Olympic knitting, but in the mean time, I'm quickly making progress on the Cupcake set.  I need to make a run over to Pudding today to pick up some buttons to finish this off.  (I'm also seriously thinking about knitting a little set of mittens too... we'll see.)  I LOVE this baby sweater pattern- and would highly recommend it to those needing something simple.  It's a GREAT pattern!


So yes, feeling full of hope and promise over here and looking forward to the next two weeks.  I'm going to need a cheering section because I'm nervous I may have bitten off more than I can chew with  these mittens.  But- that's the point.  I'm doing this because I'm going to try my best and see if I can win, kind of like an Olympic Athlete.  Wish me luck?

*someone over at the US Olympic Committee takes themselves WAAAAAY too seriously...