It has been since I last bought yarn!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Time for 2013

As promised, I wanted to get just one more blog post in before the new year, and I'm really cutting it down to the wire!  We'll talk about what I want to accomplish in the new year and how I did stash wise in 2014... but since this is the last day for 2013, I need to tie up one final loose end.

Yeah... I finished the blanket.  I'm going into 2014 without any projects that need to be finished.  I'm pretty proud of myself!

Pattern: 3-D Argyle Blanket by Regina Fulton
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima in "Sky Blue"
Needle: US 6 (doh!  I didn't write down the crochet hook size!)
Notes: Great pattern.  This knit quickly and rather painlessly.  Even the crochet was really easy.  (I know!  Crochet and I have made our peace with one another I think.) The only thing I did was create a smaller crochet border around the whole thing.  I had every intention of crocheting the full border, but I found the edges ruffling and it took away from the simple elegance of the blanket, and so, I ripped it back and stuck to a simple finish.


I'm glad I took the time to find a yarn with lots of sheen.  Sadly the light hasn't been great for picture taking so you don't really see it here, but the pattern has subtle differences that you wouldn't catch unless you had a yarn that had a bit of shininess to it.

Overall I'm very happy with this pattern and am very pleased that I finished before baby decided to make it's appearance.  Tomorrow is this little guy's due date- so for now I bask in knowing that I'm ready for it!

Also, just because I had the time to actually do it- I've gotten a jump start on 2014 hats.  Normally I'm not the biggest fan of acrylic, but I'm actually quite liking how this baby yarn knits up.  Who knows, if I'm not completely sick of the colorway by the end of the year, I might attempt a nice and easy baby blanket for someone who needs to keep it really simple on the washing instructions.


And before I forget, I need to recap the Christmas "haul" and Boxing day shopping, MiL and my yearly attempt at boxing day shopping.

Christmas this year was lighter (but I'm just as greatful) on knitted items.  The Mostly Mittens is really there to continue to feed my obsessive mitten habit I seem to develop and the Pudding gift cards are always, ALWAYS appreciated.

The bigger (and not pictured) item from husband was a suggestion that we go, as a family, to Seattle so that I may attend Vogue Knitting Live (while he and my toddler explore the fun things to do in Seattle).  I. am. pumped.  I am pumped because I've always wanted to go to Seattle (I hear they have great yarn shops!)  I am pumped because I miss interacting with knitters and taking fun courses.  (So many to choose from!)  I am pumped because I'm going to meet Reebecki Supergirl who I've gotten to know through Twitter because she has a little girl 2 weeks younger than my little guy.  (Plus- a super cute newborn!)  There are so many reasons to be excited about this and I'm touched that my husband recognizes that knitting is an important part of my life and wants me to get to interact with that side of myself.

As if all of these gifts weren't enough, I also got to do my annual boxing day sale shopping with Mother in Law again this year.  (Last year we skipped due to a funeral, and I missed it!)  We had decided that we'd definately "hit" Pudding yarn this year and also stop to check out the further deals at Make 1 Yarn Studio.  (They're moving and don't want to pack)  At the last minute we panicked and also added The Loop and Gina Brown's to the list.  (What if there was a super deal and we missed it!  GAH!?  Cannot take the risk!)

We're remarkably more restrained that we've been in years past... I had a list of things I wanted to purchase, knowing that the first part of this year is going to be dedicated to baby blanket making again. 


I walked away with Diamond Luxury collections Supermerino Superwash, which will hopefully be cast on very soon as Umaro.  I also picked up two colors of Cascade 220 Sport to make some Dr. Who mittens for a friend.  I've been looking at my stash, (in preparation for a big stash update post), and I really need to whittle down what's in the sock yarn and wool parts of the stash in 2014.

So that should catch you up and tie up 2013 in a nice, neat little bow.  Happy New Year everyone!  Thanks for coming here to read what I have to say and being so supportive to vote on my little knitting polls!  2013 was an okay year, but I'm looking forward to bigger and better things in 2014.  Stay safe out there tonight!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

No More Mysteries Part 2

Yesterday I revealed Christmas mystery #1.  Now it's time to tell you about #2 and #3.

My husband surprised us all this year with an early Christmas list- once I had gotten over that shock, I moved on to the next one.  On his list were knit mittens.  Well, they were the Paul Smith mittens for Movember.

I looked at these for several minutes with my mouth agape.  The husband, while very supportive of my knitting habit, has firmly expressed his disinterest in receiving knitted items from me and others.  But here were mittens I could make.  WITH MY HANDS.  I actually called him once I received his list to shout in the phone "YOU DO KNOW I COULD MAKE YOU THESE!??"  He didn't really say much.  But I was armed with a plan.  I was going to knit these mittens.  These were the mittens that were going to change his feelings about knitted gifts.

Perhaps I should have just left well enough alone.  There were false starts.  There was half a mitten knit before I knew that the yarn was all wrong.  (Husband likes things in a very certain way and the way the stripes were occurring on this mitten, he would have not liked them.)  Armed with a new, better, and more even striping yarn, I began again.  I got reasonably far...

... but just couldn't convince myself that these were the mittens that were going to change his mind about me making him knitted items.  And so I abandoned all hope and stopped and let Christmas mystery #2 die.  I will show him the mittens and he can decided if I should proceed.  Let's just say, I'm not going to hold my breath.

Meanwhile... I began to feel really guilty that my sister and my dad were receiving knitted items from me for Christmas but not my mom.  (Dad got the socks I finished in January and featured in the Stampede.)  Mom had dropped a few, (maybe a little less than subtle) hints about wanting a pair of mittens after she saw what I had knit for my MiL.  Inspired by how well my sister's mittens were coming, Christmas mystery #3 was born.

Pattern: Elise Mitten by Johanne Landin
Yarn: Pink- Regia 4 fadig - 4ply (pilfered from MiL's stash!) Off White- Filatura Di Crosa Zarina
Needles: 3mm
Notes: My only complaint on this pattern is the chart.  It's amazing I'm not permanently cross eyed from this chart.  Its comes on one page and is minniscule and difficult to read.  Otherwise, the pattern itself is very straightforward to follow.


Mom, like my sister, was pleased as punch to open these on Christmas morning.  She knew about my sister's mittens, but nothing about mittens that were also in progress for her.  I know they match her off white coat- and I hope she likes the color of pink I chose.  (They HAD to be pink... that is HER color.)


And that solves all of our Christmas mysteries!  Thanks for your patience this December while I didn't have much to talk about or show you.  Like I promised- post-Christmas was going to be post heavy.  We still need to talk about the Christmas presents and tomorrow is our annual boxing day shopping extravaganza!  I still have more to tell you- but right now, I need to go to bed to be up and ready to throw elbows at the Pudding Yarns sale bin.  ;-)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

No More Mysteries Part 1

MERRY CHRISTMAS BLOG READERS.  I hope your day made you feel as blessed as I feel tonight.  I have been right properly spoiled by my family today and yesterday and I couldn't possibly feel any more happy in my life.  That's all one can really ask for.

Well- I suppose you could also ask for me to reveal the mysterious knitting projects!  This post has to be split up into two posts, otherwise you are going to be picture heavy and load time is going to be slow.  I ask your patience as you'll have to wait to see surprise #2.

But first- before you see the surprise you need to meet 2 people.

This is my sister.  (pictured with my son this spring)

This is my sister's dog (Etta the Sheltie).

I can't put into words properly just how much my sister loves her dog.  My sister loves her dog to pieces and pieces and pieces.

So of course, for Christmas I made her these: (Christmas Mystery #1)

Pattern: I took motifs/charts from THREE patterns and used them to create this one-of-a-kind mitten which I charted out myself.

SHELTIE & PAW PRINTS: The Sheltiemitten by Brigitte Reiten (Ravelry Link Only)
SNOWFLAKES: First Snow Mittens by Aet Terasmaa (Rav link)
BONES: Dog Mittens by Jorid Linvik

Yarn: Black- Debbie Bliss Rialto 4 Ply White- Sublime Yarns Baby Cashmere Merino Silk 4 Ply (Purchased at Pudding Yarn in Calgary)
Needle Size: Crap.  I didn't write that down!
Notes: NOTE TO SELF.  When knitting words into projects one must remember to do it in mirror imaging.  (At least the way I knit.)  Halfway thru the first "Etta" I realized I had to re-chart it backwards.  It was a 6 row rip out.  Boo.  But TOTALLY worth it.  :-)  Also the yarns I used for these mittens made them feel SO. SOFT.  I would 100% use them for these kind of mittens again.

Once I got into the pattern design (which took a little while)- this pattern moved along pretty easily.


And I couldn't be more happy with the results!


I think it's safe to say my sister LOVED this present.  I kept this on lock down secret.  I told no inside my family until at the last minute, I couldn't contain myself and told my mom, but she was sworn to secrecy.  I'd like to think my sister didn't see this coming and she was genuinely surprised and delighted by this.  I've given a lot of knitting gifts to people but I have to say, this is the first time someone was shocked by what was there for them.  She shared them all over her social media and immediately texted her friends to show them.  I know she loved them.  I've never made such a personalized gift before and I'm so happy they delighted her the way they did.

I don't have a picture of her with them.  Maybe I'll get one eventually but I don't think I'll forget the look on her face when she realized her dog was on her mittens for a long time.  Good warm fuzzy knitting memory to hold on to!

It's funny because I unsuccessfully attempted to knit her mittens a long time ago.  (Jog your memory here.)  At the time I was extremely frustrated and couldn't get a decent gauge.  In a way I'm glad these didn't work out because, after some time, the absolutely MOST PERFECT PAIR of mittens were made for my sister.  I had to be a better knitter in order to make them.  The pattern I was going to knit at the time is cute, but you can't beat the actual breed of dog on the mittens!  And so- I'm really glad (now) that they didn't work out.

And that solves our knitting mystery #1.  There's much more to tell you this Christmas, so stay tuned!

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Grinch Who Knit at Christmas

Every Knitter,
Down in Knitville
Liked Christmas a lot....

But the Grinch
(Who lived just south of Downtown Calgary)
Did not.

The Grinch hated Christmas!  The whole Christmas season!
Come to think of it, I think I might know a few of the reasons.
It might be the parties, there were too many to mention!
Or the fact that her Christmas Shopping was giving her great tension.
It could be the toddler, or the knitting she decided to pick,
Or it could be she woke up this morning with a sore throat feeling ick.

Whatever the reason,
The toddler, the time, the shopping jitters
She stood there on Christmas, envying the knitters.
Staring down from her needles, with a sour grinchy frown
She could care less about Santa coming to town.
For every knitter but her seemed to be enjoying their knits
While the Grinch felt her projects giving her fits.

"They're knitting fun stockings!" she snarled with a sneer!
"They don't have to worry about Christmas being practically here!"
Then she growled with her Grinch fingers, nervously drumming
"I must find a way to keep Christmas from coming!"
For she knew...

All the knit girls and boys
Get to wake up bright and early and knit their fun project flings
While I'm still knitting the same mystery dull things!
Their time is in spades and it comes good and plenty
And I'm trouble, I need an extra hour or TWENTY.

And then the knitters get to pull nice yarns out of their stash
While I'm wondering if I can forgo sleep and not crash!
My yarn's running out on a project or two
And the stress of not enough yarn is making me feel blue.

Those knitters do something I like least of all,
They add cool things to their Ravelry queues and I think "I CAN KNIT IT ALL!"
My thoughts about parties, shopping, baking, and toddlers diminish
And before you know it none of my projects for Christmas I'll finish.

The more the Grinch pondered this brutal season
She began to seriously question her ability to reason.
Why for 20 some days I've put up with this now!
I must stop Christmas from coming... BUT HOW?


Or maybe I'll just blog instead....


To recap: projects are still in progress but time is not my friend these days.  Keep sending Christmas knitting mojo- I need it!