It has been since I last bought yarn!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It's Not Knitting - and It's SUPER Nerdy

As mentioned a few days ago what I've been working on as of late, is NOT a knitting project.  That is highly, HIGHLY unusual for me.  My sister and I began this project when I was pregnant, thinking we'd have lots of time to finish it and have Parker enjoy it.  Of course, once my little man came, I was just greatful to squeeze any craft time in and often times knitting took priority.  Lately though, I catch myself thinking he'd REALLY enjoy this book and actually get a lot out of it.  And finally I just decided to stop everything else and finish this project.

Guys, I couldn't be more happy with the results.  It's very rare that I diverge from the knitting, but this was so delightfully nerdy and awesome, I was happy to change up the routine.  Before I show you this, I should probably out myself; I am a die hard, unapologetic, geek to the nth degree.  I have no shame.  There is a very special place in my heart for Star Wars.  I love those movies.  LOVE THEM.  I make no apologies for loving them.  When I saw this project I just knew, KNEW, Parker HAD to have this.

Without further ado- I give you, the JEDI QUIET BOOK.  (Designed by the brilliant Julie Gillrie who is a far, FAR better and more patient embroidery person than I'll ever be.)

Page 1: Title Page!  (Done by my sister!)


Page 2: What a perfect, PERFECT beginning to a movie, and a Quiet Book!


Page 3: Save your friends from the death star.... just looks like an ordinary, (badly embroidered), death start right?




Your friends, who happen to be finger puppets, are inside!  (The pattern had Yoda, not Chewy on this page, and as the designer noted, Yoda was never on the death star.  Since I believe everything in life is improved with addition of a Wookiee, I improvised a little and made the Chewy puppet up.)  I may, or may not make the Han and Leia puppets kiss all the time.

Page 4: Sadly this does not fit my hand.... but it fits Parker's!



Page 5: This is going to be Parker's FAVORITE page, I can tell you this already.  He is OBSESSED with zippers.  My mom helped my sew this in (zippers + me = tragedy) so it should stand up to sturdy play.



Page 6: Thankfully Julie thought to PG up Leia's slave girl outfit.  She's still cute!



Page 7: Ooo look!  More bad embroidery!  (But I think you can still get the idea!)



Page 8: Here's where I diverged from the pattern a little bit.  I like the idea of learning different skills with a quiet book, and I saw a few page ideas with spelling kids names.  I decided to use Julie's pattern for Luke, but come up with my own activity instead.  I even downloaded a Star Wars font to use to get the "Parker" to look just right.



Page 9: Again here's where I completely did my own thing.  Parker is really into counting right now.  These little grey blobs, (which are supposed to be Millennium Falcons), can be matched up to the right star system.  Thinking about it in hindsight I wonder if I should have mixed up the numbers- but I guess it's too late for that now.



Page 10: The original pattern called for just "The End"- I took a little creative liscense and took it a bit further.


So there you have it.  I'm really, REALLY pleased with how this turned out, despite my poor embroidery skills.  I'd like to thank: my mom, who sewed up the pages for me, installed the zipper and did a bit of the title page embroidery.  My sister who cut out a tonne of felt pieces and helped me get this finished, despite how much she HATES crafting.  Also my glue gun, because if I have to sew as much as this book called for, I'd be on the floor weeping right now.

And now... NOW- I can get back to my knitting!!

Monday, January 13, 2014


Knitting content is extremely light this week, simply because I've been distracted, frantically trying to finish another project.  I've looked back in my blog posts in 2011, thinking I may have mentioned it previously, but it appears I didn't.

Before Parker was born, my sister and I spent a weekend making a Quiet Book for him.  Specifically, I bought the pattern for this quiet book.  I stupidly thought we could "bang this out" in a weekend.  WHOO BOY was I wrong.  We spent a good/whole weekend, crafting this project and only got about 4 pages done.  My mom swooped in and did some embroidery for me.  We always said we'd spend more rainy/snowy weekends finishing it, but we never have.  Recently I've often thought about the book and how much Parker would enjoy it right now.  Well, eventually, my guilt got the best of me and I decided enough was enough, I was going to finish the damn book.

I'm close too.  Sister came back for a day and contributed to another page and I've been sacrificing knitting nap times in the name of working with felt.  I've nearly got all the move-able activities done.  (One more page!)  All that remains is the dreaded embroidery and sewing.  Oh guys, I am SO. SO. SOOOOOO. bad at embroidery.  Like SHOCKINGLY bad at it.  I promise to show you all the work I've been putting into this book just as soon as it's finished, but in the mean time here's an "overall" work in progress shot.


That's not to say I've completely ignored the knitting.  I managed to knit 2 sections on a charity blanket (STASH BUSTING YAY!) and get it out the door!  (WCOBB called Stripey Bits)


I also managed to cast on Umaro and get the first ball out the door.  Umaro is a lovely pattern, but does require some attention to be paid, so it's going to be slower moving that I had hoped.


I apologize that we're kind of light on knitting content this week- I've been very very busy, just not as much as I'd like with the yarn.  I'm hoping to finish this book next weekend, and then, back to knitting!  There will hopefully a big post after the weekend showing you the finished book.  It's actually pretty awesome... if you can overlook the really crap embroidery skills.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Annual Stash Analysis

In what has become a somewhat yearly event in January for me, I spent the morning "being one" with my stash.  In fact I got in there, cleaned some things up, threw some junk/paper out and, in one case, frogged an item that had been nearly knit but neglected for the last 2 years.  (Thanks to MiL and FiL who have taken the toddler for the day- I could never do this in just a nap time... I need a lot of time to just get organized and plan my knitting.)

I find going through my stash a really REALLY productive and helpful activity.  It helps me come to terms with what's in the stash, (a lot of times I forget!) and helpful for me to plan on getting things out.  I really would like to whittle my stash down to the point where I have one drawer of things I've purchased for "last minute" knitting projects ideas but the rest I buy, as needed, on a project by project basis.  Last year I focused heavily on getting rid of my acrylic stash and beginning to tackle the leftovers and I was actually pretty successful.

To see my stash "before" photos you'll need to revist this post from last year here.  Let's see what I knit out of there, and what's in there for this year, shall we?  (Pictures will show 2013 first, and then 2014 second to work on as a comparison)

1) Sock Yarn Fingering Weight Stash

Well... I didn't really do much here, did I?  If anything this stash has grown, especially in the self striping department.

I don't even know what to say about this- because honestly, I don't have great big plans to knit a lot of socks this year.  I'm thinking about possibly knitting something rainbow-y (socks?) for the Olympics, just to make a mini statement on my disagreement of their {Russia} unfair/unjust laws relating to homosexuals.  But other than that- I'm not sure this stash is going to get much smaller.  (And quite frankly, it's not the priority this year.)

2) The Natural Sport/Worsted/Thick Yarns

Another stash where I failed at really doing much in the way of denting it's size.  I'd really like to see some movement in this stash this year.  I'm hoping to focus on projects that will eliminate 50% of these yarns.  (I know!  Ambitious!)

The grey balls, (new thanks to Boxing day) are hopefully going to be gone soon, as they become Umaro.  And maybe a nice beige Alpaca sweater for Vogue knitting?  And maybe I'll finally get a jump on that purple-y blanket?  There's a lot of stash in here.... and truthfully I could probably throw together at least one more baby blanket, if not 2 out of this stash without buying more yarn for it.  Just typing this makes me think I need to re-think my planned blankets for 2014.  (Did I mention I have to knit 3 so far?)

3) The Cotton Collection

Remains essentially the same.  I'm actually not as fussed about this stash size.  Dishcloths are perfect distraction/last minute gift ideas.  I don't mind there be options in this stash and as long as I'm not really adding more, I probably can relax about what's there to be knit.

4) Stash of Immense Shame (Acrylics)

You know, I'm actually pretty proud of the work I did in this stash this year.  I volunteered for a LOT of charity blankets.  (6!!)  But the end result means that I actually got this stash to a spot where I'm not as deeply ashamed about how much I have anymore.  Can more go?!  YES!  But, I think I can get it out of the way with just a few more charity projects this year- and so I will continue to be apart of that.

The red ball is already essentially spoken for, I'm just waiting for my turn to knit on the blanket with it.  Same goes for the big brown ball and I'm thinking I'll start my own project and donate the two matching whites as a part of a charity project. Plus the giant ball will be hats- as part of the hat agreement. Beyond that, as long as this stash doesn't grow, I'm sort of at peace, finally, with it's size.  I'd like a lot of it to be gone, but it's not going to be the main focus this year.

5) Leftovers

I didn't do too badly this year on this- but it will again, be a focus in this upcoming year.  There's just too much of it.  I can't throw it out, but I can't necessarily knit one project out of it, and so I need to keep being creative with what I do with it.

This year I actually broke the leftovers out into 2 piles, worsted and fingering weight leftovers.  Since it's really hard to combine the two into one project, it's probably better to get a handle on what's in each pile.



Mother in Law and I are planning a day where we go through our fingering weight leftovers and come up with a "scrap blanket" plan by combining similar colorways.  These blankets are SUCH good leftover projects, my goal is to knit one scrap blanket.  (I have SO. MUCH. off white in this pile... clearly off white is going to be in a project!)

So there you have it- everything that's in my stash for 2014.  I'm going to need to be focused!  This year's priority is leftovers/natural sport+ weight piles, to whittle those away and make room.  I'm hoping this exercise will stay in the back of my mind in March, while I'm at the Vogue Knitting Marketplace.  There is a lot of yarn/knitting related items for sale at these things.  I'm going to try to be restrained.  BUT, faced with all kinds of yarns that I don't normally see in my local shops, or have easy access too, I could get carried away.  I'm not going to commit to not buying anything (that's just CRAZINESS) but I'm going to re-read this post at least 4 times prior to going.  I need to see what's in my stash and remind myself of all the great things to knit with, before I buy a bunch more.

Now I'm going to hit up Ravelry and try and plan blankets for my current stash, to work down those piles!