It has been since I last bought yarn!

Monday, May 22, 2017

That's One Way To Do It

Usually I'm a mono-knitter.  It means I have project that I'm committed to.  I'm faithful.  I work on that project.  Sometimes I divert into 2 projects to take off the edge off the one.  But usually it's just one.  However, with this slump I'm in, I'm finding that part of my issue is that the project that I should be working on isn't cast on yet... and just the idea of casting on seems too big.

This weekend I got a lot of things done that have been sitting on my "to do" list for awhile.  I decided to try a different tactic on this slump- just cast on everything.  Everything.

So, with that in mind say hello to...

THE DISHCLOTH (ballband pattern)


THE BABY HAT (Cuddly Teddy Hat... Again.  Such a great pattern)





I bought yarn for the baby blanket on Sunday.  I woke up and said to myself "I just need to get the yarn and go."  And so I went to the only yarn shop that was open at 10 am and bought my yarn.  The whole experience was more efficient than I usually am.  Hopefully this bodes well for the rest of the blanket.  I've chosen a periwinkle blue and turquoise green for the blanket... although the blue is looking awfully purple here.  I'm not sure I'm happy with it.  Your thoughts?


The yarn next to each other the blue looks bluer... in the blanket purple-er.  I'm not sure how to proceed.

I figured I'd just get them all on the needles and then pick up what my brain wants to do that day.  This way there are no excuses saying "I just don't want to put in the effort to cast on.  That's done.  It's just a matter of knitting.  I took all the work out of it.  This is either a really fantastic idea to attack the slump or it's going to blow up spectacularly in my face when I decided it's just too overwhelming to concentrate on.

The sock has also seen a lot of progress since the last time I admitted I wasn't really knitting.


I realized last night though there's a problem.  The stripes match BEAUTIFULLY- I've mastered that skill pretty well.  The problem is that the tiny pattern DOESN'T.  I can't decide if that bothers me enough to rip out the entire leg on sock two.  I figured out that I knit the pattern earlier on sock 1.  I am leaning to rip it out and go again because it bothers me... I just can't decide if it bothers me ENOUGH.  Haha.

So lots to see here- hopefully it means the finished stuff just starts falling off the needles.  At least there's a bunch of STARTED stuff now... right?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Big Slumpin'

"Do you even knit anymore?"  It was the comment my husband made 2 weeks ago while we were away re-visiting New Haven and I couldn't hide what I had pretending to ignore for the last few weeks.  I haven't really been knitting.  I'm back in the slump.

Honestly I don't even really know what I've been doing with my time- but it's very little knitting.  I'm not sure what it is right now.  I just don't have the brain power to sit down and knit.  At night I sit on our couch, I pull my knitting on my lap, and then proceed to ignore it for use-less stuff on my phone.  I've been watching TV... something I never do. I listen.  I watch my knitting.  I'm always furiously working on a Stampede project this time of year and not even that can motivate me out of slump this time.  I'm not entering.  I don't want to.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

It could be that we've been away from our home the last 5 weekends out of 6.  Week days seem to be in a never ending game of catch up from things not done on the weekend.  My brain can't focus on anything.  I zone in and out and knitting even the simplest pair of socks seems like such an effort.  Mon-Thurs night are busy with soccer and other activities and it feels like we're barely home.


That's not to say that I've gone completely without it.  Progress is happening.  I still take the simple Take 5 sock out to some of Parker's classes and that does seem to help me get some rows in.  Being away for the last few weekends has meant airplane trips and I'll knit 5 or 6 rows before sitting back and putting it away because my brain "just can't."  It's been enough to get me on sock #2.

Maudie has suffered spectacularly.  I don't think it's seen any progress since my last blog post so many days ago.  The mere idea of taking it out of the bag and taking the 3 minutes it would take to assess where I'm at is too overwhelming.  What happened to all my steam on this project?  Where have you gone mojo?

The baby blanket I needed to have already started is still in "I can't decided on a pattern" phase.  Although I think I'm honed in on an idea.  I'm waiting for a book from the library and then hopefully enough juju to get out the door and buy yarn and cast on.  I've chosen something painfully cute but also simple... because my brain can't handle any more than that.  A simple knit can sometimes be the right project to rally the knitting mojo.  I've also been made aware of another impending wee babe in November who I would also like to knit for.  I sort of know what I want to knit for that family but I also shudder at the thought because it would require effort I don't know I'm up to putting in.

I need to get out of this slump.  Last night, sitting on the couch about to watch TV I even found myself missing it.  I thought to myself "I miss my knitting."  And, just like that, I picked up the simple sock and worked on it for 3 hours.  It was good.  I felt hopeful that the slump is winding down.  I thought about a few things I could do.  Here are my "Goals to July 15" to try and get me towards some progress and less in a slump.

1) Knit baby blanket (I'll share more when I have committed with yarn and a cast on)
2) Knit baby hat/booties for Parker's Kindergarten teacher
3) Finish Take 5 Socks
4) Knit Dishcloth #3

I'm letting go of Maudie for now.  Maybe this summer I'll pick it back up again- but maybe just the idea of a "big effort" project is too much right now and I need to take this slump slower.  Ease myself into something to do with my hands and see if I can rise to a few new challenges along the way.

I'm sorry that it means that the blog has suffered.  I really have no intention on fully stopping the knitting- nor this blog, but I've learned forcing myself to do anything is the sure-est way to not actually get myself to do it.  I have to WANT to do it.  And for that to be something I want right now, I need to keep it simple.

Cross your fingers I'm back here in a week with something to show you?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


April... where did you go?  How did I only manage one post in April?  How is it May already?  I guess with various holidays and reintigrating back to snow and 4 hour time difference to contend with, not to mention the start of soccer and various other spring things- knitting and blogging takes a back seat.  I am still sort of flabbergasted that April happened in a cloud of mystery.  It's like "How did I lose a month?" but it's May now so I guess we drive on.

I lied when I said that ski season was coming to a close.  Snow in the mountains was too stellar to ignore- and so this last weekend we gave it our all and left it all on the hill until next season...  Knitting suffers on these trips because really, there is basically only energy enough left to put on one's pajamas, wash one's face and then collapse into bed out of exhaustion.


There is progress on the socks- so I guess some knitting happened in April.  (Did April even happen?  I'm in denial.)

Maudie in particular is starting to look like a sock....


And even Take 5 isn't taking a long break...


I know at some point I need to plan for another project, a baby blanket in particular but I've been struggling to really find the motivation or "right pattern" that inspires me to cast on.  I'm hoping for a more "organic" experience where the right pattern will just jump out at me and I will cast on with ferocity.  But right now I look at pics and can only hmmm and haaa and I'm really coming up short!  So- a cute baby blanket...  (something really REALLY PAINFULLY CUTE).... got any suggestions?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sun Blocked

Pardon my little hiatus there... it was the most wonderful time of the year... HAWAII VACATION.


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Needles to say- we are very relaxed now.

I am always loathe to advertise my not being home until AFTER I AM HOME... but yes, life came to stand still there for a bit while we soaked in some much needed vitamin D on Oahu this time.  I had intended to get out a brief blog post prior to our departure, but like all days leading up to a vacation, things got busy.  I had done everything I could to get those Jelly Bean socks done, and it came down to 2 more ends needing to be woven in... which I finished this morning.


Pattern: Vanilla Bean Striped Socks by Emily O'Grady
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici in "Jelly Bean" (huh- KP doesn't currently have any Felici on their site!)
Needles: US 1
Notes: This is such a great pattern for self striping yarn.  Just enough to keep it interesting but still delightfully simple.  I feel like Felici was made for this pattern!  As usual- I cut the yarn in order to allow for a perfect striping sequence, and while it's extra ends to weave in, I NEVER regret the choice.

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Like all good vacations, I do set out to have some projects to work on.  And as always, I always plan for more than I knit.  Progress did occur... but it was slow to potentially non-exsistent.  Meet "Maudie" and "Take Five"- you'll be seeing a lot more of them I'm sure.



While we were away a good friend's first baby announcement came through- so it appears there will be a baby blanket on the needles soon!  Spring is going to be exciting!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Snow Plowed

Hey.... weren't you grinding away at the knitting and promising progress?  Yes.  Yes I was.  But then the snow in the mountains was apparently "epic" so we got sidetracked with a last minute ski trip....


(It WAS good snow... and good skiing.. and I'm pretty sure nothing can compete with those views!)

The good news is, despite this little longer than planned blog break, I DO have progress to show you!  A third heart blanket it in the "finished pile" now!


Pattern: Baby Heart Blanket by Deborah O'Leary
Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love in "white" and "pastel pink"
Needles: US 9
Notes:  I decided to do all hearts this time and I really like how it turned out.  I. STILL. HAVE. MORE. of this stuff.  I'm not sure it's enough for an entire blanket but I'll try and use that up at some point this year.  Feels good to at least be CLOSE to a finish line on these giant balls of yarn.  I will say this... those balls have yardage for DAYS.


I also managed to hone in on some sock progress and have even started #2!


AND... the great news is that the weather is warming up... meaning the snow in the mountains isn't all that great anymore.  Less time devoted to skiing means MORE time devoted to knitting... so things are looking up!  Either way there should be more to show and say soon!  Stay tuned!

Friday, March 17, 2017

☘ Top 'O the Knitting Day to Yah... ☘

I'm not all that Irish.  Can you tell?

In honor of Saint Patrick's day, I made some rainbow cookies.  (Totally unrelated to knitting but it's crafty and I'm proud of these so I have to show 'em off somewhere!)


March has moved along quickly, and so have my projects.  While I'm not done, I certainly can see some progress being made.

The blanket is creeeeeeeeping towards the finish line.


 I've sort of reached that "meh" point where I don't really want to be knitting on it anymore.  I'm hoping to just go all out this weekend and get it off the needles so my brain can do something new.

The sock is still delighting me enormously.


I love the colors (and the pattern for that matter) and they just make me happy to work on.  I've been purposefully getting to Parker's school early just so I have more time to knit on them.  I'd really love to have these finished up by the end of March just to feel like I've gotten some things done.

I'm still considering the sweater.  I still love it- but I need to make sure I'm ready to make a commitment to a sweater.  With spring around the corner my brain tends to start looking fondly at smaller/less warm things and a sweater feels like a big warm thing to be sitting on my lap.  I have also found out that one of the Kindergarten teachers is pregnant and so I think I will squeak out a little teddy bear hat and boots for her, because it's too cute not to share.

Progress has been slower than I've liked, but we find ourselves very busy over here at "Chez Nennie".  There are solar systems to build....


And big ski trips and achievements to be had.


(My kid, skiing blue and BLACK runs this last weekend!  So proud!)

Ski season is going to start winding down here... and hopefully I'll find a little more time for "knitting season" again.  In the mean time, I'll just keep grinding out what I can and that will get me to the finish line eventually.

Have a happy St. Pat's everyone!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

In the Swing of Things

New projects seem to have kicked my "must knit everything" mojo back into high gear- because I have been on FIRE this week!

Firstly, I am loving my Vanilla bean sock a lot.  The colors are so cheerful and happy and I take it everywhere with me, adding (sometimes) just one more row, but I'm so excited to see how it's looking I don't want to put it down.


I'm also deep into my acrylic blanket and even further along now than the picture shows.


It feels good to get some progress on this... although I'm already worried that it's actually going to be MORE than four blankets worth of acrylic in these balls.  There is so much still to knit!  If you are looking for AMPLE yardage... Pound of Love will not let you down!

And because it feels too normal to be well under way on these projects but I'm already day dreaming about what's next... and then THIS lovely sweater....

mystery sweater

popped up in my Pinterest feed and I was DONE.  I want to make this SO BAD.  Some Ravelry sleuthing (and asking for some help in the forums- {god Ravelry is such an invaluable resource}) I had a name.  I'm sitting on my "itchy" fingers for a week to see if I still feel super keen on this project.  If in a week I'm in "LOVE" still... I'm going to buy the yarn and knit it up.  (I don't have a good DK weight... booo.)

It feels good to be back into the knitting and seeing progress move along.  I missed the routine of it and the cathartic feel of knitting stitch after stitch.  I'm looking forward to all the progress I hope to keep making in March!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

New Month! New Projects!

While it was fun to work off a different knitting theme each day for February, it's also good to stretch the old fingers and get back into more traditional blogging.  (There is a March challenge on Instagram but I have opted out of participating in favor of more traditional blogging and to give my non-knitting instagram followers a little break from the "ALL THE KNITTING" posts.)

Great news people- there is SO MUCH to tell you!  Let's get started with FINISHED THINGS!


Pattern: Zig and Zag Sock Yarn Pram and Baby Blanket by Debbie Orr
Yarns: SO many leftovers from other projects... remember this?
Needles: US 3
Notes: Listen up people... I made changes.  I opted to cast on 220 stitches with a smaller needle size than the pattern calls for.  I also added 6 stitches on each side for a border.  I did 16 rows for the major color repeats and only 8 rows for the cream sections.


This blanket ate up a large amount of that leftover stash that I had wanted it to... so YAY.  It's more of a "car seat" size but it's soft and pretty and some little one will love it.  I will admit that the inconsistent cream colors (I changed to whatever I had without minding to blend it), does bug me a bit.  BUT, not enough to say I couldn't ever gift the pattern... I accept it for what it was, a way to bust out a bunch of stash and produce something pretty.

Getting that OFF the needles... made way for another project to be added back in.  Say hello to yet ANOTHER Heart Baby Blanket variation blanket.


I HAD to get that giant "Pound of {never-ending} Love" stuff out of my stash and since these knit up fast I'm hoping to crank out TWO of these this month.  Then I see a generous donation of 4 blankets heading over to WCOBB.

As if I wasn't feeling awesome enough with getting that off the needles I also manged to get the travel socks off the needles too!


Pattern: Sock Recipe: A Good Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl McPhee (this is my "go-to" plain sock pattern)
Yarn: OnLine Supersocke 100 Wellness Color colorway 1322
Needles: Good Ole 2.25 mm
Notes: Not much to say except that this pattern never fails me.  I will admit I don't like the blurry stripes this yarn produced... but it's nice to have it knit up and out of the stash pile.  I may donate these also.


As usual, I took great care in lining up the stripes and I have never regretted that decision.

This meant ANOTHER new project to cast on for travelling to and from various activities and holidays.  I knew it was time to get one of those planned Felici socks out of my stash... so I cast on a really pretty Vanilla Bean Sock in "Jellybean" colorway and I literally LOVE the colors so much these socks will be for me!  (Oh god, just adding that link up there made me look at the website and I want to buy "soft serve" so badly... NO.  NO. NO NO NO NO NO.... yes?  GAH it's on SALE TOO... GAH this is hard.  MiL I need intervention!)


AND... as if two projects with two NEW projects on the needles to talk about wasn't exciting enough... I also cranked out another dishcloth to stash down on that stash!


Pattern: Ballband Dishcloth by Peaches and Cream Design Team
Yarn: Various Cottons I've had kicking around forever
Needles: US 7
Notes: Nothing other than to say GOD I LOVE how this turned out.  The colors are so cheerful and happy and make me think of Easter and spring!  BRING. ON. SPRING!

I can't stress enough how helpful it was to review my stash in January.  I've managed to really work on knitting things out of it and it feels good to be whittling away at it.  I need to make it a yearly tradition... it really helps the focus stay on working on what I have.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Yarn Love Challenge Week 4

Tomorrow we discuss progress and new things... today we finish up the challenge!

Day 21- Library

Day 22- Currently Wearing

Day 23- Throwback

Day 24- Favorite Tip

Day 25 - Routine

Day 26- Newest Stash

Day 27- Blocking

Day 28- Favorite Thing I've Made (part 1)

Day 28- Favorite Thing I've Made (part 2)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Yarn Love Challenge Week 3

Aaaaaand the challenge continues!

Day 13: Selfie

Day 14:Yarn Love ♥
A post shared by jajjen (@jajjen) on

Day 15: Family

Day 16: Happy Color

Day 17: Fiber Friends

Day 18: Gratitude

Day 19: On the Go

Day 20: Handmade Home

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Yarn Love Challenge Week 2

The yarn love challenge on Instagram continues and so do my posts... here's what I posted since my last update:

Day 6: Mistakes
"Mistakes"- oh god so many.  I frequently find that I have knit the same hand twice far too late in a mitten.  I knit THREE (thinking I would just knit 2 pairs) of the same hand once and had to rip back a whole mitten. *sobs*. The mistake is obvious to the eye on the grey blanket- but I only discovered it as I was GIFTING to it someone. 🙀 That purple stripe blanket nearly damn well killed me.  After a long hiatus I began knitting furiously on it... only to discover I had knit 10 inches incorrectly in pattern.  I had woven in the ends already!  My mother in law (knowing the mistake would drive me nuts) painstakingly ripped out all the woven ends and frogged the ten inches for me.  It was likely the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me.  #yarnlovechallenge #yarnlovechallengeday6 #mistakes #payattentiondammit
A photo posted by jajjen (@jajjen) on

Day 7: Stripes

Day 8: Where I Craft

Day 9: Tools

Day 10: Oldest Stash

Day 11: Travel Projects

Day 12: Progress

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Yarn Love Challenge Week 1

Blog posts have been light while I've found myself busy, tired and distracted from knitting again.  We've been going skiing a lot... which isn't a bad thing, but the exhaustion at the end of the day usually means I'm sleeping 10 minutes after my kid is.  It's not a bad thing, and I'm glad we've been capitalizing on "winter fun" but I've been feeling frustrated that there really isn't any time left for knitting at the end of the day.

Enter Instagram.

I noticed early this week that a knitting Instagram challenge had been issued... where you take a picture every day related to the chosen theme.


Deciding it was a great way to connect with other knitters and get myself back into progressing- I jumped in.  AND BLAMMO- I'm re-invigorated to keep working on my projects again!  It was such a great idea that I thought I'd repost my posts here, so those of you NOT on Instagram can also follow along.

Day 1: "Introductions"

Day 2: "Close-Up"
A photo posted by jajjen (@jajjen) on

Day 3: "Currently Making"

Day 4: "Speed"

Day 5: "Community"
A photo posted by jajjen (@jajjen) on

I'll update the posts every 5 days or so that you can follow along on this challenge.  What a great way to get me knitting AND getting me blogging!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


I thought I'd stop in and spend a moment updating you on the blanket which is nearly double in size from the last time I posted.


It's looking quite nice- although I've had to start measuring and deciding how long I want this to be.  Thinking 2 more repeats with an extra brown stripe will make the blanket too short at roughly 31 inches.  (Although it would be more esthetically appealing to the eye.)  3 repeats is probably the right length call but I would need to figure the order of the various blues, because I like consistency.

I will also admit I've hit a certain amount of "sigh" when it comes to this project and my brain is counting the minutes until it can focus on more appealing projects.  Hang in there self!  Get it done!!!

In the mean time... back to the grind!