Sunday, June 3, 2012

projects projects everywhere, and nary an FO

Although I did knit a couple hats a few weeks ago, and pump out a few little gifts in April, I have been getting "nothing" done.  Knitting on projects that take time, these days.  And as usual, knitting on all of them at once, so making incremental progress on them evenly, but not quickly!  I really need to embrace the one-project-at-a-time rule...

My husband's indestructible socks have been getting a lot of attention from me, and I am on the sole flaps,

so certainly there will be a blogpost when the heels are done, if ever! Talk about stitch patterns that take time!  They are constructed using many different slipped-stitch patterns, that change with each new section.  Lots of close pattern following, examining the work, and two different sized needles to keep track of flying around with these guys.

I started a skirt for myself, but have lost interest in miles of stockinette the width of my hips (oi!) and have been working on that sparingly.

My newest projects are socks for my daugher (which I started to have a take-along-not-attached-to-a-pattern project,) and a shawlette.  No, not the Milo shawl I was planning earlier, but something simpler that I think I will actually complete!!  It is the sand and sea shawlette and it is just lovely.  It took me two nights to cast on all those stitches because I felt like using the cable cast on, and I'm glad I did - it really makes a nice, smooth and even edge. I'm really enjoying how the colors in the yarn are coming out, and think it will look great with the mustardy gold color the trim will be (well, hope so!)
Pretty soon, hopefully it will look like the picture!
I'm really enjoying working on this one and the socks the most.  No big surprise.  Love skinny needles and yarn!

The sweater for my mom got frogged, as I finally realized that it's just not the sweater for her.  So I have frogged it, and bought a new pattern, still with cables and still with the gauge I want, but a cardigan, like she really wants: and it is just fit for a queen!  It's a chic knits pattern, and I've never knit one before, but their stuff always looks so nice.  Unfortunately, I am too overwhelmed by such a big undertaking to even begin.  So the yarn sits, frogged and alone, haunting me, until I get the courage.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

knitting action

Yup, another uterus.  This one was sent off in the mail today to my senator, accompanied by a strongly-worded, yet very civil and polite, letter.  I hope he will pay attention to it.  I hope this madness will end.  I'll keep knitting them and sending them to the-powers-that-be who are in need.

Oh, and ps....
I finished the commissioned socks!  Hurray!  They will be given to their new owner this weekend. :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

tomato encouragement

Hubby and the kids were out turning over the garden today, to get it ready to be planted.  I think it's a little early, but the good weather gets everyone giddy for planting.   I must say, I am definitely eager for all the beans and onions, and squash, and cucumbers, and most of all, the tomatoes!   (Still not going to plant in March, though.)
Anyway, we were crazy busy today, out and about everywhere, finally ending at the grocery store, where I bought (incredibly inferior to fresh out of the garden) grocery store winter tomatoes.  When we got home we had lunch, and then I started making yogurt, for the first time ever, so that was fun (it's still stewing, and won't be ready for the next step until my bedtime, so yeah, I'll be drinking coffee tonight!) But I digress....

So then for supper, while they were out in the garden, I made a tomato basil pie.  I used to make this all the time when my son was a baby, but we haven't had it now in years.  The best thing to do with winter tomatoes is to cook them, if you ask me, and my daughter loves tomatoes, and they were doing the garden, and it just seemed so appropo, and yummy!
And it was.  Yum!  So that's my good wishes effort for a good crop this year.  I can't wait for those tomatoes!  Now that will be a good tomato pie!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

one down...

Here she is.  Soon to be on her way to he who needs to hear about it!  Back to knitting.

armed with two pointy sticks

WIP Wednesday is a knitted uterus for my congressman, and one for my senator, too.
I am horrified by the laws trying to be passed regarding women and their medical care.  If you are, too, you must check this out. It is a website for information about knitting or crocheting a uterus to send to your representatives to let them know what you think.

I think of my daughter, and fear what the world will be like for her when she grows up.  Women are exploited regularly in our society, which is hard enough to fight against; we can't allow humiliation and abuse of human rights as well.
For now, I'm going to grab my needles and this yarn, and get knitting.  Check back for an FO, hopefully very soon!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I am 75% done with the commissioned socks.  Hooray!  I rarely stick to one project at a time, and tend to work on something different each day, but since these are on a self-inflicted deadline, (and I am sure they are expected in a timely manner by their recipient,) I have been working on these, and nothing else.  I am learning that I have even less knitting time than I thought I did, and that I miss my other projects, too!

Sadly, though, I am running out of yarn too quickly.  Yeah, when you knit a tighter gauge than the yarn calls for, you're going to run out sooner than expected.  So, not much profit going to be made on these after my near-future yarn purchase for them, which stinks, but c'est la vie!

I'm glad about being almost done with these, and really glad about the weather we've been having.  You gotta know we could use a little spring around here in this house!  Finally everyone is healthy, which is fantastic, including me!  But hubby is still out of work, and my work goes slow, and these things are very straining, especially when you're all cooped up.  Being able to be outside almost all day, with warm sunshine and blue skies, is so wonderful for my mood and mindset, and I welcome it entirely. Here's to open windows in March, yeah!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

persevering flower

Finished the herringbone cowl!
It was murder on the hands, so luckily I ran out of yarn and it's a bit less wide than it should be.  Ah well.  It's warm and soft and striking, and looks good on me!  Success.

Began hubby's indestructible socks.  Have a toe and a half done (and my, they are slow-going toes...)
Mom's sweater is hardly worked on at all I'm afraid...
...nor did I get to start that shawl, as I got roped into doing a pair of commissioned socks.  And no, I didn't ask nearly enough.  Decided to go with Sunday Swing again, as the pattern is burned in my brain, and moves along very nicely.  Also shows off the yarn well.  I altered it by doing a 1x1 rib for the cuff (better elasticity) and a normal heel (the other heel was tedious to me, and comes out large.)
Unfortunately, I do not have a second needle in this size, so am working on only one sock at a time.  Here is hoping I will persevere and move on that second sock upon completing the first!  I must; there is no option this time (I hate that!)

If that all isn't enough, last night I started toast mitts in some Ella Rae Kamelsoft that has been sitting in my closet since the Bella's Mittens days.  Just for me, and just because.

In non-knitting news, my son gave me this geranium two years ago for mother's day.  The poor thing strained to live outside all summer, and at the end of the season, he was so upset that it was dying, that I brought it in, and sat it in my window.
It's managed to stay barely alive all this time, and then last week, it sprouted flowers!!  We could not even believe it.  They seem to be fading now, but it flowered!  What perseverance.  Hoping to learn from this flower, as we face our family struggles in this hard economic time we're having, as well as in my knitting.
Have a great week all!  And keep on plodding along... :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

happy to report...

I washed the Sunday Swing socks of the previous post, and threw the too big one in the dryer... to huge success! 
They both fit very well now, and although one is lighter than the other, I can report that I have worn them all day, both at home and out and about, and they are most comfortable and warm.  To put it simply,
I am in love with my new socks. 
(This is especially good news for me, as the last socks I finished are nothing to write home about, not even a little.)

In other news, I am swimming along with my cowl (after having to stop last night because the ball of yarn came to an end, and the new ball had yet to be wound.  Yeah, wasn't about to do that at midnight,)
and mom's sweater (to be fair, although I did get past a particularly tricky part in the sweater, the must-pay-attention and incredibly-long parts are up next!) 
Been knitting on the gauge swatch for hubby's socks while out in the yard with the kids, and while I was out today and had to wait, so those will be ready to begin soon enough. 

Enjoyed winding the sock yarn and cowl yarn this morning, using my knees as a swift, and my hands as a ball winder, although my arms still ache a bit from it... those are some big ol' balls of yarn!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIP Wednesday, and one FO!

Wednesday again, and one project out of the way!  Sunday Swing Socks are complete, but unfortunately, not perfect.  I could rip out the offending sock and re-do, but I'd rather move on.  They are warm and mostly comfortable, so fit the bill well enough for now. 

Problem one:  although the yarn is the same colorway and dyelot as last year's sock, the socks don't match; one is lighter than the other, so that kind of stinks.
Problem two: last year's sock is a bit too loose, and we all know how all set I am with too loose socks.
Moving on...

The Herringbone Cowl is underway, with still about forty rows to go.  Since I can pretty much only manage two rows a night for how hard it is on my hands (especially that second row,) I'm just hoping I'll be done by month's end!

Since the next four projects in my queue are begging to be worked on NOW, and one of them has been there since last summer, I am excitedly starting new stuff today.  Unfortunately all of them are big projects in one way or another.  One of them I don't even have yarn for yet, so in the queue it sits.

The yarn (hubs chose the color, thought it'd look great with jeans) arrived for hubby's socks... those will have to be begun (a wee bit daunting to me as I have never worked socks toe-up before, and so I'm assuming this will not be easy-breezy-fun as socks usually are, and therefore not as excited to start them.)

In the queue since last summer is a sweater for mom, which I've been passing by for other, quicker, easier knits, but the time has come.  I'm a little excited!  The math and footwork is all done for this one.  Washed and re-measured the swatch last night, so I am all set to start Amused for mom, turning it into a cardigan.  Provisional cast-on, crazy collar, and major alterations, here I come!

Lastly, I have rarely succeeded at lace knitting while having small children about before, but... this time will be different I say!  I just can't give up trying; I am much too intrigued by it.  My first attempt was ultimately frogged, my second and third attempts were successful, although smallish, shawls, and my fourth attempt was cut short and rendered a shawl for a doll.  Onward with number five!  This will be the one! Right? Sticking to fingering weight, thinking that will be simpler, and saving all the laceweight yarn in the closet for now.  Anyway, here it is, and here's my yarn I'm thinking for it... I'm not sold on the yarn yet, but it's my favorite of what's in the closet, and I really don't want to have to buy more yarn...

What do you think?  Who's with me?  There's got to be someone else out there with strong urges to start multiple daunting projects at once, right? :)  After all, it's a bright and sunny WIP Wednesday!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Sunday Swing socks still in the works.  I'm on the foot (the 10.5 inch foot......)

And so it begins.  Big Herringbone Cowl KAL.  Behold the mess it currently appears to be:
I was positive the stitches were twisted several times during the first row, and I had checked for that several times before I joined.  Thankfully, I was wrong and they were not twisted - I hate having to start over - who doesn't?
I'm only on the third row.  Have to break to go to my daughter's playdate. (That was fun, let me tell you, when each time I came to the start of the next round, when there's all this fiddly stuff for me to do, she tried getting on my lap and talked incessantly about what dress up clothes she was planning to wear at her friend's house. Sheesh, come back in two stitches, please. :))
So this is how it looks, three rows in:
I think I'm going to like it. :) I will say, though, it is a killer on the hands.  They ache pretty badly, so I'm glad for a break.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Tiny New Baby Hat

Every hat I used to make for new babies never fit within a mile either way.  So I finally gave up, did some math and measuring, found the fit and style I found easiest on babies, and have been doing this hat instead ever since.

The Tiny New Baby Hat

Materials: Approximately 80 yrds worsted weight soft acrylic or washable wool yarn
Size 5 16” circular needles, and 4 size 5 double pointed needles, or whatever size needed to obtain gauge. (come on, do a gauge swatch… it’s for the baby!)
Stitch marker
Gauge: 20 stitches is 4 inches in stockinette stitch in the round.
Finished circumference: 13 inches; fits 14-15 inch head very nicely.
Size: newborn

CO 64 sts, place marker, and join to work in the round.
Knit all rounds until hat measures 4 ¼ inches.
Begin decreases, switching to double pointed needles when sts become too tight:
 (Knit all even rounds.)
Round 1: (k6, k2tog) around
Round 3: (k5, k2tog) around
Round 5: (k4, k2tog) around (If desired, switch to a different colored yarn at this point.)
Round 7: (k3, k2tog) around
Round 9: (k2, k2tog) around
Round 11: (k1, k2tog) around
Round 13: (k2tog) around
Round 14 and so on: repeat Round 13 until 3 sts remain.
Arrange remaining 3 sts onto one needle, and work an I-cord for 2 inches. Bind off, and secure end inside the I-cord. 
To finish, tie a knot in the I-cord, and weave cast on end into the inside of the rolled brim.

It is so satisfying to give new parents a hat that actually fits their child when they put it on that child in front of you.  You can smile and congratulate them, instead of apologizing and promising to make them a new hat because the one you made swallowed their child, or, the other scenario, your hat made their 1 day old baby look like a 1 year old because the hat was so small.
This way everyone wins, and you even made the baby a little cuter (if that's even possible, right?) with a little curly-q right on top. :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Shroom to Sunday Swing to Herringbone

Finished my Shroom!  So excited to have a hat that fits, is warm, and looks great.  The yarn for this was very dreamy in feel and to knit with.

Still working on the Sunday Swing socks, and after (seriously, I cannot believe I did this) picking up the heel stitches and rejoining in the round completely BACKWARDS, I have rectified the situation and am onward to the foot!  My feet can't wait for these to be done.  And I'd better get moving because it's only luck that the yarn for my husband's socks hasn't arrived yet...

As if I don't have enough I want to do (and even more that I have, ahem, promised to others) I have joined a KAL to do this  

Nothing like a new complicated stitch for 60 inches to keep me on my toes!  So funny that this KAL starts on WIP Wednesday...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gaga for Garter Cowl

Finishing up another cowl today, and figured I'd finally get the pattern on here.
This cowl is super squishy because of the vertical garter, soft, and so warm.  It's just perfect for the winters around here, and quick and easy to do.  Nevermind that it looks great!  So why not knit one up? :)

Gaga for Garter Cowl

Finished measurements: 14 inches tall, 11 inches wide.

Materials: Approximately 160 yards super bulky soft wool
                  Size US 11 16-inch circular needle, or whatever size needed to
                  obtain gauge.

Gauge: 10 sts is 4 inches in garter stitch

Loosely cast on 36 sts. 
Knit back and forth in garter stitch for 22 inches.
Loosely bind off, leaving a long tail, and seam bind off to cast on edge.

Note: you could also use a provisional cast on, and then finish by weaving the cast on and the last row using the garter Kitchener stitch, if you don’t like seaming.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Well, to start off with a finished object, I finished the Happy Feet socks.  They are too loosely knit, uncomfortable, and sure to have holes in no time, and I am severely disappointed.  In a flash of rage I drowned them in hot water and threw them in the dryer on high heat with a towel, doubtfully hoping to shrink them at least a little. 

Going to go by the gauge recommended in this amazing book, and no longer by what the pattern says when making socks.  The only socks I've made with a fine enough gauge my sister has, and her husband threw them in the dryer on her, and they're a bit snug on her now.  Geez, man.  Holding out hope for the Sunday Swing I'm currently working on.  And so begins the WIP's...

Sunday Swing socks (almost to heel of sock 2)
Garter cowl for my aunt (which is moving along nicely)
My son's socks are still waiting patiently for me to feel like continuing working on is that mitten... Poor thrummed mitten that I want so desperately on those bustop walks, but that I have lost interest in knitting...

So today, started Shroom for myself in some lovely and soft yarn (I couldn't help myself.  You should see the god-awful hats I've been wearing to the bustop!)

Stay tuned for pictures of FO's and the beginning of those socks for hubby in the dreamy Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock.  (can't wait til it gets here!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

a memory: homemade russian dressing

It's simple, but I love it.  One of my favorites from childhood is homemade Russian dressing.  Too easy, and nothing better on some crunchy iceberg.

Mayo, ketchup, pickle relish and a dash of Worcestershire.  Yum.  If the kids get the hot dogs they've been after me for, then I can have my dressing for the salad.  Here's to an easy supper!

Monday, January 23, 2012

their parents' hobbies

Kids got to have a little time with Daddy on the Playstation.  He started out showing my son the game, but, of course, my daughter would not be left out, and he let her "play", too, while he had his own controller (tricky Daddy!) 

It was even funnier when she started examining the controller and not playing, but she was still "winning."

I snapped pictures but didn't hang out there long.  I was working on a couple hats to be donated to a local woman's shelter, as part of a contribution the library is making.  I really enjoyed doing it, and am happy with how they came out. 

I usually put an icord knot at the top of baby hats, but this time it didn't call to me, and this one just has a smooth crown.  The woman's hat is a vanilla hat, but the yarn is fun. 

Next time we're down there for books I'll drop them off, but the kids aren't done with their books yet, and I'm still trying to memorize the sock book I got before I have to bring it back.  Finally going to make some indestructible socks!!  Stay tuned because the yarn's in the mail!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday

With poor circulation in my toes, and all the trouble that causes, the doctor recommended taking a break from my knitting for others, and knit myself some wool socks.  This Wednesday, I am actually getting somewhere on that.  I have just a toe left to do on pair number one.  The cuff and foot are done in Happy Feet DK, a yarn I fell in love with at first stitch, and the heel and toe are Vintage DK.

Pair number two began on New Year's Day last year, not this month.  (I have severe second sock syndrome, what can I say?) But now I'm feeling it again, and will do sock two (for me!  Woo-hoo!)  These are with Aslan Trends Santa Fe.

I've started a cowl for my aunt, which she requested after trying on my mom's; I have a secret swap project in the works; and I've got to do the other thrummed mitten (hmmm.... maybe I have a touch of second mitten syndrome, too...)
My kids' socks that I've started are getting dangerously close to the closet with all the works-in-waiting I've got in my head.

nothing like a good night's sleep

Mornings are hectic, and I have been thinking that I could use some time alone with my coffee before the kids get up.  Thing is, they get up awful early as it is.  Regardless, to this end, my husband got me an alarm clock for Christmas.  A big old bell clock.  It doesn't have a snooze button (which is probably a good thing,) but I can't imagine it won't wake me up!  I hadn't set it, or tried it out until last night though...

Last night, at midnight, my daughter comes down, "Mama!  I have to pee!"  So I was up at midnight.  At 3:30, my daughter comes down for the bathroom again, so I was up then, and couldn't get back to sleep.  Half hour later, I hear a crash and screaming cries, and I rush up there to discover that she had fallen out of bed while trying to put her handkerchief back on her nightstand.  So I said to her, "When you're finished with your handkerchief, just put it under your pillow, then you don't have to reach for the nightstand."  She rejected my suggestion, but as I said "under your pillow," I went into panic mode....

I was supposed to be the Tooth Fairy for my son tonight!!  Ack!!  I tuck her in and rush downstairs to the closet looking for his prize.  This meant I had to turn the light on, which thrilled my husband, let me tell you. 
My son has been known to wake up not long after 4:00, so I was hoping I wouldn't get up there and wake him while I was on my secret mission.  Once I got up there, I really had to dig under his pillow for the note we'd left (we had to write the Tooth Fairy a note explaining that he had lost the tooth, but now had lost it again, and hoped she'd still come.)  He moved a little, but all was well.  Back to bed. 

So to the alarm clock I went, figuring that since I felt so wide awake, tomorrow was a good day to try getting up early and having my alone-with-coffee time.  I set the alarm for 6:15, and went to sleep eventually.

At a quarter to six, my son rushes into the room shouting, "Mama!  She came!  Look what she brought!!" Okay, I guess 6:15 isn't early enough.  Tomorrow I'll try 5:30?  Ugh.
When he ran off to play, my daughter got in bed with me, and when the alarm sounded at 6:15, I realized we'd been lying there too long.  That thing scared the crap out of all of us!  However, it really didn't make me want to get out of bed any sooner. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

sometimes you need a break

It gets crazy around here.  Lots of noise and demands and things to do, life.  Had a rare treat of a day to myself at home today.  The sun was shining, it was quiet, and I was in a good mood.  I got some things done in the morning, then spent a few hours at the kitchen table, listening to jazz and knitting.  It was glorious.

When I picked the kids up at suppertime (picked up takeout, thank you very much) I was calm and relaxed and happy, and the kids were happy and calm.  We got home and we all had a nice evening, and it was just all so nice.  Mostly, evenings around here are very hyper and stressful.  Everyone is tired and grumpy.  But this evening, just so nice. 

It was just the kind of day I have been dreaming about for a month, at least.  And it was just what I needed.  Sometimes we need to take a step away to be able to enjoy what we have, and we did, and we do.