Monthly Archives: August 2013

I’ve Taken the Plunge, Twice

I’m sure when some knitters hear phases like “Oh god! Don’t knit that?  You’ll want to jab your needles into your eyes by the end of it” or “You’ll never get into the rhythm of it because there is no rhythm.  You’ll mostly hate making it,” those knitters would think better of casting said project on.  Some knitters would think that the while the final project is stunning and beautiful, it is best viewed with awe and respect from a distance.  You know, like a lion.   Majestic and regal and not really something I want sharing my sofa with me while I watch TV or snuggle with my Hubby.  (First, our sofa is certainly not large enough for two people and a lion, and also my Hubby is very allergic to cats.  It would only end in tears and asthma attacks.  Plus can you imagine a lion wanting to chase your yarn while you knit!)  Some knitters, maybe even most knitters, would be rational and think it through before casting on the project.

But not me.  Oh no.  I still need to make what I want to make and I have proven repeatedly that when it involves the fibre arts I may not be the most sane or rational person on the planet.  So, warnings were tossed to the wind and a linen stitch scarf was cast on.  449 Stitches on the needles and then I took a deep breath and began.  At first it was going mostly swimmingly.  I was a little concerned about the colours I’d picked, but still loved the overall effect.

Untitled

So I kept knitting away.  I ignored the fact that I was so tired I could barely see straight.  I ignored the knitter’s voice of reason inside my head that said “you’re too tired.  This is not going to go well for you.”  I ignored the fact that I had to write down on a sticky note how I wanted to combine the three different colours because my brain couldn’t hold the pattern and knit at the same time.  I ignored it all and I kept knitting.

This morning I picked it up with my morning coffee and fretted a little about the colours.  I showed my Hubby who nodded in approval and I started knitting.  And then I found it.

Untitled

If you can’t really make it out from the photo I’ll explain. My scarf has a Stegosaurus ridge right up the middle of it’s back.  This little inclusion is what happens when you are too damn stubborn to put your knitting down when the voice is telling you to, and you inadvertently create a short row where no short row was ever meant to be.  And then, if you’re me, you knit three more rows before really cottoning on to the mistake even when your knitter’s voice was trying desperately to get your attention.   It knew.  It knew as I was  doing it.  It knew when I had a chance to fix it.  It knew when I knit the next row and thought “that end seems like a slightly different width.”  It knew the whole time.  And over my morning coffee I knew too.  I did briefly consider spiking my coffee with tequila, but in the end just frogged it all out and started again.

But, since I wasn’t convinced of the colour choices anyway and had already wished I had cast it on in something heavier than fingering, I changed the whole thing up.  Now I’m using these.

Untitled

That’s three skeins of sport weight and I’ve moved up to 6mm needles.  I cast on 305 stitches ’cause that where the tail ran out and I’ve started again.  No real pictures to show yet.  But soon there will be.  The frog pond will not be visited again.  That I can assure you.  Next time, I’ll listen.  Probably.


Christmas is in Fact Coming

In my world, Christmas is coming.  I realize that is a silly thing to say, because regardless of whether or not you celebrate Christmas, it is in fact coming.  It’s coming  the same way the tomorrow is coming.  Christmas is coming with the same certainty that there will be a knitting later today and more coffee.  No matter how you look at it or how far away it is, when you knit Christmas gifts, the next Christmas is always coming.  Last year I didn’t do a lot of Christmas knitting.  I knew that I was going to be very short on time and that the added pressure of trying to finish a ton of gifts wouldn’t make the already trying time any better.  Last year for the first time in a very long time we opted buy the majority of our gifts for people.  That came with its own complications.  First, I hate malls.  Two, I hate Christmas shopping.  Three, the only time I had to do it was December 22nd.  The crowds were insane.  I hate the consumerism.  It just all turns my stomach.  That day more or less ended with me calling my Hubby at work and having a screaming meltdown when I couldn’t find anything for my SIL and her husband.  It was not one of my more gracious moments and I think I frightened the hell out of the poor guy sitting on the bench outside of the store and when I got home I realized my shirt had been on inside out the whole time and then I still had to wrap the majority of the gifts since I was not waiting in the line in the mall to pay someone a stupid amount of money to wrap the presents I was just forced to buy.  What I am trying to convey was that it really was not a great day by any standards.  I’ve had days with the stomach flu that I would consider to be more enjoyable than that little romp through the re-filtered oxygen, florescent lighting, and crappy tinned music.  As I was walking back to by car I decided that we were not going to have another Christmas like this one.  And we are not.  The knitting has started.  My Hubby and I have started to generate ideas for gifts for people.  We know that there will always be a little bit of shopping to do, but not like last year.  Never like last year.  Never EVER like last year.

Some things I can’t show you yet because they will be seen by the wrong eyes.  That is killing me a little ’cause one idea I have is sickeningly cute.  But, it’s going to have to wait.  But I can show you these little cloths.

Untitled

The majority of the cloths are this pattern.
square  cloth

A few of them are this one.
Untitled

And the last ones are this one.

Untitled

I could not get a good picture of this cloth. There is a snowflake in the middle.

Three per set tied with a ribbon and we are good to go.

Untitled

As I mentioned earlier this week these are all part of larger gift for people. I’ll show the finished product a little closer to Christmas. But I am happy to have things under-way.  I am one small cloth sized step away from not having homicidal rage this holiday season and that is a good thing for everyone.  Believe me on that.


YOP Update Aug 18th, 2013

3rd_Yop_Banner_medium

In the last two weeks I’ve written three assignments, survived having a final exam, and ended up at an impromptu family reunion.   Actually, this has to be a rather fast update as I have one assignment left to finish and I need to have that in by the end of the day.  (it’s 3/4 done, so I’m not too worried).  It’s my last assignment for this semester so I am highly motivated to have it finished!  Then I have four wonderful weeks of no school work ahead of me and that means more knitting time.

I did actually manage to pull myself away from my Vivid Blanket so there really hasn’t been much change on that front.  Most of my time has been spent knitting this.
UntitledThis is the start of a Wingspan in Kauni.  I’ve had the yarn in my stash for ages and this is my second attempt to use it for a project.  it’s a little further along now then it is in this picture, but I haven’t had time to take an updated photo.  It’s a super easy knit, which is exactly what I needed.

I’ve also been knitting these.

Untitled

Each little roll is three dishcloths and they are going to part of larger Christmas packages for some of our friends.  Again these little cloths are super easy and fast and the more I can finish over the summer, the better it is come Christmas time.

More on each project later in the week when I’ve submitted my last assignment.

Hope everyone had a great knitting week and I am immensely looking forward to sitting with my coffee tomorrow and catching up with everyone.

Happy Knitting.

My goal: 5 skeins out/month

Skeins out/in

July 5/3

August 4/1


So Then This Happened

If you’re like me, snail mail is virtually a thing of the past. Email, twitter, Skype, and countless other ways of staying in touch via social media is pretty much the way of things around here. Really, the only things that generally get dropped through my mail slot are bills that need to be paid and that’s nearly as exciting as thinking about having to drag myself to the dentist for a root canal without painkillers. (They do give you pain killers if you have to have a root canal, right? I’m assuming there would be a much higher rate of homicide-related deaths in the dentistry profession if they didn’t.) Aside from those rare days when you are expecting something pretty (like, oh, say, I don’t know, yarn for example) mail appearing on my floor is not something to be celebrated. The charm I remember it having when I was young and staying with my grandparents, who had home delivery, is long gone, and the daily mail holds about as much interest for me as idea of trying to shave a cat. (Actually, if I’m honest, shaving a cat would probably be way more interesting then anything I hope EVER gets dropped through my mail slot.  For certain values of interesting.)

But sometimes, and very rarely, something comes through your mail slot and it makes your day. I’ve been super fortunate that it’s happened twice this year and I’m pretty sure that means that the Cool Mail Fairy is more or less finished with me for a long time and her cynical, jaded sister the Daily Drudge Mail Fairy will be the only one I can expect.  What made both these arrivals special was that they were both very unexpected in their own way.

First, a few months back, I think possibly in May, I came home and found an package sitting on my coffee table. I could tell it was yarn, since as fibre people we just have a sixth sense about envelopes filled with our irresistible vice.  I also knew I hadn’t ordered any yarn. My hubby indicated that I should look at the return addy, which I did, and realized it was from my BFF.
This was inside.

Untitled

I love this yarn!!

I burst into tears. I was still in the midst of the (ed. note – passage redacted.  Run-on sentences are OK.  Parenthetical screeds of run-on profanity?  Slightly gratuitous.  Clearly written before coffee kicked in.) that was the first six months of this year and she knew I was struggling and wanted to cheer me up. It was a wonderful, awesome moment, & it made me immensely grateful for my friends. (We have other friends who did super amazing things for us too. If you are one of those people, believe me we remember!) Without a doubt this is one of the most valuable skeins of yarn I own!

The second happened just a few weeks ago.  I knew there was a package coming. My friend Beks over at Polka dots & Sparkles really hadn’t made a secret of that.  Since it was coming from the other side of the world, there was some anticipation surrounding it’s arrival.  What  wasn’t expected was what was inside.

Untitled

I can not even begin to express how awesome this is.

I saw it and squeed (squee’d? Squid? Never mind.) with delight and giggled madly.  For those of you that aren’t Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans this little rabbit is probably one of the most famous quotes from Anya, a vengeance demon turned human, who has an intense phobia of bunnies.  Believe me when I say it does all make sense.  Also: Hand embroidery.  100% hand stitched.  AWESOME.  (Ed. Note: Also also: I’m pretty sure the frame is eucalyptus wood.  Which is my justification for sniffing it.  Repeatedly.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  If you expected normal behaviour, you’re reading the wrong blog.)

Anya trying to fit in at Halloween and facing her fears at the same time.

Beks also included a lovely letter that it think I may frame and refer to any time I’m having a crummy day. The whole package was remarkable and it’s amazing to think that I have a friend that far away. (We are going to arrive on your doorstep one day. I expect knitting and drinking. You’ve been warned!)
I only hope she likes her package as much as I like mine.

So there you have it. I am proof that snail mail can make your day.  And that simple acts of kindness do exist.
Also, knitters ( & crocheters) are really awesome people!


My Finished Mama Vertebrae

Early this week I mentioned that I would post a few more pictures of my new cardi.

The Pattern is Mama Vertebrae and the yarn is Indigodragonfly in a a very old  colourway named Turtle Slippers.

This is a very easy very fast little knit.  I love that the pattern includes modifications for multiple yarn types and I may be considering making a second one in sock yarn.  This would be a great first sweater project.  I highly recommend you check it out.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

For more Friday knitting check out FO FridaysCreative Friday, and Fiber Arts Friday.


YOP Update Aug 5th, 2013

3rd_Yop_Banner_medium

I can’t believe that the month of July is already over.  It went by faster then I could keep up.  In reality, I probably could have kept up a little better, but last week my Hubby and I decided that we needed to “vacation” on our balcony.  Once I was home from my internship and my school work was done we decamped to the balcony for dinner and drinks and usually stayed there until after dark.  We ignored the computer and our phones and spent a lot of time talking about going on a real vacation again. It was lovely and I have this feeling it may happen again.

But, I did accomplish two things from my YOP wish list for July.

First, I finished my Mama Vertebrae.

Untitled

I’ll post more pictures later this week.  Just wanted to give you a little sneak peek.

But it is clearly finished and with that accomplishment I managed the second goal  of  having five skeins out of my stash.  (The sweater only took four, but I gave the last skein to my BFF so she can add it to her 5 skeins of Turtle Slippers).    Admittedly I ended up inheriting 3 skeins from another knitter so I am in reality only 2 skeins closer to being organized.   What can you do?  How would I call myself a knitter if I turned down three free skeins of beautiful yarn that needed a new home? That would make me a pretty crummy knitter, and a terrible friend don’t you think?

The other knitting that seems to have taken over is Vivid.  I love knitting these squares.  I’m up to eight and finished with the white yarn,  The remainder of the yarn has been tossed into the pile for the EBI so it’s win/win!

Untitled

This is the most recent picture of the Epic Blanket of Insanity, (EBI). It’s actually much larger than this. I really need to take new pictures.

Untitled

Squares for Vivid.

Untitled

I would like to say that I have a plan for the rest of the month.  But, I really kind of don’t.  I am really hoping to finish the socks for my dad and I’m fairly certain that the blanket will get more love.  Beyond that, I’m not sure where the month will take me.

My goal: 5 skeins out/month

Skeins out/in

July 5/3

August 4/0 (I de-stashed 3 skeins this morning! Yay – yummy yarn finding a new home! Last skein is in the blanket)!