Archive for the ‘Fun!’ Category

okay, enough about Ashur… He’s adorable and all, but I have no new news about him… so back to our regularly scheduled Knitting program…

 

Socks.

From Socks

Are done.

From Socks

I was noticing that the pattern for the ankle was a bit tight, and I was afraid that it wouldn’t fit on my leg.  That, and the fact that I wanted to show off when I went out with some friends on Saturday night, made me bind them off a few (5) inches early, and call them ankle socks.

 

I like them, they are soft, and comfy (once you go through the exercise of getting them onto your foot, which is a challenge)  …but I’m not sure that I EVER want to make socks out of fingering weight yarn EVER again.  It.  Takes.  So.  Long.  and I’m not even sure they feel all that different from store-bought – at least on *my* feet.  <ducking to avoid the projectile dpns from sock knitters around the world…>

 

My dearest husband is excited that I’m done with my socks, because he thinks that it means that I’m going to start his second pair of (black) socks right away.  They are worsted weight, and the yarn is a nice tweedy-black yarn, but I’m not really all that up to socks right now… so he’ll have to wait a week or two before I get started.

 

Here’s what I’ve got on the needles right now…

From Warm Stuff

a scarf to match a hat that I made for Christmas.  This one is on it’s “third time’s a charm” iteration, as I figure out how to get it to look the way I’m envisioning.  I think we might have it…  And do you see how adorable those stitch markers are?  Ladybugs!!

 

Then…

From Warm Stuff

my first Mobius Cowl.  This is the most fascinating thing I’ve ever made… It’s one of those things that I have a ‘vision’ for, but won’t actually get to see if I succeeded until it’s off the needles.  Remember the ruffle scarf physics?  Kind of like that… but with softer malabrigo, and a much bigger project.  :-)

 

So I was getting up to write a post about how I finished the socks that I’ve been working on… but I saw a link to my brother’s blog, and saw that my nephew is coming home today!

 

Look at what he’s wearing!   Those were his official ‘going home clothes’!   How awesome is that?!

From Baby Stuff

I’m so very glad that I decided on a hat pattern that could ‘grow’ from a ‘newspaper boy hat’ to a ‘skater boy hat’. He might have another day or two of use out of it…

From Baby Stuff

….and look at those FEETIES!

From Baby Stuff

Welcome home, Ashur! I’m glad that you had nice clothes to wear on your very first car ride. :-)

Day Four: 31st March. Where are they now?

Whatever happened to your __________?

Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.

 

This is a bit of a tricky one for me.  Most of the stuff I’ve knitted has been gifted, and despite many requests for pictures, I almost never get them.  So if this blog entry is boring, and you’ve never sent me pictures… your boredom is your own fault!  :-P

 

However, since I’m the blogger, I should attempt *something*, right?  I’ll try to write about what I *know* happened to some stuff.  So here goes… breaking it out into groups.

 

Hats

First hat ever – Noella’s hat.

From Finished Stuff

I think she wore it for about 10 minutes before her eyes started popping out, and the top of her head started losing circulation.  I think that one is gone forever.

 

Joey’s Hat.

From Finished Stuff

This hat fit him for the tail-end of last Spring, which was unfortunate, because I made it for him last March.  By the time Winter hit again, the hat was too small, so I had to make another one for him.  The first hat however, did get Joey to love yarn and handmade stuff, so I guess that’s a win.

 

My Hat.

From Finished Stuff

This hat is awesome, as long as I can wear my noise cancelling headphones while I’m outside, or if it isn’t too cold.  It doesn’t cover my earlobes, which usually have a piece of metal hanging from them – introducing more cold from the inside… (you’ve never lived until you’ve experienced frozen earrings in your ears).  I still wear it. but it is not for weather less than 20 degrees.

 

Cozys

My cozy

From Finished Stuff

I take this thing everywhere, and I’m famous for it at my Starbucks.  I use it on hot drinks to keep my hands from burning, and I use it on cold drinks to keep my fingers from freezing off.  I’ve washed it a few times (with the rest of my hand-washibles and some SOAK) and it has held up remarkably well.

STMD cozy

From Finished Stuff

This cozy was made as a congratulatory gift for the Project Sponsor of a huge project where I used to work.  I can’t confirm, but at least while I was there, he never actually used it.  He keeps it displayed on his desk, but won’t let liquid near it.  I think that one will be my ‘gallery piece’ for a long time.

 

Gorilla cozy (Seamus)

From Finished Stuff

This one was sort of a gag-gift for my brother who didn’t think he’d ever wear anything knitted.  I had no idea that it would be as cherished as it was – so much so that I needed to put a bottom on it so that he could keep using it!

From Cozies

 

Lady Gorilla (Gloria)

From Finished Stuff

This one was requested after my sister-in-law saw her husband’s original one.  There was much discussion around how to make it (my first custom-order!).  It eventually became the inspiration for Seamus’ bottom.  I hear it is used pretty much daily – which is awesome!

 

So that’s about all I know about the fate of my knitted objects.

 

Now, my fair readers, if you have received something from me, please post a comment about how it’s working out.  Sending pictures would also be awesome!

 

So apparently, it is Knitting and Crocheting Blogger Week.  I had no idea until I read the Bearded Knitter’s Post, and now I’m a few days behind – so let’s get to it, shall we?!  Catch-up Time!

Day One: 28th March. A Tale of Two Yarns.
Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

Okay, so this should be an easy one.  Everyone knows I LOVES me some Malabrigo. (or they should know… and if they didn’t know until now, they should buy some for me to make up for it!  :-D)  Whether it is the super chunky, size-15-needles-and-done-in-a-few-hours yarn, or the super-soft super-wash wool to give to my little sister and niece; I love Malabrigo.

From Cowl and Hat Set for KK

 

From 2011 FOs

 

The issue with Malabrigo, though… as it gets smaller, it decides to choose its own destiny as a cat toy.  Seriously.  I bought some great Malabrigo ‘sock’ yarn (sock is in quotes because that was laceweight if I’ve ever seen it!) and as soon as we got it onto the swift, it saw the yarn-ball-winder coming… and that thing tangled itself up worse than gum-that-you-fell-asleep-with-it-in-your-mouth-so-it-fell-into-your-hair…  In the end, it took two dedicated professionals (yarn-store employees) and myself to somehow come up with three separate balls of yarn after about two hours.

From Misc Pics

However, even after all that, I still loves me some Malabrigo more than any other yarn I’ve tried.

 

 

Day Two: 29th March. Skill + 1UP

Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?

 

I started knitting a little over a year ago, so I’m trying to keep it in terms of as close to ‘exactly’ a year ago as I can, because the easy answer is I learned everything in the last year…

 

Let’s see… this time last year, I was knitting baby booties and hats for kids, a blackberry case, and a Mother’s Day Sweater for my (now) Mother-in-Law. (thank you, Ravelry and the list of FOs from 2010…)

From Finished Stuff

 

From Finished Stuff

 

From Finished Stuff

 

From Finished Stuff

 

The thing I can say about the difference between then and now is the yarn size.  Alex (the one who taught me how to knit) used to comment about how I loved TINY yarn… and I do!  However, I have seriously learned to love Worsted And Bigger yarn.  Don’t get me wrong, DK and smaller have their place, but I’ve accepted the fact that I am a ‘small thing with big yarn knitter’.  I do it for the FOs (finished objects) not the hand cramps!  (of course, I say that and look at my WIP of socks with laceweight-pretending-to-be-sock-yarn…)

From Socks

 

Part of being the Knitiot Savant is that I don’t turn away from a challenge… but I accept the kind of knitter that I am.  I don’t pretend like I’m going to knit a sweater, because that would take too long.  However, I have recently started dabbling in the sock arena.  Honestly, while I was making the first pair, I had decided that I didn’t ever need to knit a pair again. But then I gave them to my husband, and he won’t shut up about them.  I like making stuff that is loved and appreciated… so socks are probably going to stick around for a while – most likely in Worsted weight yarn.

From Socks

 

 

Day Three: 30th March. Tidy mind, tidy stitches.

How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? It seems like an easy to answer question at first, but in fact organisation exists on many levels. Maybe you are truly not organised at all, in which case I am personally daring you to try and photograph your stash in whatever locations you can find the individual skeins. However, if you are organised, blog about an aspect of that organisation process, whether that be a particularly neat and tidy knitting bag, a decorative display of your crochet hooks, your organised stash or your project and stash pages on Ravelry.

 

I recently posted about the ‘ottoman rule’ for my yarn, and I have been trying to keep to that.  I also have my ‘knitting corner’ that has all of my knitting needles, books, and scrap yarn.  I keep each WIP in its own bag with all of the yarn as well as the pattern, presumably so that I can grab them on my way out the door.  the only problem is that my knitting accessories (stitch markers, crochet hooks for fixing dropped stitches, tapestry needles, etc) get forgotten if I don’t bring the same ‘travel project’ all the time.

From Misc Pics

 

From Misc Pics

 

From Misc Pics

 

From Misc Pics

For the most part,  Ravelry is my Stash/WIP management tool.  I can look at my ‘stash’ and see how much, what weight, what colors, etc.  I can also see what my ‘sleeping’ projects are, and try to re-dedicate myself to stuff that I’ve chosen to ‘forget’ so that I can be motivated to work on it by the time I get home… – and I can do it from anywhere!

 

 

Okay, all caught up now!  phew!

It has hit me.  I’m not sure there’s a cure.  I feel the need to START projects.  The Harlot calls it Startitis.  It is a very serious affliction.

It all started last weekend when I finished both the Cowl and Ed’s socks, and as a result had nothing on the needles.  I decided to start a pair of Evil Stepmother socks for myself for an ‘at home’ project, and a Market Bag out of Shibui Knits for my ‘on the go’ project.

The socks are awesome.  I’m very excited about them, but the yarn is SO SMALL!  I think it may be the tiniest, skinniest yarn I’ve ever worked with.  I have the toes done, and I’m about to enter the endless stockinette before I get to the gussets.  I’m not sure my hands can handle gripping such tiny needles for extended periods of time.

From Socks

The market bag has sort of lost my interest.  I LOVE the yarn, but I feel like using it for a market bag is wasting it.  I think it’s going to take a time out until I can figure out what I really want to do with that yarn.

From Oddities

Sometime this week, Joey stole my hat.  The one I made for him last March is now too small, so I think he needs another one (that is not mine).  The other night, I ‘flashed my stash’ for him so that he could go through it and figure out which yarn he wanted me to use.  He picked out the very same yarn that he decided on when we went to the yarn store (many moons ago).  Check out the SAME SKEIN, top and bottom…

From Misc Pics
From Misc Pics

I turned that into my ‘on the go’ project and this is where I am with it:

From Hats

The only problem with ‘flashing your stash’ is that you realize exactly how much yarn you have – which I think is one of the causes of Startitis, the need for Stashbusting, because this is what I want to do now (in no particular order):

Start a hat for a guy at work that keeps asking for one with this yarn:

From Misc Pics

Make some socks for a dear friend of ours (the one who officiated our marriage) with this yarn:

From Misc Pics

Make the fingerless mitts that I was going to make with this yarn:

From Misc Pics

Start a ‘fake isle’ hat with these two skeins:

From Misc Pics

… okay, maybe not an *ode* but certainly a post!

My brother is my webmaster.  He designed the template and maintains the blog.  As the Harlot says, he “makes blog go”.  He is a pretty awesome big brother.  :-)

From Misc Pics

As many of you may have noticed last week, the blog was down.  Now, let me be the first to say, it was NOT my brother’s fault.  *I* received the email that said that I needed to change something, but I never sent it to my brother so that he could “make blog go”.  Once I sent him the info, he officially fixed it.  That would make the fact that the site was down MY fault, and the fact that it is now fixed HIS fault…

See, he likes to build things. I *sometimes* like to help. :-)

From Misc Pics

So, since my brother has come to the Blog’s rescue, I feel the need to officially dedicate this post to him.

Remember when I thanked him for building the blog by making this?

From Cozies

Well, his wife, Natalie saw it and also wanted one. That’s when I made this.

From Cozies

Well, my brother saw how much more efficient the cozy with a bottom was so he officially requested a bottom for his Seamus cozy. When he was in town for the wedding, I picked up the stitches from the bottom and gave Seamus a bottom.  The cast-off stitches turned into the ‘neck’.  Can you see it?

From Cozies

They were both very excited.

From Cozies

That particular weekend, I was trying to get ready for a Bridal Shower at my house and a “Dinner Party” that only a few select people knew was a wedding. (My brother was not one of those select few.)  Given the stress that all of the weekend planning entailed, I have to say that my brother was an AMAZING help.

I needed to get the house clean enough to entertain over 30 people, but there were two children who just wanted to spread Legos love and joy all around the house.  My brother made sure that the house was clean when it needed to be.  Amazing.  (Legend has it that they officially told him to ‘stop sounding so much like Abby’)

This would not seem like a big deal unless you knew my brother and I from when we grew up.  He and I were *always* fighting.  15 years ago, nobody would have ever imagined that my brother and I would ever be caught working together, let alone *choosing* to make gifts for, and helping each other.  We were typical sibling rivals, fighting and getting the other in trouble (he mostly deserved it… I never did…)  See how happy we were to be seen together?

From Misc Pics

When we were cleaning, he noticed my Malabrigo Rasta Cowl and mentioned that he would like for me to make one for his wife.

From 2011 FOs

As a token of my appreciation of all of his hard work keeping my house clean, rather than make a California girl suffering temperatures in the thirties wait for me to get to the yarn store, buy the yarn, knit the cowl, and ship it to California (about a week); I gave up my cowl so that my brother could give it to his lovely, cold, pregnant wife.

Thanks, Ken! and thanks Natalie for whatever you did that made that miracle happen. :-)

From Misc Pics

(PS. It was freaking cold today. I really wish I had my Rasta Cowl. Natalie, I hope you really love that thing!)

The blog was down.  It made me sad.  I found solace in actually knitting stuff…  and so I finally finished some languishing projects:

First, I finished Ed’s socks.  Had the blog been up, I would have written about how I had failed to finish the socks in time for Ed’s birthday, and fully blamed it on the fact that I said “I’m totally going to finish these before your birthday”.  Then there was family in town, then there was a bridal shower, then there was a wedding, then there was a birthday with NO socks! …except for socks that fit like this:

From Socks

See where the heel sits?  and where the beginning of the ankle starts?  Tragic.  But then, on Sunday, there were socks that fit like this:

From Socks

Ed is *still* going on and on and on about how wonderful the socks are. It makes me feel so good, I almost want to immediately cast on another pair… almost. :-)

I was so excited that I finished the socks, I finished my cowl.  There will be a full FO shot later, but for now you just get a preview, because the towel that the cowl is blocking on is very distracting…

From Cowl for Winter Coats

…for the first time in a LONG time, I had nothing on the needles!

It took me a while to get over the shock… then some more time to figure out what I could make without having to go to the yarn store. (yay for stashbusting!)

I’ve started a veggie bag out of Shibui Knits sock yarn… I think it will be my easy ‘not at home’ project.

From Oddities

I’ve also decided to start a pair of socks for myself…

From Socks

The colorway is “evil stepmother’ and given the circumstances, I think it’s PERFECT!

From Misc Pics

So remember the bandage glove that I made?  It really was bad enough to knock the wind out of my ‘dinner night gloves’ sails… but then I got the fabric samples from Mom in the mail… and Inspiration smacked me like a ruler to the wrists

From Misc Pics

The purple almost perfectly matched the Malabrigo that I used to make KK’s hat and cowl set (not in these pictures, apparently, but in real life – they are CLOSE!).  According to Ravelry, I had about 80 yards of the Malabrigo left. Practical experience told me that 80 yards was not going to be enough to make anything worth wearing, so I improvised with the ‘bandage yarn’ since I can’t return a used skein.

From 2011 FOs

I’m actually pretty happy with it. I’ll have to see how it looks next to the dress, but for now, I am satisfied.

I have exactly this much of the Malabrigo yarn left:

From Misc Pics

I’ve also been working on Mom’s Sleevies – it’s my ‘not at home knitting’ project

From Mom’s Sleevies

… and Ed’s socks are coming along (they were put on pause for a week since I had to steal the needles to make my Dinner Night Gloves – Ed is happy that they are back on their proper needles and making progress again)

Ashur’s sweater apparently has buttons. As soon as I get those in the mail, I will finish up the sleeves and make this a full FO!

It’s time for an update on where the Crazy Knitiot is on her personal “Knitting Impossible 2011″.

First, Baby Sweater for Ashur.

From Baby Stuff

The main body and button bands are done, and it just needs sleeves and buttons. Unfortunately, I do not have the correct size needles to do the sleeves, nor do I have buttons. Fun!

Second, the Sugar Cane Hat.

From Sugar Cane Yarn

Doesn’t look like a lot of progress, but I’m almost done with the band, and getting ready for the main beret part, which I’m looking forward to, because I’ll get to use one of my new KnitPicks circular needles!

Third, Mom’s Sleevies.

From Mom’s Sleevies

The first one is done. Well, actually that’s not true. The Second one is done – and the first one has been frogged so that I can knit a third that will match the second. For some reason I’m procrastinating. This is a more evil-er version of ‘second sock syndrome’ I’ve already knit two of these with this yarn, and now I have to make a third. It’s an easy enough knit, I just need the motivation to do it.

Fourth, my Dinner Gloves.

From Warm Stuff

Yes. At this point, they are balls of yarn. Moreover, they are balls of yarn in the wrong size. The pattern I picked (and paid for) calls for fingering weight yarn, and like an idiot, I ordered yarn that is 4 times bigger – worsted. Lovely. Improvisation is going to be the name of the game on this one.

Fifth, Ed’s socks.

From Warm Stuff

Still yarn. Ed is very jealous of the other projects I’m working on… he wants his socks!

So, as you saw in my last post, I finished one of the two sleevies that I’m making for my mom.  I have not started the other one yet.

I have, however, made progress on the baby sweater:

From Baby Stuff

That is mostly ‘swim meet knitting’…  Sitting in the stands for three hours on both Saturday AND Sunday to watch Jason swim for just under 5 minutes – in 30 second to 2 minute bursts. Well worth it! He’s so proud of himself, and we both made lots of progress. He competed in different types of swimming strokes for the first time (AWESOME!), and I got lots of knitting done (not as awesome, but pretty cool).

Also, remember that tragic ‘bread basket liner made out of sugar cane’? (horrible name) Remember how it was just basically a rectangle of fabric, not very exciting to look at, but very soft? Well, I did what any normal knitter would do when they have a half-finished project with really soft-and-hard-to-work-with-yarn and a deadline… I frogged it and started a hat!

From Sugar Cane Yarn

I had pulled it out of its hibernation bag, and officially hated it. This particular project was a reaction to very low self-esteem in knitting. Remember the tragic lace shirt that never came to fruition? Yeah, this project was me forcing myself to sit and keep going. “You can knit… see? There you go… knitting back and forth and making something. You do not suck as a knitter… keep going… see…? you’re making progress now!”

This thing has no real utilitarian use; and I can’t knit something that is pretty much a useless peice of fabric and maintain my sanity/love of knitting.

Moreover, I have also decided that my first failure with lace had nothing to do with me. It was the yarn. Or at least, the yarn and needle combo. This yarn is RIDICULOUSLY soft, and soft yarn plus aluminum needles equals slippity slip slip. I’m getting my KnitPicks needles (wood) in the mail today, so hopefully this hat will go much LESS smoothly, and more productively when I make the switch.

Also in the box coming today are the needles/yarn for my Dinner Gloves, and the needles for Ed’s socks.

Things are getting interesting! 44 days and I still have:
1 sleevie
2 fingerless gloves
1 hat
1 baby sweater (bottom hem, sleeves, button band, and buttons)

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