Addicted!!!

I love when I find a pattern that is truly amazing! While I have worked on both the Traditional Gansey Socks and the Lintilla this week, I knew it was time to start something new too. The more variety I give myself with my knitting the better I seem to do with it. Odd, I know. I’ve been wanting to do another shawl with some lace elements since I finished the Multnomah, so I looked in my Ravelry queue and picked a pattern to start. I chose the Shaelyn shawl by Leila Raabe. I cast on for it Sunday evening. Two evenings later I’m almost through the whole first skein of yarn. It is the kind of knitting I love most  – Addicting!! I have a hard time setting it aside and moving onto anything else. I keep wanting to knit another row to see the lace pattern emerging. I am using yarn by Quince and Company. It is excellent yarn! I’m very impressed with it.


I still want to start one more thing…I’m not sure what yet. I found a new pattern that I’m interested in for my Malabrigo yarn…(Commuter Fingerless Mitts)

Or maybe some socks so I can use some of my Sunshine Yarns sock yarn! Or maybe a pattern that incorporates beads…

Here is an updated picture of the Eloping wedding garter with the elastic sewn in. It is cinched up a bit more, but not too much.

The dress for Minnie’s new American Girl Doll was a hit! (And the dress I knit for it.) I think knitting more doll clothes will be in my future.

Clearly I have more ambition for knitting projects than I have time to accomplish them all. We are going out of town for Memorial Weekend and I’m thrilled to have many hours of car time in which to knit!

The last thing I want to mention is that the Ravelry design contest has ended. The design that I liked best (outside my own) Won!! I’m excited and plan to buy a project bag! Thank you Ravelry administrators for such a fun contest! And congrats to ALL who entered, it is amazing how many talented people there are on Ravelry!

Until next time…may you enjoy your favorite hobby!

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Hello Freedom!!

I have met all my knitting deadlines! Really, no joke! I know, I can’t believe it either.

The Hooded Baby Sweater with zip up back is finished and is in my Mom’s hands to sew in a zipper. The wedding garter (Eloping), which I shared in my second to last post, now has elastic and is ready to be worn. The Sunday Swing Socks have been done for a few weeks. And finally, the dress for Minnie’s new doll is done (except for the button in the back…shhhh.) Here is a picture of her faux-American Girl Doll modeling it. I’m happy with how it turned out. I was rather liberal with following the pattern on this (wrong weight of yarn, wrong sizes of needles) so I kind of adapted as needed to make the dress work. I’m happy with the results. The pattern is the American Girl Doll Empire Waist Lace Dress by Elaine Phillips.

I feel so free! I have just two projects that are really in the works (not hibernating.) Neither of them have deadlines attached and so I’m feeling free to think about new projects and what I want to work on next that will be new and exciting. I do need to get back to the Traditional Gansey toe-up socks, but lets face it, who’s going to wear wool socks in the winter…I have some time for those. And the Lintilla for my Mom…will hold a bit longer. I think I will hold off on that until a car trip and I will give myself no other options…that is a sure way to yield results.

I have this yarn in my stash (Quince and Co.)

and think I might make this pattern. (Shaelyn by Leila Raabe)

I also have this yarn in my stash (Malabrigo)

and think I might make this pattern. (Snapdragon flip-tops by Ysolda Teague)

I also have oodles of Sunshine Yarns sock yarns in delicious colors that I should try out soon….so many choices!

On a different note…this week has brought me another kind of freedom! Freedom from unreliable vehicles! (Sort of) We will still have one not great vehicle but we traded in the worse of our two vehicles and bought a new to us car for me to drive! It is a 2010 Ford Fusion!! My husband bought it this morning, drove it today and wants it for one more day before it officially becomes my car! I’m so beyond thrilled. Ours is not a hybrid like the one pictures below…but otherwise…picture me in this car!

Start-itis has hit

I have start-itis; which is a well-known disease afflicting most knitters at various times. It makes them yearn to cast on every project they see and abandon the projects they were very recently in love with. For me it strikes when I’m unhappy or bored with my current projects. The only project I’m actively working on right now it the Taylor shrug. It has been going fine since I got past my difficulties with the instructions, but I’m bored with it. Twenty-five inches of an 8 row lace pattern just gets tedious. Maybe my real knitting issue right now is that I haven’t had as much time for it and every time I have to set it aside means more time to re-acclimate myself when I pick it back up. Not to mention, with all the pauses it feels like I’ve been working on this same thing FOREVER. I might be happier if I was working on the Toe-Up socks or the mystery yellow project or even finishing up the Lintilla Shawl for my Mom…but I have a real deadline on the shrug…maybe that is really why I’m bumming…I kind of hate deadlines. Sometimes start-itis is a good thing though (as long as I’m being strict with myself.) It forces me to get busy on projects so that I can start new things.

I did make my son “LJ” some of the Sasquatch Slippers I made for Minnie. We picked out the yarn together at Jo-Ann’s last Saturday. I knit both slippers that same day. I think they turned out cute. LJ likes them…my husband thinks they are a little bright. I finished the second slipper while we watched Hugo with the kids. What a neat movie! If you haven’t seen it I would highly recommend it!

My Reading:

As I’ve had very little time for knitting…I’ve also had very little time for reading. However, I work 40 hours a week and enjoy podcasts and audiobooks while I work. The kids and I went to the library over the weekend and I did a little browsing for some new audiobooks to try. I ended up in the Young Adult section. Sometimes I run across books I loved as a kid/teenager on CD and check them out to listen to. This time I stumbled across an author I’d never heard of before. Stephanie Perkins has two books that were published since 2010. The cute cover illustrations is what got me to try them. I have listened to both and found them to be absolutely delightful and excellent departures from the usual formula that teenage romance books follow. I am not ashamed to say that I still enjoy some YA fiction as an adult. I love that they are mostly happy and skim over the nastier parts of life. Oh, and the romance!!! Stephanie Perkin’s books are called, “Anna and the French Kiss” and “Lola And The Boy Next Door.” She has a third book coming out later this year (I think) and I’m already looking forward to it.

Until next time happy knitting or reading or whatever. Hopefully I will have more knitting to share soon.

A Lesson in Each Failure

I love to knit socks. To me they are kind of perfect in so many ways. My top three reasons for enjoying sock knitting are:
1.) Socks take lots of knitting with a relatively small amount of yardage (more bang for your buck.)
2.) Portability! I almost always have a sock project going because of how easy it is for me to grab my project bag and take it along anywhere!
3.) Socks are a fantastic canvas for colors and textures that I would NEVER make a sweater with. I love the wildly bright and variegated sock yarns that are out there, but wouldn’t commit to wearing them except on my feet.

So far all the socks I have knit (6.5 pairs) have been from the cuff down. I decided last week that I really needed to learn to knit socks from the toe up. I wasn’t unhappy with the technique I’d been using. It had more to do with running across several sock patterns I really liked that used toe-up. Rather than trying to convert the pattern to be knit cuff down I thought I’d give some toe-up socks a try.

In the end the socks were a massive failure. But, I won’t say that it was a mistake to start them. I accomplished my actual goal…learning how to knit socks toe-up. The problem wasn’t that I didn’t understand the technique or that for some reason it didn’t work, it was a gauge issue. My needles were too large (I think) and my yarn too slippery and the socks would fit someone who’s feet were roughly as wide as they were long (I personally don’t know anyone with feet fitting that description.) I could tell early on that they were turning out oddly wide but persisted until I turned the heel and had made it about a half-inch up the leg before calling it quits so I’d at least get the full benefit of my experiment’s goal. I did try to just stop knitting the foot early and move onto the heel in hopes that they would stretch longer and use up some of that width to fit my feet…but they were just weirdly wrong.

I have ordered some smaller circular needles and will try toe up again, perhaps with some stickier yarn when they arrive.

The pattern I used was Aradena. The pattern assumed that you had experience knitting toe-up before, but did include excellent links to help if you hadn’t. I used Silver’s Sock Class online to help me. It was not a link that was mentioned in the pattern, but I remembered looking at before. It was excellent!

What I am knitting:

The Multnomah Shawl is going well. I made it to the lace portion and it is totally addicting. I keep wanting to knit another row to watch the lace pattern as it appears. I’m on the third lace repeat out of ten. I imagine I will finish this up before next Monday.

The Beekeeper’s Quilt is not something I will report on every time I post a new blog entry as it will be such a long-term project. I am up to 10 hexipuffs! I did go through all of my yarn stash and pull out odds and ends of left over sock/fingering weight yarn to use for this and I’ll slowly work through all of it. It feels oddly liberating to finally have a use for this yarn since I don’t seem capable of just throwing it away. (Gasp!!)

The Lintilla for my Mom is still hibernating but I have resolved to finish it. I am trying to work out some sort of promise/bribe with myself to motivate me into finishing this up. Like, no starting any new projects until this has been finished or no buying any new yarn until this is finished…we’ll see.

My husband wore his new socks all day yesterday and he seemed to enjoy them. They looked like they fit well too! I was dying to ask him about them, but resisted.

Happy Knitting!

Must be the weather

I think I do typically spend quite a bit of time knitting, but lately it seems like there is never a spare moment when my hands aren’t busy knitting on something. I’m blaming the weather. It seems like winter has finally arrived in MN. I’m not a fan of winter. Snow is pretty, but it along with ice, tends to mess up my commute to and from work and I hate to be cold. So when the cold, snow and ice arrive I tend to snuggle under a blanket on the couch and knit and knit and knit…

I am working on learning to knit continental style. For any non-knitting people, that means not wrapping or throwing the yarn, but picking or scooping the yarn with the right hand needle. I can do it but right now feel like I am much slower at it then my regular method of knitting. I just need to make myself do an entire project from start to finish doing only continental knitting and I will probably be converted. Thanks to a patient cousin for showing me more than once now how she does this!

I have also been thinking a lot about my knitting needle organization. Right now I have needles in too many different spots and I can’t keep track of what sizes and styles of needles I do and don’t have and where I have them…I have a few ideas of how I’m going to remedy this situation. Let me know if you are knitter and have a fantastic method of organizing your needles.

My projects:

I finished the Skyp Socks that I was working on for my husband. I love how they turned out! They are bit roomy for him but not too bad. There are few mistake on the first sock that irk me but a knitting cousin told me that without mistakes they aren’t truly homemade. (I suppose they do have a bit more charm with some mistakes.) By the way, this is the fastest I have ever knit a pair of socks!

I also finished the Owl Puffs. They were quick to knit and a good use of stash yarn. I’m not sure what to do with them. Although, my kids did both claim one apiece as their own. They agreed that the third should go their baby cousin.

I started a few new things too. One will be a very long-term project designed to help me use up the excess sock yarn when I finish a pair of socks and there is ALWAYS left over. The pattern is called The Beekeeper’s Quilt. You knit up these little hexagons in the round and stuff them with fiberfill. Someday when I have like 400 of them I can stitch them together and make a really unique blanket with them. So far I have two…

I also started the Multnomah Shawl. I’m knitting it with Malabrigo Sock yarn!! I’ve never used Malabrigo before and it totally lives up to the hype.

I’m trying to resist casting on a new pair of socks…but a pair of socks is my go to project when I need to have a small project to take along with me without bringing my whole knitting bag. We’ll see…

Oh…and here is the Lintilla shawl I’ve been working on for my Mom which I’m kind of bored with. I thought I should at least share it with someone before I decide to frog it.

Thank you to everyone who read my first post and commented in some way it made me so happy! And thanks to anyone who is reading this entry too! It is very much appreciated!

Expanding my knitting boundaries

I am a Knitter.

Ten or so years ago I taught myself to knit from a library book. Before that a few people tried to teach me to knit, but I found I did better when I was determined to figure it out on my own. I enjoyed knitting but it fell by the wayside when my children were babies and toddlers. Three years ago I had the urge to pick it back up and haven’t looked back since. Since starting back up I have been very brave and tried lots of things I didn’t dare to during my first journey with knitting.

I am an Obsessed Knitter.

I have boxes upon boxes of stash yarn

I listen to multiple podcasts all about knitting while at work

I spend a wholey unnecessary amount of time on Ravelry

I typically have several projects on my needles at once and I never am without at least one of them at all times

(This could go on and on.)

It isn’t enough…

I don’t have a knitting group and lately my obsession seems to need a larger outlet than just me knitting. I already tend to go on extensively about my projects in Ravelry under my project notes, but thought this might be a different way to connect with  other knitter/crafters out there. I guess even if no one reads this I like the idea of writing about knitting on a bigger stage than my project notes.

Just so no one thinks this is an attempt to get invited to join a knitting group…it’s not that I haven’t been invited. I work days and my husband works nights (and many weekends.) I am home with the kids in the evenings (and many weekends) and therefore it doesn’t work for me to make plans for myself. Maybe someday when my kids no longer need supervision at all times I will find a group to join. Until then maybe this is the start of my very own virtual knitting group.

Now that I’ve introduced myself and explained my compulsion to start a blog I suppose I should talk about my knitting at least a little bit.

I just finished this Milo for my daughter. I knit it in size 6. It is a bit large for her now, but then she should be able to wear it next winter too. She is excited to wear it with the Tutu skirt I bought to match it from Target.

I am currently knitting Skyp Socks for my husband. I really haven’t ever knit anything for him, but he tends to be on the picky side. I am really enjoying this yarn (Blue Moon Fiber Arts) and the pattern is easy to memorize. They are feeling like they might be a big roomy for him I will need to have him try them on.

Technically, also on my needles but currently hibernating is the Lintilla shawl. I’m making it for my Mom and while I think it is a nice pattern it doesn’t hold my interest for very long. It is good for when I need some truly mindless knitting, but lately it isn’t satisfying me quite like I want it to. I don’t have a picture to post it right now. Oh, and I have made one Owl Puff and plan to make several more before I mark that project as done. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them but they are just kind of fun.

As always I’m resisting to urge to cast on a whole bunch of other things. I have been into sock patterns and shawl patterns lately. We’ll see how long I manage to resist.