Some Knitting and Some Climbing

Summer is really whipping by. It is hard to believe that in a few shorts weeks the kids will be back to school again. We made a trip to the Upper Peninsula of MI a week ago for a family funeral. We packed a lot into the short 24 hours we were in town. (See photos at end of post.) It also meant a lot of extra knitting time for me, which is always welcome.

Since my last post I have finished and started a few things:

Busy J turned 2! I knit him a couple of things for his birthday. One is the Braided Ball by Marleen Hartog. I meant to take photos of it while I was at least assembling it because it was interesting. I knit 6 strips and then you kind of weave them together to form a ball/cube. It was fun to make but a bit puzzling to put together correctly. The other was a pattern I just couldn’t resist. It is called Knit Hedgehog by Purl Soho. This pattern is written so amazingly! I want to knit it again just because it was that good! I will confess that I had started my knitting for J’s birthday on another pattern. For ages and ages I have had the Sydney the Stashbusting Snake pattern queued. Well…I got a good foot and a half into knitting him and decided to stuff what I had finished to see how he was looking. When I stuffed him it revealed big holes where the wrap and turns were made. It looked terrible. It looked like there was a dropped stitch that had run all the way down. I am reasonably sure I was doing the wrap and turns right…so why did it go so wrong? I gave up that project in favor of these two. I am not sorry. Maybe someday I will try Sydney out again.

I did finish another After Thought Heel Sock. Well, really I re-finished it. The first time I finished it, it was too small. I took measurements so I’m not sure how I messed it up. In the end I picked up stitches right before where I started the toe decreases and then cut the toe off and unraveled back. Then I knit until it was long enough and finished it up. I was probably two and a half inches short. What was a thinking?? Now I need to hurry and finish the second one before they become too small for my ever growing 7 year old.

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Finally, I have been working on the Saroyan shawl/wrap. It is gorgeous! I love it! I am a little addicted to knitting it. I am probably about half way done.  It is deceptively easy and the yarn is divine. One repeat is 14 rows. So I let myself knit between 1-3 repeats every time I sit down with it. I am hoping to wear it this fall.

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Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Here are some photos of our climb of Sugarloaf  Mountain while we were in MI.

Very Little Knitting is Taking Place

Well, it has happened…and it only took two months. While laid off I watched a lot of TV and knit while my kids were at school, all while worrying about money and what would happen if I never found a job. I’ve been back to work for two months and in the last week I’ve been looking back fondly at my time worrying with my knitting. I had SO much time to knit!  I kind of miss it. I have barely knit since I started my new job. For the record, I would not trade having a job for having lots of time to knit. I just need to figure out how to fit it back in again. I have only knit on two things since I started my job. Too bad my mind is overflowing with ideas of other things I want to be knitting.

I finished the fourth Iris! She was a gift for a friend’s baby shower. She more or less specifically asked me to make her a monster someday when she had a baby. She is having a girl so I made her a cute pink monster out of sock yarn. I really like how Iris turned out. I need to try more monsters out of sock yarn! I should try out a new pattern of Rebecca Danger’s though. She has lots and lots of cute monster patterns.

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Tonight I finished the first of my Rumpled! socks. I really like how it turned out! I really wish I liked knitting two socks at a time. It took me months and months to finish this one sock and I just have the one. It could be months and months before I manage to finish the second. Kind of makes me wonder why I enjoy knitting socks so much.  I wish I could say that I was going to cast on the second sock right away, but I know I won’t. I’ve already been imaging the other things I can work on now for a little break before I start the next sock.

Hopefully I will have MUCH more knitting to share soon!

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My New Hat

Happy new year! 2012 had a few nasty surprises for me. I am hoping for a less eventful 2013. So far this year I have started my new job and me and my husband have been sick with a bronchitis / sinus infection combo.

My knitting has been a little slow so far this year. I did finish the second monster I needed for my nephew in time for our family Christmas. Then our Christmas was cancelled due to illness, so I wouldn’t have needed to hustle. I am onto another monster. This one though I am knitting with sock yarn, so it will be smaller. This one is for a friend who has admired my monsters. Her baby shower is coming up soon.


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I finished my Fietsbellen Hat Hat! I love it! I have never knit myself a hat that I ended up liking very much. This one is perfect! It fits and it is beautiful and I think it’s me! Oh and the yarn is fabulous! I always enjoy working with Blue Moon Fiber Arts Yarn!

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So Many Gifts, So Little Time

Can you believe that Christmas is in less than a week? Me neither! I have been busy knitting gifts since I’ve been home laid off. I have been busy getting ready for Christmas everyday. It makes me wonder how I got everything done when I worked 40 hours a week too!

I finished one of the two monsters I’m making for my niece and nephew! Christmas with my family isn’t until the weekend after Christmas so I have plenty of time to get the second done. I am using bulky yarn for these monsters so they are going to be bigger than the one Baby J got. It seems like the perfect size for J and G. I will be starting the second monster later tonight.

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My standard teacher gift is a bottle of nice soap and some hand knitted dish clothes. This year I only had two teachers to knit for so each is getting three dish clothes. I did three different patterns. The top picture is the dish cloth pattern I learned when I was first learning to knit. I have knit dozens and dozens of these. The second picture is the Bulls-eye dish cloth, I have also done that one before. It is a quick one to knit up. The last picture is a new pattern I tried this year called The Squidge Cloth. It is so easy and satisfying! I have a few more dish clothes to make to add to a few other gifts.

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Today I knit a soap sack. It is not really a gift. It was an idea I got while knitting all those dish clothes. Maybe in the future it is something I will add to gifts. I need my husband to give it a test drive first. There are lots of patterns for soap sacks on Ravelry but none of them were exactly what I was looking for. I made it up as I went based on the features I liked of others on Ravelry. It is a bag knit out of dish cloth yarn and you put the soap in side. When you get the bag wet the soap lathers up and you use the whole thing like a washcloth.

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I have done a little work on my Fietsbellen Hat a little bit, but otherwise it has been all Christmas knitting.

I got a new job! I start on January 2nd, which turns out to be pretty perfect. I can take these last couple weeks and enjoy being home with my family for Christmas. I have been doing some baking with the kids (something that I’m usually too tired to do when working 40 hours a week.) Here is a picture of our Cookies!

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Merry Christmas!

Knitting for My Sanity!

I didn’t want to post another blog entry until I could announce that I had a new job. I’m not sure why it mattered, but alas, I have too much knitting to share to put off doing another entry. I really hoped that I would not be laid off for very long. It has been a little over a month and I’m starting to have major cabin fever and anxiety about money. I am doing as much applying for jobs and interviewing as I can. I’m sure the right thing will come along eventually. I just hope it is soon! Until it comes along I’m doing A LOT of knitting!

I did make Baby J a hat. I love it, but it turned out a bit too big. His Mom can just hold onto it until it fits. I knit him Charlie’s Sock Yarn Hat by Aimee Alexander. I liked the pattern so much that I’m planning on trying again with different yarn and I’ll knit it a size down this time. The yarn on the first hat is Sunshine Yarns Classic Sock Yarn in the Mockingjay colorway. The yarn I’m planning to do the second is called Cartoons and is by Knit Picks.

 

I decided I wanted to try knit something with beads in it. I maybe should have started with something using more normal yarn. I decided to do the Ice Queen cowl by Rosemary Hill. It is knit with Rowan Kidsilk Haze. It is SO soft and so thin. It is like knitting with bunny fur (yes, I know kidsilk is made out of goat fur.) I think it is turning out well but it is lace and until I get done and block it, it is hard to tell for sure. With the tiny fluffy yarn and the beads it is the most challenging thing I’ve knit in a while.

I finished the Hooded Baby Sweater with Back Zipper that I was working on it. I think I successfully sized it up to a 24 month size. I just need to put the zipper in and mail it off to the person who is gifting it. Then I have another to make for a baby that is due in about a month! I will cast that one on soon.

I loved the feel of Baby J’s sock yarn hat so much that I decided to make one for me…but with a more feminine pattern. I looked through lots before I decided on the  Fietsbellen Hat by Natalie Selles. I am just working on the brim part right now. It is a fun honeycomb cable pattern.

The last thing I’m working on are monsters! My niece has been not so subtly hinting that she and her brother would like a monster like I knit for Baby J, for Christmas. She has been complementing my knitting and projects….how can an aunt say no to that! Last time they were here I had her help me pick colors, hypothetically, you know, incase I ever have time to knit some monsters!

Oh…and while at JoAnn’s today I saw a display of stuff to make parachute cord bracelets and thought I’d try that out. My sister-in-law knows how to make these and I’ve always thought they were neat. I need to go check some other stores to see if I can get some more colors, but here are my first attempts! I used a tutorial for this: How to Make a Paracord Survival Bracelet.

And this is almost a month late…but here’s a picture of my Harry Potter and Mermaid on Halloween!

Stupid Evil Yarn

I have discovered that I should not buy yarn like this:

As lovely as it is and as drool worthy as I find the colors…I clearly have no idea what to do with it that will live up to the color enough to please me. I am on my third project attempt with this yarn and I hate it. First there was the Sofia Cowl (which I’m tempted to try again with this yarn), then I tried those fair isle heart mittens, now I’m working on the Casu Cowl. I’m not sure what my problem is. I wish I wasn’t so determined to use the yarn RIGHT NOW! I have several other projects to finish and yarn to start many, many more. So, why the fixation with this particular skein?? I need to wind it back up and hide it away in one of my most inconvenient yarn hiding places until I can commit to a project.

 

I need to get going on the second mitten for my cousin. He tried on the first and besides lengthening the thumb a smidge and lengthening the cuff a bit they were good. He leaves for college after Labor Day weekend…so I need to get a move on.

The only really constructive thing I’ve knit on this week is a toy for Baby C. His first birthday party is this weekend. I’m not sure why these caught my attention, but it was a quick knit. I plan to make two or three of these guys. They are another Rebecca Danger pattern called Monster Chunks. I was able to knit and assemble the whole first one in under two hours. I think I like them because they seem like the perfect size for little hands to grab and throw or chew on!

My knitting has taken a bit of a hit the last couple weeks. This is probably not something I should admit but, at work, when I’m waiting for more work to populate my queue I used to knit. (Notice the past tense there.) During our slower parts of the year in my department I can have large chunks of time between cases that I liked to fill with knitting. My job is not one that has any other projects that can be pulled out to fill in the slow times so I didn’t feel bad using this as extra knitting time. The way I figure it, if I’m not being kept busy right now I’m going to keep myself busy, or risk falling asleep while I wait for work. However, we just moved into a huge, beautiful, state of the art building. I LOVE the building but, the cubes are a lot less private. I have not yet worked up the courage to take out my knitting during the slow times for fear of what my cube neighbors will think. Needless to say, I’m getting a significant amount less knitting done and I feel like it is throwing everything off. Do you knit at work?

I can’t believe that summer is almost over! It feels like just a few weeks ago that I was getting used to my kids being out of school and having to find ways to keep their evenings entertaining. We’ve done all our back to school shopping. My kids should be getting postcards with their new teacher assignment this week, as well as bus route postcards. Next week is open house at the school where we meet new teachers, drop off school supplies, put money into lunch accounts and sign up for conferences. I can’t believe I have a third grader and a first grader this year!

I do not claim to know much about gardening/growing things, but it seems our pumpkins have moved into a new phase. It appears that all the leafy, flowering vegetation that the pumpkins started from is naturally dying off and leaving behind just the thick vines and growing pumpkins. At first I wondering if they were getting enough water, but the plants that are left do seem to be thriving. I guess it makes sense that the parts that are unnecessary at this point would die off.

 

 

I have been catching up on the last few episode I’m behind on of Downton Abbey the last few nights. If you aren’t watching this show maybe you should be! It is an outstanding historical period drama. I’m enjoying it very much!

Enjoy the last slice of summer and happy back to school!