Too Many Projects, Too Little Focus

I feel like I just posted, but I do have new knitting I haven’t talked about yet. Part of me feels like I should wait until after this weekend. I might have some finished objects to share and not just lots of in progress ones. We are headed to the Upper Peninsula for MI for the Labor Day weekend which mean a lot of travel time in the car and a lot of uninterrupted knitting time for me.

I have cast on all sorts of things recently. Sometimes when I start new knitting after finishing up knitting that is a gift for someone or has a specific deadline attached to it I have trouble committing to one project. It is like I have too much free time to just knit whatever and it all goes to my head. I wish I thought that imposing a deadline on myself would work. Unfortunately the procrastinator in me would still know that I was unbounded and my knitting would run wild.

The Ramona Racerback Tank by Katherine Vaughn seemed like a great thing to knit because I enjoyed the other tank top I knit for Minnie this summer. I have not been enjoying this pattern as much though. I did knit pretty seriously on it for a week or so and then got annoyed because it is knit flat (in pieces) and not in the round. I really hate knitting things that need to be seamed. So, as much as I was liking the idea of the finished piece I was not really giving this a lot of my time. I also realized that it was not that smart to be knitting a tank in mid August that I would probably not finish before school started again and that I couldn’t guarantee would fit her anymore next summer. (If I was being totally honest with myself I would tell you that this is probably destined to be frogged very soon.)

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Turkish Bed Socks by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas is one of those patterns that I’ve had in my queue forever. It is such a cute little pattern and who couldn’t use some sweet little socks/slippers? I knit the whole first slipper and even cast on the second one but I haven’t made it real far on the second. Normally I would plead second sock syndrome…but these knit up so quick that it really can’t be that. It is more likely because of the seaming (again.) There is minimal seaming on this item and while I succeeded in seaming up the first one I’m not sure it is a very flawless job. I should just finish these…I know I would wear them!

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The Honey Cowl by Antonia Shankland is the perfect pattern to finally use the Yowza! skein of yarn I bought from Miss Babs for the Brickless shawl that I decided I wasn’t really that into. I have tried out this yarn on multiple shawls/cowls and not found the right thing…until now. I love the texture that this pattern produces! I am looking forward to wearing this when the weather gets cold again. It is just not that exciting to knit. And I have to pay more attention than I want to during the slip one, purl one row. I pull this out and work on a row or two here and there…it will get done, but it is not one of my all-consuming sorts of projects. I have also picked out a hat pattern that I want to knit out of the same yarn. Maybe I will even have enough yarn to make some mittens! (A Yowza! skein from Miss Babs is 560 yards!)

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The Zigzagular Socks by Susie White was cast on because the Honey Cowl was a little slow to knit. This is the project I’m making the most progress on right now. It is also the project that I carry around in my purse incase I have a few spare minutes (like that ever happens anymore) to just knit. This pattern is advertised as the perfect pattern to use your wildly variegated yarns with. I love how great the yarn on the printed pattern sheet looks knit up as this pattern, the zigzag really pops. My yarn isn’t quite as stunning…but I do like it. I have been thinking about possibly making these pedicure socks (no toes.) For some reason I have been wanting a pair of socks like that. Probably mostly so I can wear socks and flip-flops at the same time! We’ll see though. This has been weighing on mind as flip-flop season is probably quickly coming to a close. Flip-flops are probably my favorite kind of shoes.

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I also keep looking back at other works in progress that I should hurry up and finish. If I ever become a knitter who can fully dedicate herself to one project at a time it will be a miracle!

I hope I can narrow it down to a project or two (or three) for the trip to MI. And I hope that I have some finished objects to report next time I post!

Happy Knitting!

Busy Having Fun!

I keep meaning to come and make a post since I finished the Kismet tank top for Minnie. We’ve just been having too much summer fun! Every time I get a few minutes to sit still I think, “I should go write a post,” but I’m too exhausted to follow through. So, this will be a quick one.

I did get to knit and knit and knit while I sat by the lake at our family camp and watch my kids (and nieces and nephews) swim. It was a glorious 4 days away from real life and I hope I can make it work to go again next summer! (Stay tuned for some camp photos below.) Mostly I knit on the Kismet tank for Minnie. I actually got so into knitting it that I read my pattern wrong and knit 6 extra inches on the back (whoops!) It was easy to rip it back and finish it up. I did finish it there at camp besides the blocking and buttons. Once it was all finished up me and Minnie had a little photo shoot! I would highly recommend this pattern! I have been looking through this designer’s patterns to see what else I want to knit!

After I finished the Kismet I started a cowl with the yarn from the  Brickless…I have already ripped it out. I wasn’t feeling that one either. I need to keep looking to see what to do with that yarn. Then I cast on the Hooded Baby Sweater with Back Zipper for Baby Girl. I love this yarn! I’m knitting her the 12 month size. It is good mindless knitting and it shouldn’t take me too long to finish up. I am undecided what I’m going to work on when I finish the sweater.

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Here is a little photo collage of our summer including: Family Camp, Fourth of July and Como Water Park.

Enjoy your Summer!

Summer At Last!

How is it the end of June already? I wish I could quote the old cliché here that time flies when you’re having fun, but I feel like I’m still waiting for the fun to start. I guess that is how it goes when you work 40 hours a week and your fun is restricted to the weekends only. I have a couple of days off coming up that will give me a four-day weekend. I am taking my kids to family camp that my father-in-law has been nice enough to get them to for the past several years. I plan to sit by the lake and supervise their swimming while I knit and knit and knit. Doesn’t that sound fabulous? I have taken to eating my lunch at work outside everyday that I can so I feel like I’m getting to enjoy some summer. I typically soak in the sun while I eat, knit and listen to my most current audiobook.

I promised I would post the impromptu item I was working on for Baby Girl when I was done. I finished about a month ago already, but here they are. Leg warmers! I love leg warmers on babies. They are both adorable and practical. That being said, I’ll have to wait to see Baby Girl get some use out of these. The size range on these is about 3 months to 3 years. Right now she is too skinny to keep them on her little legs, but since it is summer that works out fine. I used a solid yarn with a variegated yarn. I almost made it though a whole color repeat. I kind of love that these coordinate instead of exactly match. (This pattern is Legwarmies by Alana Dakos)

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My daughter felt much neglected, knitting wise, during the months leading up to Baby Girl’s birth. And, looking back at the number of things I knit for Baby Girl, I guess she has a point. So, I made it my first priority to cast something on for Minnie. She actually wanted a fun pair of rainbow leg warmers too, but I told her I’d knit those in fall since she shouldn’t wear leg warmers during MN summers anyway. For a few years now I have been thinking of knitting her a summery top. I decided on the Kismet pattern by Sara Gresbach. (If you are at all interested in knitting a summer top, go look at my Ravelry profile(GreenEyed79), there are oodles of tank top type patterns in my favorites.) I am nearly done! At a certain point you split the round you’ve been knitting in and knit half for the front and half for the bank of the tank top and sew them together at the top of the shoulders. I am anxious to see how this fits and how it looks after it is blocked. At the bottom edge there is a little seed stitched edge that is probably supposed to keep it from rolling up but right now that part is always folded up over the body, so hopefully blocking will remedy that I have gotten no other work done. Just knitting and knitting on the tank top. (It has been good TV knitting as it is pretty mindless to knit endless rounds of stockinette.) I do want to get back to my Eiffel Towel shawl! I also plan to start on a Zip up the back Hooded Sweater for Baby Girl soon.

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Last week I went and spent a gift card at my favorite yarn shop (Amazing Threads in Maple Grove, MN) that I’ve been hoarding since Christmas. As I poked around looking for the best yarn to spend my money on I thought about how I go about spending a gift card. Typically I do not go in with a specific project in mind. I just wander around and buy what calls to me the most. Which is probably stupid. That is probably why some of the yarn in my stash has been unused for as long as it has. I wish I was better about shopping for specific projects. This time I did spend part of it on yarn for the hooded sweater for Baby Girl, but the rest was just random yarn that I liked and thought might knit up into something nice at some point. How do you spend your gift cards?

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I’ve been looking at my list of unfinished projects again, big mistake! How do I let things get this out of control? I need to sit down and seriously consider if I’m going to finish these items or if I should frog some of them and reclaim the yarn. I am pretty sure that the Shaelyn is getting frogged. I have come to hate that shawl. Something went wrong with it and I have spent hours trying to sort it back out and I’m not getting anywhere. And after all this time I just don’t love it like I used to. I should save the yarn and knit something else out of it.  Same with the Brickless…for as anxious as I was to cast it on, I’m not sure I’m feeling it anymore. I also think I should have used larger needles. I should go online and see what else I could do with yarn from both of these projects before I frog.

My sister has gotten some proofs back from her newborn photos shoot of Baby Girl. They are so gorgeous! I was especially excited to see photos of Baby Girl modeling some of what I knit for her. Here are few are my favorites. These photos were taken by Rebecca Zenefski. Her website is: www.byrebeccastudios.com you can also visit her on Facebook at: facebook.com/byRebeccaStudios

Enjoy your summer! Eat your lunch outside in the sun if you have to!

Here’s a picture of my kiddos from their last day of school.

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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.

It’s Been A While

So, it’s been a while since I last posted…like a few months! Yikes! I’m not sure where the time went. Since I posted last work has been busy, school has ended for the school year, summer arrived, camping trips have commenced and two holidays have happened! I have thought a few times about writing up a new post and then before I could sit down and do it I got busy with other things and forgot. Sorry! I do have a fair amount of knitting to share!

I really wanted to make my kids’ amazing teachers great knitted gifts. I never manage to start in on these early enough though. Both teachers got homemade key chains from the kids along with a Target gift card and a small knitted item. I made both teachers the Heart Pin by Hannah Fettig. It was a quick and interesting little project. I was not totally thrilled with how they turned out, but was out of time to be too fussy. Both teacher seemed to like them though! (I heard Minnie’s teacher put it directly on and wore it for the rest of the day on their field trip!) Sorry, the quality of this photo is not great, it was taken on my phone and it is the only photo I ended up with.

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I finished some socks that had been languishing forever in the ‘almost done’ state. The trick was to ONLY take this project along on a car trip out-of-town. It was the only thing I had to work on, so naturally it was appealing. I love how these turned out. I am not a big fan of cold weather, but these will be fun to wear once fall comes around again. (These are the Traditional Gansey Socks by Wendy D. Johnson.)

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Upon finishing one of my unfinished pairs of socks I was reminded how much I do like knitting socks, but I tend to let myself get sidetracked when they are involved socks with lots of design and patterning. I have been hearing of the after-thought-heel in old podcasts of the Knitmore Girls Podcast that I’ve been catching up on and thinking…that might be the way to go. More or less you knit a big tube with ribbing at the top. You need to knit in some waste yarn where you plan to knit the heel in later and then do the normal decrease for the toe. I found a pattern with great directions and tried it out. I love it!! I have knit one sock of a pair for myself. I decided to start a pair for Minnie before finishing my pair, but in doing the math to figure out how many to cast on to make them her size I went too small. I have a baby sock instead of a Minnie-sized one. I have cast on once again for her and this one will fit…we have already tested it. Next…I need to figure out some patterns/designs to work into these quick plain socks…I’m thinking cables! (The pattern I’m using is the After Thought Heel Socks by Laura Linneman.)

I almost forgot about this one…I started this back in Mid-May when we went up to Breezy Point for the weekend. These are some mittens that I queued ages and ages ago and still love, so I finally took the plunge and cast them on. I love how they are turning out! (This pattern is Galileo Mittens by Laura Chau.)

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One of my biggest regrets right now is that my current job doesn’t allow me to knit at my desk when work is slow, like my previous job did. I would be getting tons of knitting done right now. Oh well, it just forces me to take the time in the evenings to make sure I get some knitting in. It would be nice to have more time though as I feel like I have so many projects going or that I need to start right now. I do have one other project in the works it is for Baby J’s 2nd birthday. He isn’t a baby anymore, maybe I’ll just start calling him Busy J. I can’t share it yet, but I will say that it is another project that I queued ages and ages ago on Ravelry and there is a certain satisfaction in finally getting around to knitting it for someone.

I will leave you will some of my favorite pictures from our summer so far. Hope your summer has been and continues to be wonderful!

Mittens in August

My knitting mojo has been still been a little bit on the slow side, but I have a couple new things to share. I think I discovered the cure for lacking mojo: start something new with techniques I’ve never done before! I will get back to all the works in progress I have…eventually…none of them have real deadlines attached. I’m pretty sure all of thing things that have been in the works for a while are all for me anyway. I do seem to do better with finishing projects up if they are gifts for someone else.

The evening of my nephew’s first birthday party I started up a pair of mittens for my cousin. He recently graduated from high school and as part of his gift I offered to knit him a pair of mittens in his new school colors to wear around his new campus. I knitted his older sister a pair when she graduated a few years ago and he was interested in some as well. The pattern is called Berry Stitch Mittens from the book Mittens and Hats for Yarn Lovers. I have the first one finished, but would like for him to try it on before I start the second one up. I would hate to discover that I knit two mittens that are too small. I will see him next weekend (I think) and he can sample it for me then.

Once I finished the first mitten I spent a little time putting a few more rows onto my Traditional Gansey Socks, but that hasn’t really been drawing my interest lately. I will do better with finishing up socks and shawls when the colder weather starts to reappear. I have been hunting for a fun stranded knitting project to do with two balls of Malabrigo Yarn that I have. In my search I stumbled across a pattern that used two techniques I have never tried before and they intrigued me enough to want to do this pattern. The pattern is called Hearts for my Tween Mittens by Rebecca Reveal. So far I have done a i-cord cast on and an Estonian braid. Both were easier that I thought they would be. But, both left me with a row of stitches that were kind of large and left larger holes…which I don’t love, but I’m hoping will even out more in the end.

Outside of knitting I’m still working on sorting out the whole mess with my car. They did finally decide it was totalled. I got a settlement value recently and have accepted. The amount of time and paperwork that goes into dealing with this sort of thing is just unbelievable to me. I’ve dealt with an accident before and don’t recall it being so complicated and long. I have had to return my rental car and while we’re getting by I hope that by Labor Day we are in a new car again.

I am wrapping up a four-day birthday weekend. It was wonderful to spend time quality time with my husband, kids, sister, nephew and parents over the last several days. While I always enjoy my time away from work I am actually looking forward to returning to work tomorrow. Tomorrow is our first day at our brand new state of the art building! I spent about an hour and a half there today unpacking my moving crates and making sure I could find my desk tomorrow! It is gorgeous and I’m so looking forward to working there!

Part of my birthday gift! DH ordered me an Edible Arrangement! Yum!

I can’t believe how quickly summer is coming to and end. Before I know it my kids will be back in school! Before that happens though we are enjoying every last little bit of summer. Last night we went to the Twins game with my Mom’s family. It was a lot of fun!

And…we have pumpkins!

Happy Summer!