Friday, February 29, 2008

Finished Objects!

I have some finished objects to share with you today!

First, here is the finished Tree Jacket in all its glory...I LOVE this sweater!!Second, I just finished these about 20 minutes ago, and have successfully updated the SAM 5 KAL and Ravelry. These are the Nutkin pattern from It is a great pattern, albeit a little on the tight side for me. I even had to go up to a size 3 needle to make them fit, but that's ok, since I am a super tight knitter anyway. They do fit, and are comfortable, just a little tricky to get over the heel and instep. I used Dream in Color Smooshy, In Vino Veritas is the color. LOVE this yarn!! I have already bought another hank of it for a future pair of socks. I really love the semi-solid nature of it, and it is super duper soft to knit with.

In other knitting news, I was invited to join a new KAL (and it did not take much convincing, either!). This is the Sock Knitters Pentathalon 2008. You can find this on Yahoo! Groups. It sounds really fun, and challenging. The idea is that we will knit 5 pairs of socks over the next year. Each sock will be allotted 2 months to complete. The sock patterns are supposed to be challenging, which I am both a little nervous and excited about. It could possibly push me to knit socks that I would normally think are too hard. And, sometimes the methods for knitting them are specific, so it could also force me into knitting on dpn's, which I don't really like, and I knit my socks on 2 circular needles. I have just learned the Magic Loop method as well, and think my next, simple pair of socks will be done this way. But I digress. The first pattern comes out tonight at midnight! I am really anxious to see what it is! I do think that I am going to have simpler patterned socks on the needles along with this, just in case I get a little overwhelmed or frustrated! My next pair is going to be plain simple stockinette out of some Regia yarn I have stashed in the Kaffe Fassett self striping colorway.

I have also started a new sweater using this pattern. I am using Patons Classic Merino Wool in a slightly off white color. I am also planning on doing this in a V-Neck. Here is a picture of my progress thus far... (sorry its a litte crappy in quality!)

So, I am back on a roll with knitting and it feels really good! Once I get the pattern for the SKP2008, I will post a picture of the yarn I am planning to's amazing!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Loosen Up!!

Well, I am happy to report that the mojo has been found! It took a lot of prodding, and a lot of begging, and quite a bit of immersion therapy, but its back, and I am happy! Here's what finally got it out of its hiding place....

I FINALLY finished the Tree Jacket!!! I don't have a picture yet to post, so you will have to take my word for it. Basically, I sat myself down with the sweater, and we had a discussion. It went a little like this: Me: "I will finish you this weekend!!!" Sweater: "Yeah, OK, Whatever!" Me: "Yeah, whatever yourself...I will finish you this weekend!!!" Sweater: "OK, well let's get crackin' then!" And sure enough, it was finished, not this weekend, but Monday afternoon. 99% of the finishing was accomplished this weekend, and then the final stockinette cuff on the sleeve was done Monday, and it was promptly thrown into a cold basin of soapy water, rinsed and blocked! Its funny that once a project is finished, how quickly a new project emerges from the shadows.

I looked at my Ravelry queue, and nothing really jumped out at me. I REALLY want to do the Central Park Hoodie, but I feel as though I would be tempting the mojo back into hiding with this project. I have knit very few sweaters, and all two of them have been seamless. The CPH is not seamless, and I am not confident enough in my skills as a knitter to try and modify it as such. I think I may wait to knit this for next fall, so I may start on it in a couple of months...we will see. I really like the idea of knitting a seamless sweater. Right now I am torn between knitting a sweater from The Incredible Custom Fit Raglan Pattern or the Hour Glass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Haverson. Both are seamless raglan sweaters, but the idea of using the cusom pattern gives a little more freedom with pattern and I want a crew neck, a V-neck, a turtle-neck, a cardigan??? The options are endless!! And I am comfortable with the construction of a raglan sweater as well. So, one of these will be showing up quite soon.

But, like I said, the mojo is still easily startled off, so we are taking things slow. I started a new pair of socks in Dream in Color Smooshy (LOVE IT!). The pattern is Nutkin from It is a great pattern, easy to memorize, and looks great with the yarn! I have learned something from this pattern though, and it will be a good lesson to take forward with me on future sock knitting expeditions. I am a super duper tight knitter! I had this problem with Monkey, which I started out knitting on US 2, and they wouldn't go over my instep, so I frogged. Same problem with the Nutkin pattern. I think it is anything other than ribbing, and stockinette that causes the problem. I knit a pair of socks for myself on US 2 1/2's and a pair of socks for my mom on US 2's, and they both fit great. But once you introduce some sort of intricate-type pattern, I must need to go up a needle size to US 3's. In some of my other projects I have noticed that I usually use one needle size larger than called for, sometimes 2, and sometimes am still half a stitch more that recommended gauge. I try to fool myself that I could just loosen up, but once I get in the groove, it's too hard to loosen I will try the next size up. I ripped Nutkin out after almost 2 pattern repeats to the hemmed cuff, and will start up with the pattern in US 3's and see what happens. I intend to switch to US 2's for the heel, toe, and sole of the sock for extra wearability. We will see what happens! This is my February sock for SAM 5.

Overall, the last couple of weeks have been good for my knitting mojo, and I will keep you posted on my next project selection! Maybe a trip to the yarn shop will help me decide!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Have you seen it??

People, something very important to me is lost. I have looked and looked and looked for it, and cannot find it anywhere!!! This is such a special thing, and has been a meaningful part of my everyday life for quite a while now. I feel a little lost myself without it, and need to know where to find it again! So, what is this that I have lost, you ask? Well....It's my knitting mojo!

I don't know what happened. After Christmas, I was on such a knitting high! I started new projects immediately. I got 2 new knitting books for Christmas (Last Minute Knitted Gifts and One Skein by Leigh Radford). I marked about 20 project from these books that I wanted to start right now! Then something happened...and the drive, the desire, the passion was gone!!

So here I am...not really nothing to blog about...and really no excitement when I look at my stash, when I look online, and especially when I look at my WIPs! I am so sad!! I think the thing that triggered this all has to do with the marathon Christmas knitting. I knit day in and day out, every chance I got to finish all my Christmas knitting. I was so excited to be done with things and had so many projects on my mind to start after Christmas. Then after Christmas got here, and I took that excitement and cast on immediately for a new pair of socks, for me, finally! I got all the way through the leg and was getting ready to start the heel. I tried them on, and they were WAY TOO SMALL!! I was sad, and pretty disgusted. They were frogged, and the yarn is now in the basement waiting to start again. But I can't....not yet....I am not over the betrayal of the yarn and needles for these socks. But I feel a reconciliation coming in the future. I am still working on Tree Jacket...sadly. I am just over halfway done with one sleeve and need to do the other. In all honesty, that's one Saturday afternoon, and boom, its done and ready to be blocked. What is my problem!?! I have done a couple of small projects, Calorimetry, and some mittens (which I have yet to even photograph and post to Ravelry!)...but that's all. I joined the SAM KAL5, which I am totally excited about, but after the aforementioned sock debacle, I am just past the toe of a pair of 2x2 ribbed toe up socks in Cascade Fixation...and I can't seem to get into.
(*On a side note, I think that I have decided that I don't really LIKE Cascade Fixation. I am a tight knitter, and the elastic in the yarn makes it hard to knit my normal tension, and it just doesn't do what wool does...but who knows...maybe I am just losing it!!)

So, as I sat pondering my loss, I decided to immerse myself in knitting. I looked through some books, some magazines, some patterns, and even returned to my computer to reintroduce myself to my much neglected Ravelry page (I KNOW, how crazy right? How can anyone neglect Ravelry...wierd). It seemed to help a little bit...but we will see. Today is about -5 degrees F, with a wind chill I don't even want to talk about. I had been thinking that I was going to be traveling today with some business related errands, but have scheduled things such that I won't have to now. Its a relief! I was up early for a consulting call, and have been pretty busy setting up appointments for tomorrow and Monday. But, now that it is approaching the afternoon, and my "story" is on (Days of Our Lives, in case you were interested!), I think that I am going to force myself to sit down and work on that Tree Jacket. I am giving up on the socks being done for January, and will look at abandoning them altogether for a new pattern for February. There's a pair of arm-warmers in LMKG that I would like to maybe give a go...but let's not overwhelm myself right now! Baby steps!

I think I can get through this, the first step to recovery is admiting you have a problem! Or something... :) Happy Knitting everyone, and keep that mojo on a short leash!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Resolutions of a Bad Blogger

*Post is a little long and somewhat picture heavy...just a warning!*
Wow, I am ashamed at how long it has been since I have posted to the blog! Since my last entry was wishing a Happy Thanksgiving, I will take this opportunity to wish a belated Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday season, and Happy New Year to all!

The last 6-8 weeks has been pretty wierd around here. After moving home, I continued my Christmas knitting, and doing a lot of investigative work toward opening a small business. I am still on track with that, and now that the holidays are over, I will be trying to continue the plans in a much speedier way. I am anxious to get things together and get the doors open already!! The goal right now is around March-April 2008, obviously depending on everything going as planned. There is so much more to this than I ever really thought, and I am opening the office in a town 3 hours from my parents, which is where I am staying right now, so that tends to make it a little more difficult, but all in all much better than trying to do this from Chicago (8 hours away).

On to knitting news...I successfully completed all my knitting projects for Christmas. My family had Christmas early, on Sunday, as my sister and parents went out to Pasadena for the Rose Parade. My sister marches in the South Dakota State University Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band, and they were invited to the Rose Parade this year. My parents also took the opportunity to travel out there with the band and take in all the sights. I was so excited this morning to watch the parade, and my little sister even made a good 4-6 second shot right on camera! Thankfully she told me where she was in the band, so it made it easier to find her, but it was pretty cool all in all just to know that she was there marching while me and the rest of the country were watching at the same time!

So...back to Christmas knitting! I can tend to get a little side-tracked at times, especially when there is kind of a lot to tell! I made 4 gifts this year, for my immediate family only. First, I made my dad a pair of and grey like the old heavy hunting socks he used to wear. Surprisingly, they are a little big for him! I was scared that they would be a little small the whole time I knitted them. But, he liked them and thinks they make great house socks on cold winter afternoons. Yarn: Knit Picks Swish in Squirrel Heather and Fire Brick; knit 2 socks on 2 circular needles, size US 5. Plain stockinette with short row toe and heel, knit toe up.

Mom also got socks for Christmas. These were much easier for me to size out since we wear the same size shoe! She really likes them, and so did I!! I had a hard time parting with them and if I ever run across this colorway again, I will definitely make these again. My mom is always so amazed that I can actually "do all this"! Its pretty funny.
Yarn: Sock it to Me...unsure of the colorway; Knit toe up on 2 circs size US 2. Pattern is Garter Rib by Charlene Shurch from Sensational Knitted Socks.

My sister's present was probably my favorite, once it was all finished. I was a little concerned during the process of embroidery and lining, but once it was all done, I loved it. And so did she! As I said, my sister is a musician, and is majoring in music education. She is in her final year, and will be practice teaching next fall. When I saw this pattern, I knew immediately that I had to make it for her. It went over really well, and I am pleased at how happy she was with it! Yarn: Knit Picks WOA in Amethyst Heather, Coal, Cloud; Needle size US 8; Pattern from; Lining fabric from JoAnn Fabrics.

Finally, my last minute addition to Christmas knitting was for my sister's fiance. She got engaged at the end of October, and we are all so happy and excited to welcome a new member to our family! So, I figured I probably should knit something for him, and decided that a scarf would be the most appropriate, and fastest knit I could find for a guy. He really likes it, according to my sister...and he better!! Yarn: Knit Picks WOA Carbon Twist (I used every inch, and had roughly 6 inches left after all tails were weaved in!) Needle size US 9; Basic 3x3 ribbing.

So, all in all, Christmas gifts were a success, and none had to be brought back home to finish! On the receiving end of things, I had asked for several book and magazine subscriptions for Christmas, and ended up getting the two books I really really wanted. Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and One Skein. I am super excited about the patterns in the books, and have already picked out several to do immediately! I have yet to queue then on Ravelry, as my queue is already kind of long!

What am I working on right now...? Finally onto the sleeves of the Tree Jacket, a pair of mittens loosely based on a pattern from the Lion Brand website, and a sad excuse for Monkeys, which will be getting frogged in the next couple of days as they are too small! I need to go up a needle size since I tend to knit pretty tight...right now they are in timeout because I was so disgusted I didn't even feel like frogging! I have my fist Clapotis on the needles, and an afghan that I have been crocheting a day here and there for the last year, oh and also my Tiffany Mittens, but I don't know if this is their year to be finished, but we will see. I still really like the pattern and would like to complete them sometime.

So, my title says "Resolutions" of a bad blogger, so I should probably include some resolutions for the New Year. Normally, I don't like to do resolutions, because I feel that they tend to set one up for failure, or disappointment. However, I have some knitting resolutions as well as personal resolutions that I would like to share.

Knitting Resolutions:

  1. Start and finish 10 pairs of socks - It will help that I joined SAM 5!
  2. Start and finish 3 sweaters
  3. Finish Clapotis by spring
  4. Do one small one skein/one afternoon project per month - possibly Christmas gifts! :)

Personal Resolutions(Including but not limited to):

  1. "Learning" to run - Let me explain...I HATE to run. I have hated it since gym class in middle school when we had to run the mile and our time determined the grade we got...I did, not so good. I personally think that running for fun is for crazy people. This is why I am NOT going to be running for fun, but rather for fitness. Running is a huge calorie burner, and it really increases one's level of fitness. I would eventually like to participate in some local 5Ks and maybe a half marathon one day. But we will see. I need to start training first to be able to run 1 mile without wanting to die!
  2. Start my own business...well on my way!
  3. I have some other, more private and personal resolutions as these will go here!

I hope that you all have your own resolutions, both knitting, and personal...and I wish you all the best with them! Oh yeah, one more resolution from keep up with the blogging! Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I wanted to post quick to wish everyone a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all get some quality family time in along with some knitting...I certainly hope so! I will post more next week as I have made some progress on my Christmas sock presents. Have a great weekend, and don't eat too much!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Zip, Zero, Zilch

This is basically where my knitting has gone in the last week and a half....nowhere!! I have made very little progress on things. The most progress I have made was on my Tree Jacket. I finally figured out some problems that I was having on sizing and have moved on to the body of the sweater. I am pretty happy with that!

I just read on the Harlot's blog that there are only 42 days left for Xmas knitting!!! Not including today or Xmas Day....HOLY CRAP!!! I have so much to do yet, and nothing is getting done! So, all other non-Xmas related item have been placed in timeout, reluctantly. I have one and one half socks to finish for my mom, a heel turn and leg on 2 socks for my dad, the majority of a scarf for the new future in-law, my sister's fiance, and all the embroidery and lining of the bag for my sister. Now, I know that there are knitters out there thinking this could all be done in less than 2 weeks, but I am a distractable knitter. Right now being the perfect example...what am I doing on the computer, Ravelry, blog-stalking, blogging, checking my email for the 52nd time today?? I drive myself crazy sometimes!!

Well, hopefully I will have some FOs in the next week or two, so I will post when I have something postworthy to tell you all! Otherwise, if you happen to see me on Ravelry, send me a message to kick me in the butt and get knitting!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Only a week and a half late!!

Wow...what a week and a half! Things have been super crazy. My last post was on my last day of work, the following week was a whirlwind of packing and moving. I am now, finally, back in Iowa...back with my parents...and back to the small town life. I love being here! I have a lot on my plate for the coming weeks as well, but I promise to make a much better effort at keeping up my blog! So, my most exciting thing since my last post, aside from the move, was seeing Laurie Perry aka Crazy Aunt Purl in Peoria!
She was great! Not only do I enjoy her humor, and her general take on life, I have come to love her inspiration and the way that she shares that inspiration with others. She read some pretty funny and moving exerpts from the book, and spoke very well in front of the crowd. All in all she was wonderful to listen to, and not a bit different from her blog.

Here she is reading to us!

She was such a sweetheart. Thankfully, I got in the signing line pretty early on, so I didn't have to wait too long for her to sign my book. She was just really nice, and apologetic for being sweaty! (I didn't even notice!!) I was really excited to be there, but when I was in line, all of the sudden, I got super nervous...when I finally got to the front of the line, my hands were shaking so bad that I thought I would drop my book, the camera, and everything else in my hands! I am normally a pretty nervous person when it comes to exciting things, but I was not expecting this!! I got a nice lady in the line behind me to take a picture of me with Laurie...

The one thing that struck me about her, was when I asked for a picture, she was obviously happy to do so, but she was also very...what's the word I'm looking for here.....physical?? What I mean is that I squatted down next to her, expecting to merely lean in and take the picture, but instead, she put her arm around me, and it felt like taking a picture with an old friend, or my sister. Very surprising, in a nice way! Then she apologized for being sweaty!! Again, didn't notice...was too excited!! The best part of the whole experience was when she complimented my was my Sari Silk Handbag...that I made...that I designed...that is posted on this blog!!!! She liked it, and complimented it...twice! Now, if you read her blog, you will remember that her last post was about how she is overcoming the urge to people the fact that I am SO EXCITED that she liked something that was mine, that I made....well, it just validates me as a knitter, a little, or maybe a lot! Silly, I know...but I just had the urge to say to someone, anyone, at that time...."She likes me, she really likes me!" However I didn't, lest anyone think I am crazy! But I did bask in my little moment with Crazy Aunt Purl....and took a picture of the signed book, cause in reality....I'm a big dork!!! Enjoy!