December 4, 2014

And suddenly, there were projects

Because the cold weather was apparently all I needed to get motivated, I've been working on a few things simultaneously--some old, some new.

Once the urge to knit hit me again, I started revisiting some UFOs and establishing if they were worthy of continuing (answer: yes...sort of). I tried to keep in mind something my friend Sam always says (quoting Gigi of the Knitmore Girls): If you don't like it now, you won't like it later. Apparently I'm pretty good about picking things I like, because I didn't want to quit any of them completely.

I have the following on needles right now (listed from oldest start date to newest):
  • Chroma Striped Scarf (this will be on-going for all eternity, so I'm not especially worried about it)
  • Raphaelite Socks (originally started Jan. 2013; I have one sock completely done, and just the start of the toe on the other.)
  • Plushy Mittens (originally started Dec. 2013--had nearly one whole arm of the first mitten done.)
  •  Ripple Effect (technically started May 2014, but then I messed it up and pulled it out, so its just yarn again right now. Not technically on needles at the moment)
  • de Bourgh Brickless (originally started Aug. 2014--just barely started).
  • Chevron Baby Blanket (started just a few days ago!)

Order of priorities? Well, I'd like those pesky mittens since its actually winter. I pulled them back out and started working on them, only to decide after about 10 minutes that I didn't like the long arm because my coat is tight at the sleeves. I looked through the projects page and found a pair someone made with a simple wrist (but keeping the cabled hand), and decided to pull it all out and start over. I've finished the cuff and started the thumb gusset of mitten #1. Whee!

Second project of importance: a baby blanket. Which I hadn't even started, but I'd been thinking about for months. A friend is expecting their first child in the middle of January, and I had planned on having a blanket ready for them by the birth. I had the yarn already (Caron Simply Soft), and so have started that.

I started the third stripe (white) just the other day, so its moving along nicely. The blanket is a pleasant and easy knit--the pattern is easy to remember, but has enough tricks to keep me paying attention. I only wish that it was garter rather than stockinette, because if I was knitting on both sides I think I could whip through it even faster.

Luckily, it appears I'll have more babies to knit for in the future, so I'll be able to give that a shot! Now, if only I could finish those socks.

November 17, 2014

In which I am still alive...and knitting!

Prepare to clutch your pearls, everyone, because I am BACK. Sort of.

Apparently all it takes for me to get back in a knitting mood is super cold weather! All I want right now is a pair of giant mittens (I should probably finish the ones I started), and ALL the warms things to wrap around my neck.

I had started a Brickless back at the end of August, hoping that something a little less complicated would get me back into the groove, but seeing as it is now November, that apparently wasn't enough. But I did knit on it yesterday, and am thankful that the pattern is pretty easy.

The yarn I'm using is an old colorway from the Mean Girls Yarn Club, called "Hoity Toity" (named for Lady Catherine de Bourgh from Pride and Prejudice). I traded my soul purchased it from a club member who didn't want it, since it was from the episode before I joined the club. SO PRETTY.

June 17, 2014

Bad knitting, BAD!

My knitting is in a time out. 

It's a shame, really, because I was super excited about working on the Ripple Effect shawl, designed by my friend Rachel at Unraveled Designs.  I loved it so much when I saw it, that I immediately went out and bought yarn, despite the fact that I was supposed to be finishing my second Raphaelite sock. 

I had grand knitting plans, because my mom was having surgery and I was going to be staying at the hospital with her, and figured I'd have plenty of knitting time.  It was not meant to be.  Between getting her water, helping her adjust things, and talking to nurses, I couldn't fully concentrate on it, which is BAD NEWS.  I should have just stopped and played on my iPad, or read a book.  But no, Sam's voice was in my head scolding me about my lack of knitting, so I kept plugging away...and then totally mucked it up.  So much, I have to pull it all out and restart.

I was ticked.  So its sitting in a knitting bag by my couch and I refuse to even look at it.  Any of it.

We're supposed to have tea and knitting this coming Saturday, and I might actually bring a cross-stitch or something instead, I'm still so annoyed.  I mean...have you seen this adorable Halloween sampler?  Super adorbs!  [I am in denial].

March 16, 2014

A Tale about Knit Picks

It's been pretty well established that Knit Picks has awesome customer service, but somehow I was surprised when I experienced their awesomeness first hand.

Those of you who have followed me for awhile may know that I have a scarf project that has been on-going for decades, because it is my "easy-peasey when I'm not motivated to knit anything complicated/travel" project.  I cast it on in December of 2011, and I'm not even halfway done with the thing.

I'm knitting it with two colors of Chroma Worsted from Knit Picks, and while attempting to knit on it while traveling recently, one of the skeins revealed itself to be the most knot-filled, grumpy skein in all existence.  I am not kidding--I've used maybe 30g of the skein and found five knots, and two giant unspun/fat chunks.

Not ideal when one is on a plane sans scissors.

Knots of DOOOOM!
Since it had been two, nearly three years at that point, I didn't really expect anything to come of it, but I did send them an email expressing my disappointment and frustration, and suggesting better quality control in the future (I tried to make it light hearted and funny, but one never knows how things are read over the internet).

But because Knit Picks is great, they emailed me back and totally sent me a NEW SKEIN.  TWO YEARS LATER.

Thank you, Knit Picks.  You rock!  Now if only I could finish this scarf....

March 11, 2014


On Sunday, I finished knitting my Peacock Shawlette (it spent overnight and most of yesterday blocking).


I ended up making it a bit bigger than the original pattern called for, because I got a gradient kit from Black Trillium Fibres that was over 600 yards total (the original pattern calls for 300-550 yards). I loved the yarn (my gradient was the colorway "Ice"), and once I got over my lace issues in the beginning, the pattern was easy to follow (especially if I made sure to have no distractions!)

Overall, I'm very pleased with how it turned out! 

February 24, 2014


Obviously, the title of this post has likely clued you in to the fact that I didn't make the Ravellenic deadline yesterday.  This was not for lack of trying, because I power knit my brains out Friday, Saturday and even Sunday morning, but it was all for naught.  Apparently this is what happens when you pick a tricky project, make it BIGGER, and then mess it up at the beginning twice. 

That being said, I'm hoping to still finish it this week.  Nothing like a goal, right?

February 12, 2014

False Start

I managed to start my 345-stitch cast on for the Peacock Shawlette (I'm doing a larger version) on Friday afternoon (the official Ravellenic start day), and even spent some of Friday night casting on as well.

My Saturday knitting plans were thwarted by my mother and the art museum in town, but Sunday I somehow managed to finish my cast on and start knitting. 

Alas, things did not start well, because when I picked it up again the other day and purled back, something seemed weird, even though my stitch count was right.  Knitting across again, I had an extra stitch.  I brought it into work for Sam to look at, and she noticed weirdness right away and suggested I "read my knitting" back and figure out where/if there were other mistakes.  I tried, only to realize that something had likely happened on either the first row, OR the purl row, and I was going to have to rip it all back and start again.

So I'm in the middle of casting on again right now.  Likelihood I'll finish by the end of the Olympics?  SLIM.

February 5, 2014

Ready, set....

My yarn is wound, my notions and needles are gathered, my pattern is marked.  Let's do this thing. (On Friday, of course)

P.S. The yarn is from Black Trillium Fibres, and is a gradient set in the "Ice" colorway.

January 23, 2014

Knitting Goals for the New Year

This post is rather delayed (but really, what do you expect from the girl who takes 5 months to knit a pair of socks?), but I was catching up on listening to the Just One More Row podcast and came to a couple of decisions regarding my knitting (and spinning) that I thought I would share!  Brittany and Dana were discussing their own goals for the year, as well as a couple of events they have going on, that really helped light a fire under me.

First, they're hosting a "Clean Slate Challenge" which involves using yarn/fiber (or working on WIPs) over three months old.  Most of my stash qualifies for this, so I decided that my first knitting goal for this year is to:
     1. Use as much old stash yarn as possible (anything pre-2013).
Most of these qualify (and this isn't my entire stash)
This doesn't mean I can't BUY new yarn (because, come on), but it does mean that I should try to use the older stuff on projects I want to complete rather than going out and buying new stuff.  Obviously my Ravellenics project won't qualify for this particular goal (oops), but happily it does qualify for another goal I have for myself, which is to:

    2.  Participate in as many KALs as possible.

Despite the fact I totally fell off the wagon with my Trillian last year, doing a KAL does seem to help my motivation.  The Clean Slate Challenge will be particularly good for me, I think.

My other goals for this year relate to my other fiber-related shenanigans:

     3.  Dye and/or use my own dyed yarn(s) for a project.


    4. Spin at least 8 oz of fiber

Sam is teaching me to spin, and I am not only painfully slow at it, but also not very good at it yet.  I figure 8 oz is two of those giant braids, and that will take me plenty of time.  If I'm feeling particularly spiffy, maybe I'll even add a goal to KNIT the handspun stuff!

I'll post updates in a page I can go back to and edit (under the About Me page), and then I'll check back in with myself near the end of the year to see where these goals stand.  Should be interesting!  I'm excited.

January 22, 2014

Ravellenic Games 2014

I'm biting the bullet and have decided to participate in the Ravellenic Games.  Much of this decision was the result of persuasion from my dear friend Sam, who had me looking at yarn and patterns all last week.  There's nothing like yarn shopping that gets the ball rolling, let me tell you.  I'm still a little worried about finishing (I've talked about my hesitation about the games before--in short, I think I lack the knitting chops, but this year we'll see!).

Originally, I had thought about finishing up one of my languishing UFOs, but when I originally checked the events list (in its preliminary stages) I didn't see a WIP event (I could also have been blind, because there's totally one now).  So I decided, yay new project!

I'm going to breakdown and knit the Peacock Shawlette by Kitman Figuerora, which has been in my queue since 2011 (slacker, much?)  I plan on doing a gradient effect with some yarn I found on Etsy (the yarn search for this shawl was an odyssey but I think I was finally successful).  Also, if by some crazy miracle I actually finish a lace shawl in 16 days, I might try to finish a WIP for that event as well (maybe the Raphaelite socks??)

Because I'm such a podcast fan, I figured it would be easiest to join Team Sasquatch.  I'm trying to get organized, and luckily the Knitmore Girls have been doing "training" in these last few weeks leading up to the Olympics.  So far it has been:

Week 1: Pick your project.
Week 2: Get your materials (yarn, needles, notions, etc.)
Week 3: Wind your yarn.
Week 4: Hunt for errata.
Week 5: Read directions, and mark your size! (Also, make sure you're on your team roster, if applicable)

I have Week 1, and mostly Week 2 under control (I ordered the yarn, at any rate), but since I don't have it in my possession yet, I can't wind it.  I could probably finish Week 4 though.

Is anyone else participating?  What will you create??