Monday, June 29, 2015

Celtic Cable Socks finished!

In my long hiatus from knitting, I did occasionally take some knitting with me when I went places, and these socks or the Jaywalker sock were the projects I usually took. I recently started a new sock, though, the Dorothy's Slip Stitch Spiral sock, and found that I had inadvertently started with size 1 1/2 rather than the size 2 I usually use for socks. That's okay for the ribbing, but I needed size 2's for the body, and all mine were captive in WIPs. So since the Celtic Cable was closest to being finished, I decided to press on and get 'er done.

These aren't blocked or anything, but I don't have any sock blockers:

The Babies & Bears proceeds onward as well:

And here's the new sock:

Though I have two inches of this ribbing now. I can proceed onward with my size 2's now into the patterned part of the sock! Fun stuff!

I have been working hard to destash some stuff around here, and I managed to successfully sell over 200 weaving and spinning magazines! This gave me some nice fundage in my Paypal account, which I will now endeavor to NOT spend on yarn. At least not much of it. I did order a few patterns on Ravelry, and I did order some nice rainbow sock yarn. I'm sure my oldest DD will try to talk me out of THOSE socks.

And speaking of which, my dear son, AKA the Squatter long ago, known to my stamping audience as the Boy with the Wayward Finger, saw me finish the second Celtic Cable sock. He said, "What's that?" I explained. "You knit that? When are you going to knit ME some socks?" This is the boy who put socks on his Christmas list with the notations "You know why." The why is he can't ever find any to wear. The why of that is that he wears his socks until they can walk away by themselves, and presumably, most of them do because very few make their way down to the laundry room and back up into the sunlit lands.

So I did tell him that if he were changing his socks more frequently as well as not losing them, he might have a small hope that some day he would receive hand knitted socks from me. Maybe. Some day.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Who knew?

Who knew that one day I would resurrect this blog? Frankly, I've spent very little time knitting over the last 6 years, and all of my creative energy has been funneled into making cards and scrapbooking. I've had a blast too and made many great friends. I'm not sure where I am with that right now. Most hobbies last around 10 years, and stamping has lasted much longer (18). Lately though, I've been escaping from the basement where I spend my days surrounded by stamps and paper working as a medical transcriptionist, the job I finally decided to train for after trying and failing to get an office job outside the home. It's not a job during the performance of which you can knit (or even do anything else) while you are doing it. I spend all day down here on my computer, and lately just have not felt like being here after I finish for the day.

So I found myself thinking about knitting again the other day. I had done a bit on the Celtic Cable sock (yes, still a WIP) a couple months ago when I went to watch my daughter Emily participate in a quiz bowl tournament. It's been a long time since I have had to watch any child of mine participate in anything, another reason that I haven't knit a lot in the past 6 years. Nobody plays on sports teams. No one participates in anything much that requires periods of waiting. I got out of the habit of dragging knitting with me. So I figured since I was going to have to be a captive audience anyway, I might as well have some sanctioned fidgeting to do. I'd love to say that I re-fell in love with knitting at that moment, but I didn't. I enjoyed doing it, but I didn't get a huge yen to bury myself back in balls of yarn and romp through my stash in wild abandon. A stash which I still have, all of it, in spite of my husband's persistent hints to get rid of it. It moved into the laundry room, which means my Rubbermaid totes are all now covered in dryer lint and dust, so getting in the stash is a filthy process. But I digress...

No, what got me back into it was deciding I needed to get rid of some stuff. My office/craft space is stuff with all kinds of stuff I have acquired over the years, and I'm starting to get a wee bit claustrophobic. I decided to start with my boxed-up spinning and weaving magazines, and I listed them on Ravelry and managed to sell all the spinning magazines and a few of the weaving (so far). I also have an Etsy store (FiberMags & More) that I set up to sell off magazines and have managed to divest myself of a few of those. In the process of selling these, I realized that I was kind of, sort of, thinking of knitting something. I have two nieces who are just about to pop (i.e. give birth) and what better to do than to knit them each a Babies & Bears sweater?

God knows I have plenty of Plymouth Encore, so I went through both of my totes and found suitable girl-type yarn since both nieces are carrying girls. I brought them upstairs and figured I'd have to reaarange my knitting bags. I have a small one for socks, a larger one for big projects, a standing floor model to keep things near my chair like my needle caddies, etc, plus another one for larger projects. This led to  a closet cleanout. I went through my clothes closet, the place I would usually stash yarn that was going to be transitioned to the basement stash, and decided I should throw away a bunch of old purses and shoes that were never going to be used/worn again. In the process of looking on Ravelry at my profile, I remembered the Jaywalker sock I was knitting, and couldn't for the life of me find the ziplock bag I know it lived in. I couldn't find the tiny sheep knitting markers I had bought in Utah when I was visiting for the Stampin' Up! convention. And as usual, this bugged the crap out of me until I found the one in the corner of the bedroom under a bunch of other stuff, covered with dust, and the other in a drawer. I can't rest easy not knowing where things are.

So ANYWAY, here's the latest B&B sweater:
This is Plymouth Encore color 7002, a nice heathered variegated lavender.

And here are the tiny sheep knitting markers I found in Utah, at a yarn store called Black Sheep Wool Company, that is not there anymore. After I bought them, I kicked myself because I wasn't really knitting and thought about giving them to my mom, but I knew they were not something she would ever use. So now I am using them.

So, if there is anyone left who actually reads this blog, drop me a comment and let me know!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Off on the next great adventure!

I have started Lillie's Little Sweater. If you're on Ravelry, it's here.

After knitting so many Babies & Bears, I felt it was time for a break. And I'd heard wonderful things about this pattern from different people.

At first I was going to use this yarn, acquired during a recent trip to the LYS:

But then I got to worrying. I'm so anal about the striping matching from side to side and that's one thing I love about Babies &'s so easy to manipulate the self-striping yarns to match. Would this pattern be the same?

I looked on Ravelry to see what it might look like in a self-striping yarn and saw a few examples that persuaded me that I might not be able to control the striping as I like to, so I decided to go on a stash dive and find some different yarn. And this is what I came up with:

The sweater is to be a gift for a pregnant friend. I'm doing the 12 month size and the mother doesn't know the sex, so I thought this tweedy red/blue/pink/yellow would be a nice gender-neutral choice without going into pastels, which are more for tiny babies, IMO. I decided not to do the all garter stitch hood, so I'm working the stockinette version instead.

One thing I was shocked to find was that I only have ONE tote full of Encore! I could have sworn there were TWO. Hmmm...

Dan said something really funny the other day. He said, "Hey! I know a place where you can get rid of all your yarn!" As Scoobie would say, "Ruh Roh!" Get rid of yarn? Why would I want to do that?!?!?

I cautiously said, "Where?"

And he proceeded to tell me that someone at work knows about this charity where they knit hats and mittens for poor children. Phew! I was able then to say, "I do have some yarn that I could donate, but a lot of what I have is not suitable for hats or mittens"

Poor man. You can't blame him for trying. The yarn wall lives on his side of the basement and he wants more room. I'm knitting as fast as I can, is all I will say!

I haven't been knitting a whole lot because I am still sick with these darned ear infections. Three courses of antibiotics and it's still going on. I decided not to mess around and have made an appointment at the ENT for Wednesday. That's the earliest I can get in.

BTW, William's teacher LOVED the sweaters and the box I made to put them in, which you can see here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

On the importance of the right buttons

You all know that the right buttons are SO essential for your knits to look their best, don't you?

I've had a thing about buttons for years now. Back when I used to sew my own clothes, it was the same. I like buttons that are unique, yet complement the garment. They don't fight for attention, but make you go "YES! THOSE ARE PERFECT!!!" Yes, you know this, I can are nodding your head, aren't you?

If you are not, then you need to learn this, because it helps your hand-knit garment look much better.

When I first started knitting, I made this bunting for my oldest child:

The buttons are wrong. Yes they are! They are little Beatrix Potter buttons and they are just all wrong for this garment. Why did I select these? I wanted something pink and subtle, so the stitchwork would be the star of the show (after the baby, of course and this particular baby always looked PRECIOUS in everything she wore. Really!) And the owner of the knit shop talked me out of it.

I am not naming names and I will say that that owner is no longer owner of the shop. But she had this thing where if you made something for a baby, then you had to buy cutesy buttons to put on it. No ifs ands or buts. I still regret giving in to her, but hers was a forceful personality. And at that time, mine was not. I'm much better now.

So recently I went on a quest for the perfect buttons for that little Babies & Bears sweater I made a long time back and I found the perfect buttons, IMO. Lookie:

Aren't these just way perfect for this little sweater! I knit this out of Sirdar Denim DK about...4 years ago??? Can't remember! Who this was for I can't remember either, but it's getting given to the Squatter's teacher who is having her second child and this one is a boy. Remember how I told you I wanted to make her another in a bigger size and started another Babies and Bears?

I have finally finished it! I've been sick for weeks now with ear infections or it would have been much faster. But since the Squatter's teacher is due next month and she'll probably be going on maternity leave any day now, I figured I better get with the program. Lookie:

I was very careful about the striping sequence and managed to start the second sleeve almost exactly where I should. And I was very careful about the front panels so that they would match. And I engineered the back panel so it would be all one color by joining yarn in the middle of the panel so that the next color sequence would not start. I am so dang clever and yes, I do love myself very much!

But I'm particularly proud of my button choice:

Aren't those just PERFECT? And didn't I sew them on in just the right way, alternating the diagonal lines! I love myself, yes, I do!

I had gone to the LYS with Mary, because I have created a knitting monster. Mary wants to be going to the yarn store all the time now. She has already finished one baby blanket and has two more on the needles. So I feel that I have done my duty by creating a new knitter to keep our yarn economy rolling along. But since she made me go with her to the yarn store (no, she didn't have a gun! Mary does not need a gun to get what she wants!) I had to do something there, so I ended up buying these buttons. And some yarn. I think maybe I have gone too far and now she is making me spend money on yarn and patterns and buttons that would maybe not have been spent before!

Okay,'s my own fault, I admit it. But I did need the buttons. And one of my friends is pregnant, so the yarn will be used for that. But not another Babies & Bears...instead, I'm going to do Lily's Little Sweater...just for a change of pace.

ANYWAY, I tried lots of different buttons with this sweater, both blue and turquoise and nothing seemed just right. Until I had the brilliant (yes, I love myself) idea of using the brown in this colorway and once I found these square buttons with the diagonal line, I knew that once again, I had chosen wisely. (yes, I love myself!)

Well, it's time to go put my feet up. I'm sick of these ear infections which are stealing all my energy...I *have* gotten lots of knitting done in the doctor's waiting room, but I'd rather get it done somewhere else. Here's hoping this third antibiotic does the trick. Ta!

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's only natural...

Isn't it? That when you get to the point where you have been working for something for a while and you are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel...

I'm almost to the bottom ribbing!!! Only 2 1/2 more inches to go. That's a lot of lunch monitoring, I tell ya! So it's only natural that...well...

I would start SOMETHING NEW!!!

Yes, I said I was going to stick to UFO's, just HAPPENED!!!

Yes, it is yet another Babies & Bears Sweater (Cottage Creations). I have lost count of how many of these I have made; certainly I have run out of room on the page in the back where you are supposed to list the ones you made and to whom you gave them. And this is my second copy of the pattern, so it's possible that there were more listed on the one I lost.

I blame Mary, my friend, who wanted to learn to knit. Remember how I took her to the LYS for Superbowl Sunday and we bought her stuff to make a baby blanket? Well, we decided to go to the local library's knitting night and I got her started...and before I left, well the yarn and pattern for the B & B just jumped right into my knitting bag when I wasn't looking!! And the needle too....and then it seemed like I couldn't start it, since I had forgotten that you start at the cuff and you need DPs for that, but it was like KISMET! The right sized DP's were in my little tool box I keep in my bag! It was a sign!

So I caved. I could also blame the yarn, since I have a thing about Plymouth Encore and I also have this thing where every time I see suitable yarn for the B & B, I really want to see just how it will work in one. Because of the interesting construction, self-striping yarn and variagated yarn does really unique things.

I love what this one is doing.

I am also blaming the squatter's teacher, since I got to thinking about the newborn sized B & B I already have made and am going to give her...thinking about how the baby wouldn't be able to wear it for very long, since she is due in April. It will get too warm for the baby to wear fairly quickly!

Yeah, I know this is Michigan and we will still have chilly days into May if this cooling trend we are currently experiencing keeps up, but I am in the middle of my self-delusion, so please don't interrupt! So I thought I really should make a bigger one for the fall/winter, right? Right?

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pumpin' Out Da Knits!!!

Really. I don't know WHEN I've gotten this much knitting done, at least, not in recent memory. Lookie:

This is the Neck Down V-Neck Cardigan from Knitting Pure & Simple. Now that I've put the sleeve stitches on yarn holders, it's really going fast! I was a bit worried that the way the yarn pooled would change once I did that, but it hasn't really. Is very pretty, no? I've been working on it every single day, during lunch monitoring, church coffee hour, waiting for kids to come out of school or the bus, and while at home.

AND that's not all!!! (Can you tell I'm excited?)

Here is my Celtic Braid Socks! I turned the heel on the second sock during our church's annual meeting. Soon this pair will end up joining the smug married socks in my drawer. Cannot wait. Because this will be the first sock-weight wool socks I have ever made and KEPT. All the other ones were either cotton, given away, or worsted weight. Yay me. Booyah!

Once these socks are complete, I will return to the Jaywalker socks I started a long while back:

Silly me! I didn't even remember turning the heel on this sock! This may go faster than I thought!

Well, off to get ready to go lunch monitor yet again. Oh joy.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Progress is a many splendored thing...

I really feel like I'm getting somewhere!

It's been so long since I have knitted and the urge to start something new is pretty intense, but I am also feeling the urge to get many of the UFO's cluttering up my stash done and out of the way. So I am happy to announce the near completion of one, the better-than-I-thought progress of another, and the resurrection of a third.

First, here is Laurel's poncho:

It's finished except for the I-cord drawstring for the hood and the fringe. Now I hate fringing things...hate it with a passion, so it might be a couple of days before I wind myself up to doing it. And then I will have to block it and since it is almost all acrylic, that's going to be a bit of work. Holding a steam iron close enough to help the edge relax and uncurl, yet not so close as to melt the thing. Ugh. Not looking forward to it.

For a while, I wondered if Laurel would even get this thing, since she told me, "I will probably just wear it to bed, because now I have different ideas about fashion." Oh. Well, maybe someone else would like this thing. But Laurel is pretty possessive, so she says she definitely wants it. She's tried it on and it is very warm and soft, so I can see she will probably wear it around the house, at least. Because it's been so stinkin' cold, anyone would be a fool NOT to wear a nice poncho like this one.

I did something interesting at the neck. The stitches at the neck opening were getting pulled this way and that by the hood, so I did a bit of buttonhole stitch to stabilize them with the tail end of the yarn I used when I started the hood. I think it was a marvelous fix and did exactly what I wanted it to:

I also have been working on one of my lonely singleton socks. I find this pattern (the Celtic Braid sock by Cabin Fever) to be difficult to work...all those cables with these tiny needles! So I've slogged away at the second sock since I finished my last pair of Ann Norling socks, thinking it was going to take forever to finish this, the second sock. I had to run out and buy a new cable needle, since the one I was using for this project disappeared somewhere. I was thinking it might just go back into the UFO bin, but when I pulled it out today with its mate to take a picture, I found that I was much farther along that I even thought to be:

Hooray! It looks like I may only have one, maybe two more full repeats of both cable twists to get to the bottom of the cuff, then it's just a matter of doing the heel and running down to the toe. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! So it looks like this sock will be spared from the UFO vault after all!

Finally, once my idiot knitting project (the one that I can do without thinking about it much, i.e. the poncho) was off the needles, I needed another. The Celtic Cable sock is not, by any stretch of the imagination, idiot knitting. I needed something to take with me to lunch monitor, an activity which requires eternal vigilance, lest the students start throwing food, standing on their desks and generally acting like monkeys in the zoo. And I like to read at the same time, if only to entertain the students, who are fascinated by my knitting, but also because I have a horror of being bored. I also found myself very popular on Friday with the lovers of cat's cradle, since Emily has been teaching all her friends how to do it. My spare ball of waste yarn furnished many girls with the necessary "string" for this activity. I'm so dang popular, LOL!

So with the thought of idiot knitting yesterday, I dug this out of the closet:

This is the V Neck Neckdown Cardigan for Women from Knitting Pure & Simple #994. I am only about 6 inches down from the neck and have about 14 more rows until I can divide for the sleeves. This will be the perfect idiot knitting project as it is just stockinette, with a few increases on the knit rows. Once I divide for the sleeves, I won't even have those! I love this colorway of Plymouth Encore too. This sweater is for ME. The last sweater I made myself (from a kit) makes me look like a puff ball waiting to explode. I needed something a little sleeker and this seems to fit the bill. But since I started it in 2005, the question is, "Will it fit ME?" Because ever since I had my thyroid removed, I have been steadily putting on weight. Sigh. It sucks to get older.

Well, I better close this out. I have successfully resisted yet another week from going to the yarn store. I am full of intestinal fortitude! Booyah!