Monday, December 28, 2009

The Julie Room

So over Christmas break (my whole four days off, woo?) I decided to paint and organize our guest bedroom aka The Julie Room (it's a long story). Since it's basically all I worked on for three days straight, I thought I would share some photos. First, the before...

And then, the after!

Yes, that is my entire stash of yarn and fabric, all fitting into a spot designated for it, instead of half in an organizer, half in a bag in a corner. I learned a few things while I was doing this room, first and foremost.. I truly underestimated my stash. I thought out of all groups (wool/animal fibers, acrylic, natural fibers, sock yarn, dyeable), the least amount of any was sock yarn. Umm.. no, not so much. In that white organizer (first photo in the "after" series) the sock yarn is that entire top shelf. If you're looking at it saying "that's not so much", keep in mind that the white organizer is three feet deep and it's FULL behind that front layer. I could knit nothing other than socks for all of 2010 and I guarantee I'd still have yarn left next year. It was a real wake up call for me, and as beautiful as sock yarn is, I'm happy not to be adding those numbers.

Other things I learned: how to use drywall screws, how to hang a real curtain rod (not just one made of aluminum that snaps into the wall) and very importantly.. that even purple paint scrubs off of wood floors with a little soap and water. I'm immensley proud of my room that I did all by myself, and really couldn't have asked for a better result.

I will be updating hopefully in the next few days with a 2009 year in knitting wrap up, as well as 2010 knitting goals. But for now, I'm going to lay down, my whole body feels put together wrong and it's time to get some rest.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Warmest Mittens

Happy first day of Winter, all! I'm definitely in full on nesting/hibernation mode these days. On Friday we went to Ikea and spent about $160 on a new bookcase, some curtains, and a bunch of picture frames. On Saturday we went to Target to get some more picture frames and also picked up another small book case. After unloading all of our books into the two new book cases.. we still have nearly an entire box of paperbacks waiting for a home. Ugh. When the hell did we get so many books? We have FOUR bookcases and apparently thats not enough room. I'm considering going through them on my break this weekend to sort out what can go into storage or different rooms. I'd like all my knitting books in the craft room (aka our guest bedroom). They could just go in a floating shelf in there or something.

Other then putting together everything and shopping, I baked for half the day on Saturday. Oh man. I made 2 huge batches of rice krispie bars, one with butterscotch and one with reese's peanut butter and some chocolate too. I also made a double batch of Russian teacakes and had my first attempt at buckeyes (basically peanut butter dipped in chocolate). Everything turned out awesome, except the buckeyes. I don't know if it was the recipe or if I did it wrong, but eh.. they're not my favorite. Also, I did get a fair amount of knitting done this weekend. I've been making steady progression the Log Cabin Afghan of DOOM, and am almost ready for another log. I've averaging half a log a night from about an hour of knitting. It will DEFINITELY not be done this year, but I'm hoping maybe by the end of January it will be. Realistically I have about 1100 yards left to knit on it at the bare minimum, possibly more. I'll take another progress picture in a week or two.

One thing I did do this weekend was make myself a pair of mittens. This was one of my 2009 knitting resolutions/goals, and I started and completed it on 12/20. Way to go, procrastination! Also, it figures that I make them when its 40+ degrees out, instead of a few weeks ago when it was record lows for a week straight. Ah well. After a very extensive search and a tough decision, I used the Warmest Mittens pattern. I used about 130 yards of two different colors of Plymouth Baby Alpaca (worsted). The cuff was knit on size 3 needles (my ribbing always runs HUGE) and the body was knit on size 6 needles partially because I'm a very tight knitter, and partially because I didn't have size 5 needles LOL.

The first mitten knit up perfectly, but the second.. well.. I was watching the Vikings game, and .. we lost. And my already tight-knitting got even tighter as the game went on, and thus, the mitten is a wee bit smaller. But, luckily I have small hands and both fit me well.

After adding another 130 yards to December totals, it brings my December yardage up to 1360 yards and my 2009 yardage to 7219 yards. Not too bad, and really it's a few hundred more yards then that, I just haven't added up the progress yardage for the afghan in a few weeks. My 2009 goal was to break 10000 yards, and while that definitely isn't going to happen, I feel like breaking 8000 is still a possibility.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Worst Hat I've Ever Made (and other stuff!)

I've been knitting for a month past eight years. My first project ever, a scarf, was a behemoth. It started out, on size 10.5 aluminum needles, with 30 cast on stitches. I stopped knitting it a few days later because after a foot in length, it had doubled in size. It turns out I was mistaking the first stitch of every row for two stitches, and I learned from it and moved on and although I haven't loved everything I've ever made, I would say that everything I've made since then has been something I've enjoyed making, wearing or gifting. I can also say that I've learned a lesson from almost everything I've knit, which can really console a person when their finished project isn't quite as intended.

However, I cast on for a hat this summer that is now officially The Worst Hat I've Ever Made. Seriously. I broke the two cardinal rules of knitting (well the only two I have, I guess.. I really like to wing this shit most of the time).
  • #1: Disregard what people say they want if it's too specific and they aren't in a position to know what the hell they're talking about. For example if someone says I WANT A RED AND HOT PINK STRIPED FLOOR LENGTH DRESS MADE FROM CRUSHED VELVET! I'm sure they *do* want that, but as a creative person, as a designer, we know better. We interpret their idea and make it into something that doesn't collapse into a ball of suck.
  • #2: Take your time, don't be impatient, even if something feels like it's never going to end, just suck it up and do it. I've fallen victim to this before when I made my mother a beautiful cream colored Irish Hiking Scarf that was only 30" long. I called it a "scarflette" and put a broach on it. She promptly gave it to the dog (I'm completely serious).
So, like I was saying, I broke the only two rules I ever even follow in knitting with this hat. The recipient said they wanted something with a loose gauge, to which I responded that normally with bigger/looser gauge items (that aren't lace shawls) you use a chunky yarn and go up a needle size. The problem with this is that I was making this hat from stash (remember I'm cold sheeping!) and I don't HAVE any chunky yarn. Okay, I said I'll do it with worsted weight and just on a little bit bigger needle (10! when normally I would have used.. 6 or 7? I should have seen the warning signs..). I did a seed stitch band, then knit for about 3.5 inches before starting crown decreases, but by that time.. the damage was done. This was supposed to be made for an adult male with a fairly largish head (24-25").. the gauge was so loose that unstretched it is more like 27", stretched is 30"+. Anyway, so I already knew by this point that it was way.too.big but I told myself JUST FINISH IT and started the decreasing, without any real plan (normally I do a k6, k2tog row, then a knit row, then a k5, k2tog row, then a knit row, etc, and NORMALLY it turns out beautifully). But I was so mad at this hat already that I just started doing random decreases. Oh! It looks like there hasn't been a decrease for a few inches, lets throw one in! Two decrease rows next to each other? Sure! Gah. Okay. It's just bad.

What makes it worse is that I have nothing to learn from this. I'm going to frog this hat because looking at it makes me want to hurt people, and there is absolutely no way I would give someone a knitted garment that is in this condition. I'm going to frog this hat, and I don't want to remake it so badly that I'm considering just forgetting the whole thing and telling the recipient that I don't have time to do it. Which, isn't untrue by any means, I
still haven't gotten around to making myself a hat or gloves set (one of my knitting goals for 2009, and something I've desperately needed the last few weeks). For right now, the hat is going in the knitting room, inside of a bag where it will lay out of my sight until I know what to do with it. It will be frogged, and I probably will redo it, but it's not something I can even think about doing right now. Sigh.

In other news: there has been actual productive knitting lately. In November I knit
744 yards, which isn't a whole lot, but considering I took a week long vacation and was working close to 200 hours, I think I did alright. In November I made a lot of progress on the Log Cabin Afghan of DOOM! and also made these two little Zune cozies. One for me and one for my work friend, mine is red and his is black, they're both Zune 120G. I used Noro Kureyon in colorway 90 on size 8 bamboo DPNs. Each cozy used up about 30 yards, and only took around 2 hours from start to finish.

So far this month, I've finished one sock, technically finished the UGH WORST HAT EVER, and have made a lot more progress on the afghan of DOOM! Right now I'm sitting a little over 1200 yards, but the month is not even half over and football playoffs haven't even started. This sock is Premier Yarns Serenity in Thyme, and is part wool, part bamboo and of course part nylon. The jury is out yet, as the yarn itself is really quite thin and I ended up with several breaks in the finished product before I even put it on my foot for the first time. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt though until the other sock is finished. The pattern is just my personal adaptation from Silver's Sock Class (mostly made a little smaller to fit tighter around the arch of the foot).

This is a current picture of the blanket, you can see I just cast on for another row (at the bottom). I would be over the moon if I could finish that blanket this month, but I don't believe it's in the cards. I want to finish the pair of socks, and also FINALLY make myself a hat and glove set. I have some ridiculously gorgeous and plush Plymouth Baby Alpaca (worsted) set aside in lt blue (to match my cowl) and charcoal. I haven't decided on a pattern or anything, but I need to get this done. It was so cold this last week that we set all time low temperature records here for 4 consecutive days. Better yet, during those four days, the pipes in my attic froze and then exploded and now we're looking at the better part of $5000+ in damage. Technically $3200 was the plumber alone (to insulate and replace the burst pipes). We have top of the line 3/4" thick copper pipes in our entire house, but the ice ripped a gash 3" wide through that pipe, and now all of the insulation in the attic and the living room ceiling need to be replaced. There was 1.5" of water on the floor, after it crashed through the ceiling. It was the most stressful night of my life, without question, and I'm thankful for some old xanax I had laying around or I might have had a nervous breakdown and died right there on the living room floor. Hahah. Well, thank god for home owners insurance, right?

Now that it's taken me an hour to write this, I need to go to bed. Hahah. No progress on the blanket tonight!

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's Fall!

It's fall! It's fall, I'm so happy it's fall. I love Seattle summers, but what I love more are Seattle fall days. Where the air is crisp but only to the point where your fingertips and nose tingle a little.. where all the leaves are falling and it smells like Halloween. Mmmmm.. I love Seattle falls! One MORE thing I love about the fall: it's time to get back to work knitting! I crave wool and warmth and can spend an entire 12 hours on Saturday laying in bed knitting.

These are the things I plan to do:
- finish Casey's bunny hat, currently at 50%
- make progress on the log cabin of DOOM blanket (note: I did NOT say finish, I said PROGRESS)
- make myself gloves
- make myself a hat
- make myself socks (slipped ring stitch pattern?)
- whip out some leg warmers for Mandy (Mosey? or maybe just an improvised pattern.. I dunno yet)

Since the last time I wrote, we bought a house and moved (just a week ago, actually), so everything is kind of all over the place and these past few months have been crazy busy with packing, moving, financial bullshit, etc. But the house is BEAUTIFUL and I am officially already planning my garden to plant in the spring (I'm thinking lots of tomatoes, peas, strawberries, raspberries, jalapenos, spinach, carrots, some kind of beans, would potatoes be too ambitious?). I haven't had my own garden in about 10+ years, so I want to take it easy, but I'm already getting really amped for planting and growing and CANNING next fall. I've been debating starting a seed garden in Feb/March or just buying live starters. Seeds are obviously much cheaper, but, again it's been awhile since I've done a seed garden. Hmmm. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Weekend Roundup OF DOOM!

It's been a busy weekend. I started (and made decent progress on) the Log Cabin Afghan of DOOM, as well as watched a few movies (ala Netflix) and caught up with a lot of shows on the DVR. One thing I dislike about having both Netflix and DVR is that I feel like I need to dedicate time to watching both.. and feel guilty if I don't. It's weird. Anywho.

This is an afghan square (10X10") I did for a charity blanket on Ravelry. It will be seamed up and auctioned off, the proceeds are going to Doctors Without Borders. I viewed an inprogress photo of the blanket (without my square, as I only sent it off on Friday), and it's really awesome looking so far. Anyway, this square was roughly another 80 yards, bringing my March total to 340 yards.

Up next is FINALLY an update about the first felted project (Angela's Fabulous Felted Bag). I felted it last month, but it didn't felt all the way.. so I researched a little about the felting process and discovered that my warm/warm cycle was probably to blame. It literally spent 2+ hours felting that first run. I threw it in a pillow sack and let it go for 1 full cycle (about 20 minutes) on hot/cold, and voila! Felted bag! I am very happy with the finished results, but I might give it away as a gift or something.. as I just don't really use bags that often.

And last, but not least, is the first mention (and photo) of the Log Cabin Afghan of DOOM! I started this on Friday night and this was my progress through last night. I finished up the brown square but I need 1-2 more "warm" colors, so I went to JoAnn today .. but since it's Easter, they were closed. Ah well, I think my fingers could use a break. I have been keeping tally of the yardage knit up with every piece so far and at the end of the month I'll add it all up and put it toward this month's yards. This piece (pictured above) is already something like 17X17" and about 350 yards (IIRC), so I'm making good progress with it. I'd REALLY like for this to be done by the time my parents come out next month, but we'll see.

Friday, April 10, 2009

FO Catchup

BIG UPDATE ENTRY! I've been so ridiculously busy with work, social engagements and knitting that I haven't had time to do a proper update in quite awhile, so this is my catchup!

Let's get right into it.. first up we have my newest cowl (The Quickie Cowl), made from my favorite yarn (Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande). Wearing it feels like wearing a warm cloud around my neck. It's so amazing I never want to take it off. It figures that I literally finished it on the first 70 degree day we've had in Seattle since September 2008, but, what are you gonna do, right? This took almost an entire skein, only about 2 yards left after seaming, so we're calling it an even 110yds (for April's numbers).

Next up is some more afghan squares, except these are only 6x6", each one was made from some spare Wool-ease I had laying around, and they're going to be made into a charity blanket for a little boy. Each square took about 50yds of yarn. I just love these! These little guys are totaling 150 more yards, bringing my April total to 260 yards.

The next few objects were completed in March (and already counted in March's totals). Starting out with the GORGEOUS Crosswalker socks. If you would recall, I dyed this yarn way back in February for Julie (a custom request), to be made into these. All finished, they are ridiculously comfortable, warm and fit PERFECTLY. I did not want to give them away, but, so it is. I know that I'll be making a pair for myself in the near future :)

The one thing I realized, finally, is that I'm going to HAVE to do 1X1 ribbing from now on. For some reason, my 2X2 ribs are just way too loose on all my socks.

Last, but certainly not least, more band cuffs! When I sent the last 4 to Julie, they got a lot of attention and I had a lot of requests to make more. I whipped these four up in about an hour one night. Ideally, I would have preferred to not use the same "base" colors as the last set, but I didn't want to buy yarn for them (because they use a very small amount and that's silly..), so I used up what I had. On the plus side, I got rid of the tan partial. The person I made these for got them last week and absolutely loves them and has even asked me how she could start knitting too. Haha.

I do have a few more things knit up already (I said I was busy!) but don't have photos uploaded, so for now, this is all I have. I'm still working on the felted bag, and cast on last night for the Log Cabin Afghan of DOOM. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April Goals

I have too much to write a real update about. The semi-felted bag (still waiting to be re-felted.. maybe tonight), Julie's crosswalker socks (finished last night at 1115pm, squeaking in under the March wire).. but I'm at work, and have no access to photos, so for now, I'm writing my March recap and April goals.

In March I completed the following projects:
- 8 Band Cuffs (four in each size)
- 1 pair of Crosswalkers
- 3 10X10" squares for KYS projects
- 1 Angela's Fabulous Felted Bag

Which equals out to be 1120 yards, which brings the YTD total to 3420 yards. I lost track of how many skeins I've used (somewhere between 7-10, but I don't care at this point). Now to revisit goals..

March Goals:
- Finish Julie's socks (crosswalkers)
- Knit at least 1 charity item
- Knit at least 1 thing for myself
- Start log cabin afghan OF DOOM

2009 goals:
- Knit myself a scarf, hat and gloves before winter
- Knit 10000 yds of yarn
- Do not buy any new yarn except under certain conditions (running out of yarn during a project, having an emergency of sorts where I NEED a certain kind of yarn), going forward, except in April at the alpaca farm and once this summer/fall.

Let's see how I did. I finished Julie's socks, knit several charity items, knit the felted bag for myself.. I ran out of time to start the afghan though. My year-long goals were a little less successful.. I still need to start knitting myself winter warmables, but I plan on doing that this month (as I have 4 luscious skeins of Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande coming my way, enough for a hat and cowl/scarf). I am well on my way to 10000 yards. I semi-failed at this whole not-buying yarn thing. I bought yarn to complete the log-cabin afghan.. so I don't know if that counts. I'm going to be using a ton that's already in stash (8-10 skeins), and I bought 4-5 new skeins. Whatever. I think that I need to change that goal anyway, because I don't have an issue with buying yarn, just buying it when I have no intentions of using it. In that regard, I have gotten 100% better. Everything I buy these days, I think to myself "am I REALLY going to use this? what could it be used for?" and if I can't think of something it could be used for, I just don't get it. I've caught myself a lot of times buying yarn just to buy it (it's so pretty!), but no longer. Now to set my April goals...

April Goals:
- Knit at least 1 charity item (this won't be a problem, as I have 5 already started).
- Start log cabin afghan of DOOM
- Knit 1 item for myself
- Knit 1 pair of socks

2009 goals:
- Knit myself a scarf, hat and gloves before winter
- Knit 10000 yds of yarn
- Do not buy yarn "just to buy yarn". If I make a purchase, it needs to have a project lined up.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Felted Bag, Afghans, More Sewing...

The end of the month is quickly approaching. I've gotten quite a bit of knitting done, but I've also been sidelined the last few days due to dental surgery. I got several old fillings replaced, which requires them to cut away part of my gums so they can go underneath of the gum level with the filling, etc.. mainly, it's gross, bloody and painful. I've just been taking a lot of extra strength tylenol and trying to sleep a lot. Which, you can imagine, cuts into my knitting time a considerable amount. This is in addition to my normal, end of the month stress levels due to work.. and ugh.. nothing is getting done around here. Anyway! I finished another afghan square, my first ever felted bag (oooo) and did some more sewing.

This is the pre-felted bag, done with a pattern named "Angela's Fabulous Felted Bag". It suggested using 600yds of a super bulky yarn, but I used some Cascade 220 I had, one skein in "highland green" and one in "oyster". I ended up using almost every bit of the green, but had about 50 or so yards left of the oyster. Overall I used about 375-380 yds for this project. I have since felted it, but, it needs to be refelted this weekend, since I only apparently felted 3/4 of it. Ugh. Will repost once it's done, because it really needs its own entry.

Another afghan square, the blue is really a lot deeper, but, meh. I finished it at like 10pm and wanted to just take a photo. This was about 80 yds.

And look, more sewing! I made two of these little DPN holders (in addition to 4 bags with the same material), and I'd like to make 1-2 more. They're really cute and convenient, and as the collection of my sock size dpns is growing, I'm running out of room in the big holder for it all.

I'm going to try to finish up my second Crosswalker sock by the end of the weekend, and if I focus, that will be easily done. I'm casting on tonight, wish me luck with that :-p. With my current projects finished, I have used 900yds in March, bringing my YTD total to 3200yds.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I made some knitting project bags last night. I've been itching to sew lately, just too lazy to do it. I love how they turned out, and I love the fabric (bought off the remnant table at JoAnn). So while I'm still knitting my to-be-felted bag (still.. it's going to be huge!), I made a lot of progress on these. All three only took me about 3 hours, and it only took that long, because I screwed up the first one and had to rip stitches out and resew it all. Each bag is roughly 8" deep by 12" wide, making it great for a smaller project, socks, gloves, whatnot.

The outside, pretty fabric!
The inside of one, each inside looked different.
All three togetherAnd of course, a puppy.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Wrist Cuffs & Afghan Squares

Another short update. This weekend has been great for knitting, as the weather outside has been awful and leaving me wanting to spend all day in bed. I finished up another project for Julie, some sweatbands/wrist cuffs for her upcoming half marathon. These were made using up some scraps from a project I made for her a LONG time ago (keyhole scarf and convertible mitts), in KP's Shine (sport).

I made four, two of the single pattern and two of the double, and it only took me about an hour and a half total. Definitely not bad! I really liked how they turned out, and I really liked the pattern in general.. I think these would be great for a teenager in some funky colors. Overall, I'm estimating that these four wrist bands took up about 100yds of yarn.

This was the second afghan square completed for a KYS group project. It's the colors of the Russian flag, using spare acrylics/wool-ease that I had laying around. The woman we're making it for has adopted children from Russia, and when I first "met" her, we spent a lot of time talking about the Motherland and sharing photos.. so I thought it would be fun to make her an ode to that. Another 80 or so yards used up on this one, too, woot!

I also cast on today for my first felted project, a bag that I'm looking forward to. I will post photos when I have more then just the bottom of it done, hah. I'm anticipating it going quickly, because it seems like after knitting primarily socks for two months, EVERYTHING is going quickly.

These few projects bring my March totals to 440 yards, and my YTD totals to 2740yds. Awesome! The felted project will give me another 400+ yards, and I'm hoping to finish the second sock (of Julie's sock), which should tip me over 1000 yards for this month. Hopefully I can get through all of this by then :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Crosswalkers & Afghans

Just a quick update, as I have a ton of knitting I need to accomplish this weekend if I ever want to make progress with my projects.

First of all, I finished the first JULIE sock. It's the Crosswalkers pattern, using my own hand dyed yarn. It took FOREVER (or so it feels), on those teeny tiny little needles (even by sock standards), but it turned out really awesome. The only thing I"m not happy with is the cuff. It's standard 2x2 ribbing, but it's loose, really loose. I have noticed this with all my socks, so I'm considering trying out a 1x1 ribbing on my next pair to see if that helps the issue. I hand dyed 440 yards of yarn for this project, but am not going to use anywhere close to that, it seems. As best as I can figure, I used about 180yds on this one sock.

Secondly, I have been participating in a group afghan activity to help out someone in our group that is having some medical issues. I would say that it's also a good stashbusting project (which it is), but with the giant-log-cabin-afghan-of-doom looming on the horizon, I am clinging onto all of my acrylics. More about that later. Here is the first square, seamed up and ready to go!

It's from an improvised mitered pattern which consists of CO2 stitches, then increase 2st, every other row. It ends up looking like: kx,kfb,slip marker,kfb,kx.. but it's great because you never decrease (your "working" row is actually two sides), and you just bind off when it's the desired size. I'm using about 80 yards of yarn with each of these squares, and have the second one (and probably final for me) on the needles right now.

Both of these FOs bring my March total up to 260 yards, that brings my YTD total up to 2560.. and I used up another ball of yarn completely, which increase my YTD deduction to 6 full skeins (I think?). As for now, I'm going to head out and try to finish knitting up this square.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


My knitting objectives for this month have changed slightly. I'm still working on Julie's socks, however she has put in a request for several wrist bands to use while running. I found a really cool pattern (for free, woot), and I'm going to whip up a few this week for her and get them sent out. She's running a half marathon in a few weeks from now and will need them by then, so they are needing to be done ASAP. As a result, I'm finishing up the sock I'm working on (still the first, ugh) and going to put off the second sock for right now while I complete the wrist bands.

After that, hopefully by this weekend, I'm going to cast on for a KAL with a group on Ravelry, for my first felted project. At this point, I think I've decided on Angela's Fabulous Felted Bag, but haven't decided on what yarn to use yet. I have some Cascade 220 in a bright kelly green and "oyster", a creamy-grayish color.. the contract would be really pretty I think. But I also have some Brown Sheep Top of the Lamb in a sky blue and tealy-blue, which would also look nice. Hmmm.. can't decide. :)

AFTER THAT, hopefully by the weekend of the 20th, I want to finish Julie's other sock, start on something for myself (a hat? mitts? I'm not in a scarf mood right now). By the end of the month, I'm hoping to finish all of these projects, and start one more... a log cabin afghan.

I recently borrowed Mason-Dixon knitting from my local library. As I was browsing through it, my husband, who generally dislikes knit items and refuses to let me make anything for him (other than the one pair of socks I made last month), STOPPED me when I got to the page with the log cabin aghans and told me he wanted one. FOr a second I thought he was kidding, but it turns out he's not.. he actually wants one. Knitting an afghan has been a goal of mine for some time, but I feel that an afghan should truly be made up of leftover bits and pieces. When people purposely buy yarn for afghans, it doesn't feel the same to me as one made up of half a skein here, and 40 yds there, etc. My problem is that I'm currently in a cold sheep pattern, and although I have quite a bit of odd-ball stash that I would like to use up, I certainly do not have anywhere near enough for an afghan. This weekend I'm going to go through my stash and put all of my oddballs and left overs into a bag and evaluate from there what I can do. Just mentally going through my inventory, I think I'd have enough for MOST of the blanket, say 75-80% of it, I even have a TON of creamy-white that I could use as a main color (of sorts) for part of it. But I'm considering buying a few skeins of Caron Simply Soft in a dark color to tie the other half of it altogether. I'm thinking half in darks, half in lights, with the creamy-white being the MC for the light side and the simply soft being the MC for the dark side.. HMM! Like I said, I'll have to take inventory of what I have first and see if this is going to be feasible at this point. I certainly have enough projects for right now that I don't NEED to cast on for this, but the more my DH was pushing for it, the more I wanted to do it. Partially because I would really love a blanket like that, partially because I wanted to make one anyway and partially because he never asks for anything from me and it feels special to me to be able to make something for him.

We'll see. I have plenty of time to decide about the afghan.. it's going to take me awhile to get through all of this :)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Everlasting Bagstopper

As previously stated, I eeked in a finish to my Everlasting Bagstopper on the last day of the month, to bring my monthly yarn total to 1070 yards, and my 2009 total to 2300 yards. Woo! I love, love, LOVE this bag too! It makes me yearn for spring and the farmers market and fresh fruit stands and raspberries the size of my thumb. Mmmm.

The bag was knit with KP's CotLin (70% cotton, 30% linen), and took up about 1.75 skeins of the brown and about 3/4 of one skein of the green, totalling about 300 yards. I did not have a net deduction from my stash in February, for previously stated reasons (my sock yarn binge at the beginning of the month), but I'm very committed for the rest of March. I have one exception for the month of April, when I visit the local Alpaca farm, but other than that I'm staying clean from buying anything unless absolutely 100% necessary. I've discovered that since my yarn binge last month, I have ran out of room in my stash area. I'm considering taking half of my sewing stash area, that is currently unused, and putting my knitting stuff in it just to get it out of the way. I currently have a giant bag sitting inside my laundry hamper that is full of yarn.

Anyway, I am currently knitting a pair of Crosswalker socks for Julie, out of the hand dyed stuff I whipped up last month. The colors are turning out awesome so far, and I'm really happy with it. I am hoping to finish these up within a week or so, but on size 2 needles, they're slow going. Plus I'm constantly afraid that I'm going to snap the needles in half. So tiny.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

March Goals

Well I have pictures of new FOs to share, but since I don't have them uploaded right now, I'll post this for the time being. First are my February goals, revisited.

February goals:

- Dye worsted weight yarn (220 yds), in green/blue/purple -- should be doing this tonight
- Finish Scott's socks, 1 down and 1 to go
- Start (and finish) Julie's socks

2009 goals:
- Knit myself a scarf, hat and gloves before winter
- Knit 10000 yds of yarn
- Do not buy any new yarn except under certain conditions (running out of yarn during a project, having an emergency of sorts where I NEED a certain kind of yarn), going forward, except in April at the alpaca farm and once this summer/fall.

I did dye the yarn I needed to, I did finish Scott's socks, I did CO Julie's socks, but got sidetracked making an Everlasting Bagstopper instead. As far as year-long goals, well.. I have some work to do. I haven't started with knitting myself anything for next winter.. and I bought yarn this week. After a trip to my LYS, I spent nearly an hour in there petting everything and walked out with a single skein of Crystal Palace Fizz, for kitchy x-mas trees. A pattern that I found recently and want to make this year. I still feel like my commitment is strong, because although I was SEVERELY tempted to buy a lot more yarn (it was pay day, afterall), I bought only what I knew I was going to use, with a pattern in mind.

My February yardage ended up at 1070 yards, which brings my 2009 total to 2300 yards! If I continue with this pace, I will not only hit my 2009 goal for 10,000 yards, but beat it by a significant margin. Yay! :) In February I knit:

- 1 cowl (Cherry Garcia)
- my first pair of socks!
- 2 dishcloths
- a pair of house socks for hubby
- 1 market bag (Everlasting Bagstopper)

Here are my March goals that I will revisit at the end of the month.

March Goals:
- Finish Julie's socks
- Complete at least 1 charity item
- Knit at least one thing for myself

2009 goals:
- Knit myself a scarf, hat and gloves before winter
- Knit 10000 yds of yarn
- Do not buy any new yarn except under certain conditions (running out of yarn during a project, having an emergency of sorts where I NEED a certain kind of yarn), going forward, except in April at the alpaca farm and once this summer/fall.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

First dyeing attempts and man socks!

I have a few things to share today, as I've been keeping myself fairly busy with all things related to fiber. I've picked up a bit of crud (a cold, flu? who knows) and have been feeling out of it, but trying to keep my mind focused so I don't let it creep in. It's been sunny here and we're getting those lovely February previews of spring before it goes grey and rainy for another four months.

Last week I tried my first attempts at dyeing yarn and so far, so good! These are what I've been doing this past week...

440yds of sock yard, specially requested by Julie..

this one feels very springy to me!
this is 220 yards of sock yarn that I had originally just wanted to dye a dark blue.. but the color failed the first time around, so I overdyed half with bright red and got a red ranging from a deep merlot to normal bright red.

In addition to that, I've also been knitting quite a bit. I finished my socks (previous entry), then started on a pair for Scott. I finished those last night and he has been wearing them almost constantly since (I guess I did okay!). He has GIANT feet, so they look a little longer then I was expecting, but oh well.

He has size 12.5 feet, so I made these to fit size 13.5, they're supposed to be "house socks", so big and comfy and squishy. They're made out of Woolease (from stash) in an olive green and black. They took up 260 yds of yarn, bringing my monthly total to 770 yards (boo!), and 2009 total to 2000 yards (yay!). If I can get Julie's socks done by next weekend, that will get me another 300 yards or so, which I would like. We'll see. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


After previously committing to certain knitting goals both on this journal, and to myself, I have thus far failed them miserably. I was attempting to go "cold sheep", and not buy any new yarn from Jan 1 to April when I visit our local alpaca farm. That was before I knit socks. I broke down last week and bought 30+ skeins of sock yarn, which threw my goal in the garbage. However, today I'm recommitting to my goals and actually setting them, instead of just throwing the idea about. I'm going to try really hard to follow these.

February goals:
- Dye worsted weight yarn (220 yds), in green/blue/purple -- should be doing this tonight
- Finish Scott's socks, 1 down and 1 to go
- Start (and finish) Julie's socks

2009 goals:
- Knit myself a scarf, hat and gloves before winter
- Knit 10000 yds of yarn
- Do not buy any new yarn except under certain conditions (running out of yarn during a project, having an emergency of sorts where I NEED a certain kind of yarn), going forward, except in April at the alpaca farm and once this summer/fall.

I should have my February goals done by early next week (hopefully). I'm interested to knit with my hand dyed yarn and see how it comes out. If my math is correct, it SHOULD be self striping every two rounds or so. I did a test swatch and it came out like that, but we'll see, I guess. I will attempt to update this goal list every month and keep it current. So that's it for now :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I'm in the middle of dyeing sock yarn for Julie's soon-to-be-socks, so I don't have a lot of time, but wanted to share my first socks!

They were done in KP Simple Stripes, and only took about 300 yards (which brings my February totals up to 510 yards and my yearly total to 1740, woot!). I followed an online tutorial to help me get through the pattern. I also started some house socks for my husband last night, but they aren't in sock yarn, they're made with Wool-Ease (in dk green and black) and will run about 260 yards for a pair. He has large feet. ANYWAY! Yay, socks! :) I'm hooked.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


I completed my second dishcloth last night. I had some kitchen cotton laying around so I decided to whip a set up.. I've never knit dishcloths before, but I used the "Grandmother's Favorite" pattern, which was insanely easy, and each one took about 2-3 hours from cast on to bind off.

Two clothes took up almost an entire skein of yarn, I have about 10 yards left over.. so not a whole lot. Scott was actually kind of excited to have home made dishcloths around, so I'm sure I'll make more in the future. This project brought my February total of yarn used up to 210 yards (in five days!) and my year to date total to 1440 yards. Woohoo!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Puppy Day Cowl

Wait no longer, for it is the Puppy Day Cowl! It is from the pattern named "Cherry Garcia", and I it. It's made from Manos del Uruguay 100% wool, and is absolutely the loveliest yarn I've ever knit with. I have about 50 yards left over and have no idea what to do with it that would be good enough to honor this gorgeous yarn. Sigh.

That's all I have for now. I'm casting on some cute dishcloths tonight, just going to make a few to get rid of some of the kitchen cotton I have laying around. So far in February I've used 110 yards of yarn!

Sunday, February 01, 2009


I need to write a detailed post with photos of my beautiful Puppy Day Cowl, but that will have to wait because bed time is fast approaching. In the month of January I did the following:

- 1 pair of mittens
- 3 hats (for charity)
- 7 toe covers

Which totaled about 1230 yards. I only actually used up one skein of yarn, but the yardage itself I was quite proud of! I'm interested to see how much I actually knit in a year, and am aiming for 10 miles.. which if I continue at this pace, is definitely achievable! To knit 10 miles, I have to knit about 1500 yards a month on average. Hmm. For February, I already have 80 yards done, and am hoping to finish a few more things for myself (namely a hat and some fingerless mitts) and make a scarf for my mom out of some gorgeous Ella Rae Shibu that I got in a trade recently. I also want to make a few more charity hats and use up some of the really soft Bernat Satin hanging out in my stash.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Toe Covers, Finished!

I finally finished all seven of the toe covers (for casts), for my MIL. Yay! I actually finished yesterday and sent them out today Priority, so hopefully she gets them in the next few days. We sent her some beautiful purple flowers earlier this week and she got them on Monday or Tuesday, and said she loved them... so that's good. Each of these toe covers were double stranded worsted weight yarn on size 8 needles, so they're thick and warm. Also, each took up 90 yards of yarn due to the double stranding. That means my current yarn total is up to 1230 yards for 2009 used. Woohoo!

I'm casting on tonight my next project, and it's going to be for me. A cowl made with the gorgeous Manos dark blue yarn I recently got through a trade. It's beautiful and I love it already. It's also the first thing I've knit for myself since I really started knitting, so I'm anticipating it a lot. I've made so much for others these years, and nothing for me. Boo to that! I may try to adapt the pattern to be in-the-round because I don't currently have any 10.5 needles and dislike using circs as regular needles.. plus it's less finishing to do this way.. haha. The pattern seems to be easily adapted, hmm.. the worst that happens is that it's a little different looking then the pattern. But who cares? It's MY cowl! We'll see. I might try it out and frog it if it's really awful looking, otherwise I'll stop tomorrow and get some new needles.

One last note before I head off to knit.. today is the one year anniversary of the day we adopted Kira. I can't imagine what my life would be like without her, and don't even want to try. I love you, Kira!