It has been since I last bought yarn!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Winter Mode

Let's cut to the chase today- since you've waited patiently for an update...

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The blanket is progressing!  It's currently at 23 inches in length.  The knitting part is still engaging to me and overall I'm happy with the progress.  It is doing the "cable suckage" thing a fair bit... meaning the cables are pulling it in considerably.  BUT I think that should sort itself out with some blocking.  HARD deadline on this is early March... since my mother could save me $$$ in shipping and deliver it in person with her planned visit.  Plus I'm gonna be ready for something new by then.  But this is a great pattern to knit and look at how everything just POPS off the blanket.

You've probably noticed I've been quiet.  We've been in full blown winter mode- trying to make the most of colder temps and the good snow.  The weekends are for skiing right now- it usually means I'm so tired at the end of the day I can't eek out any progress.  Weekdays are busy and rows don't collect as quickly as they used to.

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I'm still gonna blog.  I'm still going to drop by here and tell you what I'm up to and what I'm working on... BUT I'm putting less stress on the update and more on the actual progress.  So instead of coming up with blog posts where there isn't much to say other than "still working on it"- I'm just gonna work on it.  I hope that's okay.

I'm not participating in the Olympic knitting this year... although I'm hoping that I will get a lot of knitting done while we watch.  I'm looking forward to watching the Olympics with my son and cheering for team Canada.  I also hope it motivates his skiing even further (he is doing so great!)- and he's excited to cheer for his country.

So there's where I'm at right now.  Maybe something new soon... a little girl is on her way (NOT ME) and I have an idea...

Sunday, January 14, 2018

New Year... Same Delays

GAH.  It is January 14th!  I had every intention on getting a blog out in the first week... but life... life is busy.

The big news is I hit a round number birthday... hello 40. 

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We decided that 40 needed to be celebrated, which meant a party.  That in itself isn't the problem... it's that we also felt that we needed to tackle about 900 procrastinated household chores in order to prepare the house for said party.  Needless to say- the house has never been so clean!  (Honestly that is almost like the gift there... so happy to have so much done!)  BUT- the knitting progress obviously has suffered.

Good news- this week there are no parties or really outstanding "time suck" plans and I'm hoping to get in a lot of knitting.  I really need to.

Why?

It is a long story - but the simplified version is that my cousin had a baby... a surprise to everyone.  Including her.  I know.  We're all still processing that one.  At least I can process AND knit!  Yarn was very quickly procured and say hello to "Little Boy Blue"- which is quite enjoyable so far.

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The cables on this are delightfully puffy.  The lack of notice on this forced me to decide quickly and right now I'm actually really enjoying this knit... when I can actually do it.  I would love to have it done and out the door by mid Feb.

This unexpected baby announcement has forced everything else into the background for the most part.  I bought some yarn and a fluffly pom pom over Christmas in order to make a big chunky puffy hat....

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.... but who knows when that's going to happen?

I've also cast on a "travel sock" and have been getting a few rows in as I wait for school to be finished.  (YAY back to school!!)  [Pattern is "Vanilla Latte Socks" for you Rav searchers.]

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Also added to the "to knit" list for this year was another baby blanket... thanks to a friend's announcement.  Thankfully I still have until the end of July to make this one.  I have some ideas floating around in my brain but that will need to marinate for awhile.  I also want to revisit last year's goals (and stash) and re-evaluate where I'm at and set some new goals... so hopefully that will be up here soon.

But- in the mean time.  HAPPY NEW YEAR.  There is a lot to come and right now I'm feeling that knitting mojo- hope it meas a more productive year on the needles with some exciting projects to show you here.  Thanks for sticking with me and waiting out the brief hiatus.  I'm BACK and I have BIG plans!  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

All I Want For Christmas...

(To the Tune of "All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth")

Everybody stops and comments on my blog
My knitting mojo is quite a slog
I don't know who just to blame for this catastrophe
But my one wish on Christmas Eve is as plan as can be....
All I want for Christmas is my Mojo Back
My mojo back
See my knitting mojo back
Gee, if I could only have my mojo back
Then I could knit you a "Merry Christmas"

It seems so long since I could say
"Mommy is making many mittens"
Gosh, oh gee, how happy I'd be if I could only finish (something)

All I want for Christmas is my mojo back
My Mojo back
See my knitting mojo back
Gee, if I could only have my mojo back
Then I could knit you a "Merry Christmas"
It seems so long since I could say
"Lookie here what I am knitting!"
Gosh, oh gee, how happy I'd be, if I could only finish (something)

All I want for Christmas is my Mojo Back
My mojo back
See my knitting mojo back
Gee, if I could only have my mojo back
Then I could knit you a "Merry Christmas"

Oh.... also I think the kid wants a couple of teeth too....

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Merry Christmas faithful blog readers... 'tis the season for being busy... but I did I have something to show you!  Guess what was finished ON TIME to be gifted on the 21st?

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Pattern: Cuff is "Elise" by Johanne Landin and the rest of the mitten is "Nordic Style Mitten #2" by Shona Smith
Yarn: Cascade Yarn 200 Superwash Merino in "1" and "42"
Needles: US 3
Notes: I added a more detailed cuff from the Elise mitten and also a Latvian braid to spice this pattern up a bit.  Satisfying knit- would very much recommend the pattern.  

These ended up looking pretty great... so hat tip to me!

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In total I had five pairs ready to gift this year (whew) but ultimately decided to hold the cable mittens back... worried someone would get missed, so I kept it to just teachers this time.

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That's a whole bunch of mittens!


Now that the mittens are done... there are new, small, projects to indulge me for those lovely lazy days between Christmas and New Years where you find yourself being exceedingly lazy and time seems to be on your side for a change.  But we will discuss those on another day... 


In the mean time- HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Hoping all of our 2018's are productive ones!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas Squeaker

Let's get it done right out the gate today- I have another finished mitten to show off!

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Pattern: Zimushka by Olga Beckmann
Yarn: Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted in 112 "Moonstone"
Needles: US 3
Notes: Lovely pattern and quite like how the cables decrease when it come to narrowing the hand. However- I found the mitten quite tight.  Next time I would go up a needle size... maybe even 2.

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Because these knit up tightly (which thankfully stretched a bit after a wash) I'm a little concerned they can't really be gifted to anyone who doesn't have tiny hands.  So sister may find these in her stocking this year... just by default!  (I'm such a thoughtful gifter... haha)

Progress on the other mitten started quite strong.... but has fizzled.

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For some reason I cannot motivate myself to finish up.  Nevermind that I have 8 days until I need to present this as a gift... 😵.. I'm having a hard time just sitting and knitting.  I forsee a few frantic nights in my future as I try to make up some lost time.

My days are busier than I'd like right now... with a million Christmas errands that need to be run- but I'm hoping Friday the weather is supposed to be somewhat "frightful" and I can potentially convince the kid a Christmas movie marathon is in order... while mommy knits like a speed demon!

To get you feeling "in the spirit" I leave you with this pic of my very excited kid meeting Santa.  There's a rumour at school that Santa "isn't real".  I know that it's going to happen at some point and I also have a bright and logical kid who is asking a lot of questions.  So, I'll enjoy this picture of him and "not the real Santa" as he informed me after.  {The Santa at the husband's Christmas party was deemed "the real deal" though... so am hoping that we get some mileage there.}

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Wish me luck guys... I'm gonna need it this week!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Squeaker

I seem to always forget that Halloween-Christmas are my insanely busy months.  I had intended to post yesterday but there is only 24 hours in a day... and I could use about 36 in order to get everything done I want/need to.  Intentions are all well and good... but they're not substitute for an actual accomplishments.

I started November with some lofty goals.  2 faire isle mittens and one plain mitten.  To put it bluntly- I didn't get there.  I got close-ish?

I'm just barely squeaking by but fresh off the presses (and still a little damp in these photos 😕) are the sexily named "NORDIC STYLE #3" mittens.

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Pattern: Nordic Style Mittens (#3) by Shona Smith 
Yarn: Cascade Yarn 220 8505 (White) & Diamond Luxury Pure Wool Superwash 930 (blue)
Needles: US 2.5
Notes: I don't really have much to add to this, except to compliment the pattern designer who wrote a very concise pattern.  So good... might do it again!

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Faire Isle mitten #2- I've got nothing. Hoping to cast on something tonight and eek them out prior to school being done on the 21st.  Wish me luck... and a change in time to 36 hours a day.

The Zimushka mittens are close.... they just need thumbs.

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I'm hoping to have these done by the end of the weekend.  These need some serious blocking.  If I were to knit these again I would go up a needle size.  These fit my hands (which are small) but they are tight.  I'm not sure I'm going to gift them to anyone other than my sister... who has teeeeeny tiiiiiiiiiny hands.  We'll see what happens after blocking.  They're good looking though!

And that's where we're at today.  I'd really like these mittens done because I want to move along to some easier projects... but gifts first.  Hopefully I'll have some good news to report soon!  Let's do this December!




Tuesday, November 14, 2017

"Hey Let's Knit Mittens!" she says

"Hey let's all knit mittens" I ambitiously said at the beginning of the month, totally ignoring the fact that we were planning a trip away, Parker was off school for a week and that his birthday would be consuming precious hours of my time.

oops.

There's progress.... there just isn't the progress that I was hoping to show you.  I may be a little ambitious on my goals... but we forge ahead.  The Nordic style mitten is actually looking fairly promising for a November finish... we got here yesterday, a large part thanks to my MiL who offered to occupy the child for the afternoon.

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Worsted mittens are so satisfying... once you get past the thumb they practically knit themselves!

Zimushka (which is appropriate right now since my audiobook is about Russia and the Romanov family) mittens are also slowly coming to form.  I'm hoping they will move along much quicker once I have some time to do some parking lot knitting while I wait for Parker's school to be out.

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I had hoped that I would have a complete pair at this point... but instead....

We were San Francisco-ing...

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Birthday Celebrating...

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and Kitty snuggling.... (He is not cuddly but lately he can't get enough of being on my lap on a quiet afternoon.  It is glorious to have a cat to snuggle but so so so so SO bad on productivity.)

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But fear not... all of these distractions (minus an impending birthday party and random kitty snuggles) are behind us and I look forward to the remainder of the month.  I am hopeful at least I will have 2 pairs of mittens to speak of on Nov 30... with maybe more if I can still grind out some time.

Further motivating me is my desire to knit a hat and mittens for myself, which I will not even entertain until I am certain that I have an adequate number of mitten gifts to hand out to teachers.  It's going to be busy around here- so let's grind out some mittens!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Mitten Month is NOW- NaMiKnitMo

It's November 1 and, as promised, I am ready for a mitten knitting marathon!  I MUST knit 2 pairs of stranded mittens and at least one pair of regular mittens this month.  In all cases I really want to keep it to stash yarn and bust that down at the same time.  JOIN ME will you?  I've dubbed it NaMiKnitMo (National Mitten Knitting Month).

The "at home" mitten project is cast on and ready to begin.  Say hello to the sexily named- Nordic Style Mittens- stranded project #1.  (Worsted is my new jam baby!)

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My "on the go" project is the Zimushka Mittens.  (LOVE the name of these!)

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Both projects are using up stash yarn and I'm hoping that once I really take off on these they'll basically knit themselves right up.

BUT WAIT... weren't you going to finish up some stuff too?  Well.... yes so glad you asked.

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Pattern: Maudie by General Hogbuffer
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in colorway 1267
Needles: US 1.5
Notes: I did the cast on of 76 stitches.  General Hogbuffer knows their way around a sock.  Not only do their patterns produce incredibly satisfying and beautiful results, the instructions are TOP NOTCH.  This pattern looks complicated but is not... and I love stuff like that.

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These socks are STUNNERS.

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And the sweater.... the sweater is not done.  Progress was made but as the Halloween date approached life just got busier and I found myself with less time to devote to seaming.  (To be totally honest- I also had less motivation... I hate seaming.)

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(So. Many. Ends. To. Weave. In.)

I've made an agreement with myself that this sweater must not be in a "to be seamed" pile at the end of the year.  Before the close of 2017 this sweater will be DONE.  It just will sit back for a bit while I complete the mitten Marathon.

Speaking of Halloween... would you like to see us this year?

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(Star Wars is still a very big thing here- and so when you let your kid choose the costumes, you risk duplicate themes.  Darth Vader, Luke & Leia say hi!... also let's discuss how HUGE my big kid is getting!)

November is kicking off to a great start and it's even SNOWING... which is the perfect inspiration to knit.  How many mittens do you guys think I'll do this month? 

Monday, October 23, 2017

We're Talking About Progress!

GUYS- let's just cut to the chase because it's been so long.... A FINISHED THING FOR US ALL TO BEHOLD!

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Pattern: Dreams of Granada Baby Blanket by Triona Murphy
Yarn: Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted in 112 Moonstone (Guys! Stash! Yarn! Go me!)
Needle: US 8
Notes: None of the notes on Ravelry are lying to you... this cast on is a bit of a bear.  It's 480 stitches.  FOUR! HUNDRED! EIGHTY!  It's also really REALLY hard not to twist.  I highly recommend heeding the advice of everyone on Ravelry (that I plain ignored at first, but ultimately followed), knit the first few garter rows and then try to join in the round.  It's much easier not to twist.

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It's a lovely pattern really.  Once you get into the actual knitting part of it, it isn't all that hard.  I will also note that it does puff up a bit in the middle in the second cable section.  It blocks out flat- so don't lose faith, but it does make it a bit more high maintenance for the poor mom washing this thing cuz she's going to have to lie it flat dry.  Maybe I'll just tell the recipient to drop it off to me and I'll wash it and re-block it for her... all the time.  haha.

Still... despite the plumping, it is a really pretty blanket and OH so clever for the rows to get shorter and shorter.  There is no more glorious moment than when you remove the second circular add on because you don't need it anymore and just have enough stitches for one cable.  It's glorious.

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I've also got a whole sweater... in pieces that I'm ready to contend with.  I must admit I've gone from
"KNIT THIS ALL THE TIME" on this project to feeling rather blase on the whole "sew this up" now.  I just need to dig in and do it... hoping that deadline I set for myself inspires me to another thing for the finished column.  After all... NaMiKnitMo approaches!

Don't worry about the sock- there isn't enough progress to actually take the time to snap a photo of it, but it is also getting some love- and I'm hoping it sees itself off the needles soon too.  My October distractions have kicked in, (Oh there IS stuff to do for Halloween afterall and Parker's birthday party also needs some attention...) but I'm still plugging away.  Stitch by stitch we'll get there.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fall Motivation

It is Oct 15th.  It is Oct 15th and I don't have a firm grip on our Halloween costume situation this year.  Every October is usually a "write off" for me... trying to get Halloween cased.  This year?  MEGA Lazy.  This is slightly because the child wants to do Star Wars again, despite husband and I desperately trying to point him in another direction.  And so, the costumes for us aren't tricky to do- and, (mom willing), Parker's idea shouldn't be too tricky either.  Mom and I will visit Fabricland tomorrow and hopefully have it all sorted by the end of the day.

Without Halloween as a usual distraction- I have more time to focus on my other projects at hand... specifically my big blue sweater.

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It's starting to look like a real live sweater isn't it?  I've got the right front ready to go next, just need to cast on and get knitting... which will hopefully happen after this post.  I'm hoping potentially by the end of this week to actually start sewing it up!

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Pile 'O Sweater Pieces!

I've even given Maudie some love and have finally turned the heel and begun the foot!

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What I haven't done and need to do, is block the Grenada Blanket.  I'm slooooooow on that front.  I have the blocking board but the motivation hasn't been there.  It needs to get there.  Come on motivation!

I've decided to make a goal for October in order to motivate myself to a finish.  By October 31 I want to be DONE the sweater, the socks AND the blanket.  It's ambitious but not unmanageable.  It would also free up my brain for November.  A lot of people participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November.  I'm declaring it NaMiKnitMo- National Mitten Knitting Month!  Specifically, I'd like to knit FOUR pairs.  I'd really like to go into December feeling indulgent in my knitting.  BUT, it means that I have to knit up four mittens prior to that.  Anyone want to set their own November Mitten knitting goal and join me!?

As hard as it is to say goodbye to summer, I'm enjoying all of this fall motivation and knitting desire!  See you with some finished items (hopefully) soon!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Rolling With It

Great news- (but not if you are the one of many things like dishes and laundry in my house), my desire to knit over anything else continues at a great pace.  "Oh there's laundry to do?  Maybe tomorrow I really want to finish this sleeve."  "Oh I should go through Parker's closets and get rid of things he doesn't fit anymore and clean out the winter gear?   NOPE... knitting instead."  "Work out twice a week like you said you would after Parker went back to school?  NO- that takes up valuable knit time!"  I am a woman posessed and quite frankly... I'm just rolling with it.  (I am going once a week to my Barre workout lest you worry about my well being...)

The grey baby blanket went from 450 stitches to EIGHT and is now off the needles!

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Ends need to be sewn in and lordy does thing need a good blocking... but we're getting there.  I am concerned that the level of blocking required isn't conducive to gifting an "easy to care for blanket" but I might be too far along at this point to care.  Baby isn't due until mid November, I could potentially eek out something simple-ish.

And, as I confessed last week I am wholly consumed with knitting the giant sweater.  It is all I want to do.  I've been using it as "reward" knitting.  You want to knit a sleeve?  FIRST Cast off of the blanket!  You want to do the other sleeve?  I think that Maudie sock needs it's heel turned first!

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I've done the extensive math on adjusting my gauge for the sweater and am in the process of figuring out how many stitches I need to add in order to take it to my knees.  (Answer: a lot... )  But so far progress is moving along swimmingly.  I've already told myself that once the back is knit (currently in progress) I need to stop for another worsted mitten... and then will use the sweater as a bribe to get the mitten done. 

It helps that it has snowed already.  The weather has been either unusually warm or quite chilly.  But I don't know... maybe just giving the mojo the space it needed to return was the key.  I don't know what the key is... and I'd take the time to figure it out... but it cuts into my knitting time... which we just can't have right now.

I'm off to KNIT! ALL! THE! THINGS!