It has been since I last bought yarn!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Yarn Love Challenge Week 3

Aaaaaand the challenge continues!

Day 13: Selfie


Day 14:Yarn Love ♥
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Day 15: Family


Day 16: Happy Color


Day 17: Fiber Friends


Day 18: Gratitude


Day 19: On the Go


Day 20: Handmade Home



Sunday, February 12, 2017

Yarn Love Challenge Week 2

The yarn love challenge on Instagram continues and so do my posts... here's what I posted since my last update:

Day 6: Mistakes
"Mistakes"- oh god so many.  I frequently find that I have knit the same hand twice far too late in a mitten.  I knit THREE (thinking I would just knit 2 pairs) of the same hand once and had to rip back a whole mitten. *sobs*. The mistake is obvious to the eye on the grey blanket- but I only discovered it as I was GIFTING to it someone. 🙀 That purple stripe blanket nearly damn well killed me.  After a long hiatus I began knitting furiously on it... only to discover I had knit 10 inches incorrectly in pattern.  I had woven in the ends already!  My mother in law (knowing the mistake would drive me nuts) painstakingly ripped out all the woven ends and frogged the ten inches for me.  It was likely the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me.  #yarnlovechallenge #yarnlovechallengeday6 #mistakes #payattentiondammit
A photo posted by jajjen (@jajjen) on


Day 7: Stripes




Day 8: Where I Craft


Day 9: Tools


Day 10: Oldest Stash


Day 11: Travel Projects


Day 12: Progress

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Yarn Love Challenge Week 1

Blog posts have been light while I've found myself busy, tired and distracted from knitting again.  We've been going skiing a lot... which isn't a bad thing, but the exhaustion at the end of the day usually means I'm sleeping 10 minutes after my kid is.  It's not a bad thing, and I'm glad we've been capitalizing on "winter fun" but I've been feeling frustrated that there really isn't any time left for knitting at the end of the day.

Enter Instagram.

I noticed early this week that a knitting Instagram challenge had been issued... where you take a picture every day related to the chosen theme.

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Deciding it was a great way to connect with other knitters and get myself back into progressing- I jumped in.  AND BLAMMO- I'm re-invigorated to keep working on my projects again!  It was such a great idea that I thought I'd repost my posts here, so those of you NOT on Instagram can also follow along.

Day 1: "Introductions"



Day 2: "Close-Up"
A photo posted by jajjen (@jajjen) on



Day 3: "Currently Making"



Day 4: "Speed"



Day 5: "Community"
A photo posted by jajjen (@jajjen) on



I'll update the posts every 5 days or so that you can follow along on this challenge.  What a great way to get me knitting AND getting me blogging!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Quickie

I thought I'd stop in and spend a moment updating you on the blanket which is nearly double in size from the last time I posted.

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It's looking quite nice- although I've had to start measuring and deciding how long I want this to be.  Thinking 2 more repeats with an extra brown stripe will make the blanket too short at roughly 31 inches.  (Although it would be more esthetically appealing to the eye.)  3 repeats is probably the right length call but I would need to figure the order of the various blues, because I like consistency.

I will also admit I've hit a certain amount of "sigh" when it comes to this project and my brain is counting the minutes until it can focus on more appealing projects.  Hang in there self!  Get it done!!!

In the mean time... back to the grind!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Return of the Mojo

Well... it seems that little undesired knitting sabbatical I was on has come to an end.  I WANT TO KNIT ALL THE THINGS.  ALL OF THEM.  NOW.  My desire to work through the stash has me desiring to keep whipping things off the needles... which bodes well for current projects.

(I try to keep myself to 1, sometimes 2 "in progress" projects at a time.  I find if I have too many unfinished things on the needles I get stressed out.  Since this is technically supposed to be something I enjoy doing {most days} it's best to not stress me out.  Hence you don't often see more than 1 or 2 things going at a time around here.)

I'm loving the latest little scrappy blanket.

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Simple and knits up fast, although I am worried that it might be a bit short in length.  It's always hard to say.  I cast on 220 stitches, but the SK2tog, PSSO might be "scrunching" it up a bit.  Same little rules as always- after a full round of color repeat, I need to weave in the ends, so that I don't feel suicidal at the end of the blanket.  My hate for end weaving in knows no limits.  I will admit I have some concerns about having enough to be consistent in my color changes, but I'll worry about that as it comes.

Getting Parker back into his routine has meant 2 things... his activities allow me more "portable project" time and more time to knit in general while he's at school.  The socks have been seeing this benefit lately...

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Remember I want to knit TWO more simple socks this year... so these need to get done.

This is all well and good- my desire to sit and knit is back and I'm doing just that... but my Knitting ADD has also returned and I find myself with all kinds of desires to knit all kinds of things.  And so, because I always need to remind myself, knitting is FUN, I'm allowed a little "side" project once these two other projects are off the needles... before getting back to the "to do" list.

Okay- must finish this up and take advantage of my child-free knitting hours!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Positive Momentum

I knew it!  I knew it!  Last week's little project in updating myself on the stash situation and setting some specific goals regarding gettting stuff out WORKED.  That seemed to be just the "kick" I needed and this week we have seen KNITTING progress.  YES.  ACTUAL. KNITTING PROGRESS.  Mojo may have returned!

I decided to just get one of those dish cloths out of the way right away...

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Pattern: Ballband Dishcloth by Peaches and Cream Design Team
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton**
Needles: US 7
Notes: I'm not sure anything new could be said about this pattern- it's the bees knees!  I love it.  I'll likely knit 2 more of these.  There are so many colorful options to be had and it always looks smart when it's done.

I also worked on the travel sock for a bit just to keep that going and I ended up actually finishing the first sock.  (I took a picture before that... so this will have to suffice.)

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I even cast on sock #2 just to keep momentum going in a positive way!

AND- I put together a grouping of sock leftovers and even cast on another little leftover sock yarn blanket!

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HOLY PRODUCTIVITY BATMAN!  It feels good to be knitting again!

So now that you're updated about what's on my needles I need to show you what my husband arranged for me for my birthday this last week....

WOLLMEISE CAKE!  And oh people... it was yum.

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(No... none of us understand why they didn't center the picture... but the cake was delicious!)

OH and look at my Christmas gift from my Mother in Law!

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How did I not know about a knitting coloring book!?  Yeesh!  I'm out of touch!  (Can't wait to color in it...  (I love that it has KITTIES and Yarn!)

January is off to a good start...  hoping to continue with positive momentum.


**I'm not even going to link to this yarn because it is terrible!  While cotton in general isn't usually "fun" to knit with, this stuff is scented.  WHO DECIDED THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA!?  I had a headache like 4 rows into this thing!  It is TERRIBLE and I will never buy it again.  UGH.  Scented yarn is such a bad idea.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Let's Talk About My Yarn!

Happy New Year!  As predicted, the flurry of the Christmas season caught up with me and I had a difficult time carving enough space out for blog posts... let alone anything else.  Also, if I'm being really honest here... I am in a pretty nasty knitting slump.

Maybe it's because I'm creating my own pattern and there are just nights "I don't wanna".  Or maybe it's because there have been other stressful factors lately and I just find myself unable to motivate to do anything other than "get thru it", I'm not sure.  I do know that this is probably one of the longest stretches of "knitting slump" I've been in and that I'm not sure I'm entirely past it.  The good news is that I'm tired of being in it.  I actually miss knitting.  I can't bring myself to actually KNIT- but I miss the process and the excitement of starting something new.

I noticed on Ravelry this am that people were "flashing their stash" to start the new year.  I haven't  participated in that in quite awhile and I decided to take advantage of a bright morning in my living room and snap some photos of my stash.  I also hoped that it would inspire me a little to be reminded about what's in there and maybe, just maybe, excite me about a new project.

Let's dive in- here is what's in my stash on January 1, 2017.  (I've broken it down into sections- in the effort to get me more organized.)  Maybe we can set some knitting goals here too...

ACRYLIC STASH (OF SHAME):

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This is actually quite a bit smaller than it has been in other years.  The truth is for a non-knitter, sometimes an acylic blanket is soft and just what they want.  I'm not going to feel badly about that.  My goal here is to get those "Pound of Love" skeins (large pink & white skeins) out of my stash.  I'd like to knit other variations on the "Baby Heart Blanket" that I've knit twice already.  The other skeins can be for the oddball group if I feel so inspired... but for now- those big skeins need to go.

COTTON STASH

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This is where this exercise comes in handy... because I was all "WHAT- WHY DO I HAVE SO MUCH COTTON!?"  This stash is made up of so many leftovers and it's time to whittle it down.  And so, with that in mind- the goal is to knit 3- yes THREE dish clothes this year.  Doesn't matter what I make... I just have to make 'em.

WORSTED WEIGHT STASH

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This actually isn't that bad.  The only goal here is remember I have this stash in case I need to knit a baby blanket.  (Looking at you GREY ROWAN YARN.)  Someday I'd like to knit a large afghan with that purple stuff, but I'm not ready to commit to that this year... so as long as this stash doesn't GROW... I'm happy.)

DK/SPORT WEIGHT STASH

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GAH... this is out of control and I don't know even where to start here.  That giant yarn skein was a sweater I had started... and then abandoned.  I might pick it back up again, but I feel my commitment waning on that idea.  I need to remember the Red/Navy Mission Hill yarns in here when it comes time to knit blankets.  The only goal I can wrap my head around here is to knit SOMETHING by June out of this stash.  Something.  Anything.  JUST GET IT OUT OF HERE.

FINGERING WEIGHT STASH

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Oh Lord.  WHAT HAVE I DONE!?  I didn't know I had gotten so carried away on Knit Picks Felici until I did this project.

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Goal #1- NO MORE BUYING FELICI until at least FOUR BALLS are knit up.  (This will be hard- Phyllis I expect you to be very strict with me on this.)  Goal #2- KNIT 2 PLAIN/RELATIVELY PLAIN socks from the Felici this year.  Beyond that, I love that purple gradiant kit a WHOLE bunch... and I need to devise a plan, at some point that maximizes the beauty of that.  Plus the Wollmeise... which is languishing.... and needs some love.  But I try to set realistic goals.... 2 Felici socks this year... OR ELSE.

LACE WEIGHT STASH


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Okay- this isn't bad, like at all.  But the fact that I have started/stopped/restarted/restopped/restarted/stopped various lace projects with this one skein... I'm a disaster.  I need to knit a lace shawl.  If I ever want to win a "First overall" at Stampede, I need to be able to knit a kick ass shawl.  I need to learn this.  I need to do this... but I'm going to let this languish a little bit for at least another year...

LEFTOVERS.... Which I have broken down into 2 additional categories...

FINGERING WEIGHT LEFTOVERS

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So. MUCH. STUFF.  The problem here is mittens.  Mittens rarely take up a whole skein and leave me with a bunch of leftovers.  The good news is that Parker is likely going to pass Kindergarten and therefore I will need to knit at least ONE pair of mittens for a new teacher for Christmas this new year.  I vow to knit those using something from here.  I also need to get around to making a "leftover blanket" from this... and so let's add that to the goals too.

DK/SPORT/WORSTED WEIGHT LEFTOVERS

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This isn't ugly.  This is actually manageable.  Dear little stash, don't expand in size.  That is your only job this year!  Don't get bigger.

So that's where I'm at.  I did find going through this stash VERY helpful and cathartic.  In fact I did derive some inspiration and will hopefully be casting on very soon for something NEW! AND! EXCITING!

So.... let's review the goals here:

1) "Pound of Love" acrylic Blanket(s) - skeins need to be gone.
2) 3 Dishcloths
3) Knit something, ANYTHING from the DK/Sport Weight stash
4) Knit 2 Pairs of Felici Socks.  TWO.
5) Knit 1 pair of mittens from "leftovers" box
6) Fingering leftover blanket

I'll be checking in on these throughout the year, but hopefully this will keep me on track, get the stash down further and BONUS- bring back the knitting mojo with some new challenges.

There is more to say about what is currently on the needles- but it is far from interesting.  I'll report back on that soon, hopefully with something interesting.  In the mean time, with the holidays winding down, lets enjoy getting back into the routine and, god willing, more regular blog posts.

Let's do this 2017!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Deck the Halls with Yarn Balls

Deck the halls with boughs of yarn balls!!

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FA LA LA LA LAAAAA LA LA LA LA
'Tis the season to be distracted from knitting...

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FA LA LA LA LAAAAA LA LA LA LA
Don we now our brand new mittens.... *

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FA LA LA LA LA LA LAAAAA LA LA
And defend the tree from kittens....

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FA LA LA LA LAAAAA LA LA LA LA

Start a project you won't be finishing! **

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FA LA LA LA LAAAAA LA LA LA LA
And find it hard to make the time for knitting....

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FA LA LA LA LAAAAA LA LA LA LA
Follow me while I attempt to measure

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FA LA LA LA LA LA LAAAAA LA LA
I'm trying to make a yultide treasure

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FA LA LA LA LAAAAA LA LA LA LA

🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄

* I finished the mittens I was making for me!!

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Pattern: Sydanmaa Mittens by Hanna Levaniemi
Yarn: Illimani Yarn Silky Baby Llama in 9208 "beige"
Needles: US 4
Notes: This is such a great pattern and the yarn is SO warm.  I am loving this yarn to death.  It is so soft to the touch!  I haven't made anything for me in such a long time and I love these!  I might make myself a matching headband or hat too... who knows?

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** I also started working on an original pattern (!!) for arm warmers for my sister, after I couldn't really find what I wanted in patterns.

It has been a slog.  I've written in arm shaping, which I feel is very clever of me, but also means I've had a slower go at what is essentially a "tube" and should be simple.  Once #1 is knit, I get the sense that #2 will go faster.  I am under no illusions that this will be done for Christmas so I'm not counting on them under the tree.  But I do think I can get it done before the holiday is out.

Getting ready for Santa's visit this year has been fun... but also time consuming.  Things are starting to wind down as we approach the holiday and I'm hoping for some cozy nights watching movies and working on projects.  I'm not sure I'll get in a Dec 24 post or not... so if we don't get there- MERRY CHRISTMAS... and if we do get there... I guess you get TWICE the Christmas greetings!

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Busy Season

It seems like all months could count as our "busy season" this year- and our approach into December (how is it December?!) has been no different.  Apologies for the brief interlude.  There was a very brief down time before we got busy again and thankfully I managed to crank out the last of the 12 hats for the year.

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Pattern: Cabled Teddy Hat by Marinda Lariz
Yarn: Bernat Softee Baby in Solids & Marls in 30044 "Flannel"
Needles: US 6
Notes: The hospital will cut off pom poms and any accessories... including adorable ears... so I couldn't make them.  I've made this pattern so much- it always... ALWAYS, looks smashing.

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I did run out of yarn for the very last one- and had to join in some extra grey yarn that is obviously not a match, but honestly this slight imperfection bothers me less than I thought it would... so yay!

I also managed to cast on another pair of the Sydanmaa mittens because I decided I really liked them and I wanted a pair.  It's so weird to make MYSELF something, but here we are and I'm enjoying it!  (Also yay- QUICK!)

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AND, I picked up some lovely alpaca/silk blend and I'm planning to cast on a simple pair of arm warmers for my little sis.  I'm not going to commit it for Christmas.  (I would like them to be for that... but I'm not going to add that kind of pressure to my life right now.)

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I love the look of freshly wound "yarn cakes" because they represent what can be, and the glorious knitting time I can have.  All of this is alpaca/silk- and it is just so lovely and soft to knit with.

So what's been taking up my time?  For one thing... the tree.  When we set up the tree this year it wouldn't light.  It was a pre-lit tree and despite my best efforts I couldn't figure out what had happened.  It became obvious the only answer was to pull off the pre-lit lights, and re-light the tree in a manner so that I could (hopefully) plug in and go next year.  I didn't really realize how many lights were going on the tree, until I really took stock of the situation- after I nearly got to the top AND THEY ALL WENT OUT.

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I was despondant.  I thought I have maybe over-loaded the circuit?  This was DAY THREE of lighting it and I was so done.  I very nearly pulled off the lights and began again when my Father in Law intervened and calculated the wattage for me and said I should be totally fine.  THANK GOODNESS.  I managed to find the strand that shorted out- set back to work, split up the strands more... and finally- FINALLY got the tree done.  (1,360 lights- it is likely visable from space!)

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Now to find a way to keep the cats from wrecking it....

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Aside from the fact that it took me, in total, FIVE DAYS to decorate our Christmas tree this year, we have started "party season".

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Look how dapper he looks!  This year we were invited to the Candy Cane Gala- which conviently had a "Star Wars" theme.  All 3 of us were pretty excited.  It's basically a family friendly BLACK TIE event with all kinds of activities.  I even pet a snake!  (I AM SHOCKED at myself!)

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Then last night was another Christmas party for husband's company and next week two more parties.  I'm hoping in the quiet moments (when I am not obsessing about Christmas shopping) I will be able to fit in a few stitches here and there and continue having some progress to show for.

Hoping to be back a little more often with more stuff to show you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Mad About Mittens

As promised, I got my butt in gear this week and got the final pair of mittens out the door.  Let's cut to the chase....

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Pattern: All the Water by Kerstin Kapur
Yarn: Illimani Yarn Silky Baby Llama in 9208 "beige"
Needles: US 5
Notes: This is a great pattern and it looks lovely.  My one gripe is the cuff.  I feel like the cuff, which is 1x1 rib, is underwhelming for an otherwhise lovely mitten.  If I do it again, (and I likely will) I'll probably try to figure out a nicer looking cuff.

Let's look a little closer at the cable shall we?

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This completes the quartet of mittens I had scheduled myself to knit for the teachers/helpers in Parker's classroom this Christmas.  

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Technically my Christmas knitting is done... I say technically because I'm thinking about adding another project... more on that in a bit.

The other thing I want to finish before the end of November is my charity hats for Rockyview Hospital.  I'm close.  I'm working on hat 11 right now and will likely (hopefully) have enough for one more.

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All of these pretty little cabled grey hats are perfect warm additions for winter babies.  It will be good to get them done and really clear off that slate to begin something anew. 

What will that be exactly?  As I mentioned above I'm toying with an idea of adding another project to the list.  My sister bought a super snazzy fall cape (as we all did... haha) this fall and said she wished she had legwarmers... but for her arms.  Leg warmers for your ARMS you say?.... ask and you shall hopefully receive.  I'm thinking cables and grey.... but I haven't gone down the Ravelry pattern hole yet.  I'm also feeling pretty partial to those Sydanmaa mittens and might make MYSELF (for me!!!!!) a pair.  And then... maybe a poor neglected sweater I started LAST FALL and then got sidetracked there for a year.  Maybe, just maybe I'll begin again on that.

Can you tell it's getting cold?  I'm all about mittens and sweaters and anything that keeps one warm- so it must be prime knitting season!