“It’s so fluffy!”

My new shawl has been taken from me.

I’d barely finished it when a certain little someone realized that it was soft and warm.  When the weather hovers at a high of -15 F, I can understand the appeal!  Anything you can do to stay warm in this weather is appreciated.

We’ve been hunkered down, waiting out the cold weather.  My vehicle did not start this morning, even with a jump, so we are definitely stuck here at home.  School has been cancelled the last two days, so yesterday the girls helped me with some work that I had brought home last week “just in case” school was called off.  They are excellent envelope stuffers!  Today I’m all out of work that I can do from home so I think we’re going to do a little baking and perhaps play a board game or two.  It’s a rough life!

As for the shawl, it’s a kit I picked up at my LYS.  It’s made from HPKY Rome yarn, which is incredibly strong and lofty.  The pattern is the Bias Shawl, which appears to be a pattern you can only get with the kit.  Not that it’s super complicated.  In fact, I bet you could figure it out yourself.

It’s a double blanket sort of day!

 

What about us?  Well, we’re going to snuggle up and do the best we can to combat cabin fever.  Perhaps a little later we can hook Fluffy Dog up to a harness and dogsled to the store for fresh vegetables.  Or maybe I’ll stick with calling hubby with a list to pick up on his way home.

My only advice for the rest of you who are stuck in the same deep freeze is this:

Knit fast, it’s cold out there!

Take a Deep Breath

You all know that I like lists.  Sometimes my lists have lists.  I especially like lists when my desk is full to overflowing, like it is now.  I’m pretty sure a small child could hide in the paper piles on my desk.

So here’s a list of what I’m making for Christmas presents this year:

  1. Wee-est One – Minion Hat
  2. Wee One Who’s Not so Wee any more might get a hat if I can finish it in time.  She picked out the yarn so it’s not such a super surprise.
  3. _______ is getting hand knit socks because I know she likes them.  I just have to finish the cuff on one.
  4. ________ might get a hat if I can finish it in time.  This will be out of Minion hat leftovers but will definitely not be a Minion hat.
  5. The Boss is definitely getting received a hat.  It’s Turn a Square by Jared Flood and my all time favorite hat pattern.  It’s knit in black because black is what he wears.  I think he likes it, but I definitely have to teach him how to wear it… he keeps turning up the ribbing and not pulling it down over his ears.
  6. I have a Big Lace Scarf for _________ and _________ in two different colors because we certainly wouldn’t want them looking like they were wearing the same thing!
  7. One of the teachers received a scarf.  Just a cabled scarf out of Malabrigo in a midnight blue.
  8. One large cowl going to _______.  Again this is out of Malabrigo in Jupiter from my stash.
  9. I’m trying to finish another cowl for ______ who has been my Go-To person this summer and fall.  She was the mother my kids needed while I was running around like a crazy person.  Luckily the second part of her gift is coming from the UK and will not be here until after New Year’s, so I arranged to give her gift then.

 

 

One in a Minion

There are a lot of presents I can’t show you.  However, there’s one that I can, as long as you don’t tell any 7 year olds about it.

It’s what all the well dressed Minions will be wearing this year.

I still have to crochet the goggles, but that shouldn’t take too long.  If you haven’t seen Despicable Me or Despicable Me 2, then you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about.  Run out, get the movie and when you’re done giggling hysterically over the antics of the Minions, then come back here.

This particular 7 year old has already decided that she is going to be a Minion for Halloween.  Next year.  And perhaps the year after that.  And maybe most weekends up until then.  Nothing makes this little girl giggle like the small yellow creatures that say, “ba-na-na.”  Case in point, she got some Minion stickers from her teacher as a reward and went around saying, “Momma, I’m one in a Minion!  Get it?”  I think it’s going to be a hit.

I very roughly followed the pattern from Hand Me Down Hobby.  I used Cascade 220 for its durability and it’s reasonable price.   I’ll have a lot of yarn left and I’m debating whether to make Minion slippers or just make some baby hats to donate after Christmas.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from the Big Blue House to you!

 

I hope you get to spend this holiday with those you love.  And I also hope you get to sneak in a little knitting time too!

Winter is Coming

And in this neck of the woods, when winter is coming that means that Christmas is also coming.  Let me tell you, desperate times call for desperate measures.

It probably doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that I’ve been busy.  I have blogged in a month.  I haven’t been to knit night in much longer than that.  I run into the yarn store, grab what I need and run out.  It’s not that I’m not knitting, I am.  But I’m knitting in fits and starts when I can get a little down time and settle down enough to put sticks and string together.

So why am I desperate?  Well, my hubby got hurt at work a while back (almost exactly at the same time that my job went into overtime this fall).  He’s ok, but it’s a slow heal.  It means that he’s been on light duty and hasn’t been able to work any overtime.  So not only have I not had any time this fall to do much early Christmas shopping (I like to spread the shopping out over a longer time) but I also haven’t made many gifts yet.  I didn’t even have a plan for gifts.  Or I didn’t until I found this…

More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson.  As you can see, I found this on the clearance rack at Barnes & Noble.  I flipped through and found several things that I could make for gifts.  Mostly it’s gifts for babies or women but there are a few men’s or unisex things thrown in.  All the projects are sorted by the time it took the author and the test knitters to knit each project.  Obviously these are guidelines as no one knits at quite the same speed.  Plus, I can guarantee that mothers of toddlers know just how little can actually get done in the course of one hour.  For that matter, mothers of hungry growing girls know the same thing.  :)

My first project falls in the 2-4 hour range.  I’m slightly skeptical of this time range, but then see above.  I spent all day today in the kitchen – making pancakes, soup, dinner, baking cookies, and doing all the accompanying dishes.  So very little knitting got done, but the kids and I are well fed.

I’m using some lovely Misty Alpaca that was found deep in the stash along with size 15 needles.  This will be an incredibly soft fun gift for someone.

It’s in the Bag

My Knitting Bag

I don’t use Twitter, but if I did my life would look a little like this.  Mostly because I don’t have the bandwidth right now for anything more than 120 characters.

  • I really want to start a new project.
  • Longest bind off row EVER!
  • Blocking takes time away from Knitting.
  • We’ll sleep when the campaign’s over.  #mycoworkersrock
  • Ohhh, look it’s another unfinished project #saidnooneever
  • That’s going in the blog, right? #mycoworkersrock
  • How do I explain that I can’t go to a club I belong to because I’m going to speak at an Irish bar about Jesus? #tellthemitsaworkfunction
  • Lily just said the funniest thing in her 40 yr old voice.  Wish I could remember it.
  • This blog has been interrupted by a Capital Campaign…
  • I was going to explain what was in my knitting bag.  Let me sum up.  #toomanythingsontheneedles

What’s really in the bag?  Some things that I probably won’t have completed pictures of.

1.  A baby sweater – gifted already

2.  A shawl – donated to a silent auction

Bear Paw Shawlette

Bear Paw Shawlette

 

3.  Socks – still working on the 2nd one.

Houdini socks with a cool cuff

 

 

Oh George!

It’s a little known fact that Curious George knows how to knit.

Really, it’s true!  At least my Lily thinks it just might be true.

You see, George came with me to a convention this summer.  Not a fun knitting convention, but a convention where I can knit so it’s fun.  The convention goers are used to me knitting through all the meetings.  In fact, I think they’d be shocked if I didn’t knit.  What they don’t know (and I probably won’t be demonstrating for a good long time) is that I’ve also run meetings while I knit.  But I digress.  George went with me to this meeting because Lily was sad that I was going to a hotel without her and Addie.  She decided that I might get lonely and not have anyone to snuggle with.  Since she couldn’t possibly give up Teddy for a weekend, she sent George.  So I could snuggle with George when I was lonely.

George had a good time.

 

Relaxing….

He chilled in the king size bed.

Kicking Back

He kicked back and watched a little TV.  I’d say he put his feet up, but those legs are so short they didn’t reach the ottoman.

Enjoying nature

George made himself at home in the jungle.  Or at least as close to the jungle as he could get.  St. Cloud, MN has a beautiful public garden and though George didn’t get to come with me to the pig roast and garden tour, he did enjoy the flowers back at the hotel.

Red Solo Cup, I Fill You Up!

And of course, George enjoyed the theme of the convention:  Red Solo Cup.  He didn’t make it to the hospitality suites as he’s a bit of a lightweight.  And I believe he’s probably underage.  Instead, he worked a few rows on my Lightspeed.

At the end of the weekend I returned George to Lily.  I think he was a little worn out from his weekend and might have gotten a little cranky.

Summer List

Warming my toes

We’ve been doing a fair amount of sitting outside watching a fire burn down lately.  No long family vacations for the Knitting Up North household, but several long weekends away and watching a fire whenever we can.

 

  1. I was kind of bummed last week that I chose not to go to Stitches Midwest this year.  I love going but had made the decision that I was going to be content with Knitting Extravaganza instead.
  2. Now I have an overwhelming urge to attend Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago Nov. 1-3.  Check out the class list.  The timing isn’t fantastic for me, we’ll be coming off one extremely busy time at work and heading right into another, but I think hope I might be able to sneak away.  I certainly wouldn’t mind if someone wanted to enable me by offering to come along on the trip.  Of course, there’s also one in Seattle March 14-16 which happens to fall during Spring Break.  I don’t officially get time off at Spring Break, but its usually easier to sneak away at that time.  Besides, Seattle in March has got to be better than the frozen tundra Superior in March.
  3. I finished some stuff.  Do you want to see pictures?  Me too!
  4. I started a LightSpeed.  So far so good.  I’m using some Trekking for my main color and Noro for the contrast.  It’s gonna be puuurdy.  I should get pictures of this soon too.
  5. I have another pair of Houdini socks started.  One sole done and another about halfway.  Best. Sock. Pattern. Eva.  As I’ve said before, I don’t do the lace pattern on the cuff of the sock.  I usually pick some other cuff ribbing that I like.  I’m not sure what I’ll do on these yet.
  6. I bottled wine at lunch today.  It was wine for an event we’re having next spring.  Crazy, huh?
  7. I’ve been doing a bit of spinning again.  It took me a bit to get my wheel set up the way I like, but now I’m off and running with it.  I’m trying to do a little bit after the kids go to bed each night.

The Cardigan That Wasn’t

So…. I started on my Liesl cardigan.  I’m using a very fluffy off white yarn that was deep in the stash.  It’s bulky weight and when I first pulled out the skein it appeared as though there was a lot of that particular yarn.  Until I ran out of yarn.

So I went back to the stash and realized that while I have a lot of off white yarn in that bin, it was not the same off white yarn.  Even my husband could see there was a difference.  No problem, I thought, I made a sweater out of that particular yarn already.  I’m sure I can access the yarn information in Ravelry.  I’m pretty positive I bought the yarn locally and I’ll just see if they have more.  Worst case, I’ve got the blog as a back up to all my projects, I would have recorded the information on the blog.

Can you see me setting myself up for a fall?  It’s like when you’re watching a horror movie and the damsel in distress goes into the basement even though everyone watching is yelling, “don’t go into the basement!”  You can just cover your eyes now.

The sweater is not in my Ravelry projects.

The sweater is not on the blog.

I referenced (vague reference) finishing it in 2011 in time to wear it to Yarnover.  But no details.  Not a single one.  Not even the pattern name.

The sweater is not all that attractive.  It’s warm, it’s cozy, but it’s a white sweater made out of bulky weight wool.  It’s practically bulletproof.

No pictures of the sweater can be found.

No reference to the yarn can be found.

But I vaguely remember having lots of yarn left over after the sweater was done.  (To be fair, I had a nasty cold/flu thing while knitting and finishing this sweater and so I think I was in a major fog that might have affected reasonable thought.)

I considered my options.  I could keep the top white and knit the bottom in a contrasting color.  But I didn’t think I had enough yarn of anything other than red to finish the sweater with.  And reds are, well let’s face it, reds are hard to match.  And I really don’t have many red summer dresses to wear this with.

So I threw caution to the wind and started tossing the stash in front of my husband.  Now my husband knows that I have a lot of yarn.  He even thinks I have an unreasonable amount of yarn.  And he occasionally comments to this effect.  But rarely do I pull it all out while he is at home.  It’s really for the best that way.  I don’t understand why he owns so many Boy Scout mugs/patches/uniforms/memorabilia/etc. and he doesn’t understand why I own so much yarn.  As long as we don’t bring it all out in front of the other person we are able to co-exist in the same house with the other person’s hoarding collection treasure.  This time though, storage bags were pulled out from under the couches, the trunk was sifted through, and drawers were gone through.  And finally, I found one extra large skein of off white yarn.  It’s unlabeled, so I still don’t know what it is.  I pulled the skein out, triumphant, and showed it to my husband.

He didn’t seem impressed.

 

 

Run. Do Not Walk.

Quick, go to Ravelry and look for the Winged Knits Collection by Cecily Glowik MacDonald.  She is giving 20% off her patterns if you enter SUMMER in the coupon code at checkout.

I love her design aesthetic.  I have several of her patterns and I’ve knit a couple.  Her patterns are well written and easy to follow.  I could easily come up with a wish list of patterns and yarn just based on her designs.  In fact, I found no less than 4 short sleeve cardigans that would work for summer dresses.  All are long enough to cover the tummy if that’s what you need (I do!).  Or you can make them more cropped if that’s your style (not mine).

Or take a long sleeve cardigan and convert it to a short sleeve.

 

So stop reading my silly ramblings and go.  Have Fun.  Shop.