Knock Me Over

This is roughly a conversation that took place in my office this week.

Me:  Guess what Boss?  We had 16 kids show up for a Knitting Class at the school yesterday!  I’ve got 21 kids registered and I have to start a waiting list!  Who would have thunk?

The Boss:  You’re going to blog this, right?  I hope this makes the blog, because it really should.

So yes, the fact that I started a Knitting and Crochet class at the school and that it is wildly successful will in fact make the blog.  He also commented on the fact that he is now an enabler since my office closet is now overflowing with donated yarn.  Hee hee.

 

Remember These Things with Petals that Smell Nice?

In other news, it appears as though spring might actually come to the land of endless snow.  The rumor is that we might actually reach a temperature soon where snow will melt.  Whether we get any more snow… well that remains to be seen.

It’s been very hard to focus on all the things I need to do this spring when it still feels like February.  I’ve got 2 large events in May as well as all the smaller end of the school year things that happen and I’m starting to feel as though I’m behind the eight-ball on all of them.

And knitting… well knitting has been slow.  I started work on a small scarf because I wanted something springy.  There was just too much red sweater action happening and since one of the sweaters had progressed to a spot where I needed to only work on it at home when I had access to a chart, it wasn’t travel knitting any more.  If I can’t pull a project out and work on it at odd times when I have a minute here or there or am having lunch with friends, then it tends to sit and wait for large chunks of time that rarely happen.

This week it hit me that a very fancy dress up event was happening in 3 weeks.  I have a dress that I found a few weeks ago on sale.  Since it’s been so chilly I really wanted a shawl to go with.  My intention back in January was to make the Lumen shawl.  The event is called the Lumen Christi and I just like the idea of wearing the Lumen shawl to the Lumen Christi.  I’m funny like that.  However, the Lumen is a charted pattern and I’ve already established that I don’t have the time to work a charted pattern consistently right now.

Instead, I chose the Cameo pattern.  I’m fairly certain that I can whip out a basic garter stitch shawl in the time needed.  Of course, the problem with shawls is they tend to get larger as you go, so what seems like a fast knit to start with becomes a neverending endurance race as the rows get larger.

Cameo

I tossed the stash one night this week while my husband was at work (the safest time to really air out all the yarn from the different hidey holes that I stash them in).  I compared different shades of blues and greens against the dress and weighed the merits of each.  I was really hoping to use some green Madelinetosh that I had bought for the Lumen shawl, however it just didn’t sit right with the dress.  I finally decided on these two colors.  The Hazel Knits from a yarn club that I was briefly in and the MacKintosh yarn from a Stitches event.  It was kind of sad pulling out the MacKintosh as I bought 1200 yds of it with the intention of using it for a cardigan or sweater.  Once I saw the match up of the two yarns though, I am happy I did it.

Now, I’m off to enjoy the rest of my Saturday and hopefully spend much of it knitting.

 

 

Put One Foot in Front of the Other

Put One Foot In Front of the Other

I think that link is appropriate for this time of year.  After all, it’s continuing to look a lot like Christmas outside!

Just one of the snow piles that is bigger than Lily

(By the way, that’s a soy hot chocolate that she’s holding in the Starbucks cup.)

It’s one of those days weeks where I really need to see progress and relatively instant gratification.  In other words, it’s a list day.

  1. We are starting a Knitting group after school at Cathedral School.  I’m excited, really-really excited.  There’s a stash of donated yarn in my office closet.  The goal is for the kids to be able to knit squares for an afghan.  The kids will make garter stitch squares, the adults will knit complementary 4 leaf squares to pull it all together.  My sample square:

    4 Leaf Clover Afghan Square

  2. Since it looks like Christmas outside, I knit a Button Tab Hat over the weekend.  It’s out of leftover Socks that Rock Heavyweight.  I might even be able to squeak one more hat out of this skein.  The buttons are a gift from a friend which have been marinating in my stash for quite some time.

    Button Tab Hat

  3. The 2 red sweaters are still in progress.
  4. It’s Eat Downtown week in Duluth.  It’s one of my favorite weeks of the year.  I’m kidnapping a co-worker and we’re going for lunch.  The only hard part is deciding where to go for lunch.
  5. I wish I had seen this post from Crafaholics Anonymous before Easter.  The little rock chicks are so cute!
  6. And lastly, I want to take this class at Stitches Midwest next August.  I don’t know why.  I think making that much icord (unless I can use my fun icord toy) would drive me absolutely batty.  Absolutely, Seriously batty.  I would never finish it.  I would have really good intentions, but I think the icord would just be too dull.  But I would love wearing it.
  7. Edited to add:  Why do I look at food blogs when I’m already hungry?  This is bad.  It’s like grocery shopping when you’re hungry kind of bad.  I do have a pretty amazing list of food bloggers that I currently read.  It always amazes me how amazing their staging and photography is.  Clearly they do not work out of my kitchen with it’s 3 feet of counter space and poor lighting.  Course I’m sure the fact that my iphone is my go to camera doesn’t help matters much.

 

Only Up North

Beekeepers Quilt in Progress

Only when you’re Up North does a blanket made out of hundreds of little wool hexigons with stuffing inside seem like a perfectly reasonable (and useful) gift to give a baby.

Only when you’re Up North does the weatherman say that we’re going to be “warm” this week when the weather is going to to in the 20′s F during the day.  (that’s -2 C for any of you Canadians).  And yes, oddly enough the sun did feel warm.

Only when you’re Up North do you drive south to visit your family’s cabin.

Only when you’re Up North do you shovel 3″ of snow in high heeled dress boots with your co-worker because, “it needs to get done.”

Nanook of the North

Only when you’re Up North do you see children dressed like this.  What’s missing is her usual “double layer” hat.  She likes to put her knitted wool earflap hat on first with the giraffe hat over the top.

Only when you’re Up North do you hear someone say, “oh fer cute!” when they see you’re knitting a baby hat. This is usually followed up with, “will ya make me one for my cousin’s daughter’s baby?  She’s gonna have her baby any day now.”

 

Malabrigo Mini Skeins

Only when you’re Up North do you We all look for any pop of color against the white, greys and black of winter.  At least we know that even Up North in the frozen tundra, winter doesn’t last. Until spring arrives, we’ll soak up all the “warm” days we can while shovelling and try to get the Vitamin D

 

Resolutions

Edited to add:  WordPress just ate my blog post.  It was long, it was clever.  I waxed poetic about the Pope visiting and the fact that Zac Efron never will.  I even made resolutions.  This is all that is left.

 

I’ve spent a lot of time the last week or so thinking about what I would like my New Year’s Resolutions to be.  Specifically, what was I going to put on the blog about Knitting Resolutions.  For a while I thought I’d skip the whole resolution thing and just do a Top 10 of Knitting Things to Do this year.  I thought about a recap of all most of the sweaters I knit in my 12 in 2012 challenge to myself.  And then I got kind of down on myself.  See, I didn’t knit 12 sweaters in 12 months.  By my book, that should be a FAIL.  But wait, I’ve got a couple of cool sweaters out of the deal.  I made sweaters for gifts.  I have 3 almost done sweaters on the needles.  So… that’s not really an epic failure.  I have even caught sight of 2 sweaters I made for our new nephew being worn.  That’s more like a pretty cool year.  I think I will do a recap of the Year of Sweaters, but not today.  Today, it’s about resolutions.

 

 

 

Besides, there are stores that could possibly be dependant upon my yarn budget.  I couldn’t possibly put them out of business!  :)   Plus, for the first time I signed up for the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin Sock Club.  I cancelled another club that I was in so that I could justify this one.  I’ve looked at the Rockin Sock Club for a long time.  The thing that strikes me with their yarn is that often the color combinations are not what I would choose.  However, once knitted up, they are amazing.  I have been really impressed with their yarn and I’m looking forward to this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zac Efron

 

 

Happy Festivus!

Socks That *really* Rock

If you have to work in between Christmas and New Year’s, I hope you get to sit and watch a webinar for one of the days.  Although I didn’t knit through the entire webinar (I did some actual productive multitasking) there were times when I couldn’t continue printing since the other attendees would hear me.  When this happened I picked up my sock and knit.

And although he didn’t seem to be crazy about the colorway (it seemed to trigger some 70′s childhood related flashbacks – which might somewhat explain the all black uniform), my boss did condone the knitting.  I think he realized that me watching a webinar on payroll so that I can be backup for our Finance Director was a bit of agony.  Let’s face it, doing payroll is not my idea of fun.

The sock yarn is Socks That Rock in A Very Scummy Christmas.  I got this and another skein (Hobbit Garden) from my parents for Christmas.  I’m doing another pair of Houdini Socks.  I haven’t decided how I’m doing the leg of the sock yet though.  I know I won’t use the Houdini Sock leg that Cat Bordhi has in the pattern as that doesn’t do much for me.  The last time I knit these I did a 2×2 rib, which seems a little dull for these 70′s throwback socks.  Any ideas for me?

Dashing Through the Snow

Dashing Through the Snow – by Addie

Dashing through the snow on a pair of broken skiis,  crashing into trees, the snow is turning red I must have dropped my yarn and that is why your sweater is not finished!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would add:  Sandbakkels, bourbon balls, the kitchen is a mess.  Oh what fun it is to deal with all the Christmas stress!

Ok.  Maybe we shouldn’t be quitting our day jobs to start writing lyrics any time soon.

There’s a lot going on around here.  We’ve got the first of 3 Christmas’ starting on Saturday and I still need to wrap presents.  Anything that isn’t done at this point has pretty much been written off.  I think my girls will get Valentine’s Day sweaters.  (the sleeve of one is pictured above).  I’m actually to the neck decreases on this sweater with both sleeves done so it’s feasible that it would be done by Christmas, however I’d like to give each girl their sweater at the same time so no one feels left out.

I’ve been working on the blanket for a trade.  I call it the Ugly Blankie.  It’s ok, it’s just not something I would normally choose to make.  I tend to struggle with matching more than 2 colors together.  This many colors is definitely a stretch for me.  Plus I’m dreading weaving in the ends.  I’m on the downhill stretch as I’m knitting it on the diagonal and I just started the decreases.

I did finish a scarf that is intended for a friend.  I think he’ll be thrilled to get it as he asked me for 2 last year.  The second one is on the needles and I hope to get lots of knitting done on it in the car on the way to my parents.  The second one is made from chunky wool so it’s going much faster.

The Beekeepers Quilt is slowly being worked on in fits and starts.  I love making the hexipuffs, it’s just a matter of other things taking priority.  The nice thing about our Christmas celebrations this year is that they are spread out over an entire week.  This gives me a little bit of wiggle room for getting the Beekeepers Quilt done.  And if it doesn’t get done….

well, there’s always his birthday in February.

 

Cuddles

Lily is cuddled up with me right now as we watch a movie on TV.  She’s got the day off of school courtesy of strep throat which means that I am trying to get some work done on the couch.  Or at least I was until I started this blog post.  I always think it’s funny that people assume that on days like this I should be knitting up a storm.  Clearly they don’t know how hard it is to knit with a little girl attached to their hip.  She’s a fabulous reader, so she’s editing this as I go.  She also loves cartoons and cooking shows (she wants to be a famous chef on Food Network some day) so we’re enjoying some snuggly TV time.

Which means I shouldn’t write about any super secret knitting projects.  This post has been censored by the Secret Squirrel.

Therefore I am not knitting a _________ for _________.  Although you could see the pattern link here.  It’s adorably cute and I’m making it completely out of stash yarn, which warms my heart.

I also do not have plans to finish a child size version of this for ______________.  I just have the arms to finish.  I kind of lost interest in this sweater back when the weather started to warm up.

There’s my potato chip knitting project.  It’s a swirly scarf that I’ve been working on off and on for awhile.  I’m hoping to finish this up for Christmas.

I also have a scarf to finish for a friend.  He asked me to knit 2 scarves for him last fall and this is the first one.  I’ve ripped and reknit several times and just can’t seem to get the cable crosses right.

Awww-tum

Happy Birthday today to one of my favorite readers.  I spent today making pasta sauce and chili sauce, something I think you might approve of.  It was a great day to make the house into a tomato scented sauna; something that only happens when you have 2 pots of tomatoes simmering on the stove, canning water boiling and 2 pans of tomatoes roasting in the oven.  Try it, I promise you’ll love the way the house smells!

I also snuck in a little knitting and reading while everything was simmering today.  I probably should have done a load or two of laundry, but hey, I can’t do everything.  I should have a finished sweater to show you shortly.

As for my Leftie, I finally decided I am going to keep my gold Leftie.  The brown and pink was donated to a auction that we have at the school every fall.  I hope people bid on it!

Pattern:  Leftie 

Yarn:  Lisa Souza Hand dyed sock yarn in Aww-Tum and Lisa Souza Handspun in  Squash Blossom.  I bought this at either Sock Summit or Stitches Midwest last year… sad that I don’t remember which one.

Modifications:  Just one.  I decided I didn’t want to weave in all the little ends on this go around, so I experimented with some I-cord edging.  I decided I didn’t like the way the attached I-cord looked as it joined the main color.  So instead, I worked the I-cord in the contrasting color independently of the body of the shawl until a contrasting color row.  If you enlarge the photo you might be able to see that the I-cord sort of floats along next to the shawl.  I should have gotten a close up of the edge this afternoon.

This makes 2 finished projects for the month.

Burning the Candle

I seem to be burning the candle at both ends lately and I don’t see the end in sight until next month, and only then for a few days before it starts up again.  It’s a good busy so that makes it doable.  However, it does mean that I’m missing the local knitting group that I usually go to as well as the knitting community in general.

As for my September sweater, I’m planning on finishing up old projects instead of starting a new sweater.  I know my knitting time is going to whittled down to very little by the end of the month as I’m working on a very big event we are having at my place of employment.  I love the idea of being able to show actual finished projects.  Some things I just need to photograph, others need to be seemed, blocked and photographed.  One needs a little more attention.

I really loved having friends that I could work on my Olympic shawl project on with even though they are half a continent away.  I spoke with Knittymuggins today about doing another knit a long in October.  We’re thinking this time it might be socks.  I’d love a way to include you in our knitting conversations.  I’m not sure that I can explain just how much fun it is to work on a project knowing that you can always text someone else and ask how many leaves they have finished or get pictures of the works in progress.

I’m also talking to them about a laceweight sweater for January.  It’s a little insane, but I think it would be a great layering piece for me.  Since I’m planning on a lot of home made Christmas presents this year, I think I’ll be ready to settle down with a project just for me.

Going for the Gold

I’ve heard that there are people out there that just watch the Olympics.  They sit in front of the TV with their hands empty and just watch.  I find this hard to understand.  For me, the Olympics is a time to pick out a new project and knit like, well like I’m knitting for a gold medal.

My project for this Olympics was a LeftieTo up the ante a bit, I invited my friends Maryanne and Troy to knit a Leftie with me.  We each cast on at roughly the start of the Opening Ceremonies.  Maryanne and Troy are both in Washington state, so we had a time zone difference, but that only came into play when I texted at 6 am our time.

Maryanne and I both finished our shawls within hours of each other, and Troy was close behind.  I had an unfair advantage as not only do I have Fridays off, but I also had some unexpected knitting time crop up.  Addie and I were sick one day, and I spent most of that day parked on the sofa.  Then, I made a trip to Winnipeg, Canada for an Optimist Club convention.  I know I’ve talked about the Optimist’s before, my local club knits hats for babies and now several clubs in our area are knitting for children.  It’s a great club, check out the link or google Optimist International to see if there’s a club near you.  The seven hours in the car and the hours that I spent in meetings were put to use knitting.

The Details:

Pattern:  Leftie

Needles:  2.5mm circular needles.  I started with a 16″, switched to a 24″ and would have liked a 40″ by the time I was done.

Modifications:  None.  The pattern is very well done and slightly addicting.  I love switching colors!  I weaved in about half of the ends at one point so I didn’t have as many to do at the end.  My intention was to weave them all in as I went, but the motivation just wasn’t there.  Since a lot of people at the convention wanted to see the completely project, I was really anxious to weave in the ends and block it Saturday night.

Yarn:

The brown (Chocolate Frosting) is handspun from Knitting My Way Home.  Sharon does amazing work.  The spinning was incredibly even and beautiful.  If you haven’t knitted with handspun, you should really give it a whirl.

The pink (Chocolate Covered Cherries) is a locally dyed yarn that I’ve had in my stash for a long time.  Probably longer than I care to admit.  The brand is Knit Me Now Yarn and is available locally or at etsy.

Aren’t the leaves adorable?  I blocked this in my hotel room but the blocking shots turned out terrible.  Hotel rooms do not make for good iPhone photos.

I liked this pattern so much that I started another Leftie on the way home from Winnipeg.  Both of these yarns are from Lisa Souza Knitwear.  I’m thinking of donating one of the two shawls to a Dinner Auction that we do every year for the school.  Which one would you like to win at an auction?