January Thaw

imageOnly in Wisconsin is there a 45 minute + wait for the car wash when the temperature gets up to 28 F!

Which means this is officially a January warm up.  Just in time to show off some of my new knits

First up is the Cedar Leaf Shawlette.  I cast this on right around Christmas.  It actually started out as a kit for another shawl, but I didn’t like the way the pattern and yarn were behaving.

image

The pennies are a sorting project Lily was doing. I just thought it was kind of pretty.

The main body of the shawl is knit in Knit One Crochet Too Douceur et Soie and Elfin Tweed.  I absentmindedly kept knitting in garter stitch far enough into the body of the shawl that I decided to call it a design element and move on.  I kind of like how squishy the garter stitch makes it.  As I approached the border I was a little afraid I was going to run out of the Elfin Tweed (probably because of the garter stitch) so I switched out to JoJoland Melody keeping one strand of the Douceur et Soie with it.  I love how the JoJoland changes colors along the edge.

The other knit I have to show off is the Hitch Pullover.

To be fair, I knitted this over the summer and even sewed it together but just couldn’t get the ends woven in and the buttons sewn on before finding something else more interesting to work on.  I think it was really the button issue that was stopping me.  I wasn’t sure which buttons I really wanted.  So I pulled it out and started weaving in ends during one of the last Packer games.  Before the game was finished, the ends were woven in.  I decided I really kind of like it without the buttons.

image

Out take #39

 

Ask the Wee Ones:  (the part of the blog where you get to ask questions of my children and they’ll answer you.)

Q:  Lily, when did you start knitting and why?

A:  I starting knitting at about 1st grade.  I decided to knit because Momma knitted.  Right after I learned to knit, Momma and some of her friends decided to teach a knitting class at the school.  I’ve knit a bunch of cowls, 2 hats, and a scarf for an American Girl Doll.

Send me any questions you have for Addie or Lily and we’ll answer them on the blog.  Lily would like you to know that while Addie doesn’t knit, as an eleven year old she does have very definite ideas on most things.

A Cardigan Built for Two

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true.  I’m half crazy over the love of you……

…You’ll look sweet.

Cuddled up neat.

In a cardigan knit for two.

Really?  Those aren’t the original lyrics?

As you might remember, my girls have sort of a love hate relationship with my knitting.  They love receiving the knits, but hate the time I spend knitting.  When I brought my Solaris sweater out of hibernation to knit, I realized just how big the fronts are when they’re spread out.  I mentioned to Lily that this was a cardigan made for cuddling.  The fronts are large enough that I can spread them around the two of us.  All of a sudden, whenever there was a cool wind blowing, Lily asked me when the sweater would be finished.

Well stick a fork in it, because this sweater is DONE!

It’s actually been done for awhile now, but somehow summer arrived.  With summer came a visit from family, a play that Addie was in and a LOT of walking outside.  It just hasn’t been sweater weather.  So the sweater got blocked and put away until a cooler night.

2015-06-20 19.27.51-1

So I can either post this somewhat crummy iPhone photo of us snuggled up in the sweater, or I can wait until the weather cools down enough.

Pattern:  Solaris by Berroco Design Team

Yarn:  Rowan Lima

Modifications:  I used the Executive Knitter’s variation on this pattern.  Basically I did a border of k1 p1 then knit in stockinette instead of the pattern stitch throughout.

Yardage:  roughly 1680 as I wrote 14 skeins in my Ravelry Project page, and I think I used almost all of the skeins.

 

This, along with a Lydia Cowl that I finished on Sunday, brings me to my Stash Dash total of 2174 yds.  I think I’ll make it to the 3K finish line, but I’m not sure that I can eek out a 5K finish.  The summer has just been way too nice to not spend a lot of time outside enjoying it.

Mwa-ha-ha!

 

 

2015-06-07 21.22.58Mwa-ha-ha!  (That’s my evil laugh)  I will win Stash Dash!

I am one sleeve away from having a finished Solaris Cardigan.  That’s it.  One sleeve.  Well yes, one sleeve and a lot of seeming.  Yes, I know in this picture it looks as though I am one sleeve and a half of a front away from a finished cardigan, however that front is done.

Mwa-ha-ha!

I am really (probably unreasonably) excited that as the temperatures get into the 70’s and 80’s that I will have a finished cardigan to wear.  I know, I’m crazy, my kids tell me that all the time.  It’s really more about the fact that I will have a finished cardigan in time for fall.  And that I will use this sweater to help me win Stash Dash.

 

2015-06-07 21.23.24

It’s a pretty sweater too.  And it matches my rug.  Oh my goodness, look at how that front drapes.

I’ve decided that having this little beauty in my living room is sort of like having art.  No one in my house even batted an eye that the girl came back up from downstairs and is wearing a partial cardigan.  Is that weird?

It’s so close to being done.  Nothing could possibly go wrong now! (This would be the point in any movie where the scary scissor wielding demon comes in).

 

2015-06-07 21.23.55

I’m going to knit very very quickly so that I don’t run out of yarn for seeming.  After all, we all know that in order to win a game of yarn chicken, you need to knit fast before the yarn runs out.

Gauge, My Nemesis

2015-06-01 08.26.58

Oh Baby that’s a big sweater!

The Hygge Baby Cardigan is finished.  Ends are woven in, buttons are sewn on, photographs have been taken.  Done.  That’s 294 yds of Stash Dash completed for those of you who are keeping track.

Just one problem.  I’m pretty sure this 6 month size baby cardigan can fit a 5 year old.  Some of you long time readers might ask, “Jess, did you do a gauge swatch?”

Nope.

Rooky Mistake!

The knitting was going so well.  The sweater was so pretty as I was knitting it!  Everything went so effortlessly.  Right up until I blocked it and it grew (no kidding) 300%.  OK, OK, maybe I thought it was more of a 12 month size right up until I blocked it.  I mean, it did seem a tad bit big.

After blocking, I even tried it on Lily to see just how big it was.

2015-06-01 18.08.59-1

Now Lily is a size 7 – mostly because she has long and legs – but can also fit into size 6 tops.  While trying this sweater on, she put in an order for a white version for herself!  Lily feels it has a certain Star Wars-esquee quality to it with the buttons along the side.  But back to the green sweater.

Somewhat nervously, I put the sweater in the dryer to see if that would help the problem.  Malabrigo Rios is machine washable, so I wasn’t sure how well this would work.  Turns out, it worked like a charm!  The hand of the fabric is squishy and soft.  The sweater came out definitely smaller than it had been.  I think it’s still probably a 12 month size, but that is certainly better than a size 5.  A word to wise, despite the superwash label, don’t put Malabrigo Rios in the dryer unless you want it to shrink.

2015-06-01 19.43.55

What I’m Knitting:

I pulled out my Solaris cardigan out of hibernation and started working on that.   It’s got a very interesting construction.  You make the arms, a small short back, and a very long piece that acts as the fronts and goes around the back of the neck.  All I have left to do is 1/3 of the long piece and one sleeve.

I’m also still plugging away at the sleeve of the Hitch.

Stash Dash Update:

For those of you who are keeping a scorecard at home

Hygge Baby sweater – 294 yds.  – DONE

Solaris Cardigan – 1400-1500 yds.

Hitch Cardigan – 1120 yds.

I hope everyone is plugging away at their own projects.  It’s not too late to join Stash Dash.  You don’t need to have a bunch of projects on the needles to play along.  You can just knit new projects from stash yarn.

The shrunken sweater.

The shrunken sweater.

Well Begun is Half Done

Mary Poppins: Our first game is called Well Begun is Half-Done.

Michael: I don’t like the sound of that.

Mary Poppins: Otherwise titled Let’s Tidy up the Nursery.

Michael: [to Jane] I told you she was tricky.

Yeah, I probably wouldn’t have liked that game as a child either.  However I do buy into the well begun theory when it comes to work and conquoring challenges.  I did tell you we were going to win Stash Dash, right?  Don’t tell me there is no winning something that is a personal challenge against myself.  I’m determined to win.  I will win.  I will conquor the stash.  (Ask me some time about the guy who last said something could not be done.  Mwah ha ha!)

So back to the well begun theory.  The idea of Stash Dash as I understand it is to complete all those half done projects and knit some of the pretty yarn that you’ve been saving for…. well whatever it is that you’re saving it for.  You can start new projects out of stash yarn if you’d like.  But that’s where the well begun comes in.  Because if you want to win (I do) and you want to knit a crazy amount of yarn (I do) then it makes sense that you would start with a half done project, right?  I think Mary Poppins would think this makes excellent sense.

So here’s the plan as I see it.  You can follow along with pictures waaaay down on the right hand side as all most of these are in my Ravelry Project Pages.

Lettuce Pullover – 1880 yds

Haruni Shawl – 440 yds

Solaris Cardigan – 1560 yds

Hitch Pullover – 1120 yds

Wabi-sabi – 924 yds

Zephyr Cardigan – 1200 yds

Remnant Love – 850 yds

Marin – 385 yds

2nd Zick Zack – 831 yds

The grand total yardage = 9190 yds.

Now I don’t think I can stretch to make a 10K, which would be 10,936 yds, so I’m going for a 5K.  That’s 5,468 yds of knitting.  Which means I would need to do the top 4 projects plus 1 more.  Once a project is finished, then all of the yardage in it counts.  If you spin the yarn, it counts.  If you spin the yarn, then knit a project with it, it counts twice.  Unfortunately this won’t work for me as I haven’t been spinning.  But for some of you it might work.

Stash Dash begins on May 22.  On your mark…… get set…….

What I’ve Been Knitting:

I’ve made some serious headway on the Hitch pullover.  I have finished the front and back and have started one sleeve.  The cables on the sleeve are slow going because I’m working off a pattern on my iPad.  The iPad gets used for more than just knitting (go figure) so it limits my time.

In other knitting news, I finished my Zick Zack!

2015-04-27 06.36.02

That little tiny ball of yarn is all that I had left when I finished.  It was a bit of a game of yarn chicken to see if I could cast off with the remaining yarn.

2015-04-27 19.37.40

I’m pretty thrilled with the way it turned out.  Thrilled enough that I started a second one out of JoJoland Melody and Noro Taiyo Sock Yarn.  This one has slower color repeats and is more harmonious in color – It will look like a completely different scarf!

The Comic Relief

 

 

Lily just said, “You’re not funny, you’re Craaa-zy.”

2015-04-11 16.31.18

She might have a point.  I’m running down to the Twin Cities (2 1/2 hour drive) on Friday to go to an all day knitting class on Saturday.  Then, I’ll turn right around and come home Saturday night so that I can be up bright and early Sunday to work.  And I’m excited about it.

My job tonight will be picking out yarn to bring with me for the class.  I know, it’s a rough life.

 

What I’m Knitting:

The Zick Zack scarf continues to grow at a snails pace.  The balls of yarn are getting smaller and smaller so I know I’m making progress.  I keep picking them up and giving them a squish to see just how much longer this scarf will grow.

The gray sweater also is growing slowly.  We’ve had a cold snap here which has made me think that perhaps a wooly gray sweater is exactly what I want to be wearing in Duluth/Superior in April.

I also cast on an itty bitty baby sweater.  It’s Hyggy Baby from Loop.  I’m knitting it out of Malabrigo Rios in the lettuce colorway.  The Rios is superwash and just as soft and squishy as other Malabrigo yarns.  It’s making an amazingly soft sweater.  No one which flavor this baby will be, so the lettuce green is a nice gender neutral color.  I’m kind of hoping it will be a girl so that I can put some pretty pink buttons on the sweater.  But then again, wood buttons or blue would be striking too.  I sort of have a “thing” for this color green.

The parents do not live near us, so I’m looking forward to sending this one off.

 

What I’m Not Knitting:

After all my talk about beads and how pretty they are, I’ve set the Stockinette Haruni aside.  I look at it longingly every once in awhile, but there it sits.  I’m really trying to get the Zick Zack scarf finished.

 

Knots & Tangles:

I had a bit of a problem with the Hygge Baby right off the bat.  It was probably due to the fact that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the episode of Outlander that I was watching.  (Only Diana Gabaldon could make 1743 Scotland so darn appealing!)  Somehow I missed reading the K1 before every 3-in-3 stitch.  Luckily I caught the error right away and didn’t need to rip much out.  That really is the beauty of baby knits, if you make a mistake you’re not ripping out 500 stitches in a row.

 

Loose Ends:

I have heard that Stash Dash starts on May 25, however that is not confirmed.  Stash Dash is basically knitting a 5K’s worth of yarn (from stash) over the course of the summer.  I know that all those projects you have started but haven’t finished do count – in fact, their entire yardage counts.  So dig out those half finished blankets!  I don’t have much for rules yet, but will be looking into it.  Until then, who wants to play Stash Dash this summer with me?

Thank you!

Stay On Baby Bootie

Stay On Baby Bootie

Life’s Stash:

Thank you for your comments!  I loved hearing from every one of you.  It was amazing to watch comments come in from people that I know, people that I haven’t met yet, and those that I haven’t heard from in a very long time.  All I can say is WOW.  Thank you.

Keep those comments coming please!

What I’m Knitting:

I’m still working on the Stay On Baby Booties in lime green for a family member.  I’m almost done with the 2nd bootie, now all I have to do is the dreaded I-cord tie.  I-cord isn’t difficult, it’s just booooring.  I might cheat on this one and do a long cast on, then cast off rather than making I-cord.

I’m also continuing to knit on the sock.  I’ve turned the heal and it’s zipping along the foot.  It’s mindless, comfort food knitting right now.

What I’m Not Knitting:

There’s been no real changes on this.  I do need to get back to my sweater.  I’ve been fantasizing about starting another sweater, so I know I had better buckle down and get this one done before I completely forget about it.

I also was thinking about how nice it would be to have a finished Lettuce Pullover in my wardrobe this winter.  Maybe I should pull that out of knitting hibernation and work on it a bit.  I’m embarrassed to say that this never made it into my Ravelry Project page. I know I took photos of it… hmmmm….

Happy Knitting to All and to All a Good Night

Happy Knitting to All and to All a Good Night

Part of me says that I should leave the Lettuce Pullover until May during the Stash Dash because it has such a big yardage.  Part of me says that’s stacking the deck.  And do I really want a sweater on my lap during May, June and July?

Regardless, I need to whittle down some of my unfinished projects.

But there are so many fun new knits to knit!

Loose Ends:

Speaking of, I just saw that Craftsy has some free patterns today.  One is the Stockinette Haruni which is a particular favorite and has been on my “Must Knit” list for some time.  You can sign up for their emails or find the pattern here.

After I finish the baby booties, I am going to toss the stash around to find 440 yds of sock weight yarn.  Correction, I know I have 440 yds, it’s finding the right 440 yd skein that I’m going to do.  Maybe this is the time that I hold true to my New Year’s Resolution and find a particularly special skein of yarn.

Oh Boy!

I deserve a smack on the forehead for this one.  Or a knitting Time Out?  At the very least a severe reprimand to myself.

I was merrily working on my Trieste Cardigan for the Loopy Ewe Camp Loopy.  I needed to make a project with 400 yds of yarn that I had bought from the Loopy Ewe.  I found wonderful yarn – Shalimar Yarns in Zoe Sock – that was 450 yds.  I planned on using yarn from stash for the colorwork.  This would be acceptable in the rules as I read them as long as the stash yarn was something that was also found in the Loopy Ewe store.

Here’s the kicker.  In my head I was making the 6 month size of the cardigan for a yet to be born niece or nephew.  (The flavor is yet to be determined, but the baby is due in July.)  I had the neck down to the armholes done as well as one sleeve.  I was making tracks!  Then, my friend Knittymuggins mentioned that she was probably going to be short of yardage to make the 400 yd goal.

That’s when it hit me.

3 Month Size

 

The sweater called for 410 yds in the size I was making (which was actually a 3 month size).   Since I was using a stash yarn to do the color work, it wouldn’t actually count towards the 400 yd minimum.  Plus, this couple’s last baby grew fast so I wanted a larger size anyway.  To the frog pond it went.

Did I mention that this sweater has to be completed, photographed and uploaded to the Ravelry group by June 30?  I’m knitting like the wind to get this done in time.

The Frog Pond

 

I know that this challenge seems rather silly – after all, who cares if you use 399 yds of yarn or 450?  But put a challenge in front of me and I’ll do it.  I’ve always been that way.  In fact, it’s probably the same reason I’ve entered into a No Sugar Until the Other One Gives In challenge with The Boss.  Neither of us is allowed to eat refined sugar (with a couple of “let’s keep this realistic” exceptions).  So far so good with the challenge – neither of us shows much sign of giving in any time soon.  We’ve both shown remarkable restraint in the face of brownies, cake and other sweets.  It probably helps me that my hubby has no sweet tooth what so ever.

So one little 400 yd sweater?  It’s nothing compared to staring chocolate in the face.

Summertime

I think summer is here.  At least it was here last week.  The weather made it up into the high 80’s for 3 full days until it plunged back into the 50’s.  It’s a foggy balmy 55 today – light sweater weather.

One of those warm days we took the kids on a 4.5 mile walk down the Osaugie Trail.  By the time we got back the temp had hit 90 degrees F and the girls thought they were going to melt.  So we did what any good Northerner would do and left our un-air conditioned house and went to the air conditioned library.

My Little Reader

The kids found a stack of books to read and I found some cookbooks.  I recently found out that I need to follow a gluten free diet and so I’m reading everything I can get my hands on.  I’ll try to keep the gluten-free chatter on my family blog, www.poskozims.blogspot.com instead of cluttering it up here.  It’s not an easy change for me (oh let me list the things I miss!) but it has definitely made an improvement in how I feel.

While going from extremely warm to cold air conditioning, it struck me that what I need is a little light airy sweater.  Something like the Liesl that has been in my queue for.eve.er.  I even own a hard copy of the pattern.  Every summer I say I’m going to make a rainbow of these to go over tank tops and little sun dresses (of which I probably own 3).  Then fall comes around and I wonder why I would ever want anything without full sleeves.

But baby, I promise this summer will be different.

But first, I’ve got to finish my Lumen shawl (on the last 16 rows) and the HPKY scarf.  By the time I’m done with all that garter stitch I think I’ll be ready for some feather and fan action.  Hopefully there will still be a few days of warmish weather left to inspire me to knit a Liesl.

Focus

Malabrigo Lace – Vintage 2010

 

Do you ever feel like you’re running from one thing to the next, never really buckling down and finishing the first thing?  Never really sitting back and appreciating the feeling of accomplishment you get from finishing?  My Dad would have a somewhat coarse description of this that I won’t share with you.  Suffice it to say that a whirlwind is involved.

 

The kicker is that I have finished things.  I haven’t taken pictures yet, but I have finished things.

  1. I cleaned out the Ugly Room.  I need to find a new name for the computer/yarn/toy room.  Unfortunately it has a rather large stairstepper right smack in the middle of the room so I can’t really call it the Pretty or Beautiful Room.  It’s functional.  The yarn that was creeping out of control is now contained.  I separated out projects that have yet to be finished (yikes I have a lot!) from stash yarn.  I feel a lot better about the room and I no longer feel like I have to ban people from entering the room when they visit.
  2. I made 10 1/2 hats for the Optimist Club baby hat challenge in the last month.  I tend to knit these here and there as I have bits of yarn to use up or as a quickie project.  The half of a hat I am hoping that I can finish at lunch time today… during the Optimist Club meeting.
  3. I made cute little headwarmers.  Someone brought these into my office last week to show some other volunteers.  I copied the pattern and promptly cast on for 2.  One is for Addie and one is for myself.  I haven’t added the flower for myself – not sure I could pull that off.  Addie’s headband has a fluffy flower pinned on.  Lily has decided that she wants one to match the cowl she made, so that will be next.  It’s a super quick, one to two hour project.  I do need to block the one for myself a bit, it just doesn’t quite cover my ears.
  4. I finished the Ugly Blankie.  It’s blocked and drying right now.  I hope to mail it off this week.

 

I’ve also cast on for a Lettuce Pullover in the Malabrigo laceweight in the picture above.  This is part of a Knit a Long with Knittymuggins and Troy.  I’ve gone back and forth on whether this is really the sweater I want to knit or not.  However I think I’ve done enough cardigans for awhile and I really want a pullover.  I haven’t gotten much done on it since we cast on Valentine’s Day night (I know, not very romantic but my hubby worked that night).  You can probably guess from the list above why I haven’t worked much on it.