Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 goal-less-ness

2011 was the year of the hats. My charity goal for the year was 100. I made 101 (because I can't count).

2012 was the year of the sweaters. My goal was 12 tops for myself - I made 10. But I also hurt my wrist and was out of commission for over six weeks. I also set a charity hat goal of 40 - I made 80 (call me inspired).

2013 was the year of the blankets. My goals were posted yesterday. I didn't make my blanket goal. The problem was that my goals seem to still carry forward. I still had a sweater goal (which I barely made), but also a sock goal (not quite made either), and a charity hat goal (exceeded by 1, this time because I felt inspired).

2014? The outlook for 2014 is pretty hazy. I don't want to do a big goal. I'll still probably knit a lot. Right now I have a complex cabled sweater for myself in the plans... a hoodie for little 'a' in the plans... a baby sweater in the plans... some baby blankets... some charity hats. But, I think this year? This year... it'll be whatever inspires me at the time as opposed to doing x number of things.

2014 is going to be the year without a goal.


Random and inspired instead of regimented.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Review of 2013 Goals

I don't think I did too bad... for the most part, I accomplished a lot of knitting in 2013.

Here's how I did:

3 tops/sweaters for me - 3 done! Well, one still has an end to weave in, but that's intentionally waiting until February 1st.

I think the two-tone chevron top is my favorite of them all. But am thinking I ought to focus on making a few more long-sleeved ones, huh?

I also wanted to make 3 pairs of socks... but only managed two pair, and since the second pair were yoga socks (so no heels and no toes), they feel like cheating. I didn't hate them... but am not sure about making lots of socks again any time soon.

Though, in all fairness, I think I ought to be able to include the pair of socks I made for my son.... afterall, they do fit me perfectly (and don't have much growing room for his ever-growing feet).

I also had it in my head that I was going to make 13 blankets in 2013 (nothing like shooting high, huh???) But most of these were going to be baby blankets. And as always, there were still plenty of babies needing blankets, so I'm down to only one baby blanket at home right now (go figure). But, I only accomplished 9 blankets, with a few squares to make a 10th one... but not remotely enough squares for it in the end.

Then there was the goal to make 50 charity hats, I exceeded that goal, by just one. Not too bad, not too bad at all.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Another WIP whipped

Not the greatest photo, but I had to grab this quick while visiting my daughter-in-law since my phone (and only camera) died. I do have a web cam and tried that, only the shot was much worse. It's a pretty cute top. Not sure I needed as much 'flare' as there is at the hips, but I wanted some of the shaping... again, the pattern really calls for VERY slow color changes and long ranges before the next color and this yarn changed a bit faster, but I think it's still a cute way to use self-striping yarn in something not-quite striped. I'm sure I'll wear it in the spring and fall quite a bit as it does fit quite well.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Next WIP

Picked up the Mermaid Tee project... this was set aside in October when it was taking longer than I liked to finish it... and then I ended up having a baby shower invitation pop-up, so I ended up throwing together a quick baby blanket for the Quidditch this was intended for.

I should have totally taken a photo of the knit spaghetti before I started to pin it out... it looked like... well, it looked like rolled up, stockinette scraps.

I've pinned the items out as they were finished in October in the rough-shape of the schematic for seaming the parts together.

If I hadn't told you it was a shirt, I bet it would be virtually impossible to have figured it out.

The bottom half is the back (just needing one strip for under the left arm). The center is over the shoulders (just missing the sleeves). The top half is the front (just needing the strip for under the right arm and the two strips for the center front).

I've just finished under arm sections and have cast on and started knitting the front panels. Hoping to have them done by tomorrow night. A couple more days (give or take with the holidays) and I should be able to knit up the short sleeves. That leaves a TON of seaming - but it's an exposed seam, so the plan is to use single crochet to seam it up.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it again now. I just wish that the color changes were a little longer... but I think it's going to be a fun way to use self-shading color yarn and think I should have a finished garment by boxing day.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Knitworthy little boy - and Mario

It's DONE! <>

Yes, it's done, DONE, DONE!

To be honest, the worst/hardest part was coming up with charts for the words and I'm not entirely thrilled with either panel. But all-in-all, I think it's going to be a great blanket for his bed. It's ALMOST, but not quite big enough to cover my queen sized bed.

I've got a few ends to tackle (intentionally left for maximizing points)... but it's been through the washer and the dryer and is currently stashed for putting under the tree. (please ignore the messy bedroom)

Unlike the star wars blanket from a couple of years back, this is much lighter weight and will work throughout summer months... whereas the star wars blanket mostly has to be put away to prevent him from sweating to death once it gets even slightly warm out. Good for this time of year though... :-)

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Long Haul

Some projects are a bit LONGER than others.

Sometimes it's a complete slog, but you really, really want the finished item.  Because in all honesty? If it's no fun AND you don't REALLY want the finished items, let's face it - those items don't get finished! In point of fact... the double-knit blanket? got frogged this last weekend. The yarn has been reclaimed and is destined to become something else. Don't know what yet, I have a couple of ideas and only time will tell.

Sometimes it's a lot of fun, but just immense amount of work. That's the current Mario Mushrooms blanket. Each section was fun... but each section took a lot of time. I did a 9-block section for an Order Mission (my first and only complete Order Mission in the history of Order Missions). I did a 15-block and 6-block section for half of my NEWT (my first and only complete NEWT). I did a strip, that was the equivalent of a 5-block section for the top a week ago.  I finished the last strip (another equivalent of a 5-block section) this week.

All the ends have been woven in - so after a bit of seaming and a few more ends woven in... we should have a finished blanket. Plenty early for Christmas! And being it's my last Christmas present to make, I'm feeling pretty good about that.

I have only four remaining WIPs on the needles:

1. Fingerless gloves from October - these really need to be frogged and restarted - so I'll wait until January to maximize points.

2. My Braided I-cord scraps rug... this is a long-term WIP. Fun to work on... lots of work. Funny enough, while it's simple enough knitting - it's always fun to see how the unexpected scraps of color turn out as I am adding them quite randomly - and by the tme you have three different random sections that then get braided - it's quite enjoyable. I do bits and pieces of it as I come up with yarn scraps. I originally was thinking this was going to be a five to ten year project. But honestly? At the rate it's growing - it'll be ready for use within a few years.

3. My Mermaid Tee. Over 50% done. Cast-on originally for Quidditch for a seeker position - but set aside and never turned in for anything as it was taking so long to make. And I needed a quick baby shower baby blanket - which I used instead to earn points. Probably about 20 hours left of knitting and another five to six hours of seaming. Simple, straightforward knitting. Boring. It's using a self-shading color change yarn which should make it more interesting... but it's really not. But put on a good tv show and I should be able to pound away at it. I was originally thinking I should focus on my fourth WIP through the end of the month... but it's kind of intimidating... so maybe I'll take  the easier project of the two to focus on for a bit.

4. My Chocolate Passion Cardigan. This thing was a bear. I kid you not. There was a chart with a repeat. Then there was cabling (which couldn't really totally be in the chart due to short rows) plus garter stitch. THEN there were short rows (not in chart) AND there were also increases (not in chart) simultaneously. I have two sides - left and right. And had finished one incorrectly and didn't catch it until I was at that point in the pattern on the other side and realized I had missed the increases. I wrote stuff down and set it aside in frustration. And now can't find my notes. I reprinted the pattern and have no idea where I am as far as the pattern goes on the side that is live right now.... so I'll probably frog back to the last 'recognizable' point. Yes that's in quotes and I probably overdo using quotes... but I'm seriously  doubting there is going to be a recognizable point (insert  quiet little stifled sob here). Hopefully I can figure that out and finish one side correctly. And hopefully based on that - I can figure out how much of the other previously finished side needs to get frogged and restarted. Add some sleeves to knit and some seaming and buttons... and maybe, at some point this might become a sweater. Originally, I had planned on tackling this first. And I really do think I'll like the finished sweater a lot. But, it's the kind of thing that needs peace and quiet. I don't usually get a lot of that. However, I'm taking several days off towards the end of the year... and it looks like my son is spending most of those days with his dad.

So... my plan of attack is to watch a bunch of Christmas movies with the boys after school this week... and see if I can't pound out the rest of the knitting needed for the Mermaid Tee. I could seam it this weekend and get it turned into Flexible Scheduling for Nerdwars. Enjoy the holidays - if my fingers itch - I can always cast on a couple of charity hats to work on. Then by boxing day...  after my son goes to dad's house... I can drag out the Chocolate Beast and spend a little time in quiet focus.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Still more Christmas gifts coming off of the needles

First, a ski mask... for little Aydan who REALLY, REALLY wanted a dragon... and when I offered to make him a ski mask instead decided he wanted BOTH a dragon and a ski mask....

This was made with Red Heart With Love... with a pattern I wrote as I worked it. I cast on the same number of stitches I would have for a hat, knit in K1, P1 ribbing for six inches (for a six year old) - older and adults, I'd go up to eight to ten inches...  Then I cast off half the stitches - for me, I used Jeny's Extra Stretchy Bindoff from Knitty. K1, P1, the other half of the stitches... then used Backwards Loop to cast-on the stitches I had just cast off. I knit in K1, P1 ribbing for a good inch or so... then changed to stockinette (disregard the one row of K1, P1 ribbing that slipped in there somewhere during a good part of the tv show I was watching. I knit it stockinette another four inches (would have done closer to six for an adult).  Typical hat-based decreases, I K5, K2Tog  repeat through end of row, K one row, Then I repeat each row decreasing the number of stitches between K2Tog until the last row which is just K2Tog all stitches.  Quick, fast and mindless knitting. Fun and bright... perfect for a little boy who doesn't like to freeze.

Second, a pair of simple socks. I used the Easy-Peasy sock pattern on Ravelry. Worsted weight socks are SUPER FAST - this pair is in some Hobby Lobby I Love this Yarn in Ombre print.

He's growing so fast, and he's had to give up several pair of outgrown hand-knit socks this fall. He loves these socks, though they are almost as thick as slippers... but they keep his toes warmer in winter, and what's not to love about a little boy who loves socks that his mom makes him?  I want to knit him dozens... lol.

Lastly a set of bells... these were made following project notes out of the left overs from  the Red Heart with Love yarn from the ski mask hat...

One for me, one for little 'a', one for big 'A', his fiance 's', her son the littlest 'a' and the rest will go to teacher's with the teacher's gifts. Super fast at only an hour or so to make each one. The only thing stopping me is that I ran out of jingle bells. I have added a jingle bell inside each bell as a 'clapper' so that when 'rang' there's actually some noise.

I love following the tradition of hand-making ornaments every year and gifting them. It was getting to be a chore at one time when the number of nieces and nephews getting them were getting a bit 'numerous'... but after cutting back to immediate family and teachers, I can start enjoying it so much more again. I love finding a new pattern. And while I enjoy the more tedious projects as well, you just can't beat something that turns out this cute and is so super fast! These were made with a thick worsted yarn and came out to about four inches tall, three inches wide... but I was thinking some fingering weight yarn? might turn out tiny bells? and wouldn't that also be soooo cute?!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A couple of gifts down

First, I finished a hat for little 'a' a bit ago... then yesterday I managed to finish off a matching scarf. He has TONS of hand-made hats. But they are all 'special' and draw attention. And in the fourth grade? Drawing attention to yourself is not in his comfort zone.

But these should be cozy and warm for him this winter!

The next one is a secret project... for another little boy... who has asked me to make this exact item - and I told him that I didn't want to make it.... but decided today that if I could whip it out, it'll be great in his gift at Christmas time. I'll probably stick it in the bag of clothes (ooh - yuck... clothes for Christmas.... ugh - LOL).

I still have another ski mask to make for Christmas gifts and the Mario blanket to finish up ... making December a much lighter pile of knitting tasks than usual.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pikachu is finally done

I'm not quite sure he looks like the character... but I did what I could.

Here's the finished Pikachu:

Yeah... not perfect.... but eh... my son loves him anyway.

The yarn I had started him with was more neon-shaded... but I ran out and couldn't get more... so the new yellow is a bit brighter than the photo would appear... it's a good color.  I didn't get the face/head quite right. But I love the ears and the tail. Tail is made in seed stitch with lots of zigs and zags and a bit of darker color at the base. I added stripes to his back with duplicate stitching.

Sadly, he looks a bit more like a pillow than a pikachu... but I can live with it since little 'a' loves him all the same.

Of course, five seconds after he took Pikachu back to his room after he was finished he came back to me asking for a Snorelax... because it 'ought to be easy and really good for cuddling'.

While he ought to be easy enough to make.... I'm not sure I'm ready to sign up for coming up with him from scratch with no pattern... not yet anyway. Maybe. Good news is that his face is pretty straight-forward embroidery - so at least I'd be less likely to mess it up. So, for right now,  little 'a' is just going to have to settle for 'let me think about it'.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pikachu is in the home stretch

I've finished the body and head which felt like a total slog.

The ears were finished last night. The arms are over half done today. I think I'll manage to whip through the arms and legs tonight. That leaves me the tail to knit tomorrow... and seaming and making his face on Sunday.

It's just streaming along now that I'm through the worst of it.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Super-fast necklace

A couple of months ago there had been a class prompt that asked you to use some metalic colored yarn as one of the options. I wasn't going to do it... but in the craft store I stumbled onto a rack of Lion Brand BonBons and kept eyeing the package of metalics.  The package contained six little 35-ish yard mini-skeins and the metalics package had silver, gold, copper, etc. Super cute and super fun... and I broke down and brought the package home.  I ended up whipping out a super-easy, super-fast bracelet...

Basically, I knit three different I-cords; then braided them... which was inspired by a thought I had around making a braided rag rug - but instead of using rags; I wanted to use scrap bits of yarn and make I-cords from them. Making the bracelet  helped me think through the process and experiment a little.

This month, along comes another prompt... this time it was to be inspired by keys... and I couldn't resist adding a necklace to match:

It took only about 5 yards of each yarn. I used big needles to make it go quick... an dit did. About one hour from first cast on to trying on.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pikachu to 50%

It's felt like a total slog. I suppose in part, because I had over 30 hours of work in before I had to restart it. (Never really helps the attitude of 'is this ever going to end' when you do things like that).

And of course... just when I decided the head section was long enough... I convince myself it needs another half inch. Then after placing the eyes in when I thought I was done with the length I realized I placed them where I thought they should be from the top as if there wasn't going to be a good half inch to three-quarters of an inch taken up by the seam/top of the head section. And of course, being safety eyes, removing them to move them wasn't easily done. Sigh. So, I had to knit some more.

But, last night - I finished the head and body section and grafted the top of the head closed. Not my best grafting effort... but it's DONE. Now, it's onto the ears, the arms, the legs, and the tail. Then the embroidery and seaming....   I figure  I have about a week worth of work left to do on it... can't wait to show him off!!!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Still churning away on Pikachu, start of a scarf

Working on the pikachu is pretty tedious, but finally progressing.Right now it's just stockinette in the round on tiny needles (so tightly knit). I've got about one more inch on the body/head section to do before I move stitches from either end off onto waste yarn (for the ears) and seam the top. Then there are the small diameter ears, the small legs and arms, the tail and the finishing embroidery/facial pieces.   I'm hoping to get him finished by the end of next week.

Since it's soooo tight knitting and slow and a little boring... I started a scarf for little 'a' to match his black hat. I'm using Red Heart With Love yarn which is dense and thick and really nice for an acrylic. I'm basically knitting a tube of stockinette, but with a ready made seam at the bottom and it will end up having a seam at the top. I'm also adding a single stripe at each end about 6" from the end... in part to help it match the hat and in part to help give me something interesting. I'm at about 10" now, so a good LONG while before I get to the next stripe. And it's basically stockinette in the round - but in black. Good news is that I'm using size 10 needles so at least the knitting is nice and loose and relaxing. I'm spending a lot of time while knitting it thinking about how the thick scarf is going to be very warn and sooo soft due to the yarn... and hoping it will help keep hims a lot warmer this winter.

Normally I have a half-dozen projects in play at any given time. I've got a couple of WIP projects that will either get frogged or worked on next month. In the meantime, I'm down to one WIP that I started a couple of months ago. It's a scrap yarn project to help me use up a ton of tiny 'ends'. I was using bits and pieces that were averaging around 1 - 3 yards to knit on the 3 I-cords and the braiding them... to eventually get wound up and sewn into a braided rug. Because it had been almost a week since I'd had any ends to add to it, I dug into my scrap basket... and found a couple balls of yarn that are probably 5 to 20 yards. I took the time to add three of them to the length... and have one more that I can add today... and I am sure that I can dig through the basket to find more. Funny enough - being I-cords... it's basically 6 knit stitches, repeated... which means that it's probably been a week since I've done a purl stitch (except in knitting classes). But by adding the variety of colors, and the unpredictability of working on a scrap I-cord braid with whatever colors I find next... I'm really enjoying it. I can't wait to see what the next section of braid is going to look like.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Or not so much.

I've been knitting and knitting on the Picachu Pokemon stuffie. And there is SO MUCH MORE to do.

It's a little hard on my hands knitting at a tighter than natural guage (so the stuffing won't show).

Last night I put in a good hour to an hour and a half and got another half inch done.

Set it aside and cast-on a scarf for my son to match his black hat. In about 45 minutes (BIG needles) I got about 4" done.  I so need to do more knitting like this! Let me just say how rewarding it felt to have the visible changes done before I set it aside before bed. The black is a bit boring... but I was enjoying watching some of the older shows on Misfits on Hulu Plus... and mindless and fast knitting was the perfect compliment.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nearly there - but not quite done yet.

Oh, so close. But it doesn't seem like it's going to be quite the right size just yet. This is for the bottom bunk on my son's bunk bed - which is Full-sized. I don't want a lot of drape down either side... and my first thought before I seamed it was that I didn't think it would be wide enough. But, now that I've laid it out, I'm relieved that the width seems fine.

Of course? The height is too short. LOL. And my little 'a' is getting taller by the day. So, one idea I had was to add a third set of 15 blocks ... but I don't know that it needs to be quite that long.

Instead I'm thinking about blocking out some verbiage and creating a single panel all the way across the top...  "Mario" or "Mario & Luigi" across the top... and "know your mushrooms..." across the bottom.

I was thinking red lettering for Mario and maybe green for the "know your mushrooms"... but one look at the logos' and it's got a lot of different primary colors per letter... I'm hoping to sleep on it and focus on making the last two panels in December and finish the seaming before Christmas.

On the simple black hat

Little 'a' needed a hat that did not call attention to himself. I get it,  he's 10. Making yourself noticeable can make you a target.

The hat was made, was worn long enough to take a photo... then a scornful look and it got dragged off and thrown at me. Admittedly, he was grumpy, it was the first day of basic skills testing.

But then it got downright COLD. Hat got worn on Wednesday. Last night I got a hug... the hat was warm and cozy and did NOT catch anyone's attention. Today, he put the hat on without any comment and headed to school. Victory.

Though now I'm debating a black with red stripe scarf to go with the hat because it'll be getting even colder here before too long. And the only scarf he has right now is the one he stole from me when he was about 4... and it's bright blue fun fur. A little girly at 4; exceptionally so at 10. I'm thinking he needs a new scarf.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Charity Hat, NEWT progress, plus a family hat

The prompt for this hat was to make something you've made before. And yeah... I've done a TON of these two-color brioche hats. But, I had taken a bit of a break from them... so it took a little longer at each row change to remember, then muscle memory took over.

As I made this one (using DK weight yarn)... it seemed to take a really, really long time to make. Of course, while I was working on it at the KnitXMidwest retreat... I was spending some time socializing. I was also sitting next to someone who crocheted 10 baby hats in the same time it took for me to knit 4" on this hat. So, I was feeling a little 'inefficient'. But, I wanted to play more with the two shades of purple (dark and variegated) yarn that I had picked up at the shop the evening before... and this was hat #2 out of the yarn. Plus I should have enough for at least two more baby hats.... that will probably be simple stockinette with some striping. Fun colors, fun retreat... and whether or not I felt 'efficient'... I felt productive... and a little tired. Retreats can be exhausting. I didn't finish the hat until last weekend... I had set it aside to do other things and got back to it when I needed a break from working on Pikachu and the Mario blanket.

It may not seem like much - but there's a good 8" of progress on Pikachu (yeah... well, at this point he's a yellow 'bag' shape...lol) and a ton of progress on the Mario blanket (still to be revealed in more glory).

And then there was my son... who has MANY special hats made for him... going to school without a hat on a cold day. Why, you might ask? Becuase he's 10 and he wants to dissapear into the woodwork at school. So, I made him a 'don't notice me' hat, which he wore for about 10 seconds. Maybe when it gets a little colder. I used the lovely new Red Heart With Love Yarn for the black. It's oooooh- so soft, squishy and thick. It made quick work of the hat and I made sure to get it finished Sunday night so he could wear it to school yesterday (as if). I love him... I really truly do. But, sometimes one has to wonder what's in his head.

Actually, it's REALLY cold out today. But he's at home with a fever? Perhaps because he was outside yesterday in the snow and the cold and with no hat???? hmmmm.... perhaps. Little stinker. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mario Blanket progress

This has been a fairly long project.

I did 9 blocks in two months for my one and only successful Order Mission:

Then the plan was to do 21 more squares... the first 18 are here:

And now I've finished the last 3 that I had planned.

As I was working on these last few squares... I felt really good about my progress. The brick squares had started to get a bit tedious. But the questions and mushrooms go really quite quickly. The bright colors are fun and entertaining. Add that the mushrooms charts are quite symmetrical (means that chart reading is simplified as it doesn't really matter if you are on an odd or even row).  But, also a bit nervous. I cannot imagine what I was thinking when I bought my son a new bed... a full sized mattress as opposed to a twin. What was I thinking? I embark on a five month long project like this and change out the bed for a bigger bed at the middle of the project? I figure I'll get it all seamed and decide if I actually need to add another vertical panel to the whole thing to make it big enough. As it was, I was already worried about the length and had some thoughts to adding a horizontal band at the top (for sure) and possibly even across the bottom. If the length is also too short - I'll have to figure out what the next steps are and just how much bigger to make it and the best way to do it.

Either way, I'm going to try to focus my intentions onto my son's wonderful attitude improvements and try to stress less about how long it's taking. This blanket should be a really nice treat for his room.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Restarting Pikachu

I had started working on a Pikachu a couple of months ago and ram low on yarn..... And have spent two months trying to get the right shade and brand. Only to fail repeatedly.

That's what I get for playing fast and loose with ball bands and being oh so sure of myself when I started the project. Sure that doubling the project from the original pattern would not be an issue. Over confident. And it bit me in the ass.

Last night, I picked up the skein of not quite right, but it will do in a pinch if I start over.... And I cast on. I have hours and hours to go before I will be where I left off with the other yarn. And Weeks to go before he will be done. But its easy (if a little boring).

The night before last... My son and I were in the car on the way to his brother's house so they could watch then during my knitting class. He wanted to know more about what I was going to be teaching. I explained that it was intermediate knitting and about it being for folks who want to take their knitting to the next level.

Really? That's cool mom. But I wouldn't want to waste your time.

I was completely lost. Had no clue what he was talking about. But wanted to reassure him that any time I spent with him was always the best part of my day and never a waste.

No, he just knew how important my charity and 'special' knitting projects that he wouldn't want to slow my knitting time down for me to teach him additional knitting skills.


You mean you don't want me to delay the knitting on the Pikachu I am making for you, don't you?

Big toothy grin from the backseat. Pretty much. LOL

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Knitting Hats

November 1st rolled around... and it was a SUPER busy day. Eight hours at work followed by a four hour drive on the Interstate (little 'a' was heading to dad's for the weekend).

I had started a hat in August and left it with a single end to weave in for a ultra-fast turn in to the Forbidden Forest (detention) in HPKCHC.

This was made with some self-striping cotton scraps and I didn't think I could really find a good coordinating color to go with the 'chocolate mint' look. But it sure is super-cute. I held onto it until the First so I could WIPtheFirst... and it took me less time to finish the hat than it did to figure out how I was going to get a picture of it with my camera/cellphone in the dumps. This ended up being a webcam shot.

Then I proceeded to spend two days at a LOVELY and AMAZING knitting retreat - KnitXMidwest - I hope they plan to do it again next fall because it was UBER-Awesome.

Part of the awesomeness of it was getting to spend the whole weekend with a good friend from HPKCHC - and owner of She Makes Hats. I had planned to work on both my Pikachu stuffy (which needs to get restarted due to yarn issues); and my Know Your Mushrooms blanket... and I had pre-loaded jpgs and pdfs to my Kindle... only to have the Kindle charger die (serious tech issues lately... sigh).

So, instead I took along my double-knit blanket project. Which needs work. And I had thoughts somehow in my head that I could work on it for the whole weekend and get it to a reasonable length that it wouldn't be impossible to finish before the 23rd. Yeah. Right. I don't think I even finished a whole row before I threw it back in the bag in disgust. It's not that it's that hard. But it did require both concentration and focus - which was just not working for me at a retreat.

So, I reached back into my bag for a Purple hat I had cast on ... and didn't find it. Sigh - I had grabbed the wrong bag. Which was really a shame - because that had the circular needle I had planned to use for making more scrap hats when I finished the purple one. But, no big deal. I had a smaller circular needle in my notions bag (a just in case, kind of needle)... and I had lots of scraps of yarn.

So, I cast on and knit charity hat #2 for the month:

But on a slightly too small needle, and sitting next to a person whipping out about two crochet baby hats an hour... I got impatient. So, I went to the vendors/hosts of the retreat and found a bigger diameter circular needle... and whipped out one more hat with scraps:

Then we got to visit my favorite LYS (the hosts of the retreat) and visit some more and pick up some yarn. And I thought - well, I could still get a purple hat finished if I pick some up, right? And got intrigued with playing with a coordinating purple-ish/pink-ish variegated yarn... and on Saturday night I seamed in the ends on charity hat #4 for the week:

Sunday, I cast on for an adult hat (much more slow to knit) with the two shades of purple... in Brioche two-color stitch. I'd share a photo if I had one... so I'll post a reminder to myself to get one. I worked on it a little more this week... but not much. I had too much prep-work to do for my knitting class.

The good news is that these four hats here? Got me to my 2013 Charity Knitting goal of making 50 charity hats. Apparently I'm not done with hat knitting though - since I have two charity hats on the needles, one more that has been musing my noodle... and at least one to make for a gift for my grandson.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Rethinking the blog

Between technical issues ....

... work laptop ancient browser cannot be upgraded and blogger no longer supporting it
... home laptop power cord died
... kindle power cord died
... cell phone vs ultra-frustrated 10 yr old

Etc etc

And new found inspiration found at a knitting retreat where I spent two days with ultra crafty folks

And especially two days being inspired by and charmed by both Robyn of http:\\www.shemakeshats.com and Jen of http:\\www.makexdo.com...

Well, let's just say I took a look at my out-dated and ever-so-slightly boring blog.... and decided its time for some changes and focus.

I still plan to post info about what I am making and a little time talking about the inspiration. But instead of doing monthly planning... a single progress post and an end-of-month wrap up that throws all the projects en masse and probably a bit more overwhelming.... I am thinking I will focus more on what, when, why and a bit at a time... see if I can't share more thoughts... a little more of myself.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sept Mid-Month planning

1) WIP the First - DONE 

2) Class 1 - hat - DONE - Olifvander’s - charity hat 

3) NEWT to 50% - DONE

4) Pair of Yoga socks - DONE - Flourish & Botts leg protection 

5) Blanket square #1 - simple square, DONE - Quality Quidditch Supplies - selling it as a cloth for cleaning up -- plan on donating this to a baby blanket for a pride-mate

6) Blanket Square #2 - not so fast, an aran square - Apothecary - blue antique bottles as inspiriation NOT STARTED

7) Planned Partial - a mitered top for me - changing to Magical Menagerie class... original pattern was started and frogged three times before I decided it was not the pattern for me for this time... instead cast on and started a top that has vertical strips used in construction. Hoping it will still let me show off the good yarn and have some fun with construction.

8) Will probably have a hat (or three) on the needles for my traveling knitting - those will get tossed into Madame Maxime’s class at the end of the month Change of plans - one DONE and turned in

9) Quidditch Know Your Nimbus - hat made with favorite yarn and favorite top-of-the-line tools (addi clicks) DONE

10) Quidditch Know Your position - Yarn buster baby blanket (planning one for this month and the other for October) DONE

Unplanned, but DONE

A bracelet for Potage's Cauldron Shop

I'd also like to get Pikachu (yellow blob above) done this month, plus six more blocks, plus get the top as close to done as I can, plus my Aran square AND not the least, at least one more (or two or three) charity hats for Knockturn Alley. 

First half of the month was awesome and I was dedicated and look at all I got done. BUT, now it's been a couple of days where I haven't been able to knit hardly at all... and I can't find the yarn I need that I am running low on for Pikachu. Sigh. Been a rough week.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sept planning

1) WIP the First - DONE - just had to weave in the ends on a charity hat (have two more sitting & waiting for future WIPtheFirsts 

2) Class 1 - hat - DONE - Olifvander’s - charity hat 

3) NEWT to 50% - I have two more squares to make plus getting my second stuffie to 50% - where I’m at about 10%  -- hope to make this goal within two weeks; then perhaps get another 6 squares and be within two hours-ish of finishing the second stuffie (for Oct Flexible Scheduling)

4) Pair of Yoga socks - should be relatively fast - Flourish & Botts leg protection 

5) Blanket square #1 - simple square, should also be quick - Quality Quidditch Supplies - selling it as a cloth for cleaning up -- plan on donating this to a baby blanket for a pride-mate

6) Blanket Square #2 - not so fast, an aran square - Apothecary - blue antique bottles as inspiriation 

7) Planned Partial - a mitered top for me - Knockturn Alley with the self-striping mitering meant to distort view - but might need to put it into a different class/shop 

8) Will probably have a hat (or three) on the needles for my traveling knitting - those will get tossed into Madame Maxime’s class at the end of the month 

9) Quidditch Know Your Nimbus - hat made with favorite yarn and favorite top-of-the-line tools (addi clicks) 

10) Quidditch Know Your position - Yarn buster baby blanket (planning one for this month and the other for October)

Makes me a little tired just thinking about it. Especially since I'm at a never-ending stockinette stage on the Pikachu.

August - EOM wrap-up

NEWT- out of the 21 squares, I completed 10 (counting 12 as 50%)
           - out of the 3 stuffies, I completed 1 and got the other one started (counting 1 1/2 at 50%)

Hats for NerdWars - I completed four full hats and got them turned in for various prompts; plus got 3 hats to the almost-done, just need ends woven in for future WIP projects tocomplete for detention.

Plus I got the Baby blanket seamed from the donated squares and sent off to the new mom. :-)  I am quite pleased with the end results.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Too cute not to share right away

He's Azumarill ... and I don't think he turned out too bad. I would rather he was a little more 'eggy-shaped', and I wasn't happy at all with my bubbles. I wish I had used firmer wire for the tail. And the ears are quite heavy and want to flop the majority of the time. But the wire inside the ears was a brilliant design as they are definitely posable. And the mouth design is pretty brilliant as well. It really makes the face just-right. He was finished around 9:30 pm last night and little a was already in bed. But not asleep yet. So, he got to see it last night and it ended up sleeping the night with him. Which is something because it's hard for a 10 year old boy to go all gushy and give a girly 'it's sooooo cuuuuuute' claim and snuggle stuffies.

Of course, within five minutes he was thanking me for it, then thanking me for the NEXT one already promised to be made for him, but not started yet, AND requesting food for the Pokemon. lol.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

August mid-month Progress post

Quite a few blanket squares finished.

A few hats....

And good progress made on a Pokémon.