Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 roundup

Just for grins, I collected the ball bands off of all the yarn that I used this year.

If it was earlier in the day, or if I'd had a nap, I might be tempted to add up the number of yards that I'd used. However, since I'm not that crazy, let's just say... a lot.

This year I again majored in socks, mostly plain ones. Here's a list of everything that I made.

For charity, I knit the following things for Mittens For Akkol:
11 pairs of adult socks
6 pairs of toddler socks
3 adult sweaters
2 balaclava hats
1 baby pullover
2 pairs of baby tights
3 pairs of longies
6 baby blankets

For gifts:
4 pairs of adult socks
1 cobblestone sweater
1 bellyphant cardigan and slippers

For me:
1 pair of socks
1 pentagon sweater
1 pair of long-awaited gloves
1 test pair of baby tights
2 swiffer covers
and I wrote a pattern for Baby Tights.

My knitting slowed down a bit this year, although I still carry it with me to all sporting events and believe me, there were A LOT of them.

My blogging slowed down also. We'll blame that on a combination of things.
1. Lack of interesting knitting
2. Joining facebook and falling down that rabbit hole
3. Switching to a new version of blogger that I don't like and don't care to use.

Looking forward to the new year, I'd like to finish up one last major UFO that I've had lying around--a fairisle vest.  For the first time, I'm going to knit all the items for an M4A grad.  The sweater is done, and most of the yarn for the other items is ready and waiting.  I need a new pair of socks, so that will be coming soon also.  (Need, as in "want to try out a new pattern", not need as in "my feet will go cold otherwise".)  And write a new pattern.  Or two.

I'd better watch it, this is getting dangerously close to writing some New Year's Resolutions, which I don't do.  Let's just call them "ideas" and move on.  And I will.

Happy New Years!  I'm off to knit (and maybe take a nap).

Sept.-Dec. roundup

To the best of my faulty memory, here's what I knitted between Sept. and Dec.

8 pairs of socks, 5 of which were for M4A sock challenge and 3 were Christmas gifts.  (Hmm...I need to make a pair for me!)
A Cobblestone pullover in dark green for my brother
A pompom scarf for my bannister to wear
A Bellyplant Cardigan and booties for my new nephew
A scrappy pullover using sock yarn for an M4A baby
3 pair of longies
And a pair of red and black gloves for me that was a two-year-long project.

Dear Family....

Dear Family,

If, while I am downstairs on the computer trying to catch up blogging from months of nothing-ness, you decide to take a nap, please LET ME KNOW!  You know I love naps, they're one of my most favorite things in the whole wide world.  It was eirie, going upstairs to get a cup of coffee, just to find that I was the only one awake at 2:30 in the afternoon.

Mom (who is now a bit more tired than you.  And is not sure that she spelled eirie right.)

Catching news

Here are some family news items that happened recently. The younger two kids each played on a high school sports team this fall. DD#2 is a junior and played her second year on varsity field hockey.

DS#2 is a freshman and played on JV soccer.

He got pulled up to varsity for the playoffs, and for the first time ever they won the regional championship!  Here he is in their first playoff match wearing the hat I made for him.  (The observant among you will notice a couple of differences between this and the previous photo.  New number =new varsity uniform.  New cleats=replacement of ones that completely came apart in a previous game.  Oh the expenses, er, joys, of parenthood.)

I had several opportunities to wear the gloves I'd made, because the several games got really, really cold! I also had on a wool sweater, wool socks, wool hat, and a blanket (not handknit, but still really necessary.)(My ring finger on my left hand is a bit short.  Still wondering whether I should redo it.)

DD#2 is 16 yrs. old, but looks about 25 in her homecoming dress.  (Notice the bruises on her knees from a game the day before.  A field hockey ball is NOT soft, by any means.)

DD#1 and I drove through 5 hours of snow to visit my dad in PA over Halloween weekend. The roads stayed wet and not icy, so there was no driving problem.  We did a problem with the windows fogging, though, which can be attributed to the amount of hot air inside the car. :)

There was some time between seasons, so DD#2 played powder puff football.

Fall sports season is over, and winter season has begun. DD#2 has made the varsity basketball team and has gotten in several games so far. The bulk of the season will begin in January.  DS#2 is on the freshman team, and since he hasn't played since 4th grade, he has some catching up to do. Being 6'1" is a big help, though.

DS#2 got an early Christmas present--braces.

My dad and brother came down for Christmas, and we all got together for pictures.

Merry Christmas regular style...

...and Merry Christmas Ninja style!

Catching up...Christmas knitting

Once the socks were done for the M4A challenge, I concentrated on Christmas knitting. My plan was to make 3 pairs of socks and 1 sweater by Christmas, and I succeeded! The last sock was finished on Christmas day, but since the recipient wasn't there yet, I won! Unfortunately, In the flurry of activities, I forgot to take any pictures.

It figures.

The socks were plainly knit with nice yarn and the sweater was the Cobblestone Pullover by Jared Flood. I was working on the pullover and the last pair of socks at the same time, and both were made out of nearly identical shades of dark green.

Not my most brilliant plan as it almost bored me to tears. Now that they're done, though, I've been using some orange and yellow yarn to make a striped baby blanket. That's about as far away from dark green as I can get.

In the midst of all the Christmas knitting, I took the time to make a pompom scarf. I couldn't resist the yarn, and two skeins made a really nice, big, fluffy scarf. So far I haven't worn it, but it makes a nice bannister decoration.

Catching up... Bellyphant cardigan

In late September my SIL had a little baby boy and I decided to knit him a sweater. In late December, I finally mailed off the sweater. (In my defense, one attempt was made to hand deliver it, but no connections were made. For another excuse, I used worsted weight yarn in a pattern that calls for DK weight, so I figured it would be big enough for awhile...) This is the Bellyphant Baby Cardigan as found here on Ravelry.

Since the elephants were far apart and I didn't want long floats, I decided to do them as intarsia, using little balls of yarn for each elephant. However, I didn't do that with the gray yarn, so there were still long floats but just of one color. Next time I think I'll do the whole thing as fair isle and just make sure the floats are long enough.

The yarn is Berroco Vintage in gray and light blue. 2 skeins of gray and 1 of blue, I think? (the downside of blogging about something months later...faulty memory. Hey, I can barely remember what I did the next day, let alone once this much time has passed.)

I bought the slipper soles and knit the cuffs to match the sweater. The cuff is knitted separately and then sewn to the soles.

Here we have it: One elephant set that has finally been delivered and still fits!

Catching up....M4A boxes

Let me fill you in on some knitterly things that have been happening around here. In early November I mailed out 3 boxes to Mittens_4_Akkol for their annual sock drive. We got over 400 pairs of socks done for Nanci to take over --she's there right now, in fact. We also knitted items for their baby house. This is a collection of what I sent:

14 pairs of socks,
5 baby blankets
4 baby leggings,
1 scrappy baby pullover,
and 1 balaclava hat!

Friday, December 09, 2011


Working at a retail craft store during the month of December has it's definite disadvantages. I'm tired, hot, and covered in glitter for the whole month. days off around the holiday. And I have no more answers to any questions for the rest of the day. All the answers have been used up. All.

I don't know what's the best paint to use on dough ornaments. Read the label or, better yet, buy some and try it out. That's what I do. No, we don't sell decorative clothes pins. Here's an idea...decorate your own! We're a craft store, after all. And if I have one more person ask me where the bathroom is...

Sorry, rant over... (if you can't tell, I just came home from work.)

However, there are some advantages to working there, not the least being that I can keep good track of the sales. The store has been clearing out the fall seasonal colors of Patons Classic Wool, and a couple of weeks ago I bought the blue and pink colors for $1.49 each. I've been watching the yellow and orange since then, hoping that it would go lower without getting sold out. Today they went on sale for 59 cents each!

I bought all that was left, so now I have:
  3 sk. petal pink
  4 sk. aquarium
  7 sk. yellow
  8 sk. pumpkin


So, if you're around a big box craft store that starts with an "M" in the next couple of days, see if there's any of this yarn left. But, don't ask where the bathroom is!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

WHW Plain Wrap in Spanish!

My WHW Plain Wrap is now in Spanish!

I was contacted by okerilla in October who wanted to write a Spanish translation for my pattern. How nice is that? She did it very quickly, but I took forever in posting it. You can go to her blog, juntitos for a link, or you can go to my Ravelry pattern and download the pdf file from there.

And look at her pretty picture!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Boring Post #76

Two more pairs of socks are done. They are both 10.5" long. I call these the girl tiger pair, but they are really Lang Jawoll Color Aktion. This seems like a nice sturdy yarn that will hold up with lots of wear. It came with a separate little skein of yarn to knit in on the heels and toes. I'm not sure I liked knitting with it, though, as it made it almost too thick to knit. 68 sts, size 1 dpns.

This pair is made from Patons Kroy socks in the cascade colorway. I think I'm working through all the colors of Kroy one by one. They are 60 sts on size 2 dpns.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A day in the life of a sock

A couple of days ago DS#2 had a soccer game about 1.5 hours away from us. The game itself take only about 1.5 hours, but the process usually takes up the entire day. I gave a good attempt on taking pictures of my sock progress throughout the day.

I cast on at home and knit a couple of rows. Then, I did some knitting in the car:

At beginning of the game it looked like this:

The team mom brings lollipops for the parents to keep us busy and shut us up so we don't start yelling at the refs or players. I don't really have that problem, but I usually take a pop anyway. This one is caramel apple and it distracted me from knitting:

By halftime, my sock looked like this:

Then, on the way home I knitted a couple more rows:

The game ended in a tie, but there was really nice weather and no rain, no lost knitting needle, and good knitting progress. A successful day!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Same old, same old

Same old, same old around here. Been going to lots of games (both field hockey and soccer) and have been knitting more socks. These socks measure at 29cm which is about 10.5". However, my son with the 12" feet can fit into them comfortably. I don't know what's up with that. Maybe they have a lot of stretch in them.

Patons Kroy denim stripes on size 2 dpns, 64 sts. There's actually still some yarn left over, so I might make a pair of baby socks...

...and that's what I did with this leftover Filatura Lanarota Fashion Toes yarn. They're pretty little, but I'm sure some baby will fit into them just right.

Filatura Lanarota Fashion Toes yarn, size 2 dpns, 36 sts.

Here's the next pair on the needles. These are Lang Jawoll in a pattern that looks like girl tiger stripes.

These are all for the M4A sock challenge that are due in November.

I need to get moving on other items on my to-do list. Christmas presents are being planned, a hat has been requested, and a zebra putter golf club cover has been mentioned. (That'll take some thinking....)

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I finally found time to turn the heel, and now the Indulgence socks are done.
68 sts, size 1 square needles, Indulgence yarn. They are 10.5"-- and are surprisingly enough the size I was shooting for. They'll be going to the children of Kaz for their annual sock challenge this November.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I"ve been working on a pair of Indulgence socks. They're not really indulgent, since they're just plain vanilla socks knit with 68 sts on size 1 square needles. However, Indulgence is the name of the yarn and it is super super sooooft. It's made up of 75% extrafine merino wool and 25% nylon which explains both the softness, and the fact that it should be durable considering the nylon.

With all the sporting events that I've been to, I'm finding that I need to have 2 socks on the needles at all times. I didn't have time to finish the heel before the next game so I had to start a new one.

It works pretty well since the other pair is using Patons Kroy on size 2s and I won't have to swap out needles. I might try to keep this up during the fall season, although I feel the sweater urge coming on...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Screaming UFOs

I tend to not have a lot of UFOs for this simple reason:

I can't stand them screaming at me.

They sit in their basket, or their bag, or in their corner on the coffee table and scream at me, "Hey, remember me? How about working on me today? Or, better yet, how about FINISHING me sometime, ok?"

The last time, to my recollection, that I worked on these gloves was Oct. 2009. At that time they were looking like gloves could fit the Jolly Green Giant. Two years (and much screaming) later, and they are done.






I used a different pattern and smaller needles and completely reknit them.

Now they don't fit a Jolly Green Giant, they fit me!

The variegated yarn was specially dyed by Ray from Knitivity. The pattern is Knotty, but I didn't do any of the cabling since I figured they wouldn't show up anyway.

Check out the weird white pooling, and the stripes on the fingers.

I still have leftovers, enough to do another pair of socks, if I wished. Also, all the old i-cord fingers are casualities. I might be able to use them in something (and you know how I hate to waste yarn.)

One less UFO to scream at me, and one old UFO to go.

P.S. Is the scrolling down (or up) of this blog particularly slow to you? Or is it just me?

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Blogger updated their program and I decided to do it too. 

Let's just say that the older I get, the less I like change...


It's been a busy time since I last blogged... There are now 2 of our kids in high school, and both made their sports teams. DS#2 is on JV soccer and DD#2 is on V Field Hockey. There have been many, many practices already, plus the start of school with all their new assignments.

Plus, our weather has been rather unstable at best. We've have an earthquake, a tornado or two, a HURRICANE, several thunderstorms, and a torrential downpour. We were without power for 90 hours with the hurricane and lost a couple of trees, but no other damage. Today is sunny, and hopefully tomorrow will be also.

With all that, I haven't been knitting as much as you'd think, but I have been knitting. Awhile ago I decided to try dyeing yarn using Wilton's Icing Colors in black. It was supposed to fracture and create a multi-colored yarn as the colors struck at different heating points. And it did. Here it is in the beginning. I hung the yarn out the side so that it would dye just part of the yarn first. The problem?

The yarn was wet when it went in the crockpot and then leaked all over the floor. Lesson learned.

I stuffed the rest of the yarn in the crockpot and let it simmer for an hour or two and here's the result:

Definitely no black, although plenty of other colors. 

I made two skeins of the "black" yarn and used them to make a pair of longies.  Even though I dyed the yarn in the same dyebath, one skein definitely turned out darker as you can see below by comparing the two legs.  Next time maybe I need to stir more.

The longies knitted up quickly on my knitting machine, so I decided to make 2 more pair.   Actually, the easy knitting worked up quickly, and all the finishing work was still done by hand. 

All three pairs are a size 3T which is still needed in the baby house in Kaz.  The middle pair is using Patons Classic wool in Cognac heather, and the right pair is using green Patons Classic and brown Fisherman's wool.