Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hello Stranger

That is what I feel like anyway, a stranger on my own blog!  Again, it has been more than a month since I posted anything, and I have so little to show you it hardly even seems worth blogging tonight...but it was brought to my attention that I had disappeared and that there are one or two people out there who were starting to get a little worried.

Life has been trucking on at Chez Yarn Diet.  We had a couple of ever so busy weeks, weeks where there was not a single evening where I was home with all of my family, just out with one or two at a time.  By the time we hit a day where not only was I going to be home after work, but I didn't need to run back out to work the next morning I felt like I deserved an evening of peace, quiet, comfy slippers and my spot on the sofa.

I bragged about the evening I was going to have and how once I got home I was going to settle in and not move for hours.......

My team smiled, my customers nodded and the powers that be giggled and whispered "We'll show her!"

I woke up the next morning with the mother of all headaches.....I couldn't breath without hacking up a lung, my nose was running and getting dressed wore me out to the point I took a three hour nap!  It has taken over a week to get over that pesky bug, everyone here has had it, everyone had days where just getting out of bed was an accomplishment, but we are all much better now.

We are a little behind on our Christmas preparations, although anyone who has 6 Christmas trees up and decorated really can't claim that they have done nothing for the holidays!

Knitted goods, however, are at a premium!  This is not the year of a blanket, sweater and a pair of socks for each child, hats, scarves and mittens for friends and family.....

But, I finally finished the second set of Bigger on the Inside socks.

Knit Picks fingering yarn in a deep, dark, red.  Cables on either side of the TARDIS, and extra long in the feet because someone seems to have grown a lot this year!

I also finished up my just plain Bigger Socks.  Plain no pattern to speak of socks, short row heel and done!

I did have one more pair of socks on my needles, halfway through the heel flap when one of my impatient children accidentally ripped all my stitches off the needles moving it from the seat they wanted to sit in......eventually I will feel like picking up the stitches.

But not today!





Sunday, November 4, 2012

Where did all that time go?

Hard to believe more than a month has flown by without so much as a peep or a picture from me!

Did you fill your October with anything fun, exciting or interesting?  Get any holiday knitting done?  Hand out candy to goblins and witches, or super heroes?  We saw a lot of Avengers around here even with the dreary, rainy day that was Trick or Treat Night.

Mine seemed to be filled with a lot of hanging around, waiting for things.  Some were good things, some were not so good things, some were frustrating, one was budget killing, and others were down right harrowing.  But, we here at Chez Yarn Diet, seem to have survived them all.

You would think with all the hanging around waiting, I would have lots to show you but I really have very little!

We have "They will Make Your Eyes Bleed" Socks.  TDQ saw this yarn and fell in love.  I however didn't, which is why these are plain vanilla socks, no pattern, no fancy work....something to work on in the dark, or at least with my eyes closed!  (Made for good knitting while at school functions, hidden way back in the dark recesses of the Performing Arts Center!)

We also have a variation on Bigger on the Inside.  I may have a housefull of Doctor Who fans, but the boys do draw the line at shawls, even when they want the Tardis from one!  Adapted, slightly, to be knit in the round the Tardis is on each side of each sock and in the green surrounded with a broken rib type texture pattern.

 

One of the things about having twins, very often they want the same thing, but if you give them exactly the same things there is often confusion about who owns what, which leads to .......  well not good things.

So here we go again, with more Tardis Socks, but this time in red, surrounded with cables and two by two ribbing.  I don't seem to have got very far on these ones, but they will be done by Christmas!

As much of my month consisted of waiting on things, and not always being in a position to knit more than a few stitches at a time, or even keep track of where I was in a row or pattern repeat, I needed some more plain vanilla knitting that was portable.  In keeping with the "Bigger" theme I went for some "bigger" socks and let the yarn take care of the boredom!

And I might have snuck in some mittens too!

Some stash yarn from Knit Picks, smaller needles than the pattern called for and they were done in a day and a bit of waiting!  It is hard to tell from the picture but they are a dark purple, with light purple, pink and cream for the pattern, and some stripes in the hand as I only had the one ball of purple to play with.
They have already been hidden in the Christmas Box, so do me a favor, don't mention them to TDQ!

I did get one triangle done for my American Brilliant, unfortunately I am about to start Christmas knitting and I have an awful lot to get done, so it might be a while before I get back to this one!




Maybe this month I will be better at blogging!

~M

Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's a Riddle

One of the groups on Ravelry has been having a discussion about "Yarn Harlot Moments".  They are really just knitter moments, but ones that Stephanie has made famous through her books and blog. Things like, when you know you made a grave error in your yarn choice, but still keep knitting for hours before admitting that the truly fuzzy yarn is covering up all the fancy stitch work you are doing and give in to frogging your project.  Or starting a project that you know takes twice as much yarn as you have in the hopes that you will find, not only more, but the same dyelot before you are finished knitting!

I have been having some of those moments with my American Brilliant.  The blanket is made up of a bunch of individual squares. A larger center one, 14 smaller ones, 10 fan shaped ones, four corner ones and some separately knit borders.  In the order the pattern was put together, after I finished the largest square I would work 10 smaller ones..... all the same.

Easy enough, right?  There is only one chart for those ten squares, it doesn't change.  I am using one type and color of yarn (of which I bought plenty!) and I am using then same set of needles for all of this project. 

I knew I had a problem with the first square, some how I ended up with the wrong number of stitches on one side of a cable.  Frog it?  Fix it?  Ignore it?  Those are the only choices and as it was one stitch, rather than rip down and fix it I decided it was a small enough error I could live with it and I adjusted how the stitches were laid out later.

Fair enough?

I thought so.

Roll on the second knit through, there is me thinking that having followed (well mostly, apart from the error I mentioned above) the chart once, the second time it would make more sense and I would get the stitches all where they belonged.

Hah!

This one was wrong too........but amazingly enough, this one was differently wrong than the first one!

Now wrong I could understand, that would be me misreading something in the chart, but differently wrong?  It's certainly puzzling me!

I think I will start working on the fan shaped ones and come back to these pesky Hob Stars another day!

I can hear you asking though, whatever happened with the sweater that just needed sleeves?  The one that needed to be off the needles before anything else was cast on?

This happened!

 


Stats:  Opposite Pole by  Joji
Nashua Creative Focus Superwash Wool in Natural
Size 9 (US) needles throughout.





Mods : Changed the outer most cable to one from Ingrid.


I finished it just in time, tomorrow a new month starts, and as many knitters know there is only one thing to do in Socktober!

~M

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Apples!

After I got off work yesterday, TDQ and I ran a few errands, that included stopping in at a (reasonably) local farm market (as in a large one room store that is located on a farm, not a farmers market where several farmers sell their wares) and picked up a little of this, and a little of that, and about a peck and a half of honey crisp apples.  What can I say, it sounded like a really good idea at the time, at least until we unloaded the car and I remembered, there are only four of us and although we all eat apples, how many apples did I really think that the four of us would eat before I was tossing the leftovers in the compost pile? (The picture shows one of several bags of apples that were in the kitchen!)

I know that Honeycrisp are sold primarily as a raw eating apple, but I have made apple pies with whatever apples I had on hand before, so today I made a syrup, and peeled and cored, sliced and jarred until I had 9 quarts of pre-made apple pie filling. (The last three quarts were still in their water bath when I took this picture!)  A couple more of the apples were diced a little finer, tossed with the scraping of syrup that was left in the bottom of my pan and turned into turnovers while the jars processed.

The Other Brother had wanted brownies, which I had baking while making pie filling,  and while I was being very "domestic" I might have chocolate covered some pretzels and strawberries too.

I think it was the fault of the cooler weather we were having today, got me in the mood to cook lots of goodies to eat.  I know that the lower temperatures have certainly made it easier to work on the sleeves of my Opposite Pole.   One sleeve is done, the other is just below the sleeve cap (worked in short rows which are not my favorite thing to do in the round, but they certainly do help with the fit!)

I got the center square of my American Brilliant completed, it took nearly an entire skein of ShaSha, and I am being very good and working on Opposite Pole rather than cast on the next square....(Hob Star if you are interested and there are 10 of them to knit.)

And the baby blanket is slowly getting a border, I have plenty of time to get this one done, so it is my mindless tv watching knitting.....when you only watch one hour of tv a week you don't get much mindless tv watching knitting done!

But, there were some other things to share!



Presenting Twilight Accessories from none other than Andrea Jurgrau.  Really these are teaser photo's as right now it is a club member pattern, but will be available to purchase on Ravelry in November.  Lots of twisted stitches in these pieces, and you can knit them all out of a single skein of sock weight yarn!  TDQ already is wearing this set to school in the morning.  remember those cooler temps ? We only really feel them in the morning and as her bus is here before 7am each day, she has been saying she needed a "little something" that would fit in her backpack during the rest of the day.

I leave you with a picture of the friend that is visiting our front porch!  I had actually gone out to take pictures of the preying mantis who ran and hid when she saw the camera.  I wonder how long this friend will hang around?

So, that was my week in a nutshell.  How was yours?  Get much knitting done?

Until next time....




~M


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Knitter's ADHD

The Yarn Harlot recently wrote a post about digging through her stash in search for yarn for two sweaters for her nephews. (Links are to her blog and the specific post)  I thought it was appropriate to link to that today because, like many other knitters, I have a few things on the needles, and more yelling at me to be cast on!

If you will recall, I said I couldn't start my American Brilliant until I had one project off the needles - there was no reason for saying that, other than an arbitrary, I need to have some finishitupus to go with my case of startitus.

Technically, this is off the needles, right?

Yes, I know, there are sleeves missing, but there are no knitting needles, currently, in that project!  Which means I had free rein to do this.

I am a lost cause, but technically I did follow the letter of the law, if not the spirit!

That is Land O Lace, ShaSha in Tonka Bay, on size 4(US) needles and this will be a very long term project, there are 33 individual pieces to knit and then a ton of sewing up to do!




~M

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wool Gathering, and gathering wool

I , very briefly, met up with a friend while at Wool Gathering.  We each had our own things we wanted to look at, so mostly it was "hi" and "see you", but she asked what I was planning on buying while there.  To be honest I only had one planned purchase and it was very vague.....yarn that reminds me of sunflowers.  I didn't find that, but I did find a few other things!








































I have told you before about watching the sheep shearing, this time The Other Brother peppered the shearer with questions about how the sheep felt about the situation.  "Is it uncomfortable for the sheep to be held that way?  What happens when you don't have them positioned just right?"  I still find it amazing that with all the advances we have in technology that every scrap of wool, in every country, every knitters stash, on every persons back, was sheared by someone just like the man we watched today.  TOB was also fascinated with the old time circular knitting machine that was being used in one of the tents, and asked lots of questions about where she found the machine, who taught her and what kinds of yarn could be used on it.

We did follow my plan of checking out all the vendors first, without making any purchases, and then after fueling the pack mules, making my final selections.


The kids did make several of the vendors, and patrons, laugh while I was making my purchases!

The Other Brother suggested that I buy him some sock yarn.

Me : "Why do you want sock yarn, TOB?"
TOB : "To knit you socks for Christmas...well maybe your birthday next summer.....I am sure I will be finished making them by the Christmas after that!"

He settled for a yarn from Fiber Optic, only the best for his mother's socks, he picked a cashmere blend!

Then The Drama Queen......

TDQ "You sure are picking out a lot of yarns"  when I had several different colorways in my hand to wander outside with to look at in real light (lighting in the tents as you might notice from the pictures is not the best!"
Me: "Well, I stuck to my yarn diet pretty close this year, now I get to eat off the dessert menu, right?"  (I am pretty sure I got a discount on the yarn for that comment!)

And, finally once the pack mules had dragged my purchases back to the car, while eating their reward ice-cream.......

The First Brother : "If we eat anything other than just veggies for dinner, we are plain crazy!  This is the most unhealthy I have eaten all year!"
TOB : "I don't think I even want to think about eating dinner at all!"
TDQ : "Mom, can we cancel dinner tonight?" crunching on the waffle cone that is all that is left of a two (very large) scoop ice cream cone. "And maybe tomorrow too!"

Some very nice things did come home with us, and I stayed well under my planned budget, but even with those dollars to go back into my yarn budget, now to start saving again for next years event!















Much to TDQ's disappointment, all the livestock at Wool Gathering, stayed at Wool Gathering, and to my disappointment so did all the spinning wheels, roving, batts and looms!

But, I am happy to say, TDQ did run off with her yarn purchase after I took that last photo, and was last seen in the living room like this :
Yep, if you look really closely you can see knitting needles in her hand!  I might have to get a door and a big lock for my stash room sooner than I thought!

~M