Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fickle

My plan failed, the one that went "if I call it Spring Cleaning, Spring will come" plan was derailed with more snow, and bitterly cold weather,  this past week.  Great weather for sitting next to a cozy fire and knitting, but I couldn't seem to get as much of that as I would have liked to in.  It might be the whole getting older thing, but I find that being cold really drains me, and once I am cold it takes me forever to warm up!

This was also the week of TDQ's birthday.  I thought I had that all under control as well, gifts purchased and made (well the blue thing isn't finished but she knew that heading into the day) but by the time I got home she was well into the grouchies and would not be budged!  (Note to all mothers of teenage girls out there, triple check that when your darling teenager says she wants pineapple upside down cake, that she doesn't really want ice cream cake.  Obviously in teen speak sometimes pineapple means ice cream and I didn't get it translated properly!)  I later found out that wasn't all that had "gone wrong" with her day, someone who should have remembered her birthday forgot to even say Happy Birthday, someone who should leave her alone felt a need to reopen old hurts by mailing something here.  All around I can see why she caught the grouchies and kept them close for the rest of the day!


The good news is, she got over most of them, and is wearing her socks and other presents I got her and back to her usual self today.

Would you like to see the little progress I made on her Blue Thing?  Amanda, you were right, it is shaping up to be a Tardis.




I need to get some more of the base blue to finish it up, and figure out if she wants it soft and cuddly or firm and suitable for a door stop!

In my abbreviated lunch times I got a few more repeats of my Some Kind of Wrap done,
 
 and finished up one Water for the Elephants sock...
 
and then made a tragic mistake. Rather than cast on for the next sock right away  I might have been distracted by the colors in some yarn TDQ found on one of our recent shopping trips.
 
 Would you believe those gorgeous colors, in what feels like real wool no less, were 80 cents for 50 gram balls????  I think we cleared them out of that colorway, all nine balls, but I will check back another time and really search the boxes they were in, just in case!

TDQ finds wool a bit scratchy to wear, but is more than happy to cuddle up in a blanket so I tried pairing it with some cream cotton to make a modular blanket for her.

Then changed my mind and dragged out some of the wool that a friend passed on to me when it had been sitting in a storage room for years.  It is hard to tell from the pictures, but the first square has the cotton and for the second I pulled out the cone of "natural 100% virgin wool" circa nineteen hundred and frozen to death!  I think that I will make this lap blanket sized, just because I would hate to be the poor fool handwashing a bed sized blanket every time she spills her tea on it!

If I had put all the knitting time on those projects together, I could probably have finished something!  What can I say, I am a fickle knitter!

~M


Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Week that was.....

What did you get up to this week?

I got up to a little finishing, a little starting, a little feeling like one of the Step Sisters from Cinderella, a little starting over and a little continuing.

We will take it from the top!

In the finishing department we have Candy Cane Socks.

Destined to be worn on the feet of TDQ, but not until her birthday, they are a plain vanilla sock with a hint of sparkle.  I had the yarn in my stash for a while, and now I can't find the ball band to tell you what it was! Obviously it was meant for Christmas style socks with a color name like Candy Cane, when the ball band shows up (possibly in the bottom of my traveling knitting bag) I will let you know!







Do you think she will like them?

In the starting department we have Water for the Elephants.  As soon as I had one pair of socks off the needles I cast on another!  I haven't knit stranded socks in a while and I am the next one that needs some socks so I picked out some neutral tones and set myself up with a little music.  Singing along and knitting didn't work out too well for me, as I put the heel in on the wrong side, so the pretty little elephant was going to be forever looking at where we had been instead of where we were going.
 
 Not one to give up so easily I was prepared to live with that small error, right up until I decided to try the sock on!  Just like the step sisters in Cinderella, there was no forcing that sock onto my foot!  But, starting over has it's good points, I like my socks just a little taller than the pattern so I took the opportunity to add a small section to the leg, and while I was at it I rearranged the charts just a little so I can do my favorite heel and keep the start of the round in the back the way I like.

And in all of this I also fought with acrylic yarn that wants to get tangled up and knit a few more rows on the Big Blue Thing,
 
 and a few more repeats on my red mohair lace thing.

Not too bad, I always feel like I am behind these days, but I do have something to show for the little bit of knitting time I eek out of every day!

~M

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mid January Thaw

The last of the snow on my driveway finally melted away in the rain today.  I am not sad about that at all!  After the first day of being on the ground it gets so dirty and nasty looking that I have wanted it gone for a while now!  Of course in it's wake the snow has left giant mud puddles for dogs and kids to run through, so now I am making a career of moping floors, rather than shoveling snow!

As we had a couple of days of very warm temperatures and rain, rather than snow, I seem to have been bitten by the spring cleaning bug. Cabinets in the kitchen were turned out, the laundry room was emptied of all but the impossible to move things and scrubbed down and then the boys and I cleaned out their closet.  They are at that difficult age where it is really difficult to decide which of their treasured toys are still treasured and which they will look at and declare "How did I ever like that?" and "What ever made me think that was cool?".  We found some things they had forgotten they had, and created a huge pile of things to go to a charity.  I think that everyone is happier now that it is more organized, although we still have some tubs of things to go through over the next couple of weekends, it looks so much better now!

For Christmas all three got Rigid Heddle Looms, I keep trying to get everyone into something yarny!  The Other Brother finished his first project, a bookmark for me!  He wants to make fancier things, and the timing for a post from The Yarn Harlot couldn't have been better, because there is a lot you can do with a Rigid Heddle Loom!  I suspect that I am getting fancy dish towels from one child during this coming year.

My knitting life is still a little on the slow side, at least on what I can show you!  (Yes, there are always secret projects that don't make it to the blog, or at least not yet!)

My  MIL Christmas yarn is starting to turn into Some Kind of Wrap.

I am putting button holes all the way up on both sides, and if it works out the way I think it will, that should mean a million, well maybe six or seven, different ways of wearing this when it is done.

I am just a little further on the socks, I have the heel turned on the second and then it is the home stretch to the toes.

TDQ has been very insistent that she wants a specific "thing" for her birthday.  Yesterday we stopped into a big box craft store to get the right colors (even if I did grossly misjudge how much yarn her "thing" is going to take and will have to go back!)  I am always disappointed of late at the lack of what I would call real crafty things in these stores, and the yarn section is down to one, very small, aisle, filled with acrylic and one brand of sock yarn.




Can you tell what it is yet, other than driving me crazy I mean?  Hopefully by next week a chunk more of it will be done!

Have a great week, I have another busy one in store for me, but hope to get at least some knitting off the needles.

~M

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A little bit of lace, and little bit of stripes

Well what do you know, I made it back before the end of the month!  I don't really do yearly resolutions, a year sounds like a terribly long time to me, so I work more on monthly habits...so far so good on this one, the blog more often one!

My house seems so much bigger without all the Christmas Trees and decorations in it.  All our gifts have found new homes to live in, although I do have to keep telling TOB that the dirty laundry basket is not a place to keep new clothes!

I have been very busy at work, new goals were handed out for the year and I really had to work on my own attitude before rolling them out to my team.  The biggest problem is easy year we do better than the year before and I was pretty darn impressed with some of the numbers we have been able to hit in the past, but goals never get smaller and the stretch to hit them is always a little harder, and my team always rises to the occasion but when you look at the annual goal in the middle of a branch that has no customers in it and the snow falling all around you it seems a bit overwhelming.

But even with the extra calculating I was doing at home I did get a little knitting accomplished!

I finished a baby blanket for an English Teacher.  I again turned to the Summer Squares project from Bad Cat Designs for my inspiration.  This one has violin as the center square with the border and edging from The Blue Quartet to round out (well square out really) the blanket.  It took me far too long to knit it, mostly because it rode around in my car not being worked on for several weeks.

Cheap acrylic yarn as I have no idea if the teacher is up for hand washing a baby blanket or not and very soon, probably as soon as I finish typing here, it will be steam killed to hold its shape and blocking.  (I have already straightened those wonky edges!)

In other knitting I have been playing around with the yarn that my MIL sent.  Berroco Cirrus  and think that I might turn it into some kind of wrap, a convertible one with buttons that can be moved to turn it into a scarf, shrug, oversized cowl.

We'll see how that turns out, right now I am still playing with lace patterns but this will end up as a finished item, she sent enough yarn to make three!

And of course it wouldn't be the start of the new year without the start of some new socks.

I am letting the yarn do the work on these and they will be my in the dark, or tv watching, knitting until I finish the second one!  These will be for TDQ as she has a birthday coming up and doesn't care that a colorway named Candy Cane sounds like more of a Christmas sock than a birthday sock to me.

So what is on your needles?  I don't think that the socks will hold me for long and I might be in the market for a new project!

~M

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Beginnings

Sorry for the long absence, again!  Seems like I keep getting bogged down with the Real Life Stuff that doesn't belong on my blog and therefore doesn't encourage me to visit here and catch up.

Not that there is much knitting that I can catch you up on, but there was a little.

But, let's start closer to where we left off!


The First Brother loved his red Tardis Socks.  You can't really tell from the picture, but that boy has really grown this year and it felt like the foot would never end!  He is quite a bit taller than me now, not that I am very tall, but he is only 13 and growing like it is going out of style.  Since September we have had to go buy him new slacks several times to keep up with the drafts around his ankles.

The Other Brother, of course, had to have something similar but in green.  He was going to make me socks this Christmas but never got past the ribbing at the top.  Maybe next year!
 Of course TDQ got her "They make my eyes bleed" socks, and a pair of mittens.  The mittens are from The Yarn Harlot and you can get your own copy of the pattern here.  I went down two needle sizes for the cuffs and added some stripes just above the thumb gussets because I was running out of the dark purple yarn.
 Of course I couldn't leave The Monster Man out, so he got a pair of socks too, not an exact match on the  heels and toes, but close enough considering he will be wearing them with shoes!  I was having a dickens of a time matching the start with the second ball of Patons Yarn and have to have frogged the second sock ten or twelve times before I realized that that second ball was wound in the opposite direction with the lighter grey falling before the blue instead of after it!  One quick game of chase the ball of yarn around the room while winding with a ball winder and I fixed that though.
Finally, and I am very sorry for the lousy picture, I could have sworn I took more than this, we have a hat for the other Monster Man in my life......  at work we do Secret Santa and I drew the name of someone, who I think I have spent more time with than my kids in the last six or seven years. We had worked together with another employer when I first moved to Ohio, split up to go our separate ways and then got back together in the little bank in the middle of "the 'hood" that we call our mission.  The easy way out would have been to buy him as fancy a pen as you can get with $10, which was our limit for gifts this year.  Instead I made him a driving cap.  Based on this pattern  and out of yarn from my stash.  Click the pattern link to get to see the cables across the top, if I ever have my camera with me at work I will get a better picture, but in the meantime just imagine it in a blue cashmere blend.

My knitting friends made sure that my Christmas was a Merry one.  Next time I post I will show you some of what they sent, the chocolates however are long gone!  Even my ex-MIL has figured out that I like natural fibers and sent yarn with natural fibers in it.  I have been playing with that, trying to come up with something to send her back.  My promise to non-knitters has always been, you give me yarn, I give you a finished object!

So what else has happened since last we sat together? Real Life Stuff.

We made it through the end of the Mayan Calendar with no casulties.

We survived the day after Christmas,  White Christmas, and the extra snow that we got for the weekend and New Years.




We survived limiting  ourselves to six Christmas Trees this year.  You can almost see two here....

(The one directly in front of the camera is being decorated by birds hanging from the ceiling. I only had to shorten their hangers twice while they were up when TFB kept hitting his head on them!)

We survived weeks where I was never home in the evening with all three of my kids, just running around town with them one at a time, or at board meetings or work meetings.  We survived sudden, terribly sad news, we survived shopping and concerts, out of town visitors, we survived one child saying "I thought there would be more" at the end of Christmas Day, but everyone ended the year agreeing, there was really nothing that we wanted or needed that we didn't have.

Which just goes to show, sometimes feeling like you are just surviving really means you are thriving.  And that, my friends, is a pretty decent way to welcome the New Year!

Happy New Year!  May 2013 bring you health, happiness and a place where you can thrive.

~M