Sunday, October 5, 2014

In which little to no knitting was accomplished

I swear, by all the yarn in my stash (and there is a quite a bit in there) that one way or another I am going to get this work thing organized and running such that I am not wandering home at nearly bed time to a group of starving children.  Not that the children can't feed themselves, they are used to having to fend for themselves every now and then, but when the menu has something on it that they don't know how to cook, or would prefer to wait for me to cook so that we can eat together, coming home so late really pushes dinner time too close to bedtime for everyone!

About the only knitting time I have had is when TDQ needed dropped off an hour before I needed to get to work and during our one hour of television time yesterday.

Which is a two paragraph way of saying...the only finished object to show you is a little one!

To try out some different center starts, or practice on them if you already have a favorite, Andrea of Bad Cat Designs has posted a couple of small doily patterns on her group page.  This is the 8 wedge doily, knit in a laceweight cotton held double.

I blocked it after our one hour television stint last evening, so it is a little wonky (It was late for me!) but a very enjoyable quick knit to make me feel like I accomplished something this week!

I got another pattern repeat finished on my Exploding Tardis Copy Cat Kelpie.  I will need to keep a close eye on this one when it is done, TDQ has already announced that she is stealing it!

And finally, I got through the increase section of the hood on the sweater for TFB. 
Still have most of the hood, the zipper band and sleeves to go, and then to find a pattern for TOB's Christmas Sweater.  TDQ has declared she doesn't want another sweater (mostly because she hasn't out grown any in a while so has several, unlike the boys who keep getting taller and taller) but has put in an order for "several pairs of socks, warm and toasty, a neck thingy (she means a cowl) and mittens.

Sounds like I should be knitting and not blogging to me!

Although, with the sale she has going, I might just run over to Lara's Etsy store and drool all over my desk looking at yarn! If you run over there quickly there might be some lovelies left for you to purchase!


Sunday, September 28, 2014

As it isn't Wool Gathering Yarn it doesn't count as cheating, right?

Last week I said that I was not going to cast on a project with any of my haul from Wool Gathering until I had at least one of the sweaters I am working on off the needles.  Technically I stuck to my word....

Do you remember late last year and earlier this year when the people who Knit Along with Andrea Jurgrau (aka BadCat Designs) were working on Infinity Scarves?  I faithfully used up yarn I had in my stash to complete the projects.

I knit the necklaces.

Some Lichens.

A couple of Martiniques.

The Phi Cowl was the latest addition, and I have one of those. and the yarns for the second because it is just so much fun to knit!

But all this time I have only had one Kelpie.

To make matters worse, during the knitalong, one of the knitters used a yarn that I had looked at and thought was pretty, but then wasn't as impressed with the projects I saw made from it.  But then I saw hers and I knew I had to have one just like it.

Unfortunately, there was no yarn budget right then to pick up a skein and knit away, so I cried about it to a friend a little bit and moved on.

Right until the mail man delivered a skein of that very yarn!

The friend has asked a couple of times how the knitting was progressing, and truth be told, I for some reason find this particular pattern stitch to be the hardest of all the Infinity projects.  It seems no matter how hard I try I always end up with the wrong number of stitches and the pattern just not lining up either side of the equator unless I cast on with stitch markers.  (I love how cute stitch markers are, but really except for beginning of round markers I really don't like using them in my knitting!)

Three  failed attempts to cast on without them and I dug through my supplies to find them again. Just like the last time I knit this pattern I had to use them, but as I soon as I did everything fell into place and I have the starts of a beautiful infinity scarf!

As it is not Wool Gathering yarn, technically I did not break my word...and as I finished the body portion of the red sweater, briefly it had no needles in it, so that means in two ways, technically, I obeyed my own rules!

The Kelpie Scarf is going into the car, in the hopes I will get a lunch break and some knitting time, I am back to the Red Sweater, hood next I think then the doldrums that are sleeves!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Gathering Wool, Silk, Copper, Yak, Bison

After a week that just wouldn't slow down enough for me to catch my breath for even a minute, we did actually make it to Wool Gathering!

I needed the fun trip, not thinking about work, or household chores or even what to have for dinner. (This weeks menu is short one meal, got any suggestions?  I am clean out of ideas!)

As usual, we toured the tents once, picking out ideas of what I would like to buy.(I save all year for this event, stashing nickles and dimes in a savings account and then taking them out of the bank as dollars when the time is right.)  Some things I knew before we left home I wanted, just a matter of picking colors.  Some things were spur of the moment decisions.  But the entire plan for the day was to shop til my money ran out and feel no regrets for what I bought.

It was a gorgeous day, not too hot, not too cold, not raining, and although we ended up parking a little bit of a walk across the road and down a field it was all good until I went to make my first purchase and had no money in my pocket! (When I got the cash I was in my work clothes, smart lady that I am at times rather than put the money in my pocket I put it in the glove box of the car...where it was still sitting!) We took the walk back to the car, got the cash and walked back up the field, across the street, past the batting cages, slippery slide and vendor parking to get back to the tents.

First purchase was some kettle dyed purple superwash.
The lady that dyed it was a newcomer to being a vendor at Wool Gathering, and she was very interested in what I was planning to make (not sure yet, this was an impulse buy) and in asking for finished object photo's. I am sure it will end up being something for TDQ, those are her colors, but if you have pattern suggestions leave me a comment.  It is 745 yards of sport weight yarn.

Next up was the Fiber Optic booth.
I had been eyeing the PaintBox sets last year, but didn't buy any, this year I helped myself to two!  Both in the same gradient of Espresso-Crimson-Gold.
  I see a shawl for a certain KAL in those colors in my future!

Having had so much fun knitting the PhiCowl in copper and laceweight merino, when I saw more of the Habu Copper/Bamboo yarn I had to get some to try it in a different colorway.
When I was paying for that the Grignasco Knits MerinoSilk jumped into my hands all by itself.  (It is even worse than you think, I didn't get pictures of the set I gifted to a friend that I met up with long enough to say Hi and Goodbye to.  She has been going through a difficult pregnancy so I picked her up some as once the knitting is started you really don't have to think to hard about it and everyone deserves something really pretty to make their day.)

The Unicorn Tails were just so cute I couldn't pass them up!
Not quite sure what I will do with them, but I am sure that something will come to mind.  I don't know this for sure, but I think it is a very clever way of packaging and selling those ends of yarn that aren't quite enough to make up a full skein and there are so many patterns in the world that either lend themselves to stripes, or require just a few yards of a different color, that many knitters will pick them up for that alone!

I stopped by the Knitted to a T Booth long enough to pick up two skeins of Heavenly, which is Bison and Merino in fingering weight. 
200 yards of Purple People Eater and Bare Naked will either make some fingerless gloves or little neck warmers for me and TDQ for the winter.

Luxury Sock, is handwritten on the bands for this yarn, and it does not lie! It is a blend of Alpaca, Silk, Yak, Camel, Cashmere and Nylon. It is so soft. and decadent to the hands! This was another impulse buy, so no idea what it will grow up to be.
  (Yes, I know there are two skeins there, a third was already gifted and there is a plan for the second, but you know, itsasecret.)

At this point, I was nearly out of spending money, but I held aside enough for just a few last second purchases.

We all love the soap, so a few bars made their way home with us, and no trip to Youngs Dairy would be complete without cheese and ice cream!
(Sorry, no photo's of the ice cream, but I will tell you that two giant scoops each along with deep fried cheese curds made us all glad that we eat healthy* most of the time!  Ice Cream for dinner may get me thrown out of the Mom Union though so don't tell anyone!)

Now the question is, with all the craziness in my life, will I actually get to knit with this bounty?

Of course I will, but first I need to do some more work on these and get them off my needles!

Today was spent cleaning house, and all the chores I avoided doing yesterday while Wool Gathering.  So far, but only barely, I have restrained from casting on anything new.  Let's see if I can hold onto the thoughts of finishing one of those two sweaters before giving in to the urge!

*We call it 10%.  Ninety percent of the time we eat very healthy, lots of fresh fruits, veggies, organic, wholesome food. Ten percent of the time we throw caution to the wind and eat whatever we feel like.  Truth be told our 10% days are few and far between, but calling them 2% or 1% days seems rather limiting.  Anyone who has ever been on a diet will tell you, there is nothing you want so much as those things you can't for us, nothing is ever truly on the "you can't have it" list.  It might be on the "you can't have it today" list, but if you truly want to have Sea Salt Caramel and Black Walnut Ice Cream in a giant waffle cone with sprinkles and chocolate, you can.  :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Best compliments ever- not at all about knitting

Over the past few weeks things have been disjointed and crazy in my real world...but even when things are dark and desperate there are those people who really lift you up and make you feel that the things  you do are worth it somewhere in the greater scheme of things.

Over the past few weeks I have received a few of the highest compliments I have ever heard and they have really touched my heart.

Do me a favor.  If you feel this way about someone let them know.  You never know when they might be feeling like they don't make a difference, that when they are struggling to balance the real world and their work world, or put aside things they want to do to help someone else out,  that no-one notices what they do and by saying something you might make them feel as wonderful as these couple of thoughts made me feel.

The first was when I asked someone what success to them would look like and the answer was...You.  You are well respected and make a difference to so many people each day.  You make it look so easy to lend a helping hand, educate or just listen.  You are my definition of success.

The second.....was about coaching an employee and the answer to a question was "I know I could be so much more successful due to your leadership.  You care about me as a person and then tie that to the business need rather than just telling what is in it for the company.  You are more about the people and helping them achieve than just the numbers, but somehow by caring about the people you bring us to the numbers and everyone wins."

The stress I have been going through the past few weeks is actually all caused by multiple people feeling that way about me. I was handed a tremendous challenge, and it is certainly stretching me, but if people really feel that I make a difference, it is worth it.

There are things that people say that stay with us throughout our lives. Some I have been trying to overcome for years are witnessing my mother tell my children that I was the "dumbest" of her children, and  hearing my father say that my younger sister was "prettier than Snow White" and that I was just plain old me and not cut out to become much of anything...Maybe, just maybe, if I try really hard to believe it, what was said in those heartfelt compliments will actually make my existence worthwhile.   I hope so anyway.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Nothing of my own to show you

It has been another crazy week at Chez Yarn Diet.

The plan had been that there would be one late night, the rest of the week would be whatever our new normal has settled into....didn't work out that way! Several late nights later we hit Friday and I was even later than ever.

Most nights I have come home, thrown various foods together and called them dinner.  Then stumbled around the house doing a few chores before falling asleep and starting the whole process over again.

I have knit something on the order or 20 rows of TFB's Hoodie and about the same number on my grey 8 Days a Week, so nothing of my own knitting is worth showing you.


Andrea of Bad Cat Designs has handled her stresses much better than I have and has a new knitalong, two patterns and a video to share!

Want a sneak peak?

You can join the fun on Ravelry or Yahoo Groups.  I think that even I, with my crazy, busy schedule, will be able to at least knit a doily!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Where did the rest of last week go?

In the real world, weeks are seven days long, always have been (at least in my lifetime) always will be (I am pretty sure anyway!).  So why is it that when I look at my Things to Get Done This Week list for last week next to nothing on it is done?

Some of it, I am sure, was trying to adapt to a new schedule, which we thought we had pretty tightly figured out and then more real life stuff got in the way and now I get text messages along the lines of "I got off an hour ago, are you coming to get me soon?" usually followed up some time later  with "Please tell me you are on your way!"

Which means the schedule isn't working now and I am not quite sure how to get it fixed in a hurry - slowly I can get it fixed, but getting other people to hurry up and do their jobs right the first time is a bit of an issue.  It also means that dinner has been late every night, which puts my sanity saving on hold until nearly bedtime! (That would be knitting, in case you didn't know!)

Long way around of saying, not a lot of new knitting to show.

I have some that looks very familiar, in fact it has felt very familiar to be knitting it.

Oh, that's right, the boy grew between my doing the math and casting on for his sweater, so I had to start over with new numbers!

At least I am further along than I was when I had to stop the first time through on it.

And I might have thrown caution to the wind and rather than cast on another boys sweater cast on one for myself.  Very appropriately named 8 days a Week, it is a top down, seamless, set in sleeve, cowl neck sweater just perfect for wearing with jeans or a suit.
Truth be told it is the second start on this one too, the first time I tried some Wool from my stash, but it was too itchy even for me!  This time around I am using some Merino, which is ever so much softer.

We had planned on going to Wool Gathering next week, not sure that is still going to be possible with the schedule we have going.  I know the pack mules want to try and get there but it will all depend on how this week goes!

I'll let you know if we make it there!


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Super Quick, because I am Super Stressed

Life really threw me a curve ball this past week.  Just when I thought that I had things arranged so that the family routines and the work routines stood half a chance of adding up to one (relatively) simple life everything changed.

Now I feel like I am falling down on all my obligations and being told that essentially, something that is very stressful for me is too much for people around me to take.

Good thing that Andrea came through with a unique moebious pattern to show you, or all you would see is me sitting in the corner either blowing bubbles, laughing hysterically, or crying depending on which feeling actually won out in that second.

The Phi Cowl is unique in the materials used.

Start with a beautiful lace weight cashmere, twist the cast on using Cat Bordhi's method and you are ready to go.

But wait, you think that the interesting stuff ends there?

Add a Fibonacci stripe sequence with......seriously you  might not believe this part....metal yarn and you are ready to go.

It is ever so light, and ever so much more comfortable to wear than you would ever think that copper yarn could feel.

I only have the one picture, it was last seen leaving for college!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Don't look in the's furious

I think that was one of my favorite lines from last nights Doctor Who episode......along with the "Have you seen this face before?", which certainly was a nod to the fact that Peter Capaldi, the new face of The Doctor, has appeared in both Dr Who and Torchwood.  So yes, we have seen the face before, just never in this context.

Reminds me of my knitting.  Sometimes the yarns are familiar and the pattern different, or the pattern is familiar and the yarns are different, and sometimes the entire thing is the same!

Take TFB's hooded cardigan he wants for Christmas.  I started in on it a while ago, got to just past where I was separating the body from the arms and I had him try it on.  That is the beauty of a top down raglan sweater, try as you go and make sure you don't end up with something too big, or too small, but something with a fit that is just right.

Now I am suffering from a large case of Deja Vu, because back to the beginning I went to make the whole thing just a touch wider and the arm holes a significant amount longer.

I had a lovely surprise in my mailbox this week!  One of the stealth projects that I have been working on was knit out of some ever-so-soft, truly wonderful in the hands alpaca yarn, and I mentioned to Andrea that I wished I had more of it so that I could make a neck warmer for myself!

Not only did she send me some ever-so-soft, truly stunning in color, alpaca, there was even a skein of ever so soft, truly stunning in colors merino to go with it!  Not to leave out our favorite model there was even a mason jar filled to the brim with beads for TDQ!

In random lunchtime knitting I got a couple more chapstick holders knit, ringed and ready to go.

And while watching Dr Who I managed to knit a pair of fingerless mitts.

As many do, I follow the Yarn Harlot's blog pretty closely, she has some hysterical stories that she tells and there is more than just knitting there, her entire life it seems like is on display...but I digress, the other day when I looked at it she mentioned a blog I had never heard of, so I clicked the link and scrolled through the entries, and stopped when I came to some fingerless mitts and mittens that caught my eye.  A quick look at Ravelry and it doesn't look like the designer has published a pattern, so I examined her pictures as closely as I could and made one up myself.
 I think I came pretty close, even without having knit the button band.

That is all I have time to share today, maybe next week I will have some more knitting to share! (But don't hold your breath, the kids get YoYo for dinner 3 out of 5 nights this week so we know I am running all week long!)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Saying Goodby to Summer

As hard as it is to believe, I swear school just finished for last year, school goes back next week for TFB and the week after for TDQ and TOB.

Where did the summer go?

What did we do with it?

Well to be honest, not much!

There were the obligatory trips to the Zoo (because I love it, they tolerate it, because there is ice cream there!) and we went to the Air Force Museum.  We did yard work, and attended evening Jazz Concerts, saw a few movies we wanted to see.....TOB went to school (his school has switched to year round which is good and bad at the same time) and signed TDQ up for her college classes and paid for them.

There were no bigger trips, no big household improvements over the short we blinked and we missed it!

With school heading back in just a couple of days it must be time to get serious about some holiday knitting, right?

Well maybe.

I did start on TFB's sweater, then it got thrown on the WIP stack and hasn't been looked at in weeks!  No baby blankets on the needles, and Andrea even has some patterns that were released last week that I don't have any finished objects of to show you!

What do I have?

Well I have these....

What are they , you might ask and maybe this picture will help out a little...

Chapstick holders so that I won't constantly hear "Have you seen my chapstick?"  The rings make them suitable for attaching to keys or backpacks or even belt loops if you don't want to carry the other things around with you....but the first person who leaves their chapstick on their jeans and throws them in the washer will be in charge of cleaning out the washer and dryer!

Remembering how cold last winter was, and how hot this summer hasn't been, got me in the mood to try out the Yarn Harlot's Oatmeal Stout.

Still needs blocking but TDQ who initially said the colors didn't go together now wants a hat to match!

Having knit the scarf I wanted to try the cowl...and did......

along with some fingerless mitts (no she doesn't have those in her pattern, but mittens are easy to adjust, trust me!) which  I called Oatmeal Squares the entire time I was knitting them.

And finally the color scheme that TDQ didn't like in a different form - a moebious lacey thing. Which also needs blocking.

From the looks of the number of  "pre-blocking" pictures I need to put some water in the sink and spend a quiet evening blocking my knitting!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Finally some Knitting I can Share

It seems like the gaps between posts are getting longer and longer, while the content in those posts is getting less and less about what I am currently knitting, and more about things that I knit a while ago and can finally share with you.

Today is no exception to the latter part of that statement!  But, hopefully I can share some current knitting as well.

The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of me working too many hours, after work activities (they have been a lot of fun to do so I am not complaining about doing them, just that there is no compensating time left over for with my family or the other things I like to do!), finally getting back in with my doctor,  computer failures (I am so proud of myself that even though I complained and yelled I got it fixed without having to have anyone else physically take care of it) and running around for DQ and college stuff.

A couple of days ago Enchanted Knits from Interweave hit the stands, which means some knitting I was working on at the beginning of the year can finally be shared!

Andrea Jurgrau's (Known to many as Bad Cat Designs) Snow Drop and Rose Red Cowl graces the cover and two more of her pieces are on the inside!

My plan had been to knit both a red and a white version, but time got away from me and I only have the red...well to be honest I had the red, a certain college bound teenager stole it from me!

Mine is knit in sock yarn and if I kept better notes I could tell you which one!  I think it is Fiber Optics Foot Notes.  (For those that care I have come up with a new system for tracking what I am making that I can't put on Ravelry yet.....which is why the computer hard drive failure was such a big deal to me!  Now all my test knitting has a folder with the pattern, the photo's and a word document with the notes I make to myself, like yarn type and needle size.)

Next up, for me at least, I haven't seen the magazine to know which pattern comes next in it, is Giant Slayer's Vine Scarf. 

Mine is in purple with bright yellow beads that don't show up well at all in the photo's.

Finally, we have Undine Shawlette, this one I had the yarn tag for...Lobster Sox in Hydrangea.

Excuse the bad photo's of everything, for a better look at the finished objects check out the magazine, either through the links above (Interweaves site or Ravelry) or better yet, run off to your local yarn store and buy a copy!  There are even a couple of men's sweaters in there that I might have to check out for myself.  :)

Speaking of men's sweaters, TFB and TOB (for those who don't remember that is The First Brother and The Other Brother ) both suggested that the hooded sweaters that I made them a couple of years ago are in need of replacing, so the Christmas knitting has started.

This time around I hope that the yarn I picked up doesn't pill as badly as the Lion Brand Wool Ease I used a couple of years ago did.  Obviously this one is for TFB as "his" color is red!

Not to be outdone in the request department, the little thief, I mean TDQ picked out some yarn for some socks and I have those underway as well.

That is all from me today!  Amazing how we went from nothing to say, to three finished objects, two in progress photo's and all the other little things that I can't show you!

Until next time, GO KNIT!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Whomsoever thought

Whomsoever thought that working on back to back blankets with knitted on edging was a good idea, obviously had not met me!

Over the past few weeks I have found lots and lots of ways to NOT work on the edging of the Fractals In Pink Baby Blanket.

I have cleaned out cupboards, alphabetized spices, made doughnuts,

planned many other projects and in short, done just about everything to avoid working on the edge of the blanket that is meant for a baby that is due to arrive this month!

Of course, it doesn't make getting knitting time any easier when the work load is increased, the staffing is decreased and the light at the end of the tunnel...well if not quite the train it certainly wasn't the other end, yet!

Today I resolved to just get the blanket finished, and for once, I did exactly what I told myself to do.

Presenting Fractals in Pink a slight variation on Fractured Fractals.

This time around a three needle bind off was used to join the center squares and the contrast color was the white.  I still added the lateral braid (the thing is a pain to work, but I think it gives a nice finished edge to the squares and the border.) I hope that the Mom and baby get many enjoyable moments with this one!