Happy New Year!

I have gotten some knitting done since the last post.  The beret I was going to take pictures of have gone MIA, no clue as to where that thing is hiding.

I made some snowmen for mom for Christmas, but really that was the only knitted gift I gave this Christmas.  I am still working on the February Ladies Pullover.  Hit a little snag with the stitch count, but I am determined not to get fed up and just rip the whole thing out like I normally would.  I still haven’t reached waist shaping, I am going a little further than the instructions say before the waist shaping per some helpful soldiers on Ravelry.  Once I have made some headway I will start taking pictures.

Having mental health issues and having a son with some problems too makes life pretty difficult.  I am a single mom and some mornings I just wake up and want to go back to sleep.  Lose the day.  But I get up and go through the motions for my son more than anything else…so I am so thankful for him.  I love him more than life itself  but sometimes life itself get’s way.too.overwhelming!

So when I say I’ll do something, I will get to it.  Maybe some time after I say I’ll do it, but I do need to borrow my mom’s camera to get some FO and WIP pics.  Looking at the blog reminds me I hit a snafu with my bright as hell yellow socks, so I am thinking about picking those back up so that I can try to figure out where I am and why the hell I ever stopped knitting them!  Most of my other WIP’s I have ripped out.  I have decided one big project for now, and a couple of small ones.  No ‘I have 10 projects on the needles’ anymore…it feels helpless when I try to figure out where to go, which to work on, and I didn’t like that feeling.

So, New Years resolutions?  Getting back on the weight-loss train.  I have motivation from a dear friend of mine who I am doing friendly competition with him and some of his friends for a 12 week challenge.  I plan on WASTING everyone!  Tomorrow the games begin!  My only other resolution is to get rid of a lot of the miscellaneous skeins of yarn I have.  I don’t care where I got them, how much I spent on them, or anything.  I will look at each skein, assign it a project, or get rid of it.  I have enough yarn to last me a lifetime and it just sits in rubber bins and drawers while I can’t decide what I want to do.  Down the road I will have more money, and I will make more things.  I have enough yarn to get me through 3 years of knitting the slow-poke way I’m going.  It won’t take me as long to knit a sweater when I am 3 sizes smaller, so I will keep the sweater’s worth of various yarn.  One can only have so many hats, and gloves, and scarves.  I want to start knitting some drapey shawls but that will be yarn assigned for those pieces.  I just figure it’s about the only way I can make myself sane.  It is the one type of possession I have the most of out of anything, so it’s time to slooooow down and get rid of.  I am actually looking forward to the few coming weeks when I start the slow passage through all of my yarn!

Happy New Years to you and yours, should anyone be reading this.  Hope 2012 is a good year of looking up instead of down!

J

Cast on, Cast off

I have been so wishy washy when it comes to my projects.  It is really driving me crazy!  A major part of my problem has been with recent weight loss and gain and I am working on the loss part again…do I really want to invest in the time to make a sweater?  So by the time I finish it it’s going to be too big?  Why in the hell is my stash so ginormous?  Oh yeah, because I keep buying and not making.  So…no more buying.  I might have to cheat when it comes to sock yarn, but I am working on knitting that down, too.

I’d like to think that by the time I do want to make a sweater for the new, slimmer me, I can afford some luxurious yarn or even something that just feels pretty to make me a smokin’ hot sweater.  For now though, I am going to knit myself a sweater.  I am actually 3 inches into it.  The February Fitted Pullover.  I was going through Ravelry and I found it and it screeeeamed “KNIT ME!!” to me.  I kept casting on and ripping out for the February Lady Sweater and now I realize why.  It would have been something I couldn’t wear, not with my body type.  I am a curvy gal and I think this sweater will look 200% times better on me.  I am using some Cotton Fleece in a navy blue that is really very pretty knitted up.  So…the little projects, I am going to keep them coming.  This is going to be my big project for now though.  Even fat girls deserve to feel pretty!

Promise pictures.  Very soon.

Some quickies.

Has it really been 6 months since I have updated?  Ugh, so much for being consistent.  Part of the problem was I lost my mojo in the hugest way possible and have just regained it.  What is there to post when you don’t log into Ravelry or even look at your yarn for months on end?  For the first time ever I was NOT up to date on the new patterns hitting Ravelry.  I just had no…drive.  For lots of reasons I will keep to myself.  The good, the bad and the ugly are NOT all to be posted on my blog, in my opinion.  Just the cast on, the knitted, and maybe some of the kiddo and I.

I was going to the gym a lot and I lost some weight.  I was so excited about it, but I have been playing a ‘find the right meds for Jaimie’ game and the weight came back.  I was bummed.  And I didn’t want to knit because the things I had been working on were sweaters that were going to be too tight to wear now.  And I haven’t been going to the gym as much.  Etc, etc, etc.  I ended up ripping everything out in a fit of frustration and tried to make something that would fit me now.  Then I thought…but what if I DO lose the weight again…this won’t fit!  So rip again.  I have resorted to knitting accessory type stuff.  The quickness works for what lately has been a very impatient person, plus who doesn’t love instant gratification?  I knit in one day Vickie Howell’s Cover Cowl, and I started the Star Crossed Slouchy Beret yesterday and just cast off on it before I went to sleep.  CUTE…HOLY CUTENESS.  And such a quick knit.  If want to make one of these out of cotton or something so I can wear it when the weather is warmer.  This is an alpaca blend that sheds so badly but it soft and I know it will keep my noggin warm this winter.  Once the sun comes out I will take pictures of both.  Man do I love quick winter knits!

My Friday Favorite is busted, and blathering on about DPN’s

I will continue with my Friday Favorites starting up this next Friday.

I am working on Cookie A’s BFF socks, in some freakin sunshine bright yellow KP Palette (that appears to be discontinued because it’s not on the site).  Kinda bums me because I am 6 cables into the pattern and the yarn has just broken off in my hand 3 times.  I’m not fond of having to rip back, spit splice, and then reknit.  Luckily I can’t even see where I did the spit splicing, so it could be worse.  I love this pattern though, super easy, don’t have to look at the pattern once you get the first repeat done…so it’s nice TV knitting.

I don’t know if anyone else has this problem, but my fingers are killing me.  My pointer finger has a hole in it from all the other sock knitting I have been doing (going from one to the next hasn’t given it time to heal) and am starting to get one on my thumb from the purling.  I push the needle back when I am finishing a stitch.  I taught myself to knit so I don’t really know if I knit the right way.  But is there really a right way?  The right way seems to me to be the way that is most comfortable to you, but maybe there is a less painful way to do it.  I have been doing it this way for 7 years, and my hands are so used  to it.  I have tried other ways of knitting and it is wayyyy more awkward than it was even learning to knit.  How I hold the needles, the yarn…So I guess I should just buy stock in Band-Aid and quit my complaining.

I used to solely use bamboo DPN’s for any small-gauge knitting I had.  I finally realized that wasn’t going to work for me when I was working on the Lacey Vogue Gloves…I bent the HELL out of those bamboo needles (the ones I didn’t break).  If I just add a piece of thread, I have Barbie-sized bows.  It’s nice that they are flexible and all, but it’s hard to pick them up and start knitting with them again bent like that.  Metal needles, forget it.  They slide right out of my work, leaving all these stitches hanging loose.  I found these plastic DPN’s at JBW.  They have something inside them, I don’t know if it’s metal to give them weight and stability or what, but I have found that these work the best for me.  The stitches don’t slide off the needles, and the needles don’t bend.  Just pointy enough to get into tight spaces (and put holes in my fingers), but not too dull. So I think I am going to stick with these for the tiny gauge projects!

I have an FO, just an easy peasy hat that was a super quick knit and is heavenly soft.  Knit in Classic Elite Premiere in white, this is the Lotus Hat.  I wished I would have done one more repeat.  I am still debating whether I want to rip out the decreases and just do one more increase – I think I would get more use out of it.  SOOOO SOFT.  I loved knitting with it.  As with any cotton, it sucked the life out of my hands moisture out of my hands, but like I said before…soft.  So soft.  A great little hat to wear this summer with a tank and jeans.  Braided hair.  Cute!

OK, this cold makes me woozy and dizzy and I have bored myself to tears with this post.  Ta ta for now!

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2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week (and an FO)

I missed a day.  Just one day.  With mi vida loca, I am surprised I was able to participate at all.

First of all, thank you to everyone that stopped by my blog during 2KCBW…I truly appreciate it.  I hope you will stick around so we can get to know each other better!

I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I got to correspond with many other knitters through this project, and I really, really liked it.  It also got several people over here visiting me, and I think up until now my blog was all but unread.  So this is exciting for me.  I have been trying so hard to keep the blog up (and really enjoying it) but finding time even now is sometimes hard because there are so many other things to be done (like knit!)

I also have a new FO, and 2 new WIPs.  My FO is a pair of socks out of Regia Bamboo…I think these will be hereon out called my psycho 70′s socks because they are bright, and one of them looks really tie-dyed the way the pooling did it’s thing.  But they are super comfortable, and my FIRST pair of socks for MYSELF!  So of course, what did I do as soon as I cast off?  Cast on for 2 more pairs of socks.  I am part of a knit-a-long that has a challenge for April to knit socks that have interesting construction.  I picked Smoking Hot Socks, which have toe-up construction.  I have only ever knitted cuff-down.  I am excited about these socks, I am knitting them in some Soja that are to me kind of easter colors…peach, yellow, light blue, pink…it should be an interesting knit.  The other pair are my 2nd attempt at Hedera.  The first time my poor feet were SWIMMING in them, so I am going down a needle size.  If you would have told me a year ago I would be knitting 2 pairs of socks at the same time on size 1 needles, I would have laughed my ass off.  No, serious.  I almost cried when I first saw how small they are, and now I own a pair of 0′s?  What the hell am I doing?  I would say over the past 4 months, my needles size 1-3 have gotten the most action.  Reflecting back to this time last year, I would say 7-10′s were getting the most action.  Now those suckers are collecting dust!  So I will ride this sock wave for as long as I can…I am enjoying it and want to make my son at least 2 new pair this year, which I think I will have done in the next few months.  We’ll see.

Hasta la Vista, Baby.

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My knitting time.

Where do I knit?  Let me count the places.  I knit in the grocery line (and many other lines), I knit at doctors offices, knit in traffic jams…

I always have a knitting project in my purse, and have no qualms about knitting in public.  I do knit a lot at home, too.  If I am watching TV, I can’t just sit there and watch.  I always have a knitting project close by when watching a movie or TV show.  I will knit on the bus while listening to podcasts.  I knit at lunch break (when I am gainfully employed).  I have no shame.  I knit at church!  I knit on picnics!  I knit at the BEACH.

I just love knitting, love how it relaxes me, love the process and the finished piece, whatever it may be.  And when I am working it doesn’t seem like I have a whole lot of time to knit – get off of work, pick the kiddo up, go home and make dinner, help said kiddo with homework, get him bathed and in bed.  If I don’t crash on the couch while waiting for a show to come on, I am usually to bed when I put my little guy to bed because I am plum beat.  So I am taking full advantage of being unemployed and knitting as much as possible; I think there will be withdrawals when I get back to work.  I am enjoying this time while I can…

I jokingly say I knit so I don’t kill people, but it really is, besides working out, one of the few things in my life I can do to let off steam since punching walls doesn’t seem appropriate and just too painful to express my feelings.  I imagine fixing those holes would be spendy too – I would rather spend that money on YARN!

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Something to aspire to.

OK, I am fired – I missed yesterday…life happened.  I figured my 6 year old needed me more than the 2 people who read this blog, so there you go!

There are several techniques that I would like to learn in the next year.  I would like to learn entrelac, toe-up socks (which I am attempting right now!), and to make a lace shawlette.  Shawlette because I know I don’t have the patience for a full shawl.  I have been on a huge toe kick lately, and that makes me want to learn different heels, different toes, just different sock construction in general.

The last is that I finally want to finish losing the weight I want to, and get going on some sweaters!  I have about 8 sweaters’ worth of yarn waiting to be knit up.  I have a Hey Teach that has just sleeves that need to be knitted, then it needs to be pieced together.  It doesn’t fit me now, so I haven’t had the motivation, but it is the biggest UFO that I have, and I want to get that completed so my UFO box nears empty.

I absolutely adore looking at ornate shawls, lace throws…they all seem so time consuming like I said, but blocked they are just truly works of art.  And add beads to it?  I am blown away!  I will go on to Ravelry and just look at lace FO’s and drool.  I have no desire to make most of them (the thought makes me quake in my bobby socks) but I really, truly appreciate the skill that goes into lace.  So lace knitters out there?  Love your work, you are amazing!

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Where are they now?

Up to this point, most of the knitting I have done HAS been for other people. My first gifted item was for my Grandma.  Her neck and chin were always cold and I used Simply Soft (because that’s so warm and all) and knitted her some variation of a ribbed scarf.

I have gifted mostly hats and gloves, and I know that the matching beanie and fingerless gloves I made for my dad for Christmas 2 years ago hasn’t been worn once.  I appreciate that he knows all the work that goes into it, but dammit, WEAR IT, DADDY!

I have made my mom several hats and scarves and she wears them all the time instead of store-bought ones.  This last winter I made her a lacey pair of fingerless mitts and she adores those.  She is of the crafty persuasion also, so she really appreciates the time and effort that goes into knitting.  She also wears the heck outta her socks that I made her, that were the first socks I ever made.  She was honored to be the recipient of them.

The one gifted item that I think was the most appreciated were the socks I made for my son.  He loves them so much and wears them constantly and loves them so much.  He takes them off, bathes, and wants to put them right back on.  It blows me away that a 6 year old would love something like that so much, but oh man, he loooooves his socks.  There are definitely more in his future.

I have made numerous hats for my brother, winter gear for my son, they all get worn a lot.  I am lucky that my knitting is appreciated by the ones that receive them.  If they weren’t, I wouldn’t do it, of course.  I think 2011 is going to be the year of me, though.  I have many plans and am knitting my 3rd pair of socks, the first pair for me!

 

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Tidy mind, tidy stitches.

I am right in the middle of a huge organizational project.  My yarn is everywhere.  In bags, in drawers, in boxes, in crates…I am trying to get rid of some yarn, organize some others, but it’s everywhere.  It’s been like Christmas, honestly, because I have found some yarn buried that I forgot I had!  Pretty sad, hence the organizing project I started.  I have so far gotten a whole garbage bag of yarn I am donating to some organization or assisted living center, and I think by the time I am done, I will have another bag to get rid of.

My straights are in a narrow plastic drawer, with my circs in the drawer underneath.  My DPN’s are in a stacking pencil box, as well as all of my little tools and things.  I have a special narrow, tall bookshelf that holds all of my knitting books and graph paper and that is probably the only part that is really organized right now.  I have my magazines in binders, an accordion file for printed patterns.  All of my UFO’s are in a nice fancy box that I got in a set from Office Depot on clearance, and my sock yarn is one of those boxes, as well as sweaters worth of yarn.

Sorry if this post is a little scatterbrained…I hurt my back at the gym today and am not feeling great.  Hence no pictures of my organization project.

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Skill + 1UP

From what I remember from previous to this last year of knitting, I did tons of washcloths, and several socks. It appears I did my first pair of socks, too!  A few years ago I did make my son’s Halloween costume (he was Yoda).

This year I have really branched out though.

  • I have learned more about yarn.  Fibers, how they drape, what is good and bad about them, the pros and cons of certain blends and what fibers do what do a blend.  Also what fibers are best suited for what projects.  It has been a very fascinating learning process.
  • I have attempted and mastered short rows, a must for shaping, especially for curvy girls like me.  Bust darts, here I come!
  • I have learned how to seam garments.  This has been a huge step for me.  My biggest teacher of this was looking at sweater construction when I was taking thrifted sweaters apart!  I really learned a lot about it through reverse engineering, really.
  • I have learned much more about sock construction.  I can knit a plain sock without having to follow instructions to the T, or even at all.  I remember how to do the heel flap, the gusset without having to look it up.
  • I have mastered kitchener stitch.  This seaming stitch amazes me to know end, how putting a needle in and out knit and purl-wise can make a stockinette stitch-looking, unassuming seam.  I can’t even see them when I do them, even though because of toe decreases I know where it is!
  • I made my first pair of gloves.  I think my only pair of gloves.  Fingers are so fidgety, and I didn’t enjoy that part so much.  The recipient loved them in a huge way, so it was worth it, but it will be a while before I do it again.  I did learn alot about glove construction though, because doing fingers is much like doing socks…there are holes you need to avoid between the fingers, and figure out how to avoid them.

I have been better at tracking my projects (thanks to Ravelry).  I know when I made things, and have a place to store pattern notes and pictures.  I was trying to do it in a notebook, but for me it’s just like keeping a journal/diary, it falls by the wayside.

I have endeavored to learn more.  To keep pushing myself as a knitter.  I want to learn more about construction of different items, to try many more new things, and I don’t think it will happen this year, but next year I want to be able to go to Stitches or Sock Summit.  I just want to completely immerse myself in this community.  I feel at home here more than anywhere else (in the knitting community), and there is still so much more to learn.  There will always be more to learn.

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