Archive for the ‘Yarn’ Category

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!


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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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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A Tale of Two Yarns

Now, up until the last year or so I have not really had the joy of experiencing some nicer yarns.  I have knit mainly with cotton, Lion Brand Wool-Ease, and various acrylics and not so great wools.

But then it came to my attention that I live near Jimmy Beans Wool.  Oh, woe is me.  This is a double-edged sword.  I go there and tell myself I will just pet the yarn, but invariably I end up walking out with something(s).  Listening to all of the podcasts I do, I have heard many brand name yarns that are quite popular.  So on my first visit to JBW, I think I did a lot of internal squeeing, and possibly some squee that made it out of my mouth.  Malabrigo, Cascasde, Debbie Bliss, Handmaiden…I could go on and on.  And don’t even get me started on the SOCK YARN.  I was in major sensory overload and my fingers were itching to throw all the yarn in a pile in the middle of the floor and just roll around in it, curl up, and fall asleep in the soft, fluffiness that are these yarns.  Good thing for the staff of JBW I have a little self-control.  Good for me too, I guess, since I would have become acquainted with the local PD.

I also seem to have had a lot of luck with thrift stores and yarn purchases, too.  The biggest paydirt at a thrift store was 30 skeins of various yarn for $7.50.  Classic Elite BamBoo, Classic Elite Cotton, lots of various wool…

So…I was glad that I had only spent 25 cents on each of the 6 skeins of Classic Elite BamBoo that I purchased.  There were 3 colors:  Light, periwinkle blue, black, and white.  I made a beret out of some of it, but still have quite a bit left.  That yarn is so damn splitty it’s not even funny.  Now, I don’t know a lot about how a twist in yarn works, or if it’s even possible with bamboo yarn, but some twist would have really helped.  I felt like I was knitting with 10 strands of sewing thread held together.  The blunt bamboo needle I used for it helped, but looking at that beret I am not at all happy.  There are little strands that didn’t get picked up with the needle, and I was very disappointed.  I love the drape, it is heavenly soft, but damn…splitty=sucky knitting experience.

On the other hand, I got some Ultra Alpaca in a beautiful rusty orange that I got from a destashing raveler.  The minute I received it I tried to figure out what I was going to make with it, and cast on.  This yarn is heaven.  It is so soft, knits up beautifully, has such great stitch definition.  I whipped that hat out in no time, and wear it all the time.  I have since bought some Ultra Alpaca Light in a gorgeous light aqua color as a gift to myself for losing weight – it will be the prettiest, softest sweater that I have ever known.  Just a little more to go and I will be casting on for that.

The interesting thing is that people still think that they have to go to a big box store to get yarn because they are on a budget.  Heck, I am a single mom, and on a massive budget.  But I have gotten Wildfoote sock yarn at a thrift store for $3.00 for 2 skeins.  Knit Picks, Webs, destashing ravelers, and even your LYS or online yarn stores.  There are constant sales, constant discounts that you CAN try the nicer yarns without breaking the bank.  Now, granted, I have yet to even pet cashmere because I know I will want it and I can’t get it, but I have bought Malabrigo sock yarn on sale, Regia Silk sock yarn on sale…if you take the time to look, you do not have to sacrifice your pocketbook for a quality yarn.  I know that I feel tons better giving a gift made out of a nicely made, soft, lovely yarn than I would Red Heart.  And it is so much more enjoyable a process knitting it too, when you are knitting with a soft fiber that gives you joy just looking at it.  There is a time and place for Acrylics, and they have changed much over the years, but for me, personally, I won’t touch Red Heart again after the exposure I have received the last year to nicer fibers.

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FO: Pasha

When I saw this pattern on Ravelry, I fell in love with it.  I loved the slouch, loved the lace pattern, just loved it.

Well, when I knit mine up, it didn’t slouch so much, even though I used the largest size.  I have a big head, and lots of hair, so I guess I should have known better.  I couldn’t love this hat more though, than I do.

Project Details:

Pattern:  Pasha

Yarn:  Berroco Ultra Alpaca, Colorway Candied Yam

Modifications:  None!

Thoughts:  I loved this pattern.  The lace repeat was easy to remember, and the yarn was a delight to work with.  This was my first time using the Ultra Alpaca, and I love the tans and browns and slight ‘other’ colors in this colorway, giving it a bit of a rustic feel.  This project was a quicky for me, and I just love it.  I really enjoy the look of the ribbing flowing right into the lace pattern, I think it just adds to the beauty of this hat.

Some more pictures:

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The missing link – forgotten post

So I have been busy doing other things, like cleaning, reorganizing my stash that has seem to have gotten out of control, and taking care of my kiddo.  He was recently diagnosed with ADHD and we are trying to figure out a medication that will work for him.  He just started medication #3 over the weekend and so far, not so good.  His dosage is getting increased starting this weekend, and hopefully that will be the little bit extra he needs.  This has been a real struggle for he and I (and my mother, who is like his 2nd mother), but we know that it’s a process and I was forewarned it takes time and the first medication is very rarely the right medication.  So the search is on.

I did a little bit of shopping today.  I bought a couple of books I have had my eye on, a magazine that I rarely enjoy that I absolutely love this time around, and a few skeins of yarn.

The books I purchased were Big Girl Knits and Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders.  The magazine was Knitscene.  Seems Interweave has done something right lately, because I am SO antsy for the Spring issue to be available at JBW or a local bookstore, and I love love love the Knitscene (Winter/Spring 2011).

The yarn that I got was Panda Silk in a beautiful tangerine color, and the last clearance skein of some Soja yarn that is in the same colorway and dyelot as the last 2 I got.  I just ripped the sock I was making from that yarn, and am going to find a project in the One-Skein Wonders book.  There are several sock yarns that I have that for one reason or another I am just not digging for making socks, and being part of the Sock Yarn Stashdown with Stash and Burn, I want to get through those first.

I finished 3 projects yesterday.  Yes, 2 of them were little Mochimochi Hearts that took me no time at all, but they still count.  I used yarn and finished them, dammit!  The other is a beret that I made out of some BamBoo.  I made up my own pattern, nothing special really, but I love how it turned out.  That BamBoo is splitty as HELL though.  It irritated me pretty much the whole time, so I am glad it was a quick project.  The only other time I worked with bamboo yarn was when I made (WHAT THE HELL IS THE NAME OF THAT TANK?) and I made that out of Twize, which wasn’t nearly as splitty for whatever reason.  It didn’t seem to have as many plies.  I still remember it being slightly splitty though.

I am super excited looking through the One-Skein book.  I have several yarns that I can already see done with several projects.  I am still working on the Multnomah Shawl with the Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn, but I can see this is going to be one of those ‘in-process’ projects for a long time, that I work on in between other projects.  I haven’t even gotten to the pattern yet, I am still just trying to increase to the 200 whatever stitches that it calls for.  That’s ok though, I am still enjoying it.