Archive for February, 2011

Friday Favorites: Favorite blog post ever

I love Alana from Never Not Knitting.  She has a great blog, a great collection of patterns, and a fabu podcast.  But this blog post beats all others.  I think it’s just the cutest things, from the darling model and her expressions to the captions and descriptions…not to mention the DARLING pint-sized knits that Alana is oh-so-good at!

So, please check this post out to see just an example of Alana’s cleverness and creativity.  Her podcast and other blog posts are clever also, but this one just is a personal favorite!

Thank you, Alana, for the laughs, the creativity, and sharing your talent with all of us!

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Friday Favorites: Helpful links from Lion Brand

OK, yes, a day late.  The flu has knocked me on my butt.  I have most of a post sitting there for 3 days now that I have to totally redo because it doesn’t exactly fit context-wise anymore.  So I hope to get that updated tonight also, but for now, Friday Favorites!

I recently received an email from LB that talked about some helpful information they had on their site.

Yarn by Weight Class

Yarn Laundering Instructions

Dictionary to Knitting and Crochet Terms

About Yarn:  How much do I need to make a _____? (This link takes you right to the PDF version of this which is a little easier to read and ready to print!)

Of course some of it is LB specific, and they do hawk their wares on those pages, but it’s their website, right?  It still has some wonderful general information, LB fan or not.  And if you have ever worked with LB yarns, it gives you something to gauge the information with.

Thank you Lion Brand!

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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.

Friday Favorites: Designers

Gorgeous, huh? Thanks to Frankie for permission to use her photo.

There were a couple that I wanted to do first, but when I thought about how I reacted when I first saw this designer’s patterns.  Frankie Brown was originally brought to my attention via the Knit Picks Podcast, and I was FLOORED when I saw her Ten Stitch Twist pattern.  Please go check her out.  She has some amazing designs, and they look like they would be a blast to create.  As soon as I can afford some long-stripe self-striping yarn (she used 14 balls of Kureyon, eek!) I am going to create this masterpiece.

I think the most commendable thing about Frankie, though, is that she offers her patterns for free but asks that if you like her work to please donate to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation.  A clever designer with a big heart.  How much better does it get than that?

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One could call me a podcast whore…

At my old job, that I lost in March of 2010, I listened to podcasts all day long when I worked.  I was able to keep up with all the podcasts that I enjoyed.  Once I lost the job, I went into a bit of a depressive/lazy/unmotivated mode and dropped the podcast listening.

Well, the last few months I have gotten back into them.  I have so been enjoying catching up with what seems like old friends, and finding new friends too.  I have gotten ALL caught up, from Episode 1 through current, on both Stash and Burn and KIPing it Real.  I am working on Never Not Knitting and Knitmore Girls right now.  I am totally digging Alana (I am so sorry, I know I just thrashed the spelling of your name), and her expertise, and I love the banter back and forth between mom and daughter team on the Knitmore Girls podcast.  Stash and Burn was an old favorite, so it was really nice to get caught back up with Jenny and Nicole, and the next ones I work on will be She-Knits…I have always really enjoyed Sharon and her talking about her ginormous family and her successes with her knitting business through the past years.  I feel like some of these people are old friends, as creepy-stalkerish as that might sound, but I don’t think that I am the only one that feels like that.

But yes, I am a proud podcast whore.  I listen when I’m cleaning, when I am trying to go to sleep, while I’m surfing online…any time that I can.  And I found some more today.  They are gonna wait til I am caught up on my oldies but goodie.  I find that every podcast I have subscribed to fills a different niche that makes me enjoy it thoroughly.  If I am not feeling it, I just don’t listen.

Support our podcasters, they do work so hard and don’t get a red cent for us.  They are an integral part of knitting community and have brought many together that would not have done so had it not been for them sharing their lives with us week after week, year after year…

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Extra, extra, read all about it!

Vogue Knitting has all of their patterns on sale for $2.99 through Friday, February 11th.  Now is the time to get those patterns you have been wanting but not willing to pay $6.00 for!  Wahooie!

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Hi ho, hi ho, to JBW I go.

I swear, that place is the devil for me.  I can spend hours in there easy, just petting yarn.  I bought enough yarn to make Arielle and it is dreamy and I can’t wait.  Except the thing is that I have to.  Just having a baby, my mom has been making some nice comfy dresses and tops for me to wear while I heal from my C-Section and had me measure my hips and bust yesterday.  DEPRESSING.  And too big for the largest size.  So I could knit it on larger needles or adjust the pattern using percentages, but I have decided that will be my one treat for myself when I have lost some weight.  I have already lost 10 lbs. and it has been just 2 weeks, so I can’t wait to see what I can do when I actually get the OK from the doc to start exercising.  I love love love that top but think I will love it even more when I have a better figure for it.

I have a couple of other things on the needles, I am currently knitting Askel for my son.  I am about 8  inches into the body.  I am knitting that in a 100% superwash merino in a great royal blue.  I am omitting the stripes because I want it to be a little more versatile.  Little man is so excited about it and I am LOVING the neverending stockinette.  I know that drives some people batty but I can knit in the dark, at the movies, wherever and I don’t have to think and it’s so damn soothing.

I am also working on my FIRST shawl using Noro Kureyon Sock for the FIRST time.  I just started it tonight.  I bought the Noro today at JBW…it was on sale and I figured it was now or never that I would be able to see what the hype with Noro is.  It is scratchy as hell, which reading I had already expected it, so I didn’t want socks.  I figured a shawl would be good, so I am knitting Multnomah because I love the way Noro stripes with that pattern.  I am pretty excited about it.

I started a couple of other things but they are things I am really going to wait on.  I ripped out what I had already started for both other projects because they are more form fitting so once again, I want to be able to wear them and feel good so I am waiting.  I have been listening like crazy to the Stash and Burn podcast, and they were talking about Space Girl, and I have some gray Cotton Fleece that will look great with it, I think I am going to do it in a short sleeve to layer.  I figure that is something that can still work even if it is a little bigger.  Damn cute sweater.  So after I finish my son’s sweater, I am going to cast on for Space Girl.

I have also joined the Sock Stash Knitdown 2011 in the Stash and Burn Ravelry group.  My first project is going to be the Multnomah shawl that I JUST BOUGHT SOCK YARN for, but nevermind that.  I have a pair of socks on the needles, plus a couple of babies on the way that I am going to knit this cute sock and hat set for newborns, and I have some socks I just won’t knit socks with, so that’s where that will go.

I have also decided that when I don’t have a ‘thrown in my bag brainless knitting’ I am going to grab some of my softer acrylic yarn and circs and make a shit-ton of baby hats to bring to the local hospital.  That charity project warms my heart more than any other does, and it makes me happy, so that is something I can do to help and get rid of some yarn that I won’t be using for anything else.  Lots of my other non-baby acrylic is going to go to a local nursing home.  I am over the acrylic, have been over it, just haven’t taken the time to go through the tons and tons and tons of yarn that I have.  I really need to though, because getting rid of it is going to make me feel good.  I could keep maybe 7 or 8 skeins for the baby hats, and the rest is outta here.  Just thinking about it makes me feel better and less cluttered.

So anyways, that’s it.  I have decided that I am going to get 2 more books, and the new IK (the Spring ’11 one…it’s the best one I have ever seen, I ADORE it and want it right now), and I’m done with yarn and yarn-related purchases for quite a while.  I have enough knitting to keep me busy for ages, and I just want to start getting through it!

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Life in general

My life was sort of turned upside down in June, and then even worse in October, with the finale the middle of January.  The last 6-7 months have definitely been the worst of my life.  I have had to deal with things I never thought I would have to, have had to make decisions I never thought I would need to, and have dealt with loss I never could ever fathom.

I have always related to people that say that knitting has kept them sane, has been therapeutic, etc., but I have never really truly understood that until now.  I have always said that I knit so that I don’t kill people, and it’s been something that makes people chuckle, but I feel that if I were to say that now, I might scare people because I won’t  be able to laugh when I say it.  Not that I have been close to murdering anyone, but my emotions have been so very close to the surface and I feel on the verge of losing it sometimes.  Frequently.  Postpartum depression tops it all off, and makes for one crazy gal.

I relate now more than ever to the comment that knitting has helped me stay sane.  Has helped me keep it together.  I feel like when I am pulling loop through loop that I am accomplished, productive, or it just keeps me from thinking about the things that make me super anxious or sad.  The never-ending stockinette on the sweater I am working on for my son, which would usually lead me to cast on something a bit more interesting, has been my savior.  Knit, knit, knit, round after round.  I made the biggest size I could, it will probably even last him this winter/spring and next because of the size, but that stockinette soothes me like nothing else can right now.  No medication, no prayers, no nothing.  One might say my faith is not strong enough, but right now I am taking relief and comfort where I can get it, because it seems to come so infrequently these days.

Podcasts have been helping me get through my evenings and nights, also.  When I go to bed my brain won’t stop, and it’s the only thing that keeps me from crying myself to sleep.  I fall asleep listening to the comforting voices of Jazmine, Gigi, Jackie, Nicole, Jenny, and Brenda.  Thank you, ladies, for making my nights easier and falling asleep without struggle.

If I see a little manic in this blog, that is perhaps why.  It is something else that is distracting what I inevitably have to deal with, but won’t do until I feel like I am able to.  There are a couple things that need to happen before I can even think about that happening, including some physical healing and getting my son and some issues that have come up with him straightened out.  Once that happens, I work on me.  My  mental state, and working on learning how to deal with life and the things that come up, because I know that this is not the last rough patch I will have, and not the last stumbling block that will stand in my way.  I can only be the best person I can be, and most importantly the best mother that I can be, if I can get my brain sorted out and learn to deal with things.  This year WILL be better than last year.  I WILL get my shit together, I WILL be able to deal with whatever comes my way.

If there is anyone else struggling right now, here is to the light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how far down that tunnel it might be, and for life getting a little easier for you.

Until next time,


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Holy cow, an FO!

I finished the Gap-tastic Cowl.  I love it.  I used Ironstone Colorchanges yarn, which I had no idea what to ever do with.  But I am sticking with my resolution…using that yarn I have always been afraid to use because I didn’t want to ‘waste’..well wasting is letting it just sit and never be used.

I loved knitting with this, and as much as I abhor seed stitch I actually enjoyed it with this project, because the colors turned out so neat the way they changed as I went.  There were sort of long color changes, so a knit-in-the-round cowl was really a good way to go.  I knitted them on slightly smaller needles but cast on more stitches.  I wish I would have cast on even more stitches, and there will be another cowl in my future, that will be longer.  Probably 5 inches longer, preferably.  It does fit over my head like a hood though, which was my main goal.  I wanted something I could cover my noggin up when my ears felt like they were gonna fall off.

And PICTURES.  Do you believe it?

Excuse the re-re self photos, but I had just cast-off and was doing a happy dance because I actually FINISHED SOMETHING.  Love it.

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Friday Favorites: Sweaters

I am trying to resurrect this.  This will be anything and everything knitting-related that has happened or brought to my attention for the last week.  Make sure you follow-up on these posts, because there will be links to techniques, pattern and book highlights…you just never know!  Some will be free, some will not be free, but whatever I put here I feel worthy of sharing!

Bear with me please while I try to decide how I want to do this.  To limit myself to shorter Friday Favorites, I think I am going to do categories or themes.  Otherwise I could really go on and on.  I will tag my Ravelry favorites with FridayFavorites for the ones that I put up here as Friday Favorites, so you can see all of them at once.  Don’t know if that helps, but there you go.  I am jawsie on Ravelry.  Feel free to add me if you would like, also!

So, without further ado, this week’s Friday Favorites!

Since it is still winter and will be for a couple more months here, that will be where I head on this week.  Here goes nothin:

Gretel – Cost:  $5.00.  Simple sweater with nice detailing at the top of the front, with side buttons.  Knit in the round from the bottom up.  I love, love this sweater.

Waiting for Spring Sweater

Audrey in Unst – Cost: $5.00.  A vintage-inspired cardigan with lace detailing at the top of the sweater.  It was originally designed as a shorter-length sweater, but I have seen others that have made it longer and it really is a flattering knit.

Honeybee Cardigan – Cost: $6.50.  Once again, a shorter sweater, this one actually a cropped one that looks SUPER cute as is on certain bodies.  I have seen this one made to go past the hips and those FO’s were the ones that really made me fall in love with this one.  The lace pattern taken all the way down on the longer versions is so beautiful.

Leaving – Cost: $8.00.  This sweater is gorgeous.  You have the option of creating this as a cardigan or a pullover, and both are equally beautiful.  I lean toward the cardigan just because I am more of a cardigan gal.  The center back and front have a leaf motif, as do the cuffs of the arms.

I think I am going to stop there.  This is new to me but I want to have a blog that is full of content, not just excuses and bitching about how I can’t keep my focus on any one project.  I am kind of picky when it comes to purchasing patterns because there are so many amazing free patterns out, but I am all about supporting our knitterly designers, and I will do so when I really love a pattern because I want them to keep creating these beautiful knits!

So bear with me…if you have any ideas to make this blog more interesting, one you would read, or content I can add, I would appreciate it.  As far as I know nobody even reads this, so I liken it to talking to myself as I do while I sit here (crazy much? haha), but it is also a diary of sorts just for me to keep track of my knitting and why I am/am not finishing projects.

So if you are out there, let me know!

Until next time,


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