On the Needles: UFO Edition

I’ve got several (!) works-in-progress going right now.

There are a few pairs of socks that are not only suffering from second-sock-syndrome but from finishing-first-sock-syndrome.  I ran out of knitting mojo when my big girl got so sick last winter and they linger unfinished in my knitting tote.  One day, hopefully soon, they’ll get pulled back out and finished.

Socks are great on-the-go projects because they take up so little room in your purse or tote and are relatively mindless, until you get to the heel, that is.

In addition to the socks, I’ve got a few other projects on the needles.  There’s the lavender tank I started over Spring Break and never got past that week of knitting.  And a cowl I started a few weeks ago (and am actively working on) – I’m not in love with the pattern, but I’m looking forward to the bright pop of pink in my wardrobe in the dreary days of winter next year.

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The finished object looks lovely. The pattern is just, well, not exciting. But it is good mindless knitting to do when you’re watching TV or hanging out with the family. (and frankly, mindless knitting is about all I’m capable of right now)

I’m also working on a vest. Rather ambitious, I know, as I’m not one for finishing big projects (see tank project above) but I’m really excited about the possibility of actually finishing and wearing this one. Vests are all the rage right now and this is one of those with the kimono-style lines that I think are flattering on anyone.  The kids have already been eyeing it… Uh, no. If Mama finishes it, Mama wears it!

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It’s another mindless project (so far) – just knit, knit, knit until what seems like forever.

It’s a two piece project you put together – I THINK I’m working on the back right now.  (checks pattern) Yes, I am.  I’m liking the color changes/striping that is happening.  The yarn is a silk/cotton blend. Not the slippiest yarn around and I’m thankful I have stainless needles as I wrastle with the yarn. I’m using this project to practice my continental knitting. Stretching those muscles and straining the brain cells.

Now, If I could just figure out how to knit and walk I could get my exercise in at the same time! Have you seen people that do that? I’m amazed. And the marathon runners who knit totally boggle my mind. I can barely walk and think at the same time. Adding knitting to the mix would probably cause my brain to seize up and reboot.

Well, that’s what I’ve got going right now – or at least what’s “active” in the knitting bag.  There’s a bunch of other projects I’ve been thinking about but I’m trying to exercise some self-control and limit my UFOs a bit.

On the needles

I’ve been so busy this year with work that I haven’t really had much time for any type of crafting – scrapbooking, needlework, nothing.  And, honestly, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t really missed it, either.

However, things seem to be slowing down a bit at work (thank the Lord) and I am not quite at the collapse-into-bed stage in the evenings when the kids go to bed.  So, I started getting itchy fingers and looking for something to crochet or knit.  I think the ladies at the dance studio were influencing me because most of them are knitters and bring their projects to work on while our daughters dance.

I found two projects that I fell head over heels in love with  – one is a lacy scarf that I think I’m going to make into a wrap by doubling the project. (I bought double the yarn called for in the project)

The yarn I bought is full of fall colors – reds, mauve, purples – and I think it will be beautiful in this pattern.

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It looks a lot more red in this picture than it really is. There’s a lot of blue-ish purple there in real life.

The second is a beautiful shawl that is inspired by Princess Kate’s shawl that she wore shopping.  I love how feminine it is – that ruffle is just beautiful.  I’m sure the original costs hundreds of dollars, but my version, based on a Ravelry pattern is much cheaper – especially since I found the yarn on sale for $2.50/skein!

The original is a beautiful forest green, but I fell in love with a navy yarn and decided that would go more with my wardrobe. Here’s what I chose:

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Caron Simply Soft in Dark Country Blue

I’m loving the pattern – it is easy enough that I can remember it (mostly) even with the repeats.  It’s got a “spine” down the back with an open line and then the ruffle will be added at the end.

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I am not even finished with the first skein and it calls for four (!) so I will most likely be working on this project for a while.  I have been trying to spend an hour or so a day working on it but some days I haven’t had time to do anything. IMGP4822

I am in no rush, though, and I am really enjoying the project. You can follow along with me on my Ravelry page.  One thing to note is that the pattern on the website is incorrect and the author notes on Ravelry that you can email her and she will send you the corrected pattern. I did that and received a return email within a few hours so I didn’t have to wait to start my project!

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I can’t wait to have it on my shoulders when it’s finished.

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My helper can’t wait, either. I think he thinks I’m making it for him. Winking smile

 

On the Needles: Stash Bustin’

I’m in between big projects right now – not really ready to start on another blanket or something big, so I decided to finish off some cotton yarn I had and make some washcloths. Quick, easy and gives you a sense of accomplishment because you can usually do one in a day…

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So I’m chugging along here – the one above is a single crochet I started this evening while watching Duck Dynasty with the family… probably finish it off tomorrow.

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And this one I made on Sunday afternoon – I think I did a double crochet, but I honestly can’t remember. (I’ve slept twice since then, you know?)

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It’s about 9×8 inches… They shrink quite a bit when they’re dried, so I make them larger to allow for that shrinkage. If you air dry them and stretch them back out while they dry they’ll hold their size and shape pretty well, but I’m lazy and usually just throw them in the dryer with the other towels.

They are extremely durable – they hold up to pot scrubbing, face washing, counter cleaning – you name it – and bleaching.  I have some knitted ones that are close to three years old now and they look just like they did when I first made them. (Especially the ones the girls claimed for Barbie blankets LOL)

Do you crochet or knit household linens?

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On the Needles (or off)

Happy Super Tuesday!  If you live in the United States, I hope you have, or are planning to vote today. Regardless of who you vote for, I just hope you exercise your right to vote.

We voted two weeks ago – I love early voting!

I thought I’d share with you some of the recent yarn projects I’ve been working on.  It seems the more hectic life gets, the more I have retreated in my free time into my yarn crafts.  I think it is because it is simple, repetitive, tactile and relaxing. I don’t have to think. I don’t have to plan. I don’t have to react. I can just sit quietly and weave the yarn and watch something beautiful develop.  And right now, for me, that is very therapeutic.

I’ve finished this little item –

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But I can’t share more with you (yet) as it is a gift and I want to give it to my special someone first before doing any more of a reveal.

I also decided on Saturday that I wanted to finish my shawl – the one I had earmarked as my “church shawl” – that I would wear on Sundays in Church when they have the air conditioning on “freeze yer hiney off” and I am shivering.

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I’ve been working on it off and on for a month or two.  I ran out of yarn, had to order more, and then finally decided it was getting cold enough that I really needed to focus on finishing so I wouldn’t turn into a popsicle in church on Sunday.

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It’s a basic shawl – a big rectangle, really. I did it in a half-double crochet and then made a ruffle on the ends by doing four double crochets in each loop.  I think it turned out really pretty.

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The yarn is Lion Brand Homespun in Ocean.  Mom had given it to me a few years ago as part of a yarn package Christmas gift. The yarn is a pain to knit with but it wasn’t too bad to crochet with. I used a large needle (L, I think) and tried really hard to control my tension (in more ways than one!)

It was serendipitous that the colors actually match the colors on our volunteer “uniform” shirts for church. So, I look very coordinated, even though it was a total accident.

And, I used it on Sunday. It was so warm – like snuggling in a blanket!

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Although, I have to say, I think my model is even more beautiful than my shawl!  Don’t you?!?

Now, I’m vacillating between which project to do next.  Finish the shawl that seems to be turning into a lap blanket? Start a scarf and hat project that will be quick and easy?  Tackle some finer yarns that I’ve purchased because I love but am afraid to do something with for fear of messing it up?

Decisions, Decisions.

I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

I’ve got plenty of yarn to choose from. That’s for sure!

On the needles

 

I stumbled across a hat crochet pattern the other day and decided to see if I could figure it out to make a hat for Little Bit.

After some consultation with Mom (thank goodness for FaceTime!) getting the initial circle going, it was a really quick job and I was completely finished about two hours after I started – and that was with kid interruptions included!

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It was so quick – and so easy. It is the first thing I’ve done with increases in crochet and the very first hat I’ve ever made.

I have to say I was very pleased with the results.

So much so that I made one for Big Girl the next day.

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And I’m already thinking about who will be getting one for Christmas!

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The girls loved them, too, which is especially nice because they are for them!IMG_2009

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Here is a link to the pattern in case you want to try your hands at the hat yourself!

For the Big Girl’s I just added about three more sets of increase rows than I did in the original one for Little Bit. I would probably do the same thing for an adult hat, but this is an easily adaptable pattern.

Give it a try!

 

Stitchy Twitchy

 

I’ve got the yarn bug again –

I’ve been working on a shawl the past couple weeks. I was hoping to finish it over the weekend but may need to put another couple hours into it to finish. It’s going to be so cozy to cuddle in when the weather gets cool, I think.

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I’m also working on a “carpool scarf” with some yarn that was given to me by a friend. It’s only two skeins, so I’m hoping I get it to the right length before I run out of yarn because it is discontinued and I’ve not found any online anywhere. Big Girl has claimed it for her own, but I have made her promise she will share with me.

I call it the “Carpool Scarf” because I keep it in the car and work on it while I’m sitting in the carpool line each day.  It is coming along nicely and I’m loving the gold threads that are in the yarn – it makes for a pretty sparkle amid the browns and greens.

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I have some yarn for my next project ready to go – it’s a very colorful variegated yarn that Little Bit wants me to use to make a scarf and hat for her. I’m thinking I’ll try this hat pattern and maybe something simple like this scarf pattern.

This is the yarn

Kisses First Love Yarn

Right up her alley in terms of color, don’t you think?  Now, I’ll have to find a new winter coat for her to match! I’m thinking a dark purple one maybe.

And, of course, I have all sorts of other projects brewing in my head – I just need to find the time to get to them all!

How about you? Any craftiness at your house lately?

 

Hello, my name is Lois and I’m an ADD Knitter

I admit it.

I may have a problem.

Just like I did when I first started scrapbooking, I am finding that, with my knitting, I want to do and buy every project I see.

My stash of yarn and needles is growing daily – and my stack of finished projects is not growing proportionately.

I think this is a common problem, though, and that I am not alone. (I hope!)

My knitting friends talk about converted walk-in closets with yarn organizers and secret stashes of yarn and unfinished projects. It’s almost like it’s an unspoken commonality that we share – this plethora of yarn and plans for beautifully knitted goods that are currently only patterns, yarn, and daydreams.

I started this new hobby thinking I would only buy materials for a new project when I finished whatever current one I’m working on.  But, that hasn’t been the case.

Between my ADD tendencies and the weekly knitting class I’m taking (where I sit in a yarn shop surrounded by beautiful projects and gorgeous yarns every week) I am finding it challenging to stay focused on one single project.

My fellow knitting junkies assure me that this is OK.  That everyone needs one “mindless” knitting project you can do while sitting in a crowd or watching TV or your child’s extracurricular activities… and then you  need one more challenging project to stretch your skills and learn new things. (and maybe a few more projects besides these)

So, maybe I’m not alone in this.

Right now, I have three, or maybe four, started projects.

A rotini scarf – this is my “mindless” project. It’s easy – knit 8/8 back, knit 6/6back, etc.  I don’t think much while I’m doing it and it has been great to unwind with at the end of a hectic day.

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Then there is the eyelash-yarn-from-hell project.  I started a scarf for Big Girl with this hot pink eyelash yarn. I got about halfway finished and realized I was making a TRIANGLE, not a RECTANGLE. IMG_0062

Something was awry and I was annoyed and ripped the whole thing out. Now, I must start again. Except that I really want to just throw the darn eyelash yarn in the woods for the birds to line their nests.  So not making much progress there.

Then, there’s the cream cotton that is so soft and snuggly. I’m working on another scarf although that project was really just practice for a pattern I wanted to learn. If I don’t finish it I won’t be upset, but it may haunt me if I don’t.IMG_0063And then this Saturday I’m hoping to start a new shawl pattern when I go to my class.  Either that or I may ask to be taught how to make some socks.  I like little projects – scarves, washcloths, things like that. Things I know I can finish quickly before my attention is derailed by some new project or pattern or yarn I see.

What about you? Are you this way, too?

Please tell me I’m not the only one!

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