On the needles

I’ve decided that this is the year to tackle sock knitting.

I’ve been terrified of the whole process – the heel, the toe, the double-pointed needles, etc.

That is, until the nice ladies at Unwind Yarn and Gifts gave me a great start.  They pointed me to the best beginner pattern – Churchmouse Yarns Basic Sock – and helped me select some yarn to use.

I had read this blog post about knitting a sock using a 9” circular needle and that was the “Ah-Ha!” moment for me.  I hate double-pointed needles. Circular needles I can do. Socks suddenly became a possibility.

I ordered the needles on Amazon (here and here and here) and visited the ladies at Unwind.  They helped me with advice and recommendations and I was off and knitting on our ride home from Savannah.

The first sock was actually so very easy – even the heel.  I got some more excellent advice at a local yarn shop (Knitting in the Red) when she told me “just do what the instructions say.”  Oh yeah? I thought.

IMG_2609

But, you know what? It worked! (crazy, I know)

So, I have one sock finished and I’m working on the second.

IMG_2610

The second sock is being a little cranky – dropped stitches and the like – so it’s in time out right now.  I think I’ll pick it up again in a few days when I’m not so annoyed with it.

The yarn is Berroco Sox in “Humberside” colorway. I love the pattern. But I’m not crazy about the yarn. For someone with a wool sensitivity, it’s scratchy and irritates my skin when I knit with it – I feel like I have rope burn where the yarn slides across my skin.  Not sure yet if I will keep the socks when they are done.  I’m not sure I want to give away my first-ever socks, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to wear them, either. Maybe Big Girl will get them. She’s been asking for them for a while.

So, while these are in time out, I’ve decided to start another pair (because who has only one knitting project going at a time?!?)

IMG_2611

The pattern is “Vanilla Latte Socks” and I love the way it looks and can’t wait to see how this Republic of Wool yarn knits up. I love how soft it feels.  It’s 80% superwash merino and 20% nylon.  Happy, happy colors.

Hopefully, these won’t be as cranky as the purple ones.

And, hopefully, I’ll have warm footsies this winter with new socks to wear!

Newly finished

I finished this little gem today in the carpool line.IMG_4641[1]

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been knitting a lot of projects for myself lately and the little one decided I needed to knit something for HER!

She picked out the yarn before Christmas and originally it was going to be a hat, but after seeing how comfy the cowls I’ve been making are, she decided she wanted one for herself instead.

I made it with Cascade Yarns’ Pacific Chunky which is a 60/40 blend of wool and acrylic.  Just enough wool to be warm, just enough acrylic that it’s soft enough for a 9 year old’s neck.

It’s a basic seed stitch (or is it moss? I can’t remember) – K1P1 all the way around.  I cast on 75 and did 3 rows straight knitting to give it a rolled edge and then finished with another rolled edge for symmetry.

I think it turned out really pretty. The color is lovely – very rich looking – and I didn’t want any fancy stitch patterns to compete with the beautiful color.

If you’re a Raveler, I’ve raveled it so you are welcome to add it to your queue if you like, although the pattern’s so simple, you don’t really need one.

IMG_4650[1]

I think she likes it, don’t you?

*tap, tap, tap*

Is this thing on?

Just as with a workout routine, an unfinished project, or a strict diet; once you leave a blog stagnant for a while, it’s hard to start things back up again.

I am, however, still here.  Life has just been busy the past few months.  And when life gets busy, blogging takes a backseat to everything else.

The last third of 2013 was full of, well, full of life… living, loving, being creative, nursing, nurturing, reading, knitting, cooking…all those things I love to do.  And, working,of course.

December was busy – work projects demanding attention, holiday projects doing the same. But we managed to fit in some fun along the way and enjoyed being with those we love the most for both Christmas and New Year’s (and the days in-between)

snow baby

School is back in session after the holiday break and the snowpocalypse of last week.  The girls are bucking down and have their sights on the mini-break we have next week when they’ll get a four-day weekend.

French Onion Soup in the making

Big Girl has a retreat with her church group this weekend and Little Bit has a sleepover planned. SuperMan has been cleaning and reorganizing the basement after our flood a few weeks ago and I’ve been busy manning the support duties for the family – cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.

Pizza "bread"

I’ve been trying a few new recipes, which I plan to share with you  here  soon, and have been knitting like a madwoman. I have fallen in love with quick, one-skein projects – things I can tote with me in carpool line and that seem to finish up within a few days. I love the sense of accomplishment and being able to wear the fruits of my labor quickly.  I just read that someone calls January the “selfish knitting month,” which I have to say I agree wholeheartedly with. I have been doing just that for the past month – knitting things I wanted to knit just for me.  And loving every minute of it.

Hat & Scarf project

I did work on some “by request” projects over the holidays – made a hat for a longtime friend and a hat and scarf for another friend’s niece.  Those special projects were fun and I was terribly flattered that people actually wanted me to knit something for them! I certainly don’t consider myself the caliber of knitter that would make things to sell. (still don’t)  But my friends seem to like what I’ve made them.  Even my sweet little nephew loves his hat!

Very first hat I made

I hope you’ll stick around and join in on the conversation… Recipes and projects coming soon!

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.

????????

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:

image

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.

IMGP4821

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!

IMGP4823

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

IMGP4824

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…

IMG_2278

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.

IMG_2279

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?)

IMG_2280

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?

comments graphic2

On the Needles

So, I’ve been stitching away over here – I am finding it is a terrific stress reliever and fast becoming my favorite past time.  I’ve got a couple projects going simultaneously – thought I’d share a little peek with you.

IMG_2740

I bought this yarn intending to make a baby blanket out of it. I kinda fudged on the sizing and now I think it’s a little bit too big for a baby blanket. Rather than ripping it out, I’m thinking about either making a shawl or a lap throw out of it.  It’s a really pretty lavender with green threads throughout – and it its oh-so-soft and cuddly warm.  It’s from the brand Loops & Threads –  Country Loom line and the color is called Lavender Blues. (from Michaels)

IMG_2755

The second project on the hooks right now is another baby blanket – since the first didn’t work out, I found this yarn and started another blanket.  With this one I was a little more deliberate in my sizing, so I think it’s going to turn out well. It’s a Hobby Lobby brand of yarn – “I Love this Yarn” – and the color is called Sherbet Stripe.

IMG_2760

It is coming together nicely. Easy to crochet with – even with a “helper” in my lap.  I like the vivid colors – yet they are not too in-your-face for a baby blanket. Cheery and happy, I think.  I’ll share the finished project once I am done.

IMG_2761

Now I’m off to get a few more rows done before bedtime – if the “assistant” will permit.

 

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.

IMG_2110[1]_thumb

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.

IMG_1992[1]_thumb

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.

 IMG_0060  

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!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Knit one…

My babies are learning to knit.

IMGP3131 IMGP3125 IMGP3126 They are having such fun.IMGP3127 IMGP3128   It’s a Saturday class and the lady who is teaching them is so patient and kind.  Much more patient than I would be. IMGP3129 IMGP3130 

And they’re having a blast.

Wondering on Wednesday ~ What makes you happy?

I was thinking about how happy I’ve been lately.  Granted, there’s been some stress in my life, but even with that, I just have this overall feeling of contentment.  Life is good.  I’m blessed with a job that I love and can do from home, a schedule that allows me to focus on my kids when I need to and juggle other responsibilities. I have a husband who loves me and supports me in all my crazy ideas and two not-so-little girls that I adore (and who like me most of the time, too).

On top of all that, there are the little things that make me happy. 

Here are a few little things that have made me happy lately:

  1. Werther’s Original Sugar Free Caramel Coffee candiesimage
    These are sooo good. You can’t tell they are sugar free and they give a great coffee and caramel flavor. Very rich tasting. I feel like I’m getting away with something when I eat one of these.
  2. My Droid image
    How did I ever survive without this thing?  Seriously. I take it EVERYWHERE
    (even the bathroom, but that is probably TMI, isn’t it?)
    It’s like having a laptop in your pocket. I can find out anything I want to know anytime, anywhere. Directions, updates from my friends on Facebook, emails from work, movie times, restaurants, etc.  I’m so addicted, the darn thing should probably have a name (like Beatrice Nook does)
  3. My Knitting
    IMG_20100823_103752
    After stepping away from the hot yarn for the summer, I’m so enjoying getting back into my knitting. I find such peace as I’m sitting at the dance studio waiting for the girls to finish up classes and knitting my little heart out. I guess I’m a kinesthetic person, because the physical act of knitting is like a balm to my soul. It just really calms me and focuses me. I have started knitting in the evenings for about 30 minutes before the bedtime rush. It has been really interesting to do that – I find I’m a lot more patient and calm for the monkeys’ bedtime when I do that.
  4. Beatrice Nook
    I love being able to read anything whenever/wherever I want. I also love the fact that I have the Nook software on my Droid so I can read even if I forget Beatrice (the horror!) and find myself with a few extra moments somewhere.
  5. (this one may sound crazy to you) Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean Detergent
    image Maybe crazy sounding, but I am loving this stuff. It gets out all kinds of stains and it has the best scent! I don't even think I need a dryer sheet when I’m finished with the washing.  The clothes are fresh, clean, and soft when I’m folding them. Love it.

Wondering on Wednesday

So, today, I’m wondering…

What makes you happy?

Enter a comment below
and tell me your five things that make you happy today.

Enhanced by Zemanta