Archive for the 'Knitting' Category

I miss this

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Thanksgiving is coming up and I came here to see what I’d done last year (chicken or turkey?… turkey and ham) and realized how much I really miss having this here. So I’m going to try harder to carve out some time each morning.

This, naturally, comes at a time that I’ve taken on other large’ish projects. November is “National Write a Novel Month” or NaNoWriMo. In the knitting world, inspired by the same, it is “National Knit a Sweater Month”, NaKniSweMo. It’s been going on for a few years, and amuses me to watch the knitters. This year, a combination of re-starting Ken’s cardigan from several years ago (all that remained was the buttonband) and seeing that, as much as I didn’t want to admit, it was too small by several important inches … therefore I frogged (unknit/pulled out) the whole thing (*sob*) … and he needs something a bit warmer come winter (he wears the red vest daily but needs something with arms), PLUS I’ve finished up the other “big” projects I had:

(the neck on both is the same, it just photo’d weird when Victor was being “scary”).

PLUS PLUS (and this is the important one) when I mentioned to Ken about NaKniSweMo he didn’t think I could do it.

Well then.

Now, I know him and I know he knows that by saying that he’s going to incite me to finish his cardigan that he’s been patiently waiting 2 years for (it was a Christmas present, so he’s been very generous with his patience). I know that he won’t be mean if I don’t finish. That being said, I’m quite determined to prove him wrong. :P

I’m 8ish inches up the body of 15ish inches before the armpits, so my initial progress is good. I hope my wrists can handle so much knitting. They get… cranky. The “wrist splint/ice pack/advil for a few days” kind of cranky.

Also, Jess (bff) is participating in NaNoWriMo and I’m her defacto editor, which is exciting and a lot of fun!


Thursday, July 18th, 2013

I fell off and it drove away. I’ve been wondering this morning, though, if I shouldn’t just give another go. So here goes.

Sum Up:
The Garden:

(2 wks ago, during a brief respite from the torrents)

With all the rain we’ve had (2 months of near constant) I was worried about the tomatoes, most. They are, however, happy as clams with all the rain. I’m keeping their lower branches trimmed up (our vacation came during a seemingly explosive growth spurt and some have fruit and I won’t trim those) to try and prevent blight, and they’re monstrous, as usual.

They must really like being vertically trained. Even John, our neighbourly-neighbour, came over to comment on them, specifically. They've fruit, and flowers yet to pollinate, so here's hoping we have enough bees around. The strawberry beds are doing great, especially considering we didn't put any *straw* down, but there are daughters being sent out so the gaps are filling in for next year. We may have found a vole hole this morning in one of them. I hope not. Peppers are happy, also, and have lots of fruit. What do I do with jalepenos when the tomatoes aren't ready yet? Onions, to my amazement (since I've never grown onions) are doing great! Definitely going to grow them from seed next year since it must be almost as easy. Pumpkins are crazy and trying to take over the world. Black raspberries came too at the same time as the japanese beetles, and they're small and wimpy anyways, so that won't give much this year. Blueberries are starting to come in - just the early bush right now - and I figure if I keep them picked before the beetles can get them, we'll have lots.

Orchard is doing ok - not much fruit (1st yr), beetles are destroying the pear and plum trees. We're going to try a spore preventative next year and see how that goes. We've so much lawn that the beetle grubs are very well cared for.

The boys are doing great. Signed them up for swim lessons at VTC and as it’s daily and a small class (4 people the first session, just them this one) they’re learning loads!! Victor does cannonballs now! Ethan can touch the bottom of the pool! Both can do back and front floats without help! Very exciting!

We’re having the main floor bathroom remodeled from last year’s pipe crack and the holes are being patched from the wiring work (insurance dropped us, nobody would take us with knob and tube wiring, so we had a rush to update all the wiring in the house).

I’m happy to have it being done, but t-i-r-e-d of having workers in my house all the time. I can’t clean properly, and I have to wear pants. We’re also kinda broke, which sucks. We’ll manage, but it doesn’t help to know that we also need to have one of the chimney’s relined before fall (yay credit card!) and we need (yes, need) to buy a chest freezer.

We went to Ireland! (part of that “broke” thing I mentioned, but totally worth it!) Just a quick, 4.5 day trip for our 10th anniversary. Just Ken and myself. It was awesome. Once I get photos uploaded and pruned (lots of scenery) I’ll put them up.

I’ve been knitting up a storm this spring/summer. Kate (SiL) contracted me to do hats for her new son, each month, though I won’t put up pics til the year is out and the calendars they have planned are sent. I designed and knit a cabled waistcoat (buttoned vest) for my trip to Ireland (which had a heat wave, complete with sunburn, so that was appropriate), that I’m very proud of and thinking of publishing/selling the pattern for (see img above). I’m currently designing a fish sweater for V that’s interesting (orange and bright blue… bring sunglasses).

That’s about all for now. Still fighting sporadic depression (how that works I *don’t* know), it’s hottT here right now, but should cool down by Saturday. I’ve been reading Harry Potter to the boys every night, and they *love* it. Warms my heart on more than one level, since it’s something Dad and I shared.

Ken’s Camel

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Just finished a vest for Ken that I’m really very pleased with the results. I feel all warm and gooey inside!

Just Swinging By for Pigs

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Going through a big change in life, so I’m taking my sweet time adjusting which means less blogging. Nothing personal.

I am, however, going to share a latest knitting project: Victor’s Warminizers 2012!

Piggy mittens (forest, leaf, orange, purple, navy, sky and orange, purple, navy, sky, forest, leaf). Hard to see are the little tails on the back of his hands, the little ears on the edge between the sky/leaf sections and the navy/forest sections and the orange “stop losing your mittens!!” cord that goes through his sleeves and helps him swing his mittens around toys/weapons and drag them on the ground (sigh).

Cowl to match; often to be found not around his neck but up over his ears and forehead like a ginormous, hair-messing headband. Looks goofy. aka Perfect.

Where Has The Time Gone? (and wth is going on in my life atm)

Monday, October 8th, 2012

I’m used to fall taking a few weeks – like 4-5 in coming. It’s been much shorter here, though I don’t know if that’s regional or just a weird fall (I suspect the latter, from what I’ve heard). We’re possibly getting snow this week, and overnights are just *barely* over freezing. Awesome, but also hmmm… early… not sure about that. It *does* mean I need to stop avoiding knitting mittens and get my butt in gear knitting mittens. I’m done one for me (that’s one mitten, not one pair), and just have a thumb for one of Ethan’s, and Victor’s are still wound in little balls and sitting waiting. Good thing their “light winter fleece” gear still fits from last year!

I’ve also some baby stuff to finish up, and socks to darn and sweaters to knit and a hat and maybe another pair of socks (but they can wait).

Last weekend, Sharon and some extra help brought her piano (that’s now ours) from her house (she’s been slowly moving into a different section of her house and spreading some furniture around) and this weekend we moved it into the office and it looks *great* there. It was in the foyer cause that’s the only wall it would fit on without moving furniture or blocking windows/mirrors but it looked wrong there. I’m glad to have my foyer back the way I liked it, and the piano looks so good in the office – you can see it from both doorways. The office was rearranged because Ken’s job may be changing and the office needed changing to accommodate. More on that when things are firm(er).

Spare Bedroom:
Awesome in that we have one now – a *heated* one! We’d been using the extra bedroom on the 2nd floor as storage for boxes, intending to have the 3rd floor be our “guest space”, but given it’s not insulated or heated it’d be a bit chilly for winter overnighters. So we moved all the boxes upstairs and set up a bed that Sharon brought and it’s a proper spare room now (which is, surprisingly, a big relief for me). It’s also going to double as my sewing room and knitting stash room since the office is now Ken’s domain (+ piano).

I’ve started going in to help Victor’s teacher once a week for an hour. Last week I helped the students, two at a time, practice writing their names. They’re all really sweet and nice kids and I really enjoyed my time there.

(What?! Yes.)
I’m scheduled for a colonoscopy at the end of the month. TMI? Tough. MY blog. My Mother’s oncologist recommended that my sister and I have one once we’re 35 since Mom was so young when her cancer was diagnosed. The usual time recommended is 10yrs before the diagnosis or 50yrs with no history. It’ll be done by the local hospital, which is nice. I’m a little… apprehensive about it. It’s a simple procedure, and I know complications are super rare, but they still happen and they’re pretty bad when they do. Plus there’s the whole “preparation” for it which will be I’d rather go through childbirth again, but then that’s the devil I know.

Ken got me (and Ethan and Victor) hooked on a new video game. Normally I’m just an observer, but I’ve actually bought my own copy and play it myself. It’s a pretty simple game, but has a lot of creativity and potential in it. We can play together on a field that we customize and build on, which is lots of fun. The boys *love* watching us play, and we’re planning on teaching them how to play themselves. The boy that lives down the street from us came over to play on Saturday, and they had lots of fun (him playing, E and V watching). Problem is that for two nights now I’ve been playing it in my dreams. :P

Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival (and heat, glorious heat!)

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

I went yesterday, with the boys pediatrician (who I’ve found out is a knitter and spinner) and had a great time! Bought some lovely yarn, some super cool merino/samoyed (yes, the dog) yarn that blooms into two separate colours and looks super cool, and some really nice top (a type of wool roving that you spin into yarn). I’m really feeling like it’s time to try spinning (yes, said that last time I came back from a yarny event). I need to buckle down and get some mittens and sweaters done before I can start, though. I’m almost done 1 of Ethan’s mittens, then there’s Victor’s and sweaters for each and a few hats. Hopefully I can whip through them quickly.

We finally tried out the furnace this week. Freaked the heck out because the pressure indicator was off the chart high so we rushed around trying to lower the pressure until finally realizing we just needed to take off the indicator cover and push the needle back onto the scale and it whipped into it’s happy place – it had “fallen” off the scale, essentially. Heating the upstairs, that night, meant we turned off the downstairs registers because the heat wasn’t going up as fast as we needed for bedtime. After a few hours, though, we turned everything off. The house has, despite seeming otherwise (no insulation in the roof, no idea about the walls), stays warm for a ridiculous amount of time. Weird. We’ve had the heat off since then, despite chilly nights and rainy/chilly days, until today. It’s on now, with all registers open in the hopes of finding out how the system works over a bit longer time.

Shapely like Orange

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Finished! (buttons don’t shouldn’t count)
I’m super pleased! It’s long – like just under my bum long, which is why it’s so wide at the bottom hem – and the perfect shape (cause I may be fat but I’m hourglass fat!), and I love the colour because who has an orange cardigan?! ME!

Here it’s blocking in what has become “Mommy/Kelly’s room” – the 3-season porch (I practically live in there). Perfect because there’s a breeze going through and it won’t make the room smell like wet dog sheep.

$30 for the yarn and 8m of work (with, like, 6.5m of it being in the time-out corner for a pattern misdemeanor). No buttons yet but who knows how long it’ll be before I get them and I kinda don’t care since I don’t expect to button it much. It’s all casual, baby!

Gimme a day or two for it to dry (yay full-submersion blocking!) and I’ll show you it on me. All kinds of awesome!

Houston, We Have a (Shapely) Problem

Monday, February 20th, 2012

The cardigan I’ve been working on is called the Shapely Boyfriend, but I’m referring to it as my Shapely Husband for obvious reasons. I just finished the collar/band edge, tried it on, and Uhoh.

That diagonal "seam" is the raglan seam, and there's too much fabric at the top edge. Sadly the cardi was worked from the top down, so I'm trying to figure out the easiest way to fix it - likely rip out and reknit and graft the two together. A pain to do, and I'm going to have to snip out the ribbed collar edge and hope I can graft it on afterward (I hate ribbing, so I don't want to undo it completely).

I like how the sweater fits, though, so it's worth it.

(excuse the lumpiness, especially at the bottom edge – it’s unblocked).


Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Remember my Hannah Hat? I’ve been working on some matching mittens to go with it and they’re done and they’re lovely and I love the concept and execution of it. Let me show you:

The Inner Mitten – wearable by itself. It’s a fingering weight yarn (think socks) so it’s not for *very* cold days, but cool enough to want *something* days.

The Outer Mitten – wearable by itself, though a bit more baggy. It’s a worsted alpaca so it’s *really* warm.

TOGETHER! They’re super super warm. 1 + 1 = 3 here.

I don’t feel the cold. Period. Even on windy days. They’re a bit bulky, but only a bit, and more than make up for that in warmth. I love that the cuff isn’t bulky yet they’re long enough to go up and under my sleeve to keep droughts out. I’m not sure if I’m going to sew down the tab or put in a button/toggle (had originally planned that but worry about it getting in the way or being uncomfortable).

The mitten-inside-a-mitten idea wasn’t mine, but the rest is my own design and I’m quite proud of them. I’m thinking I’ll need to make another Hannah hat in the alpaca, to match when I’m wearing them both together. I’ve also made a cowl/gaiter in those two yarns (it doubles as a hat – I’ll post about that another day) so I’m all set for warmth and love the colours.

Must Have Cables

Friday, December 16th, 2011

A Paton’s pattern, out of print (yay ebay!), taken me a year to finish (oohh shiny’s!), but it’s done and I’m so completely in love with it.

It doesn’t have buttons yet, but will once I find the right ones.

(yay stitch holders!) :P

(my shoulders really aren’t that wide – that’s the camera angle Ken took)

Since it’s winter I’m only wearing it around the house. I keep it “closed” using a small, safety-pin type stitch holder between the girls and it’s a good look, so once I get buttons I’ll do the top few up and leave the bottom undone I think. I love it, though. It fits beautifully. Very comfortable, just the right length (few inches longer in sleeve and body than my standard long-sleeved t-shirts are), and I feel great in it. It may have taken a while to finish (yeesh!) but it was *so* worth it!

A Quick Tip

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

The Yarn Harlot

This is one of my favourite blogs. She’s also rather huge in the knitter-world. If you scroll down 1 entry (as of today) to her December 1st post, there’s a very well written (she’s an author, so that makes lots of sense) piece on gifting and knitters. From my point of view, it describes how I feel about knitting gifts (all of it, especially the stress and compulsion of it). If you know a knitter, please read this so you can understand them a little better.

Ironic that this comes on the day that, as I finish up a big piece of a something I’m knitting for someone to gift to someone else (it’s not as complicated as it sounds), I have a huge disaster and have to frog (rip back) the entire big something and reknit it. I’ve had a few good drinks and am dealing. Yay holidays! :P


Saturday, October 29th, 2011

I’m feeling especially productive (and good about that) today. I’ve just finished up making some trick or treat bags and I’m rather pleased with how they turned out. They should work for a long time and they’re cute (you can’t see in the pics, but the fabric is very sparkly).

I don’t do things half-assed, so they’re lined and the fabric pattern is oriented upright on all sides and the handles are well and properly anchored. These puppies are *sturdy*. The boys are super excited about Monday night. It’ll be our first time trick or treating. They decided on character costumes this year, so I couldn’t make them, but Ken and I are dressing up and those costumes we *did* make.

I also ordered some yarn for a “contract” knitting project (I say “contract” because it’s family, but not me giving to the recipient and I’m not buying the yarn out of pocket – and saying contract makes me feel important and fancy). It’s a cardigan for Rick, Ken’s step-father, to match one that he had made for his son and that his grandson now wears. I’m going to have to work *hard* to get it done by Christmas, but it’s a bulky weight yarn so that’s in my favour. Here’s hoping!

Mind Blowing

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Ken just blew my mind.

It’s cold this morning, so he wore the gloves I made him last year to work. The gloves with a purpose.

Computing in a cold workplace gloves.

Gaming in a cold house gloves.

(Image not shown cause it’s a new-found purpose)
Smartphone friendly gloves.

Brilliant, yes? His co-workers don’t agree. He said they looked at them and shook their heads (!!). He explained their purpose and they.didn’ WTH!? Are these gloves so incomprehensible?

A Busy Weekend and A Disappointed Deal

Friday, October 7th, 2011

We’ve big plans for this weekend, though not as big as they were going to be. We had planned on going to a Renaissance Faire that’s quite large and quite local, this Saturday. Unfortunately, when checking ticket prices and taking into account the higher cost of foods there and the costume rental for the boys that we’d planned and buying a few things we’re inevitably going to want to buy…. it was just adding up to too much. We’re going to skip it this year and go next. It might give me time to try making my own corset (eep! how do I come up with these crazy ideas?!) since mine is, now, about 2″ too big (equally “YAY!” and “Boo!” – I only got to wear it once so I may try to sell it on ebay or something). It still fits, just doesn’t support me well ifyaknowwhatImean.  I’m hoping maybe Ken and myself can go out for a nice dinner date tomorrow night,  instead.

So the plans start with this afternoon when I pick up Ethan from school, early (to avoid the school-run rush) to go to a dr’s appt, handing Victor over to Ken at the dr’s office to give Ethan and I some peace while seeing the dr. Ken and Victor will then be driving to Logan Arpt to pick up Sharon (Grammy) who’s flying in tonight. They’ll eat out dinner, so no pizza tonight. Ethan and I will be hitting up a toy store after his appt and then dinner ourselves (and shoes for him cause BIG FEET!).

The toy store is because he has a bowling birthday party on Sunday. Because of Ethan’s aversion to loud noise, last weekend we checked out the bowling alley. Knowing how loud they are, I expected hands over ears, cowering, and asking to leave immediately. Instead we played an hour and the boys had an absolute blast!

The music was loud enough to hurt *my* ears, but Ethan was fine (?!). They even turned on the “Cosmic Bowling” lights and such shortly before we left and the boys were very amused by that.

As for The Deal… *le sigh*. I’ve decided to amend it that I’ll order the yarn once I’m *done* the sleeve. I’m done 4.5 diamonds worth of 7 diamonds up the center panel, but they’re going *really* slowly. I’m hoping to get to 5.3 because that’s when the sleeve, worked in a tube, splits (armpit) and it should go more quickly through the shoulder shaping. However, I’ve today, so that’s not likely going to happen today. I’ve also decided, in the ultimate act of generosity and magnanimity, that I’m going to finish Ken’s cardigan first (that was harder to say than you’d think – this is definitely a sacrifice for love). It’s a nice cardi, though. Should go fast and has a nice detail around the bottom hem (scroll to the bottom to see a better pic).

Also! I got the most adorable shoes last weekend!! I went to the local outlet mall, looking for shoes that’ll work with my Renn Faire outfit (had strappy leather sandals last time that have since passed on their mortal coil). I found some that will mostly work, but were just too cute to pass up!

Kawaii!! Am I right? They were marked down from $110 (*gasp!*) to $32 (ahh!) and are *wicked* comfortable (weird! comfortable *and* cute shoes?!).

They’re heels/wedges, and add a goodly amount of height to moi, but that’s good for my posture. :P I’m already fairly tall, so what’s a few more inches to make me stand out even more? :P

Progress of The Deal

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Well, there’s 7 diamond patterns on the sleeve, I didn’t knit at all yesterday (bad day), and so far I’ve just started diamond #4. I’m hoping to be done it by evening end but feeling a bit unsure on that.

I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.