Monday, December 31, 2012

Out with the old, in with the new.

End of 2012 wrap up.

Since the last time I posted I have finished several more knitting projects that I have failed to record here.  (Bad blogger - no cookie)  Probably the best on was a Smitten Mitten advent thing for my nephew.  Reports back from my brother are that the gift was greatly enjoyed.  It's too bad they live so far away.  I would have liked to be there to see.  My brother sent pictures and reports the first few days, but they are busy people and didn't manage to keep it up the whole time.

Although I generally avoid the whole New Years Resolution thing I'm going to post a list of plans for the new year.  Not resolutions so much as goals.

* I'm doing very well on my second year of using stash.  I plan to continue this goal.  I really need to get my stash under control.

* I'm attempting to collect and finish the many, many unfinished objects or dispose of them if that is the appropriate action.

* I'm working on organizing all my 'stuff'.  If I can find things when I need them I won't acquire new ones.  While working on this project I discover that I have a rather alarming quantity of hand sewing needles.  I'm certain that I couldn't find the type I wanted so I purchased more.

* I'm working on getting all the miscellaneous patterns gathered into binders.  I've already been doing this but occasionally I get busy creating and things don't get put away properly afterwards.  I also need to throw away paper copies of things that I have in electronic form.

* I'd really like to be better about blogging regularly.  I'm much to easily distracted by the new shiny thing.

Before I moved to Nebraska I culled my library.  I still have more books than I have space for and another culling session is in order.  That is part of today's agenda.

I also have a new guitar.  I try to practice for 20 minutes twice a day.  Some days I'm successful.  I think if I can succeed four days a week I win.  I'm getting better, finally.  The first couple months were painful.  I'm liking it a lot and I'm rather pleased with my enabling friends who assisted me with this new thing.  I need more music to practice but I have a horrible time choosing things.  I like too many different kinds of music.

Happy New Year to all.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Found a 'not seen it before' werewolf movie this morning.

I wasn't missing anything.

But it's mindless fun while working on my new sweater.

Here is the completed Red/black/yellow Philosopher's Wool sweater:

And for size and shaping:
Philosopher's wool

I think it turned out well.  I'm going to use the same numbers for the new one.

I've also finished the sleeves on the gold one I'm making for mom.  I have the front done to the neck and two sleeves.  I hope to get the back done and sewn up this week.  Then I can give it to her before it gets too cold.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

And here we go again

Best intentions?  It certainly started out that way.  I pulled the two boxes of acrylic yarn out and started knitting.  I've made several blocks for my Primrose Path Afghan:

I made a few tawashi and pulled several lengths for a Stained Glass afghan.

I'm now down to one box of acrylic.

I'm pushing forward on my red/black Philosopher's Wool Tradition.


And this lace shawl that's been hanging around in the WIP basket for years:


Today the shawl was a real PITA.  The yarn keeps becoming a knotted mess.  Today after finally working through a second knotted mess the ball AGAIN barfed all over.  I was so angry I just broke of the mess and joined the ends, finished the row and shoved it back into the bag.  At least I managed to get 12 rows finished before I had my temper tantrum. But Dang Nabbit!!!!

New mantra for fall:  Finish all the THINGS!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Deadly socks!

Oh - I forgot to put up pictures of my Sock Sniper socks!

Aren't these cool!?


I love the color of this yarn.  It's a good thing I didn't have much time to think about that before I mailed them.  They are now merrily on their way to their new home.  I'm waiting patiently (for some very odd definitions of patience) for their arrival to be announced by their new owner.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fall Creeps

Best intentions and all that.  I've been sucked into sewing.  I finished two quilt tops and started another. This has caused a slow down in the production of knitted items.

I did finish a shawl last weekend.  I hope to get it washed and blocked this weekend.  It's quite pretty.  Black and teal Zauberball sock.  Pictures up as soon as the pinning is done.

I hope to finish up three sweaters and a shawl before Christmas.  We shall see how that goes.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Spring cleaning? Nope - preparing for the long dark winter.

Instead of knitting I'm cleaning out the craft room.  I'm currently surrounded by the horror that is my stash (OMG!).  I'm planning to pull everything out, sort it, and make a list so I can find things when I want.  I imagine you can all guess how that's going.

Every new batch elicits "I really need to cast on this project.  This is great yarn."

And the WIPs.  I need to make a schedule.  And project bags. (because sewing project bags is the thing I should be doing rather than finishing the knitting).

But the painful question - do I put all this glory up on Ravelry?  Do I really want to know how many miles of yarn I have?

But at least I'm still succeeding in more in than out.  Of course I did put 5000 yards of yarn in my cart on Knitpicks yesterday.  If I didn't actually buy it, it doesn't count - right?

Sunday, July 08, 2012

A little bit of random

I have too much stuff.  Thinking the challenge would help me work down some of my fleece I join a group spinning during the Tour de France (called the Tour de Fleece) but I'm not feeling it.  I've managed to spin about 15 minutes all week.   The spinnings others are doing is lovely and inspirational and I'm enjoying that.  But I just can't seem to get into the grove of spinning.

I need a new purse.  I made one almost two years ago that has developed wear holes in the corners and one I bought last year on vacation that fell apart this weekend.  I'd like to use a pattern I already own but it's lost in the move and I haven't managed to find it yet.  I spent WAY too much time yesterday bumming around the internet looking for a different pattern but failed to find anything interesting enough to spend time or money on. I already have fabric I want to use and I FOUND that.  Just need the pattern.    I suppose that by the time I find the pattern I'll have misplaced the fabric.

I spent a couple hours messing about in the craft room yesterday.  I was looking for the purse pattern and generally trying to make it into useable space.  It's really become a dumping ground.  Actually managed to get  a few things sorted and the space is better, not quite usable yet, but better.  I still have piles of things (books and magazines mostly) that need to be gone through, and records that need to be shredded.

It's so easy when sorting things to get distracted by all the lovely yarn and projects.  Since 98% of my yarn is already destined from some project or other; I see it, remember what its for and think "oohh! I should start that, it will be so nice when done and fun to make!  I'm glad that nearly all the things I wanted to make when I bought the yarn are still things I want to make.  Yesterday I did that with at least 4 different sweaters 'kits'. I should put together some sort of random method of selecting the next sweater to work on.  But first I should finish the five I'm currently working.  (FIVE!?  I need to FOCUS.)

This morning I need to get excited about the new Tour de Sock pattern that will be release this morning. Thanks to this challenge I have already knit a sweaters worth (well, worsted weight yardage-wise) of yarn.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Completed socks!

I managed to finish both pairs of socks this week!

First the fourth pair of socks for Tour de Sock!


And the socks from Brave New Knits!

I plan to work on finishing some WIPS the rest of this month as well as the last two pairs of Tour de Sock socks.  Then I'm going to focus on preparing for Sock Sniper. Could this be the year of the sock!?

Sunday, July 01, 2012

I usually save this space for completed items, but not today.  Check out this cool sock I finished last night:


and these are almost done as well:


These were only supposed to have the cable on the front of the leg but that seemed silly to me so I also cabled the back and I've changed the heel to a short-row rather than gusset.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

More socks!

Tour de Sock continues.  I have another nice new pair of socks.


This was a nice pattern, but all charted so it took checking the chart every row.  This isn't a bad thing, but no mindless knitting on autopilot.

I cast on another pair this afternoon, but the yarn and the pattern were not compatible.  The yarn is from the horrible Sock Wars socks I received.  It appears I never took pictures, or if I did they've been lost to the sands of time.  I even went back through the blog and I can see the pair I made and mention of the other two pair, but not pictures.  What a slacker!  But I ripped the socks back and balled the yarn long ago.

So now I'm busy looking for a pattern for the yarn.  Socks! Socks! Socks!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

And new socks (again!!)

Here is a pic of the new socks for Tour de Sock.

 Sorry about the blurry picture.  I took it with my phone so I could turn it in as soon as I finished. And I haven't made any time to take a new one.

This was the third yarn choice I made for these socks.  The first yarn was a tad heavy (knew that going in, but I decided to try anyway).  I couldn't get gauge.

I have some acid green and purple I bought to make socks.  Even though it wasn't intended for this project I decided - 'Oh, why not.'  It won't cake - that's why not.  The purple was a complete mess off the skein so I threw up my hands and went back to the stash.

I left the purple mess until I finished the socks.  I have spent the last three days (more or less) untangling purple yarn.  That is done - so I decided to try to cake it.  I'm on the third attempt (today - I made at least 3 attempts the first time before it was such a mess I gave up) to recake it and it's still not a nice cake.  Yarn is slipping out of the cake top and bottom and rolling up over the top. After this happened a couple times I dug out the old ball winder (the gears are going so I replaced it) and still not good.  This allows me to pretend it's not the ball winder (right?!) I'm seriously considering breaking out the nostepinne.  I have, however, lost all interest in knitting this yarn.  What kind of a mess with that make?!!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

New Stash Year

Last stash year was successful so I thought I'd try another 12 months.  Already finished these lovely socks.


They are the first pattern release for Tour de Sock 2012.  It took longer to knit these than it should have.  I was too busy being social.  But the yarn was some that I frogged from two years ago.  I'm not sure that I won't reknit those socks eventually, the pattern was nice.

There is also a link on this page for Sock Sniper, which happens this fall.  I am excited about that already too.  But I think one intensive activity at a time is enough, and I'm already doing two, plus life and work.

Saturday I think I will dye some yarn.  I need two colors for the second TdS pattern and I'm not sure what to use.  So I'll make something special - sounds like a great plan.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Oh NO!

It's the last day of my stash down year.  I think it's been successful.  I've managed to get over 3,000 yards of yarn out of my stash instead of added in.  I might get this yarn thing under control yet!

I finished these socks: Yarn that has been in my stash so long it's discontinued and I don't know where I bought it.

Last night I made some cute coasters.  I'd have put pictures up but blogger is being less than helpful and wouldn't let me continue writing after putting them in the post.  So you'll have to wait to see them when I have more patience.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Another finished project!

And here is the second silk sweater this Spring:

I need to get the craft room cleaned up enough that I can put up the dress maker's dummy.  Things look so much nicer on a body shape.  This silk is so pretty, it actually looks like silver.  

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Silk sweater - again

I'm knitting another worsted single ply silk sweater.  This time I'm using Tilli Tomas Pure and Simple.  What a difference the yarn makes.  This hasn't been even a little bit twisty, and there are many fewer lumpy, slubby bits.

The only really annoying part is - the pattern calls for 5 skeins.  I ordered one extra as a just incase, dye lot protection.  But I've barely started the 3rd skein and I have less than 1/2 the last sleeve left.  This yarn is WAY too expensive to have that much left over.   I could likely return it, except it's a special order since the store didn't have enough of a dye lot for the sweater.

However - I'm making a cardigan and I decided (knowing I was going to have sufficient left over yarn) to make a tank as well.  A cute little sweater set for work.  I wonder if I can manage to accomplish that by month end?

EDITED TO ADD: I've finished the knitting.  When I went to get the other pieces so I could start sewing this together I discovered there were 3 (three!!!) skeins left untouched.  That is utterly ridiculous.  I made this sweater 3 inches longer through the body.  If I'd only purchased the amount in the pattern I'd have had 2 skeins left over. - That's $60 worth of yarn: ABSOLUTELY INSANE!  I am going to see if the yarn store will accept it back, even if it's only for in-store credit (I'll use that happily enough).   I won't be too upset if they don't - they do say they don't accept returns on special orders.  But they do carry this yarn so there may be a chance. We'll see.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Yesterday was busy

I went to Iowa and visited with new friends.  Knowing that I was going to spend the day somewhere not conducive to complicated knitting I snagged some yarn with the pattern dyed in and my favorite plain vanilla pattern. (the thing I dislike about Plain Vanilla socks?  It makes short feet look even shorter!)  I did an extra good job matching the yarn for both socks - don't you agree?

 And then I got to the heel turn.  Why is that one stripe just a little wider?

 This caused the following problem. Well, that and, apparently, the blue speckled strip is also a little longer on one section. I'm miffed.

Blast!  All that work and I'm still thwarted! Next time I'm not even going to bother trying.  (like I've NEVER said that before)

Friday, May 04, 2012

First Finish of May

New Socks!  Two Socks!

Entrelac Socks - Cast On Aug/Oct 2009
Noro Kureyon Sock

I love the look of these, hate this yarn.  Slubby, uneven and scratchy.  If it's like other Noro I've used it will wash up beautiful.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

What a weekend!

My mother and father came to visit this weekend.  There was shopping and gifting and knitting, lots of knitting.   Mother brought me some lovely unspun (at my request, although I didn't expect enough for the whole sweater) The pattern I decided I want to make is Two Yoke Sweater (SPP4) from Schoolhouse Press:

She bought the pattern at Knitting Camp, she tells me she ordered the icelandic unspun to make it with later.  But she doesn't intend to knit it anymore (or so I assume)  I only meant to get her leftover unspun from the hat she made and then order the main body color but now I don't have to do that.  I'm not really sure I can manage to knit a sweater in unspun (in the past when I've tried to knit with it I've pulled it apart and become terribly frustrated) but I'm going to try.  Just as soon as I finish the Red/black/yellow Tradition.  

I also ordered some silk for a sweater when we were at Personal Threads. I miss the variety and options of all the yarn stores in Minneapolis/St. Paul,  but Personal Threads is operated by some really nice people.   The pattern will make use of some lovely silk (with beads) that my mother gifted me with a few years ago.  

And to make matters even better -  she is taking one of my old patterns to make  a sweater and while we were discussing what yarn she should use I realized that I had the perfect wool for her.  She's not sure of the color but I think it's a nice shade for her, a purply-blue denim shade.   All in all, between the yarn I asked for (which goes into stash) and the yarn I gave her I think I might break even-ish in the stash-out.   Unfortunately I have managed to obtain enough yarn for three sweaters in the last week.  

I Must Knit Faster!

Unfortunately it rained all weekend so we didn't get to do any of the touristy things we talked about.  The botanical gardens would have been great, but not in the rain.  Same for the zoo.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oh - more yarn!

My loving mother sent me a present.  This pattern and yarn kit:

I know, I needed more yarn, right?  It was surprise gift yarn so it doesn't add to my stash.  I was contemplating buying it though. 

 Right after I finished the Black, Yellow and Red sweater that I started.  I have managed two pattern sets on the sleeves and the body.  So far I think it's turning out well.  

Of course now the trouble is, do I cast on the new one or make myself wait?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Checking in update

What a week this has been.  I have finished all the things in my travel knitting bag.  I usually have a few things that need ends woven in, maybe a seam finished (or refinished if I didn't like it) and a simple knitting project or two.

So it was back to my WIP pile.  I put the gold sweater I'm working on for mother back in the bag and a sock that needs a second to the pair.  Of course I'm unable to find the needles for the socks (not a surprise to me - but where are all the 2.5mm dpns?  I don't have any socks on needles that size as far as I know.

I spent yesterday working on getting more things straightened out and put away.  It will take me at least a year to get unpacked from the moving.  Just in time to move again, I suppose.

I have made some progress on the new Philosopher's Wool sweater, but not enough for good pictures.  I have also found the pattern for Mary Tudor so I am working on that again.  Lots of colorwork in my future. It's unfortunate that colorwork just isn't more portable.  But dragging 8 or more balls of yarn and keeping track of the pattern while visiting might overtax my attention span.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I can't believe I lost 1/2 of April.

I finished my orchid silk sweater:

Detail of the yoke 

And the Dilemma Dress:  I think it looks like I skinned  a Muppet, but I can't wait until I have a reason to wear it. Also - YIKES, Stripes!  It doesn't look this stripy in person - probably because of the fuzziness of the mohair.

I am also very pleased that both of these were made with yarn I purchased without a purpose.  I'm actually enjoying watching the numbers change.  I think I need to save some money for a cedar closet for my knitted things.  Omaha is home to Nebraska Furniture Mart - which has to be the largest furniture store I have ever been in.  They have a cedar closet I like, unfortunately it seems quite expensive to my thrifty taste.  However, it could go on sale this fall/winter.  I hope.

I have started one of the Philosopher's Wool sweaters I stashed.  Another Tradition, this one in reds, yellow and black.  I still love this pattern and this yarn.  I am however attempting to work this one using EZ's EPS instructions.  I hope it works out.  It seemed so simple this time.  It isn't the first I've done so it may be familiarity making it seem not so scary as the first time. Any time something seems too easy I worry a little.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


I Love Ravelry! Someone on the In Search Of group had this pattern book and was willing to part with it for $11 (thanks again to the Raveler who suggested it!). Which was fine with me. And the pattern arrived today! Quick work by the USPS.

Here is the yarn, purchased at the Yarn Cafe during their spring sale, the year before they closed.

But first I have to finish this sweater:

I have the front, back and most of one sleeve finished. Somehow I doubt I will get it done by my Saturday deadline, but I'm going to try.

Spring has Sprung! Yay!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Another delimna

I found this pattern. I think this is SO cute. I have the yarn (a lovely purple/blue mohair) but I do not have this pattern. Problem 1) The book is $15 and $5 for shipping, cripes, for one pattern. There isn't anything else in the book that I'm interested in. 2) - Am I too old to wear things like this?! I'm not ancient, but 45 isn't really young, either. Hmm?! Oh, the (melo)drama.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring has gone right into Summer

I will finish Thermal (sewing up and weaving in ends) today. It's lovely.

I've also chosen my next pattern to cast on - Yoke Detail Pullover. I hope I can find the yarn quickly.

I've also finished my Peacock Shawl. It's beautiful, but I don't have enough blocking mats to block it out properly.

I also made another Market bag. These are really quick to work up and nice to use. I plan a few more before the month is over. Adara is great yarn for this project. I'm really sad they discontinued it. I'm very glad that someone bought a large quantity and was willing to let me have it.

Today I went to the Omaha Botanical gardens with friends. It was really nice, it will be even better next week when more things are blooming. And May/June when all the trees have leafed out it will be amazing. I will be going back. I could have taken my camera and had a few pictures for the blog, but I NEVER remember to do that. Perhaps next time!

They had a deadly plants display inside, which was really interesting. And Cacti. I wonder how they move all those large plants/planters when they change the theme. It must be an enormous undertaking. Oh - and they have a corpse flower, I wouldn't mind seeing it in bloom, just to see it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Knitting continues. I have finished the sleeves and am ready to pickup the neck on my Thermal. This might be my new favorite sweater, on the yarn love alone.

I have to pick up stitches on my stranded socks. Some cat pulled the needles out.

I am not sure how they continue to live.

I have cast on the bottom band of this sweater:

It's quite lovely and the smallest size is HUGE. More than 10 inches of ease. I really think I need to resize it. Or make a pillow. I might be unknitting what I've started and shove this back in the stash while I think on it (again).

But the whole idea for pulling it out was to knit something in a bigger weight since everything I've been working on lately has been sport weight or smaller. But the other thing I'm interested in starting is Chromatic which is fingering weight, defeating the purpose of starting something new as a break from knitting all the fine yarn.

The weather in Omaha is turning warm. I'm looking forward to sitting on my patio in the evenings. I'm thinking about putting my rocker out with the camp table. Hopefully there won't be much in the way of rain or theft.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Things knit - So far

I always mean to get back and update the blog, but I'm always thinking I'll find better words later.

Finally finished the Hogwarts socks - I haven't had a chance to wear them yet, but I love them all the same:


Finished up a Lore Hoodie for Spring wear:


Managed two pairs of socks:

Dragon Socks

I also made some felted balls:
Sorry the picture is so dark - I'm not a skilled photographer.

A new pair of slippers

But I still haven't managed to put together a useful blog post.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I am a bad blogger

I have no excuse for not updating this except lack of focus. I've even been knitting so I have things I could talk about.

Next weekend I'm going to a hobby group meeting in Kansas. My traveling companion has agreed to stop at the Yarn Barn on the way home. I am very excited. This is not a good thing for my plan to knit more than I purchase. I can't decide: this should not count toward stash - one time trip/special circumstance: or just accept the inevitable.

I will have the same problem when I head to Minneapolis for the Yarn Shop Hop in April.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

First finished project of 2012

I knit the last stitch and tucked in the last end on January 1st. It took much longer to dry though and the pictures are bad. There hasn't been any good daylight for pictures, when I was home, all week. I will really be glad when the days are finally long enough that there is decent day light in the morning or evening.

The pattern is Klukka from Lopi.

I made mine using Cascade 220. It's beautiful. Now I just need to find some where to wear it.

I was doing really well on the stash reduction but I bought yarn for socks and mittens at the year end sale at Personal Threads. The first sock is almost finished and as soon as I find the other skein of yarn I want I can start the mittens.

The new year looks promising.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

I've had quite the year.

If I'm lucky and can stop falling asleep I might finish my first sweater of the year on the first day of the year.

I spent last night with friends celebrating the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012. I slept in this morning. I've managed two naps already and I've only been out of bed for 8 hours. I suspect I'll be calling it a night early tonight as well.

I had planned to knit a pair of socks today, that isn't going to happen. Maybe tomorrow.