Monday, October 17, 2016


So my favorite old man turned older today.

We celebrated with barbecue for lunch.

Side note:  The Greatest looked at this picture and decided that The Queen is too white and can't possibly be related to him.  Positive paternity test will be arriving soon.  Also, look how big she looks.  When did that happen?

In addition to barbecue and a fruitless morning trying to give people money in exchange for a new-to-us car, I managed to finish my Tweedy cuddly monstrosity of a sweater during an afternoon session of Netflix and digest.

I promptly added it to the pile of sweaters that need blocked.

If you're keeping track, in order from bottom to top, this pile includes a) my red adorable holiday sweater b) grey textured cable sweater I knit over a year ago and finally c) tweedy cuddly monstrosity of a sweater.

In addition to lack of time, I have discovered a new blocking complication.  I managed to block a gauge swatch for a Knit Picks test knit this morning.  The cat promptly laid on it and then proceeded to pull the pins holding it in place out one by one with her teeth.

I wish I were making this up.

My tentative plan of attack was to soak the sweaters after dinner, and then lay them out once the children went to bed so they can dry overnight.  But if the cat is going to lay on my knits this is no longer a viable plan.  Plus last night the cat ate a sizeable chunk out of one of the garbage bags I use for blocking.  So now blocking can only take place in a nonfeline accessible room.  I'm thinking the Queen's room with the door shut.  But that throws in wrench in my "lay it out after the children go to bed plan."

Sock monkey.

Maybe I'll just start wearing my stuff unblocked.

I also managed to stuff a certain toddler into a certain olive green sweater this evening.  Then I spent an hour following her around taking pictures.  I have roughly 742 shots that look like this

Holding still isn't really her thing.

In her defense, she's two.

Also that's not a protesting crying face.  That's her smile for the camera face.


I did manage to get a few clear shots.  Mostly when she was engaged in toddler mischief.

Like playing with my forbidden phone

Dumping ice from one small container to an even smaller container

and her favorite:  using the stepstool to reach the clean knives left in the dish drainer.


Her favorite.

It ranks just above checking the front door just in case Mommy forgot to lock it on her list of favorite things to do.

All in all the Weasley sweater is a big win.  The sleeves are way too long but that just gives her room to grow right?  It feels like it is long in the torso, but honestly she just has a long torso and it fits just fine.  I decided not to put a big L on the front because I was afraid that the L combined with the longer torso would read less "Harry Potter" and more "Alvin and the Chipmunks."  The Queen seems happy with it as it.

And I managed to get an amazing shot of her eyes

I'm so in love with that little face.

How can we freeze her so she never grows up?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


So the red sweater is still not blocked.

And while the tiny green toddler sweater is blocked with ends woven in, I have not actually tried it on the tiny pale toddler.  Nor have I photographed it for posterity.

I've eyed a sweater from The Abyss that needs the ends woven in.  But I haven't actually done more than think about it.  If only thinking about doing something counted.  Unfortunately only the actual doing of something counts.

So wip (work in progress) updates it is.

My Tweedy sweater grows.

And as it does so does my love for the Tweedy sweater.

Bonus shot of my official stylist in the corner.  She approves of my grey on grey look.

Side note:  My bathroom mirror is unimaginably dirty.  I can't even begin to think of how the tiny hellions got that much, what is that?, on my mirror.  I was tempted to break out the windex and retake these photos on a shinier surface.  So tempted I did in fact pull out the windex.  But then I discovered we are out of paper towels, and I lost the will to live, so streaky bathroom mirror pictures is what we are working with today.

Just keeping it real around here people.

And to add some more excitement, I have a second knit on the needles.

Let us all take a moment to wonder in awe at the fact that I only have TWO projects on the needles.


I hardly recognise myself these days.

The children are home on fall break this week.  I found myself having to explain what fall break is to a lovely couple vacationing here from Oregon.  It is a week off from school in October for no apparent reason.  I don't understand it.  But I don't mind it.  I love being around my children.  They are so much fun.  And as my oldest careens at break neck speed towards graduating and leaving the home I am acutely aware of how finite my time with them is.

And since my time with  my competent teenage babysitter is finite, I took advantage of her presence in our home to ditch the kids in her care and go on a ride a long with the Husband.

He's so handsome in uniform.

I had a really great time.  While he patrolled I knit.  We ate Mexican food.  He bought me chocolate from the gas station because he knows I like chocolate.  And I didn't have to "Mom" once the entire day.

We compared our "tools of the trade."

I think mine are cooler.

And I got a fair amount of work done on the leg of a sock.

My sweater getting rather large to lug places, so this sock is my new official therapy knitting.  While highly skilled professionals teach the Queen to ride a tricycle and cut her own hair, I will be peacefully knitting pink socks and thinking of a better place to hide all the scissors.

Life is good.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


So I know I'm being uncharacteristically cautious about blocking my Holiday Sweater.

*Sidenote:  If you wondering if I've blocked my sweater yet, I haven't*

But there are reasons.

Real honest to goodness reasons.

The mold.  The smell.  The rust.

All of these little experiences add up to tell me that I will always find new and interesting ways to self sabotage my craft through blocking.

And yes.  It is true.  I have found a new way to ruin a perfectly gorgeous knit.

It all comes down to one word.


I am terrified to block my knit because it is RED.

Exhibit A

Remember when I let my knits soak in a bowl of water for three days?

This is what happens when you take pink and red socks, and let them chill in a bowl of water for three days.

They come out decidedly less pink and red, and more redish and red.

So no.  I will not be setting my pretty red sweater in a bowl of yarn until I am certain it will not be left there to die.

But back to the socks.

I'm trying very hard to pretend this is deliberate yarn dyed redish and red,  and that my project did not begin as this.

Very pink and red.

I don't care.

These socks are gorgeous!

I love the corrugated ribbing.  I love the tiny pattern of color work.  I love the pink toe.  I love that the heel is red, so only the top and bottom are pink.

Everything about these socks is fantastic.

You might have noticed an absence of triangles with this photo shoot.  

I brought in a talented consultant to style me for this post.

She posed all my pictures.

She takes her work very seriously.

This is the look she gave me when I discussed the theory of triangles with her.

So no more triangles it is.

The Queen has spoken.

Relevant bits:

Yarn:  Can't find the label, but it is a fantastic alpaca blend that came with contrasting heel/toe yarn

Needles:  Size 2

Modifications:  None that I remember.  I love when I can just the pattern as written and have the finished knit turn out as expected.  This actually happens less than you think it does.  So yay for good patterns.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Knitting Updates

So I finished my fabulous red sweater.

So ridiculously cute right!!!!!!

I just need to block it and weave in the ends.  But I've been busy.  And I don't want to put my pretty pretty red sweater into a bowl of water until I am absolutely certain I will be able to lay it out to dry a few hours later.  I love it too much to take any risks with it.  The safety pins are all removed.  I will not weave in the ends until it is blocked.  I will not leave it to mold in a bowl of water for weeks on end.  I will soak and block in the same afternoon.   I have not found that magic window yet to do so.

The sweater sat on my kitchen counter for almost a week.  Then we were cleaning the house in preparation for company, and I swear it was instinct.  I don't even remember doing it.  But later I went to show off my super cute sweater and it took me a minute to locate it.

Habit had caused me to stash my pretty completed knit in need of finishing work in The Abyss.

My soul died a little when I found my beautiful sweater in the dark, where they may potentially be bugs.  Yarn eating bugs.  That would ruin my beautiful sweater!

I have not set my sweater in water to block yet.  But I have restored it to a place of higher visibility on my kitchen counter.

In other news, since the knitting on my red sweater is completed, I have begun knitting a new sweater.

Remember the great tragedy of my tweedy sweater?

I have 15 balls of city tweed and I am not afraid to use them.

So lacey.

So tweedy.

So cuddly.

I swear I kept my notes on how I knit the sweater the last time I tried to knit this sweater with this yarn.  But of course those notes are completely missing.

Because of course they are.

Storing them in a place where I could later find them and use them would have been helpful.  We can't have that.

My gauge is larger than the pattern specifies.  But I've decided to knit my size and hope for the best.

This sweater seems meant to be.  It is flying off the needles.

That right there is the upper bodice, including the lace collar, plus both sleeves.


Two sleeves knit!

No getting stranded on sleeve island with this sweater.

I've got nothing but miles and miles of sweater body to knit as I marathon The Good Wife.

What more can I say?

Life is good.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Sky Is Grey

So blocking bowls...

really are the place where my knits go to die.

I took this picture at 10 o'clock this morning.

If you're keeping track I put the knits in water on Tuesday.

Three days ago.

And here they are still in the same bowls of water.

The shame was too much to bear.

Humiliated...I laid them out to block.

I had also pulled an item from The Abyss and soaked it for blocking.  I proudly laid it out to block, full of satisfaction that I was completing something long forgotten.  I was accomplishing something.  I was being productive and the world was full of joy!  Plus it had only been in the water overnight, so there was that.

Obviously my joy did not last long.

Do you see what I see?

That right there my friends is a HOLE!  A flipping freaking hole.  And not an on purpose-decorative-artistically place hole.  But a flipping bug ate my yarn hole!

Cue the ugly cry and descending black depression.

That hole is the thief of joy.  It is the death of all good things.  It is the worst thing to happen to anyone anywhere in the history of ever!

I wish I could tell you that I came up with a brilliant fix for that hole.

I could have, theoretically, taken some left over yarn from this project and duplicate knit fixed the hole.  Only the yarn I used was an amazing gradient yarn.

This poses two problems.   1) the yarn end wouldn't match the middle of the skein hole.  2)  I knit until I ran out of yarn, so there is no left over yarn in.  Practically speaking, this fix won't work.

I wish I could tell you that I personally sheared the softest sheep I could find.  And then I carded and hand spun the roving into the perfect thickness of yarn to match the original yarn used in the shawl.  Then I hand dyed the hand spun yarn from a dye I created from crushed beetle shells to find the perfect shade of almost grey, again, to match the original yarn from the shawl.  Then I took my perfectly dyed to match yarn, and I duplicate stitch fixed the hole.

But I didn't do that either.

In the end there were two lines of knitting that were broken.  I used a teeny tiny crochet hook to help me take the two ends, and I tied them into a knot.  They were too short to take across the hole and tie to close the hole, so I tied a knot on either side of the hole.

I tied knots and I prayed that my teeny tiny knots will hold.

Because the only other fix I could think of was to unravel the shawl back to the hole and to then splice the yarn together so I could reknit the rest of the shawl resulting in an identical shawl, minus one hole.

And I'm just not in the mood to do that.

I like it holes and all!

Pattern:  Pebble Beach Shawl

Yarn:  Some fabulous hand dyed gradient yarn my Dad and StepMommy bought me last summer.

Needles:  Maybe size 6 like the pattern suggest?

Modifications:  Not really a pattern modification, but I knit until I ran out of yarn.  And then I used some black KnitPicks sock yarn to finish the shawl.  I think it blended well with the grey gradient.

Review:  Again...

I loves it.  Hole and all.


Failed attempt at a triangle.

I bought the pattern in August of last year, and I'm betting I knit it in August of last year.  I think it was a super quick knit and I enjoyed knitting it.  But beyond a fuzzy feeling of love I'm not remembering anything more specific.

Bad blogger.

I'm anticipating a lot of that as I finish things from The Abyss.  A general feeling of love (because I love knitting) but a complete lack of specific details.

I'll have to work on my abysmal photography skills to keep things interesting around here.

If I'm keeping score is this Abyss - 1 Me - 0?

Because of the deep dark depression inducing hole?

I'm going to say no.

This is Me - 1 Attempted sabotage by The Abyss - 0

And in red sweater news

I have two sleeves.  Achievement Unlocked!

My cat is unaccustomed to my strange knitting/blogging/photography ways.

She is judging me.

She will learn.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


So toddler sweaters knit up ridiculously quick.  Almost as quick as baby sweaters.  I think I want to become a professional tiny sweater knitter.  Do you think there is a market for that?  And by market what I mean specifically is this:  Is there a profitable billion dollar position for a professional tiny sweater knitter that I personally can earn from my couch while eating chocolate and watching reruns of The Good Wife.


I didn't think so.

But it was nice to dream.

The tiny green toddle sweater knit up so quickly that the ends are woven in and it is already soaking in a bowl of water in anticipation of being blocked.


I know.

This is where my hand knits go to die.

But since I didn't want it to die alone I am also soaking a pair of socks that need blocked.

I know.

It is always tragic when something so young and pretty dies an early death.  Hopefully I will rescue it from the watery depths of my mixing bowl in the nick of time and revive it back to life with some careful wringing and shaping.

Even with how ridiculously quickly the sweater knit up I did feel a teeny tiny bit stranded on sleeve island.  Those stupid short sleeves took HOURS to knit.  I wanted to abandon this knit and cast on something more fun.  But I'm trying to be a freaking grown up, so I bucked down and knit on.  And since I was knitting sleeves I grabbed the sweater that I was knitting before I abandoned it to cast on for the Queen's sweater, and I started knitting the sleeves on that sweater.

Like A Boss!  3/4 of a sleeve down.  1/4 and 1 sleeve to go.

That wasn't as inspirationally catchy as I hoped it would sound.  And yes, those are a billion safety pins marking various points of interest on my sweater.

Because I hate myself.  That's why.

In other news, when I decorated for fall earlier this month I had to bravely enter The Abyss to find all my fall decorations.  Since I was in there anyways I took some time to organize all my crafting things that have been in disarray since January when The Greatest moved them to put the Christmas decorations away and then "helpfully" reorganized my things.  I put all my needle sets back together, found my missing ball winder, and realized I have quite a collection of knit that I have finished knitting and thrown into The Abyss instead of weaving in the ends and blocking.

An embarrassingly large collection.

I have decided not to view this collection of abandoned knits as a sign of my moral failing and inability to finish anything I start, but rather as a bag full of beautiful potential and possibilities.  The good news is if I start doing the finishing work I can pretty much blog a finished object every day from now until somewhere around mid-February.

Silver linings People!  Silver linings.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Oh The Possiblities

I'd forgotten precisely how quickly a teeny tiny toddler sweater knits up. 

I'm roughly twenty four hours in and I'm already ready to divide the sweater at the base of the arm hole for the front and back.

I was holding the sweater up to the Queen to check the fit when Pork Chop exclaimed how cute the sweater was and that she needed one as well.

The wheels in my mind are turning.

Every year my children get a sweater at Christmas that I lovingly refer to as their Weasley Sweater.  Could this be the year that the children receive actual Weasley Sweaters for Christmas?