Tuesday, April 14, 2015

On The Other Hand

While I am still mourning the untimely death of my beautiful purple sweater let's take a look at something that didn't go so very very wrong.

Let's look at my OTHER Purple Sweater.

Pattern:  Trego

Yarn:  Vintage by Berroco, 6 skeins, possibly 7

Needles: size 8, 9, and 10, just like the pattern calls for

Modifications:  None, and I'm really loving knitting that turns out perfect without a bunch of modifications to make the pattern work for me.  My brain power does not have the energy to make mods anymore.  I need to just follow directions and knit.  That feels like knitting perfection for me right now.

Review:  This project is a Win all the way.

It is comfy and snuggly, and the sleeves are long but not too long.

It is perfect.

And it was stupid fast to knit.  I could be converted to knitting only big yarn on big needles.  I think this sweater took a week from start to finish.

Just gaze in admiration at the subtle perfection of the textured sleeves.  I've been craving more than just knit stockingnette stitch, and this fills my heart with joy.

And that broken rib collar.  So smooshy and cuddly and textured.

This poor yarn was knit into at least three other sweaters before I finally found the perfect yarn/pattern match.  (One attempt was a failure at Grown Up Girl back in 2012.) I'm so happy my yarn has finally found its destiny.

The only down side to the sweater is it was knit from big yarn on big needles, and it is no light little piece of knitting.  By the end of my photo shoot I was SWEATING.  It is already over 90 degrees today, so it is going to be a long hot summer before I get the chance to wear this baby.

But I'm counting down the days until I do.

And because no photo shoot is complete without Queen Bean.

She's so busy these days it is hard to get a shot of her that is in focus.  There is simply too much for her to do to be bothered with little things like holding still for the camera.  The girl has goals.  She is unstoppable.

And in completely random thoughts, I knew my hair was long...

But this is insane.  My head is tilted up making it look longer than it is, but even then...insane...past my butt insane.  Expect pictures showing off my new haircut very soon.  Not that I'm going to go drastic and cut all my hair off, but I could lose six inches and not even notice.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Off My Game

Well, I finally did it.

After 26 days in the water, I finally blocked my purple sweater.

Full disclosure, it looked like this...

before I blocked it.  That may or may not be mold.

But a little soak and some downy beads and it looked and smelled amazing.  It was going to be just fine.

Except I forgot the safety pins.

Sometimes I use safety pins in my knitting to mark rows.  And when I'm done knitting I take out the safety pins before I block my stuff.

Except when I don't.

And even then it is usually fine, because I don't let me knits sit in water for 26 freaking days.

Except when I do.

This is going to end exactly the way you  think it is.

I found a safety pin on each sleeve.  And they looked like this.

Huge stiff rust marks on each sleeve. (and oh my poor unpainted nails, it has been a rough few weeks)

I frantically washed the sweater, scrubbed the marks harder than I should with a paste of salt and lemon juice (I've had success in the past removing rust marks with salt and lemon juice).  It didn't help.  But it was going to be just fine.  I'd learned my lesson about procrastinating blocking.  And since I'd learned my lesson on not ordering enough yarn with my Tweedy sweater I had over ordered with this sweater and I still have three untouched skeins of yarn.  I could frog and then re knit just the sleeves.

It was going to be just fine.

A painful lesson learned, but lesson learned with no real harm done.

And then I found the third safety pin.

On the back.

Where the rust had bled through the back and onto the front.

And  it looks as bad as it sounds.

No purple Grown Up Girl for me.

I may have cried.

A Lot.

And I was so going to love this sweater.  Even with the pockets dangling, and ends everywhere you can tell it was going to be awesome.

Although the sleeves did turn out ridiculously long.

That was an easy fix, and I could have fixed it when I was reknitting the sleeves with rust free yarn.

Only there was a third freaking safety pin.

I am not meant to have a Grown Up Girly Sweater.  I need to accept the things I can not change.

I don't even know what to do now.  Do I frog it and use the salvageable parts of the yarn to knit this years Weasley Sweater for Sweet Pea.  Purple is her favorite color.  Do I throw it away?  Do I burn it as a act of penance and an offering to the yarn Gods to signify my repentance and committment to never ever let this happen again.  (I can't promise I won't let my yarn soak for 26 days, but I can promise I will ALWAYS remove the safety pins first).

My broken heart is too tender to decide.

I blocked my recently finished Folded in a reasonable amount of time.  (I might have let the sweater soak for an entire 30 minutes before I laid it out to dry)

I'm feeling "meh" about this sweater.  I don't think I made a good yarn/pattern match.  Cotton yarn does not seem to have the right drape/memory for this pattern.  The little folded pleats in the front that is the defining feature of this sweater (and hence the name) seem to have disappeared, even thought I distinctly remember knitting them.  And check out those sleeves.

They were supposed to be 3/4 sleeves, but they grew when I blocked it, and now they are that annoying length that isn't 3/4 but also doesn't cover my wrist bones.  I'm pretty sure I started knitting sweaters to avoid having sleeves like this.

I do like the garter stitch modification I made on the bodice.

And when I fold the sleeves up I like it more.

But over all I'm feeling pretty blah about this.  I may never wear it. (On the bright side my messy fish tail braid is looking extra messy awesome today, so there is that.)

I'm currently playing yarn roulette with another sweater.  Do I have enough yarn to knit two long sleeves?  I'm fairly sure I do, but maybe not.

I'm not confident about this yarn/pattern match either.  It is another cotton yarn, and I fear it will grow when blocked.  And while I like the length it is now, it will be too long if it grows.  And I wish the collar was a smidge longer in relation to the back length.

I like the side view but in the front view I'm not sold.  I'm feeling pretty "blarg" about crafting.  Maybe it is time to bust out the new yarn so I can feel the love once more.

Speaking of feeling the love, check out Queen Bean's extra sassy kissy face.

My goodness I love that kid!  She makes every day extra joyful.  No time for unenthusiastic knitting (or blogging) when I could be playing with this perfect ball of baby.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Just Checking In

First things first, lets just get this out of the way right away...

Nope.  Not yet.

But I did weave in all the ends of my blue and my other purple sweater.  I even wore my other purple sweater this morning.  Have I blocked my other purple sweater?  Nope.  Not yet.  But with summer looming in the desert, this morning might have been my very last chance to wear my other purple sweater until November.  And of course I failed to capture photographic evidence of said outing.  But I looked awesome.  My other purple sweater is knitted perfection.

In my defense I haven't been sitting on the couch these past few days while I ignored my wet sweater shaped yarn on my counter.  We've been painting the house.  It was time.  There were holes in the walls from the dogs.  Naughty children had peeled paint off the walls in the stairwell while sitting in time out.  The base boards looked like a war zone.  After it had been bombed.

I refuse to get on a ladder and it doesn't matter since I am not to be trusted with a roller, so my part of the painting included washing walls/trim, moving things out of The Greatest's way, and standing at the bottom of the ladder for moral support.  He did ALL the hard work.  He really is The Greatest.  He got roughly half the house done this weekend.  And it is so pretty.  I can't wait until he gets it all done.

Here's a before of my beloved yarn cabinet

And after

It isn't a huge difference, but the new color is lighter and it gives the house a more airy feel.  I love it.

And because my sock yarn is oh so pretty 

Doesn't that just fill your soul with joy?

And I did get a little bit of knitting done.

A pretty little school of fishy wash clothes for the children.

All in all a good but exhausting weekend.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


One week Baby!

And its got two sleeves, and a finished collar and everything.

I could really get used to knitting big things on big needles with big yarn.

I guess now I have to block it.

That should only take a month or so.

And I am free to finish seaming the blue sweater.

And I should reach into the abyss to finished the other eleventy billion projects stashed in there so I can FINALLY play with my new yarn.

I'm dying to knit some socks, but I don't have any unfinished sock projects.  Do you think it would count as an old project if I started knitting a pair of socks with yarn I owned before I received my yarn order.

Cause that only feels a little bit like cheating to me.

And it feels like the kind of cheating I can live with.

Monday, March 23, 2015



That is STILL my purple sweater sitting in a bowl of water.  Actually I'm not sure if there is even any water left in the bowl.  The goldfish were included as proof that this is a completely new picture taken today, and not a reuse of an old picture for dramatic effect.  I really AM this lazy.  One of these day I will either wash this sweater (cause you know it's starting to smell at this point) and block it or it will just give up the ghost and disintegrate becoming one with the water.  It really could go either way at this point.

In case you hadn't noticed, or maybe you're just new around here, I really hate blocking.

But my OTHER purple sweater is coming along swimmingly.

I do love knitting.  I oscillate between thinking I'm going to have miles of yarn left over, and thinking I could run out at any moment.  I haven't finished the front edging because I wanted to be sure I had enough yarn to finish the sleeves.  If I have to cut corners somewhere I'd rather have a narrower edge around the collar than sleeves that are too short.  I'm pretty sure I started knitting sweaters specifically so I could finally have sleeves that I didn't have to keep tugging to cover my wrist bones.  So the sleeves are not the place to skimp on the yarn.  I'm currently on the side that says "I'm going to have plenty of yarn."  We shall see.

In Queen Bean news...

She LOVES walking with a walker.

The "walking wings" are a different story.

I would rather not teach her to walk at all at this point in time, but nobody listens to me.  I'm just the Mom.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Celebrate The Differences

Today is World Down Syndrome Day.

March 21st (3/21) was chosen because my Lily Bean (and all other individuals with Down syndrome) have 3 copies of the 21st chromosome.

It is one chromosome.  One tiny chromosome.  It is a teeny tiny piece of who she is, and if that is all you see, then you miss everything.

Like how if you don't let her kiss you

she will push you down and pull your hair (while your Mothers laugh and take pictures)

And how she refuses to drink from a straw

unless it is a strawberry milkshake.  (which makes no sense at all because she hates every other thing that is strawberry flavored)

And how she loves her siblings so much

She will happily sit in their laundry basket if it means she gets to be near them.

And how she dances to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.  And how she sings to "Come and get your love." And how she loves bright pink.  And how she only eats Cocoa Puffs.  And how her smile makes everything better.  She makes every day a little brighter and a little more joyful.  I am so proud to be her Mom and I am so proud to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day in her honor.

You can play too.

You can wear blue and yellow today, the official colors of the University of Michigan, my sorority, and Down Syndrome.

You can wear brightly colored mismatched socks

to celebrate the beauty of difference.

You can perform random acts of kindness today in the name of Queen Bean.

You can donate $21 to Ruby's Rainbow, an organization that provides scholarships to individuals with Down syndrome so they can go to college.

You can volunteer at your local Down syndrome society.

There are lots of ways to play.

So come celebrate with us.

Friday, March 20, 2015

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Sometime optimism is rewarded.

I have achieved a respectable neckline.

And sometimes you optimistically call the plumber to fix an easy peasy tiny leak only to discover you need a entirely new faucet and five hundred dollars later...

You find yourself installing an new garbage disposal as well on top of what the plumber has already repaired.  (and by "you" what I really mean is "The Greatest").

If you need me I'll be on the couch knitting.

Turns out I get a metric ton of knitting done when I'm stress knitting.  I started this yesterday afternoon around 2.  This is what it looks like at 10 am the next day.

I am currently dabbling in project monogamy.  Which mean I will leave my (other) purple sweater to mold in a bowl of water, and I will leave my blue sweater on the back of the couch waiting for me to sew the underarm seam while I sit and knit on this until there is no more knitting to knit.

It's the right thing to do.