Friday, July 03, 2015

Mermaid Socks, The Saga Continues

First off I have to thank everyone who offered to try to find the Simply Soft Ocean Blue yarn for Pork Chop.

I am happy to report she has successfully used the Ocean Blue pound of love yarn to finished her sweater (lacking buttons of course.  She is her Mother's Daughter) and she has already cast on for a miniature matching sweater for The Queen (she really is her Mother's Daughter).

Watching her knitting obsession grow out of control as she passes up a chance to go swimming in favor of sitting on the couch working on her sweater almost makes me want to re-think MY priorities.


And speaking of my priorities, I tried.

I really did.

I tried so hard to make the sport weight purple yarn work.

Isn't it pretty!

Unfortunately the only thing it had going for it was the fact that it was extremely photogenic.

The ribbing wasn't holding, since it was 100% acrylic.  And the fabric was this odd combination of thick and drapey.

Not comfortable in a sock.

I wanted it to work.  I wanted it to work so badly.

But this sock was not meant to be.

So I made a return pilgrimage to Jo-Ann's.

Let us all take a moment of silence to mourn the fact that the economy is terrible.  All my local yarn shops (which were never that local to begin with) have closed, and Jo-Ann's is now the go to place to buy yarn if I need it in a hurry.  Makes me miss that snobby yarn shop I used to live five minutes away from before I move 2,000 miles to live in the bowel of hell (seriously, it is going to be a cloudy 111 degrees outside today.  And it is CLOUDY)

This time I got a cart.

And since she is a toddler she quickly decided to see just how dangerous she could make this seemingly ordinary cart.

And since I really don't want my child to stand in a shopping cart and fall out and crack her head open and die beside the sock yarn the Queen went into the basket.

Side note:  Her pigtails were killing me with their cuteness.

Seriously, I die.

We managed to escape Jo Ann's without buying the super cute mirror/jewelry holder that once again called to me from the shelf

In my defense, and with no prompting from me, Pork Chop pointed it out as being adorable as well.  But she too agreed, there was no where in the house where this would be useful.

We did buy two new skeins of yarn

It isn't as vibrant as the original yarn, but it is sock weight.

And it is 25% bamboo.


And it is making a very pretty mermaid sock

So we're gonna go ahead and call this one a Win.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

More Misadventures In Knitting

I have a toddler.

I swear the other night I rocked my sweet precious baby to sleep.  I lovingly laid her tiny body in her crib.  She sleep the deep sleep of the pure and innocent.

And the next morning I woke to find gremlins had taken my sweet precious pure angel, and replaces my teeny tiny baby with a sassy pants toddler.

Toddler is really a polite synonym for terrorist.  A tiny terrorist who destroys everything in their path, leaving behind them a trail of crumbs (because if you can entice a toddler to eat they will only eat on the run, never in the high chair.)

Why, for the love of all that is good, why did this have to happen????!!!!!

But this toddler vaguely resembles the sweet tiny baby I love so much, so I cuddle a wiggly toddler and go about my day.

I know I have five children.  Which means I have survived the toddler stage four times.  I know this.  But the extreme sleep deprivation that was the first year of The Queen's life seems to have completely addled my brain.

I made a rookie mistake, and ventured into a store...alone...with my newly minted toddler.

I just had to run in real quick and see if they had any Ocean Blue Simply Soft for Pork Chop's sweater (quick recap, they didn't).  In an out.  Easy Peasy.  A five minute trip.

An older gentleman was at the front of the store in a mobility scooter, blocking all the carts.  He appeared to be having issues with the scooter.  He was pushing buttons and muttering but not much else was happening.  The scooter was not budging from it's current position, guarding all the carts.  Rather than bother him on what already appeared to be a rough day for him, I skipped getting a cart.  I can snuggled a Bean for five minutes while I grab a skein of yarn right.

On to the yarn section which is located in the back of the store.


The back corner like knitters and crocheters are an after thought?

Or is it just that the yarn section is such a money maker they want to make you walk past all the other useless stuff they carry in the store hoping that you will see their punny holiday sign and impulse buy it.


I'm not the only one that trick works on.


(I know for a fact that Target also uses this strategic layout technique.  Dollar spot I'm looking at you.)

We boldly resist the adorable Americana merchandise, as well as the super cute mirror/jewelry holding (where would I even put it?  I don't own a vanity.) and arrive at our true destination.  (The Greatest will never understand the will power I display when I go into a store for one item and only come out with the predetermined one item).  The Bean is cute and sweet and adorable, and also twenty pounds.  Twenty wiggly pounds, that are starting to get heavy.

Why didn't I push that old man out of the way and get a cart?

We find the aisle of acrylic only to discover three women and two carts have set up a temporary residence in front of the Simply Soft.  And they do not appreciate my intrusion.

I stand there, clutching my ball band and tiny ball of yarn in one arm, my baby who is growing heavier by the minute in the other.  (Seriously, is she having a growth spurt right there in JoAnn's?)

I try to see around them.  I try to keep the wiggly baby off the dirty floor.  I try to find Ocean Blue.

They block me with their carts.  They step in front of me, as if they are afraid they are finally going to realize the orchid purple is the color they've been needing all their life and I'm going to buy the final skein out from under them.

I wait.  I try to peer around them.  I jiggle a wiggly baby.  I give up and let the wiggly baby have the tiny ball of yarn I'm trying to match.

I contemplate using the orchid purple yarn to finger knit a garrote to strangle the rude women with.

Seriously, would it be that hard to move the cart away from the blue yarn?  I'm holding a ball of blue yarn, with a ball band.  Obviously I'm trying to do something here, and it isn't steal your orchid yarn.

After what feels like an eternity, just when my arms are going to fall off from holding the wiggly Bean who now weights at least fifty pounds, the women move on, WITHOUT PUTTING A SINGLE SKEIN OF YARN IN THEIR CART!!!?????!!!!!

and when the aisle clears I discover to my dismay that the yarn I need wasn't hiding on the bottom shelf after all.

As I search the Bean arches her back.  She has had enough of cuddling.  She needs to roam.  Arms aching I give up.  I should have returned to the front of the store for a mobile play pen (better known as a shopping cart), but I'm already twenty minutes into what should have been a five minute easy peasy trip.  Onto the dirty floor the baby goes to pull yarn off the shelf to her heart's content.  With two free arms the search goes faster.  I'm determined that I can will the needed yarn into existence by sheer force of will.

It turns out that even with two free arms I can't.

Suck Monkey.

I did find the Ocean Blue colorway in a similar yarn from the same company, so clutching my desperation skein I head for the front of the store.

And this is where my will power breaks down.

It shattered when I walked past the sock yarn.

Unable to resist the siren song of yarn calling to be made into mermaid socks, this was the perfect opportunity to grab some yarn that could be used for color work.

But pushed past her breaking point The Queen can not handle another delay.

Quickly I grab the closest thing they have to white sock yarn, and I grab something soft in shades of purple.

These socks are going to be AH-MAZ-ING.

That night I sit down to wind my skeins into pretty yarn cakes.  I don't feel like dealing with ball bands, so I add the project into Ravelry so they can keep track of what yarn I used.

This is where I got my first hint that something might be wrong.

The off white yarn was just your basic sock yarn.  I was surprised to realize it wasn't just the wool acrylic blend you typically find in JoAnn's.  It also has 25% bamboo.


But then I entered my purple yarn into the Ravelry database.  The purple yarn with the same brand, same label,  from the same row as the off white yarn.

The purple yarn was not a wool/acrylic/bamboo blend.  Or even a wool/acrylic blend.  Or even wool.

It is 100% microfiber, which is just a fancy term for really soft acrylic.

This could be a problem.

and it isn't sock weight.

It is sport weight.

A really thin sport weight, but sport weight.

This could also be a problem.

Suck Monkey.

How could I have forgotten the most important rule of yarn shopping?


They only distract you.

And keep you from noticing that the sock yarn in your hand isn't sock yarn at all.

Maybe I can still make this work?

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Hard Knitting Lessons

Poor Pork Chop.

Her goal this summer was to knit a sweater.

Two years ago we bought her yarn to knit a sweater.  She's worked on it a teeny bit over the years, but this summer, this was the summer she was going to get it done.

And she did.

She knit the back, and the two front pieces.  And she knit two perfect fitting sleeves.

And then she ran out of yarn.

The sweater has a beautiful shawl collar, and I'm afraid no matter how fast she knits in a game of yarn chicken the tiny third of a ball she has left is not enough to finish the sweater.

And we bought the yarn two years ago.

It is Simply Soft.

We bought it at our local Wal-Mart.

A local Wal-Mart that no longer carries Simply Soft.

I looked at Hobby Lobby.

They no longer appear to be carrying Simply Soft either.

The Queen and I stopped at Jo-Anns on the way home from Physical Therapy the other day.  It was our final hope in scoring some Ocean colorway Simply Soft.

Yeah, no.

They had Simply Soft.

But no ocean color simply soft.

They did have the ocean color in Caron Pound of Love.  It was lacking the sheen of Simply Soft, but I was hoping it might work.

Now that I see them together I'm not so sure.

Pork Chop is more optimistic.

And really this whole story was my way of telling you

I bought yarn so I can knit a pair of My Pet Octopus Socks

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Trying Something New

I'm sad to report that after the triumphant finish of my Tardis socks I fell victim to a case of knitting ennui.

I couldn't find anything I want to knit.  I am baby sweatered out.  I don't have the heart for a big person size sweater.  Hats, scarves, fingerless gloves, cowls, shawls.  Nothing inspired me.

Well, that's not entirely true.

I did find one sock pattern that I burned to knit with the fire of a thousand suns.

I wanted to knit a pair of Pet Octopus Socks.

But I didn't have a single skein of suitable yarn.

I knit tons of color work when I knit for Knit Picks.  I knit almost exclusively color work items when I knit for Knit Picks.  But I never, ever, ever, ever knit stranded knitting items for myself.  Even the Tardis socks, with their teeny tiny bit of color work are meant for someone else.

I never knit color work for myself.

So while I have many skeins of sock yarn, I don't own two skein that co-ordinate enough to make into a pair of color works socks with fish and mermaids and octopi.

I fell down the rabbit hole that is the ravelry pattern database searching for a different sock pattern that might inspire me.  The deeper I looked the more depressed I became.  Nothing excited me, nothing screamed "you must make me".  I did not want to knit a single pattern.

So I decide to take matters into my own hands.

I was going to create a pattern I want to knit.

I know how to knit a sock.  Cuff, leg, heel, foot, toe.  I got this.

I turned to my Stitchionaries and started putting post its on pages that interested me.

It turns out I have a lot of ideas.

A little bit of math and I was suddenly on fire to knit.

A marathon of season 7 of Grey's Anatomy... and I had knit an entire sock.

And it is awesome.

So awesome I can't reveal it.  For the moment I can only show teasers.

Look how fantastically the ribbing transforms into the pattern stitch for the leg!

This sock is awesome!

So awesome I don't know what to do with it.

Do I write a pattern?  Do I submit it to Knitty?  Or Interweave?  Or self-publish on Ravelry?  Do I just wear it as an awesome one of a kind production?

What do I do with my gorgeous sock?

Is this the start of something new and exciting?  Or a one off fluke?

What to do...what to do...

Anyone want to test knit?

Monday, June 29, 2015



I have two mostly finished Tardis Socks!

They even both say "Police Box"!

I am super excited.

They are mostly finished because I want to try them on my Dad to double check the fit before I cut the yarn and weave in all the ends.

I know you're confused.

You're thinking to yourself "Wait, doesn't your Dad live 2,000 miles away?"

Why yes.

Yes he does.

But in 9 short days the Eagle will be landing.

We are all super excited.

In the mean time, I have the best friends ever!  They go on vacation and I get the super cool souvenir.

They know me so well.

And in true Tardis fashion it is bigger on the inside.

It doesn't look it, but it can easily hold two almost finished socks.

And to tide over the Grandpa until he can cuddle a Queen...

She is looking forward to spending lots and lots of time in the pool with you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Right Back On That Horse

So maybe sweaters aren't my "thing" anymore.

Who am I kidding.  They totally are my thing.

I big fat puffy heart sweaters.  It's like wearing a hug.  I love extra long sleeves, and smooshy fabric.  I love cables and lace and bobbles and cardigans that I can never find buttons for.  

Sweaters are my favorite.

But I need to take a teensy weensy break from sweaters. 

It's not them.  

It's me.

There's been too much heart break and ruined yarn.

I took Katie's brilliant advice and cast on for some socks.  Some simple relaxing easy peasy socks.

I also decided I had waited long enough.  It was time to break into the stash of new yarn.

and of course I picked the yarn planned for color work socks.  Not the beautiful black/green/silver yarn or the yummy pink yarn.  No I picked up the colorwork.  The very opposite of relaxing.

What could possibly go wrong?


I've already knit a sock that said "POLICE BCX"

I should have taken a second to take a picture of that before I ripped it to pieces.  

What else could go wrong?

I'm sure I'll find new and inventive ways to ruin a Tardis.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

This Is What Failure Feels Like

So last week I came down with a stomach bug.


And I lovingly shared it with The Greatest.

Cause I'm a giver.

It involved lots of intense stabbing stomach pain.  And lots of sitting very still on the couch and not moving.  Because moving caused more stabby pain.

It was big fun.

And by big fun I mean I prayed for the sweet release of death.

And I knit.

I knit the entire back of my Jamestown.

Does that look off to anyone else but me?

The armscye is super deep.

Like as long the the body of the sweater deep.

I don't know about you but I don't need an armscye that is a foot deep.

My gauge was all kinds of crazy.

I got spot on gauge with my gauge swatch.  And the slender cables on the sides were good with gauge, but the middle section, the hashtag cables, they were off. And while it was contained on both sides by the slender cables it was manageable.  But as I decreased the side stitches the middle section and it's off gauge staged a hostile take over, until my armscye was threatening to eat the other half of the sweater.

If I had been knitting with wool I *might* have been able to block that out.

But I was knitting with acrylic.

And my stomach hurt too much to deal with this.

So I am once again the proud owner of three balls of yarn, and a set of empty size 7 needles.

Maybe sweaters just aren't my thing.

I'm reconsidering taking up chainsaw juggling.

If you need me I'll be in the backyard with this little moppet.

Like her siblings before her, she's a little fish.