Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Loving

This week I'm loving

Our Christmas Decorations...


Why yes, that is a smaller second tree in our family room. There may or may not be eight Christmas trees scattered throughout the house. I apologize for NOTHING!

My new hair sticks...



Now that the tree is out of the woodworking shop, it is time to put my man to work. I told him I need some new hairsticks, and he delivered. And did you notice how fabulous my hair looks in these pictures. I'm lovin' that too.

This picture of my oldest and youngest "ice" skating...


So what if the picture is too dark. I still love it.

And I'm loving that I FINALLY found a pattern that almost perfectly replicates the sweater given to The Greatest by his beloved Grandmother nearly fifteen years ago...


It just needs to be a sckootch longer (yes that is an official unit of measurement), and brown. Sure the pattern is in Japanese. But I won't let a little thing like a language barrier stop me.

The real question is can I knit this sweater in secret and have it done in time for Christmas?

Ordinarily the knitting part would be no problem.

It is the secret part that is causing the trouble.

He's sleeping right now, having worked the night shift last night.

Guess I should get off the internet and get busy!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


My purple mohair sweater is growing at an alarming rate.


I can't be certain, but I think it might be on steroids   Nothing else can really explain the lightning speed at which it is progressing.

Perhaps small dog has been working on it at night after I go to bed.  Small dog, or maybe kindly yarn gnomes who have taken pity on the me when I fall asleep over my knitting.  They come and lovingly take my yarn, fix my sleep-deprivation induced mistakes, and knit a few more inches for good measure.

Yes, it must be yarn gnomes knitting my sweater.  Because my yarn would never do anything as dangerous as take steroids.  Right?

I've been a little worried about running out of yarn.  This sweater is meant to have three-quarter length sleeves, and a gorgeous cowl neck.  I've been thinking I can knit one or the other, but I don't think I have enough yarn to knit both.  This made me sad, because the pattern looks so nice with the cowl and the three-quarter length sleeves.  Sadness settled upon me, and I was losing the will to knit.  Maybe not the will to knit entirely, but the will to knit this beautiful beautiful purple mohair.  It was depressing.  I was already browsing Ravelry for my next project (it will be this or this).

Then I tried the sweater on.

Did you know a sweater knit of aran weight mohair is super duper warm.

Like really really really warm.

Like possibly heat stroke inducing warm.

And I live in the desert.

Where it is warm.

Like really really really warm.

Like it is the end of November and we are still sleeping with our windows open kinda warm.

I don't know if it is physically possible for me to wear a mohair sweater with three-quarter length sleeves, and a cowl neckline.

Maybe I'll just leave it as a crew neck with short sleeves.

Dilemma solved I am happily knitting on my sweater once again.

Atleast I am until I fall asleep somewhere around 9:42.

Then the yarn gnomes take over.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lessons in Knitting

I've been tired lately.

I don't know if I am coming down with something and my body is trying very hard to fight it off without fully succumbing to illness. In which case allow me to publicly thank my white blood cells. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that my neighbor's dog has decided that at 1:30 in the morning his shadow is a terrifying sight that can only be dealt with by barking at it until the sun comes up. Really, my exhaustion could be due to anything.

That's not the point.

My point is, I've been tired lately.

And it is affecting my knitting.

The other night I was knitting a top down raglan sweater in the most gorgeous purple mohair. The purple is a deep royal purple. The mohair is 20% silk, making it 20% more awesome than regular mohair. I'm really starting to love yarn with silk blended in. It gives it such a sheen and luster. I wanted to knit so badly that I sat on the couch and knit with my eyes closed as I tried not to fall asleep at the super loserly time of 9:30 p.m.

Of course this did not go well for me.

I discovered my stitch count was off. I could not determine if I had missed an increase, or added an increase that did not belong. I could not find a dropped stitch, or a mysterious yarn over that had turned into a stitch. There was no logical explanation for this mystery stitch.

I could have handled this situation in several different ways. I could have tinked back stitch by stitch until I found the problem and the stitch count was correct. I could have just skipped an increase, thus righting the stitch count. I could, and probably should, have set my knitting aside until morning, when I had fresh eyes, and daylight to see what I was doing.

Did I do any of those things?


Of course I didn't.

I decided my best course of action was to rip out the five inches of knitting I had created.

Five inches of mohair.

It wasn't pretty. Mohair does not rip gently. The mohair clung to itself and refusing to give up its form under pain of death.  Fiber flew in the air. Tiny strands of mohair all around.

Mohair is a fighter. I'll give it that.

Once returned to a squishy ball of yarn. I cast on once again.

I knit about and inch and a half, AN INCH AND A HALF, before I realized something was horribly wrong. But I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I just knew my knitting was off.

This time I did the smart thing and went to bed. It was now a less loserly time of 10:30 p.m.

The next morning, armed with minimal sleep and daylight, I discovered this.


This is actually quite amazing. It is such a rookie/newbie mistake to twist your knitting when you join to knit in the round.

But I twisted it not once, not twice, but three time.

That's some serious skillz there. Yup, skillz with a z, cause that's how I rollz.

Learn from me.

For the safety of us all, do not knit under extreme sleep deprivation.

It just isn't worth it.

And don't wear lip gloss when frogging mohair.

Remember "tiny strands of mohair all around".

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wanna See My Yarn?

I am proud to announce Meaty finally got his pumpkin pie.  I'm not gonna lie, even with the store bought crust it was a lot of work.  But it was delicious, so it was worth the effort.


Ok, so I totally lied.  I bought it at Wal-Mart.  It was kinda gross.  I feel no shame!

Meaty was heartbroken when he realized he was going to have to share the pie with his sisters.  His Christmas wish list now includes a pumpkin pie that he doesn't have to share.  The boy really likes pumpkin pie.

In other news, it took four days, but I have restored my Savers sweaters back to their former yarn glory.

Gaze with wonder upon all my glorious skeins.


And here they are all line up and pretty.


Sweet Pea thought my tower of cashmere lace weight looked like a snowman.


So we gave it a face.  It is hard to see, but there is a toothpick nose.  And yes, she is wearing her Halloween Costume.

Here they are tucked in safe and sound in my yarn cabinet.


So Pretty!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Playing Catch-Up

So the other day I got all dressed up to go shopping on Black Friday.  I was ready surprisingly early (a true sign that the Mayans are right, and the apocalypse is nigh) and had fifteen minutes to kill.

Naturally I spent that time taking pictures of my hand knit sweater for my blog.

After all, I had clean hair.


And look at that, I had a star on my head!  I'm totally rocking that star.

Pattern:  Hello (Rav link)

Yarn:  Spa, in Ocean Spray,  4 skeins (I think)

Needles:  Size 4 (maybe) Addi Turbos (pretty sure they were Addis)

Modifications:  None that I remember, this was perfect don't-think-just-follow-the-pattern knitting, assuming I remember this correctly.  The details of knitting this are rather fuzzy in my memory.  I do remember that I was watching the final season of Eureka, and I really loved it.  Did I love the final season of Eureka, or did I love the knitting?  The world may never know.

Review:  I knit this ages ago.  I don't recall precisely when.  Could have been last year, could have been over the summer.  No idea.  I really need to be a better blogger.

The timeline of this sweater is unimportant.  The important thing is I love this sweater.  I really do.

The bamboo spa yarn makes a really soft drapey fabric.  But word to the wise, this yarn was super splitty.  I do remember that.  Which is why I'm positive I knit this with my blunt tipped Addis.  Splitty yarn problem solved.

The sweater was knit with the contiguous sleeve method.  It is rather brilliant, blending the fit of a set in sleeves with the convenience of a no sew top down raglan.


It was rather clever, and the lazy finisher in me loved having the best of both worlds.

This cardigan had some great details, like this decorative thingie on the collar,


And the decorative side seam.


And here's a picture of the back of the sweater that serves no real purpose except to show off how long my hair is getting.


The only real down side to this sweater is the "right side" is reverse stockingnette stitch.  I often put this sweater on, and later realize I am wearing it inside out.

Maybe that is a plus?  The sweater is completely reverseable?

In summation, I love this sweater, but I decided I did not love the argyle shirt (too tight in my stomach, I am sucking it in in all the pictures, even the ones where my stomach is not visible), and I changed it before I went shopping.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  We had a very quiet Thursday.  The Greatest had to work that night, so he slept most of the day.  We had a ham instead of turkey.  It was a bold move.  Ham is just so much easier to cook that turkey.  As a consequence of no turkey, we also had a distinct lack of stuffing.  I had concerns as to how the children would take the news.  I feared a violent uprising from the peasants.  Instead the children were ecstatic  to have ham.  They cheered and chanted "ham, ham, ham, ham, ham."  I guess I need to make them ham more often.  They also had their much beloved veggie tray.


They claim it is the best part of Thanksgiving.

I had good intentions to make pumpkin pie.  It is Meaty's favorite.  I can not conquer pie crust.  I try, and I even had something passable last year.  But honestly the mere thought of tackling pie crust makes me want to have a long cry and then go take a nap.  This year I didn't even fight it.  I bought ready made crust from the grocery store.  And I still have yet to turn the crust into a pie.  Meaty is waiting.  It is kinda sad.

I don't generally do "Black Friday."  I have this theory that if you're buying a big ticket item you can get a smoking deal, but otherwise, for the little things, it is rarely worth my time to lose the sleep and brave the crowds.

Instead my friend and I left the house around 10, no losing sleep for us.  We went to Savers (which is like Good Will, only they actually sort the clothes into sections and sizes), so no crowds for us.  And look what I scored


Look at all that beautiful, beautiful yarn I found.  Sure, it is already in sweater form, but I can fix that.

But it gets better.  Check this out.


Why yes, that is a men's x-large 100% 2-ply cashmere sweater for $3.99.  Only it was Black Friday so all clothes were 50% off.  I scored all those beautiful yards of lace weight cashmere for $2.00.

It was a Black Friday Miracle!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Can't Fool Me!

She might deny it


But I think someone got in my make up bag.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Do Knitter Get Frarried?

So my 12 year old daughter came home last week and proudly announced that she got "frarried" that day.

"You got what?"



That's when she showed her ring.  She explained to me that she was now "friend married."  She and her best friend had officially declared themselves to be "Best Friends Forever."  This declaration included signing paperwork, holding a small ceremony on the playground, and baking celebratory whoopie pies in my kitchen.

I shook my head and asked "Can't I just buy you heart shaped bff necklaces like normal kids?"

In a completely unrelated story, let me share with you the wonder and beauty of what I am currently knitting.


I am officially in love with knitting once again!

This is the start of my latest knitting project.

It isn't the picture this project deserves.  It should be a better picture, with my current progress. But it is already dark outside, and I am too lazy to try to get a good picture in the bad overhead lighting.  Maybe tomorrow next week.

This is the start of my Cowl.

What cowl you might ask.

Why my BFF Cowl of course.

When I first saw the pattern I knew it was something I NEEDED to knit with my dear friend from Here In Topeka.

One quick message asking if this would be something she would like to do and the next thing I knew I had two skeins of the most luscious red yarn sitting on my doorstep.

I think that was a yes, she will be my Knitting BFF FOREVER!

Does this mean we're "knarried"?

Sunday, November 18, 2012


You know, it really is shameful how I treat you dear blog.

For a while there I was giving constant updates on my owl socks, frequent pictures of my purple sweater.  And just when I was in the groove and you were checking my blog daily *WHAM* I hit you with radio silence for weeks.  With no explanation.

Cause that's just how I roll.

Where did it all go wrong you might wonder.  Why do I so frequently abandon you?

Often I don't know.

Often I'm just not feeling it.

And when you're not feeling it there really is nothing you can do.

But in this case I can tell you exactly where it all went wrong.

It all fell apart for the lack of a size 9 needle.

I have been knitting a very long time.  I've been blogging since 2005 (oh that makes me feel old), and knitting even longer (oh that makes me feel even older).  Through the years I have amassed a fairly large collection of needles and do-dads.  Some useful, some only useful in theory.  All fun.

I have straight needles in every size, circulars (addis and others), metal, plastic, wood, bamboo (which is also a kind of wood, but trust me, it is different and deserves a mention of its very own).  I have a gallon size zip lock bag of different kinds and sizes of dpns.  I have crochet hooks stashed all over the house cause you never know when you  might need a crochet hook.  All these knitting tools that beginner me with my one pair of size 8 straight needles could only dream of.

All these tools of the trade and I only own one size 9 circular needle.

And it isn't even a good size 9 needle.

It is a Boye size 9 needle with the world's most inflexible cord that I bought at Wal Mart.

I hate this needle.

True Story.

And I don't own any size 9 dpns.

An entire gallon size ziplock bag of dpns, and no size 9s.

Not a single one.

Since I have been knitting longer than I care to admit and I've gotten along just fine without them for this long, one might think that a size 9 needle is relatively unimportant.

And it is.

Until you need one.

And then a second size 9 circular needle or set of size 9 double pointed needles becomes everything.

Remember my beautiful purple sweater.


Yes this purple sweater.  The one I knit and frogged, and knit and frogged, and knit and possibly frogged and knit again.  Yeah, that one.

I knit the entire body



And then I discovered I only own the one pair of size 9 circular needles that I had been using to knit the body of my pretty purple sweater.

Da Da Dunnnnnnnnnnnnn

Enter tragedy stage left.

The sleeves are knit in the round.  The stitches are picked up from the armscye (i.e. the arm hole) and knit down from there.  The cord on my cruddy circular needles is too stiff to magic loop the sleeves, or use traveling loop.  Lacking a second circular needle I could not knit the sleeves with two circular needles.  Lacking size 9 dpns I could not knit my sleeves with dpns.

In short I could not knit the sleeves.

I told myself I could just wait for payday and buy a new set of needles then.

In the meantime I didn't know what to do with myself.

I knit my Knit Picks project.  (no pictures it is Super Duper Top Secret (tm))

I knit the body of a Miette,


And then I lost interest.

I knit a Capucine


But I'm not sure I like it, so I haven't finished it. I bet I would like it more if I blocked it. But I'm just not interested in blocking it.

I've knit the entire body of a very hard to photograph Flaming June.  Twice.

I didn't like the fabric the first time


So I frogged and tried again with the yarn held double.


Again, not sure I love it, so I've lost interest in knitting any further on it.

For the love of all that is good I just need to finish a knitting project!  Like a petulant child if I can't knit what I wanna knit I don't wanna knit anything.

Don't worry.

I got my groove back.

And it didn't even involve another crummy size 9 circular Wal Mart needle.  I still haven't bought my second crummy size 9 circular Wal Mart needle yet

But alas, this post is already long and photo heavy.

You will have to wait until tomorrow who am I kidding, next month, to hear how I remembered that I love knitting.