Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Future Knitter

Sometimes silence is the sweetest sound known to mankind.

The sweet sweet silence of children all nestled snug in their beds.  The peace that comes with knowing everything is right with the world.  Silence you can feel in your soul.  The perfect silence that can only be achieved with sleeping children.

But a Mother quickly learns you can never trust silence that occurs when children are awake.

It always means something wrong is occuring.  Something very very wrong.

It is so very hard to tell this sweet face "No."

She just wants to touch all the soft pretty yarn.

I can't say I blame her.

Her big pouty lip makes me feel sad.  But not sad enough to let her play with my yarn.

Good thing she doesn't hold a grudge.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Set Backs

I have come to the end of my yarn.

And I did not finish my sleeve cap.

Suck Monkey.

Time for Plan B.

I'll let you know as soon as I create my Plan B.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Still Time For Disaster

The Queen Bean wasn't really feeling an early morning photo shoot.

I can't say I blame her.

Crazy Baby Hair.

The struggle is real.

But as you can see I've finished the body of my no pattern baby sweater.

One body down

Two sleeves to go!

The sweater isn't without its issues.  I fear the back section of the bodice might be a touch too narrow.  And the armholes (armscye? is that the fancy term for that?  I need to start edumacating myself and using more fancy words) might be too deep, but I won't know for sure until I get some sleeves attached to the armscyes (armscyies?  what is the plural for that).

I am most definitely going to run out of yarn.

The duck was added for size perspective but don't you love how horrified she is at the size of my yarn ball.  I'm just crossing my fingers that I can get the sleeve cap knit before it runs out.  After that I think I can make it work, but I gotta eek out a sleeve cap.

So fingers crossed that my armscye isn't too deep, and that my back bodice isn't too narrow, and that I can squeak out a sleeve cap from a ball of yarn the size of a large gum ball.

What could possibly go wrong?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Day Four

So let's recap:

Blocking the Black Sweater:  Day 1

Blocking the Black Sweater:  Day 2

Blocking the Black Sweater:  Day 3

Blocking the Black Sweater:  Day 4

If you guessed that it would take me four days to block my sweater, then you are the winner!

The winner of what?

Nothing really.  Just the smug satisfaction of knowing you were right.

It did indeed take me four days to get my sweater from a wet lump of cotton to...


But in my defense I've had sick kids. Kids.  With an S. There have been fevers, and popsicles, and trips to the doctors, and so many meds I've had to create a chart to be sure everyone gets what they need when they need it and nobody accidentally gets overdosed.  I haven't slept through the night in over a week now. And we all know how well I function without sleep.  (Spoiler for the Newbies:  I don't function)  Three of the five ended up with strep throat.  The Greatest tags in as often as he can, but the man has to work.  Even as I type he is at the Pediatrician with yet another child while I sit at home with a sleeping Queen (He had to put real pants on, I didn't.  SCORE!).  I've decided that instead of paying my mortgage this month I will instead be paying the Pediatrician's mortgage.

True Story.

In knitterly news, I just can't bring myself to work on the pink sock.

I want to love it.  I do.  All the elements of a knitting project are all playing together so nicely.  But I don't love the yarn.  I know I've knit with that same yarn in that same color way before, and I enjoyed it then..  I can't explain it, but I'm not feeling the love right now.

Instead I kept looking at these two balls of yarn in the bottom of my knitting bag.

The left overs from my Black sweater.  They called to me.  They were so sad they weren't needed.  They wanted to be a part of my Black sweater.  I could feel it.

So I might have cast on

For an infant size version of my sweater.  I don't have a pattern, which is usually the kiss of death to any project I attempt.  But I took some measurements from The Queen and I did a little math with my gauge, and I'm following the general construction of the big person size sweater.  What could possibly go wrong?  (Spoilers:  Usually everything)   I am 100% sure I will run out of yarn before I finish the sleeves.  But I've got a plan.  And I think it will be cute.  I just need to get the body and half a sleeve from what I have for my plan to work.  I completely expect to post a post about how sad I am that this project ended in abject failure in about three days.  But sometimes I surprise myself.  Maybe it will turn out to be the cutest miniature version of a big person sweater ever.  It could happen.

Speaking of the Queen.  It is really hard to convince the Pediatrician that your baby has been sick for five days, barely breathing, hardly eating, when you take her to be examined and she acts like this.

All active, and cute and smiles and sass.

Thank goodness a quick examine showed what The Queen was trying to hide.  She is patient 0 for our strep infection.  Antibiotics for everyone!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Same Story Different Day

Blocking the black sweater:  Day 1

Any bets on how long this will take?

Any guesses on how many times I looked to be sure I'd taken all the safety pins off the sweater before I put it in the water?  (spoiler: it was only 1, and I'm wishing I'd done it a second or fifteenth time)

In non knitting news, Queen Bean is sick.

Its just a cold, but combined with her super tiny nasal passages the side effects are getting severe.

She is currently in that stage where her body is trying to produce its own weight in snot.  And all that snot is trying to squeeze its way out her super tiny nasal passages, leaving no room for breathing.  Which means she can't drink a bottle.

And yes I know she is 16 months old and still taking a bottle.  And no, I don't care what your thoughts on the matter are.  Unless you've been there for every Doctor appointment, every feeding therapy session, every daily practice session at home, three times a day, you don't get to have an opinion on the fact that my child is 16 months old and still getting ALL her nutrition from a bottle.  With a nipple and everything.  Her reliance on a bottle is not the story here.

The bottom line is her lack of breathing = unable to eat = a lack of fluid = risk of dehydration and hospitalization.

So we spend lots of time in steamy bathrooms.

And she gets steriods and breathing treatments

She is not a fan.

We spend lots of time doing this.

So much time doing this I think it might finally be time to invest in some cushions for that rocking chair.  It isn't so bad the first hour or so, then it really hurts for hours 2-5, but after the fifth hour your butt just kinda goes numb and you can't feel anything.  The numbness is kinda glorious.  You could rock forever.  The unfortunate side effect of that is when you are finally done in the rocking chair, around hour 8 or so, your body is so sore you can't walk.  But it's totally worth it for the baby snuggles.

We also spend a lot of time

Just laying around.

Her lack of breathing also means a lack of sleeping.  The Greatest and I are exhausted.  We've been tag teaming the Bean trying to get some sleep.  It doesn't seem to be helping.

The sickness has spread to Bird, who is beside herself with disappointment that she is too sick to perform in her band concert.  It has also spread to Pork Chop, who literally snuck out of the house to go to school this morning despite my order to stay home, lest she miss HER band concert.  I'm just hoping it doesn't spread to me.  I'm too exhausted and sore to be sick.

I have done a spot or two of knitting

I'm not loving this yarn.  It is mystery Big Lots yarn.  From the feel I would guess it has a high (and by high I mean 100%) acrylic content.  I love the color.  I love the pattern.  I love how the color plays with the pattern.  I'm just not loving working with this yarn.

It might be time to bust into the new stash.

I should be diving into the abyss to finish more half knit projects, but the new stash is right there sitting so pretty in the yarn cabinet.  Calling to me every time I walk by.

"Knit me"

"You know you want to wind me into a yarn cake."

"You could be wearing me by now."

I may not be able to resist the siren song of the smooshy yarn much longer.

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.