Thursday, January 29, 2015

It Only Took Five Years

As promised, I have another finished sweater to show off this week.

According to Ravelry I started this sweater on August 5th, 2010.  And I finished it August 21st, 2010.

And I'm just now showing it off.

I suck.

Better late than never right?

Pattern:  Olivette

Yarn:  Cascade 220, 5 skeins

Needles:  Size 8 Addi Turbos

Modifications:  I don't actually remember, but according to my Ravelry notes I added two rows of waist shaping.  And apparently when I went to block the sweater I let it sit in water for a week.  I guess cream colored fungus began growing on my sweater.  I'm sure that step was integral to the success of my sweater.


Forgive the fold lines in my sweater.  It was buried on the top shelf of my closet.  It is true.  I have so many hand knit sweaters I lose them on my closet shelf.  Which is a shame.  Because I love this sweater!

Apparently when I first knit this sweater it was a touch too big.  But since I'm carrying baby weight (seriously, how long do I get to call it that?  When she goes to college is it still "baby weight")

That doesn't appear to be a problem anymore. 

I love this sweater.  Just look at the pretty cables.

I love the orderly lines of cables and lace.  The sleeves have extra deep ribbing at the cuffs.  And did you notice I not only found PERFECT buttons, but I actually buttoned my cardigan?  I never button my cardigan.  But this one looks so cute buttoned.

This sweater is definitely a win.  I wore it on Monday and ever since I've been plotting my next one.  For future reference I want to make the sleeves a *touch* longer.  And I think I'll add three inches to the body.  

In more current news...

The Queen is snotty and congested.  Which does not lend itself to a good night's sleep.  

But I won't let it get me down.

Despite all the "help" I got from Queen Bean today...

I managed to pin out her quilt.

I'm starting to think I might finish this before she outgrows her crib!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Virtues of a Good Nights Sleep

The Queen had two nights of decent sleep this week.

She's probably coming down with something.

She doesn't really have a phase where she is "a little" sick.  She's good one day, and the next she is a cry mess.  You take her to the doctor and discover she has an ear infection so advanced it ruptured her ear drum, or strep throat that is so bad her throat is bleeding.  There is no in between.  And even then, her only symptom is crying.  Doctors look at me like I'm crazy when they ask "What brought you in today."  And I reply "the baby is crying."  I get a sick sense of vindication when they discover something wrong.

So while there are no warning signs, no tugging on the ears, no lethargy, no acting off, I have noticed that the crying mess is proceeded by two nights of really great sleep.  Two nights where I start to believe there is a chance I could someday have a normal life once more, where I start to feel semi-human.  It is only two nights, but it is just enough so that the crying every hour on the hour all night long seems extra cruel in comparison to that little glimmer of what life could be.

I put The Queen to bed at 8:20 tonight.  At 9:00 she woke up screaming at the top of her lungs.

It's going to be a fun night.

I will fondly remember the two nights of almost perfect sleep I did have.

And I put those two nights to good use.  I have been CRUSHING IT.  House is reasonably clean.  I've made dinner every night.  The kids have gone to school with their hair brushed this week.  Even The Greatest noticed I was just smiling for no apparent reason.

Sleep will do that for you.

I have ten rows to go on my Knit Picks project and I will be DONE.  It is super cute too.  I hope I remember to post it when it shows up in the catalog.  But until then, no pictures allowed.

I knit not only one sleeve...

But TWO on my tweedy sweater. (yes that is the Queen trying to get my needle, she loves all things knitting.  It makes my heart happy)  I have a love hate relationship with tweed.  On one hand I love it.  I love it.  I love it.  On the other hand, sometimes it looks like my sweater needs to spend some time with a lint roller.  Earlier tonight I was loving my tweedy sweater.  So soft, and cuddly, and warm, and tweedy.  But now.  Just now.  Looking at the picture.  It looks like that time the dogs got my Aidez Sweater and took it ouside and rolled around with it in the dry grass.  I was picking vegetable matter out of it for weeks.

I spent my afternoon today...


I am so excited to have this quilt done.  This was LITERALLY fifteen years in the making.  I tore the inspiration picture out of a Pottery Barn catalog when I was pregnant with Pork Chop.  That is how long I have loved this quilt.  My rendition is fatally flawed.  My quilting technique is full of mistakes.  But I love it.  And Sweet Pea loves it.  She says the best part is that I made it just for her.  She was so excited at bedtime to pull it into her tent with her to go to sleep.

For Christmas she got a tent that goes on her bed and hooks under her mattress.  It is pretty awesome.  I'm trying to find one to fit our king size mattress.  It doesn't have to be Frozen like hers.  Any old tent of proper dimension will do.  I'd even use a Barney tent if it fit my bed.

I am now in that dangerous place where I remember that I love quilts.  And I love making quilts.  I love the fabric,  I love the textures of the seams.  I love the puffy of the quilting lines.  I love the neat little border of color the binding provides.  I love quilts.  Love love love love love.  I ran to Wal Mart and bought this...

Yes, that is TWO packages of Polyester Batting.

I not only need to finish The Queen Bean's quilt, but I figured that while I was loving quilting I would go ahead and try to finish the quilt I made from Sweet Pea's baby clothes.

The finished top has only been sitting in The Abyss since 2010.

Will I actually finish the baby clothes quilt?

I make no promises.

But I have the batting just in case.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Note To Self

Just a little reminder to myself:

The next time you decide "Hey, wouldn't it be fun to do a biased binding on a quilt like real quilters do?"  You need to remember...


You are a Knitter, with a capitol K.

You can knit like its your job.  (and sometimes it actually is your job!  Hooray for you!)

You are a hobby quilter.

A Dabbler.

You do not make real quilts.

You make genuine imitation quilts. 

And that is ok.

You break all the rule of  "REAL" quilting.  You don't do it all by hand.  You use any kind of fabric including *shudder* poly/cotton blends to make a quilt top (the gingham in your current quilt might be straight up poly, take a moment to think about that).  You don't use organic cotton for your batting.  You use acrylic batting that you buy in a bag at Wal Mart.  You use straight cut binding.

That is all ok.

You feel good about your imitation quilts.

So the next time you decide to you need to create bias binding, and do advance geometry with a little bit of calculus, and mark fabric at precise angles, and sew it into origami, only to cut it all up again at impossible angles: remember Nancy Reagan, and just say no.  

For the love of all that is holy...Just...Say...NO

But just in case you decide to ignore yourself...

Cause you know you will...

On the bright side the bias binding is pretty.

We're all just going to pretend it doesn't look identical to straight binding.

But you are one step closer to actually finishing a quilt.

So there is that.

Monday, January 26, 2015

I Knit Something

Because Once Upon A Time...

I started a knitting blog.

Pattern: Girly Size 2T

Yarn:  Artesanal by Aslan Trends, 3 skein in Candy Apple Red (40%Cotton, 30% Alpaca, 30% Polyamide)

Needles:  Size 6 Addi Turbos.  Long live the Addis!

Modification:  I don't think I modified anything.  I might have compensated for my gauge being slightly off, but who knows.  I really should keep notes on these things.


Words can not express how much I love this sweater.

It would be an understatement to say I am a bit obsessed with this pattern.  I not only own Girly, but I also own its sister pattern Grown Up Girl.  I have tried to knit a Grown Up Girl of my very own no less than five times, but I have yet to find a suitable yarn substitue to use for the pattern.  I knit Pork Chop a heavily modified Grown Up Girl for Christmas several years ago, but of course that sweater did not make the blog.

*Bad blogger hangs head in shame*

I knit this in the smallest size the sweater pattern offered:  a 2T.  We'll ignore the fact that the Queen is still wearing 6-9 month clothes.  The sleeves are supposed to be rolled up right?

Maybe not rolled this much, but I'm not concerned.  By my estimate she should be able to wear this sweater until she is three.

Which is actually a very nice run for a child's sweater.

I absolutely love all the texture incorporated into this sweater.  The stockinette, the reverse stockinette, the garter stitch, the cabled lace, the bobbles, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD THE BOBBLES!

But most importantly of all this sweater can be worn while doing baby yoga.

 I have my priorities, the Queen has hers.

And did you notice?

I'm wearing a hand knit sweater too.  There might be another blog post in the near(ish) future.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Almost A Quilt


I did it!

What you see before you is a six foot wide, seven foot long quilt that was completely quilted in one day!


I'm awesome...


As long as you don't look too close.

There may be a flaw or two in my free motion quilting technique.  It took me a fourth of the quilt to get in the groove, and then I was in the groove for another fourth of  the quilt, and then I should have stopped to rest.

But I was in the groove!

I was quilting like it was my job!

I want to finish the freaking thing sometime this year!

So I pushed through the pain.  I ruined my manicure.  I tried to rise.  Thread broke, needles (yes, needles with an s) broke.  Bobbins ran out of thread at the most inconvenient times.  There was not time to eat or hydrate or go to the bathroom.  I had a quilt to quilt.  At one point, and I'm still not entirely sure how I did this, but at one point I actually quilted my special machine quilting foot to the quilt.

Sometimes I even amaze myself with the things I do.

So the last half of the quilt is a little rough.

But that doesn't matter.

Sweet Pea already adores is.

And that is the only thing that matters.

Just binding to go.

And of course, The Queen's crib size quilt still needs sandwiched and quilted and bound.  But it should be a piece of cake after this twin size monstrosity right?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Where I Try To Make A Boring Day Seem Exciting

Today I was in a mood.

I was exhausted.  The Queen was up from 2:45 to 4:30.


Then she got up for the day at 6:30.

Double Awesome!

I felt like I ought to be productive today, but frankly I was tired, and I just didn't want to.

I have a Knit Picks project to knit.  It is a lovely knit.  The pattern is extremely well written.  There is nothing to hate about this project.  In fact, it is almost finished.  By my estimate I have around 20 rows to go and I'll be done.  I'm in the home stretch.

And I just didn't want to look at it.

I felt bad about it.  I felt like I ought to push through and finish it.  But I just didn't have it in me to make myself do it.  I was all out of push.  Out of guilt I decided to tackle a different project that I have been putting off.

Because somehow doing a different project that I also hated made it all better?

I mended the blanket from my bed.

Exciting I know.

This blanket was not the victim of bugs, but rather had succumbed to old age.  Tiny pieces of tan fluff were flaking off.  Each morning we would wake up to more and more debris on our sheets.  I spent ten minutes each day combing tan ick from my hair.  We were certain that if this went on long enough one day our blanket would simply disappear in a cloud of dust.  I cut off the crumbling ends, and then hemmed each side trying to enclose the decay.  I'm hoping there is enough left to cover our bed.

Then I realized there were tons of tiny holes in the body of the blanket as well.  Ever hopeful I attempted to mend those as well.

Each dark spot is a place where I healed our beloved blanket.  I am left to ponder how much is too much?  At what point does this cross the line into insanity?  When does throwing this blanket away become a mercy killing?

I won't even tell you about the flannel sheets I tried to mend next.  Sufficeth to say, we will be buying new bedding when it goes on sale this year.

And since the sewing machine was out I figured I might as well sew together the backs of the quilts.

I may not have blogged this yet, but about a month ago we finally bought fabric for the backs of THE QUILTS.  I looked and looked and looked and could not find something I loved.  Paralyzed with indecision but desperate to finish the quilts before Queen Bean out grows her crib, I did the only reasonable thing I could think of, I let Sweet Pea pick the fabric out.  We got a blue/green chevron for Sweet Pea's quilt and pink chevron for the Queen.  I love how the pink matches the quilt, but I'm not loving the blue/green shade.  It is too off from the blue stars on the quilt top, but Sweet Pea picked it out, and it is, after all, her quilt, so there is that.  When I went to sew the backs together I realized that buying chevrons was a horrible mistake.  My CDO meant I could not let the chevron pattern be interrupted by the seams.  I had to make the pattern line up.  Surprisingly it only took two tries to get it to a place that I could live with.  I was sewing easy straight lines.  I can not imagine how one would sew a chevron dress or skirt without having to be committed to an asylum from the insanity of making the chevrons match on the pattern pieces.

But I digress.

While I was on a productive roll I taped the back to Sweet Pea's quilt to the floor (as shown above)...

added batting...

and one gorgeous quilt top...

And I made myself a quilt sandwich.

I practiced my free motion quilting.

I am a bit rusty to say the least.  It wouldn't be unreasonable to say I suck at it.  I got to a place where I felt I was ready to try it on the big quilt.  I sewed about three feet of quilting, and then I ripped out about three feet of quilting.

I need to practice some more.

I'm starting to get excited about these quilts again.  There is a point in the middle of making a quilt where I start to hate quilting.  And I wonder why I think I want to make quilts.  But now, when it is looking, and feeling like a quilt, I'm at the part where I remember why I love quilts.  And by the time I'm done (in a reasonable three to five years) I will be all excited to make another quilt.

In the mean time I'm gonna sit on the comfy couch and knit myself a sleeve.  I'd take a picture, but it is dark, and the yarn is nearly black, so it wouldn't be much of a picture.  Maybe, if you're lucky, I'll show you in a month or so.  Since that seems to be the new turn around time for blog posts.

Really need to have that intervention with The Queen about her sleep habits...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Moment of Silence

So I cleaned my closet the other day.  And I discovered this...

WHAT THE CRAP IS THAT????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is HOLES!

Freaking insect chewed HOLES in my favorite Malabrigo sweater!

*sidenote* My nails look fan-freakin-tabulous */sidenote*

I don't even know how to deal.  Do I darn it like a sock?  Do I frog that sleeve and reknit it hoping the new yarn doesn't stand out too much?  Do I frog the entire sweater and knit a bunch of blue socks?  Do I just wear it as is and call it post-apocalyptic chic?

We must have a moment of silence for our beloved sweater.  You were taken before your time. To avenge the fallen, and protect the survivors, our house is scheduled for demolition next Thursday.

I know it sounds drastic, but it is the only way to be sure.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Still Alive

So it turns out that I'm not 19 anymore.

I can no longer exist on five hours of sleep a night.

I can not function on naps alone.

Man I miss college. At least back then when I was up at three a.m. I was dancing with my friends or playing poker.  Now I'm up at 3 am trying not to make eye contact with the world's cutest baby, lest she take that as a sign that it is time to bust out the elmo activity table and Par-tay!

My ability to combine words to form a coherent sentence has been seriously compromised, as seen by my last few blog posts.  I am disturbed by how many typos and instances of improper verbage were given the green light and published.

It might be time for an intervention with the Queen.

Until she realizes the importance of a good night's sleep I'll be in the corner crying, and possibly hallucinating from sleep deprivation.