NaBloPoMo Day 19: 3 of my favorite things

I had to take one of our sleeping bags to the laundromat today. There’s one at the end of my block but the last time I used it I ended up with the washer that didn’t work and it took 90 minutes for the sleeping bag to be finished. Instead, I like to go to the one near my favorite coffee shop: Philz.

Philz, knitting, sun

I brought my knitting, of course. I realized while I was sitting there that I hadn’t checked my gauge and my hat might be a touch small. Okay, it might be to small for any adult head. I’m too close to being done to rip it out and start over, though. I will have to find a kid to give it to, I suppose. That’s fine but now I still only have one chemo cap ready for donation! Sigh. I have some heavier weight yarn I wanted to make a cap from, so I think that one is next up.

Someone asked me on Google+ if starting a hat meant I had finished to sweater. Of course not! I am fickle, like most knitters. The sweater is taking a break (not unlike the sweater I was working on before I started that sweater). Actually, let’s not talk about just how many sweaters there are on break right now. Deal?

NaBloPoMo Day 17: rainy saturday

The whole family got up this morning and went out Scouting for Food. That is, we helped collect food for the Boy Scouts annual food drive. It was drizzly and overcast and the kids were droopy by the end but I think we did well. I managed to trip over nothing and fall down a step on someone’s front stoop. My knees and my dignity are banged up but I was relieved that I didn’t rip my jeans.

We came back home and I boiled maple syrup.

hot maple syrup

Which became maple ice cream with salty buttered walnuts (From Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams).

deliciousness

I didn’t managed to get a photo of the finished ice cream. You’ll just have to believe me that it was worth boiling a cup and a half of maple syrup down to three-quarters of a cup. I will definitely be making that recipe again. (Although, perhaps with slightly less salt on the walnuts.)

We had a delicious dinner with some friends and came home to the tragedy of there not being time for reading before bedtime. Life is rough when you are six.

I convinced both kids to sleep and knit on my hat a bit. I am done with the ribbing and on to the stockinette portion.

on to the body of the hat

I had to look up again how to do jogless stripes. I am sure I’ve done them many times and yet I still had to look it up. I will blame it on being tired.

NaBloPoMo Day 16: another day like the rest

It might be time for me to admit that my whole life is one of those days that gets away from me. Not much happened but I feel like I didn’t get much done. Of course, my kids did get out of school early today since it’s the end of the first trimester. That is three fewer hours that I get alone.

After school there was a holiday boutique. One of the teachers organized a table to sell stuff to raise money for the Donors Choose Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund and I have been helping her with the organization a little. Niels and I made some origami for her to sell. He made a few Origami Yodas and apparently those went first. Those kids sure do love the origami yoda. Yoda in any form really. Who can blame them? Yoda does kick ass.

I did get some knitting done! I cast on for my next chemo cap. I’m using a pattern called “Bella’s Eclipse Hat”. It’s based on a hat that I assume Kristen Stewart wore in Twlight: Eclipse. I am not a Twlight fan but this is a cute hat!

hat beginnings

It will be dark red and brown striped and hopefully beautifully soft and welcome for a client of Breast Cancer Connections.

NaBloPoMo Day 14: going forward

This morning as I was walking out of my kids’ school I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful sky. I took a picture so I could share it with you. (Maybe there is something to that concern that people are living their lives with the purpose of putting things on the internet. The article I read was talking specifically about Facebook but I think a blog follows. Am I addicted to the internet? [Probably.] Moving on…)

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Pretty, right?

I got some knitting done today: I finished casting on and picking up for the second sleeve of my Conic.

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I also dug through my yarn to find my leftover Calmer from the cowl as well as some other chemo cap options.

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I have two balls which I think are almost complete. I was thinking about striping them in a Shedir. Or perhaps I can find another pattern that would work with stripes. I also have two balls of Bamboozled left (the pale lavender and multi-color) that I’d like use for a different hat. The other yarn in this picture is a full ball of pale blue Calmer which will definitely become a Shedir and a second hank of Sock Candy that I might use to make a second hat like the one Niels modeled here last week.

So many plans, so little knitting time. Dang.

finished, at last!

I know some of you won’t believe this (Jen C, I’m looking at you!) but my double knit, 67 rows of non-repeating colorwork cowl is done. Totally and completely. The top has been kitchenered, the ends tucked inside, and it was even blocked. Amazing. Let’s start with the finished photos for you to ooh and aah over.

Finished Tapestry Cowl
The pink side.

Finished Tapestry Cowl
The brown side (the one I think I will keep facing out.

It's Warm
A quick modeled shot. This thing is warm!

It felt so good to set this project to completed on Ravelry and not have it show up as WIP anymore. To recap, I started this cowl in 2008. I fell in love with the pictures of it on Ravelry and someone else in my knitting group was making it and it seemed like such a good idea. Then I got about 19 rows into the 110 stitches of (as I already said) nonrepeating double knit colorwork and lost my steam. Last November I picked it up again and got down to knitting. A couple of weeks later, the colorwork was finished. I am not sure how long after that all of the knitting was done but it didn’t take long. Then I started doing the kitchener stitch of the 220 stitches at the top… and messed up. Since knitting seems to exacerbate my elbow issues I decided to bring it to knitting night last week as a nonknitting knitting project. I messed up the kitchener again but Veronica showed me how she does it so I could see what I was doing wrong. (Can I just say I haven’t done kitchener stitch in a while? That is my story and I’m sticking to it.)

And now it’s done. Before the mornings are bitter cold. I am really looking forward to wearing it while biking with the kids to school during the cold (for California) winter mornings.

And Jen C and Jen S (who both knit much larger double knit projects than this) you can laugh at me for this taking so long, just do it quietly and where I can’t hear you.

yarmulkes for sale!

Let’s start with apologies: I’m a bad blogger, you know it, I know it, I just don’t do it regularly. Okay, I’m glad I got that off my chest.

Now, what have I been knitting? Not a lot, actually. My husband had a gallstone attack on Mother’s day and I spent that evening with him in the ER, knitting away on my blue Etesian sweater while leaning awkwardly in an ER chair. The next day, my elbow started to hurt. Then I did a bunch of data entry for my job and it hurt more. And my forearm hurt. And… it hasn’t totally gone away. A mom at school who is a doctor told me that she thought it was tennis elbow, I’ve had acupuncture three times for it, which has helped, but it still aches and my forearm muscles are still very tight.

It sucks.

(My husband is fine now, though gall bladder-free and on a doctor ordered low fat diet and kind of sad about that.)

So, I took a break from knitting, mostly. I have been crocheting quite a bit, though.

Dave, from Chub Creek, posted on Twitter that someone should make him a coffee carafe and mug cozy, so I did.

Mug and Coffee Carafe Cozy set

Completely by accident, it arrived just before his birthday. He sent me a thank you Chub Creek mug in return.

Chub Creek Mug!

Which is enormous. I use it in the morning to pretend I’m drinking giant mugs of coffee, even though I can’t drink real coffee any more because it makes me insane. (It’s hell getting old.)

Next up in the FO parade: little bag for Brenda Dayne‘s A Memorable Yarn project.

Memorable Yarn bag

I used yarn from Karen’s stash and embroidered a pink K on it since pink was Karen’s favorite color. The Memorable Yarn event that I attended at A Verb for Keeping Warm ended up being held on the anniversary of Karen’s passing, so it was quite appropriate.

Speaking of pink… I finished my impulsively started Annis.

Annis FInished

I was knitting it one evening with my knitting friends and I said I didn’t think I’d ever wear this pink shawl with a beaded edge and my friend Teenuh said that she loved it. Her birthday was coming up so… problem solved! And the shawl has a new home with someone who loves pink and sparkly beads. Perfect.

When I was working on Dave’s cozies my younger son commented that he loved that blue color and would I please make him something with it? When I asked what he’d like he decided on a blankie for his stuffed dog, Snowball.

Snowball likes it!

Stuffed dogs are easy to please. My son liked it too.

Last, but not least, my friend Pam’s son is having his bar mitzvah and at some point earlier in the year she mentioned that she might need help making yarmulkes. I decided that knitting them was a) too hard on my elbow and b) too time consuming. After knitting three I settled into crochet and made eight crocheted yarmulkes (plus the three knitted ones).

Yarmulkes for sale!

I stacked them at knit night and it reminded me of Caps for Sale, a book I loved as a child. I’m still thinking that I need to write Yarmulkes for Sale! I just need an illustrator.

Whew. Are you still with me? Good. I have more pictures. This time of yarn that I bought while visiting my brother and his family in NJ. Did you know that in NJ they don’t charge sales tax for yarn because (like clothing) it is an “essential”? A belief that yarn is essential: I like that in a state.

I got some Berroco Origami on sale for a sweater I’ve been wanting to make for two years.

yarma

And then I got some single skeins of Rowan Cotton Jeans that were also on sale.

yarma

yarma

yarma

I am not sure what I’ll do with those. I thinking maybe some crochet coasters or something similar.

There was also Rowan Calmer in the sale bin.

yarma

yarma

The colors are more different than they look in the pictures. I see hats and mitts in that yarn’s future.

I don’t know if anyone stuck with me through this long, picture-heavy post. Maybe if I posted more often I wouldn’t have so many pictures to share at once. Maybe.

NaBloPoMo Day 3: you don’t know what you got till it’s gone

Rowan is discontinuing Calmer! If you are a knitter, you know what this means. If you are a knitter who can’t use wool, you really know what this means. For years I have been saying I should knit myself a sweater with Calmer. It’s supposed to be the wool substitute yarn. It’s stretchy, it’s soft, it makes lovely cables. It’s also $13.95 a ball for 175yds. That’s a fairly good yardage for a ball of yarn but it’s also a lot of money considering that I think I need a minimum of 10 to make a sweater.

So, now that it is being discontinued, I’m buying some. I hope it’s not my new favorite sweater yarn because that would make me sad.

lots of wips, no fos

I have been a bad blogger. Part of the reason for that is that I now have an abundance of projects on the needles and I am not being monogamous with any one project, therefore nothing is getting finished. So, we are going to have a parade of WIPs. First up is the project I started first, my Woven Ridge socks. I started them (and completed the first one) while we were in the Netherlands in the summer. I cast on right away for the second one but it's been languishing ever since.

I like these socks and I want to wear them, so I need to finish them! I have made some progress in the past couple of weeks, so that's good. Also, Cookie gave me some Sock Candy for catsitting for her cat and I am itching to cast on with that… or my Panda Soy. So much yarn, so little time. Anyway, I also got some Bamboo yarn from Jeni's going away, she was destashing. I had to tackle Lisa for it, but she was nice enough to give it up.

sock candy thunderYarn Place Vivace

You can't see very well in the picture, but that is four hanks of Sock Candy. So either I'm going to make two pairs of socks or I need another project. I was thinking about a scarf. I hope that two would be enough, because I do really want to make socks with some of it. The bamboo is from Yarn Place. Freecia (I think?) mentioned that they make socks from it but it's 100% bamboo with absolutely no give, so I'm not sure that is going to be my plan. We'll see.

Next up in the WIP parade is Niels' sweater. I finished the front and back and started the first sleeve but then I got distracted because I need to recalculate the decreases. His arms are much longer than the pattern size and I don't want to have all the decreases before the elbow and then the whole top straight or something. It's getting close, though! Other than all the ends to weave in, of course. Maybe I should focus on finishing it for Christmas. Maybe.

Last, but very muc not least is my Tapestry Cowl in calmer. I love this pattern, am entranced with the technique and I am loving how it's turning out. It needs a lot of focus though, to follow the totally non-repeating chart.

Also, the farther I get into the more the thought of having to kitchener stitch the front to the back looms over my head. That's 110 stitches of each color! I don't generally mind kitchener stitch, I have to say. I think that comes from having started my knitting career on diaper soakers. Theresa and Pam helped me to cut my teeth on knitting in a small, managable format. Theresa, by having very clear instructions in her patterns and Pam by being my friend and encouraging me as well as including me in all of her classes on her forums. I wouldn't be the knitter I am today if it weren't for them. Anyway, when you knit a soaker you have to kitchener the crotch closed. Luckily, though, you use large yarn and it's generally not very many stitches. I'm not sure I'd be so comfortable with the technique if I had started on sock toes with their tiny tiny yarn. This yarn is fairly tiny but it's the sheer volume of stitches to be sewn together that really makes me nervous. I should stop worrying and just knit, right? I'm only on row 20 and I have to do 64 rows of chart and then a few plain rows before the finishing starts.

So, since I got new yarn and have finished at least one project I thought I'd check my stash totals. I am currently up to 60889.6 yards of yarn or 34.6 miles. Um. Oops. That's up a mile since last time I calculated. I haven't purchased any yarn, it's just been finding me. Does that make it better? I didn't think so either. In the interest of decreasing the stash, I put my Regal Silk into my Sell or Trade Stash on Ravelry. I have five hanks of it that I was going to use to make a silk corset for myself. I've basically decided that if I do end up making the silk corset, It's not going to be out of variegated yarn. It's really pretty yarn, though, but I don't know else to do with it. I'm asking for $75 for the whole lot, plus shipping. You know you want to give this gorgeous yarn a home, right? If not, you must have a friend who does, of course. (Please buy my yarn.)

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chemo caps

My friend Lisa is participating in The Relay for Life and requested help knitting chemo caps, and Kristi asked me if I had yarn that would work for me to give to Lisa and I decided to knit a few caps for her effort. I started with the Wavy Cable Lace Cap, from Elann. (Project details on Ravelry.)

I cast on right away for Shedir from Knitty, using the Calmer that I got from my No Sheep swap pal. I'm already in love with the yarn just from casting on. I can't wait to knit myself a garment with it, but for now, I'm going to enjoy knitting this hat.

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