NaBloPoMo Day 1: Apparently, I’m a giver

It’s National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo for short) and I will be posting every day, or trying to do so. As Phoebe so aptly put it, my Novembers are well documented.

We’ll start, as I think we usually do, with a finished object round up.

There were teacher gifts…

Clapoktus

French Press Cozy

A gift for my mother-in-law

finished magrathea

A bunny for a new baby

more bunnies are better

Chemo caps (I only knit the top one and a couple others, a lot of those were knit by friends of mine. Thanks, friends!) donated, again, to The Breast Cancer Connection in Palo Alto.

Chemo Caps

A mouse for my son’s friend

Mouse for W

A scarf in UNR colors for a friend whose oldest son is going there

Husky Stripes

And, finally, a couple of things for me…

A Lintilla scarf

Posh Lintilla

And a Dark Side cowl.

ArtFibers Brogue Cowl

Wow, seven out of the last nine projects here were gifts. I think the last two I finished before this were also gifts. I am either selfless or stupid or overrun with knitting. Anything is possible.

I am not making any promises for this year’s NaBloPoMo. Last year I wanted to post a picture every day but I started Project 365 this year and bailed on that, so no promises from me!

Here’s to a postastic November! Hopefully we won’t have to talk about dryer lint at all this year. Again, no promises.

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2011 FO Round-up

It is time for this year’s Finished Object Round-up. This year I finished 27 knitted, sewn, or woven objects. There are only 26 pictures because I didn’t get one of the second of the fuzzy blue bunnies and it has been absorbed into the vast quantity of stuffed animals in our house.

FOs 2011

How depressing! And now for the even more depressing part: I calculate the amount of yarn in my stash and it is somehow up to 71,727 yards (or 40.75 miles)! That is almost three times what it was last January. That seems impossible to me somehow. I think I either miscalculated then or now. I’m not sure which. I calculated how much yarn I used (not counting the six projects I made with Karen’s yarn) and I come up with 5,714 yards used. That is less than previous years but that still doesn’t account for 50,000 yards of yarn!

I think that I’m going to stay in my cozy little denial corner and refuse to believe it. That and maybe I will drag out the yarn this week once the kids are back and school and try to assess. There must be some that can go! Yeesh.

crocheting like crazy

I have been neglectful of my blog… again. Sorry about that… again. In June a friend from my knitting group passed away from breast cancer. Her daughter saw on our group’s email list that we were having a yarn swap in the summer and asked if she could bring her mother’s yarn for us to divide up. I didn’t end up getting the yarn from her until after the swap and I was talking to Kristi about it, debating what to do when Kristi came up with a brilliant idea: crochet items for donation to Breast Cancer Connections. We are crocheting because it is fast and uses up lots of yarn but also because our friend was mostly a crocheter. She used to make bed-sized afghans and give them away. They were truly epic creations: so big that she carried them in a bag from Costco. Shortly after this decision, I went to visit Kristi and delivered some of the yarn to her so she and I (and Janice and Cookie) have been crocheting away. Teenuh has been weaving and I haven’t gotten a chance to see her woven scarves in person but the photos have been lovely!

In any case, here is what I have made so far. The charity only wants “hats, scarves, and booties” so that’s where I have been going.

slippers

The slippers didn’t quite work. I don’t think this pair is going to get donated because I don’t think they will stay on. I might try to find another pattern to use instead.

first timba hat

Janice designed this pattern with the yarn I delivered to her. I think mine is bit too big and I’m working on a second with a smaller hook. It’s a very cute hat though, huh?

first divine hat

I liked this pattern so much…

second divine hat

… that I made two in a row.

very not tiny scarf

A very-not-tiny scarf.

checkers

This was actually the first project I made, although I got a foot into it and had to rip it out and restart because the hook was too small at first and the resulting scarf was, in Teenuh’s words, like iron. She was right to talk me into ripping it.

potato chip ruffle scarf

Potato chip scarf, so named because you can’t make just one, I think. I did, though, just make one.

kristi's scarves

This is Kristi’s pile so far (sitting on my bike just because it was there). She also made a tiny scarf, two flower motif scarves, and a big, cozy fringed scarf. I might have to make a fringed one too. That one is coziest.

There has been some knitting going on as well, with my own yarn.

finished palindrome infinity scarf

I started this infinity scarf as a car project when we drove to Southern California. I really like it. The yarn is bamboo and is soft and warm. I have another skein of it that might need to become another cowly and/or scarfy thing. One can never have too many scarves, cowls, and shawls, right?

annis in progress

I hope not because this is also the very beginning of a shawl. This pink silk yarn ended up in my stash after the yarn swap with the BobaKnitters. I’m making an Annis but I opted for beads in place of the Nupps. I was really into that pattern for a few days but it’s 300-something stitches so I didn’t get very far. When I’m done crocheting, I hope to get back to it.

giants zito socks scarf in progress

My final current project is a Giants Scarf “Zito Socks Style” as requested by my friend Sandy who is a Giants SuperFan. I am hoping to finish it before baseball seasons ends but she is such a fan that she wears Giants colors all year round so I know she’ll get use out of it even if the Giants are done playing by the time it’s done. Also, there’s always next year.

Whew. I’ve been busy, huh?

2010 FO Roundup

Happy New Year, everyone! A new year means that it’s time for me to look back and count my projects and yarn used. Yes, I’m weird, but that is what it means to me. Here’s this year’s mosaic of finished object photos.

2010 FO Mosaic

There are only 27 projects in this year’s mosaic. I had 39 in 2009 and 51 in 2008! I am going to attribute my finished object count drop to there being fewer crocheted items, dishcloths and bunnies in each passing year. Also, this year’s count includes three sweaters knit for myself. Three! Then there are two kid sweaters that add up to almost as much yarn as I’d use for a sweater for me.

I went through my projects on Ravelry and added up yarn usage. This year, I used 9,712.5 yards, or about 5.5 miles of yarn. That is only 100 yards less than I used up last year. Somehow, though, my current stash total (from my Ravelry Excel export) is only 23,655.4 yards, or 13.4 miles of yarn. That is 20,000 yards, or just over 11 miles less than last time I posted a number. That was two years ago but when I calculated last year I said that the amount was approximately equal to the amount that came in. I know I bought yarn this year, in sweater quantities, so I don’t now that I’m really down so much. Maybe the Ravelry spreadsheet has changed?

Anyway, enough stash-navel-gazing! Here is my current project instead.

aidez sleeves in progress

It’s Aidez, a new Berroco free pattern. It’s knit in super bulky yarn that I can’t use because of wool content so I’m knitting in Remix instead, because I was given that for my birthday and I’m excited to use it. I think the sweater will look great in it. Since I’m changing the gauge, I’m also changing the construction and am doing a bottom-up, seamless raglan. That’s why I’m knitting the sleeves first: so I can then knit the body and connect them all for the shoulder shaping.

Here’s another shot of the sleeve, with my arm in it, so you can get a better view of the stitch detailing.

close up of stitch pattern

The funny thing is, Juls brought me souvenir yarn from Tahoe because she saw it and thought of me. Guess what it was?

berroco remix

Yes! The same yarn I’m using for my sweater. It really is a nice yarn and the yardage per ball is great. This ball is a chocolatey brown color which didn’t come across in the picture at all. Oops. I’m thinking that it’s destined for a cowl for me.

She also gave me some leftover Summer Tweed.

summer tweed

I’ve been wanting to try this yarn but haven’t ever gotten around to it. I’m thinking this will be a gift scarf because the colors aren’t very me but I’m really looking forward to knitting it! Thanks again, Juls!

the schedule problem

After NaBloPoMo I made a resolution to blog at least once a week, preferably twice. I haven't posted in two weeks now. On Christmas I got a Wii Fit and have been using it every day and getting up early in the morning to walk before I do the Wii Fit exercises. The side effect of that is that I really need to go to bed earlier or I can't get up to walk. The side effect of going to bed earlier is that I have a lot less computer time, which is probably not a bad thing.

So I guess I'm back to my sporadic posting schedule. I expect that everyone understands why. Exercise trumps blogging, right?

I have a lot less knitting and crocheting time but I have managed to finish a couple of things recently. A new crocheted bathmat for our downstairs bath.

And a pair of fingerless mitts for Niels to wear while scootering to school. They are styled after the mitts Ash wears on Pokemon.

I haven't destashed at all yet, but we do have a destash party planned with my BobaKnit group. The week after that Purlescence is having a yarn swap so if anything is left we can all take it over there.

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legwarmers, butterfly, return of the chaos

Mom's legwarmers were delivered on Christmas. I was a little nervous about how well they'll stay up. We'll see how it goes!

I finally got a photograph of the snail outside his home. He's dirty now because he was taken to the park one day.

I then made a butterfly in a strawberry for Stefan. Again, too stinkin' cute for words.

butterflystrawberrystefan and the strawberry house

Finally, my house has descended into chaos again. We got a new TV and all the components had to be pulled out so the new stuff could be put together but nothing works immediately, of course, so everything is spread around the house. Also, the boys went and slept at my parents' house and brought back bags and bags of stuff with them. I don't get how the smallest people require the most stuff. Actually, I do get it but it gets frustrating.

I'm hoping that a) all the new electronics will play nicely with each other tomorrow (once we get the right cable) and we can start sorting out what needs to go and where it can go.

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NaNoSweMo and NaBloPoMo and gift knitting

Because I'm crazy, I've decided to participate in NaNoSweMo (National Sweater Knitting Month?) and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). I am going to try to post on my blog every day in November and I cast on today for Anhinga, by Norah Gaughan, which I am knitting in All Seasons Cotton, of course. I am having issues with uploading and there isn't much to see so there's no picture yet. Hopefully I will work out my upload issues. Having pictures would certainly help my blog posting too. We'll see how that goes.

Since I last posted I finished a cowl for a friend's birthday.

A baby turtle for Stefan.

A robot for my friend's son's second birthday.

A top…

a bear in a hot air balloon…

and a blanket bunny for Kristi's baby.

 

I have to send the bunny off soon, she only has about a month left to go although I know, from experience, that the last month is the longest.

The BobaKnitters also made her this beautiful blanket, which I designed with in put from Cookie. I didn't knit on it but I did most of the seaming.

I also finished a gift for a friend who preparing to battle breast cancer. The day I found out I cast on for this gift because that's what knitters do, we cast on. I hope that my gift and the warmth it provides help her in her fight. I don't have a picture to show you because of my aforementioned uploading problem but that's probably for the best since I think she reads my blog and I haven't given it to her yet.

Wish me luck in my endeavors!

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manon of the fall done, in the fall even

My Manon is done and I really like it. (Ravelry details.)

Here are a few more pictures, including one of how I did the hook and closures. Initially I sewed them directly to the knitting but then they pulled something awful when hooked so I sewed on a strip of bias tape and sewed the closures to that. I think it looks much better.

manon is done!close up of the bias tape holding on the closureslove those cables on the skirt

I enjoyed knitting the skirt of this sweater most of all. I am already looking forward to my next Norah Gaughan pattern.

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operation washcloth

I was possessed by the washcloth urge on Sunday, as I often seem to be. I crocheted two of the Practically Hyperbolic Dishcloth while at Boba, and promptly gave them to Anabel for her girls. The wee one was interested in it while I was making it so I thought it might entertain her while Anabel got to knit. That worked for a few minutes. (Ravelry Project Details)

wiggly washcloths 1 and 2wiggly wash cloth 3another wiggly washcloth

Then yesterday I made a broomstick lace dishcloth. I have the Crochet Broomstick Lace Jacket pattern and I had no idea how to do broomstick lace, so I figured this would be good practice. I was pleasantly surprised by how the colors stacked up in the lace. (Ravelry Project Details)

broomstick lace washclothclose up

I have to say, that's a pretty cool technique. I look forward to trying it in the jacket. It's super fast too, of course.

The fourth hyperbolic dishcloth finished that ball of Sugar n Cream and I went eagerly to my Ravelry stash page to delete it and reduce my stash yardage. I hadn't entered it. Don't you hate when that happens?

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a blankety week

It's been all blankets all the time around here this week. Back in January I saw the book Knitalong online somewhere and started to think about making a blanket for Anabel's new little one. Specifically, I saw the Blessingway blanket, which looked like something Anabel would like. I talked to Kristi about it and we debated whether that was the right project, particularly since the book wasn't out and then thought about doing something more square, but what yarn? What patterns? You know, all the things you debate when starting a project. Kristi then happened to see a class a couple of friends of hers taught at her local LYS on log cabin knitting. We discussed a couple of different yarns to use and then settled on Pakucho. Kristi picked some colors and I knit the first square.

log cabin for Anabelpost-washing

We decided that we had a winner! So Mary and I wound yarn into the kits and distributed it to Janice, Lisa D, Lisa L, Karen, Rachel, Jeni, Teenuh, Jill and, last but not least, Cookie. One kit was sent off to Kristi and then I waited for them all to come back. There were more knitters than there were squares to knit, so Juls and Hannah contributed to the ordering of the yarn. The last square was delivered to me on Thursday at which point I got the crazy idea that we could finish the blanket by today because Kristi is in town and I thought it would be nice for her to be there when we gave Anabel the blanket. I sent out a desperate plea for help with seaming and Cookie, Jeni, Lisa D, Karen and Teenuh all came over yesterday evening to help. Thanks all! By 11pm, the squares were seamed.

Originally I had a crazy plan (I'm all about the crazy plans) for a border with mitered corners. Then I thought about an i-cord border. In the end I was pressed for time and overwhelmed by how large the blanket had become. Each of those blocks is 12" square! So, in the end, a crochet edging was added in natural. I did one row of single crochet and then one of half double crochet. I was pleased with the result.

I presented it to Anabel at our special Saturday-Kristi-visiting edition of BobaKnit. I'll have to leave it to someone else to post a picture of Anabel with the blanket because I, of course, forgot my camera. After all that. I hope Anabel and her new little person enjoy the blanket! Also, now that we're done, you're free to give birth. I know this blanket is just what you were waiting for. (Insert winking smiley here.)

(To those BobaKnitters mentioned here who haven't signed the card for Anabel, I have it, touch base with me so you can sign it, or email me a message to put in!)

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