"I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day Four: 31st March. Where are they now?

Whatever happened to your __________?

Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.

There are a lot of different aspects to look at when looking back at a knitting project and it can make for interesting blogging, as much of the time we blog about items recently completed, new and freshly completed. It is not so often that we look back at what has happened to these items after they have been around for a while.

How has one of your past knits lived up to wear. Maybe an item has become lost. Maybe you spent weeks knitting your giant-footed dad a pair of socks in bright pink and green stripes which he then ‘lost’. If you have knit items to donate to a good cause, you could reflect on the was in which you hope that item is still doing good for it’s owner or the cause it was made to support.

This is a fun topic.  I have made more things that never made it to Ravelry simply due to the fact that I have been knitting a lot longer than the site has been around.  I have made dozens of blankets and I love giving them as much as I did making them.

In my 20's I made my then husband and my brother knitted vests.  I know that my brother wore his well into the 90's.  It was a lovely basic vee neck done up in a tan color.  I got the pattern from a Leisure Arts book that I bought at Lee Wards in Memorial City Mall.  Part of me wants to drag out the booklet again and make some updated versions with the newer yarns.  Good thing I like men's sweater vests too, as my dad and brother are the only two I know would wear them.  I have another brother, but he is not the sewater vest kind of man....

For myself, I am most pleased with my Saraha.  I finished it in this post.  I stopped wearing it shortly after it was complered, as I was too heavy to wear it properly.  As I began to get back into shape and my new lifestyle, I started wearing it more often.  I love to wear it with white shorts in the summer to the Mucky Duck.  It is dressy enough but not too much.  I will be making a new version this year and I expect that I will get as much wear from it as I do the first one.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day Three: 30th March. Tidy mind, tidy stitches

Today's topic: How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? It seems like an easy to answer question at first, but in fact organisation exists on many levels. Maybe you are truly not organised at all, in which case I am personally daring you to try and photograph your stash in whatever locations you can find the individual skeins. However, if you are organised, blog about an aspect of that organisation process, whether that be a particularly neat and tidy knitting bag, a decorative display of your crochet hooks, your organised stash or your project and stash pages on Ravelry.

Sock Yarns - Drawer One

Sock Yarns - Drawer Two

So, this is only part of my stash.  This is the sock yarn portion.  I have several totes that have other yarns and WIP's/UFO's.  I know that I have pictures of the rest of the stash on the blog but I am far too lazy today to look for them....

I keep most of the yarn "hidden" from Sassy.  She is a HUGE deterrent to knitting.  She will lay on the entire project when necessary.  See exhibit One:

I have a small stash in my Martha Washington cabinet, which also houses all of my needles and tools that are not in my knitting bag.  Most of the stash in the living room has already been wound into cakes because Sassy won't bother them as much for some odd reason...

My goal for the year is to knit from the stash, so it will be interesting to see how these pictures change by the end of December....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Second Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

What is this you ask.  Well, head to this site and read all the details!

I participated in this last year and really enjoyed it.  Even though I am a day behind, I will make up for it all in this post!

Day One: 28th March. A Tale of Two Yarns.

As many of you know if you follow the blog at all, I love swaps.  One of the best reasons is the yarn that always is a key component of the package.  Many of my spoilers have sent me yarns that are "native" to their country or from a local Indie crafter.  Some have sent me commercially manufactured yarns as well.  This post is designed to speak to a yarn that I love and then to one that I loathe.  Since the Indie ones are not mass produced, I will just tell you that there have been many that I ahve raved about and wish I could get more; however several of them are one of a kind hanks and I love that aspect so I will not venture to brag about them.

Loathe is a bit strong, so I'll simply say that the Twin Twist by Wool In The Woods was not one of my favorites.  I know that it is no longer in production and that may be bad news for those that love it.  The colors of the skein were vibrant and I loved the name, Gem Jubilee.  Overall, I just wanted the project to be over so I didn't have to work with it any longer than necessary.  For those of you that know who you are, Noro is actually the one yarn that I do loathe and despise.  It feels like sandpaper to me.  Disclaimer, that is simply my opinion.

Sockhead Hat

Conversely, one of my all time favorites is ShiBui Sock Yarn.  It is scrumptious!  I used it to make my Clapotis and the leftovers were transformed into a Calais for Megan.  I have acquired additional skeins from Twisted Yarns for a yet to be determined project and I have my eyes set on some additional skeins in colorways that yearn to become a cardigan.  If you have not tried this yarn, you really should do so....even if you use it for something other than socks, I think you'll agree.


Megan's Calais

Day Two: 29th March. Skill + 1UP

I am directed to look back over where I was last year at this exact time and compare what I know and have accomplished against now to see progression.  What I can tell you is that I finished some VERY old UFO's last year, one that even won me a prize.

Diagonal Granny Afghan

I took on lace using sock yarns at first and then I moved to the Xie from SWTC which is bamboo thread.  I liked lace so much that I attempted to do the Ten in 2010 Challenge.  I fell short by three.  I have the Eleven in 2011 Challenge active but I am not sure if I will actually commit to it since it is March and I am doing the self imposed sock of the month club.  I also focused on knitting for myself last year and have carried it forward into this year.  I am also working from the stash this year and enjoying that as well.

As for techniques, I still have a few that I want to attempt but I am not letting that slow me down.  I'll get to them when I get to them and that suits me just fine.  I did attempt to learn how to use a drop spindle and I may return to it in the Fall but for now it is in time out.  And that is all we are going to say about it for now.

So, I am now current and will post the next installment Wednesday!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins 2011-011


And...here we go!

1. Why does it need to be so difficult to get some people to understand Power User is a giant leap above a Normal User.

2. SF and me insist that each of us is equal to the other to insure that we are a complete unit.

3. My favorite breakfast includes a mini bagel with a tablespoon of Almond Nut Butter or Peter Pan Honey Peanut Butter.

4. Tipping the Velvet was the last book I read in less than two weeks.

5. I am SO glad that I have the life I have now.

6. A DQ Blizzard would make me feel better right now.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting the house back in order after the doors were installed, tomorrow my plans include Lady Vols Round Three game versus Ohio State and Sunday, I want to do something outside!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pictures, no words.....

Friday Fill-Ins 2011-010


And...here we go!

1. I love to go to new places to eat because I love trying new things.

2. Seriously, it’s the quality!

3. The last thing I had to eat was breakfast at LaQuinta.

4. At least one old thought process is no longer essential.

5. Please take a moment to hug the one you love and call your parents.

6. Your common sense and skills have brought you this far.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to resting for the game tomorrow, tomorrow my plans include Round One of the NCAA Tourney and a return to Littons and Sunday, I want to sight-see!

(Posted today, because I forgot to set the auto post....)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins 2011-010

And...here we go!

1. Oh gross! I thought it was a pebble but it wasn't, thanks Ambre.

2. Running the half marathon and several 5 k events, well THAT's off my bucket list!

3. No, I really don't like TV, unless it is certain sporting events, certain movies or a few selected shows.  I think there are MUCH better ways to amuse oneself or other activities that are much more enjoyable.

4. Love the person you have chosen with your ENTIRE heart and soul.

5. And then I decided to try something different.

6. I can't forget my past.  It reminds me if what things to avoid and what things to forge ahead towards.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to the end of Nurse duty, tomorrow my plans include a jaunt on the Blue Flame (weather should be GREAT!) and Sunday, I want to relax and get ready for the start of MARCH MADNESS!

Friday, March 4, 2011

March Goals

So, I have been following The Knitting Doctor for a while and I must say that I love her wit.  She has been posting her monthly goals and I took that challenge.  I'm sure she has already checked to see if I've posted them...late to the party but here they are:

And what about goals for March?

  • I have the March Sock of the Month underway.  It is not as far as it should be but that will be corrected this weekend since we will be watching the ladies SEC Tournament.
  • I will be completing the "Birthday Cowl" with the Malabrigo I received from Heather in the Have a Cuppa Swap package.
  • I have also put a real focus on getting all the WIP's in my queue completed so that I can feel better about wanting to start new projects.
  • Non-knitting I want to get back to reading more nightly before bed.  That could be a challenge with March madness upon us but I will see what happens.
  • I also want to shed the last few winter pounds and get back to a more concentrated workout mode to get to that size 12 that has eluded me for the last year.
Simple enough I think.  Let's see how I do!

Friday Fill-Ins 2011-009


And...here we go!

1. Bring your favorite yarn/project and we'll work on them together.

2. In my projects pet hairs are included.

3. My relationship with SF is exactly what I needed and deserved.

4. Well, you see, I was roaming through the yarn store and some how, this just ended up in my hands, honest.

5. Spring, motorcycle rallies and swimming will be here soon!

6. But what if I make it for you, it would be perfect.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching the SEC Tournament on TV, tomorrow my plans include getting the hair did and Sunday, I want to spend time on a walk-about with SF!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Special Package from Amy

Handmade Pay-It-Forward 2011

Okay, so I have been having a really rough week but today Amy made me cry happy tears.  She posted this on her blog on the 27th of last month and I left her a comment not knowing that it was for me.  She is a sly one like that.  I am actually speechless.  All I can manage at this moment is a very heartfelt thank you and I promise to get pictures of the card and the yarn up before the week ends.

I love you AMY!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pictures, no words.....

I empty my knitting basket and look who claims it....

Trouble and Munchkin

Zoe turns 2!

Zoe turns 2!

Valentines 2011

Sassy contemplating how to take over the Computer Room

Have a Cuppa Swap

Have A Cuppa Swap 2011

Last week I received the contents shown above as part of the first swap for 2011.  The name of the swap was Have A Cuppa.  We had to include a cup, yarn (of course), a beverage of our partner's liking (coffee/tea/cocoa) and a surprise item.  Heather did an AMAZING job!

The orange slices are one of my favorites and I have posted about them a gazillion times.  I love the project bag and the matching smaller bag.  The pair are perfect to take a project and all the necessary tools all in one matching manner.  The cup is fab!  I have already used some of the coffee in my espresso maker and then using the new cup I was ale to add my own froth and cinnamon and sugar.  Divine I tell you.  And the yarn....Malabrigo worsted in colorway Burgundy (41).  It was tossed into the knitting bag last night for the heck of it as I went to the CLACK meeting and before I knew it I was working on the Birthday Cowl.

It is not the first time I have received Malabrigo (Amy has sent me some too....); however, it is the first time that I ever cast on with it.  I didn't even have the hank wound into a cake.  I just opened it up and started casting on the required 99 stitches.  I love the way it feels so far and the color will look so rich with my black wool coat.  If the pattern is correct, I should be able to make it in a day and with one skein.  We shall see.

February Socks

"Oh You Pretty Things" Test Knit

"Oh You Pretty Things" Test Knit

The February Socks were a test knit for Amy.  The pattern was wonderfully written and they were a very quick knit, even though it took me about eighteen days to finish them.  I used the Regia Bamboo for them and they are so soft.  I haven't worn them yet but they are washed and blocked and standing by.

The lace pattern was an easy four row repeat and I can see using it again in a scarf or perhaps a beret.  I can feel a pattern adjustment coming or perhaps I'll just write my own.  I HIGHLY recommend that you take a peak at the pattern and make a pair for yourself!

January Socks

"Blame It On Jordan"

"Blame It On Jordan"

So, the January Socks are called "Blame It On Jordan".  The reason is very simple.  I had Jordan over in late January and I had originally started a pair of socks with SWTC Tofutsies.  The pattern called for you to cast on 189 stitches and over the next two rows decrease down to 69 stitches.  I was very irked by this and had not gotten far at all.  Jordan was showing me all of his projects and he insisted that I needed to make the Penispoopcakewaffle Sock.

What is this you ask?  Here is the exact description from the pattern:

This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download
This pattern was designed for a knit-a-long for the SuperSeriousSockKnitters group.
The penises (penii? penes?) are in the cuff/frosting. The sample sock is Red Velvet Cakewaffle, and the heel and toe represent bird poo.
For more about cakewaffles, poopwaffles, peniswaffles, peniscakewaffles, and penispoopcakewaffles, see the Completely Pointless and Arbitrary Group Group.
Note! The smaller size has been added to the pattern!!
Another note! The G-rated cuff variation (Thanks, Glenna!) is available if you click the “download” button.

I was fascinated so I gathered up the yarns and away I went.  I kept saying over and over that it was all Jordan's fault that I was making socks with an object that I really have no desires towards.  Obviously, it didn't stop me from making them.  Megan loved them, as they were part of her latest birthday present.