2

Bloomin’ Granny

granny 2

 

ABOUT THE TITLE:  The name of this project is an ode to the Beastie Boys’ “Boomin’ Granny”. Although, Grandma A– is more of a “Bloomin’ Granny” ♥

PATTERN:  #24 Lacy Wrap by Mari Lynn Patrick (Knit Simple Magazine, Holiday 2011)

YARN:  Laines du Nord Cashsilk, Color #676 – Berry

YARDAGE:  14.68 skeins/983.6 yds (899.4 meters for Stash Dash 2015)

KNITTING DURATION:  January 9, 2015 – June 28, 2015 (with a break between February & May)

PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED:  Here

RECIPIENT:  Grandma Funk

DODGY BITS:  There are errors in the chart that would make it difficult to knit if you were inexperienced (Knit “Simple”? Really?). If you are interested in reading detailed info on navigating these errors successfully (and you are a Ravelry member) feel free to check out my project here on Ravelry and/or message me. I’m glad to help!

BLISS FACTOR:  10


It seems I am averse to discussing my knitting projects during their construction phase, as I have only mentioned this project one time in the months I have been working on it. Perhaps that is a direct by-product of my knitting “method” which consists of obsession, acquisition, established relationship maintenance, boredom, distraction, and ultimate abandonment. Good thing my “method” doesn’t extend to relationships with people.

Or perhaps the guilt of abandonment and exposure of my character flaws deters me from discussing past knitting history. Either way, I am overhauling my ways and trying harder to stay focused on one project at a time. Which means you may be hearing more from me throughout a knitting project. Or not. We shall see.

So, a bit about this project……

I knit this as a gift for my husband’s grandmother A–. She is a wonderfully kind, strong, and loving lady who has fully adopted me as part of the family. We frequently talk on the phone about reading in bed and needing something to cover our shoulders. Though she is a knitter, she is strictly an acrylic blanket knitter (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) and I thought it would be nice to make her something pretty that she could put around her shoulders instead of the small blanket she claims to use. Once, when she and Grandpa were on a stopover in town I took her into my LYS (Apple Yarns) and we looked at all the pretty things for a little while. She picked up some yarn in the same shade as the yarn I used for this project, saying how pretty it was. I can’t wear this color myself, but thought it would be a fantastic way to use this gorgeous yarn and gift it to someone truly deserving and special. My husband tells me that I will make her cry when she receives this. I kind of hope so. Not because I would want to make someone cry, but because he says she’ll cry since no one has ever made anything just for her. She is always making and doing for others instead, because that’s who she is. It will make me happy to let her know that I am always thinking of her and am grateful for the way she holds together her family.

This project was so much fun to knit!  In a sick way, I have come to enjoy short rows. You feel like your knitting is going so much more quickly, especially when working a lace chart, because you are only knitting partway across certain rows. And this yarn? Scrumptious.  I am so happy that I have more of it in my stash (it’s discontinued) in a color that does suit me.  I’m imagining a cuddly, warm winter/fall sweater the color of roasted coffee somewhere in my future. And maybe you’ll actually hear about it before I finish it. Maybe.


Stash Dash Update: 252 meters + 899.4 meters = 1151.4 meters

4

Fifty Shades of Lame

  • Working on a sweater (Artichoke French) until it’s 85% finished and then neglecting it for over a year…….. Lame.
  • Picking up that sweater and working on it, thinking to yourself, “Man, I am killing it! I’m totally going to finish this in a few hours”, only to find the decreases got effed up somewhere along the way and you have no idea when that happened……… Lamer.
  • Tinking back over two full skeins’ worth of yarn (because there are about 80 million markers so there’s no way you can just rip it all out at once) and still not finding where the mistake occurred…….. Lamest.
  • Realizing there is no candy or alcohol in the house and you are feeling crazy and desperate…… Totally lame.
  • Your child is sleeping and you can neither leave your sleeping child at home in order to procure candy and alcohol, nor justify waking him up to do so…..lame lame lame.
  • Starting a new pair of socks because you can’t stand the thought of tinking back more of that damn sweater……La-a-a-aaaaaaame.
  • Trying not to think about the fact that you may have to go all the way back to where the sleeve and body are joined before being able to fix this epic mistake…….

ALL sorts of lame.

0

The Hardware Store

She loved the hardware store. The odor of fresh, clean wood mingled with the scent of possibility never failed to bolster her spirits. Here, a girl could start anew; make her own future. And it amused her to see the expressions on the faces of the men surrounding her. Grizzled old-timers and beefy construction types alike, paused in their study of the merchandise to observe this strange creature meander past. Because she chose to wear her normal attire (no dumpy work-stained clothing here) she was rewarded with both displays of slack-jawed puzzlement and generously amused grins. They thought she might be lost. She smiled secretly. She knew exactly what she wanted and how to find it. She always had.

6

Make This House A Home

For several weeks now, along with my morning coffee, I have been doggedly scouring the interwebs for DIY home improvement ideas; searches such as: “paint colors that work with honey oak”, “installing a tile backsplash”, “organizing your cupboards”, “fixing a weathered exterior door frame” and so on. If you can fix it tor improve it, I’ve probably checked it out. Pinterest and I are finally becoming good buddies. But I’m a little afraid. I can do many things but I don’t claim to be handy around the house, even though I come complete with my own cordless drill and an assortment of hand tools which I pretty much know how to use. Never mind that they were left in my care by a former boyfriend who never came back to claim them. However if I tell you the backstory, perhaps you’ll understand my urge to plunge into the home improvement arena sans any real life building skills.

R. Darling and I have been together 14 years as of this summer (11 of those years married). He purchased our house new before we met, and a few short years later I moved in for good.  Yet I have always identified this house as his house, not our house. I did not pay for it, I did not have the fun of hunting for it with him, therefore it is not mine (in my mind). Though I may refer to it as “our house” in discussion, my heart doesn’t believe it. I still ask for permission to change things around and he still tells me this is my home too and I am allowed to do whatever I want with it. Recently I have come to realize that I want more than just a house. I want a home. A place that reflects the people and things I love most. I spend an awful lot of time here. I should love my surroundings and they should reflect a part of me back to myself when I am here.

Just what I have in mind.....

Just what I have in mind…..

via yaydecor.com

Time has taken its toll on our once modest, but new, home. There are scratches on the baseboard moldings and lower two feet of most walls from the two pooches that were part of R. Darling’s family before I arrived. The paint is peeling on myriad surfaces of kitchen and bathroom, and the house has settled over the years, resulting in some rather frightening cracks in the drywall around major archways. The hall closet suffers from lack of organization; our current shelf system just does not meet our storage needs and I feel that the space is not being utilized to its full potential (enter interwebs searches for: “DIY closet built-ins”). And don’t get me started on all the gold-tone hardware and Hollywood dressing room lighting in the bathrooms. Can you say 90’s?

But this place is ours. We will most likely live here for the rest of our lives unless our dream of retiring to Anacortes when our son is grown ever bears fruit. It is time to make it a home.

So be afraid. Be very afraid. In the coming months I may be exposing you to all the dirty little secrets around my home. My epic fails and massive triumphs will be here for all to see. That scares me almost more than the thought of installing tile or possibly electrocuting myself when switching out the dreaded strip lights in the bathrooms. But I hope you’ll stick along for the ride.  There is bound to be lots of tears and laughter! And ultimately, the realization of a dream. What more could we ask for?

6

All Sorts of Random

Oops I did it again,
I played with some yarn,
got lost in the game,
oh baby baby.

So far summer has been cr-a-a-zy with a capital cray cray. Karate, playdates, birthday parties, park ventures, bike riding, berry picking, canning, home maintenance and all sorts of other nonsense.  Rare is the day we aren’t rushing off to something.  And swimming hasn’t even started yet (that will be every day!).  While busy is nice in its own way, I find myself wishing for a quiet afternoon with an iced mocha and my knitting.  No need to answer a question every two seconds, deal with the inevitable: “I’m bored!”, force feed the kid, mediate wrestling matches between boy and dog, or worry about keeping everyone on track for work and bedtimes. A real lazy summer afternoon. Or morning.  I’d take a morning in a heartbeat. How come only kids get summer vacation?

Despite all that, I’m making some slow progress on Stash Dash. The hat pictured left and center is Ombre by ChemKnits. I had fun knitting this one, and working through all my “manly” colored worsted weight scraps. This one clocked in at 135 yds for Stash Dash. The red hat in the final picture is the Ribbed Watchman’s Hat by Channah Koppel. I knit one of these for R. Darling and it is his absolute favorite go-to hat.  He probably needs another one in black, come to think of it. This hat came in at 140.6 yds.  Both hats were knit for Recovery Cafe via a request from the Pacific Northwest Ravelers Group on Ravelry, so I get to mail them off in a couple months to a happy new home.

Current Stash Dash total: 275.6 yds (approximately 252 meters).

Pretty miserable, I’ll admit. I do have a couple big(gish) things nearing completion that will hopefully put me back on track to reach my 5K goal.  But since I’m an unofficial entry anyway, I’m not sweating it too hard.  Just focusing on knitting from stash and finishing some UFO’s will be a reward in itself.

And now for the previously advertised “All Sorts of Random” portion of today’s blogcast…..

I am currently reading “In The Heart of the Sea” by Nathaniel Philbrick, and in searching for images to put in the sidebar for my “Current Reads” widget, I noticed that it is coming out as a movie this year. With Chris Hemsworth no less. This book was published in 2000 and how is it that not only did I choose to read it this month (it’s been in my book stash for a long time), but someone else apparently chose to make it into a movie for release right around the same time?  Curious.  I am never timely with these things. But for once I’ll be in the know. I’m about halfway through the book at the moment and I honestly do not know how they will make any sort of movie out of this. It’s astonishingly depressing so far.  But maybe they’re counting on Chris Hemsworth in period whaling attire to uplift everyone’s spirits.  I’ll have to examine the trailers thoroughly and report back to you.

Guess what? I am in the process of opening an Etsy shop. But that’s all I’m going to say at the moment :) Don’t go looking for it in the middle of the night when you have come to the end of the intrawebs and exhausted youtube’s supply of cute kitty videos or something. You won’t find it. But trust me. When it’s up, you’ll be the first to know.

And now some WordPress questions worthy of a noob. What’s the deal with people following you who don’t seem to have anything in common with you in the slightest? I mean, it’s kind of flattering to see my number of followers slowly increasing, but I’m kind of curious why they’d bother to follow me. I’m not entertaining. I’m not rich, or cool, or famous, or interesting. Do they just hope I’ll follow them too? Really, if you know the answer, I’d love to hear it. And lastly, when I respond to your comment on my blog, do you get to see it?  Back in the “old” days of my blog I responded to each comment via e-mail, assuming people would not care to come back to the blog to see if I responded to them. But now that WordPress allows you to follow comments, I want to make sure that if I do respond here you get to see it. Please let me know! I want to make sure you know if I’m responding :)

Now back to our regularly scheduled summer programming…..

2

On The Down Low

Hey you. Yeah. You. C’mere.

I’ve got a secret.

Shhhhhhhh….. Keep it down. I don’t want that project in my knitting bag to hear this.

I’ve been sewing. Yeah. Sewing.

Worst of all? I’ve been enjoying it.

Knitting has been my addiction avoidance tool procrastination temptation true love for so long now, that I kind of forgot about my lifelong affair with fabric and sewing.  I’ve been sewing (not necessarily very well) for as long as I can remember, starting with stitching up my first lovey Sissy, when I was probably 6 or so. Good thing (hmmmm, the good part is questionable) there’s a pretty prolific stash of fabric in the garage and my husband bought me a super nice Pfaff a few years back. As per my usual MO when faced with a holiday or big time event, I decided it was absolutely necessary to engage in some kind of epic crafting bonanza. My good intentions usually stress me out in the end. But this time wasn’t so bad.

A couple years ago I was gifted an Ouch Pouch in a swap and I thought this would be a great gift to give the Moms from preschool as an end of the year thank you gift. The construction was simple and making 18 of them was great practice. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out!

ouch pouch photo

Now that summer is in full swing, I’m do my very dashiest to keep up with the rest (well actually, just my friend Knitting Up North) competing in Stash Dash 2015.  I’ve got yardage to report, but I need a few pics first so I’ll check back soon with those. Until then I’ll be singing, “….sunny day, everything’s A-ok, on my way to where the air is sweet….” 

Hope your days are sunny and sweet too!

 

5

Finishing Frenzy

School’s out for summer!

Well, almost.  Knittymunchkin has one more official day of preschool tomorrow (and then he’ll no longer be a preschooler! sniff. NO I’m NOT getting verklempt!).  But I’m all done with Freshman Year of Loopy Academy.  Woot!  I cut it close this time with getting everything finished up and photographed, but I did it.  Here are my last two projects for Freshman Year….

modest iphone3

For the “Slipped Stitches” project, I decided to knit the Modest Pullover by Ashley Rao (Interweave Knits, Winter 2015). Damn, this was a challenge for me!  It wasn’t the knitting that was the problem, it was the seaming.  I have always been intimidated by the thought of seaming a sweater.  I started my knitting “career” right around the time that knitters everywhere were going nuts over the idea of knitting seamless sweaters. So, I’m ashamed to say, I’ve only knit seamless until now.  This seemed like a great way to do a little of both and maybe ease myself into the idea of working something with seams. Ha ha ha.  I’m still laughing at myself over that one.  While I was working on this sweater, Knittymunchkin started up karate and the first two month’s life skill discussions were: “No struggle = No strength” & “Perserverence”.  You can bet I was listening closely while I read those pamphlets out loud to the kiddo.  In this case I have to thank Loopy Academy and their dangling carrot of “a special prize” for keeping me on task (What? A “special prize?” It’s like moths to a flame, baby). Without that deadline, you can bet this sucker would be stuffed in a big tote somewhere and forgotten for, oh, about 5 years at least. My average sweater completion time kinda blows.  But no, I persevered. And I knit those seams over, and over, and over, and over. Seriously.  I lost count how many times I ripped them out and started again.  But, the end result is not entirely amateurish.  I will still wear this and maybe (or maybe not) I’ll be inspired to knit another seamed or partially seamed sweater in the future.

My “Felted/Fulled” project went much more smoothly.  I made the Braided Cable Handle Tote by Amanda Silveira. Oh I see all my random worsted weight yarn being made into these.  Lots of fun to knit and really lovely once felted.   It felted so easily in my front loader I had to pinch myself; considered going out to buy a lottery ticket or something. I sewed in a fabric lining (somewhat successfully) and will be gifting this to my son’s preschool teacher as an end of the year gift.

felt bag2

And so…… Stash Dash 2015 has officially started!  I’ve already completed one item and have a couple more in the works. I’m also going through my Ravelry notebook and trying to sort out what’s actually finished and just needs to be officially “completed”.  It will be a lot easier to keep track of WIPs that need work that way. Right now it’s kind of a mess! But we’ll talk about that next time. Until then, I hope your summer is off to a great start!!