6

Snot Rocket

Yes, that’s right.  My precious angel has recently infected me with the crud and both our noses are dripping like your favorite ice cream cone on a sweltering summer day.  I guess we’ve been pretty lucky.  It’s April after all, and this is our first bout of the year. Of course Knittymunchkin is made of rubber and you can hardly tell that he probably feels terrible, between his cold and the last two teeth that are trying to push through.  If only I could be so cheerful.  I just want to lay in bed watching trashy movies and sleeping for, oh, the next week.  Not happening.
 
Anyway, it’s Thursday again.  I have missed the last two (three, if you count my pass week).  But just because I haven’t posted, doesn’t mean I haven’t been chipping away at my goals.  I think the exercise of trying to write about it once a week has done its work, without me actually having to go so far as to bore you with my tales of semi-reformed hoarderliness.  That doesn’t mean I won’t continue to write about it, I just may not wax as poetic about it as I have up to this point (you don’t get off that easy, puh-lease!).  The emotionally charged items I expect to give up now and then will still get their due, but things that go by the wayside more easily will hopefully receive a little more brevity on my part.
 
So.  The Update:
 
Week 13 (March 29, 2012):  Pass from Week 7’s massive offload
 
Week 14 (April 5, 2012):  Candle & Bath stuff brought out of stash & put to use, pre-pregnancy jeans with hole in goddess grotto (ha ha) thrown out, 30 minutes of declutter every Tuesday established
 
Week 15 (April 12, 2012): 10 balls of yarn sent out via RAK, almost 1 lb. of dishcloth cotton scraps sent out via RAK, stickers sent out via RAK, sweater pledged via RAK underway, book mailed out via Bookmooch
 
Week 16 (this week): Book to Bookmooch
 
I’ll admit it.  The jeans were a little hard to part with.  I loved the way they fit when I was skinny; key phrase: when I was skinny.  Realistically, as much as I would love to fit into them again, I never will.  It’s a sad day when you feel defeated by your waistline.  My brain raced with reasons to keep them: the hole’s not that big, you can hardly see it, you could wear them to garden, you might fit into them again someday, they’re so cuuuuuuuute.  I gulped and threw them in the trash.  Immediately I felt the irrational urge to fish them out.  Instead, I walked away and found something else to occupy my mind.  And then….  I totally forgot about them.  Huh.  So that’s how it’s supposed to work!
 
That same week I was reading an article in SHAPE magazine written by the experts who counsel the people on “Hoarders”.  There were lots of tips in there on how to cut down on your clutter and get more organized.  I was particularly struck by the one that said you should set aside thirty minutes on a specific day each week to de-clutter.  It sounded like a great idea.  Now that I have a lot less structure in my days, being that I report to Knittymunchkin instead of a 9-5 workplace, I find it a lot harder to focus and get things accomplished.  You’d think somehow it would be easier, with all that time in my day, but it really isn’t.  Time with a two year old vanishes faster than you can say “Elmo”.  So scheduling specific organization time seemed like a great idea.  I chose Tuesday evenings for my new plan and so far it has worked really well.  Thirty minutes is long enough to get something done, but not long enough to feel like you are chained to a specific task.  The first week I could actually see the top of part of my desk again after just one session.  I’d realistically like to do this more than once a week, but for right now one session is about all I can commit to.  Still, it helps!
 

Little Bubbles Baby Set - Yoke


 
I mentioned that in Week 15 I pledged a sweater via the Random Acts of Kindness Group on Ravelry.  Every month you can post a wishlist and this month I posted on my wishlist that I needed a knitting recipient.  I had two kits for the Little Bubbles Baby Set from KnitPicks, and I never got around to knitting them for Knittymunchkin.  Now that he’s too big for the biggest size, it’s kind of a lost cause to make it for him.  So someone answered my request and I’m knitting this for her 5 month old.  Hopefully, by the time I finish it it will be the perfect size for her :)  The colors I have aren’t sold anymore (or shown on the pattern page) but I love them.  Knitting this makes me wish I’d had more time to knit things for Knittymunchkin before he was born.  Oh well.  Maybe I’ll save that second kit for the grandchild I may have one day.  I know that’s planning pretty far in advance, but it would be worth it to have it when the time is right.  Uh oh. Maybe I really haven’t made any progress!
 
Off to sniffle in bed with a book for a while.  Hope you are all staying healthy & happy!

7

Sock Summit 2011 Day 3: July 30, 2011 – Far Afield

Back to our regularly scheduled Sock Summit Update (warning – picture heavy)….
 
Saturday morning found us a little more leisurely than usual.  That’s not to say we slept in, but Jess didn’t have class at all that day and Troy and I didn’t have class until 1:30 PM so there was no rush to get out the door immediately.  We had decided this would be the perfect morning to do a little exploring and we thought the Farmer’s Market would be the perfect thing to do.  Jess was amazing and pretty much figured out exactly where we needed to go and which TriMet route we’d need to take to get there.  Luckily, we were in the free zone for where we wanted to go, so it was super easy.  All I can say is, kudos to Portland for their public transportation!  If only we had something this nice where I live.  Of course, it’s not hard to get around in my town, but there are times where I’d like to not have to worry about driving or parking.
 

Skidmore Fountain


 
We hopped the Trimet to the Skidmore Fountain stop which was a quick 5 minutes or less from the Convention Center block. At our stop, I was initially put off by the group of scruffy looking loiterers shouting obscenities at each other over their shopping cart, but we just walked the other way and I put it out of my mind.  What caught my eye first was the historic architecture surrounding us; buildings with flourishes, and the historic colonnade housing a portion of the market.  I never cease to be fascinated by old structures and their histories.  The stories are there, buried, waiting for me to discover them.  I wonder about the people who lived and worked here. What was life like for them?  Were they happy, sad, indifferent?  As I soaked it in I snapped a few photos for posterity.
 

Architectural Details of The Colonnade


 

The Saturday Market - Portland, OR


 
We wandered, we looked, we soaked it in.  I found a lot of inspiration at the market, seeing all kinds of items that had been re-created from vintage or cast off things; upcycling being the buzz word I presume.  This has always been an interest of mine and seeing examples of this in the marketplace gave me all sorts of ideas for future projects.  I bought a couple of leather cuffs made from old belts.  Because I needed to “toughen up my image” I told Troy.  Couldn’t hurt.  Before long we were getting hungry and we decided we’d all divide up and get the food that sounded best to each of us.  Troy and Jess convinced me I’d love pierogies, which I had never before tried, so I bought my lunch at a cute little cart just across the street from the Portland Saturday Market sign up above.  Mmmmm…. Potato and cheese filling with onions and bacon on top.  I have to say, my first experience with pierogies was a blissful one!  Troy, who was holding a table for us, had to have the same after I came back with mine.
 

My First Pierogies


 
The picture is a bit blurry you see, because I was salivating so hard I could barely hold the camera straight :)  I told Jess and Troy that I did believe my blog was starting to turn into a food blog as most of the pictures I took over the weekend seemed to be of food!  After eating and looking a bit more, we thought we spotted the mecca of doughnut shops – Voodoo doughnuts – on an adjacent corner, and had to have a look for ourselves.  As we got closer, we asked a few people what the situation was and they told us that the line was at least an hour long.  An hour long!  And it was mid-morning, not even breakfast hour anymore.  Of course, there is no bad time for a doughnut.  But none of us was down with waiting an hour just to say we’d been there.  We satisfied ourselves with snapping a picture of the sign and Jess even got a guy sitting outside at a table, about to bite into a doughnut the size of his head, to agree to having his photo taken.  I’m pretty sure one of his friends had one of those specialty maple doughnuts with bacon on top.  Oy.
 

All Hail Voodoo Doughnuts!


 
After that, we wandered around a little longer to see what we could see.  We thought maybe there’d be a fun little shopping district or some such somewhere near all this other goodness, but no such luck.  We did see this, which explained a lot:
 

Keep Portland Weird!


 
Coming up on Chinatown, we thought perhaps there would be something fun to explore here too, but it was all but dead.  I did find the entrance enchanting though, and thought a rather funny sign deserved preservation on film.  Do you think they realized what they were advertising?  Or did they think it was funny too?
 

Entrance To Chinatown


 

Hung Far Low


 
Perhaps this was old Chinatown and there is a new and bustling Chinatown somewhere else in Portland.  By then in our travels, it was getting close to time to head back.  So we boarded the TriMet and were on our way back to the Convention Center.  I’d had a raging headache all day and it wasn’t getting any better.  I think we got some coffee before our class and maybe poked around the Marketplace again and at 1:30 PM Troy and I headed to our Perfect Rib Class with Cookie A.  I have to admit, I wasn’t feeling 100% by the time we got to class, and there was a lot to cram into this one-hour wonder.  Despite Cookie A. being a friendly, knowledgeable, and all around excellent instructor, my brain was at maximum capacity and most definitely not firing on all cylinders.  So I didn’t get much out of it, unfortunately.  Through no one’s fault but my own, of course.  There were lengthy handouts that I brought home and I imagine I will study them later, the next time I get around to trying to design my own sock.  I loved the idea that you can incorporate ribbing into the pattern itself (the main idea of this class) and I think that is perhaps why Cookie A.’s designs are among the most beautiful of all sock patterns.  Her ribs never look just stuck on, in fact, everything flows seamlessly together into a harmonious design.  I know accomplishing this myself with my own pattern, will make much more sense when I can sit down and study it later with my brain in a more receptive state.
 

Cookie A.!


 
After class, we met up with Jess again and decided it was time for another field trip.  We piled into Troy’s car this time (I think yesterday’s trek had taught us that it would be much more relaxing to drive just in case we got lost again) and headed to the nearest LYS, Portland’s Twisted.  What a sweet little shop!  They had all sorts of yarns my LYS doesn’t carry and a lot of local indie dyed stuff that was really fun to see.  The Twisted booth at the Marketplace at Sock Summit had been handing out 10% off coupons for the brick and mortar shop, so of course we had to take advantage.  I bought some beautiful Madelinetosh Tosh Merino in “Grasshopper” for a slouchy hat.  I love slouch hats, but don’t know if they love me back. I’m thinking this is a bit like shawls.  They look funny on you only if you feel funny in them.  You have to work it and just know you are cool and then, in turn, you will be cool.  It’s my new experiment.
 

Twisted Yarn Shop - Portland, OR


 
Jess asked the gals in the shop for a restaurant recommendation and they gave us a few.  Jess and I were thinking sushi, but after driving back and forth a bunch, with no sushi place materializing, we settled for the one place they recommended that we could actually find: Cha! Cha! Cha! Taqueria.  It was cool inside and inviting.  Most of the clientele were seated outside, so it was nice to have the place to ourselves.  The food was billed to be authentic and locally sourced which is apparently a condition for every restaurant in Portland.  But you know, I do believe it makes a difference!  Our meal was delicious.  Troy and Jess got something called Molcajete that Jess says is served at one of her favorite restaurants back home.  All I know is it arrives in a ginormous sizzling bowl of goodness and smells heavenly!  I got poblano chile and cheese tamales and we all got the requisite frosty adult beverage necessary to complete a summer meal such as this.
 

Jess & Troy


 

Mmmm... Tamales & a Margarita!


 
After dinner was consumed, we headed back to the convention center for a “special kind of baby shower” in honor of Ravelry founders Casey and Jess’ new baby Eloise.  Each of us had knitted a hat to donate to the cause and it was astounding to arrive there and see the sheer number of sweet knitted things that people had made.  There were several gift bags on the tables and I was a little confused as to what that was all about until Tina Newton and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee started looking into one of them and exclaiming over the huge amounts of tiny socks nestled inside.  I guess that one knitter had gone sock wild and knit dozens upon dozens of socks for donation.  Kind of made me feel a little subpar with my one measly hat :(  But I guess every little bit helps!
 

My Little Hat for Eloise's Charity Baby Shower


 
We kind of thought that, since it was a baby shower and all, there should have been some cake or something.  But no cake.  We settled for milkshakes from Burgerville (yum!) and some knitting in Troy’s room instead.  I’d all but convinced Troy and Jess to take on the Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL 2011: Earth & Sky with me so we purchased the pattern and discussed color choices while sipping our cool frosty treats.  After a while Jess and I bid Troy goodnight and headed back to our room for some shuteye.  A thoroughly wonderful, totally exhausting day.  And one of the best ever in recent memory! And tomorrow would mean goodbye :(

10

Someone Has Been Knitting?

Wow, it’s been a while.  I suppose an explanation is in order.  You see, I’ve rather sadly become one of those bloggers that doesn’t blog regularly anymore :(  I see my stats dropping like the dirty bastard moths I am still swiping at now and again and though I feel deep sadness over that, I have come to the conclusion that there isn’t much I can do about it right now.  Time for blogging will come more regularly again (I hope!), but my focus is elsewhere for the time being.  Mostly on that little cherub napping in his room upstairs ;)
 
The silver lining to this is that I actually have knitting to show you!  Yes, I have actually been finishing things.  I’ve been subscribing to a new philosophy on knitting (and life in general) i.e., completing what I start and eliminating the baggage of everything else.  This is sort of new to me, and it’s actually been easier and more satisfying than I expected.  I think the first time I started and finished something this year and didn’t allow myself to start something else in the meantime, was just the boost I needed to break my habit.  Experiencing how good it feels to get that last stitch finished and take those photos so I can mark it “completed” in Ravelry has become downright addicting.
 
I know, I know.  Get to the pretty pictures already!  No one wants to hear you tooting your own horn.  So, I’ll dispense with the pleasantries and get down to it.  Just the nitty gritty deets for now and I’ll chit chat more next time.
 

Twisted


 

  • Pattern: Twisted by Galia Lael  (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Approximately 156 yds of Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky in “Wild Violet”
  • Needles:  16 inch Size 9 & 10.5 bamboo circs
  • Mods:  None
  • Completed:  January 27, 2011

 
I made this for Amy as her Pay It Forward 2011 gifty.  This was such a quick and addicting knit!  Amy loves purple and she really likes hats, so this was a fun (and hopefully useful) thing to make for her.  I don’t have a lot of purple in my stash, but I did have this pretty yarn and it was just the right amount for this beret.  I was sweating having enough until the very last stitch, but squeaked by with just the right amount.  My first time blocking a hat on a dinner plate!
 

Multnomah


 

  • Pattern: Multnomah by Kate Elsa  (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Approximately 484 yds of Hill Country Yarns Superfine Supersock in “Blueberry Wine”
  • Needles:  24 inch size 3 addi lace turbos
  • Mods:  Knit extra lace repeats (19 total) to increase size of shawl
  • Completed:  March 23, 2011

 
A gift for Lisa, this was my second completed Pay It Forward gifty for the year.  Lisa is also a purple fan!  I thought the colors would be perfect for her and I really wanted to knit a shawl. I love knitting shawls, even if I don’t wear them :) It turned out as more of a shawlette, even though I did many more repeats of the feather and fan pattern than were called for in the original pattern. I think the yarn was closer to laceweight than fingering; more than I’d realized initially. But I’m still happy with how it turned out and Lisa tells me she really likes it too. Hooray! Blocked this with blocking wires. My very first time! They are amazing, let me tell ya…..
 

Undergrowth


 

  • Pattern: Undergrowth by Mandy Powers (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Approximately 101 yds of Frog Tree Alpaca Sport in “#23” (Red; MC) + 79 yds Knit Picks Andean Treasure in “Meringue Heather” (Cream; CC)
  • Needles:  16 inch size 4 bamboo circs & dpns
  • Mods:  None!
  • Completed:  April 29, 2011

 
This hat was for Jess (my 3rd Pay It Forward gifty for 2011).  Jess mentioned one of her favorite colors was red and that she really liked hats (but never seemed to get to make one for herself).  I saw this pattern and had to make one.  It worked out perfectly because I had just the right red in my stash already!  A while back Jess wrote a post about “Potato Chip Knitting”.  You know, the kind you can’t put down?  I’d never heard that before and thought it was super clever :)  My potato chip knitting just happens to be colorwork, so how fitting that she should be the recipient of this hat!  This pattern was fantastic.  The instructions were clear & concise, and the design was amazing.  I would make about a zillion more of these if I had that many heads to put them on :)  I seriously couldn’t put this down.  So, I’ll just put this out there: if you want one and don’t have the skillz, time, or desire to knit one, let me know!  If you got the yarn, I got the time ;)
 

The Kumfy Schluttli


 

  • Pattern: The Kumfy Schluttli by Meg Layaw (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Approximately 232.5 yds of Dream In Color Classy in “Beach Fog”
  • Needles:  24 inch size 8 bamboo circs & dpns
  • Size:  3-9 months
  • Completed:  May 19, 2011

 
I made this little sweater for a Ravelry penpal who just had a little boy in March.  I was kind of pushing it size-wise perhaps, but was hoping it would still fit him for a little.  Jess will recognize this yarn since I received it in trade from her sometime last year :)  What a truly adorable sweater!  And what a truly sketchy pattern.  I was surprised at that, but was ultimately able to figure things out, having knit a fair number of raglans by now in my knitting “career”.  Personally, I prefer patterns that lay it all out for you, and don’t appreciate it when things seem vague or too “casual” in the instructions.  But that’s just me.  Anyway, I can see myself making a few more of these.  It was super quick and satisfying to knit, and only took 1 hank of yarn!
 
Whew!  I suppose if I didn’t store stuff up to post it would go a lot faster (it’s already taken me 2 days to finish this post).  Anyhoo, I’ve got 2 more FO’s waiting to be blocked and a half-finished Spectra (OMG. LOVE.) to show soon too.  Guess I’d better get a move on!
 
Knit happy, blogg peeps :)

8

Completionitis

Guess what?  I got a fever and the only prescription is…. more FO’s!
 
O.K.  Totally not as funny as this, but it’s what I was thinking.  I had a pretty great, semi-clever original title for this post.  I thought of it the other day as I was emptying the dryer of its fifth load of laundry for the day, and re-loading it from the washer with its sixth load.  I giggled to myself.  And then I didn’t write it down and it dribbled away through the sieve of mommyhood.  The one that filters out anything that doesn’t require immediate damage control and leaves me with such fruits as: Where is the baby?,  What was that noise?,  Gah!  Get that out of your mouth right now!,  How did he destroy that magazine/entire room/entire outfit/entire train of thought in 1.2 seconds flat?  What can I say?  Life is awesome.
 
So that’s it.  You get a one word title today.  And I’ve got me a notebook in reaching distance.  At least until Knittymunchkin finds it….
 
Lately I am all about finishing stuff.  This is so totally freaking me out because I’m not usually like this.  I’m the one with the UFO “problem” who can’t stop starting new stuff and abandoning it for the next knit that comes along.  Ooooh, shiny!  Sorry, I got distracted there for a minute.  See?  But I am on a total freakin’ ROLL and it feels good.  Within the last few weeks I’ve finished Knittymunckin’s Roar, the first of 7 (yeah, 7!, how did that happen?) Pay It Forward gifts, Cherry Fizz (I think Hell might have just frozen over), the first mitten of my Smitten project for Knittymunchkin, and I’m hard core rockin’ the Jaywalkers.  Man this is great!  I hope it will last, but you know me…..
 

A Rawr For Keeping Warm


 

  • Pattern: Roar, A Dinosaur Hat by Kate Oates  (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Approximately 62 yds of Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Alpaca Love in “Fern” & approximately 48.8 yds in “Espresso Bean”
  • Needles:  Size 7 dpns & 16 inch circular
  • Mods:  None

 

 
This hat was super quick to knit and turned out pretty cute, though I wasn’t 100% satisfied with my skillz at stitching on the spikes.  I used a whipstitch for lack of a better idea and though I tried to make it as unobtrusive as possible, you can still see a little bit of it here and there where the dark yarn contrasts with the green background.  Oh well.  I figured he will probably destroy it anyway at some point.  That’s if I can ever get him to wear it!  He absolutely abhors having stuff on his head, as you can see in the outtake :)
 

No Mommy! Don't make me wear this!


 
Now maybe there’s just enough of naptime left to get a little knitting in! I gots me a fever!

7

Needles For Hire

Ah how I adore autumn.  The way the sunlight looks like warm honey spilling over my afternoon, the crisp chill in the morning air that makes me hug my coffee cup just a little tighter, and the sumptuous shades of saffron, pumpkin, and red velvet drifting like a mutable mosaic over sidewalks and fields.  There is something about this time of year that makes me feel industrious.  Like a squirrel ferreting away nuts for winter, I want to fill my nest with baked goods, soups and stews, and feather it with warm knitted things.
 

Autumn Afternoon


 
I think I mentioned last post that I’ve been knitting.  A bunch.  But you haven’t seen any of that here for a while.  Are you curious?  I’ve had my needles out for hire and now that I’ve got some things finished up, it’s time to share.
 
Oh, who have I been hired out to, you ask?  Mainly I’ve been test knitting in the Free Pattern Testers and The Testing Pool groups on Ravelry.  As you know, I’ve test knit a lot before, but this is a little more casual than what I’m used to.  Meaning there’s no contracts or anything.  It’s all on the honor system, which seems kinda dicey for the designers in my mind.  But it’s all good though.  The main thing is that I’m helping some fellow knitters get their patterns out into the world and I’m using up some of my stash in the process.  Plus, the deadline pretty much guarantees I’ll actually finish something since I take the deadlines pretty seriously.  I don’t know…. there’ something about it that gives me a warmish feeling in my tummy.  Like maybe I’m banking up some good karma, which I could really use!
 

Caterpillar Pacifier Clip


 

  • Pattern:  Corrente com Lagarta (Pacifier Clip with a Caterpillar)by Mamã Martinho  (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  I used yarn repurposed from an Abercrombie & Fitch sweater I bought at Goodwill and unraveled maybe 3 -4 years ago? So I don’t know exactly how much I used.  It felt so good to use repurposed yarn though!
  • Needles:  Size 3 bamboo dpns
  • Mods:  Used sewn on velcro for fastening instead of a snap; sewed caterpillar and links to diaper pin instead of gluing; used pompoms for eyes and glued these on.

 
This is a super cute, very easy pattern and uses very little yarn.  I think it turned out sweet.  Me being the paranoid Mom that I am though, I’m not convinced my version is entirely baby-safe, so I am waiting until he’s a lot bigger to use this on him.  I had already bought a skull & crossbones Bink Link a couple weeks before I finished this anyway, so the need wasn’t as great for it as I had expected it to be.  But the designer was super nice, easy to work with, and I think the design is really cute.  She’s also got a darling version for girls with a little flower on it.
 
Next up…..
 

Two Way Mittens - Unconverted


 

Two Way Mittens - Converted To Fingerless Gloves


 

  • Pattern:  Two-Way Mittens by Keltic Banshee  (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Classic Elite Alpaca Sox – Color #1810; 0.47 hanks (211.5 yds)
  • Needles:  Size 2 (2.75mm) Harmony 40 inch circ for Magic Loop
  • Mods:  Worked 26 rounds for cuff to make it a wee bit longer

 
This pattern was super fun to work because of its unique construction.  The mitts are knit from the fingers down and then the flap is created, knit together with the fingers and before you know it it’s smooth sailing to the cuff!  I was just fascinated the whole time I knit this and couldn’t wait to see what would happen in each successive step.  They were pretty quick to knit, considering how slow I am with fingering weight yarns.  If you can knit  a sock, I’d say these would be just as easy.  And the designer was a super nice gal, very understanding if I had a slow knitting week, and even extended the deadline so we could all rest a little easier and not have to knit so frantically.  I would definitely test for her again!
 
And another!
 

Monstah Baby!


 

  • Pattern:  Little Monster Hat by Odessa Reichel  (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Lamb’s Pride Bulky – Color “Blue Heirloom Seconds”; 0.75 skeins
  • Needles:  Size 10 bamboo 16 inch circ
  • Mods:  Worked 2 repeats less of garter stitch for the height of the hat before starting short rows

 
I just love how this hat turned out!  It was quite the ingenious pattern (I think) and I really enjoyed seeing how this hat came together when I seamed it all up at the end.  Knittymunchkin was not about to keep it on his head for longer than 2 seconds though (it’s more fun to chew on, Mom!) so it took me a good 30 snaps to get this one shot.  Oh well.  I hope he’ll like it better when he’s a little bigger!  I made the toddler size and it’s a wee bit big on him right now, but I think it should be good for a while.  This designer was super nice as well and I would be happy to test for her again :)  A quick, easy, Christmas gifty too if you have little ones on your knitting list!
 
Whew!  Maybe the “busy-ness” of my little guy is rubbing off on me. I swear that kid cannot sit still for longer than a second or two at a time!  It’s cute, but it’s tiring!  Anyway, if you can believe it, I have other knits to show you.  I know – I think I just heard the flapping wings of some pigs overhead.  But we’ll leave those for another post, so when my inevitable dry spell comes back around (and it will), I’ll have something to show you.  Until then, enjoy your autumn!  I know I am.  I had pumpkin pie for breakfast :)

6

Finish Along

My friend Jess from Knitting Up North is having a Finish-a-long and contest!  Man do I ever need this kick in the pants!  It’s one of my Day Zero Project (101 things in 1001 Days) goals to whittle my UFO’s down to 3 or less and I really got things started by finally finishing my Chameleon Scarf.  Too bad I didn’t wait on that one, because there’s a prize for completing the oldest UFO and I betcha that one would have taken the cake ;)  Anyway, come join the fun!  What a great way to motivate each other to get those knits out the door and onto some warm bodies!  Like Jess said, you’d be surprised how little there is left to do on some things.  I always discover this when I pull out an old project, and I always wonder to myself why I just laid it down instead of powering through.  Oh wait, it’s because I’m kind of addicted to the smell of new yarn.  The “old” stuff just doesn’t do it for me anymore!
 
So, onto my list.  I need to finish:
 

  • Jaywalkers:  I’ve been working on a version of this since April 15, 2008, but have ripped it out and reworked it so many times that I’m really starting anew each time.  So the official start date of this one is June 14, 2010 and I am just about 20 rounds from finishing the first sock.  Then on to sock #2…
  • BSJ:  This is completely finished except for the seaming and weaving in of ends and a few buttons.  Shouldn’t take much to do that!
  • Felix Cardigan (like the ones I made here):  This one just needs buttons!  I originally made it for Knittymunchkin, but he’s a bit big for it now.  Maybe I’ll send it to our friends who are expecting a boy any day now.
  • Cherry Fizz:  Started June 12, 2009 (really????).  I’m just over halfway finished.  Would love to get this done, but I’m thinking shooting for finishing the other 3 is more likely.

 
I also have 7 (yikes!) other UFO’s that are totally hibernating.  I obviously won’t finish these during the Finish-a-long, but they’re in my mind as next on the list.  Only trouble is, 4 of those are sweaters and I don’t expect to be working on any sweaters until I am back to my no-longer-breastfeeding sized self.  But all in good time.
 
Meanwhile, I did finish something recently for our neighbor who just had a new little girl.
 

A Little Pink Hat


 

  • PatternSimple Newborn Hat With A Touch Of Lace by Ginny Foreman (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  79.2 yds of Knit Picks Shine Sport in “Blush”
  • Needles:  16 inch, Size 4 bamboo circs & Size 4 dpns
  • Mods:  Made hat larger by casting on 99 stitches (instead of 81), and worked 2 inches after lace section instead of 1.5 inches

 
This hat was simple & quick to knit.  I love how it turned out!  Because I made it wider and not quite as tall (proportionally) as the original, it came out more like a beanie than a regular hat.  But I still like it.  Word is, the new Mama likes it too, though it fits her 2 year old better than her newborn.  Boo on that!  I made it bigger on purpose, but didn’t mean for it to be that big.  She kept telling us that her first daughter is in the 90th percentile for size, so I figured the new little one would have a big head too.  Guess not.  But at least it fits one of the kids!  That’s all I could ask for, I guess. And, best of all, it totally came from stash. Huzzah!
 
So come join us and finish up some of your UFO’s too!  I’d love to hear all about it :)

8

Knitting It Out

Knittymunchkin & Frog Are Friends


 
Wow.  This mom business is frickin’ HARD.  One of the suckiest things a new mom will ever have to experience has to be letting your child “cry it out”.  It’s heartbreaking really, especially for a soft-hearted pushover like me.  Knittymunchkin has a lot of trouble going to sleep on his own and staying asleep is an issue too.  We’ve been working on it but both R. Darling and I feel terrible just sitting there and letting him cry himself to sleep.  Because, man, do we have one tenacious little guy!  I swear he will keep bawling his eyes out for the better part of an hour betting that one of us will go and pick him up.  I can hardly take it.
 
This morning was no different.  I laid him down in his bed and he was drowsy, almost asleep.  Soon as I took my hands away – wham! – those eyes flew open and the pout was in full force.  By the time my shadow darkened the doorway on the way out of the bedroom, the tears and wailing had started up.  I gritted my teeth and walked to the living room, steeling myself to the wretched cries of my poor little baby.  Knitting saved me.
 
One of the things I love about knitting is its ability to calm the nerves.  Something about the click of needles and the swoosh of fiber over them can soothe my tension like no other.  When it comes to letting your little one cry themselves to sleep, knitting is the perfect diversion.  You can always lay down your work if your child really does need you that instant.  But if it’s a matter of giving them a chance to learn something on their own and dampening your own ability to interfere I say that a simple lace patterned hat or sock will do that like nobody’s business.  Because if you’re like me, you always want to get to the end of a lace repeat, or finish one row on the heel you’re turning, before stopping to do something else.  Perfect if you are battling with yourself over whether to go and pick up the baby.  Wait, just one more row and then I’ll go pick him up. By the time you get to the end of that row he might have quieted down and then you just keep knitting.  Mom – 1, Baby – 1.  Backsliding purposefully avoided.
 
So this morning I’m working on a baby hat for our neighbor who also happens to be one of R. Darling’s co-workers.  She had an incredibly stressful pregnancy and things are not necessarily o.k. now that she’s had her little girl.  I feel for her because I had a very stressful pregnancy too (something I didn’t really talk about here) and though things turned out great for us, the journey was really rough.  The kind gestures we received from our neighbors (who I had previously thought of as mere acquaintances) meant so much to us when we brought Knittymunchkin home and I want to make her a little gift so she’ll know that our little family is keeping her in our thoughts.  I think it was meant to be since the pattern I chose called for yarn already in my stash in girly pink, and the diversion was just what I needed this morning to “knit it out” while Knittymunchkin cried his way to sleep.