5

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

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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…..

4

Oh, Hello.

Nice to see you!  It’s been a long time.  Some of you may remember me. If I’m lucky, I haven’t met some of you yet & we’ll have lots of fun getting to know each other.  And if I’m super lucky, some of my old friends will come back to say hello!

I used to be a regular around here, and then Knittymunchkin arrived (nearly 5 years ago now!).  He is my dearest, darling, (not so baby) boy & along with R. Darling (my sweet husband) we make up Chez Funkytown. Which is kind of funny since none of us speak French.  But doesn’t “chez” sound ever so much more fancy than “casa”? I kind of like fancy.

A little bit about me……

I’m a 41 year old stay at home mama. I used to be a mad scientist (microbiologist) in a nice little lab where we tested food, water, & milk for bacterial pathogens. Sounds a lot more complicated than it really is.  In fact, there were WAY more shenanigans going on than you would expect from a roomful of science nerds.  But shhhh…. Don’t tell anyone or our reputation as a bunch of poindexter smarty pants scientists might be ruined forever.  It’ll be our little secret.

I’ve been knitting since January 2006 and blogging since October 2006.  And mostly I meant to only blog about my knitting, but before long my blog became a record of so much more as I got to know wonderful people across the web who were curious about other aspects of my life.  I was honored people thought I had something worth talking about besides my knitting projects! The last 5 years have been spotty as I stopped and started blogging so many times I lost count.  Knittymunchkin really requires so much of my attention. I never expected to be working harder at home than I ever did at a “regular” job, but surprise surprise, that’s exactly how it worked out. But he’s getting older.  In a few months he’ll be in Kindergarten (!) full days & life will be so very different.  I have a feeling I’ll NEED all of you much more when I’m rattling around in the house during the day by myself.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am going to love having some extra time to put into my house & my own projects, but I’m sure Knittymunchkin’s absence will affect me more than I can anticipate & it would be nice to have all of you to talk to if I get lonely.

So, hello again & hope to see more of you soon! Happy New Year to you!

2

Knit 365: A Daily Dose Of Stitch – Days 10 through 28

Total Block Count: 24

 

Score: -4

 

Wow, things get kinda nuts when you have over two weeks of photos & posting to catch up on.  I bet you thought I fell off the wagon.  I don’t blame you.  Blogging & photographing pretty much fall to the bottom of my to-do list when there’s all kinds of pre-summer-end-of-school running around to deal with. It took me a couple days of looking back over my notes & examining which photos I’d taken already, not to mention adding new photos to the list, before I could post today.  Hopefully I won’t let it get this out of hand in the future, but I can’t guarantee I won’t.

I’ve added a new feature that I’m calling my overall “score”.  Ideally, my score should be zero or in the “+” range, indicating that I’m right on track (zero) or up a few squares (+).  Right now unfortunately, I’m in the negative range meaning I’m about 4 squares off course.  Not really a big deal, but it helps me keep track of how I’m doing overall during my year long project of knitting squares.

I’ve come to accept a certain level of dissatisfaction with the photos I take & present here.  Usually I am particularly picky about the photos I post and really strive for good quality photos with nice camera angles; even a little artsy at times.  However if I am to keep pace with the amount of photos I will need to share to document this project, I’ll just have to sacrifice a bit of quality for the expediency of using my iphone for photography. Sometimes you gotta know when to hold ’em & when to fold ’em….

In other exciting news, Camp Loopy starts on June 1st!  I’m pretty excited to be doing this for the first time & my knitting pal Knitting Up North is not only joining me, but is going to be “glamping” (glamour camping) in Glamper #1 along with me :)  My gorgeous yarn arrived from The Loopy Ewe a couple weeks ago. Check it out:

 

Dream In Color Smooshy in "Elfish Sweets"

Dream In Color Smooshy in “Elfish Sweets”

 

I fell in love with this colorway immediately. It’s even more lush & complex in person than it looks online and I can’t wait to knit with it.  I can’t find this color anywhere other than The Loopy Ewe & last time I checked they only had one skein left.  I’m SERIOUSLY tempted to buy the last one even though I don’t really need it for anything other than to squish in my greedy little fingers. Hopefully someone else has snatched it up so I don’t have to dither over whether I really want to add it to my ginormous stash mountain.  Stay tuned to see how it knits up….

0

Knit 365: A Daily Dose Of Stitch – Days 7 through 9

Total Block Count: 9

 

Things have been pretty hectic here so it’s taken me a few days to get here to post.  I’ve been doing my knitting though & I’m proud to say I’m still on course for making one block a day.  Yay me!  I’m trying something new for days when I post more than one photo.  The images are smaller, but if you hover over them you can see the captions and if you click on them you’ll get to see a full size image.  I’ll still give a breakdown as to yarn details & dates etc. following further down below.  Probably not interesting for you, but it will be interesting for me and Knittymunchkin to someday come back and look at some of these details again :)  If you’re starting to wonder why you wasted the last minute or two you spent reading my nonsense, skip to the section below the solid line which I’m reserving for other knitting talk that might keep you a little more engaged.

 

Far Left Photo:

  • Date: May 9, 2014
  • Block #68
  • Yarn: Claudia Handpainted in “Carousel”

Comments:  This is such a happy bunch of colors!  Strangely, it reminds me a little of some yarn I dyed a few years back with Easter egg dyes.  Dyeing yarn is still somewhere in my future I hope.

 

Center Photo:

  • Date: May 10 – 11, 2014
  • Block #69
  • Yarn: Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in “Coal Harbour”

Comments: This one I knitted over two days due to time constraints.  I’m guessing there will be more of these to come as life assumes its regular ebb and flow.  That’s o.k.  Though I’d ideally like to do one or more block a day, this is really about staying on pace over a year’s worth of working on the blanket.  I’m trying not to stress myself out over it!  “Trying” being the operative word…..

 

Far Right Photo:

  • Date: May 11, 2014
  • Block #71
  • Yarn: Yarn Love Juliet in “Sugared Grapefruit”

Comments: This is the first time I’ve knit with this yarn and it is so super soft and yummy!  There is something so luscious about this grapefruit shade too that just makes my mouth water.  The perfect thing to be knitting on Mother’s Day!  Some of you may have noticed that there is no Block #70 listed here.  No, that is not a mistake.  Sometimes I can’t find the perfect color for a specific block, so I move on until I can get a better overall picture of how the colors are blending in the blanket.  Never fear, Block #70 will still get its 15 minutes of fame!

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________

 

So, did any of you seriously doubt that I would cave and entangle myself in yet another knitting adventure that I probably won’t be able to keep up with?  Yes, you guessed it.  I signed up for Campy Loopy 2014 after all.  The first project is supposed to be inspired by a movie, book, or TV series that you especially love.  I chose Harry Potter (because I’m a magic nerd).  I’ll theoretically be knitting Shelves Upon Shelves in Dream In Color Smooshy in “Elfish Sweets”.  I chose this pattern because it’s been in my faves for a while and the designer has a lot of Harry Potter themed sock patterns.  This one isn’t strictly Harry Potter, but I imagine that the library at Hogwart’s has “shelves upon shelves” of magical texts.  When I found the yarn, the name was the clincher.  How could “Elfish Sweets” NOT sound like Harry Potter?  Anyway, I’m excited to be doing Camp Loopy for the first time and semi-confident that if I finish a couple things before June 1st I might actually be able to finish these socks in time for the first challenge.  Wish me luck!  Or send me some Felix Felicis if you’re so inclined….

2

Knit 365: A Daily Dose Of Stitch – Days 5 & 6

Total Block Count: 6

 

Three Irish Girls Springvale Sock in "Freya"

Three Irish Girls Springvale Sock in “Freya”

 

  • Day 5:  May 7, 2014
  • Block #66
  • Yarn: Three Irish Girls Springvale Sock  in “Freya”

Comments:  What a gorgeous color!  I knit this in a couple different sittings because things have been so hectic at home.  It’s nice to keep this at the table for those times when Knittymunchkin is playing with his food & generally stalling at the dinner table (he probably would never eat if he didn’t have to!).  One thing I’ve noticed about myself lately is that I can’t stand having idle hands when I’m waiting around for something or someone.

 

Block #67 - Mystery Yarn

Block #67 – Mystery Yarn

 

  • Day 6:  May 8, 2014
  • Block #67
  • Yarn:  Mystery Sock Yarn (Plymouth Happy Feet?)

Comments:  This yarn came from another knitter’s mini destash and arrived without any yarn info.  I think most people don’t care as much as I do about keeping track of what their minis are and where they come from.  For me, it’s kind of a fun way to record the project and it’s interesting to see when and how I received each mini.  This feels a lot to me like Plymouth Happy Feet, but you just never know.  This block was knit in the ideal setting of sitting in a coffee shop with my good friend Troy, chatting & relaxing.  The perfect knitting therapy!  However, I did manage to screw up this most simple of projects and had to basically knit the block twice.  So much for trying to choose something I could knit whilst talking at the same time. But I’m staying on schedule :)

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Last time I was discussing the black borders a bit and my friend Josiane left me a comment on the subject mentioning it would be interesting to see the effect when I share photos of the blanket itself, not just individual blocks.  I think this will be incredibly difficult to photograph when it’s finished since it’s going to be so huge, but I can share some photos along the way and do my best when it’s complete.  Here’s a photo of part of the strip I have in progress at the moment:

 

Sock Yarn Blanket - May 8, 2014

Sock Yarn Blanket – May 8, 2014

 

It’s looking like posting a photo every single day is going to be a bit difficult with all the other stuff going on in my life.  But every other day seems reasonable so far.  I’m enjoying sharing with you and the opportunity to put a little more time into my blog than I have been for the past couple years.  Plus, reflecting on the journey of adding a little knitting to each day is an interesting exercise in self-awareness.

As if I didn’t already have enough to do, and enough yarn in my stash, I’m seriously considering signing up for Camp Loopy 2014 this year.  I don’t know why I always thought this was a real life camp, but it’s not.  It’s virtual camp.  So that means I can totally go! I’m a little intimidated since this is my first time and many knitters are already seasoned campers, but it sounds like a good challenge and a fun time.  I planted the seed in Troy’s head so maybe I can cajole him into joining me (Jess, how bout you? C’mon….you know you want to!).  I’ll keep you posted; it’s coming up soon!

1

Knit 365: A Daily Dose Of Stitch – Days 3 & 4

Total Block Count: 4

 

Yesterday was hectic, so I’m playing catch up today….

 

Doodlebird Creations Swell Socks in Tiger Lily

Doodlebird Creations Swell Socks in Tiger Lily

 

  • Day 3: May 5, 2014
  • Block #64
  • Yarn: Doodlebird Creations Swell Socks in “Tiger Lily”

Comments: I timed myself knitting this one out of pure curiosity. It took me 40 minutes to knit one block. That sounds like just the right amount of time to be allotting myself daily for knitting therapy.  Of course, I should be using that time to fit in a workout & burn off some of that Easter candy I have been snarfing for the past few weeks, but that would just be annoying overachievement.

 

Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock in "Sea Flower"

Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock in “Sea Flower”

 

  • Day 3: May 6, 2014
  • Block #65
  • Yarn: Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock  in “Sea Flower”

Comments: I know a lot of people knitting this blanket just pick a mini at random from their bin & knit it in.  I’m too OCD for that.  I choose the placement very carefully for each color I have, aiming to fit in even the most discordant colors harmoniously.  It’s interesting how a colorway I’m not so sure about when twisted into a mini-skein, can transform into something surprisingly lovely once knit into a block.  There is something about the smaller scale of a mitered square that performs this little bit of magic when you are least expecting it.  It makes you feel as if anything is possible.

******************

My good friend Jess asked me after my last post to talk about the black knitted borders you can see in my photos.  I have seen a few blankets with these black borders on Ravelry, so I can’t take any credit for the idea.  But when I embarked on this particular knitting odyssey I knew that I wanted to make the extra effort to add these.  I love the stained glass effect it imparts and the way it harmonizes colors that might otherwise look strange next to each other. Most people who knit this blanket seem to knit each block individually for maximum portability or ease however, that means hundreds (maybe even thousands!) of blocks to sew together at the end.  Readers of this blog who have been with me for a while will note that I absolutely ABHOR finish work and often never actually get around to weaving in ends on projects I have knit, thus rendering them incomplete for years after the knitting has been officially finalized.  For someone as Type A as I can be, it’s mystifying that I repeatedly do this to myself. But knowing myself so well, I knew that I would never actually sew all those blocks together at the end, so I have chosen to knit the blocks together as I go.  A big bonus was learning to weave in ends as I knit (for continental knitters see here) which further reduces how much finish work I’ll have when I get to the end.  The only downside to doing it this way is that as the blanket gets larger (and larger & larger) it will become a lot harder to work on & will cease to be very portable.  I figure that’s the price I pay for not having to do finish work.  We’ll deal with that when we get there.

So far this venture has been an exercise in learning how to better use my iphone camera and photo editor, as well as transferring info between my various devices in order to publish a blog post.  I’m sure I’ll learn more as I continue to work on this and eventually (hopefully) it will be more of a streamlined process.  For now it’s a bit unwieldy and I can see that it’s going to be difficult to post every single day, but I’m game if you are :)