5

Febru-Very

February was very:

 

Toothy…..

 

Knittymunchkin's 1st Dentist Appointment!

Knittymunchkin’s 1st Dentist Appointment!


 

Valentiney…..

 

Hand Knit Valentines for Knittymunchkin's Prescchool Friends

Hand Knit Valentines for Knittymunchkin’s Prescchool Friends


 

  • Pattern: Little Hearts by Teresa Fox (Ravelry link)
  • Yarn: Random ancient Hot Pink wool from stash & Scraps of Valley Yarns Stockbridge in “Deep Red”
  • Needles: Size 9, 32″ circs for Magic Loop
  • Comments: These came out super cute!  I feel a little guilty because I had the fun of making them and Knittymunchkin really wasn’t that involved, but he had absolutely no interest in making valentines this year.  I had him stick stickers to the gift tags we attached and that was about all I could convince him to do.  I figure his class is getting pretty sick of my hand knits by now, but I did get a very sweet photo e-mail from one of his classmates’ moms telling me that her son had been hugging his heart all day.  Awww!  Gave the teacher the lone red heart and the kids all got dark pink.  I didn’t felt them because I didn’t have time, but maybe next time I’ll give it a try.

 

Swappy……

 

Back in September, I joined a swap group on Ravelry called Ewe LaLa Swap, mainly because the first swap they set up was one in which you swapped a handmade project bag and a ball of yarn and I was hoping to sort of force myself to learn to sew a project bag.  It didn’t come out too badly (I used this free pattern) and my partner seemed to really like it.

 

My First Handmade Project Bag

My First Handmade Project Bag


 
This year I did the January-February Box of Color Swap in which our partner picked a color theme and it was our job to make and send them items to fit this theme.  I amassed a big collection of stuff to send, which was really fun.  But the best part was making some handknits for my partner.  Her colors were a combination of red/orange/pink/ and a little dash of purple (here at design-seeds – which, by the way, is so much fun to browse!).  Of course I went a little heavy on the pink and purple!
 
Hogwarts Express

Hogwarts Express


 

  • Pattern: Hogwarts Express by Susan Ashcroft (Ravelry link)
  • Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock  in “Blacklight”
  • Needles: Size 6 circ
  • Comments:  I love how this turned out!  One of the things I have always wanted to try, but have never gotten around to, is adding beads to my knitting.  It always seemed so intimidating, but I thought this would be the perfect way to try it out, as you only add beads to the “eyes” of the owls.  My swap partner loved all things owl, so this was the perfect choice.  It was a pretty speedy knit too, and I got to use some beautiful HK Artisan Sock from my stash.  The pattern was a little loosey-goosey for my taste and therefore a bit confusing for me at first, but I got it down eventually and this was a really pleasant knit.  I was actually tempted to make one for myself once I tried it on, but then reminded myself I don’t really “do” shawls (at least not yet) so it would just be silly to make one for myself.  The nice thing about swapping is getting to make things and then give them away!

 

I also made this for my swap partner:

 

Mosaic Pouch

Mosaic Pouch


 

  • Pattern: Mosaic Knitted Pouches by Kate Sharaf (Ravelry link)
  • Yarn: Noro Iro scraps in color #9 & random purple aran weight wool from stash
  • Needles: Size 7 & Size 9
  • Comments:  I am disgustingly pleased with myself for using random scrap stash yarn to make this.  It was a bit tedious to add the zipper and the lining and, in fact, getting up the resolve to do that portion of it took a lot longer than the actual knitting.  I had to seam one of the sides too and that kind of got me kerbobbled, until I actually did it.  And then I had to pat myself on the back for how easily I was able to match everything up.  Not too bad.  I hand sewed the lining and zipper in, figuring I could do a neater job by hand than with my machine.  I’m still a little zipper-phobic.  But it looked nice and it worked!  Bonus.  I almost (almost!) want to make some more of these….

 

Knit-Along-y:

 

Malabrigo Lace in "Continental"

Malabrigo Lace in “Continental”


 
On February 14th my friends Jess, Troy and I bravely began a laceweight sweater knitalong.  I’m knitting the Cloudette Cardigan with this lovely blue Malabrigo Laceweight that I have had in my stash for eons.  It’s actually going a lot faster than I’d expected, but I’ve had to put it down for a couple weeks because the purling is driving me bananas and I’ve been inadvertently pimped out to other knitting recipients by my Mom (more on that later).  I think I’m going to love this when I finally do finish it though!
 
And, as expected, March has come roaring in like the lion it’s supposed to be.  Meaning, I finally have an explanation for the bone-crushing weariness that has been plaguing me since November.  Yep.  I have a nasty little abscess hanging out next to my crown on tooth #30 and I gets to have me a big ole root canal on March 22.  Fun.  I hope this means I can expect March to go out like a lamb…..

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5

There’s Something About Minis Part Deux

After 4 months of swing shift, R. Darling’s schedule has changed to day shift again and we are all trying to adjust.  This means more family time (yay!) but less time for catching up with my own stuff (boo!).  Summer is always a tough time for me when it comes to blogging, and apparently springtime is not much different.  Though you will most likely be hearing less from me for a while, never fear.  I’ll still be slugging away behind the scenes.
 
A two week recap on the Thinning The Nest Project:
 
Week 18 (May 3, 2012):  Gave away another pyrex dish & lid to my Mom, using travel size contact solution, threw out some old face powder
 
Week 19 (May 10, 2012 – this week): Goodbye Gallon Size Bag O’ Corks!
 
Nothing crazy or life-altering here.  A while back the makers of the contact solution we buy (Clear Care) decided to add some extras to the big Costco sized box we buy every month.  One of those extras is a travel size bottle of solution.  Pretty cool if you are traveling a lot, but with a 2 year old and not much extra in the bank, we aren’t going anywhere any time soon (except for maybe crazy).  I decided to start using some of these before they either expire, or bust out the bottom of our “junk” drawer in the bathroom.  As for the face powder, I’ve had that stuff in my makeup case for going on 9 years now.  I guess because it was powder I just hung onto it, figuring I’d find a use for it someday.  I try it periodically and it never seems quite right.  So this time, instead of putting it back in the drawer, I just chucked it.  It kind of felt good!  And I’m pretty sure I won’t miss it. And the corks, you ask?  They came in a vase I bought at an antique shop (which, it turns out, was NOT an antique & was made in China; not that I really cared).  I wanted the vase for something else, so dumped out the corks and decided I could find a good use for them eventually.  Someone on the Random Acts of Kindness Group on Ravelry was looking for corks, so they’ve now been happily rehomed.
 

Knittymunchkin Loves Minis Too!


 
A while back I mentioned that I was a little excited about minis.  I also mentioned that if I started talking about my “tub o’ minis” and complaining that the lid wouldn’t shut, I might need you to stage an intervention.  Um.  Houston, we have a problem.  Wednesday this week I went to Target and bought myself a bigger tub for my minis.  Granted, we are nowhere near rubbermaid tote proportions, but the collection is growing at an astonishing rate.  And um, there might be more to this addiction….er….situation.  I started growing a little collection of orphan minis from the swaps I’ve been in.  Minis in dark, crazy, stripey, boyish colors that just didn’t belong in my girly Beekeeper’s Quilt.  What to do, what to do?  Well, what any nutjob like me would do: Start a Sock Yarn Blanket for my sweet baby boy!!  Gulp.  I need another years-long project like I need more yarn, but what can I say?  There’s something about minis……
 

The Beginning of The Madness!

5

Thinning The Nest: Thursday Number 11

Week 11:  Odds ‘n Ends, i.e. total lameness!

I’d love to be able to tell you that between this Thursday and last, I got my sh!t togetha and cleared all the clutter out of my entire house, knit 4 sweaters, 5 pairs of socks, and a dozen hats.  Or at least that I took a bad-ass vacation to the beach.  But alas, none of those things occurred.  The weather was beyond bleak.  Several days Knittymunchkin decided he needed to wear his “jammies” all day and while the rain pelted, the snow fell, and the wind buffeted, we cranked up the heat and watched just a little too much Sesame Street.  It was one of those weeks.  I felt about as forlorn inside as the weather was outside.  But I did manage to read and recycle two magazines, gift four Martha Stewart magazines to my friend John, and use up a laundry detergent sample that has been sitting in the laundry room exactly as long as we’ve had our washing machine (circa 2008 or 2009).  I also used up a deluxe sized sample of Philosophy Purity Made Simple that I received years ago (2007?) with a Sephora order.  I’ve been keeping this wash in my travel stuff for years now because it’s such a nice portable size, yet there is always enough for several days.  Well with my skin freaking out lately, I decided to try anything I had in my sample stash that might calm things down a little.  This seemed to do the trick, though Troy bought me some Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel that I positively adore, so it’s not so bad that I finally used up the Philosophy stuff.  I also pulled some yarn out of my stash to knit another square for my friend Kathy that I mentioned last time.  Not much to be said for this week, but I’m chipping away at things slowly.  Ever so slowly…..

It was a good mail week though!  I received back yarn from two different swaps and I can’t wait to add them to my Beekeeper’s Quilt.  It’s always nice when there’s something to look forward to in the mailbox.  Here’s a few of my favorites from the Sweet Georgia Swap in the Blankiemania Group on Ravelry.  I sure wish I could join Round 2!  These are just lovely….

Sweet Georgia Swap Round 1 - 2012

5

There’s Something About Minis

Uh oh.  I have a new addiction.  Thank you Beekeeper’s Quilt!  As if knitting eleventy-quadzillion sweet and smushy little hexi-puffs wasn’t enough, I now feel the insane desire to collect eleventy-quadzillion cute little mini-skeins to knit them from.
 
There’s something about Minis.  But what is it, exactly?  I can’t explain it, but I’ve got it.  In the time I spend each day trolling Blankiemania, MiniMall, and Oh Scrap!: LSG Scrap Blankets on Ravelry for new swaps to join, I could probably have learned Mandarin and taught it Knittymunchkin.  Or cured cancer.  Or maybe just had a clean house.  It is a sickness I tell you!  And yet, I am just a rookie.  A baby, with my measly four swaps I’ve joined since December.  When people are talking about how many totes full of minis they have, and how the lid won’t shut, then I know that I am small-time.
 

Puffs in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in "Beachglass"


 
There are days I don’t love the minis so much.  Those are the days when I spend two hours (sometimes more) weighing, skeining, and labeling minis to send out, only to find that every mini is going to twist and tangle on me no matter what I do.  I wonder why I do it.  And then I remember….
 
Sometimes the highlight of my day is just walking to the mailbox with Knittymunchkin.  The budget has been stretched a bit thin lately, and knowing that a puffy little mailer filled with sparkly new sock yarn will be arriving in the near future gives me a little something to look forward to.  So far I have only allowed myself to join in swaps for which I already have yarn in my stash to use, in order to keep costs down.  You know me, I have enough for a lifetime of socks and then some to spare!  So it’s good it’s getting used.  Pretty much a win-win.
 
For now it’s all innocent fun.  But please, if you hear me start talking about my “tub full of minis” and how the lid won’t shut, stage an intervention quick!  I’m probably in trouble…..

9

Love….

Love, thy name is Hexipuff.

 

Hexipuffs!


 
Ever since my lovely friend Jess bought me the The Beekeeper’s Quilt pattern and we agreed to knit it together for “however long”, I have been undeniably enamored with this charming little project.  Hexipuffs are smooshy, and squooshy, sweet and cute.  And each one is a little mini FO that you can pat and poke and imagine occupying its future spot in your darling little quilt.
 
At first I thought I wouldn’t dare touch my enormous sock yarn stash.  I mean, that’s for socks, right?  So being short on sock yarn scraps, I scoured etsy, and found someone selling minis.  Then I scoured Ravelry and found another.  A few bucks later and I was in business!  Then I joined a swap at the Sanguine Gryphon Group on Ravelry.  Lucky for me, there was one for newbies that didn’t fill up about 2 seconds after it was posted.  I swear those SG people are fanatics (me included, mwah-ha-ha!).  It’s hard to get in on a destash or a swap because things disappear before you can say “flapjack”.  Sadly, The Sanguine Gryphon is no more in a few short days.  But that’s a big boo hoo for another day :(  I’d say my bank account would breathe a ginormous sigh of relief if it weren’t for the fact that they are dissolving into two new dye studios and I’m afraid that means twice the amount of temptation!
 
I also discovered that the very talented Didi (creator of Little Red Bicycle; whom I got to meet at Sock Summit 2011 for the first time after “knowing” her for a few years online) had a mini-skein club going.  What better way to support a friend, and a mini-skein habit, than by signing up?  I’ve already received October and November, am waiting on December, and have signed up for another 3 months of January – March 2012.  Everything I’ve received so far has been gorgeous!  I can’t wait to make puffs out of them, and I am just stunned by her beautiful sense of color.
 

October 2011 Mini-skein Club from Little Red Bicycle


 

November 2011 Mini-Skein Club from Little Red Bicycle


 
Finally, after a little contemplation of my stash, I decided there were definitely some fingering weight sock yarns that I could (and should) part with.  I had a few smaller skeins that weren’t enough for a full pair of socks anyway and I didn’t have immediate plans for them.  Nor was I sure they’d look good on a larger scale.  That’s the nice thing about the Hexipuffs.  You can use some of your loudest or even – dare I say it – ugliest yarns, and they don’t look so bad on a small scale.
 
Flush with so many choices, I am working steadily on this project.  I know it will take me years to make enough to fill out a quilt, but each time I finish one I get a tiny spark of satisfaction.  They are the perfect little fillers for when Knittymunchkin is in his high chair eating a snack, or when he is playing independently (however briefly) and I have a spare moment without him clinging to my leg.  They are simple, elegant, and can be put down at a moment’s notice without losing your place.  In case you didn’t already guess…. I love Hexipuffs!
 
Because I’ll be working on this for the rest of my natural life (most likely) I think it would be fun to do a little gallery each month of the puffs that I’ve knit.  I’ve been keeping count and I knit anywhere from 10 – 25 of these in any given month.  So a little retrospective might be fun.  January is just days away (how did that happen?) so I think I’ll start after I’ve knit January’s puffs.
 
Until then, Happy Holidays!  May your days be merry & bright :)

3

Anyone? Anyone?

O.k.  I’m feeling extra desperate, so here goes….. 

Any of you supa cool bloggy peeps out there interested in a sock yarn exchangey thingamawhutsit?  I need 2 more people to play along and I seem to be having some trouble finding takers.  To play, you’ll have to find 6 people of your own to pass the info on to and send out one ball of sock yarn, but if you do, you can get up to 36 balls of sock yarn for the price of one!  Sounds pretty good in theory.  Anyway, if I haven’t asked you already, it’s probably because I thought you didn’t knit socks, were too busy to play (Wendee!), lived internationally, or maybe didn’t even like me.  But if you think you might want to, send me an e-mail (my addy is in the sidebar over there on the right) and we’ll chat.  I’d love to be able to have you play!  Doesn’t it sound so great to get that much sock yarn in the mail???

6

Swapses, Sockses & Secret Stitching

I decided something yesterday after spending an hour, half a box of baking soda, and all of my limited interest in housework trying to scrub the crap off of our stovetop:  Housework is for suckas.  Whatever possessed me to think scrubbing the stove would be a good idea?  I’ve got hobbies for cripe’s sake!  (Wait, drinking coffee and staring out the window is a hobby too, right?)  I’m interesting (o.k. crazy)!  I’m multi-faceted!   Housework will only atrophy my ability to create.  It’s downright harmful.  No one could possibly expect me to damage myself in such a manner as that, could they?  I thought not.  Oh lookee!  There’s still dishes in the sink.

So, let’s discuss more important things, shall we?  I joined another swap.  Wait – what?  I know.  I wasn’t going to do any swaps this year, but this one is special.  SaucyMinx found my LovePurl KAL and was inspired to create her own Guilty Pleasures/Good Karma Swap on Ravelry.  The swap is based on the idea that so many of us knitters feel a little guilt over buying ourselves the luxury yarns and/or treats that we desire, but yet it’s so much easier to treat a swap pal to something special that they covet.  Another condition of the swap is for everyone participating to knit at least one item for Warm Woolies during the swapping session.  Since Warm Woolies is something that is close to my heart, and since the swap was based off of my KAL (thank you SaucyMinx!  I’m honored!) I couldn’t help myself.  There’s no real knitting deadline for me since I’m already knitting for Warm Woolies, so I can handle just buying gifts for someone :)  I don’t know if there’s any room left but check it out!

 

hazel sock kit1

Mmmmmm……I could just eat this up!

 

And what is that adorable little thing up there?  It’s a Lacy Baby Sock Kit from Hazel Knits in the Peach Sanguine Colorway.  An old co-worker of mine just had a baby girl a few weeks ago and I think these are going to be the sweetest yummiest little baby socks ever.  Seriously going to have to consider buying some of this colorway for myself for a pair of big girl socks.

 

alisa start

Secrety Squirrel!

 

This is something I’ve been meaning to mention for quite a while because I’ve actually been working on it since February.  But as you know, February was kind of rough-ish for me so I kept missing my chance.  Anyhoo, I’m test knitting again!  It’s always hard for me to post about a test knit because I want to tell you everything and I can’t.  Plus, I am always worried I’ll say more than I’m supposed to or show you more than I’m allowed to.  But I think I’m safe with this photo.  My online pal Chrispy of Pursuit of Fiber has designed her first pattern.  Hooray for Chrispy!!  I’m very excited for her and very honored that she asked me to test knit it for her.  It’s so wonderful to be helping a fellow knitter and pal with their pattern production process.  The pattern is called Alisa and you can find it on Ravelry.  It won’t be released for sale (with a portion of the proceeds going to Ravelry) until the end of April, but that’s coming awfully soon!  I am just up to the armholes and with another couple days of knitting, should be close to finishing it for her.  I can’t wait to be able to show it to you once the pattern is released!  Until then, I’ll be stitching secretly and feverishly until I finish.

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter and that your Monday is off to a great start!  Remember lousy housekeepers out there – if anyone starts to complain about your lack of interest in cleaning, be sure to loudly proclaim how stifling it is to your creativity (feel free to incorporate “suckas” if you like), and don’t they care about your needs? then sigh deeply for effect.  I don’t typically condone drama, but that should do the trick ;)