1

Mojo-a-gogo 

From Left to Right: Tidbit, Leafy Newborn Beanie & Seventh

 

I’ve been busy. There’s some serious knitting mojo goin’ on up in here. Plus, I’ve been bustin’ me some stash! It’s all good at Chez Funkytown.

These little hats are for my friend at Knitting Up North.  Every spring she knits baby hats for a contest her local Optimist Club holds. I always like to donate a few.  It’s for a worthy cause, I get to help out a knitting pal, and it’s pretty much instant gratification. I’ve actually made 6 already, but have only photographed the 3 above. I mean, these fingers are too busy knittin’ to stop and take photos people! The deadline is April 15th – hint hint. Not only should you check out her blog for some awesome inspiration, I’m sure she’d love to receive a few extra hats to add to her total ;) Just sayin’. Oh and she’s also hosting a knit along beginning March 20th for the Jujika Cowl. I’m in!  If you’re on Ravelry (and you totally should be!) come join us at her group here.

I decided early on this year that I was going to try to keep myself to a strict set of rules for my knitting in 2016. Well, it’s really not a set of rules, more like one big rule.  I have a penchant for getting totally obsessed with any new pattern that comes across my radar, to the complete detriment of whatever else I may be working on.  I have sweaters that have taken me years to complete (if they’ve been completed at all) not because they were difficult, but because I lost momentum and then lost interest in going back to figure out where I’d left off.  I gots me some serious start-itis folks.

This year I plan to end my wayward habits by instituting “The Rule of Two.” The Rule of Two states that I may only have 2 significant projects on the needles at one time: a UFO/WIP that needs finishing and one new project. This rule will remain in place until I have finished all said UFOs/WIPs in which case I will cast on with complete abandon. Or something like that.  Anyway, The Rule of Two has served me well so far this year.  I finished an afghan I’ve had in the works for a year, finished Los Monos Locos socks (picture to come later), am nearly finished with a sweater for Uptown, and finished the Frisson I mentioned last time (pictures later of course). Now if only I could be this successful in reducing my winter’s worth of insulation that has been accumulating underneath all those warm bulky sweaters I’m not knitting/finishing!

IMG_2704

Ribbon Afghan

 

PATTERN:  Ribbon Afghan by Olivia Rainsford

YARN:  Acrylic in Black (Caron One Pound), White (Lion Brand Pound of Love) & Olive (Vintage Bernat)

YARDAGE:  1004 yds

CROCHETING DURATION:  May 16, 2015 – February 15, 2016

PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED:  Briefly, here.

RECIPIENT:  Donation to Warmth for Warriors (Ravelry group here)

DODGY BITS:  None

BLISS FACTOR:  8


This pattern was well written and fun to knit. Definitely pretty mindless & a great stashbuster.  Love that it’s only meant to be lap sized for veterans in wheelchairs to use.  I could see myself making another for sure! Bliss factor of 8 because, well, it’s acrylic (not that I’m a snob or anything, I just don’t love the stuff).

 

6

The Things We Do For Love

Perler Beads!

 

My son has recently discovered Minecraft.  I’m ashamed to say that I do let him play it on my ipad from time to time.  His will be a tech savvy generation, no? But I seriously do not understand the draw. The graphics suck and it seems jerky and, yes I’m being judgy – pointless. Early on I tried to figure out how to play because he was so frustrated trying to figure out how to do things on his own and wanted help. I thought maybe I could assist.  Ha ha!  Silly Moo Moo (Uptown’s special name for me)! Did you really think you could understand?  Come on. But leave it to my kid to teach himself everything he wanted to know by watching Kids’ Youtube videos (good thing people like publishing tutorials).  How can you fault a kid who knows what he wants and then goes and finds the answers for himself? I almost feel like letting him play is teaching him something. Seriously, the kid is nearly 6 and he can do this?  Oy.

Unfortunately it’s become a HUGE obsession.  Rarely does a statement issue from his mouth that does not include something about Creepers, Steve, Redstone, Endermen, or what happens when lava meets water in Minecraft world. I feel he’s barely scratched the surface of what you can do with the game (which is fine with me) and already I feel my eyes glaze over when he starts Minecraft speaking.  But I have found a way to make the Minecraft obsession a little more productive and a little less boring for me. Enter Perler Beads.

During the holidays, one of Uptown’s advent gifts was a small Perler kit of a penguin. Immediately, he wanted to make more.  I don’t know what it is about junky plastic stuff, but kids just love it. But the awesome thing about this activity is the fact that he is working on fine motor control, distinguishing shades of color, and counting.  I’ve heard these can even improve hand-eye coordination. And guess what?  Pinterest and the interwebz are positively swarming with free Minecraft patterns.  Yesterday I set him up with a few (here) and he just kept wanting to make more and more.  Fantastic!  We can satisfy the love for Minecraft without even touching the iPad.

Of course today I find myself huddled over a giant vat of Perler Beads (22,000 to be exact) sorting, sorting, sorting.  Because apparently that’s how I roll.  Do not give me something that needs to be categorized or sorted out, or I will obsessively work like a little monkey until that sh*t is done. Ah, the things we do for love.

As for my socks, they are coming along nicely as well.  I treated myself to a new pair of needles with my Loopy Ewe end of the year credit and I’m so glad I did.  These are 40″ Chiaogoo Lace circulars, size 1.5 and they rock out with their socks out!  WAY better than the Knit Picks fixed Harmony circulars I was using prior.  The joins are super smooth and the cord has very little memory (unlike the Knit Picks Harmonys) which makes knitting magic loop so much more enjoyable. My knitting motto this year is: Socks for ’16 and I have a feeling these will get me there.

 

Los Monos Locos

4

What’s Up 2016?

Monkeys & Legos

Ah, hello Day 2 of the New Year! Or are you no longer new now that you are 2 days old? No matter.  I am still feeling the brand new optimism that comes from the arrival of a new year.

Lists and plans are still a thing of the future today.  I’ve got time and I will get down to business when I’m good and ready.  Today I am working on my first project of the new year and cooking my Mom a batch of my Dad’s spaghetti sauce.  It feels auspicious that I am doing both these things on the second day of the year.

The holidays always remind me of my Dad.  We would wait for all our favorite Christmas specials to come on TV after dinner. Hurry! Charlie Brown Christmas is starting! Now it’s all on demand, but back then we had to make sure we were planted in front of the TV on the proper channel or we’d miss out.  There was something special about not being able to pause or rewind our favorite specials.  You had to be present both physically and emotionally.  I kind of miss those days.  But mostly, I miss my Dad.  He passed away in 2009 and sometimes I almost forget he won’t answer the phone when I call or give me a whiskery kiss and tell me not to take any “wooden nickels.” But I keep him alive making his spaghetti sauce.  He taught me his “recipe” many years ago and I almost never cook it, choosing the speedy cheater method I’ve developed over years of college and young professional life rather than the low and slow day long approach his recipe requires.  A couple years ago I didn’t know what to give my Mom for Mother’s Day, so I decided to dig out my handwritten recipe from the cooking lesson Dad gave me so many years ago, and I made her a batch.  My Mom, notoriously hard to please with gifts, practically shed a tear.  You’d think I’d delivered the moon and stars. Today, I’m giving that gift again.  But really, it’s a gift for both of us. We both get to start the year with my Dad.

As for the socks, they’re auspicious too. I knit a pair of Cookie A’s Monkey socks a couple years ago and really enjoyed both the process and the result.  My plan (as yet fully unrevealed) for 2016 is to knit a lot of socks.  That’s all I’m really committing to you see: a lot. No specific number, no limiting myself to only socks this year….. why stress? But more on that later.  Anyway, back to the Monkey thing.  The pattern I cast on for is a version of the Monkey socks, but toe-up and purl-less.  It’s called Los Monos Locos and has been in my queue since April 2011 (!). Though I loved the Monkey pattern and really want a pair for myself, I thought it would be more fun to work on my queue at the same time I work on my sock problem er, goals.  So I cast on and guess what I discovered while surreptitiously slurping photos for my Ravelry project page?  The Chinese Astrology Year of the Monkey begins in February.

How’s that for auspicious?

2

Swatcha Doin?

*The title for this post must be read in Isabella’s sing-song voice from Phineas & Ferb to achieve maximum effect (if you don’t have a 5 year old boy in the house at the moment, check out this link).*

Yep, you guessed it.  I’m swatchin’. Swatchin’, and dreamin’, and hopin’, and prayin’.  O.k., not really prayin’.  If all does not swatch well, there are always more fish in the yarn stash to choose from.

Yarn & Patterns from Left to Right:

  • Misti Alpaca Worsted in “Berry Melange” for Effortless Cardigan by Hannah Fettig (Knitbot)
  • Jakobsdals Bahamas in Red for the Conestoga Tunic by Heather Zoppetti (in Everyday Lace)
  • Laines du Nord Mulberry Silk in “Sky” for Green Apple Tank by Amy Palmer (in Knitscene, Summer 2015)

And there’s more in the works (it’s going to be a long summer of swim lessons & karate lessons!).

But what about you?  What new projects are you excited about as the days turn towards summer?

5

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Family1a

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  We hope you had a joyous holiday and are looking forward to a New Year filled with peace & love!

A little Christmas gift I thought I’d share with you…..

Tin Can Knits (Ravelry Designer link here) is gifting people with one free pattern from their collection until January 1st 2013.  Check out the details here!  I’ve been admiring their patterns for a little while now, so here’s the chance to tell all of you about it and get to try something new at the same time :)  The pattern I chose to download is Snowflake, so hopefully that will appear in 2013’s FO’s somewhere.  Thanks so very much Tin Can Knits, for sharing your lovely patterns with all of us!  And be sure to pass this on to your friends too for a little holiday/New Year goodness :)

Happy Knitting, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, & much love,

Knittymuggins

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 :)