4

Let It Go

 

The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! in Colorado Hairstreak

I have not {gasp} seen Frozen. Yes, there might be a big rock somewhere that I just crawled out from underneath. Even so, I’ve heard the “Let It Go” song a lot of times.  I mean a lot. Usually belted out off-key by preschool girls twirling around in tutus. Ugh.

I mean the song, not the girls. The girls are totally adorable.

But even though I pretty much despise the song, the whole “Let It Go” refrain keeps bouncing around in my head every time I look at this yarn I pulled out of my stash the other day.

A few years ago I was all nerdy fan-girl wacked out over (the now defunct) The Sanguine Gryphon. The obsession was a little over the top to put it mildly.  I was constantly checking for updates, cruising Ravelry destashes for rare colors, and doing my best to bankrupt myself collecting every color I could get my grubby little paws on. If they’d stayed in business just a little longer, I’d probably have sold a kidney to keep the collection going. Can you spell hoarder? Yes, you can. It’s spelled K-n-i-t-t-y-m-u-g-g-i-n-s, thankyouverymuch.

My Sanguine Gryphon stash has long been classified CDH, i.e. “cold dead hands.” As in, you cannot even pry this from my cold dead hands. I will come back from the dead and school your butt if you even try. But the other day I was looking for some purple yarn to knit a gift for Uptown’s Kindergarten teacher and, shockingly, I decided to use a skein of my precious, limited edition, SG Bugga! When I pulled it out, I tried to look at it objectively (for once). It was a beautiful color, but it wasn’t a color that suited me all that well.  I didn’t buy it for a special project, and it had been sitting in my stash since 2011.  What was I waiting for?  The apocalypse?  I’m pretty sure none of the Four Horsemen need shawlettes or socks in lavender.  Neither was I going to need them after I died. So why not use it?  There really wasn’t a single reason I could think of for keeping it around.

So now my beloved SG Bugga! in Colorado Hairstreak, will become a Frisson for an end of the year teacher gift. I’m finally letting it go.

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0

Happy Maketober!

No, you didn’t miss this on the intrawebz. “Maketober” is not a thing.

Not unless you are me and you are freaking stoked that it’s October!

September was just a blur. Will it feel like this every year when school starts, or is it just because we are first-timers? After weeks of adjustment (on my part and Knittymunchkin’s) I feel like we are finally starting to hit a stride. Just don’t ask me where all the “extra” hours go that I’m supposed to have while he’s in school.  Because I really don’t know. The house isn’t any cleaner, I’m not any more rested, and there is actually little to no knitting being accomplished. The TV is never on, and the dog looks sufficiently un-walked. I just don’t know how moms with jobs do it.  I’m barely keeping up as it is. Then again, I’m writing this post instead of cleaning something……

Yesterday I walked the dog to the bus stop to pick up the kiddo. The warm autumn sun caressed me, the searing electricity of a summer sun having mellowed to the gentle gold of autumn sunshine; everywhere burnished honey. I savored the crunch of leaves underfoot, thinking of potato chips, and wondering how my son could imagine he heard a train in their rustling as he shuffled through them earlier that morning. I love this time of year. It inspires me, turns me inwards towards creativity, and unleashes a nesting instinct always simmering restlessly inside my soul. I want to make things! I want to change things! And that’s why I’ve decided to welcome October as Maketober here at the blog.

This month:

I will make a shawl with friends (Jess & Troy)!

Pattern & image source: Ravelry link

I will make myself healthier…. by continuing with our Back to Fit program (we are ending week 5 today).

I will make someone’s warmer….. by giving away the hats I knit for charity. The original requester has all the hats she needs, so I am left with a stack that do not have homes. My husband is in a unique position to distribute these for me and I plan to always have a few for him to take in his car with him when he goes to work (his idea – and a fantastic one!).

I will make myself breathe…. This is harder than it sounds for someone like me.

I will make my dream a reality…. It may not happen this month, but every small step I take towards opening my Etsy shop has a part in helping me achieve my goals.

I will make food…. I cook every day, but this month I will do the last (most likely) of my canning for the year. Pickled Beets are as precious as the crown jewels in our family.

What do you think?  Will you make-along with me this month?  I’d love the company whether you’re crafting or simply visiting & reading :)

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

3

Queen of Den-iPad

Something has come between us, my knitting and me. He’s adorable and hilarious, this interloper, but he is also demanding and ferocious and hard to deny. Thanks to a chance Christmas encounter with a cousin’s new Nintendo DS, Knittymunchin is now full blown obsessed with the electronic wonders of my iPad. Trouble is – my iPad has become indispensable to my knitting.  All my counters are there, without which I have no idea where I am on any given project (and you know how many of those there are!); not to mention the patterns I use in pdf form (who needs print these days?!) and swift access to Ravelry.  It’s a foregone conclusion that knitting has all but stalled here.

We’ve worked through all sorts of “solutions” to the problem. The clearest, most effective alternative has been to just leave the iPad off & have neither of us use it.  R. Darling thinks this is ridiculous and says that I am the adult and should therefore have unlimited access, while preventing use by the kiddo.  Ha.  Try telling that to a 5 year old! Especially one that will wheedle and cajole and persist until you consider giving in just to shut him up for two seconds. The current plan includes no iPad at all on school days and 30 tokens (1 token = 1 minute) allotted at the start of each day with potential to lose tokens for misbehavior or gain more tokens for good behavior.  We are on day 2 of this plan and so far it seems to be working, though we are still experiencing minor tantrums when the timer goes off and pleas of “I just want to do one more thing!”

Still, I feel denied. It seems like a necessary sacrifice at this point to keep a lid on the development of a tiny zombie in my living room staring at a video screen.  But I want my iPad. And I want my knitting.  Who sounds like a 5 year old now? So I’m kicking it old school. Magazine in hand, manual counter, and notepad, I do what I can.  I just started #24 Lacy Wrap from a 2011 issue of Knit Simple for R. Darling’s Grandma. It seems fitting that the stash yarn I’m using is from 2008, way before my iPad entered the scene.

2015/01/img_1664.jpg

I suppose I shouldn’t be too critical.  The momentary video game obsession has allowed me to write this post after all…..

11

It’s Me, Knittymuggins…..

Are you there blog?  It’s me, Knittymuggins.

Did you think I’d fallen off the face of the earth?  It’s been a busy spring & summer, everything sort of a mingled blur of preschool events, playdates, appointments, and trying to fill up the long summer hours without the whole preschool routine to rely on.

But, as I stepped out of my car yesterday morning, I could smell it: overripe blackberries, crushed, damp, foliage, and just the hint of a chill.  The smell I long for every year that tells me Autumn is coming; the season I yearn for.  Cool mornings and afternoons of warm, honeyed sunshine replace the white hot glare of summer, everywhere there are pumpkins, and my mood turns to contemplation.  The perfect time to start visiting this space again and sharing all my projects and thoughts with all of you lovely readers.

And boy is there a lot of knitting to share!  I have been a veritable knitting machine over the last few months.  It’s satisfying and rewarding and altogether necessary to survive life with a three year old.  Anyone who tells you that the twos are “terrible” hasn’t lived through the threes yet!  At least not the way things are going in our household.  That’s not to say that Knittymunchkin isn’t an angel 99% of the time.  But that last 1% can really stick it to you when you least expect it.

But you wanted some pretty pictures, didn’t you?  I thought so.  Here’s some of my latest FO’s with the bare minimum of details (you can check out specifics on my Ravelry project page).

And believe it or not, there’s more FO’s that I just haven’t had the chance to photograph yet!  But I hope to share those soon.

Hope your summer has been wonderful and that you are as excited about this autumn as I am!  I’m happy to be back :)

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…..

6

What Condition My Condition Is In

Just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in….
~ Mickey Newbury

 
I remember my Mom singing this unabashedly tunelessly around the house when I was a kid.  Figures it would be about the LSD experience.  But it’s running through my mind on a loop as I get the urge to blog again.  I attribute this itch to the whole autumn back-to-school vibe that’s floating around.  I get it every autumn with the arrival of tumbling leaves and rumbling school buses.  And this year I have a preschooler on my hands (!).  How and when did that happen?
 
But I’m feeling a bit better, slightly less overwhelmed, and I think it might be time to get back our (somewhat) regularly scheduled dosage of Knittymuggins nonsense.  In keeping with the back-to-school experience I bring you:
 
What I Did On My Summer Vacation

     

  • In June we took our first real family vacation!  We didn’t stray far, just 3 hours to Whistler, B.C., but it was almost like being a world away.  My BFF from college and her whole family were here from Kentucky and we stayed at their time-share with them.  The weather was gloomy (but we’re used to that!) so we just spent a lot of time swimming in the pool, playing on the playground in the village, and catching up.  I hadn’t seen Michele since R. Darling and I got married in 2004, and of her 4 children I had only met the oldest (when he was a mere 6 months old!) so it had definitely been too long.  The amazing thing is how easily we picked up where we had left off, as if I’d seen her only yesterday.  I wish they lived closer!!

 

     

  • I quit Facebook.  I was wasting WAY too much time on it and found myself feeling truly depressed whenever I logged out.  Easy solution: give it up.  I feel guilty that I don’t know what’s happening with many of the people I care about (since everyone uses FB and people don’t seem inclined to communicate any other way anymore), but I also love not feeling bummed out every day.  Besides, I saw “The Social Network” and that Mark Zuckerberg seems like a total a-hole. Just sayin’. I’ve actually been pretty unplugged all summer and I feel much happier and more productive on a lot of levels.
  •  

  • I participated in my first ever Ravellenic Games!  Well, not “officially”, but in spirit for sure.  My friends Jess, Troy, and I had our own personal knitalong conducted mostly via text, and it was so much fun I want to do it again :)  Each of us knit Leftie and though I was sure I wouldn’t finish it in 17 days, I totally did.  That was a huge eye-opener for me and has changed how I feel about my knitting.  It proved that if I stay monogamous with a project (and by now we all know I have a problem with that), it can be finished quickly.  On top of that this was the first project, probably since I was a beginner in 2006, where I picked out specific yarn and colors for this exact project.  Usually I sort of shop my enormous stash and try to fit project to yarn like a puzzle, with sometimes less than stellar results.  But I adore my Leftie and actually plan to wear it a lot this fall.

 

Leftie: In Progress July 2012

     

  • I started Body For Life again about 7 weeks ago and have lost 7 lbs!  I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight and had the utter joy of being able to put my diamond wedding ring back on after not wearing it since about November 2009.  I almost feel like a newlywed because I cannot stop admiring that sparkling chunk of white gold and diamond adorning my left ring finger.  Knittymunchkin was shocked when he caught sight of  it replacing my plain old white gold band that I’ve been wearing since he was in my tummy.  I can’t explain how wonderful it feels to have it back (and a little of my “old” body too!).  I’d ideally like to lose another 5-7 lbs to get back to my pre-pre-pregnancy weight, but the progress I’ve made so far still thrills me on its own.
  •  

  • I have a potty-trained toddler who is also going to preschool in a couple weeks!  I am just stunned he is this big already.  It’s going to be sad, exciting, and so much more, to watch him go off to school.  We weren’t planning on it just yet, but there was a last minute opening in a local co-op preschool that everyone raves about so we jumped on it.  I’m going to miss him like crazy, much as I will appreciate the break and the joy I get from watching him make new friends.  Wish me luck on this new venture!

 
I’m sure there’s much much more that I’m forgetting.  But I’ll be back with more before too long.  I hope you had a wonderful summer as well & look forward to catching up with each and everyone of you just as soon as I can.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Happy almost-Autumn!