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).

 

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4

Kids Just Don’t Understand

I’m going to reveal my age when I tell you that I remember a summer long ago when DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince ruled the airwaves with the hip hop classic “Parents Just Don’t Understand“.  This was long before iTunes & all the cool techy stuff kids have these days.  If we wanted to listen to a song over and over ad nauseum (as teenagers are wont to do) we had to keep our radio tuned, our tape deck loaded, & our fingers lightning fast in order to hit play/record at the perfect moment to capture our latest teen anthem.  R. Darling even remembers fishing in Alaska one summer & all he had to listen to was the Top 40 countdown he’d recorded off the radio (complete with DJ interludes) before heading out on the boat.  Ah, the mix tape days.

But the tables were turned last week when I caught a doozy of a cold and my 3.5 year old just didn’t get it.  I’m sorry but I do not want to sift through the questionable contents under the couch for your missing car parts or play “garbage truck” (which consists of running continuous loops through the divider between our kitchen & living room, shouting DUMP! every time you are dumping “garbage”).  Nor do I want to “play with you” when I am hacking up green junk from my lungs, coughing until my eyes bulge & generally feeling like refried plague.  Sometimes kids just don’t understand…..

When I’m feeling my worst I always turn to some kind of comfort knitting.  Yes, I’ll admit that I rather selfishly felt “good enough” to knit, but not good enough to play Knittymunchkin’s games (bad Mama!!).  I recently pulled out a project from last summer that has been hibernating for much too long: 64 Crayons (ravelry link) by Amy Swenson.  As per my usual MO, I started this in a fury of fanatical excitement, only to be distracted by something else (ooooh, shiny!).  But over the past year I’ve been slowly collecting more colors of Noro Kureyon for Knittymunchkin’s blanket & I figured it was high time I had something simple & soothing on the needles.

large noro strip 3a

The yardage on Noro Kureyon seems to vary greatly & I had a couple strips I’d made last summer that just needed another 20 rows of knitting or so.  I had a couple balls of Noro that I’d purchased online (and therefore hadn’t had the privilege to see in person) that were borderline ugly.  So I cut out the prettier colors & spliced them in to finish up the other strips I’d started last summer.  It was the perfect excuse to use my new nostepinne.

nostepinne

I’d been wanting one of these for a while & picked this one up for $10 at my LYS’ annual Stashbuster Sale in August.  It’s a lovely thing, but I didn’t know how to use it.  Good thing it’s not that summer I was talking about at the beginning of my post!  I just consulted the mighty intrawebs & behold, I made me a center pull ball old school style.  I’m certainly not winning any ball winding contests here, I’m slow as molasses & just as sloppy, but it works great for little odds & ends that are left over that you don’t want getting all tangled up.  I love it!  Maybe someday I’ll even let Knittymunchkin use it….

5

Might As Well Face It, You’re Addicted To Runs

Long color runs, that is.  Noro, to be specific.
 
I’m probably majorly dating myself by referencing this song, but I’m not ashamed to say that I totally dug it back in the day.    Just as I am digging Noro right now.
 
I wasn’t born a Noro lover.  At least not at first.  I thought the colors were always a bit wacky.  I mean, who really looks at a skein of yarn filled with lime green, turquoise and purple, and then says:  Wow, this could really use some peach!  You are either a color genius or higher than a kite if that combo immediately strikes you as gorgeous.  But somehow, that one color that just doesn’t seem to belong, almost always finds a way to work.  The other thing I didn’t love about Noro at first, was that it is positively infested with twigs and veg.  For such expensive stuff, you’d expect that your fiber wouldn’t come with extra hitchhikers you didn’t count on.  But after my first project with Noro Kureyon, I got over it.  You just pick it out and move on (or leave it if you prefer).  I expected that first hat to be scratchy and rough, but instead I was rewarded with a soft and totally non-scratchy fabric; completely unexpected considering the dead twig weight hitching a ride.  And the color transitions were fantastic.  I was hooked.
 
There are two things I still don’t love about Noro, but I forgive them because they are a small price to pay for the beauty of the finished objects and the thrill I get as each new color is unearthed from the skein.  The first would be the ungodly number of knots I find in every ball I’ve ever purchased.  Sometimes upwards of four knots in a 100g skein of sock yarn.  Ridiculous.  Not so bad if the colors are similar on either side of the knot.  In that case you do a quick spit splice (Noro splices beautifully!) and you’re off again.  But there have been times where the transition has been drastic and I’ve had to do some quick frogging and/or refiguring.  That always stinks.  The second thing I don’t love is the inconsistent thickness.    You can go from practically laceweight up to DK all within one ball of sock yarn.  It usually doesn’t affect the overall look of the project, but it still sort of bugs me.
 
But I’m addicted, well and truly.  Whenever I start a project with Noro I cannot stop myself from knitting color to color, feverishly, not wanting to stop until I see what the next transition will be.  It’s a blessing and a curse really.  A blessing for the joy and beauty I experience while knitting, but a curse because I cannot stop myself until the fever has burned through and the yarn is gone.  Take this for example:
 

 
It was supposed to be merely a pillow top.  But as I crocheted I wanted to keep going; no HAD to keep going.  I was completely and totally knitstoned. With twitchy fingers I scrabbled through all my leftover sock yarn partials and added them in.  More! I needed more!! Then I decided this needed to be a 40th birthday gift for my closest college friend and it would no longer be a pillow, but a blanket. Then I decided I wanted one.  And after that I decided there was at least one more person on my list who deserved one.  When that one’s finished I’m sure I will try to find another worthy recipient.  I pretty much want everyone to have one because I want to knit as many as humanly possible.  Sick I tell you.    
 
But what a ride it will be…..

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

Blankety Blank Blank

Do you ever feel like you have things to talk about but nothing to say?  I have things I could share, but I’m feeling kind of meh about it.  I’m doing things (some of them actually knitting related) but they just don’t feel interesting enough to blog about.  Which is totally weird because when I’m doing stuff that seems blogworthy, I generally don’t have trouble talking about it.  It just spills out unbidden and practically writes itself.  Maybe it’s just that I haven’t posted in over a week and I feel out of practice, or maybe that I’m just so tired that the words have gone into hiding in the dark and dusty recesses of my mind hoping I won’t stumble upon them and put them to work.  I think they’re tired too.
 
I shouldn’t be this exhausted.  Last night my darling little boy slept for 9 hours straight and over the past week he’s slept several other nights for 6-8 hours as well.  Why is it that getting more sleep is actually making me more groggy and tired?  I’m thinking that my sleep programming is all out of whack after nearly 4 months of getting up every 2-3 hours at night.  And I think that I still worry something is wrong with Knittymunchkin if he sleeps through what I expect will be a feeding time.  The worry makes me sleepless when I should be taking advantage of the extra opportunity to sleep.  All this snooze analysis is making my brain hurt though, and it’s boring for you, so let’s talk about some knitting instead!
 
Do you have a baby “go to” pattern that you always make for expectant moms?  I do.  It’s this free ball band pattern on the Lion Brand Pound of Love Yarn (Ravelry link here).  I’ve made so many of these that I lost count and it seems like all the moms I’ve made them for have really liked them.  Or else they’re all lying to me, which is a distinct possibility.  Anyhoo, every time I’ve made one of these, R. Darling has said he hoped I would make one of these for our baby when/if we ever had one.  So, shortly after I found out I was pregnant, I started one for our baby.  You should have seen R. Darling’s face light up when he realized what I was doing. It was so worth it, whether or not we’ll ever us the darn thing :)  See, we received so many beautiful handmade blankies from friends and family that I don’t forsee the need to ever break this one out.  But it’s the thought that counts.
 

Hooded Crochet Blanket (Lion Brand Pound Of Love Ball Band Pattern)


 

Close Up of Hooded Portion


 

  • Pattern: Crochet Hooded Baby Blanket by Lion Brand (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry Project link here)
  • Yarn: Less than one full skein of Lion Brand’s Pound of Love in White
  • Hook: 6 mm Size J crochet hook

 
It kinda took me forever to finish this because when I was first pregnant I was so sick I could barely stand to knit or crochet.  But I finished it eventually.  The hood seems like a great feature, but honestly, I’ve never even put Knittymunchkin in it :(
 
My next project was made for my best college friend’s newest daughter.  She has 3 other children and I’ve made something for each of them so I felt it was really important to continue the tradition with her latest addition.  Her first, a boy, received a blue and white granny crochet afghan.  Her second, a little girl, received a crocheted blanket made up of individually crocheted spiral motifs that were then sewn together.  I had just started dating R. Darling at the time and he and another friend of ours used to tease me about all the “bellybutton covers” I was crocheting.  Alas, no pics of either of those items to show.  Her third child received one of the first baby items I ever knit, a February Baby Sweater.  In retrospect I guess she kinda got gypped because she got the odd project out of the 4 of them.  But anyway, once I knew she was expecting again I had my heart set on making a Baby Chalice Blanket.  I’ve loved that pattern since I first laid eyes on it and this was the perfect reason to knit one.
 

Baby Chalice Blanket


 

Detail of Lace Pattern


 

  • Pattern:  Baby Chalice Blanket by Lykkefanten (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry Project link here)
  • Yarn:  Exactly 3 skeins of NaturallyCaron.com Country in “Green Sheen” (a mere yard or so left)
  • Needles:  Size 8, 24-inch circular
  • Mods:  Cast on 113 stitches instead of 83 to make a wider blanket

 
Really love this blanket and the yarn wasn’t bad at all for being chain store yarn.  Once blocked, it draped beautifully and it wasn’t bad to knit with either.  A tad splitty and I did find a few knots, but other than that it felt a lot like Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece which I like quite well.  Totally happy with this project, though next time I might buy one extra ball of yarn and make the blanket even wider and longer.  I like big snuggly blankies :)
 
And an outtake…..  I couldn’t resist “testing” the blankie out on Little Mister before sending it off.
 

Knittymunchkin Fast Asleep


 
Hmmmm…. guess I had more to say than I thought!