Saturday, January 15, 2011

free yarn!

I knew it had been awhile since I posted here, but wow, didn't realized it had been this long!

I wanted to share some exciting news. It is no secret that I am a huge Knit Picks fan (I've been buying their products since I learned to knit). I have entered nearly every contest they've held and guess what? I WON ONE! And I must say I won a really good one with a prize of a $25 Knit Picks gift certificate.

My yarn arrived in the mail today, which was what made me remember I hadn't posted about this yet! I was waiting until they announced the winners, but it's been a couple weeks now and I can't contain myself anymore. This is the contest I won. My entry is the fifth comment down.

Even though I have a huge backlog of projects to work on, I couldn't resist using the gift certificate for yarn for some sweaters I've been wanting to knit. I chose the newWool of the Andes Sport in Tidepool Heather (MC) and Wonderland Heather (CC) to make Daffodil and a favorite of mine, Palette in Merlot Heather (MC) and Camel Heather (CC) to make Lydia.

I received a gift certificate from a friend for Christmas, as well, and used that to try out two newer yarns: Chroma in Rollerskate worsted-weight which has since become Maine Morning Mitts my favorite fingerless mitts pattern that I've knit more times than I can count and a matching Calorimetry to replace mine that has been lost for a couple years (I tend to lose a lot of knitted accessories). I also wanted to try Capra to make Tudora (chose Harbor in that). For the first time ever, I am actually disappointed in something from Knit Picks. This yarn is not nearly as soft as I imagined it would be. I actually think Merino Style is softer. It's an awfully pretty yarn, but I haven't knit it up yet (next project to be cast on tonight!) so can't comment to that, but I just expected it to be so soft that I'd want to snuggle with it. And then with the few extra dollars and a few dollars of my own I chose some Wool of the Andes (Blossom Heather) to make this crazy cute cowl from Cowlgirls, which is a stupidly fun book.

Selfish knitting season has begun!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Any golfers out there? My mom cleverly thought of me knitting golf club covers for my brother for his birthday. Brilliant! I know absolutely nothing about golfing though and was wondering if anyone out there had any helpful hints that could guide me with these covers. My mom told me that you typically use the covers on your woods.

And that is all I know lol.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

knitting for others

Seems to have become all I have time for anymore. I went from being someone who knits primarily for themselves (and their kiddo) and occasionally for others to someone who knits more for others than herself.

Don't get me wrong: I love knitting for others, else I wouldn't do it. But it has begun to consume me. Every time I think I'm done, I have someone else to knit for. The reason is quite simple: we are broke as a joke and the only way I can afford to give most people gifts is to knit for them. Even if I have to purchase new yarn (I've delved into the stash as much as possible), it's on the cheap (thank you, as ever, Knit Picks and sales and coupons at Joann!). A handknit gift is worth a million times more than what the actual cost is, so it just makes such a thoughtful gift.

I am a (nearly) total process knitter though, so having to crank out so many things on deadlines is extremely challenging for me. And I'm very Type A and brinking on OCD when it comes to completing things. So, yeah, challenging. The last couple of projects (and I know a few upcoming ones) have totally not been done technically on time, but "on time" for me as of late is "somewhere in the general vicinity of when it was supposed to be done, where 'general vicinity' is about two weeks out".

I did just purchase some yarn to knit some things for myself and I'm about 2/3 of the way done with one of those projects. Yay!

But for others within the upcoming month, I've got a pair of socks to do, a congratulations gift that is already on the needles, and I have to figure out something to make my brother (I have a hat I want to do - to match a scarf I did for him in the fall, but I'd like to maybe do something else too - ideas? Socks are a possibility, but he has size-14 feet, so I know they won't have a hope of being done on time. What the heck else do you knit for a guy?)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

felting - yes, again.

I'd say that I should apparently just give up on felting, but I do like to do it on occasion and I've still have more projects come out with proper results than not. It's only lately that I clearly can't felt to save my life.

And that is the crux of the problem - that it's a recent problem. I'm too busy. I have always been a serious multi-tasker and since becoming a mom, multi-tasking is the core of my existence. Working more has only made me have to figure out more ways to fit things in.

This weekend I had some very rare time without the hubbo lurking about the house (still had the kiddo, but he's easy!) and took advantage of doing some projects around the house. I had been queueing and favoriting pattern on Ravelry for a new felted bag (I have some worsted-weight wool in my stash waiting patiently specifically for such a destiny). Last year (or maybe two years ago??), I knit up the Celtic Tote to use as a diaper bag. I've loved that bag muchly, but it's not getting used a lot anymore because, while Scoot isn't potty-trained, I'm hoping he will be by year's end and we're at a point where I just have to carry one diaper and wipes. I tote a mini-backpack of his usually because it's small. The cavalcade of items (and I was always a light packer - I can't imagine the moms who carry more!) required for infants is no longer a necessity.

Plus, the Celtic Tote pattern calls for not fully felting it to get the desired look and therefore has gotten stretched-out over its time of use. I decided to try refelting it a bit to try to make it a bit more stable for use as an everyday bag until I can get around to knitting up a new handbag.

I threw it into the wash. And then promptly forgot about it. :/

When I took it out it was completely felted and is now a (large - at least to me) handbag. It's very practical and cute, but the essence of that bag has been lost (you can barely see the cabling). So it is now my new handbag and I think I'll knit up (and felt) something to be used in the spring and summer.

But this experience made me figure out what has all gone horribly wrong with my felting. I forget about it. I put it in, get distracted with something else, and so it goes through an ENTIRE cycle (the whole washing cycle, rinse, and spin) with never even being checked on.

Next time I felt I vow to do it when I have minimal distractions and I won't get going on another involved project (cleaning, an intense game of Candyland, sorting the laundry, etc...) until my knitting is out of the wash.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I ran out of yarn yesterday for the cardigan I'm working on. I don't have enough to do the button bands. I can order more, but I've been waiting to place my Knit Picks order (I have a Mastercard giftcard from Christmas that I decided to use for yarn!) until their spring yarns start rolling in. Drat.

I was going to participate in the Knitting Olympics this year (not the Ravelympics - that looked too complicated), but I really wanted to get that cardigan done, which wasn't going to happen by the opening ceremony. Plus I was afraid I'd literally do nothing but knit, devoted to completing a project that would be otherwise impossible to complete in the short time-frame (I get a little OCD like that).

So I've decided to unofficially participate in my own way to kill time until I can place that order (plus, as always, I'm sooooo backlogged on knitting projects I want to do). I'm going to try to knock out as many projects as I can until I can put my order in, which means hopefully I'll burn through a fair amount of small projects.

To start with, I cast on a pair of bulky-weight mittens yesterday afternoon during naptime and got through (aside from the thumb) with one. But then when I tried it on it was waaaay too small and I *think* I somehow miscounted and ended up with 10 rows less than what I should have. I frogged to the thumb and will give it another go tonight. If it's still too small, I'll just have to add in some rows (I don't have freakishly large hands, but they aren't small, so this could potentially be the issue).

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Oh my GOD you guys!

I WON! French Press Knits held a contest on her blog to celebrate her 2000th sale on Etsy by giving away, randomly, a custom pair of slippers to one lucky winner.

And guess who was the winner?!

Me, who never wins anything won my very own pair of custom French Press slippers. I am still gobsmacked. If you click on the link, you will see that I chose burgundy wine-colored slippers with fab silvery buttons.

Thank you to French Press Knits for hosting this contest and for your fabulous patterns you put out! (PS If you haven't got the slipper pattern yet, I highly recommend it. Super quick and easy knit with a lot of result.)

Friday, January 15, 2010


I started doing some knitting for myself (some socks, some mittens, to start with) because I was so burnt out from Christmas knitting (do y'know that I didn't knit for about 3 days after Xmas?).

Then the over-achiever in me took over and I decided I needed to knit some favors to give to the kids coming to my son's birthday party on the 23rd. I was going to do a little critter (I found a cute little snail), but decided on cupcakes instead. Since I'm making a cake (shaped like Lightening McQueen, no less - it will be an adventure and I can blame that over-achiever again for this one), my cupcake stand will now be put to use holding knit cupcakes and when the kids leave they each can take one.

Of course, the stand holds 13, so I'm going to make 13 even though there are only 6 kids that will be there. I'm going to send one to a friend as a thank-you, try to pawn a couple off on some other guests (who don't have kids) and then maybe give a couple of a friend's children who aren't able to make it to the party.

Thankfully these cupcakes are freaking adorable and quick knits. Additionally, they are all going to be different from each other, so that keeps things interesting. I've got 6 bottoms and 2 tops done so far. The kiddo is staying with my mom and dad this weekend, so I should be able to finish cranking them out by the end of it. I can then spend the week decorating them, stuffing them, and seaming them.

Oh, and I'm knitting a felted birthday crown for the birthday boy!

I have to finish up a birthday present too (the knitting is done, it just needs to be stuffed and seamed.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Epic Felt Fail

I've not done what I would consider tons of felting, but a fair amount and I've never had a project go awry. Until now. I have the Cheery Cup Cozies Kit from Knit Picks and I decided to knit up the felted argyle version a few days ago.

It's knit in intarsia and I'm bad and don't snip and join new pieces of yarn and carry floats along the back. Since this was going to be felted, I thought it wouldn't matter much.

Well. Apparently I was wrong because all of that extra yarn in the back has adhered itself to the opposite side of the tube. I accidentally let it run through the entire wash cycle (including rinse and spin), which may have been where the majority of the problem came from.

Other potential problem is that I've never knit something at an extremely loose gauge like this and felted it. Did you know that you're supposed to knit at a crazy loose gauge to get better felting (more space between the stitches = more agitation and therefore more felting)? Well, I did not. I've always knit at whatever relatively normal gauge other patterns are written for. I'm wondering it this particular variable was a big contributor to the Epic Felt Fail.

Also. Whatever happened to stuff shrinking lengthwise more than width wise? That's like a solid constant in felting (and the accidental, or purposeful, shrinking of clothes). This cozy could fit a Super Big Gulp in length. And yet is skinny enough to possibly be a form-fitting tube dress for Barbie.

I'm going to try to soak it tomorrow night and see if I can manipulate it in any way when it's wet. If not, I'll have to be creative and maybe do some cutting to turn this into something else. Unfortunately, I was planning on giving this one to a friend (and if it was successful make a couple more in other colors for other friends).

In other news, I'm having a case of "I'm not sure what next to knit", which never, ever happens to me. I usually know what next I'll cast on three projects ahead of time (like chess, y'know?). I think the problem is I have so much right now that I want to knit that I can't make up my damn mind. I opted to cast on a pair of socks that have been haunting me to knit them since early last fall (haven't had time!). I'm hoping this doesn't turn into a bout of startitis (maybe choosing quick projects will appease me?).

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I don't do resolutions, but I have some (vague and not rigid) knitting goals this year.

#1 - try to manage a pair of socks a month like I attempted last year (started out strong, but lost steam halfway through the year). Plus a couple of my socks have sprung irreparable holes this winter, so I really need to replace them to keep my toes toasty.

#2 - try to finish up some of those projects that have been hibernating for WAY too long (like more than a year) because they take up too much space.

#3 - try not to buy too much yarn in an effort to reduce the very abundant stash. Gift certificates do not count lol. Nor do purchases for gifts. Tried this last year too and then went on a yarn-buying frenzy for a few months.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

knitting for Christmas

I received some lovely knitting swag for Christmas this year.

1. A Knit Picks gift certificate from a certain Sirius and Remus. ;)
2. The Knitter's Toolbag Kit (which was on my list this year!)
3. A yarn cutter, which is something I've always wanted.
4. Harmony Wood Cable Needle Set, which my mom spectacularly picked out on her own (as she did the yarn cutter). I always just use a spare DPN for cabling, so it will be very nice to have needles handy in my bag for cabling (plus then I don't have to worry about losing a dpn).
5. The Knitter's Book of Wool (yay!)
6. A little pom pom maker, which I'm eager to try out the next time I need a pom pom because they are such a pain to make.
7. And what I'm stupidly excited about (another thing I asked for): a kitchen/yarn scale. This will make using up leftovers (something I do a lot of) SO much easier.

Oh, and some darning needles.

Unfortunately, I've not been doing much of any knitting since December 23 (the day I finished the last of the Christmas gifts!) because I think I'm totally burnt out from the marathon knitting session of the last few weeks. I have a baby set that I'm slowly working on for a baby due end of January, but my friend is in Europe where they don't typically receive baby gifts until after the baby is born anyway (or so I've been told!), so if it arrives tardy, by my standards, at least I won't feel so bad.

How was everyone's Christmas?