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Friday, February 28, 2014

Finished Objects!

It didn’t help this week’s blog posts that in addition to a complete lack of motivation we had some morning appointments.  I did get a couple of small projects started and finished though!
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I finished my first washcloth!  (Rav project page link.)  I want to weigh it before I use it for the first time so I know how much yardage I used (and I can figure out how many I can get from each ball of yarn).  I used Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton (and it is a nice, soft cotton) in Aqua.  It’s knit in Linen Stitch, which is an interesting stitch to work and I’ve always loved the look of it.  This was a fun, fast knit.
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I also made a Peppercorn Bracelet.  (Rav Project Page for this one.)This is a cute way to use beads and small, leftover bits of sock yarn.  The hardest part was prestringing all the beads and that’s because Max made it difficult.  I’ve actually been trying to get beads on for a few months now, but every time I think of it, he wakes up and “helps".  Yesterday I was helping Caleb review for a science test and Max was downstairs asleep, so I took the beads and yarn upstairs and got them all strung!  The actual knitting of the bracelet was super fast and easy.  It wraps three times around my wrist.  The pattern actually calls for tying the bracelet around your wrist, but that implies keeping it on for an extended period of time.  I want the option to take the bracelet on and off, so I chained a loop at one end and attached a button at the other end.  I kind of kept notes, but I should probably make another one soon just to make sure I got the notes right.  Also, I kind of have a lot of beads and leftover sock yarn, so I could definitely make a few of these!

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This Winter

I have nothing to show for today.  Nada.  I haven’t knit anything, thought about knitting anything, wound any yarn or anything else that is remotely related to this blog.  I have been a potato.  Last night I finally realized why I didn’t feel like getting anything done:  I’m cold.

This winter has been cold everywhere, and while I won’t compare our temps here in north Texas with those in the upper midwest and northeast parts of the country, it’s been colder than usual here as well.  Last year there was one, maybe two mornings that I couldn’t run because it was too cold*.  I’ve lost track of the number of mornings I’ve cancelled a run this winter due to it being too cold.  This morning I was so fed up with it, I ran anyway.  I thought about leaving Logan at home where he’d be warm, but I knew he wanted to get out there too, so we ran, we did it, and now I’m sitting here at the kitchen table typing this blog entry with my ear warmer on.  The temperature actually dropped this morning while we were out running and the wind picked up, which made the wind chill drop even farther.  I know in the next few weeks, I’ll be able to put away my fuzzy running tights and the shorts will come out again, but today, while I sit here with frozen ears, it’s hard to get my head around.

Last week it got warm here.  The sun came out.  I was able to leave the house without a jacket.  It was wonderful.  That’s all gone again now, and I’m cold.  Again.  I’m sick of being cold.  I’m ready for some warmer weather.  I’m ready for Spring!

*In case you’re curious, my threshold for “too cold to run” is 20 degrees F.  Both the actual temp and the wind chill have to be at least 20 for me to run.  Below that temperature, it’s just too hard to stay warm enough to feel things like feet.  This morning the wind chill was 19 when I woke up and 16 when Logan and I got back from our run.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Something Little and Maybe Silly

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After the Ravellenic knitting, the only thing I have on the needles is my Fair Isle vest and I’ve got to sit down to that when I have some quiet time when I restart it.  (Quiet time = no school questions and Max is asleep.)  I have the hexipuffs, but I wanted something else.  It needed to be small, portable and brainless.  I decided to knit a washcloth!
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No, I haven’t lost my mind (although there are days where it’s close).  I just need a little extra help exfoliating my face at this time of year.  I have had a Clarisonic for about seven years now and it’s made a huge difference for my skin (my skin is super oily, but gets dry in the winter), but I need a little extra scrubbing during the winter.  We only have a few washcloths and I don’t want to do laundry every few days, so I decided to try making one and see how I like it.  This is linen stitch, which makes a very smooth texture on the front (the top picture) and a nubby, bumpy one on the back (the picture above).  I only had to memorize two patterns (a RS and a WS) and it can be knit without thinking.  If I like it, once it’s finished, there may be more washcloths!

Don’t worry, there will also be more exciting things around here too.  If you’re curious, the project page is here.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

I’ve Crossed the Finish Line Again!

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I finished knitting my Sweetheart Bag Wednesday night and washed and blocked it yesterday, and last night I finished knitting the i-cord drawstring.  I have to admit, it was very nice knowing that the colors in these yarns (both yarns are Sunday Knits Nirvana 3-ply, berry and sand are the colors) wouldn’t run when I washed the finished project.  This project qualifies for the Bag Jump, Lace Luge, and the Nordic Colorwork Combined events.  (There’s the knitting crazy again!)

I’m really happy with how it came out, but I’ll probably line it with fabric at some point, so I can actually use it without stretching it out.  (No, I don’t know what I’ll use it for at this point.)  It was a nice little project that used up some leftovers.  Rav link.
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I have to show you the new way I’m watching the Olympics - through Max.  Max has discovered figure skating and has a new game - Smack the Skater.  He sits right in front of the TV and when they’re twirling and jumping, he slaps at them.  He doesn’t use claws, so we don’t mind, but for some reason, he thinks they need his “help.”  I have no idea what goes through this cat’s mind half the time.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Continuing...

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There is more bag now!  Which means there are more leaves, flowers and vines on the bag too!  Guess what I’ll be doing today?  Yep, more leaves, flowers and vines.  Here is my Ravelry project page link.  

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Tiny Project

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When I finished the blanket and got it pinned out to block, I started a second Ravellenics project.  This one is much smaller, but it has color work!  This is the Sweetheart Bag from Jane Austen Knits, Fall 2012 issue.  It’s worked from the top down from the little pointed lace edging.  The holes between the edging and the color work are for the i-cord drawstring - they’re on purpose.  I’m using some of the leftover yarn from my Milano sweater (the striped one with all the colors).  This is berry and sand in the Nirvana 3ply.  I’m loving this little color work design, it’s just so pretty!

I have no earthly idea what I’m going to do with the finished bag, I just thought it would be pretty and a complete change of pace from my first Ravellenics project.  Here’s my Rav project page link.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Finished!

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Saturday evening I knit across the finish line on my first 2014 Ravellenics project!  I would have been finished Saturday afternoon, but as I got just past the halfway point on the crochet chain bind off, I realized I wouldn’t have enough yarn.  I had to undo what I had done of the bind off and tink back the final round of knitting.  I ended up with less than five yards of yarn left.
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If you’ve ever wondered what blocking does, this is a good illustration.  This is the blanket as it looks, fresh off the needles with only the ends woven in (not trimmed, they get trimmed after blocking).  I washed it, which helped the yarn relax, and was then able to block it flat.  I don’t think I could have blocked it flat while it was dry.
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Once the blanket dried completely, it was nice and flat, and BIG!  This thing is 69 inches across!  And if you’re wondering if it passed Max inspection, he’s already made a fort under it.  Here’s the Rav project page for it, and a detail shot of the center.
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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Keeping On

The sun came out yesterday and it occurred to me that if I took a picture of my Hemlock Ring Blanket, you could see the actual color of the yarn!  It’s almost as dark as a navy blue, but it leans a little towards the green side of blue instead of being true, dark blue.  You can actually see the color in this picture, with the bit of green and all.
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Want to know something fun?  I only have 11 more rounds plus a bind off!  Two of those rounds are pattern rounds which take 30-45 minutes each.  The other nine are stockinette.  Miles and miles of stockinette.  I’m going to try my hardest to get it finished over the weekend.  We’ll see if I do or not.
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To keep you amused while I work on the giant jellyfish of wool, I give you Logan sleeping on his bed.  It looks like he’s floating on his own personal island.  He’s always slept curled up like a cat where Finn was more of a sprawler.  The funny thing is, you’d think it would be opposite because Logan’s coat is so much thicker than Finn’s ever was.  Max, on the other hand, sleeps on his back with his tiny, gray paws in the air - under the covers of course.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Forward Momentum

It has slowed.  I’ve only worked a few rounds on my blanket in the last couple of days and the difference isn’t even noticeable to me, so there’s no point in a picture.  I can look at the chart and see that there just isn’t that much more to go, but the stitch count is over 400 per round at this point (it will be 500+ at the end) so it seems like each round takes some time.  On the other hand, I know that as long as I keep knitting when I can, I will get there, and in plenty of time.  Slow and steady…

Ravelry project page link.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

The Blanket!

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I’ve gotten a good start on my Hemlock Ring Blanket.  I’ve finished the first ball of yarn and have started the second ball of yarn.  That means I’m past the halfway point!  You can see the center “flower” and part of the feather and fan pattern.  It’s big enough that it’s too big to photograph easily now - it’s at the giant jellyfish stage.  My knitting time will be cut way down during the week as Caleb and I work on homeschool things, but I’m happy with the big start I got over the weekend.  (Ravelry project page link.)

I think Max has already figured out that I’m knitting a blanket because he keeps wiggling under it.  He’s at least figured out that whatever I think I’m knitting works as a blanket for him!

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Friday, February 07, 2014

An Ending and A Beginning!

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I finished my socks!  These are the Hermione’s Everyday Socks, done in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight in Rare Gems Fire.  I used US 1 (2.25mm) DPN’s and worked top down.  I really just used the pattern for the stitch pattern, so while my socks are very similar to the actual pattern, they aren’t exactly the pattern.  I actually just plugged the stitch pattern into my standard, generic sock that I’ve knit so many times at this point, I don’t have to think about it.  This is a great stitch pattern and it’s subtle enough to add a little texture and interest without competing with a busy color way (in my opinion).  I think this stitch pattern is definitely a good one to add to the sock library!  (Ravelry project link)

It’s good to be finished with the socks, because today is Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics!  I love the Olympics, always have, and I always watch them.  Caleb has been pretty effectively brainwashed into loving the Olympics too, so he’ll be watching with me.  Also, since we’re doing Ancient History this year, we’re going to take a little side trip into the original olympics while the modern day Olympics are going on.  See, history is relevant!  (Mickael likes the idea of the Olympics, but I got to him too late to really train him to watch ALL THE OLYMPICS.  He’ll only watch Opening Ceremonies, Closing Ceremonies, and one or two events.  He’s a lightweight.)  This also means that I’ll be challenging myself to reach knitting glory (or at least keep the needles flying while I cheer for the athletes).  My first project will be a Hemlock Ring Blanket, knit in Cascade Eco+ in Aporto, a dark blue blue green (yes, it’s more blue than a blue green is, so blue blue green).  The yarn comes in 250 gram skeins of almost 500 yards each!  I had to hand wind it.  It’s about the size of a soccer ball, maybe a little smaller.  I have two of them for this project.  I’ve got the needles out and ready to go along with my counter (I use a row/round counter religiously.  It might be a bit obsessive.  Or beyond obsessive.  I love them!), stitch markers and the pattern entered into Knit Companion.  As soon as they start those Opening Ceremonies is Sochi, I am casting on!  Here is the Ravelry project link.
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GO USA!

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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

A Plan

The Opening Ceremonies for the Winter Olympics are on Friday.  They kick off Friday night in Sochi, Russia, but that’s 10:00 AM here in North Texas.  That means I can cast on for my Ravellenic Games Project at 10:00 AM.  It is definitely high time I picked a project!

I think I’ve participated in every Olympic related knitting event since the Yarn Harlot first came up with the idea.  I love the Olympics and since I’ll be watching (and knitting) anyway, it just makes sense.  This will be the first Olympics since we started homeschooling Caleb, so obviously there are some things I need to take into account when I plan a project.  I’ve been going back and forth over the last month, thinking about what I want to do and trying to pick a project.  I even briefly considered not challenging myself and just knitting whatever I have on the needles.  (Thankfully, I came to my senses quickly on that one and had another cup of tea.  Then I felt better.)  The sensible thing to do would be to finish The Babette.  I don’t want to do sensible right now.  I want to make something new!

I wandered around through my favorites in Ravelry.  I searched my library in Rav (this is why it’s really nice to have all your books and magazines and patterns in your library - searches are so much easier).  I looked at my stash and now, I have a plan!

I will begin with a Hemlock Ring Blanket for our family room.  This will qualify for the Giant Slalom-Ghan and Lace Luge events.  A blanket sounds big and scary, but it’s only 900 yards and it’s knit on big needles.  I feel confident that I can finish it.  If I do finish it, I plan to do a Sweetheart Bag as a second project.  This will qualify for the Bag Jump, Nordic Colorwork Combined, Lace Luge, and possibly the Stash Skeleton events, depending on which yarn I use.  If by some miracle, I complete both of these with time to spare, I will either knit a pair of socks (if I have four days left) or a pair of mitts (if I have two days left).  I’ll show you yarn for everything when I start it - I figure you’ll see it enough over the next few weeks, there’s no sense in boring you with it early.

I’ll be spending the next couple of days finishing my current pair of socks, winding yarn and getting patterns into Knit Companion so I can get started Friday morning.

I just re read today’s entry, in an attempt to proofread it, and I realized that if there are any non-knitters reading this who weren’t entirely convinced that knitters are crazy, this post would have pushed them right over the edge.  Yep, crazy!

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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Sock

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I’ve made it all the way down the leg on my second sock and I’m ready to start the heel flap.  This stage of sock knitting always feels like I’m at the halfway point of the sock.  I’ve never actually figured out where the halfway point is by stitch count or anything technical like that, but it feels like halfway.  Once I get the gusset decreases worked and I’m back to my original stitch count, I feel like I’m on the home stretch!  Does anyone else divide up their socks in progress like this or is it just my crazy mind?  (Sorry about the photo.  It’s really dark and rainy here this morning.)  Ravelry Project Page Link.

I’m still trying to figure out my Ravellenic knitting project.  I’ve got several possibilities for projects. I should probably narrow down my choices and maybe I’ll ask the blog what you think!  I’m kind of running out of time, aren’t I?

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Monday, February 03, 2014

Look What’s Back!

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The Hexipuffs showed up this weekend!

Which is more than I can say about the Denver Broncos.

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