Tag Archives: knitting

All of Time and Space

You ever have one of those super quick knits that is oh-so-satisfying, and also makes the recipient very very happy? Today I’m going to show you one of those… because even though I knit as much as I quilt- and sometimes even more- you’d never know it by looking at this blog! So let’s look at yarn. And then stay tuned, because boy do I have a proud mom moment to share.

You may know that I am part of a family of geeky nerds. In fact, hard as it may be to believe, I may be the most mainstream of us all.

Chew on that for a few.

You still there?

This is Annie. My sometimes enchanting, other times maddening 13 year old daughter (is there any other kind?)

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Astute readers might notice the Tardis hat on her head. No, that’s not my handiwork- but it is a good example of her daily wardrobe. If it relates to a time lord or a Marvel character (especially Captain America), she’s probably wearing it.

In late 2014, I learned that KnitPicks had temporarily re-released some of their Felici self striping yarns in some very particular and sought after color ways, including this one.

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It’s called “Time Traveler”, and it references the 4th Doctor‘s trademark scarf. I immediately ordered 8 skeins- enough to make a pair of socks for each member of the family. So glad I did; it sold out very quickly! When it arrived, I remembered that my kids don’t like socks.

D’oh. But Annie DOES like arm warmers. So, with this easy and free pattern by Susan B. Anderson, I whipped her up a pair, in just about a week. They were done and being worn everywhere even before xmas. And they actually only took one skein plus a few yards, so I think I have enough left to make her a matching hat!

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Super cool, eh? She loves em. I love that I made her so happy. And that they are machine washable.

And she was even happier this week- last Friday, we went to see Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Don’t know who he is? Even if you don’t, you probably know one of his most famous moments- he was instrumental in the demotion of Pluto from full planet status.

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The next slide said, “GET OVER IT.” Maybe you had to be there, but it brought the house down.

Last week, he gave 2 sold out lectures here in Denver (2,900 seats in the venue!). My mom bought us the tickets last August- the kids didn’t know until xmas- this was their big gift. (As an aside, can I tell you how happy it makes me that my kids were thrilled to receive tickets to a lecture on astrophysics for xmas??) The man was even more awesome in person than you would think, and after talking for 3 hours with no break, he took questions from the audience.

My Annie wants to be an astronomer. And she really wanted to ask him a question- but she ended up fairly far back in the line. I was worried she’d be so let down if she didn’t get to talk to him- but I needn’t have been. When he announced he could only take a few more questions, the audience and the people ahead of my girl asked them to let the kids go! (There were 2 behind her.) And they did! So, thanks to generous and kind strangers, Annie was able to ask her mentor a question.

I totally broke all the rules, which, if you know me, is a huge deal, and used my phone to record her Q&A. But here’s the thing- how often do you get a chance to ask your living idol a question, in person? (Her dead idol is Alan Turing…) So the video quality is crap as I was dodging and weaving to avoid the very, very conscientious usher who was bent on busting every single camera wielding rule breaker in the room. Want to relive the moment? You can, if so inclined… It is pretty darn awesome if I do say so myself. (And if you saw the video on my FB, this is actually the full version with 45 extra seconds…)

PS Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday

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Filed under Annie, Brushes with Greatness, General Geekery, Gift, Kids, Knitting

These are the kind of stitches I like…

The only upside to my recent downtime has been…lots of knitting! I finished a pair of socks, knit an entire shawl in under a week, and knit the next shawl in 2 weeks… And I’m halfway through a pair of fingerless mitts for my husband, too.

Today I’m just sharing the second shawl- still no good pix of the first.

I bought the yarn years and years and years ago. (Also known as Jan, 2009.) I had it in my Rav destash section, but then, I saw this blog post from Fancy Tiger, and I had to cast on one of my own ASAP. The original yarn I tried fought with me- first by tangling horribly while I was trying to wind it (took 2 days to untangle) and then by not at all looking like it did in my imagination 😦 So I had to go back to the drawing board/stash- and this 5 year old skein was just the ticket.

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Not too overpowering, but still fun. Rabbit Ridge Designs sock yarn in Petal, in case you were wondering.

The pattern, Antarkis, was a bit of a splurge, but after I saw it I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. So I bought it, and got started. Had I not dropped a stitch, and not noticed, at the very end, I would have been done a week ago. But I ended up ripping back and redoing the end of the shawl- and it was worth it. The error would have made me furious had I left it in, and I never would have worn the thing…

So without further ado, ta-da! The new shawl- and ME! Because I felt well enough to be in a photo and let you see me…

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If I ever make it again, I’ll go up a needle size (from 5 to 6.)  I’ve been known to knit very tightly… especially when stressed! I had enough yarn left at the end that I repeated the final section one extra time.

I wore it to work today, and got loads of compliments- a nice ego boost AND bonus distraction from the house/healing stress! Now to finish the second mitt for my husband, and then decide what to cast on next.

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Filed under Knitting, Shawls

She’s aliiiiive- no, really (aka blergh part 3)

Last time I dropped by here to chat, it was just a few days after my fun and exciting emergency gallbladder removal.

August was a hell of a month.

The leaking roof, the gallbladder- those you know about. But we had a few family issues that I’m not going to share here- you’ll have to trust me when I say that they were/are super sucky. While I was still working on physically recovering, our microwave decided to die (or rather, to only work on the popcorn setting, and also, to come on all by itself. Freaky!) And then, after I went back to work, my car battery died. Thank goodness the awesome facilities staff were able to give me a jumpstart so I could get to the shop and get a new one installed… That day, when I finally made it back home and to my bed, our satellite TV was out.

Speaking of going back to work, I didn’t pull that off very well. At one week post-op, I went in for 4 hours. And woke up in agony the next day. I stupidly went back anyway, and made myself worse.  Cue a 3 day stint in bed, the only pro being that I watched the final 2 seasons of True Blood in an epic binge. At least by this point I was able to knit again.

Speaking of knitting… this illness and knitting didn’t mix at first. Post 1st ER, pre 2nd ER/surgery, I tried to work on my Drogon socks. (Pattern from April Cookie A Sock Club, using my own yarn purchased many years ago.)

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I had one sock done, and was ready for the heel flap on the second. I diligently plowed thru the heel flap, perhaps while on Percocet. And the next day I realized I had counted my stitches incorrectly and had to rip the whole thing back. I was so frustrated, and worried about screwing up again, that I put it down. Apparently knitting on narcotics is way worse than knitting drunk, at least for me.

Then came the surgery, and the pain. Aside from the fact that for the first week, I was on some potent pain pills and was afraid to risk another heel debacle, it also hurt to hold my arms where I normally would when knitting. D’oh. I plowed through my entire Kindle backlog, averaging a book a day. Finally I felt like I could handle knitting again, but I was afraid to go back to the sock until I was significantly better. So I dug through my Ravelry cue and stash pages until I found a super simple project that I could make with yarn that I had on hand- and even better, yarn that didn’t need to be wound. I cast on the Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West on 8/18, and finished it on 8/24. (The pattern repeat is literally 2 rows until you get to the final border…) You don’t get any pics yet as I’m not feeling up to being in them, or letting you see me…

After I finished the shawl, I felt brave enough to go back to my socks. And now they’re done. 2nd time was a charm on that heel…

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The left and right socks are mirrored. The pattern is meant to evoke the scales of Drogon, the most fearsome of the dragons from Game of Thrones. I’d had this Socks That Rock Lightweight in the Korpii color way sitting around for literally years- and it worked perfectly in this pattern. Because the yarn is a bit thicker, and the yardage a bit shorter, I went down a size from normal for me. I also eliminated one pattern repeat… They fit perfectly and I finished with just a bit of yarn to spare.

So it’s a new month. I’m really hopeful that September will be kinder to me and my family. My recovery is back on track. I’m not sure if for some reason I’m having a rougher time than is normal, or if I underestimated the impacts of surgery, even if it was laparoscopic. Regardless, I am now taking it verrrrry easy. I am back at work. On try #2, I went back 3 hours on monday, 4 on tuesday, etc. Today I basically made it an entire work day! My pain is overall way more manageable, and in a week I’m allowed back in hot tubs. If only we owned a hot tub… My car is fine now that it has a shiny new battery, and we got a new microwave on sale over the weekend (bless the internet- we shopped and bought it online, with store pickup, done by my husband, and I didn’t even have to get out of bed.) The contractors should be starting the repair work next week- they would have started this week but I couldn’t handle it while still feeling lousy. They say it’s a one week job, so I’m thinking 2?

I’ve missed you all terribly. While I was feeling lousy, I didn’t even look at my bloglines feed. I’m hoping to start making the rounds and visiting you all again very soon.

Thank you again for all the kind comments and well wishes. They were a comfort when it felt like everything that could go wrong, was…

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Filed under Knitting, Shawls, westknits

Daenerys Sails Away

I’ve been busy showing off loads of quilting projects here on the blog, and so you might not believe it, but I’ve had a productive knitting year, too… I just finished my 2nd and 3rd pairs of Cookie A 2014 Sock Club socks. And I love them. Want to see?

Like you have a choice…

April 2014- Daenerys.

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Both April patterns were inspired by Game of Thrones, which made me happy. I chose Daenerys, as the pattern was truly lovely. Intertwined cables that proceeded all the way to the toe. The only down side to the pattern is that I ended up with quite a bit of laddering where the needles met. I tried to correct for it, but didn’t have a ton of success. I’m hoping that with wear it won’t be as obvious. I didn’t move super fast on these- they took me an entire month- because I was also working on a shawl for my mom for Mother’s day. (I have no good pics of that, but it came out wonderfully…)

The April club yarn was cephalopod yarns skinny bugga in color way Tyrian Mollusk. Mine was redder than I expected from the pattern, where it had more of a purple tint. The yarn is soft and was great to work with, but, I was disappointed in the dye. It didn’t seem to have seeped all the way into the fibers- I split the yarn by accident a few times, and it was white inside… Still, the socks are lovely.

June 2013- Sail Away

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I LOVE these socks. These are officially the fastest pair of socks I have ever made. Under 2 weeks from winding the yarn to binding off the final toe. The pattern is wonderful, meant to look like sailboat sails blowing in the wind. It was very very easy to memorize- the exact opposite of Daenerys’ cables.

The one problem? I ran out of yarn. The club yarn this time was Sunshine Yarns Classic Sock Yarn- from here in Colorado!- in Out to Sea. The yarn is only 370 yards to a skein, a bit shorter than most sock yarn skeins. I made my socks in size L, and ran out of yarn at the end of the 2nd toe.

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I started to panic about there… I didn’t think I would have enough left to finish, but I plowed on. Sadly, I was right. I ran out right before the final toe rounds. My long tail cast on had left a fairly long tail, so I stole that little bit to eke out an extra row. One sock is 2 rows shorter than the other 😦 I doubt anyone will ever know, but it made me sad.

The next club yarn shipment will be in August. Until then, I’ve got a Hitchhiker shawl on my needles, just past the halfway point.

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And up next, I think I’ll make the Drogon socks from the April 2014 Cookie A packet, in some lovely STR that I’ve had stashed for 4+ years…

Anything fun on your needles?

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Filed under CookieA, Knitting, Socks

Bjorks

Whoo! My new sewing room is nearly done. Nearly but not quite. Not quite good enough for photos yet, but nearly good enough to use.

Meanwhile, I thought I’d take a moment to show you some lovely hand knit socks I finished back in March. For the 4th(!) year in a row, I’m taking part in the Cookie A Sock Club. Every other month, I get an amazing shipment of mystery yarn along with 2 exclusive sock patterns from the fabulous Cookie A. I LOVE her sock designs, and the amazing exclusive yarns she gets for the club, and have had so much fun knitting the last 3 years of club socks. The first shipment of 2014 arrived in February, and I wasn’t let down!

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The yarn, Plucky Feet by The Plucky Knitter in colorway Goin’ Steady is a hot hot hot pink- I love it, and it just happens to go wonderfully with my Color Craving shawl!

I chose what seemed to me the simpler of the two patterns, Bjork, mostly because the other one had a lot of stockinette, and I have found that I don’t love the way socks like that feel. The socks were fun and fast, and I actually finished them over a month ago- oops! I meant to blog them… I did. I’ve worn them several times already, even on my Boston trip 🙂

They look good, if I do say so myself.

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Notes: no mods per se, but I did knit them an inch longer than the pattern called for as I prefer a longer sock. I made size L, and had no issues with running out of yarn even with the added length.

And because I simply can’t resist, I’m going to once again post the photo of me with The Yarn Harlot– with her holding my Bjork #1, which I bound off during her reading.

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Whee! As soon as I finish the shawl on my needles right now (which is a gift for my mom, and slightly over halfway done) I’ll be casting on the April socks.

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A Giant Creep(er)

Somehow, I forgot to tell you all about my biggest finish of 2013- actually, the biggest knitted finish of my life to date! What?!

Pinterest made me do it.

Last year I was poking around, and I saw this blanket by Own Two Hands. And I fell in love. So simple and graphic, and sure to make my Henry the happiest kid in the world. He loves Minecraft and would play it all day every day, if only his pesky mom (hi!) didn’t set limits on his computer time… Cuddling with a Creeper blanket would make him so happy.

In September, I went to Michaels and bought a giant batch of their Loops and Threads Impeccable solid yarn. Washable and inexpensive to boot. The best kind of yarn for a project for a smelly 10 year old boy…

And I started knitting. I knit rows instead of individual squares (because the pattern is made up of 100 squares, and that amount of sewing up would have killed me), and I seamed them up as I finished them. (I was afraid otherwise I would end up spending all of Xmas eve seaming like mad…) I made my squares slightly bigger than called for in the original pattern because, um, I can’t remember why.

Slowly, the blanket grew. I only worked on it at home, because it was just too big and too much yarn to carry around with me.

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And a few days before Xmas, I was done.

And so I wrapped it up, and put it under the tree.

I think he liked it.

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Now, it lives on his bed in place of a quilt. When we changed sheets last week, we left of the crazy pile of stuffed animals long enough to get an action shot of the blankie. Here’s the Ravelry link to my project, if you are interested…

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But you know what this means, right?

In the interest of fairness, it’s time to make a new giant project for Annie. Pinterest to the rescue- I’m thinking, a Tardis quilt (bed sized) adapted from THIS beauty.

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Filed under General Geekery, Gift, Henry, Knitting, Pinned it AND made it!

New Socks for New Years

New Year’s Day was cold and snowy, so I seized the moment to snuggle up in bed and start a new pair of socks: Arrow (one of the patterns from the December 2013 Cookie A Sock Club shipment). The pattern is so simple, but I adore the outcome. The sock was practically flying off my needles.

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Eventually, I had to get out of bed and do other things, but by Thursday night, when the kids and I lucked into some Avs tickets, I had gotten to here.

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The Avs won, and my sock grew…(PS see those braces? Poor kid got them Thursday morning…)

Friday had more knitting time, and by the time I met up with my friend for the 2014 Sticks and Stitches game on Saturday afternoon, I was on to the gusset. and, BTW, the Avs won again.

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Saturday and Sunday were both cold, nasty, and snowy… so we decided to finally take the plunge and, with the kids,  watch the director’s cut of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (nearly 4.5 hours long, and on two discs, so we drug it out over two nights…) And by the end of the credits on Sunday night, I had a sock! A lovely, soft squishy sock. The yarn, Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label Cashmere Sock, is as luscious as it sounds. The custom club colorway, Julep, is again not one I would have picked out, but I totally love it.

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The ribbing on the sides makes this an extra comfy sock. I can’t wait to get #2 done so I can start wearing them.

What’s been your first start of the New Year?

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Filed under CookieA, Hockey, Knitting, Socks

WIP Wednesday: Creeper Hats

In the realm of knitting all things Creeper, last week I cast on an adorable hat for Annie. The pattern is a freebie from Krista Sodt, and I found it while on a Minecraft-themed Pinterest binge

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It’s a super fast and simple knit- started Friday, finished Monday. So why on earth am I calling this a WIP Wednesday post?

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Well, does that kid look like Annie to you? Nope. Turns out the hat was way to small for her, so… younger brother scores. I was planning on making his next, anyway. So I have cast on again, with many more stitches, and hat #2 should fit child #1.

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Also, after 48 hours, Henry “loved” that hat so much that the pompom exploded right off the end. We think it may have something to do with the flipping of the hat back and forth repeatedly… And tugging on the pompom.  Sometimes with his feet. And trying to sleep in the hat. But on the bright side, before he killed it, his grandma took him to the mall, where the Hot Topic employees ooohed and aahhed over my skillz. What a claim to fame!

 

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Filed under General Geekery, Gift, Henry, Knitting, Pinned it AND made it!, WIP Wednesday

Friday Finish: Block n Socks

I’ve got not one but TWO finishes under my belt this week- both quilty and knitty.

First off, the quilty. I came in just under the wire with my September do.Good Stitches Harmony Circle block. Thank goodness it was a simple block… A low volume/bright log cabin, a very big one, finishing up at 19″! I think it took me as much time to choose fabrics as it did to sew…

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I got it in the mail Monday, and hopefully it has already reached its new home. Looking at it now, I wish I had put the bright blue and pink inner logs further out, but oh well. I’m so glad I got to use those fun little birdies again!

And now, the knitty finish. A(nother) pair of socks, of course… These should have been the fastest socks ever. I had knit the pattern (Sarsaparilla by Cookie A, from the October 2012 club shipment) before and I adore it. The first sock flew off my needles in under a week.

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I cast on at a Saturday night Rockies game, and kept going on a Monday game- and even with 2 games in 3 days, I managed to miss Todd Helton’s 2,500th hit. Ah, well, we still had fun.

But the second sock? It took me forever. I took it with me to the beach, and I was frantic that it wouldn’t be enough knitting to last a week.

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But the truth is, I barely picked it up all week, even on the 6 flights (denver to funeral, funeral to beach, beach to denver). I was feeling so mellow, I was past knitting. Which I thought was impossible- who knew?

And then when we got home, I cast on for Henry’s giant Xmas gift- a nearly bed sized knitted minecraft blanket. I’ve done the match, and I should just barely squeak it out in time for the big day. So I decided I could only knit the socks at work. And they barely grew.

And then the yarn broke not once, not even twice, but THREE times within the last inch of the toe. Grrrrr. That was an excessive amount of end weaving to have to do for a sock. Last night I gave up and broke my own rule, and finished the toe at home. Finally.

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And these socks have turned out to be nearly impossible to photograph. In the in-progress shot, you can really see the cables. But not in these… I love this pattern, and I think I will eventually end up making one more pair, in a completely solid yarn, so the cables will shine as they were meant to.

Friday may bring snow to Denver (ugh, I am so not ready for this) and so these socks may get broken in really quickly…

Here’s hoping it’s warmer where you are, and that you had some good finishes this week, too!

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday and Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday

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Filed under CookieA, do.Good Stitches, Finish It Up Friday, Knitting, Quilts, Socks

Artemis on my feet…

I’m back!

Since last time I was here, I’ve been to Europe and back! My family was lucky enough to go on a Disney Cruise that started in Barcelona, and took us through the Mediterranean. (At some point I’ll have the energy to post photos here, really. Probably.) It was amazing! I was so crazy relaxed (sometimes) or tired from trying to see all of a city like Rome in one day (most of the other times) that I barely picked up my knitting at all.

I know, I don’t believe it either.

August’s shipment from the Cookie A sock club was stunning- a gorgeous blue from Miss Babs, inspired by Turkey- a place where I just happened to live for 3 years long long ago.

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The perfect yarn to take on a big international trip, right? I got started before I left.

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I chose Artemis, the easier seeming of the 2 patterns- easier is better for travel, right?

By the time we flew home a week later, I had only gotten this far:

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I did mange to turn the heel before we got home… And then it really didn’t take me long to finish the pair. (PS as an aside, please note how perfectly my vodka matches the yarn!)

They’re wonderful!

artemis mosaicThe pattern had a nice twist in the foot- a section of ribbing around the arch. I may incorporate it into more projects in the future. Not sure if you can really see it in the photos, but the columns of cables are actually different- one twists at even intervals, and not the other. It’s very neat!

I’ve already got the heel turned on another sock, so, I’ll be back soon. For real. I think.

 

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Filed under CookieA, Knitting, Socks