Friday, September 14, 2012

How about those apples?

I'll let you in on a little secret: when I travel, I don't want to take the interstate. I prefer to take the back enjoy the journey. Fortunately for me, my parents suggested a route to Independence, MO that had minimal interstate travel and maximum 2 lane highway fun. Rural Missouri, at least the part we drove through, is all farm land and orchards. It is pecan country. In fact, we drove past a giant pecan that proclaimed to be the world's largest pecan. This, of course, made me think of Neil Gaiman's American Gods, which I highly recommend. If you haven't read it, you should move it to the top of your reading pile. (Everyone has a pile of books they are waiting to read, right?) I regret that I didn't pull over and take a picture of the world's largest pecan but I wasn't sure how my parents would feel about it, so I skipped it. Next time, I'm just going to do it.

We did stop at a roadside orchard on the way home from Independence. We got some lovely apples (Cameos for me & Jonathons and Cameos for my parents) and I snapped a photo or two.



Roadside apples for the win! So, the next time you are traveling, try taking the back roads to your destination.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Today there was knitting and family time

This blog is a bit of a test. I am trying to blog from my phone while sitting in a hotel room. I am traveling with my parents to see family but I opted to stay in a hotel instead of staying with my family. I managed to get some knitting done while at the hotel.

I spent the afternoon and evening with my aunt, uncle, mother and father. We watched a home movie, which normally would be a little boring. However, this movie is from the trip he took in 1959 and 1960. He hitchhiked to New York, stayed there for a week until he could find a job on ship. He worked his way across the Atlantic until they arrived in Sweden. Once there, he hitchhiked across Europe and then made it to the Holy Land. He then hitched to Italy and found work on another ship & worked on the ship for several month before returning to the US. He was gone for 9 months. It was quite the home movie. I can safely say that my uncle amazing!!!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Taking the plunge...again

Despite how disappointed I felt with my first long-term yarn club, I am taking the plunge again. I eased into the yarn club world when I was lucky enough to get a spot in the first round of the 2 Crafty Girls Yarn Club. The theme was John Hughes Movie Night and the club was two months long. The talented dyers behind the club are Dana from Unwind Yarn Company and Sarah from Another Crafty Girl. It was the perfect palette cleanser to get me over the disappointment of knitspot's Fall in Full Color yarn club.

The first month of the 2 Crafty Girls Yarn Club was dyed by Dana who was inspired by Duckie from Pretty in Pink.


The second month was dyed by Sarah who was inspired by the special effects in Weird Science.


Needless to say, when they opened sign-ups for the next round, I put my name in the proverbial hat. There are only 50 spots available so I'm just waiting to see if my name gets picked as one of the lucky club members. In case your curious, this round is Kevin Bacon movies. I KNOW!!!!

If I don't get selected, don't feel too bad for me because I have already been accepted in another yarn club. It's a fabulous yarn club. How do I know? SSK! The ladies at SSK that were in this yarn club only had wonderful things to say about it. Prepare to be jealous: I got into Tempted's Pin-up Beauties Yarn Club!!!! My pin-up name is Harvest Hellion.

On top of that, I am participating in the personal sock yarn club that Hannah from the Traveling Sock Knitter podcast is organizing. Basically, you look through your stash and find 12 skeins of sock yarn that you want to knit and you put them in bags. Then every month, you select a bag and make something with the yarn. It should be a great way to use up stash and I think having a place to chat about it, cheer each other on, and hold each other accountable will make me much more likely to stick with it for the entire year.

So, how about you? Are you in any yarn or fiber clubs? Are you not a club person? What's your deal, Lucille?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

SSK Meet-up

On Monday, I was lucky enough to be able to share a visit with my SSK roommate, Hannah. You may know her from her podcast, Traveling Sock Knitter. I actually had Monday and Tuesday off of work for a trip to Indianapolis that fell through so when Hannah let me know that she was going to be in town, I was very happy that I didn't cancel my vacation days!!

We had lunch at Farrens Pub and we were able to hang out and knit there for four and a half hours! It was a little like being back at SSK. It is so strange that we lived in the same town for years and never met and now she lives half way across the country! We definitely lamented all of the time that we could have been hanging out and knitting! We talked about the exciting announcement that there will be another SSK. We are both putting our names in and we are planning on rooming together again if we both get in. We also talked about maybe having a VKN (virtual knit-night) some time in the future with Denise, another fabulous woman from SSK. So Denise, if your ears were burning on Monday afternoon, it was because we were talking about you!

As I said, we knit for quite a while but I knew from experience that if I wanted any actual knitting to get done, I would have to cast on a new project. My current project, the Bay of Fundy Scarf in Sweet Georgia's Tough Sock is just not suitable because of the of the cabling in it. I picked up the Sweet Georgia yarn at SSK from Rebecca Danger's booth but she does have an online shop or you can pick some up at The Loopy Ewe.


So I cast on for a Sockhead hat using a Zauberball while I was in the parking garage waiting to go into the pub. The Zauberball has been in my stash for a while and I think the hat is going to be kind of fun since it will be striped in some lovely neutral colors.


Our lunch flew by far too quickly and I realized that I need to make an effort to get out to local knit nights so I can have some knitting friends that don't live far away. I'm so thankful that I got a chance to see Hannah and I look forward to the next time I am able to hang out with an awesome knitter/friend.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Missing SSK

At the end of June, I was lucky enough to attend SSK (Super Summer Knitogether). This was my first time attending a knitting retreat & I was a bit nervous about going since it involved 150 strangers and staying in a dorm room. Remember dorm rooms?

Vandy dorm room

However, I pulled on my big girls pants and didn't let my apprehension hold me back, and you know what? It was AWESOME!!!!!

I took a colorwork class from Kirsten Kapur that nearly melted by brain. In a three hours class, I learned to: knit continential, do two-handed colorwork, follow a colorwork chart, make a latvian braid and how to catch long floats on the back of the work so they are less apt to snag during use. By the end of the class, I really could have used a massage as my shoulders felt like they were permanently stuck up by my ears. Thankfully, Kirsten Kapur is a very patient teacher. If you get a chance to take a class from her in the future, I would highly recommend it.

Carin's pick up, pick up & knit class

I took one hours classes from each of the three wonderful women who organized SSK. Carin taught a class on what it means to pick up stitches versus pick up and knit stitches. It was interesting to hear when I should use one versus the other. Now, I feel ready to conquer one of the Log Cabin blankets that I have been drooling over. Laura taught a class on different cast-ons and bind-offs. I learned quite a bit, including that when doing a long-tail cast-on, it counts as you first row of knitting. No wonder some of my projects have had a weird edge at the bottom, I have basically been adding in an extra knit row. Oops. Leslie taught a class on backwards knitting. It was pretty easy to pick up the skill but I don't see myself using it a whole lot. A few people in the class really noticed a difference in their knitting because the tension between their knit stitches and their purl stitches is really uneven and knitting backwards remedies that. However, I don't seem to have tension issues so this will just be a specialized skill that gets deployed every once in a while. Jessica, a woman in the class who was sitting at my table, mentioned that it would be really useful when a pattern calls for nupps so you don't have to turn your work when you purl back a couple of stitches.

As much as I enjoyed the classes, the best part of SSK was just hanging out with a bunch of people who share a common interest. It was so nice to be knitting in a room full of people who would ask questions about your project or yarn and they were genuinely interested. There were no sideways stares from people who were trying to figure out what you were doing, no whispered conversations about how you could just buy whatever you were making at a store. It was bliss. Thanks to the get to know your fellow SSKers bingo game that was handed out at the opening ceremony, I got to enjoy a little fame as someone who has never knit a pair of socks. Evidently, non-sock knitters were in short supply at SSK so my fail at sock knitting made me popular. In a nice coincidence, a lovely woman that I met has also never knit a pair of socks. Our conversation started at that jumping off point and by the end of the conference, I am happy to report that I have made a new friend. Denise is funny & fun & awesome and I never would have met her if it weren't for SSK!

I also lucked out in the roommate department. My roomie was awesome and a very talented knitter. She let me scope out the beautiful shawls that she brought. If you want to see her in action, she has a video podcast called Traveling Sock Knitter. I think it is Hannah's mission to convert Denise and I into sock knitters. I enjoyed the irony of Hannah and I living in the same town for years & never bumping into each other. Then, after she has moved halfway across the country to take a teaching position, we meet at SSK. When I was sharing my SSK stories with my mom, it turns out that she rode to the Spring Fling with Hannah when Hannah still lived in Illinois. The knitting world is big & small at the same time.

There was a lot of amazing food at SSK but two places really stood out for me. If I got back to Nashville, I will definitely be hitting these places up again.


The first place is Rotier's which is a small neighborhood type bar that served possibly the best cheeseburger I have ever eaten. It as served on french bread and I will be forever grateful to the waitress for recommending it. The waitress also happened to be a member of the family that owns the business. It was started by her grandfather and it is still in the family. So, if you are in Nashville, please make this place a priority stop. Not only is the food amazing but you will be supporting a local, family-owned business.

The second place with the amazing food was Noshville. It is a New York style deli that serves amazing food. I had a really good reuben which is impossible to find in my home town. The service was friendly, the portions were large, and I think about that sandwich in my sleep.

Lastly, on Saturday there was a vendor market. Was there yarn to be had at the vendor market? Did I come home with seven skeins of yarn from Another Crafty Girl? Maybe. I'll never tell.

I could go on and on and on about SSK. There are more amazing women that I got to meet, more fun stories to tell, and I can't wait to do something like this again. However, this blog post if officially a novella so I am out!

Monday, June 18, 2012

What's the haps?

It has been a busy couple of weeks and things won't be slowing down anytime soon. I usually try not to schedule stuff two weekends in a row because I like to reserve every other weekend to catch up on podcasts, reading, television shows & knitting. However I managed to book my weekends solid from June 2nd to July 8th.

The weekend of June 2nd was the wedding in Nashville and the next weekend was Relay for Life. It was the first time that I participated in Relay for Life and despite some flaws, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

I was on the Connie's Crusaders team that was formed in support of a friend who is currently undergoing treatment. Our team raised just under $1,800.00 for the American Cancer Society which I think was pretty respectable since it was our first time participating. There were a lot of people on the team but thanks to my finely honed night shift skills, I was the only member of the team who stayed all night. Thankfully some of my friends stayed late, until about 1:30am and 3:00am, which really helped me stick it out. A special shout-out to K & T who found the indoor restrooms so I didn't have to use a port-a-potty! You know what the other secret to staying out all night & walking laps is?

Junk food! Don't judge. Junk food makes 4:00am feel a lot better. And yes, the junk food is hanging out on my yoga mat. I did do a little bit of yoga in the wee hours of the morning and when I wasn't yoga-ing, the mat was nice and comfy to sit on. I did take photos of people but again, I didn't think to ask if they minded being on the blog so no awesome, sweaty, hopeful Relay for Life people pictures. I think that my favorite non-people photo of the night was the picture I snapped of sunrise.

The crowds had dispersed quite a bit by sunrise but the people that were left really seemed to get a second wind once the sun started to rise. My only complaints about the event dealt with some organizational glitches that will hopefully be fixed next year. The relay had twice as many teams this year than they had last year so I am just chalking it up to growing pains. So, if you are on the fence about attending an event life this, then I would say give it a shot and if you can, stay all night!

This weekend, I hung out at my mom's & dad's house to celebrate Father's Day. My dad seemed to enjoy showing off his new lawn mower and he even offered to let me drive but I totally chickened out. It steers with levers instead of a steering wheel and goes pretty fast and I was afraid that I would run over some of the landscaping that he has been spending his weekends doing! The yards looks really fabulous with lots of flowers and a new water fountain. It was really great to spend time with them.

There hasn't been a lot of time for knitting and right now I am spending my free crafting time poking around Ravelry trying to find a pattern that sparks my knitting mojo. I just need to stop waffling and pick a pattern and start knitting! I did so a little stash enhancement but I will save that for my next blog entry. Until then, keep it nerdy!

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Nice Day for a White Wedding

On Saturday, I was lucky enough to attend the wedding on a lovely young woman that I have known for many years. She happens to be the daughter of my friend CK who is battling stage 4 breast cancer. The wedding was at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville which is a gorgeous setting for a wedding. The ceremony was outdoors with the reception immediately following in the carriage house. Fortunately, the weather cooperated and it was sunny with a light breeze and the temperature hovered around 80 degrees. Weddings always make me weepy but this one got me from the moment that I approached the ceremony and was handed a pink ribbon to wear in honor of CK. The ceremony was short but really pulled at the heart strings. The pastor said a prayer for CK and asked all of us to keep the pink ribbon someplace prominent when we return to our homes so that we continue to pray and think good thoughts for CK as she fights cancer. The pastor also read some thoughts on the bride and groom that their friends and family had written for the occasion and it really showed how loved they are. It was a special way to include people in the ceremony and it really emphasized that the marriage isn't just the joining of two people but that, for better or worse, there are a lot of friends and family members that are going to be joined together as well. I took a picture of the table setting at the reception that I will share since I didn't think to get permission to share photos of the bride & groom.


It was a wonderful, but exhausting way to spend the weekend. I worked on Friday night until about 10:30pm, crashed, woke up and drove about 7 hours (including construction traffic) to Nashville, checked into the hotel, got ready for the wedding, drove the the venue, cried like a baby, drove back to the hotel, crashed, got up and drove about 7 hours home. The exhaustion was totally worth it!!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Using Deep Stash

I am working on, you guessed it, another cowl. It is the Incus cowl, which is part of the Trio of Cowls ebook by Kirsten Kapur. I am looking forward to this finished cowl because it should be big and cuddly, even though I am a little short on yardage so I will probably only be able to do nine cable repeats instead of the ten called for in the pattern.


I am using Socks that Rocks Heavyweight in the Star Sapphire colorway. I have had this yarn kicking around my stash since May of 2008 so I thought it was high time that I used it for something. The downside of having a stash is that I am often distracted by the lovely, new yarns that I buy and I forget that I have some awesome yarns hiding in my yarn cabinet. So, fellow crafters, remember to show a little love to the deep stash ever now and then!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Let's keep the FO train going

I finished another cowl. I made a Donner Pass cowl in Another Crafty Girl's Squishy Aran base in the Punky Brewster colorway. You may be wondering if I have other yarns in my stash, and I do, but right now I am just very inspired by the stuff from Another Crafty Girl.


It doesn't photograph very well but here is the best closeup I could get of all the gorgeous colors.


Any suggestions on my next project? Do you find yourself getting stuck in project phases repeating one type of item over and over until the phase burns out and you move on to something else?

Friday, May 4, 2012

I'm on a roll!

I finished another KAL!!! I'm on fire. Not actual fire, but just as exciting...but you know, way less painful. I finished a Single Men Cowl by Laura Linneman or as you may know her, LaLa of The KnitGirllls. I made it out of Another Crafty Girl's Squishy Aran in the Kermit the Frog inspired colorway. It is fabulous and lives up to its name: squishy! I think the bright greens will look fantastic with the brown corduroy coat that I sometimes wear in the winter. The brown coat is a little tatty on the cuffs but I've had it since college and I just can't seem to let it go.


The KAL is for the Super Summer Knitogether (SSK) retreat that I will be attending this summer. 

Now I just have to figure out what to knit next. It seems like cowls are working out well for me so I'm off to look through patterns on Ravelry.

Monday, April 30, 2012


...or for those not into acronyms, finished object for the win! I finally finished a KAL. I completed the Herringbone Cowl that I was knitting as part of Another Crafty Girl's Muppet KAL.


I used the recommended bind-off and it makes the bound off edge a little floppy and ruffly. I probably could have done a regular bind-off since I cast on more stitches than the pattern called for to make sure that it wouldn't be too snug so I didn't need a lot of stretch in the bound-off edge. Oh well, it was my first time using Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off so I have added a new skill to my knitting arsenal.

Now, what to cast on next?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

There really should be a title to this post...

I'm participating in another KAL. It's like I just don't learn, or I never give up hope...pick whichever option fits your philosophical leanings. The dyer at Another Crafty Girl is having a KAL with her muppet-inspired yarns and I just could not resist. I am working on a Herringbone Cowl by Lauren Osborne in the Sam the Eagle colorway. I opted to use Simple DK, the new superwash merino single that Another Crafty Girl just started carrying and it is lovely to work with. It is a tiny bit thick and thin but that is the nature of a single & it is so soft and cuddly. The herringbone stitch usually produces a fairly stiff fabric but with this yarn, it is still nice and cozy and soft.


I'm nearing the end of the cowl so this is probably the first KAL that I am actually going to finish. I picked an easy pattern & I have had lots of time to knit while watching TV this week. It has been a pretty somber week as I found out that a friend has stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to the spine. I haven't felt like doing anything other than frying my brain with TV, knitting and occasionally hysterically crying. Fortunately my friend has started treatment & is the toughest person that I know so everyone is hopeful but it is a tough situation. I hate not being able to fix it.

Awkward. I didn't expect to write about that on the blog, but I did so I'm not going to edit it out.

In news that will shock and surprise no one, the stash is winning. I keep adding to it faster than I am using it up. I will admit that I am adding to it at a slower rate than I have in previous years but I really have to step up the knitting to meet my goal by the end of the year. Here is something lovely that just made it into my stash:


It is Another Crafty Girl's Squishy Aran base in the Punky Brewster colorway. I just love a yarn with that many colors in the skein.

Just a bit of blog housekeeping, the books that were up for grabs in the last post are going to be going to their new home with bellamoden on Monday or Tuesday, depending on when I make it to the post office.

I hope that you are well. Until next time, hug your loved ones close and do something that makes the world a bit brighter.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Happy Doldrums

I just love a project that offers near instant gratification and the Doldrums Cowl by Laura Linneman (co-host of TheKnitGirllls video podcast) fit the bill nicely.


It only took a couple of hours to knit & I'm actually looking forward to winter so I can wear it. I used two skeins of Mirasol Sulka, a bulky weight yarn that have been kicking around in the stash since March of 2008. I decided that I needed to find a quick project to kick-start my knitting mojo which stalled when I ran out of time to finish the scarf I was making for the March KAL.

While I was poking around trying to find a project, I discovered a couple of knitting books that need to go to a good home.



I  just don't see myself making any projects out of the books. So here is the deal, if you would like either book (or both), just leave a comment by April 25th letting me know which book(s) you are interested in. If there is more than one person that wants a book, I'll draw for a winner. If no one leaves a comment by April 25th, the books will be donated to the Books to Prisoners charity.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Are you an innie or an outie?

I am still working on my scarf for the Knitting Blooms March Madness Challenge. The scarf is about 22 inches long (unblocked) and I still have 60 grams of yarn left in ball so I am less than halfway through the yarn and I have until Friday night to finish it. I really would like to finish this KAL on time but I don't know if I will. I was hoping to spend a lot of time knitting on the scarf while I was on vacation but that didn't happen. I took my knitting with me but failed to knit even one stitch and I'm okay with that.


I think the feather and fan stitch was a good choice for this yarn. I haven't decided if I am going to do a hard block on the scarf to open the stitch up as much as possible or if I'm just going to let it dry naturally which will emphasize the ridges. I'm leaning toward the ridges. You can find all the scarf details on my Ravelry project page.

Now that I've talked a bit about the project, I'll get to the point of this post. When you wind your yarn into a center-pull cake, do you pull the yarn from the center (innie) or pull the yarn from the outside of the cake (outie). Normally, I pull from the center but for some reason I decided to pull from the outside when I started knitting on this project. Here's the doesn't feel like I am making any sort of progress when I look at the ball of yarn.


I started off with 108 grams and the ball is down to 60 grams but it just doesn't seem to be smaller. I know that if I put this ball next to a 100 gram ball it will look smaller but without a point of reference, it seems like I am knitting and knitting and knitting and the ball isn't getting any smaller. I had no idea how much I relied on visual cues to feel a sense of knitting accomplishment. I know the scarf is getting longer but unless I start using stitch markers to track my progress I won't be getting visual feedback every time I knit because it takes several knitting sessions before the scarfs looks longer.

However, there are some definite pluses to being an outie. I haven't had the yarn tangle at all which happens occasionally when I use the yarn from the middle. Also, when the project is finished, any leftover yarn is will still be in a nice yarn cake instead of being collapsed into a pile that has to be wound into a ball.

So, my fellow knitters, are you an innie or an outie? Do you have a definite opinion one way or the other? Shout it out in the comments.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Frolicking with Friends

I spent the weekend with my college roommate and her family having a wonderful time chatting, adventuring and eating. What more could you ask for?

On Saturday, we went looking for Indy food trucks. Although twitter promised a gaggle of food trucks would be in downtown Indy, twitter lied. All downtown had to offer was an unwashed mass of people dressed in green who had just finished a shamrock themed walk/run. Fortunately being the wise women that we are, we had fortified ourselves with caffeine before starting our quest.

We stopped at Mo'Joe Coffeehouse in downtown Indy for some yummy beverages. It was an honest to goodness independent coffee house with lovely pierced and tattooed baristas slinging some delicious concoctions. We probably would have lingered a bit longer but we had a toddler with us and he got a bit bored of the coffee house scene. He probably would have enjoyed his time more if we would have let him play in the storage room with its tempting food treats but alas, we did not.

Since twitter can't always be wrong, Holly tried one more time and we were rewarded with an actual food truck.
The Scratch food truck, which advertises itself as modern comfort food, was in Carmel so we zipped over there to grab a bite to eat. Holly got the Spicy Chicken Cone sandwich, Liam got the Grilled Cheese (sans braised short ribs) and Mitzi & I got the Scratch burger. I would go back for the burger for one reason: bacon marmalade. Bacon marmalade is delicious and it the perfect accent for a burger. However, I would skip the fries which were a tad greasy. Holly got the ginger lemonade which she said was delicious, or it least it was delicious before Liam plunged his hand into it to get some ice. (The joys of parenting a toddler.)

To top the meal off, we needed dessert.
We ended up at a chain cupcake place called Gigi's Cupcakes in Fishers which was tasty. I will say that all three adults had to forgo some of the icing on the cupcakes because there is just a little bit too much icing but that would not stop me from going there again. Their cupcakes are superior to the cupcakes that are available at my local cupcake place. However, when I am in Indy again, I will most likely forgo the chain place and drive a little out of my way to get cupcakes from the delightful local business, The Flying Cupcake.

After all that sugar, we called it a day. I spent the rest of the weekend with Holly, Derrik & Liam just relaxing and getting stuffed full of Holly's cooking. I have repeatedly threatened to move into the closet under the stairs in order to have access to the many delightful things that are created in their kitchen. I didn't take pictures of most of the food (I was too busy shoving it in my gob) but I did capture the Irish stew in bread bowls that we had on Sunday night.

Are you drooling? You should be. The stew was delicious!!!

In short, if you are want a wonderful weekend: gather friends, add lots of conversation, a fair amount of delicious food, a sprinkling of caffeine & sugar, stir & enjoy!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

If at first you don't succeed

...try another knit-a-long! Yep, despite failing at stash dash this summer and the SAL/KAL that finished in February, I am doing knit-a-long with the Knitting Blooms podcast.

The Mach Madness Knit-a-long is a bit different so I thought I would give it a shot. I signed up for the challenge and Tina, the podcaster, looked through my stash (posted on Ravelry) & picked out a yarn for me to use. The pattern was totally up to me. Tina picked a yarn that I have had for several years, Keegan Lane Yarns Big Footsie Toasty Sock in the Shy Violet colorway. I purchased the yarn at The Loopy Ewe but they don't carry Keegan Lane Yarns anymore but you can find Keegan Lane Yarns on Etsy.

I am making the Old Shale Scarf by Tiennie because I wanted something simple and easy to memorize so I can pick it up and put it down at will without getting lost. Here is a photo from the start of the project.
The scarf is now about a foot and a half long now. When I actually work on the scarf it goes quickly so there is a chance that it may actually be finished by the end of the month.

In other news, who wants to see a baby? Anyone? Here is a photo of my mom with my faux-niece's baby.
My mom has long been sad that neither my brother or I wanted to have kids because it meant no grandchildren for her. I felt bad for her but, you know, not bad enough to have a baby. Fortunately my faux-niece stepped up to the plate and delivered a bouncing bundle of adorable baby that my mom can cuddle to her heart's content.

For the knitters out there, yes, my mom made the purple blanket that is wrapped around the baby. It is the Basket Weave Blankie kit that mom got from Herrschners. I don't know that she would use the yarn that came in the kit again because there were numerous knots in the skeins which made for a frustrating knitting experience.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Yarn-y Goodness

Happy Leap Day!! I hope that you took the time today to celebrate and enjoy the extra day. I firmly believe that on leap day you should try to do something that makes you happy and you get bonus points if it is something that you have been putting off because you don't have time.

What makes knitters happy? Yarn! So, here are some photos of the yarn that has made it into my stash this year.

Fibernymph Dyeworks in the Elemental 3.0 base which is a non-superwash worsted. The colorway is a self-striping color called Poseidon's Love. There are 220 yards in the skein so I'm trying to think of patterns that will show it off...perhaps a cowl or a hat? If you have any suggestions, shout them out in the comments.

The Plucky Knitter in the Plucky Rustic base which is 165 yards of a superwash Aran weight wool in the Fly the Concord colorway. I also have a skein of Peep Toes which is a red with some rusty undertones. I will probably use these yarns for charity hats or perhaps some mittens.

Malabrigo Rasta in the Solis colorway that I picked up at my local knitting store, Klose Knit. It is 90 yards of a Super Bulky wool that will become a cowl. If you want to pick some Rasta up online, you can get it here at The Loopy Ewe.

There is more yarn, as you can see from the running total in the sidebar, but I will save those photos for later posts. Sadly, February is coming to a close without me finishing the Hitchhiker for TheKnitGirllls SAL/KAL. I think the project needs to take an official timeout so I don't resent having to knit it and then maybe I can get it finished.  What about you, fellow knitter, do you sometimes resent your knitting when a deadline is involved?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dishcloth Explosion

In an effort to feel a sense of knitting accomplishment, I have been making dishcloths out of my stash of cotton yarn. Who cares that I mostly put my dirty dishes in the dishwasher so I don't need a bunch of dishcloths. Here is a little pile of dishcloths that I made and I'm not tired of making them so there may be more dishcloth knitting in my future. I used the Grandmother's Favorite traditional dishcloth pattern (Ravelry and non-Ravelry) which is super fast and super easy.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Family Expansion

Exciting times are afoot for the NerdGirl extended family! Today, my niece gave birth to a baby girl!! I was at the hospital most of the day yesterday while my niece was in labor but the wee one wasn't quite ready to make an appearance. She waited until 5:57am this morning (her actual due date) to make her entrance. I'm told that mom and baby are both healthy but right now I can't visit because I woke up with what feels like the start of a cold. I'm very sad for myself but I'm not about to spread my germs to a new mom and baby.

There has been knitting chez NerdGirl...but not on the project that needs to be finished by the end of the month. I am completely stalled on my Hitchhiker. The SAL/KAL finishes on February 29th but I doubt my project will be finished. The yarn is gorgeous but I'm just not enjoying knitting with it.

I have had some knitting success this month. I finished a hat! The hat is made from Lorna's Laces Shepard Worsted in the Amy's Vintage Office colorway. I learned a new technique for the cast-on: the knit and purl long-tail cast-on. I had never heard of the technique but that's what I love about knitting: there's always something new to learn. I used a really good video tutorial from ThePassionateMind that I'm going to embed so you can learn this nifty trick too!

The hat (Ravelry project page) will make its way to a charity so I used a pattern that will stretch nicely and fit a wide variety of heads. The hat is the 2x2 rib (triangle on top) and although I love the look of the triangle formed from the decreases, it makes for a somewhat pointy hat.


There is some more knitting but you will have to wait until next time to see it because I still need to weave in the ends and take pictures. Later, tater!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Progress

There has been knitting afoot here at Chez NerdGirl and there has been some groundwork laid to keep track of my knitting goals for the year. I have added a box to the blog so you can see how I am doing on stash accumulation and project completion. Right now I am in the red since I have added more skeins to my stash than I have used but that fact that I am paying attention to consumption is good. Mindfulness is the key to actually achieving the goals I have set for myself.

I finished two cowls and a scarf this month.

The scarf was a simple mistake rib made out Malabrigo worsted in the Sweet Grapes colorway. I really need to come up with a better way to photograph my finished objects so please forgive the photos. If anyone has some suggestions for me, feel free to leave them in the comments.

The first cowl that I finished was the Chickadee Cowl made out of Huckleberry Trillium in the Colleen colorway. The yarn and pattern were a perfect match and the color worked up in a manner that looks pixilated. I just love it. The cowl is folded in half for the picture since I was using my desk as the backdrop.

The last cowl that I finished was actually the November club pattern and yarn from the Fall in Full Color club that I was in. The yarn is String Theory Hand Dyed Merino DK in the exclusive club colorway and the pattern is called Woodstacking. It is also a club exclusive but maybe next year Anne Hanson AKA: knitspot will release it for purchase. This colorway was hard to photograph because the gold really dominated the picture and you couldn't see any sort of pattern. The photo that I am using is a bit washed out and there is no flash so you can see the pattern. The color is a rich chocolate brown with hints of gold.

I am still working on the Hitchhiker for The KnitGirllls SAL/KAL which I am determined to finish before the end of February. I am also working on another cowl and I would like to get a couple of hats knit. I will be participating in the mitten KAL in February that is being run by Laura of The KnitGirllls.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Knitting Goals for 2012

I am hoping to have a more productive knitting year in 2012 so I thought I would actually set some goals for the year.

1. I want to knit at least 20 projects for charity. I didn't keep track of how many that I made in 2011 but I'm pretty sure it was less than 20. I hope that I branch out from hats and scarves but we will see. I know that charities have a need for sweaters and I have been hesitant to invest so much time in something that may be a total fail but honestly, I'll never learn to make them without sucking up the inevitable failures. I'll learn from the mistakes and eventually get it right. However, because I'm a big ole cheater, the sweater thing is just a wish, not a goal.

2. I want to made a colorwork project. I've done stripes but those totally don't count. I'm thinking that I may make one of the many pairs of colorwork mittens that I have drooled over.

3. I want to make a dent in my stash. I am realistic enough to know that even though I have a ridiculous amount of yarn already, I won't be able to stop buying it. Yarn is just to pretty and I can't resist its siren song. However, I can work on getting more yarn out of the stash than I put back in. So, my goal for the year is to have a net loss of 30 skeins of yarn from my stash. That is a lot of knitting so this is the goal that will really be a stretch for me.

4. Lastly, I want to make a concerted effort to blog more so my goal is to blog at least twice a month.

So, internet peeps, did you make any goals for 2012?

Oh the places I've been...