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Monday, February 23, 2015

Stitches West 2015

Stitches West was this past weekend and apparently, this year was "Year of the Project Bags" because I bought a bunch....like I don't have enough or they're going out of style or something. I don't know. That's not to say I didn't buy anything else because, duh...but lots of project bags.

I went shopping on both Friday and Saturday, Stormageddon and Little Man in tow both days. They were both rockstars. Little Man was so wonderful on Friday that I took him to the Lego Store on our way home. But, that's not what we're here to talk about...

The Haul. That's what we're here to talk about....The Haul (and yes, it qualifies for being capitalized in my world)...



I've been pondering getting a new Lazy Kate for awhile now and I finally pulled the plug. I've got a Katie-A-Go-Go from Nancy's Knit Knacks and we're just not friends. I want to like it but I've just not done very well with it. So, pending that I can find all the parts, I'll probably sell it. The only thing I may be missing is the straw...but they're drinking straws and can be easily replaced. So, new LK for me from Purlescence Yarns in Sunnyvale. I was looking for a Majacraft Universal Tensioned LK but I asked their in-house spinning guru and she uses this one with her Majacraft so we'll see how it goes.


A bottle of the eucalyptus scented Eucalan. I bought two bottles last year and I've used up the first bottle. So, while I have the second bottle, it's always advantageous to have a second bottle on hand, just in case. I believe I picked this up at the Webs booth.


I also picked up some US #1 Knitter's Pride Nova Platina circular needles in the Webs booth to try out for socks. In retrospect, I should have gotten 32" cables or longer but I can work with the 24" ones if I need to...and obviously that's going to happen. I thought about trying the Cubix ones but I didn't like the square DPNs I had so I was pretty sure I wouldn't like the square circulars either. I could have been wrong, though.


I also picked up some Addi Turbo circulars (US #2, in this case) for knitting slightly thicker socks (think Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock in Heavyweight). So, there's that.


To be fair, this button isn't actually mine. It's Little Man's. See, Carrie (IrishGirlieKnits) was doing a Meet & Greet at the Anzula booth and Little Man was being shy...so she tried to bribe him with the button. It kind of worked. But he let me have the button later. Silly boy. Also, I adore Carrie :)


These are definitely for Little Man. These are little finger puppets we picked up at Ranch of the Oaks. One is a rhino and the other is a hippo. He's been wearing them around the house and it's adorable.


This is a pattern for a knitted (and slightly felted) octopus that Little Man fell in love with. So....I'm going to need to find some appropriate yarn. She did mention that the french knots for the suckers are pretty brutal (almost 100 per tentacle)...so I have a feeling that will take me awhile. We'll see. But, it was adorable and I saw it last year and almost got the pattern...and now I have.


These were the only stitch markers I bought the entire two days. And they're Doctor Who inspired (the red one is to represent Amy Pond). I can't remember which booth I picked these up in but I also bought this from the same booth:


Yes, that is an Adipose bag. Little Man fell in love with it and, quite frankly, so did I. It was the only one they had so, of course, it had to come home with me.


Because Husband purchased a new interchangeable set from Knit Picks for Christmas, I needed a new case to put those in...and in comes Erin Lane Bags. I've got several from her, including the interchangeable case for my other set of Knit Picks interchangeables. So I have one for my regular set of KP interchangeables and this new one is for the rosewood interchangeables.


I also picked up this Big Bang Theory bag from Erin Lane. It was the only one I saw on Friday and I snatched it up quick. On Saturday, I saw a larger one but I'm good with just the one :)





The above four all came from Slipped Stitch Studios. I may or may not have a thing for Doctor Who......and Little Man may or may not also have a thing for Doctor Who (and he was helping me shop).

And lastly...the yarn.....


I picked up these three in the Webs booth. I envision a couple stripy hats or maybe a stripy hat and a solid hat or two or......I just see hats :)


Three skeins I picked up from Miss Babs. The green is probably going to grow up to be another version of my Traveling Vines Socks and the grey (yes, it's grey, not purple...damn lighting) will also grow up to be socks of some sort (pattern undetermined but probably one of my own). The Yowza on the left may grow up to be a family of hats for...well...the family :) Or maybe a scarf of some sort. I need to see how it knits up first before I make a decision.


A skein of Zaftig from Verdant Gryphon (worsted weight). This will grow up to be a hat for mememememe!


These came from the Yarnover Truck and were specially dyed for Stitches West. They're Downton Abbey inspired and called (if you can't read it): It's All Fun And Games Until Someone Sleeps With Someone Beneath Their Station. I bought two but I may ship one off to a friend back home...I'm undecided right now.



These last two came from StevenBe. They were dyed by Three Irish Girls for StevenBe. The top one is Doctor Who inspired and is called Exploding Tardis. The bottom one is from their comic book series and is called Captain Rogers. They had one called Smash in a sock yarn that I seriously considered but in the end, it stayed there. I see at least one hat for Little Man out of Captain Rogers...and maybe one for me with Exploding Tardis.


Aside from all the yarny goodness and project bags and such, there were the people...so many people. And food, of course. The Girl Scouts were in charge of the coat check and were selling cookies so a box of cookies came home with us. I saw a couple of familiar faces, which is odd because I feel like I know all of ten people in the entire Bay Area...I know I know more than that but it just seems like so few. Oh well.

Anyway, I hope you're all having a lovely day :)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Y4: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #8

Happy Sunday :)

This weekend was Stitches West (which will be another post entirely) so things are a bit....well, I'm really tired from two days at the marketplace. But, we'll forge ahead because we must :)

Finished Objects (FOs):  
1. Elefante: started December 19, 2014; finished December 28, 2014
2. Hat #1 - FoH: started December 31, 2014; finished January 1, 2015
3. Hat #2 - FoH: started January 1, 2015; finished January 4, 2015
4. Hat #3 - FoH: started January 7, 2015; finished January 10, 2015
5. Hat #4 - Stitch's Rock Hat: started January 16, 2015; finished January 24, 2015
6. Vanilla Fingerless Mitts: started January 23, 2015; finished February 3, 2015
7. Paradiddle Hat: started January 24, 2015; finished February 7, 2015

I've not finished anything new. That's not surprising, given that almost everything on my WIP list is a long-term project...

And speaking of WIPs....
 
Works-In-Progress (WIPs): - carried over from 2014...and maybe earlier...
1. Dragon's Egg Socks: started September 2, 2013
2. Pacific Shawl: started June 8, 2014
3. Snape's Stockings: started August 20, 2014
4. Traveling Socks: started December 23, 2014
5. Wink: started January 5, 2015


I've not started anything new but that's fine. I may or may not by next week. This week, I spent most of my knitting time working on pattern writing but I did spare a few minutes to work a couple rounds on Snape's Stockings and I've finished the beginning portion of the right collar on Wink. I'm at the point where I'm supposed to put the stitches on a holder and unpick my provisional CO to continue with the left collar. I've just not done it yet. 

So, there's all of that :)

And now it's time to pick something new...

 
Children's Items
1. George's Vest (for Stormageddon - sock/fingering; solid or semi-solid)
2. Nottingham (for Little Man - worsted; solid or semi-solid)
3. Nottingham (for Stormageddon - worsted; solid or semi-solid)
4. Alvin (for Little Man - worsted; solid or semi-solid)
5. Alvin (for Stormageddon - worsted; solid or semi-solid)
6. Harry Potter Blanket (for The Family - worsted; solid) - from various Harry Potter inspired square blocks
7. Albert the Absent-Minded (for Stormageddon - any weight; self-stripe, variegated, solid, or semi-solid)  *need pattern*
8. Mirkwood (for Stormageddon - bulky; solid or semi-solid)
9. Smaug (for Little Man - worsted; solid or semi-solid)
10. Dandy Sir Cephalopod (for Little Man - any weight; self-stripe, variegated, solid, or semi-solid)  *need pattern*
11. Moe the Mustache Monster (for...someone - worsted; self-stripe, variegated, solid, or semi-solid)

Items for Me (Selfish Knitting, FTW!)
1. Vanilla Socks (using one of my Harry Potter yarns)
2. Drip Drip Drop Socks (using either a solid or semi-solid sock yarn that I haven't decided on yet)
3. Hermione Hearts Ron (sport; solid or semi-solid)
4. Ginny's Cardigan (DK; solid or semi-solid)

Secret Sock Club Bags (Pick a bag at random)
1. Scotch and Soda Scarf (using Briar Rose Fibers Wistful - leftover from my Icarus Shawl)
2. CashSilk Fern Scarf (using a skein of Online Supersocke 100)
3. Jabberwonky (using KP Felici in Abracadabra)
4. If You Know Where To Go (in KP Felici in Green Veggies)
5. Gardener's Socks (using Malabrigo Sock)
6. Paradiddle Socks - my own design (using Malabrigo Sock)

Because I love Husband
1. The Dude

New Techniques (one of the following stranded/multi-yarn kits)
1. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat
2. University of Wisconsin Christmas Stocking
3. University of Wisconsin Button Beanie

Christmas Presents
I have absolutely no idea what's going to end up here, if anything. I suspect something will end up here and I might pull it from other lists but we shall see. Maybe I won't do any Christmas knitting. Maybe all I'll wind up doing is Christmas knitting. I suppose this is a wait-and-see section :)

Designs
1. Susan's Hat
2. Traveling Vines Socks
3. Little Man's Baby Blanket
4. Paradiddle Socks (see Secret Sock Club Bag section)
5. Stitch's Rock Collection (of Hats) (see FO #4 above)
6. Paradiddle Collection of Hats




I've got a feeling that I may start a new project this week. I expect it'll be something on the small side, or something that isn't going to take a zillion years...but we'll see how things go. 

Anyway, there should be a post within the next day or so about Stitches West and my haul (and it's quite the haul).....so check back for that :) 

I hope you're all having a lovely week!

Oh, and in case you've been following me on Ravelry anywhere and around the blog, we're done with Baby Watch 2015. Our friends had their baby on Thursday morning (only five days late). He was a big baby (over 9 lbs. and 21" long).....Stormageddon was such a peanut compared to him. Hell, even Little Man was small compared to him...well, lighter, anyway (he was longer by an inch). I got to hold him yesterday afternoon when we took their car back. And then holding Stormageddon...he was HUGE! He's such a little chubster now!

Happy weekend...

 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Y4: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #7

Happy Sunday! Let's get started :)

Finished Objects (FOs):
1. Elefante: started December 19, 2014; finished December 28, 2014
2. Hat #1 - FoH: started December 31, 2014; finished January 1, 2015
3. Hat #2 - FoH: started January 1, 2015; finished January 4, 2015
4. Hat #3 - FoH: started January 7, 2015; finished January 10, 2015 

5. Hat #4 - Stitch's Rock Hat: started January 16, 2015; finished January 24, 2015 
6. Vanilla Fingerless Mitts: started January 23, 2015; finished February 3, 2015 
7. Paradiddle Hat: started January 24, 2015; finished February 7, 2015

I've not finished any of my WIP projects but I have finished something fibery. After entering a Designalong contest, I decided that I would submit one of my designs for publication. So, I finished up the proposal, the swatch, the schematic, and I sent it in (the submissions need to be in by Wednesday). I don't think I have a snowball's chance in Hell but you know what? I did it. Even if they don't like it, I'm still going to get it written and publish it. 

So there.


Works-In-Progress (WIPs): - carried over from 2014...and maybe earlier...
1. Dragon's Egg Socks: started September 2, 2013
2. Pacific Shawl: started June 8, 2014
3. Snape's Stockings: started August 20, 2014
4. Traveling Socks: started December 23, 2014
5. Wink: started January 5, 2015


Honestly, the only project from my WIP list that saw any action this week were my Traveling Socks...and they didn't get much action. I was too busy working on the knitting and drawing for my submission. Now that the submission is in, I hope to pick up some of these WIPs....or pick something new...


Children's Items
1. George's Vest (for Stormageddon - sock/fingering; solid or semi-solid)
2. Nottingham (for Little Man - worsted; solid or semi-solid)
3. Nottingham (for Stormageddon - worsted; solid or semi-solid)
4. Alvin (for Little Man - worsted; solid or semi-solid)
5. Alvin (for Stormageddon - worsted; solid or semi-solid)
6. Harry Potter Blanket (for The Family - worsted; solid) - from various Harry Potter inspired square blocks
7. Albert the Absent-Minded (for Stormageddon - any weight; self-stripe, variegated, solid, or semi-solid)  *need pattern*
8. Mirkwood (for Stormageddon - bulky; solid or semi-solid)
9. Smaug (for Little Man - worsted; solid or semi-solid)
10. Dandy Sir Cephalopod (for Little Man - any weight; self-stripe, variegated, solid, or semi-solid)  *need pattern*
11. Moe the Mustache Monster (for...someone - worsted; self-stripe, variegated, solid, or semi-solid)

Items for Me (Selfish Knitting, FTW!)
1. Vanilla Socks (using one of my Harry Potter yarns)
2. Drip Drip Drop Socks (using either a solid or semi-solid sock yarn that I haven't decided on yet)
3. Hermione Hearts Ron (sport; solid or semi-solid)
4. Ginny's Cardigan (DK; solid or semi-solid)

Secret Sock Club Bags (Pick a bag at random)
1. Scotch and Soda Scarf (using Briar Rose Fibers Wistful - leftover from my Icarus Shawl)
2. CashSilk Fern Scarf (using a skein of Online Supersocke 100)
3. Jabberwonky (using KP Felici in Abracadabra)
4. If You Know Where To Go (in KP Felici in Green Veggies)
5. Gardener's Socks (using Malabrigo Sock)
6. Paradiddle Socks - my own design (using Malabrigo Sock)

Because I love Husband
1. The Dude

New Techniques (one of the following stranded/multi-yarn kits)
1. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat
2. University of Wisconsin Christmas Stocking
3. University of Wisconsin Button Beanie

Christmas Presents
I have absolutely no idea what's going to end up here, if anything. I suspect something will end up here and I might pull it from other lists but we shall see. Maybe I won't do any Christmas knitting. Maybe all I'll wind up doing is Christmas knitting. I suppose this is a wait-and-see section :)

Designs
1. Susan's Hat
2. Traveling Vines Socks
3. Little Man's Baby Blanket
4. Paradiddle Socks (see Secret Sock Club Bag section)
5. Stitch's Rock Collection (of Hats) (see FO #4 above)
6. Paradiddle Collection of Hats 



With only five WIPs, I feel a bit naked, especially as two are in hibernation, and all five are long-term projects. I know people that can whip out socks like no one's business...I can't. I've tried but it just doesn't work for me. So, three pairs of socks, a shawl, and a cardigan...those are long-term projects in my knitting world.


I suspect that I'll be starting something new this week...and probably something small and/or quick. I think I need the little pick-me-up that doesn't involve my own designs. We'll see how things go. 






In other random events, Stitches West is this coming weekend. I'm hoping to go on Saturday, at least, but it's all dependent on whether a friend has her baby. She was actually due yesterday but her children are not known for doing things on schedule. So.......we wait. And wait. And hopefully baby comes soon. Yes, it's a very selfish reason but I don't care. 


Um....what else what else what else........oh, here are some photos :)


I swear he can smile nicer than this!


Sleeping late...again...


Look Mama, no hands! (sitting unassisted for about 30 seconds)


Sonic schmonic. This needs to go in mah mouf!




I hope you've all had a lovely week! Oh, and the fingerless mitts have reached their destination :)

Friday, February 13, 2015

FO Friday: Vanilla Fingerless Mitts

Happy Friday the 13th! I have a pair of Vanilla Fingerless Mitts to show you today :)

Vanilla Fingerless Mitts (link to Project Page)

Pattern: Vanilla Fingerless Mitts by Claudia Donnelly (free Ravelry download)

Time Frame: January 23, 2015; finished February 3, 2015

Yarn: Purl Essence Tranquil in Honeysuckle (it was a mill end I found at JoAnn Fabrics)

Needles: US #7 (4.5 mm) Signature DPNs

Size: I followed the DK directions though, honestly, they're the same for both Worsted and DK so it doesn't matter.

Modification(s): I used US #7 (4.5 mm) needles, while the pattern calls for US #6 (4 mm) or #8 (5 mm). For the thumb gusset increases, I used a backward loop cast on rather than the M1 indicated in the pattern. It's easier for me to do. Also, when I picked up the stitches for the thumb, I only used 16 sts instead of 20 sts. Otherwise, it's done to pattern specifications.
 
Thoughts: This is a great basic pattern, much like Susan B. Anderson's (Waiting for Winter Mittens & Fingerless Mitts). It can be modified for length, gauge (by changing needle size since the directions are the same, regardless which size needle you use), and if you wanted to, you could add a pattern of some sort (cable, all over, whatever). The only real problem I had was the laddering issue, which is fairly evident (in my opinion)...but I think that was more of an issue with the yarn and DPNs rather than the DPNs themselves. I don't normally have laddering issues while working with DPNs. I had the same problem when I made Elefante, which was made from the same yarn. I was also a bit surprised by the pooling. I wasn't sure what was going to happen with this yarn. It's extremely variegated and, perhaps it was the pattern, but I didn't have the pooling issue with Elefante. So, I was surprised when this pooled the way it did. I think it's pretty fabulous, actually. I know not everyone likes pooling. I just hope the recipient loves them :) They were shipped off to Wisconsin on Tuesday.

Here are a couple more photos.




I hope you're all having a lovely Friday the 13th :)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Y4: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #6

Hello and happy Sunday :) Let's get started!


Finished Objects (FOs):
1. Elefante: started December 19, 2014; finished December 28, 2014
2. Hat #1 - FoH: started December 31, 2014; finished January 1, 2015
3. Hat #2 - FoH: started January 1, 2015; finished January 4, 2015
4. Hat #3 - FoH: started January 7, 2015; finished January 10, 2015
 
5. Hat #4 - Stitches Rock Hat: started January 16, 2015; finished January 24, 2015
6. Vanilla Fingerless Mitts: started January 23, 2015; finished February 3, 2015
7. Paradiddle Hat: started January 24, 2015; finished February 7, 2015

Hey there, lookit that :) I finished up the fingerless mitts. I've even washed/blocked them. What I haven't done (yet) is taken proper photographs. I still have some time to do that between now and tomorrow (which is when I intend to ship them to Wisconsin). So, there's that. And I also finished up a prototype for another design. I'm not 100% sure if it will fit Stormageddon (the intended size). I'll find out when he wakes up. It should be. It's a bit shorter than his other ones, which is good because they cover his eyes. 


Works-In-Progress (WIPs): - carried over from 2014...and maybe earlier...
1. Dragon's Egg Socks: started September 2, 2013
2. Pacific Shawl: started June 8, 2014
3. Snape's Stockings: started August 20, 2014

4. Traveling Socks: started December 23, 2014  
5. Wink: started January 5, 2015  


Five projects and I feel a little naked...I almost want to start another one. I might even do just that. We'll see.

I spent some time on two of the above projects this week, in addition to the two most recent FOs. My Dragon's Egg Socks and Pacific Shawl are hibernating for now...I'll get back to them soon enough. I didn't get around to Snape's Stockings this week because I was focused on a few other things, mainly pattern writing, but I also completed the heel on my first Traveling Sock and actually restarted Wink. The Paradiddle Hat was part pattern writing and part just knitting it. But I finished that. And hopefully all the pattern writing will pay off...I still need to do some math because, for some reason, I just don't think my sizing is quite correct. I think I'll need to make a different size to be sure. Or I could have a test knitter do it...but it's not quite ready for that yet....I'm all in a confuzzlement, apparently. Oh well.

Onward...


Children's Items
1. George's Vest (for Stormageddon - sock/fingering; solid or semi-solid)
2. Nottingham (for Little Man - worsted; solid or semi-solid)
3. Nottingham (for Stormageddon - worsted; solid or semi-solid)
4. Alvin (for Little Man - worsted; solid or semi-solid)
5. Alvin (for Stormageddon - worsted; solid or semi-solid)
6. Harry Potter Blanket (for The Family - worsted; solid) - from various Harry Potter inspired square blocks
7. Albert the Absent-Minded (for Stormageddon - any weight; self-stripe, variegated, solid, or semi-solid)  *need pattern*
8. Mirkwood (for Stormageddon - bulky; solid or semi-solid)
9. Smaug (for Little Man - worsted; solid or semi-solid)
10. Dandy Sir Cephalopod (for Little Man - any weight; self-stripe, variegated, solid, or semi-solid)  *need pattern*
11. Moe the Mustache Monster (for...someone - worsted; self-stripe, variegated, solid, or semi-solid)

Items for Me (Selfish Knitting, FTW!)
1. Vanilla Socks (using one of my Harry Potter yarns)
2. Drip Drip Drop Socks (using either a solid or semi-solid sock yarn that I haven't decided on yet)
3. Hermione Hearts Ron (sport; solid or semi-solid)
4. Ginny's Cardigan (DK; solid or semi-solid)

Secret Sock Club Bags (Pick a bag at random)
1. Scotch and Soda Scarf (using Briar Rose Fibers Wistful - leftover from my Icarus Shawl)
2. CashSilk Fern Scarf (using a skein of Online Supersocke 100)
3. Jabberwonky (using KP Felici in Abracadabra)
4. If You Know Where To Go (in KP Felici in Green Veggies)
5. Gardener's Socks (using Malabrigo Sock)
6. Paradiddle Socks - my own design (using Malabrigo Sock)

Because I love Husband
1. The Dude

New Techniques (one of the following stranded/multi-yarn kits)
1. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat
2. University of Wisconsin Christmas Stocking
3. University of Wisconsin Button Beanie

Christmas Presents
I have absolutely no idea what's going to end up here, if anything. I suspect something will end up here and I might pull it from other lists but we shall see. Maybe I won't do any Christmas knitting. Maybe all I'll wind up doing is Christmas knitting. I suppose this is a wait-and-see section :)

Designs
1. Susan's Hat
2. Traveling Vines Socks
3. Little Man's Baby Blanket 

4. Paradiddle Socks (see Secret Sock Club Bag section)
5. Stitches Rock Collection of Hats (see FO #4 above)
6. Paradiddle Collection of Hats 


In other non-knitting-but-still-fibery news, I've done some library tossing this past week. I went through all my knitting and spinning magazines, as well as all my books and booklets. I have a pile that is almost two feet high of books and magazines I'm willing to part with. If you're interested, you can take a look right here. At some point I'll go through my loose patterns, as well...but that's for another day. I need to organize them and get them into sheet protectors and binders and all that. Doesn't that sound exciting? 

I'm gearing up for Stitches West, as well. It's February 19-22 down in Santa Clara. It only takes me about 40 minutes to get there, if the traffic is decent. I've been going through the list of vendors, trying to decide which ones I want to make sure to visit. There are a couple that are just a given: Erin Lane Bags, Slipped Stitch Studios, and Miss Babs. There are several more that I'm interested in seeing (some I've seen, some I've not): Invictus Yarns, Shalimar Yarns, Carolina Homespun, and Verdant Gryphon. But seriously, my list is almost 40 vendors long and I've still got the last column to go through. I think I'm going to be quite busy that weekend. I'm reallllllly hoping that my friend has her baby either a day or two early or right on time, so that I don't miss Stitches West this year. She's due this coming Saturday and her children are known for being stubborn. Her first one was given an eviction notice and still didn't want to come out (even with induction, baby still didn't want to come out). The second one was given an eviction notice and decided to come at the most inconvenient time in the hospital (mom wasn't induced but the second the doctors left the room because hey, she's not that dilated, he decided he wanted out). Soooooo.....this one, who knows?! Hopefully he'll come on time or a day later. Why is this important? See, when she goes into labor, I'm the one that is watching her other two kids while her and her husband are at the hospital. Husband will help, also, but if it's the middle of the day, I'm on notice. Sooooo, yeah. 



In "real life" events, Stormageddon has rolled from his tummy to his back but he's only done it once or twice. He seems to not be a huge fan of bananas. I think it's because it was so vastly different from the sweet potatoes. I may try those again and lay off the bananas for now. He's growing like a little weed, too. My sister-in-law got him a 3-6 month pair of Oshkosh-B-Gosh overalls (the pinstriped train conductor ones) and they were too big when she was here just a couple weeks ago....and now, I've got the straps as long as they can go and they're almost too tight for him at the shoulders. The legs are still long enough, though. So, it looks like he has a long torso and short legs...like me. ::sigh:: Of course, he's just over five months old so maybe it's time to start thinking about moving him into the 6-9 month clothing. 

Little Man has been all about the iPad and the DS this week. I actually took the DS away from him for a few days and hid it because he was hiding out with it so often (in his bedroom). He's also rediscovered the dry erase board and has been drawing the time vortex from Doctor Who. He had me draw the Tardis (he colored it in, though). He also asks me about going to school on an almost-daily basis. He wants to go. Poor kid. He has to wait until August. 



I hope you've all had a lovely week and weekend and so on and so forth :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

All the Small Things

It's been awhile since I've posted anything that wasn't a Self-Imposed Year of Projects post, FO Friday post, or a WIP Wednesday post....but, on a total whim, I've decided to discuss some important things....well, they're important if you're a knitter.

The Knitting Bag of Goodness.

Specifically, all those things you need to have in your knitting bag at all times because OMGLSGWTFBBQ, what if the Four Horsemen come?!

I have several project bags (with projects, obviously) stuffed into a larger tote bag as well as some other items which I haul around as my main knitting bag. I have a secondary one that has projects on time out (like my Pacific Shawl) and projects that require lots of concentration (like my Dragon's Egg Socks)...but I'm talking about my main knitting bag.

So, here are the things I haul around in my Knitting Bag of Goodness:

1. Projects (obviously). I think I have at least four active projects in this bag right now.
2. Recently finished items. In this case, I have a hat and a pair of fingerless mitts in there - both need washing/blocking which I hope to do today.
3. Scissors. Not the huge ones. Craft scissors. Sharp but small (and well hidden lest Little Man start getting into my bag).
4. Notebook. Or, in my case, two or three or four notebooks (one can never have "too many" notebooks).
5. Pens. Why have notebooks if you don't have the item used to write in them?! And, of course, one just isn't enough. I think I have an entire case of pens. My old college roommate bought me a zipper pouch a couple years ago...she's the one that re-enlightened me to knitting so once in awhile, we exchange knitting things, usually yarn...but sometimes project bags and such.
6. Notions case. Mine contains several tapestry needles for weaving in ends, small lengths of smooth yarn (for holding live stitches on things like thumb holes), at least one cable needle, and stitch markers. My notions case is not very large. There are so many options for a notions case. I've got an Altoids Tin that was covered with fancy paper and shellacked to all hell. It's also slightly magnetic, which works to keep the tapestry needles from splaying everywhere when I open it. I used to have one made by Namaste (the Better Buddy) but I retired it as I used it very well and it was falling apart, literally. I also have others in my collection but not in my bag that came from Slipped Stitch Studios.
7. DPN case. I have my Signature DPNs in the yarn bag, mostly because a recently finished project was using a set from the case and rather than separate the rest of them and risk losing something (which I am prone to doing), I keep the entire set in there. My case came directly from Signature when I purchased six sets of DPNs at a time. So, I have one that houses my Signature DPNs.....and I have another one in a different color that houses my other DPNs (yes, I have 12 sets of Signature DPNs).
8. Crochet hook. I have at least one in there somewhere...you know, for when you drop stitches. Or you could just be like me and never ever drop any. Okay, that's a total lie. But I have one in there, probably an H-hook, maybe a G.
9. Tape measure. I know it's in there somewhere...I just used it the other day...
10. Patterns. I can't believe I forgot about these until the end. Some of my patterns are in paper form (magazines, printouts, etc.) and, of course, need a place in my bag!


I also have an assortment of random things in there (which means it's time to clean out the bag again!).

1. Pipe cleaners. I used these on my Sacrificial Goats and just haven't moved them out of the bag yet.
2. More yarn. I have yarn for projects I've recently finished and projects I plan to make soon and yarn from projects that have been done for awhile (see, I need to clean my bag!).
3. Empty notions bags (also from Slipped Stitch Studios). I think they were just shoved in there with the intention of putting my notions case and a few other odds and ends that I need all in one place (like scissors and the tape measure).
4. Extra needles (circulars, specifically). I have a couple extra 16" circulars running around in here, and they shouldn't be here right now (again, I need to clean out my bag).
5. Toys. I have small children and my bag resides in the living room. It's understandable that a toy or two gets into the mix. When I find them, I take them out and give them back to the intended child (usually Little Man as Stormageddon is only just rolling over at this point).





So, what do you keep in your knitting bag? Or are you a one-project type where you don't need a huge bag of crap? Anything I need to check out (project bags, notions cases, etc.)? Obviously I have stuff from Slipped Stitch Studios but I also have bags from other places (Erin Lane, Blue Tulips, Daydee's Doodads, to name a few)...and I'm always looking for new project bags. Any notions cases I should know about? I like the ones from Slipped Stitch Studios (except the scissors - those freak me out) because they have everything. And, of course, I have a love of stitch markers.

Let me know :)

I hope you're having a lovely Wednesday!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Y4: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #5

Hello and happy Sunday from Northern California! If you're not sure why you're here, perhaps a gander at the Year of Projects group on Ravelry will clue you in. If that doesn't clear things up...well, I'm not sure how to help you. 

Let's get started :)

Finished Objects (FOs):
1. Elefante: started December 19, 2014; finished December 28, 2014
2. Hat #1 - FoH: started December 31, 2014; finished January 1, 2015
3. Hat #2 - FoH: started January 1, 2015; finished January 4, 2015
4. Hat #3 - FoH: started January 7, 2015; finished January 10, 2015

5. Hat #4 - Stitches Rock Hat: started January 16, 2015; finished January 24, 2015

I've not finished anything new this week, which isn't surprising. I've got quite a few "long term" projects going on. Let's look at those, instead...

Works-In-Progress (WIPs): - carried over from 2014...and maybe earlier...
1. Dragon's Egg Socks: started September 2, 2013
2. Pacific Shawl: started June 8, 2014
3. Snape's Stockings: started August 20, 2014
4. Traveling Socks: started December 23, 2014
 
5. Wink: started January 5, 2015 
6. Vanilla Fingerless Mitts: started January 23, 2015
7. Paradiddle Hat: started January 24, 2015

First of all, if you want to actually see what's going on with these projects, take a look at my WIP Wednesday post (photos included). 

With all that said, I've not restarted Wink quite yet. I imagine it'll happen this week but you never know with me, apparently. I have started the second fingerless mitt and it's sailing along so I expect it'll be an FO by next weekend. My Traveling Socks have stalled but only because we've not really gone anywhere. Other than that, I'm dinking around with my Paradiddle Hat and thinking about all the ways to decrease on the Stitches Rock Hat (Hat #4 in the FO section). 

In other words, not a whole lot of knitting has happened this week. Oops.


So, let's look at my hopes and dreams for the year...


Children's Items
1. George's Vest (for Stormageddon - sock/fingering)
2. Nottingham (for Little Man - worsted)
3. Nottingham (for Stormageddon - worsted)
4. Alvin (for Little Man - worsted)
5. Alvin (for Stormageddon - worsted)
6. Harry Potter Blanket (for The Family - worsted) - from various Harry Potter inspired square blocks
7. Albert the Absent-Minded (for Stormageddon - any weight)  *need pattern*
8. Mirkwood (for Stormageddon - bulky)
9. Smaug (for Little Man - worsted)
10. Dandy Sir Cephalopod (for Little Man - any)  *need pattern*
11. Moe the Mustache Monster (for...someone - worsted)

Items for Me (Selfish Knitting, FTW!)
1. Vanilla Socks (using one of my Harry Potter yarns)
2. Drip Drip Drop Socks (using either a solid or semi-solid sock yarn that I haven't decided on yet)
3. Hermione Hearts Ron (sport)
4. Ginny's Cardigan (DK)

Secret Sock Club Bags (Pick a bag at random)
1. Scotch and Soda Scarf (using Briar Rose Fibers Wistful - leftover from my Icarus Shawl)
2. CashSilk Fern Scarf (using a skein of Online Supersocke 100)
3. Jabberwonky (using KP Felici in Abracadabra)
4. If You Know Where To Go (in KP Felici in Green Veggies)
5. Gardener's Socks (using Malabrigo Sock)
6. Paradiddle Socks - my own design (using Malabrigo Sock)

Because I love Husband
1. The Dude

New Techniques (one of the following stranded/multi-yarn kits)
1. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat
2. University of Wisconsin Christmas Stocking
3. University of Wisconsin Button Beanie

Christmas Presents
I have absolutely no idea what's going to end up here, if anything. I suspect something will end up here and I might pull it from other lists but we shall see. Maybe I won't do any Christmas knitting. Maybe all I'll wind up doing is Christmas knitting.

Designs
1. Susan's Hat
2. Traveling Vines Socks
3. Little Man's Baby Blanket 4. Paradiddle Socks (see Secret Sock Club Bag section)



I may or may not have a case of Startitis. Again. I'm contemplating starting something for Little Man. I feel like I've made a lot of stuff for Stormageddon lately (and I have but not entirely on purpose)...and Little Man is feeling it. So, I may pick something for him next :)








In other random events, Stormageddon is able to roll from his back to his tummy both ways (going left or right). He's had some sweet potatoes, which he seems to like (he was opening his mouth really wide and trying to grab the spoon out of my hand), in addition to the baby cereal (which he's kind of "meh" about). Little Man, on the other hand, has figured out  how to play Paper Mario on Husband's DS (granted, he's playing from my already started game but he knows what to do, other than following the actual game).


That's about all that's going on, other than our ceiling repair. We lead very exciting lives :)


Hopefully I'll be back sometime this week with something. We'll see how things go this week. Lots going on (including getting my windshield fixed!).


I hope you've all had a lovely week and weekend and so on and so forth!

Friday, January 30, 2015

FO Friday: A little late and a little not late

Happy Friday :)

I've got a couple of FOs for you this lovely Friday. I thought I had done an FO Friday on this one but, apparently, I've not...so I'll do it now :)

Hat #1 - FoH (link to Project Page)
Pattern: Family of Hats (came as an insert with one of my ChaiGoo 16" circular needles)

Time Frame: started December 31, 2014; finished January 1, 2015

Yarn: Aslan Trends Pima Classico Cotton (blue) and Lion Brand Cotton Ease (white) - unknown amounts of each but I anticipate about a half-skein of the blue and only a little bit of the white.

Needles: US #5 (3.75 mm) 16" Knitter's Pride circulars and US #8 (5 mm) 16" ChaiGoo circulars and Signature DPNs

Size: Baby

Modification(s): I used a smaller needle for the ribbing (I think the pattern calls for a US #6 instead of US #5), cut the amount of ribbing in half (as it calls for a brim that you can fold over), added stripes, and changed the decreases.

Thoughts: It's a good base for a hat that you can change to fit your needs. I didn't like the decreases in the pattern so I changed them. I didn't like the idea of folding over the brim so I changed the ribbing length. I could have added a cable pattern. I just wish it had been newborn size as I had intended to donate it to the NICU at the hospital where Stormageddon was born.

Here are a few more photos of Stormageddon wearing his new hat :)




And next up, I have this one...

Hat #4 - Stitches Rock Hat (link to Project Page)

Pattern: None though it's based on the Family of Hats insert and the Gallatin Rock Stitch found here.

Time Frame: started January 16, 2015; finished January 24, 2015

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Lake (I think) - unknown amount but much less than one skein, probably less than a half-skein, honestly.

Needles: US #5 (3.75 mm) 16" Knitter's Pride circular and US #8 (5 mm) 16" ChaiGoo circular and Signature DPNs

Size: Baby

Modification(s): None as it's mostly my pattern. Aside from how many stitches to cast on from the Family of Hats insert and the stitch pattern from the website, there were no modifications. I had to figure out how to do the decreases to keep the pattern going.

Thoughts: I think I'm going to make a series of hats using this but I have to figure out the decreases and alternate decreases for the other sizes. This would be the 0-6 month size. I also plan to have a Newborn, 6-12 month, 12-18 month, child, teen/adult small, and adult medium sizes.

And here are a couple of blury photos of Stormageddon in his other new hat (the boy has been getting lots of new hats recently). At least he's cute :)





I hope you're all having a lovely Friday :) I should be back on Sunday with my Self-Imposed Year of Projects update!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WIP Wednesday

Happy Wednesday :)

It's been awhile since I've participated in a WIP Wednesday post but that needs to change right now. It doesn't take much to take the WIPs out, photograph them, upload them, and go from there...really, it doesn't.

So, let's see what's been going on lately...

My longest-going WIP: Dragon's Egg Socks


I started these on September 2, 2013; a full YEAR before Stormageddon was born. And this is how far I am. To be fair, it requires reading charts and that's not something I can do with small children around. So, these socks have been delegated to "nighttime" knitting and I'm not always coherent enough to knit from charts at night. But I'm past the heel on the first sock so they should go pretty smoothly from here on out...if I would just work on them :)


My next longest-running WIP: Pacific Shawl


I started this shawl on June 8, 2014 after I was gifted the pattern from one of LSG's monthly craft threads I'm on the final set of charts and I can't brain what I was doing so it's currently sitting in time-out until I thread a lifeline through and figure out what the heck I was doing. I have a feeling I'm going to have a good chunk of yarn leftover so I may have to think of something else to do with the yarn :) Also, I'm making the medium version and I suspect it's still going to be quite small. Oh well.


Next up on the WIP Train: Snape's Stockings


I started these on August 20, 2014. I worked on them while I was in the hospital with Stormageddon when he was born. He was in the NICU for jaundice so I didn't have much else to do. I'm currently working on the gusset decreases (that's what those stitch markers on the bottom of the foot are about). These also require chart reading but I can do it a bit with the boys around so I have worked on these here and there. But, they're mostly for "nighttime" knitting.


One of my more recent WIPs: Traveling Socks

Ooooooops. No photo. These were started on December 23, 2014. The reason there's no photo? They're stuck in my purse somewhere and we're having some work done on our ceiling and I'd rather not walk through there if I can avoid it. I'm close to the heel flap but not quite yet. Soon, though, soon.


Next up: Wink


Yeah, I realize this doesn't look like much. The blue is for my provisional cast on and the camel is the actual color...and, honestly, it's pretty close to the actual color. I've not exactly restarted this after Little Man had an adventure with my needles but I do have the pattern printed so I don't have to scroll back and forth looking at charts and chart keys...which means it's also "nighttime" knitting. I hope to get it restarted (again for the fourth or fifth time) in the next week or so. For now, it looks like this. ::sigh:: It was originally started on January 5, 2015.


And my next-to-most-recent WIP: Vanilla Fingerless Mitts


I'm officially halfway finished with this project. That's not bad considering I started them on January 23, 2015. These are definitely going to need a good washing though. You can see it on the first mitt: laddering. I normally don't have this issue when I work with DPNs but it's something about this yarn. I had a similar problem when I made Elefante, as well. But I think it will come out with some washing and agitation. The yarn is a cotton/acrylic blend so I don't have to worry about felting or anything like that. We'll see. I hope to start the second mitt either today or tomorrow.


And my most recent WIP: Paradiddle Hat


Again, I know it doesn't look like much (because it isn't). I started this on January 24, 2015. You also won't find a pattern for this as it's coming from my own little head. The ultimate goal is to have this in a range of sizes from newborn-adult but this one is the 0-6 month size. I think. It'll fit Stormageddon and that's important.



In other random events, there's not much going on. I'm debating about whether I should put myself on some sort of nightly schedule. There are so many things I'd like to do and I feel like some of it I just never get to. I want to start doodling/Zentangle again. I want to read more. I want to knit. I want to spin. I want to blog (more than just WIP Wednesday, FO Friday, and my Self-Imposed Year of Projects). So, perhaps I need to do a schedule or something. Maybe that will help. I don't know.

Oh, here are some photos from when my sister-in-law was in town a couple weeks ago :)


These are the Painted Ladies. The view is from Alamo Square, made famous in the US as being the hill that the Tanner family is sitting on in the opening sequence of Full House as well as being heavily featured in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (which I've not seen).


Here are the five of us. Husband and Little Man both wanted to be Captain America that day. And Stormageddon, of course, is looking off in a completely different direction.


And of course we went to see the Golden Gate Bridge. This was taken near Fort Scott. It's still an active military base with occupied military housing and all that.



Anyway, I'm linking up with Tammy today :)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Y4: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #4

Hello and happy Sunday! Let's get cracking, shall we?

 Finished Objects (FOs):
1. Elefante: started December 19, 2014; finished December 28, 2014
2. Hat #1 - FoH: started December 31, 2014; finished January 1, 2015
3. Hat #2 - FoH: started January 1, 2015; finished January 4, 2015
4. Hat #3 - FoH: started January 7, 2015; finished January 10, 2015
5. Hat #4: started January 16, 2015; finished January 24, 2015

I finished up a hat last night. Originally, it was sort of based off the Family of Hats recipe/pattern I had...except that I used a stitch count that wasn't part of it...which means I basically stopped following a pattern other than the stitch pattern I found via Pinterest. I have to work a couple things out and then I may wind up writing it for several sizes. We'll see how things go. For now, I've finished this one.

 Works-In-Progress (WIPs): - carried over from 2014...and maybe earlier...
1. Dragon's Egg Socks: started September 2, 2013
2. Pacific Shawl: started June 8, 2014
3. Snape's Stockings: started August 20, 2014
4. Traveling Socks: started December 23, 2014
 
5. Wink: started January 5, 2015  
6. Vanilla Fingerless Mitts: started January 23, 2015 
7. Paradiddle Hat: started January 24, 2015

I spent some time on a few projects this past week...I was a bit on the bouncy side with projects. This is a bit strange as I didn't do much knitting from last Sunday-Wednesday. The only knitting I did between those days was while we were playing "Tourist" with my sister-in-law on Monday...and it was on my Traveling Socks. I wasn't driving so I could knit in the car :) So, I've made some progress on the leg of the first of those socks. As soon as I finish up my next color, I'll be getting around to the heel flap. Woo. Heel flap! 

Oh, and a few rounds of Snape's Stockings made it into a couple nights but there's not much going on with those right now; I'm just decreasing for the gussets. I don't think I knit more than a handful of rounds on it all week...hardly worth mentioning other than I did it :)

And you'll notice I started two new projects. No? Go look, they're right there. So, you may or may not have heard about this story (go ahead and click on the link - it'll take you to a news station's website in southern Wisconsin - it's a legit website as it was one of my local news stations before we moved to California). The really short version is that Nicia has Noonan Syndrome and turned 16 this weekend. Her mother wanted her to have a birthday she would never forget so she had her friends on Facebook spread the word to send this girl birthday love...and it spread like wildfire. She's received cards from all over the country, including one from President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. Not only cards but packages and donations to her favorite charities (Noonan Syndrome Foundation, by the way)...and before I had time to register what I was doing, I was asking about any tactile issues or allergies and would she like fingerless mitts or a hat or mittens or something like that (hey, it's cold in Wisconsin in the winter!). And I'm making her some fingerless mitts. Unfortunately, life got in the way and they're not done but they seem to be going fairly quickly. I did let her mom know that it would probably be late but that should be fine. So, I'm making fingerless mitts for someone I've never met. And it's not that I'm a totally selfish knitter...but I'm picky and choosy about the people I knit for. And I chose to knit for her. 

But that's the first of the "new" projects. The other is another hat for the NICU, based on an idea that popped in my head for socks. I felt like diddling a new pattern...so there's that. It's just started so there's nothing interesting to say yet :)

And no, I've not restarted Wink yet. But, progress has been made because we got the printer ink refilled at Costco so I was able to print the pattern, which is lovely and will make my life so much easier for this project. 


Anyway, moving along...


Children's Items
1. George's Vest (for Stormageddon - sock/fingering)
2. Nottingham (for Little Man - worsted)
3. Nottingham (for Stormageddon - worsted)
4. Alvin (for Little Man - worsted)
5. Alvin (for Stormageddon - worsted)
6. Harry Potter Blanket (for The Family - worsted) - from various Harry Potter inspired square blocks
7. Albert the Absent-Minded (for Stormageddon - any weight)  *need pattern*
8. Mirkwood (for Stormageddon - bulky)
9. Smaug (for Little Man - worsted)
10. Dandy Sir Cephalopod (for Little Man - any)  *need pattern*
11. Moe the Mustache Monster (for...someone - worsted)

Items for Me (Selfish Knitting, FTW!)
1. Vanilla Socks (using one of my Harry Potter yarns)
2. Drip Drip Drop Socks (using either a solid or semi-solid sock yarn that I haven't decided on yet)
3. Hermione Hearts Ron (sport)
4. Ginny's Cardigan (DK)

Secret Sock Club Bags (Pick a bag at random)
1. Scotch and Soda Scarf (using Briar Rose Fibers Wistful - leftover from my Icarus Shawl)
2. CashSilk Fern Scarf (using a skein of Online Supersocke 100)
3. Jabberwonky (using KP Felici in Abracadabra)
4. If You Know Where To Go (in KP Felici in Green Veggies)
5. Gardener's Socks (using Malabrigo Sock)
6. Paradiddle Socks - my own design (using Malabrigo Sock)

Because I love Husband
1. The Dude

New Techniques (one of the following stranded/multi-yarn kits)
1. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat
2. University of Wisconsin Christmas Stocking
3. University of Wisconsin Button Beanie

Christmas Presents
I have absolutely no idea what's going to end up here, if anything. I suspect something will end up here and I might pull it from other lists but we shall see. Maybe I won't do any Christmas knitting. Maybe all I'll wind up doing is Christmas knitting.

Designs
1. Susan's Hat
2. Traveling Vines Socks
3. Little Man's Baby Blanket
4. Paradiddle Socks (see Secret Sock Club Bag section)



Even though I have seven (!) projects going right now, my mind is still wandering toward what I want to knit next. I think I have a case of Startitis again. Or perhaps the last case never quite went away. Or perhaps it's because I know Stitches West is coming up in a few weeks and I want all the things. Or because I've been perusing the Vogue Knitting Live Pasadena classes (which is in April). I'll think of something...


In "real life" events, not much has changed other than I'm able to feed Stormageddon baby food. We've started with the Gerber rice cereal, which he seems to like...but in small quantities. He's not quite sure what to do with the spoon yet. He's a bit more interested in chewing it rather than eating off it, which I expected. Poor boy is teething but he's not really cranky from it. He's just chewing on anything he can get into his mouth and drooling. He's also tall enough to reach the floor in the jumper so I don't have to put the box under him anymore. He seems to like that, too...but again, small doses. 

Little Man is beyond excited at the prospect of going to school in the fall. I've filled out the paperwork to have him transferred to a different elementary school within the district. In a couple weeks I have to do the regular registration (yeah, they do the transfer paperwork first...weird). We're still hoping to get him into one of the Montessori preschools (which feed into the Montessori charter schools in the district), specifically the one that is just a couple blocks away from us but, you know, either one would be fine. He doesn't quite understand that he won't be going until August but he's excited and that's always good. 

Other than that, not much else is happening around here. Oh, except for the crack in my windshield. I'm not too thrilled about that but we only have a $100 deductible for glass repair/replacement and it probably won't make our insurance go up like crazy...but still, HUGE crack. ::sigh::

Anyway, I hope you're all having a lovely week and weekend and so on and so forth...