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Mama, wife, knitter, blogger, spinner, wannabe something or other. That's enough, right?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Y5: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #14

Hello and happy Sunday!

We all know why we're here so let's just get to it already!

FOs (Finished Objects)
1. Fire Socks: started April 15, 2015; finished January 6, 2016
2. Nottingham for Stormageddon: started January 12, 2016; finished January 14, 2016
3. Design proposal for Fire Socks: started January 13, 2016; finished January 18, 2016
4. Purple merino/silk spinning (singles): started toward the end of Tour de Fleece (July 4-26, 2015); finished January 29, 2016
5. Nottingham for Little Man: started January 17, 2016; finished February 1, 2016
6. Swirl Hat: started December 16, 2015; finished February 4, 2016
7. Swatch for Marly Bird class at Stitches West: started January 8, 2016; finished February 7, 2016 (no project page)
8. Fire Socks design (the actual pattern writing & photography part): started February 6, 2016; finished February 12, 2016 (link to the preview; pattern went live on Saturday, April 2nd)
9. Mountains Beanie: started February 9, 2016; finished February 17, 2016
10. Rathmore: started February 25, 2016; finished March 4, 2016
11. Dragon's Egg Socks: started September 2, 2013; finished March 9, 2016
12. Creeper for Little Man: started March 4, 2016; finished March 10, 2016
13. Mother Bear Project #1: started February 22, 2016; finished March 12, 2016
14. Asshole Corriedale (spinning project): started March 23, 2016; finished March 24, 2016
15. Pacific Waves: started March 9, 2016; finished March 25, 2016
16. Freeport Vest Frogging: started March 29, 2016; finished March 29, 2016
17. Pacific Waves: started March 31, 2106; finished April 2, 2016

Thing the First: the Knotions current issue with my Fire Socks went live yesterday. So, you know, you can go knit them now :) Thing the Second: you may have noticed that #16 happened....which was the frogging of my Freeport Vest. It was too big to begin with, it grew further when I washed it, and since then, I've lost 40+ it was really too big. On top of that, I was never satisfied with the collar and I didn't want to rip it out and reknit it. So, I frogged it. You can read about the liberation here. Thing the Third: the FO Friday post went up for the Pacific Waves hat on, you know, Friday. There are cute photos of Stormageddon included. And, lastly, Thing the Fourth: I started and finished a wee baby hat over the last couple of days. When I started it on Thursday, I cast on for the newborn size and started knitting another prototype...only to realize that it was coming out really small. I mean really small. Turns out the yarn I was using was Knit Picks Swish DK and not Swish Worsted...which means my gauge was off and the hat probably came out premie sized. I'm not fussed about it because I used up some leftover stash bits, I can donate it to the hospital, and I now have an idea about yarn substitution for this design, which is always helpful. Whew :)

WIPs (Works-In-Progress) - carried over year-to-year
1. Snape's Stockings: started August 20, 2014
2. Wink: started January 5, 2015
3. Vanilla Latte Socks: started November 19, 2015
4. Ice Socks: started January 7, 2016
5. Finn & Suffolk singles: started April 1, 2016

First and foremostly, I had to frog the Mirkwood hat. I was working along and things were grand and I got through a pattern round and discovered that I was one stitch short. I tinked back, very carefully, to find that I was still a stitch off...which means I lost the stitch on the "rest" round because I was fine when I had finished the pattern round before that. ::sigh:: So, I frogged it. I think I'm okay with frogging it because while the yarn claims to be worsted, it behaves a little more like a light worsted, almost venturing into DK territory. Also, I'm pretty sure I would have run out of yarn, which would have just driven me nuts. So, I'll remake it soon enough, probably in some Cascade 220 I've got hanging around. With that said, according to the pattern page for both Smaug & Mirkwood, there's a note that says the stitch pattern is the same for both hats......and honestly, I don't think that's true. There's a pretty obvious section of reverse stockinette, based on the photos for Smaug. But, whatever. I'm not too fussed about it.

Other than that, I've worked on my Vanilla Latte Socks quite a bit this past week. I've almost reached the toe decreases, which means I'm going to need new "purse" knitting soon. Perhaps a plain vanilla sock out of some Opal I've got...Harry Potter, van Gogh, something like that. Whatever.

I also got my Ice Socks back on the needles and I've just been working on the ribbing. In other words, I'm not that far into the sock...but I've restarted it and I have high hopes that things will go well this time.

And then on Friday, I decided it was time to start spinning something new. I pulled out a bag of a Finn & Suffolk blend I bought from a woman down toward San Jose when she was destashing. She received the fiber from a personal friend in Australia who raised the sheep. I had intended to make rolags before I started spinning but when I pulled out the fiber and tried to get it onto my hand carders for rolag-making, it did not make nice. It was a total bastard, to be blunt. It's got a lot of the lanolin left in the fiber, for one thing. That makes it sticky, which actually works to my advantage because it was not.....well, it's not very well prepped in terms of being able to just spin from the fiber. However, because it's still sticky with the lanolin, I can tease out most of the issues I have from the prep work while I'm spinning because the fiber isn't just yanked out of my hands. Sooooo, it's going to wind up being a pretty rustic, thick-n-thin yarn, but I think that's what it wants to be. The original intent was that I was going to ply it with the purple silk/merino blend but I think it wants to be a two-ply of it's own. I'm going to separate about 3.5 oz out from the remaining bit in the bag (I had about 7 oz to start with), spin them onto two separate bobbins, and then get on with the plying. Don't time me. Who knows how long that will take....though that lanolin is nice on my uber-dry hands so I might draw it out as long as possible.

So, WIPs are going well...

In my "OMGWTFLSGBBQ" lists...

Children's Items
1. George's Vest (for Stormageddon - probably the largest size; YOTH Little Brother from Stitches)
2. House Hat (one each for Stormageddon and Little Man - worsted, two contrasting colors)
3. Arthur the Alien (for Little Man - worsted; any colors)
4. Holiday Countdown Stockings (for the family - Aran/worsted; four colors)
5. Mirkwood (for Little Man - worsted or bulky; any colors)

Items for ME (selfish knitting, FTW!!)
1. Vanillaish Socks (using one of my Harry Potter Yarns)
2. Paradiddle Socks (using a solid or semi-solid sock yarn)
3. Hermione Hearts Ron (sport weight; solid or semi-solid - Plucky Primo in Petunia?)
4. Hermione Hearts Ron Fingerless Mitts (sport weight; solid or semi-solid - Plucky Primo in Petunia?)
5. Classic Silk Mayfaire Camisole (Miss Babs from Stitches Midwest)
6. Stormont (worsted; solid or semi-solid)
7. Sockhead Hat (sock; any colors)
8. Moab Shawl (sock; any colors) *need pattern*
9. Prowl (DK; solid or semi-solid) *need pattern*

Secret Sock Club Bags - Pick a bag at random; do pattern with yarn
1. Scotch & Soda Scarf (using Briar Rose Fibers Wistful, leftover from my Icarus Shawl)
2. CashSilk Fern Scarf (using ONline Supersocke 100)
3. Jabberwonky (using KP Felici in Abracadabra)
4. If You Know Where To Go (using KP Felici in Green Veggies)
5. Gardener's Socks (using Malabrigo Sock in Indiacita)

Stranded Knitting
1. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat
2. University of Wisconsin Christmas Stocking
3. University of Wisconsin Button Beanie
4. Xanadu Snowflake Cowl

Christmas/Charity Bin
1. 198 yds. of Heaven (worsted; any colors)
2. Phillip and Mr. Grum (sock yarn; any colors)
3. Comfort Food (Aran; solid)
4. Fine Fella (worsted; solid or semi-solid)
5. November Leaves (Shelter from stash) *need pattern*
6. Skinner Hat (sock; solid or semi-solid) *need pattern*
7. The Shoemaker's Hat (bulky; solid or semi-solid) *need pattern*
8. Roll Out The Barrels (cotton; any colors)
9. Sweeny Todd Scarf (worsted; any colors)
10. Bridal Shower Lace Cloth (cotton; any colors)
11. The Snowmen Cometh (worsted; any colors)
12. Sunburst Dishcloth (cotton; any colors)
13. Starfish Cloth (cotton; any colors)
14. Seamless Circular Cloth (cotton; any colors)
15. Tombreck (Aran/worsted; solid or semi-solid)
16. Premie Spiral Hat (for hospital donations - sport or DK; any colors)

1. Ice Socks (knit prototype and pattern for submission)
2. Susan's Hat (make proper - photos, pattern, etc.; knit new prototype from Babs K2 from Stitches)
3. Little Man's Baby Blanket (make proper - photos, pattern, etc.)
4. Paradiddle Socks (knit prototype - see "Items for ME")
5. Pacific Waves Hat (knit prototype, pattern for submission? self-publish?) *I've started this*
6. Stormageddon's Baby Blanket (design process, knit prototype, etc.)

1. Spin approximately 4 oz of either a grey wool or white merino to ply with the purple silk/merino listed in the FO section above.

Other (for things that are fibery/crafty in nature but not specific to knitting or spinning)
1. Organize my handmade stitch markers
2. Make more stitch markers (to sell? donate? hoard?)

And now for a dose of reality.

Little Man has been on his first week of spring break this past week. Yes, the first week....because around here, they get two frickin' weeks of spring break (and fall break - don't even get me started on how often these kids aren't in school). Anyway, spring break. We went to the park, we went to the zoo, we did random things around the house, we did some shopping, blah blah blah. 

So, we'll just start at the beginning of the week....Easter Sunday. We went across the Bay to see our friends in Fremont and do the whole "Easter dinner" thing over there. They have three kids. Little Man is mid-way between their two oldest, age-wise. Their daughter is 7, Little Man is 5, their older son is 3, then Stormageddon is 19 months (yesterday, actually), and their younger son is almost 14 months. So, lots of kids, egg hunting in the yard, food, and woo.

This is their youngest, stealing sunglasses off Stormageddon's face. They're buddies so it's not a big deal. Stormageddon is just enough older that he teaches him all the bad things he knows (like climbing on furniture). And they play and it's cute.

Little Man found an egg in the middle of the hot tub cover (for a hot tub they never use and probably isn't filled). Unfortunately, he needed an adult to get it for him. Kids aren't allowed on the cover.

And Stormageddon has perfect soccer form. Well, perfect for a baby. 

On Tuesday, we went to the San Francisco Zoo, just the boys and I. We got up, did a few things around the house, packed up, and off we went. The zoo doesn't open until 10am so we had some time in the morning. We got to the zoo just after 10am and the place was packed. There were some school/daycare/spring break camp groups but mostly, it was parents and kids who were on spring break. But, it was a nice day and we transversed the entire zoo. We walked around 4.5 miles, plus the boys played on the playground.

I really like this tree on the zoo grounds. It's by the African Safari area (translation: giraffes, zebras, ostriches, lions, etc.).

Yes, I zoomed in on this photo but he was quite close anyway. He's kind of like Marty in Madagascar: he's the star of the zoo. He's also the first animal most everyone sees, which is probably part of the reason he's such a star. He loves the attention, obviously, as he'll come right up to the fence and show off.

Ah, there's my Little Man :) And it's a halfway decent photo of him!

Back toward the bears, they have this wall of....well, where you can stand and pretend you're whatever animal. So, Little Man wanted to be a giraffe. I've also got one of him being a butterfly. There's also a peacock, and maybe an eagle. It's also very near the bald eagles.

Speaking of bears....this was one of the brown grizzly bears. There were a few in the enclosure. This one happened to come up closer to the glass. One was busy in a hollowed out tree trunk, eating something and another was ambling along, having a pee the entire way.

Sea Lions. I'm not sure how many there are in the enclosure but I know there are at least two. This one came out and started showing off while we were there. We can also see 100% wild ones at Fisherman's Wharf (which will probably happen this week). But there are a couple at the zoo.

Next to the Sea Lions is a relatively new exhibit of tropical rainforest animals. They have a boa constrictor named Oliver, this macaw, frogs, other snakes, a bunch of carnivorous plants, other birds, and so on.

We also rode the train while we were at the zoo. It's just a little train that goes around it's tracks twice (not through the entire zoo but a good portion). So, we did that. No photos because I was holding a wiggly baby.

After that, we had some lunch and then it was off to the playground. Because I have to keep an eye on Stormageddon, all the playground photos are of him. Little Man was off and running somewhere nearby and all was well.

On Wednesday afternoon, we checked on the plants in our greenhouse. We were able to pull out our first bounty: a couple of radishes. And yes, they're proper and hot. Not like the ones you get in the grocery store. Unfortunately, we learned a lesson about our radishes: if you're going to plant them in starter pods, make sure you remove the mesh from the starter pods when you repot them into larger bins or just start them in the larger bins. Our radishes are a little misshapen, to say the least. Also, even though everything is in a little greenhouse, bugs and other little.....things....still get in. When we harvested our second bounty of radishes, we found a snail amongst the radish tops. He was liberated to our front bushes.

Little Man also insisted on making funny faces while his brother napped.

On Friday, we went to the big park, near downtown. We pass it all the time but we don't get over there that often. So, we went over on Friday morning and it was virtually empty for a good hour. Just Little Man, Stormageddon, one of Little Man's friends from school, and maybe a handful of other kids. Just as we were heading out, a bunch of kids showed up. Oh well.

This was the aftermath of the park. Stormageddon took a good nap that, unfortunately, I had to wake him from. ::sigh:: Little Man had a doctor appointment, specifically an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT). Looks like he's probably going to need tubes. We go back in about 6 weeks to find out for sure if we're going to get tubes or not. In the meantime, I get to try to get some information coordinated with his metabolic specialist and we get to try a few other things to try to "cure" the problem naturally, including blowing up balloons every day and a nasal spray. Weird, right?

Anyway, busy week, apparently. 

This week, I plan to have a stash enhancement update, maybe a double or triple, depending on whether I can get my act together. I might have an FO Friday for the wee little hat and perhaps a WIP Wednesday is in order. We'll see how things go. 

I hope you're having a lovely weekend! 


  1. I don't know where you get the energy to keep your boys entertained. The little one is adorable and is growing like a weed. Crap, our spring break has ended. The girls were up in SF from W-F and then yesterday we had dim sum lunch at my mum's. Sorry!

    1. It's not like we're far away otherwise :)

  2. Wow, I am all tuckered out just reading all you did last week. Looks like the boys had a grand time though. I love going to zoos with children. They see things so differently than us adults do.

    1. The baby is fascinated with birds lately so taking him inside where birds fly around was interesting to watch.

  3. Congrats on the Fire Socks going live! They look like a fun pattern. Your zoo pictures sure take me back - about 20 years. ;^) Oh, to be young with youngin's. It's a great time of life!

    1. I feel older than all the other parents there...I know I'm not but I feel like it.

  4. look at your fabulous boys, they look so happy! And a fun day at the zoo. that's a shame Little Man might need tubes, I hope that it is more comfortable than it sounds.

    1. I hope it's easier than your time with little Miss getting her glasses :)

  5. It sounds as though you are having a great week, hope this week is good too.