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

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Y5: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #15

Happy Sunday! WOOOO! We probably all know why we're here so let's get going :)

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
18. Vanilla Latte Socks: started November 19, 2015; finished April 6, 2016

So, I finished my Vanilla Latte Socks this week. If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen the "just off the needles and not blocked" shot. They're currently still hanging out in the bathroom, air drying. I hope that I'll have a proper FO Friday this week, along with the second Pacific Waves hat but we'll see what happens.

WIPs (Works-In-Progress) - carried over year-to-year
1. Snape's Stockings: started August 20, 2014
2. Wink: started January 5, 2015
3. Ice Socks: started January 7, 2016
4. Finn & Suffolk singles: started April 1, 2016
5. Pacific Waves Hat: started April 3, 2016
6. CashSilk Fern Scarf: started April 7, 2016
7. Gex for Little Man: started April 8, 2016

Apparently finishing a pair of socks means I need to start ALL THE THINGS! *ahem* Okay, so I only started three projects...and I have yarn, needles, and a pattern for a fourth (that isn't listed because I've not actually started it yet).

So, let's talk about my WIPs.

Snape's Stockings are past the gusset decreases. I have 1.5 pattern repeats left before I start the toe decreases. That's exciting. I might finish them soon :)

My Ice Socks....well, I'm still on the ribbing. Let's not talk about these right now. Suffice to say that I've been avoiding these...which just shouldn't be because, hello, design! But, I'm avoiding them because I've been so frustrated with them.

I've almost finished spinning the first 3.5 oz of the Finn & Suffolk singles. Once that's done, I switch bobbins and spin the rest on another bobbin...then I ply...then I wash, thwack, and finish. Or something. I'm not even halfway at this point. Whatever.

And then there are the three new projects: another Pacific Waves hat, the CashSilk Fern Scarf, and Gex for Little Man. The hat is another test with DK weight, the 0-6 month size for a newborn (because it's DK instead of worsted...again), and leftover yarn with which I'm currently playing yarn chicken. The scarf has been hanging out in a bag, ready to go, and since I finished a project, I decided it was time to start this project. If I had remembered that I said I would also text knit the other project I started, I probably wouldn't have started it yet. But, whatever. KNIT ALL THE THINGS! And then there's the sweater. It's a test knit for Avril Marx (I believe she may need more testers, if you're interested). There's a little bit of a learning curve because it's a top-down, raglan cardigan that uses short rows on the yoke...that's not the issue, really. The issue is that I did not like the way my short rows were turning out. I had gaps, things were lining up oddly. I think I started and frogged probably five or six times before I was satisfied with everything. I'm using German Short Rows and I'm slipping the first stitch along the bottom of the yoke so I have an easier time picking up stitches to knit the body later. Now that I'm going, it's pretty quick. But I was frustrated for a couple hours on Friday afternoon before I got the hang of what I was doing. I'm further along than this photo but this is the general idea of the yoke.

Anyway, moving along.....

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. Jabberwonky (using KP Felici in Abracadabra)
3. If You Know Where To Go (using KP Felici in Green Veggies)
4. 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?)

Since I've started the scarf, it's been removed from the list :)

And now for a dose of reality....or, life in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I feel like we didn't do much this week but I already know that isn't true. Sunday was a somewhat benign day, really. We spent some time in our ghettotastic pool while Stormageddon took a nap, Little Man wrote me a note and picked me a flower from our rose bush, and the local police department picked up a guy who decided to try to sleep it off in our side yard (the security guards from PG&E behind our house called it in). There was also a little dance session between Stormageddon and Husband's feet.

The note says, "Dear Mama, I wrote you this note and picked this flower for you. Love Arthur" I'm not sure where he gets that from but that's what he told me it says.

Dance session!

On Monday, we didn't do much around here, honestly. But Tuesday, the boys and I went to the Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39/Fisherman's Wharf, and Ripley's Believe It or Not. We dropped Husband off at work and then just drove there.

The aquarium didn't open until 10am so we wandered around on Pier 39 for a little while and had some most excellent funnel cake-like donuts. We also visited the famous Sea Lions.

They just hang out, shove each other off the platforms, and generally laze about. Stormageddon has seen them before but this was the first time that he registered what he was seeing and tried to mimic the noise they make.

We also got a good look at The Rock, which is, if you're not familiar with the term, Alcztraz. We've not actually done the tour out there because the boys are a little too young but, perhaps someday we'll get out there.

Once the aquarium opened, we did our tour. There were a couple school groups but otherwise, it was pretty empty.

Pacific Tree Frog

DINNER! Okay, Dungeness crab

My new best starfish friend

Little Man was fascinated by the sharks, Stormageddon loved the stingrays, and they both got a kick out of the river otters. There were three in the enclosure, all boys, and they were wrestling around like crazy. One of them likes to take pebbles and balance them on his head and play with them. I took a couple photos but none of them turned out that well because they were so busy wrestling each other.

After the aquarium, we went to Boudin Bakery for lunch. They almost exclusively supply all the sourdough for the entire Bay Area. We've not been there for awhile as our local one in the mall closed. So, I promised Little Man we'd go to the bread store. We were going to go upstairs to the actual restaurant but (1) it wasn't open and (2) all we wanted was a cheese pizza. So, we went to the shop/cafe downstairs.

Once we finished lunch, we went down the road a little bit to Ripley's Believe It or Not. I wasn't sure how this was going to go and, admittedly, Little Man got a little scared in there. There were some things he liked, however.

He was fascinated with these bigger-than-life Iron Man and Captain America sculptures.

He also had a fascination with items made from matchsticks. I didn't get a photo but there's a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge, made entirely from matchsticks. There's also the space shuttle and the USS Constitution made from matchsticks.

This was an interesting sculpture. There was a big, red, button in front of it and when you pushed it, the wings over the glowing butt moved back and forth. That was a far cry from another button in the same room, which made a cat howling noise that was.....not pleasant. Scared the crap out of Little Man. Poor kiddo.

This was an interesting addition to the place. A wedding dress made entirely out of toilet paper. I find this interesting because at a bridal shower for a cousin of Husband's (actually, the wife, who is not Husband's cousin), this was one of our silly games. We did it in teams of three or four and the bride got to pick her favorite toilet paper dress. I wouldn't have known this was made of toilet paper if I hadn't looked closely. It was gorgeous.

Wednesday this week turned out to be a hot one. Like we had the air conditioners on and the windows all shut up and fans blowing hot air out of bedrooms and doors closed. It was that icky kind of hot. As such, we didn't do much on Wednesday...we might have gone in the pool and I'm pretty sure we went to the gym but that was about it.

Thursday was an exciting day for us. The pool guy came over. We're talking about putting in an actual, proper, nice pool to replace our ghetto-tastic one. So, we had a guy come over for a discussion about what we wanted, where we wanted it, could we even do it per the city's rules/bylaws/ordinances (yes, we can!), and so on. We're waiting for him to come back with a quote but we already know it's going to be hanging around a good chunk of money....but, our pool is sinking and we're going to have to do something if we want to have a pool at all. Sooooooo, there's that. We also made some smoked chicken for lunch and for dinner, the lovely Carrie (as in IrishGirlieKnits) came over, which is always grand. She is so sweet and I really do need to see her more often. It's not like she lives far away!

Friday was a pretty benign day, as well, until we went to the mall around 5pm. It had been rainy and generally icky, the heat having broken overnight Wednesday, and the boys wanted to play...but our gym didn't have the kids' club open in the afternoon and the parks were wet and, we went to the mall where they have an indoor playing area (Tanforan, if you're local!). The boys went nuts and burned off a ton of energy. We wandered about the mall, had some dinner (pizza from Target - the little cafe area has Pizza Hut personal pans), and then I realized how late it was and we hightailed it home, arriving just after 9pm! Yeah, nuts.

I had an interesting experience while watching the boys play. We had just arrived, Stormageddon was loose, and out of nowhere, this sweet, smily boy of 3 years old climbed right up into my lap, gave me a hug, and ran off. No words, just happy faces. I looked at what I thought was his mom/nanny/possibly way older sister and we both kind of shrugged and went on with whatever. He did this several times. I discovered his name by listening to what his mom/nanny/sister called him and he never did actually talk to me but he kept giving me hugs and wanting to sit in my lap. It was totally adorable. When he had to get ready to leave, he ran up to me, climbed into my lap, threw his arms around me in a hug and wouldn't let go. He didn't want to leave. But his mom/nanny/sister convinced him to get his shoes on and go. Another mom sitting nearby got really confused because she thought he was mine, too. I said, "nope; he just likes me, apparently." The boy never spoke a word but he was so sweet and happy. I suspect he may have been on the Autism Spectrum but if he keeps up with that smile and happy demeanor, he'll be just fine.

The boys had fun, at least.

Yesterday was also a rather icky, rainy day. I took the boys to the gym in the morning and we spent the afternoon lazing about the house. Nothing exciting. Oh, and Obama was in town Friday & Saturday, which supposedly screwed up traffic but I didn't notice anything around here, even though we do live so close to the airport. Oh well. Whatever.

I hope you're all having a lovely Sunday! I'm going to try to be back with a WIP Wednesday post, possibly an FO Friday post (if my socks ever dry!), and we'll see where the week takes us.

Also, I'm looking to join TNNA as an affiliate (designer) but I'm stuck because I need two introductory letters from current TNNA wholesale members.......and I don't know any. ::sigh:: Any ideas?


  1. What do they mean by a TNNA wholesale member? Sounds like a good week, although the weather was icky...I have my vacation this week, gonna just play it day by day, no big plans...maybe NYC for a day...

    1. If you look at the TNNA website where it says "members" and you click on "join," you can see the different levels of membership. So someone/place that is a TNNA Wholesale Member would be a wholesale distributor (Cascade Yarns or Malabrigo, for example), manufacturer (Addi/Skacel needles), publishers (Schoolhouse Press or Cooperative Press), business services (uh.....I can't think of anything but it's listed) and they most often focus on business-to-business sales. So, if I had a pattern in a book that was published by Cooperative Press, I could ask them...or if I did some designing specifically for Cascade, I could ask them. The problem is that I've not done any of those things (yet). ::sigh::

  2. You bring back good memories from all of the spots you hit this week. My girls used to love that Tanforan play area. That's where I detangled a whole skein of pashmina.

    1. I had to keep an eye on Stormageddon. He was tempted by kids riding around on remote controlled animals. Silly boy.

  3. You saw the sea lions! So jealous. Looks like it was a fun week, and that note from little man is so sweet. Not being American, I'm not up on TNNA, but what about the yarn that you used for your new design, are they at the show? And then what about a yarn company you used for a different design?

  4. That cardigan looks like an interesting pattern. It will be fun to see it finished. And LOL at that starfish. Seriously...I can't stop laughing at the picture and your caption.

  5. Oh, your description of your weeks adventures made my heart soar. I LOVE SF! It has to be my all time favorite city to visit. I knew exactly where you were this week when you were at Pier 39. The only thing you left out was the 'lovely' smell of the sea lions as they laze around. We have yet to make it to The Rock but that is on the bucket list. Loved the bakery.............I could be there all day, just for the smell of the fresh baked bread. That and ghirardelli square. Another great smelling area. As for TNNA, could you sign up as a student? That seemed to be the easiest way to join them.

  6. Looks like you have had a great week. Love the look of your test knit.