Dachshunds need sweaters. Seriously, this little dog, with his short coat, is like a heat-seeking missile. He’ll sleep in front of the heat vent in the kitchen that blows warm air, loves a good nap in a sun puddle, and especially loves a seat on your lap under a big blanket. But, when I put a sweater on Jackson, he shakes. It’s worse than shivers, it’s like he is being punished, and I’m just trying to help him stay warm. When I first made his neckwarmer, it was more of a joke, but he didn’t shake! So, he wears his neckwarmer pretty much daily from November through March, since 2008. He could use a new one, so when I came across the Triangle Cowl for Tiny Creatures it seemed like a great idea. The yarn is mystery stash – I think it’s from Farmhouse Yarns. I cast on fewer stitches and knit for a length of 15″, then sewed the ends together. Perfect. I like how the yarn started to pool in stripes too. Pretty nice for a quickie project!
This week has been full and on the go. This photo (from my Instagram) sums it up well enough. I’ve had one kid (on the left) be a bit whiny, but that seems to be improving. He is the epitome of being 2. The other kid (you can see part of her leg on the right) has gone back and forth between hyper-excited and bossy. I wish I could bottle some of that. It might be time to admit I might have too many projects going at once. Mostly they are blobs and not interesting to photograph (Cody Cardi), or I just can’t show you (current sample). Oh well. I will have a finished item (the one I’m knitting in the photo) to share on Friday, so please come back! I’ve been reading more SEO class materials, web design stuff, and an actual book – Survival Mom. It’s not bad and appeals to me in the Girl Scout sense – always be prepared!
How is your week going? What are you reading? What are your WIPs?
Ravellenics – Are you participating? I thought for a moment that I would challenge myself by knitting a sweater. I have the pattern and yarn to do Elfe or Rocky Coast Cardigan. But then I returned to my senses. I just started working on a sample knit for Plymouth Yarn Co and it’s a blanket, due by the end of the games. I also have the Cody Cardi that I want to have finished before the end of the games. So, it’s looking like I’ll be WIP Dancing with both of those. I might do Sock Hockey too, from my personal sock club. I finished a pair of socks in January, but didn’t touch the personal sock club January yarn yet as I just can’t decide on a pattern.
Game On! PatPatsHats is always looking for hats (knit, crochet, or sewn), so I will also be participating in the Hat Halfpipe / Charity Curling. In March, they would like to donate 1,199 hats. Why 1,199? Read about it here.
I came across this Geek A Long project yesterday – the caffeine molecule captured my attention. I can’t stop thinking about it, and am very interested to see what other squares are created. It might be fun to make a blanket to donate to Child’s Play! I hadn’t heard of that particular charity before, but in reading their website, I like the sound of them.
This week brought us around 6 inches of snow. I like snow – especially the fluffy kind that arrived this week. Plus, if we’re going to have to deal with freakishly cold temperatures (Polar Vortex, Polar Plunge, whathaveyou) we might as well have some snow on the ground to make it look like winter too. I also am pretty fond of cool winter colorways – blues and greys, but when it comes to my socks I think the more obnoxious the color, the better. Stripey or “clown-barf” variegated, those socks are more likely to match what I’m wearing. Presenting my newest pair of socks, the first pair off the needles in 2014 – my Neon Skinny Macchiattos! I enjoyed the stitch pattern in the Caffe Macchiato pattern and would knit it again. I ended up giving up on it though once I got to the heel as I was so distracted by the yarn, hence the “Skinny” in my project title. I did do the Fish Lips Kiss Heel on these and though it was tricky at first, once I got the hang of it, there were no problems. The fit is nice too. The yarn is from Wild Hare Fiber Studio, in the Neon Lights colorway. The neons are so vibrant!
It looks like we might get a bit more snow over the weekend and at the beginning of next week. I’ll be tucked in under a pile of wool! Stay warm!
I’m pretty pleased with my progress on the projects this week, even if one in the picture was a do-over. The brown fuzzy blob is the Cody Cardi (two balls in, I’ve made it to the 2nd buttonhole) and it continues to be fuzzy. And it sheds. I am a dog lover but my dog is a short-hair / low-shedder. When I take a break from knitting with Cody you would have thought he was snuggled in my lap! The blue is the do-over. I was very excited to try out the yarn on the right (Madeline Tosh Sock in Ophelia) for a Blossomy crochet scarf. I worked my way through the motif, but the variegation in the color was way more apparent than I expected. I dug out some vintage stash (Dream in Color Smooshy in Dusky Aurora, circa 2008 – it wasn’t even in my Ravelry stash, uh-oh!) and that seems to be better. A fellow Ravelry user suggested that I block that motif to be sure I like it and maybe even go up a hook size, and I think I will follow her advice. I am getting better with crochet for amigurumis, but with bigger accessories / garments, I should really know what I’m doing! I’m still reading class materials and brushing up on web design things. I’ll fly the geek flag, it feels good to read a textbook. Yes, really. There’s a lot of acronyms and I suppose parts of it would make most people’s eyes glaze over, but I’m finding all this new information so interesting. There’s a lot that parallels my chemistry background. I finished a pair of socks, so I can finally start on my personal sock club. Though I’m at a loss for a pattern. I want to try toe-up socks, but my go-to is cuff-down. To be continued!
Hello Friday! I am very excited to share this project this week. It’s an amineko / crochet cat friend – around here we affectionately refer to them as “HeartCats”. This is a custom project, specially requested for a new baby who is also facing some heart issues. As before, I used Plymouth Sockotta held doubled. I like this yarn because the colors are great but also the blend (cotton / wool / nylon) is soft yet sturdy and washable (key for any baby / kid item) and not fuzzy. I found out this yarn was discontinued, so I’m currently keeping my eye on sales and destashes to stock up. I posted to the Plymouth’s Facebook page and did get a response, which was quite nice. They have another sock yarn, Sakkie, that I might try, but I’m hesitant only because of the mohair content. Pretty stuff. I also finished a sample knit this week – for Plymouth actually! – but I sent it back without getting a picture of the finished object. That was a laceweight scarf – it turned out beautiful and was nice enough to knit with but confirmed for me that I am not a lace knitter. How about another amineko picture instead?
This week I have been working on the Cody Cardigan, a specially requested HeartCat, a pair of socks, and the Once Upon a Time Sampler. I like having a variety of projects as it stretches my hand muscles in different ways and keeps my attention. I am expecting to get moving on a few other projects over the next few days, I just can’t resist. The Cody Cardigan has to be kept in a zippered project bag for now as Jackson has gone after the yarn twice. I usually don’t have this issue with any other yarn (wool, alpaca or mohair) and I haven’t noticed any eau du doggie (even when the swatch was wet), but I’m not going to question Jackson’s nose. I’ve just finished the second buttonhole row and have finished one ball of yarn. I am pleased with how this project is working up, but it is very fuzzy and, no surprise, sheds. A few too many inhaled fibers is my sign to take a break from the knitting. The HeartCat is in the finishing stages and I’ll be sharing him in more detail on Friday. The little bag the HeartCat is in is from GirlCaveBags; I love the shape and it is just the right size. This was also the bag I used to hold Violet’s HeartCat, so I figure there is good juju with it. I do have an inkling to have a HeartCat specific project bag made (by myself or someone else) with Japanese fabric. I started looking on etsy and pinterest and that’s a whole other rabbit-hole.
Reading-wise, I’ve signed up for an online course to learn more about search engines and SEO. This will be the second online course I’ve taken through ed2go.com – it connects you with online schools and adult education programs.
My FOs that I have to share are part of the Marathon of Warmth. I’ve made two hats and a cowl (386 yards down!) and soon they will be sent out to HatLoveKnits. I really enjoyed working with both of these patterns and the yarns. The teal hat is a Wurm in SimpliWorsted. This one is a bit small on my head, but should fit a teen just fine. The hat and cowl set (using this hat pattern and this scarf recipe) used up one ball of Red Heart Unforgettable. I liked the construction of the hat – the crown / body are crocheted which went pretty fast and then the brim is worked at 90 degrees. I do think I would try it again. These were knit in the first few days of 2014, mostly while watching London Hospital. I find it fascinating! If you like medical dramas with a touch of soap opera (like ER), I would suggest you try it out. If you have Amazon Prime, both seasons are there for instant streaming.
We’re finally back to a mostly normal routine. People working where they should, school is in session, and yet I cannot keep track of what day of the week it is. Figures. Maybe it is the cold weather. It has been absolutely frigid. Cold fingers don’t knit very fast, but I have been working on a few projects. I only grabbed one of them for the photo today.
This is a swatch and ball of yarn made from Malamute fur, specifically, Cody. I was asked by one of my closest friend’s mom if I could knit a sweater with yarn made with Cody’s fur. I love a challenge and thought this was a pretty interesting opportunity. When I was a kid I dreamed of having a Malamute. I love little Jackson to pieces, but he’s the only little dog I would ever have. And he thinks he’s a Great Dane or a Doberman most days, so it all balances out. Anyway, I’m swatching to get an idea of how this yarn will work and it’s not bad! I ripped out my first swatch, so this second swatch is extra fuzzy. I’m also working on a sample scarf for a yarn company. That yarn is a laceweight mohair-silk blend and feels like knitting with dust bunnies. I have about 12 more inches to go on that project.
I’m very happy to have a yarn bowl to hold this yarn while I work with it. I feel better about it rolling around in the bowl than having it get roughed up in a project bag. Once it gets going though, I’ll have to figure out a new storage method.
This week I’ve been reading and trying out the recipes in the Weelicious cookbook. I have catered to my kids at dinner time for too long. I knew they would eat the typical “kid” food: white rice, plain pasta, chicken nuggets, but that means me making extra meals and I’m tired of it. And it’s ridiculous, they should eat what we eat (which is nothing outrageous). My usual meal rotation was getting boring too. I’ve already made Rice Cooker Mac-n-Cheese, Chicken Tacquitos with Avocado Lime Sauce, and Banana Bread Cake. For the most part they have all been winners. The food is good with regular ingredients and comes together fairly quickly.
I’m looking forward to the promised January thaw, even if it will bring some rain. I’ve been clearing out my desk / work / catch-all area that is a perpetual mess / work in progress. I found two projects I forgot about, several other bits and bobs, and in trying to clear it out I’m giving myself permission to rip things out, stop working on others (and turn them into something else), and things are getting done. I’m excited to have the first FOs of 2014 to share on Friday!
Once I gained a bit of confidence in my knitting, I tried socks. I can remember sitting in my bedroom surrounded by printouts from the internet of how to knit a sock on double points. I held those pointy tips so close to my eyes I am pretty lucky I didn’t hurt myself when I sneezed. (Like I did that time in Bio lab in college, I didn’t move far enough away from the microscope before sneezing and totally whacked my head on the eyepiece. #sciencemajorsproblems) Anyway. I moved from dpns to two circular needles (thank you Cat Bordhi. It was such a treat to talk with her at the knitting retreat back in 2010.) to eventually magic loop. There is something special about sock yarn, you can indulge in one skein and have enough for your project. A good portion of my stash is sock yarns. I even have a decent sock drawer. In 2014, I am hoping to keep the sock mojo going by participating in a personal sock club, inspired by the Stitch Addiction podcast. The idea is that on the first of each month, I will randomly pick a yarn (the Lorax will help me bag them) and use that yarn for socks that month. Ideally I would love to get 12 new pairs of socks out of this experiment, but I’m not sure that will really happen. I knit 4 pairs of socks this year, so maybe a good goal would be 6 pairs? Some of this is deep stash, the self-striping ones are all recently acquired, and I have 2 socks that need a mate.
Here’s what I’ll be drawing from:
*left-to-right* Yarntini “Wonderfully Super”, Rainy Days & Wooly Dogs Henbane “Sailor Pluto”, Dyelectable Yarns “Peeps!”, Trailing Clouds “Primary:Secondary”, Scout’s Swag “B-Marie”, String Theory Colorworks “Ultra Violet Catastrophe” and Turtlepurl Yarns Blue Turtle Socks “Always Greener…”
left-to-right Tofutsies Tidal Wave Socks (needs a mate), Wool Dispensary Useful Poison “13th Fairy”, Canon Hand Dyes “See How I Am Bewitched”, Green Mountain Spinnery Sock Art Meadow, and Dan’s Socks which need a mate and didn’t really fit my husband (Dan) to begin with, but I’m pretty sure I can redo the toe and figure it out so he can get a new pair of socks as well. I am a bad raveler I never added the yarn name, I have no idea what these were! Or what pattern I used!
And here’s what came out of the bag on January 1, a skein of Green Mountain Spinnery Sock Art – Meadow. This skein photographed purple in a quick camera shot, but it truly is blue. I am not sure what pattern to use, so I won’t be casting on for a while. That is OK, as I have my Neon Macchiato socks on the needles that are ready for a heel turn. I would like to power through those a bit more (maybe finish them!)