Tiny Stitches

This week I picked up Stitches, by Anne Lamott. I was first introduced to her writing freshman year of college with Bird by Bird, a book that I think of often and really should reread. (I think it was a social justice class. I also read Amazing Grace in that class which was phenomenal.) I can’t quite put my finger on why I like her style, but I do. Have you read her work? This book takes a look at how we deal when life gets all out of whack – the big awful events, the daily frustrations, and everything inbetween. It’s not light, with references to things like Sandy Hook and sick children, but I’m able to enjoy a few words here and there.

(thank you pinterest, for allowing me another method in which to catch all the quotes that catch me!)

I’ve been knitting on my March socks, and though they may be plain vanilla socks, they are a merino-cashmere-nylon blend and stripey and it’s nice to be in a world where such a wonderful thing also exists! I’m on to the stockinette section of my sockhead hat. No modifications, I’m knitting to the pattern, so I’ve still got quite a ways to go on that. It is soothing and I love love love this speckling in the yarn – the pops of magenta here and navy there make me take notice of the beauty of the stitches again and again. Also, this yarn would be so awesome as a HeartCat I think!

Pushing On, Gaining Speed

Feb 19 in progressI like when I get to a point in a project when I can count a reasonable amount of rows (or inches) until the end. My current sample knit for Plymouth is like that – I have another 10 rows plus an 8″ section to finish the knitting on that project. It’s auto-pilot knitting and does move quickly, I expect that I can have the knitting done by the end of the weekend and weave in the ends next week.  The Good Karma Farm Ravellenics Sweater has the body portion done, so now it’s on to the sleeves (two at a time). Do you ever feel like you start knitting faster once you settle in to a project? I do, even though I’m pretty sure my knitting speed is consistent. My socks haven’t been touched since I posted about them, but now that school is session again I’ll be able to work on them when we wait for the bus.

That’s all there is to report! Some posts are like that, you know?

First WIP

L knitsOver the weekend, my daughter asked if I would show her how to knit. We have been reading Annie and the Swiss Cheese scarf for months now, and she received a Hello Kitty Scarf Kit for Christmas. Ok, why not? So we sat down and I cast on for her. The first row I knit while holding her hands and she said the little rhyme: “In through the front door, once around back, peek through the window, and off jumps Jack”. Then we sat knee-to-knee while she worked, so I was close by if she needed help, and to be a mirror image for her to look at the motions. I’m left handed, and I knit that way too (my stitches start on the right and move to the left), but we seem to have managed ok. I am quite proud of her, she has really stuck with it! She knit on Sunday afternoon and later that evening while the Super Bowl was on. Monday was a snow day / no school, and after I told her there was no school, she said “Oh good, now I can stay home and knit!” She picked it up again yesterday too, and has already asked me when I’ll be knitting today (another snow day). Reading the Swiss Cheese Scarf book has been a huge plus, as it shows that your first project can be full of mistakes and loops, and it emphasizes that knitting is hard and takes a long time and a lot of practice. I have to say though, for a beginner knitting kit, the yarn (some acrylic with glittery strands) is terrible to knit with. It is so splitty. I’ll be offering her some other yarn to practice with, but only if she wants to try something else – she’s determined to make this scarf.

I have been working on a sample knit; it’s big and squishy and I will be sad to send this one back. The Cody Cardi has gotten some attention, and I have cast on a new pair of socks. My personal sock club for February was a skein of Dyelectable Yarns “Peeps” self-striping. I decided to try these toe-up with the Fish Lips Kiss Heel, plain vanilla. They are super bright and obnoxious, so of course I love them.

Blurry blobby bits

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?

Try and Try Again

Jan 22 wip we'dI’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!

Of Classes, Cats and Dogs

Wip Wednesday 1-15This 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.

Enjoyable WIPs

 

Is it fair to show a WIP that is now finished? If you follow me on pretty much any other social media channel, I posted about how I started a hat over the weekend, and couldn’t stop working on it! It’s done, washed, and is drying now.  I hope I will be able to get a few photos tomorrow. When it was still in-progress, I popped it on Jackson, just to see – I may have to indulge the pup and make him a new neckwarmer out of the lovely Weekend Wool! I also started a sock, the first of a pair intended for my husband. The yarn is Bugga and has such a great squish factor, along with the phenomenal color. He respects and appreciates the handknits, so I enjoy knitting for him. I will make this pattern, Simple Skyp Socks, again as it feels like it just flies off the needles! I have some highly variegated yarn in my stash that I would like to see how it plays with the stitch pattern. I think a tonal or semisolid would also work well here. It reminds me of knitting the Monkey socks – it’s enjoyable to knit and is a pattern that works with every yarn. Have you had an enjoyable WIP this week?

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