The Doom, As it Were

Despite my attempts (cough, cough) to prevent the doom that was foretold, The Stash was hit. All of my project bags containing all of my unfinished projects mysteriously disappeared.

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My “trusty” guard claimed to be on a lunch break when it happened, but we all suspect foul play on her part.

I could drag this out further, but honestly, from this point things escalated quite quickly.

Appalled at the gross abuse of my wool, my eldest daughter, The Bookworm, appointed herself Head Detective and Chief of Police. In no time at all, she had my property returned and had nabbed the culprit.

(this is our attempt at a mug shot)

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In a surprising twist, she had an accomplice! He was nabbed, too.

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Amid giggles and squeals justice was served. And today was declared “The FUNNEST DAY EVER” by some of my more emotive children. Namely this one –

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Fox Guarding the Henhouse

Naturally, when my stash was threatened this morning, I went on high alert.

I even posted a guard.

In a stroke of genius (and because I am a super fun mom), I appointed my number one suspect as guardian of the yarn, as if I never thought she would be capable of such crimes.

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I’ll let you know how that worked out as this story unfolds.

The Note

I found this on my pillow when I went in my room to make my bed after breakfast.

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Talk about hitting me where it hurts!

My suspect list is short. Of my seven children, there are only a few that a) can write a note without asking me how to spell every third word; b) would use pink letters; and c) continuously followed me around the house this morning asking me when I was going to make my bed.

Stay tuned for more on this breaking story. (I can’t wait to see what’s next!)

Creepers Gonna Creep

Ah, Minecraft. The amazing computer program that blends creativity and video games so seamlessly that even Mom approves. And she shows her approval by knitting creepers for her kids. Because she sucks at building anything on the actual game. Virtual blocks and pretend pickaxes only confuse her, but she is a whiz at creating stuff with wool (and I don’t mean wool blocks on a screen), so she plays along with her needles instead of her keyboard.

Introducing my little knitted creeper. As seen on Ravelry here

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There are several patterns to chose from on Ravelry (look here) but I decided to wing it when I didn’t see one that fit in the palm of the hand.

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And it was a simple thing to figure out, anyway.

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It’s basically a bunch of blocks put together just right. Here’s how I did it, in case you want to make one like it.

Knit Creeper Pattern

yarn – I used Mosaic Moon Licorice Twist DK in the colorway “Lime SS Trim For Sweet Cream Scoops”, but any sturdy, DK yarn will work.
needles – size 3 DPN’s (or a size that will produce a nice, tight gauge)
gauge – not critical, but you want it tight and small-ish

HEAD

CO 10, knit 12 rows stockinette stitch

Pickup stitches along each side of square (8 stitches along sides and 10 along end) and begin working in round.

Purl first round
Knit 8, purl 1 four times (repeat row 12 times)

Bind off 27 purl wise

Knit across flap (back and forth in stockinette) 12 rows
Stuff and sew shut

BODY

CO 20, join in round
Knit 4, purl 1 four times (repeat that round 11 times)

Bind off 15 purl wise
Knit flap back and forth 7 rows
Bind off, sew shut
Stuff and attach to head at center bottom

LEG repeat four times
Pick up four stitches from center out of bottom of body, CO 1

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Work flap 7 rows st at
Work as for head, adjusting for smaller stitch count

Repeat leg three more times –

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Use tail of one leg to tie inner corner of each leg together to firm up base

Duplicate stitch face on (I used Mal sock black held double)

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Give to resident Minecraft enthusiast and enjoy the happy.

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Keeping My Needles Clicking and Clacking

Mass producing Curly Purly Soakers has been keeping my knitting needles a clicking.

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I am using O’Wool Classic Worsted in six different colors with plans to make a stripey one with the leftovers.

These are for a commission knit that I am working on, for, sadly, my cloth diapering days appear to be over. (We have transitioned The Blessing to disposable diapers.) I wish I had tried this pattern sooner, though, because it is really quite clever. And free. The shaping is done mostly by changing needle size, and I used a wide range of needles for the above soakers – from size 2 to cast on and work the ribbing, to size 6 for the main body, and size 4 for the legs and the transition from waistband to main body. I think that these will stay up quite nice despite not having a drawstring, which is how I always have kept my baby’s britches up.

Distracting me from the above knitting is this.

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Sweater of my own design using madelinetosh Tosh Chunky in the colors Oxblood, Norway Spruce, and Glazed Pecan

It started as a few skeins of endless possibility and a winter spent wishing for a big, squishy, cozy sweater. Add to that a fun sweater knit along with some of my favorite people on Ravelry and I am hooked. Funny thing is, the KAL runs from Memorial day weekend to Labor Day weekend, and I am going to be done quite soon indeed.

I am working it as a simple, top down raglan with ever increasing fronts and a shawl collar. The stripes are inspired by Reflected Lines, a pattern available through Ravelry.

So, what is keeping your needles moving?

Must. Knit. Something.

Funny story.

She came over that evening and she actually brought her knitting. She always forgets her knitting, but on this night she remembered. Then she actually knit on her project as we visited! She hardly ever does that. Usually I’m the one knitting and she knits a few stitches and then talks and then knits a few stitches and drinks her tea and then holds the baby and then… This time she was really flying across her rows, knit. knit. knit.

So there she is knitting in my living room and I had nothing in my hands at all. I had two projects on the go, and both of them were colorwork and I don’t like to knit colorwork while I’m talking (remember the socks? Yeah. That lesson was still fresh in my mind).

So I was sitting idle.

Watching her knit.

Weird, right?

Right. Totally weird.

Desperately, I grabbed the nearest ball of yarn and cast on some longies. Then as I talked and without any planning or thought, I started switching colorways from my scrap bag.

And I was knitting, too.

All was right with the world.

And The Blessing was getting another pair of longies. One can never have too many longies.

Win, win.

I am giddy with happiness at how lovely these scrappy longies turned out. They took days to dry after lanolizing, but this morning they were ready for the photo shoot.

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The Blessing, however didn’t want to do a photo shoot.

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No, she’d much rather crawl around and put leaves in her mouth.

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Or grab for the camera.

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When I finally got her to stand, it was only for a second and then she was down again.

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But she did like climbing on her chair that Uncle T made.

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I realize that this post started out as a knitting post and has quickly turned it’s focus to a cute baby. Can you blame me?

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I didn’t think so.

Okay, so knitting details. Well, for starters, the Ravelry project page is here.

Just for kicks I decided to try Russian joins. It’s clever and I like eliminating the ends to weave in later, but it isn’t very smooth as far as the knitting goes. It leaves big bumps. It’s only longies, so it’s cool, but I doubt I’ll use it again.

The yarn is all Mosaic Moon Targhee Aran. Some of it I picked up in a scrappy swap and some I had on hand. I did use one bit of Mosaic Moon Licorice Twist Aran (the pink zebra at the knees and just before the cuffs) as the legs were looking too blue for my girlie-girl.

These ended up being just a tad too big, you can see that I rolled the cuffs. And I should have used a smaller needle as the gauge is looser than I usually like for longies. But she will grow and they are just too cute.

I am extremely happy with the results.

Mistakes Upon Errors Wrapped in Failure, Yet Still a Nice Pair of Socks!

If there is a master list somewhere of mistakes one could make when knitting colorwork socks, I am sure I could check off every item with just this one pair of socks!

Well, actually, with the second sock in this pair, because the first one is perfect! Gorgeous! Amazing! But I made the mistake of knitting the first and then taking a long break from them until I forgot how to knit it, and then tried to make the second just like the first. Which I guess isn’t really a problem if a knitter follows her pattern. But I don’t. Which still wouldn’t be a problem if said knitter took good notes on the changes she made to the first sock so that she could make the same changes on the second. Which I didn’t. In fact, on my Ravelry page for these socks I wrote of the first sock (and I quote)

“I really hate when patterns dictate how many needles you must use by giving instructions per needle instead of per row. Grrrrrr. So I don’t know if I did the gusset as written or not. I worked it logically like any other sock. It looks right. Whatever.”

As if that was going to help me with the second sock at all. I might have been okay if I had gotten right on that second sock and knit it while the first was still fresh in my mind. But I didn’t. Christmas knitting, and contest knitting, and spinning, spinning, spinning, and before I knew it, the sock had sunk to the bottom of the project bag and started gathering dust. Poor sock.

When I did finally dig out this much deserving project, I approached it with all the excitement one usually approaches a second sock. Which is to say none at all. And then I proceeded to make every mistake I could possibly make.

No, that’s not quite right. The leg went fine, as did the heel flap. And then it began. That gusset may look fabulous, but it is an evil I shall not embrace again. I’m sure it is fine if you follow the pattern, mind you. But you remember that I didn’t follow the pattern. don’t tell me which needle to use for which stitches. Give me the whole row and I will figure out how I want to arrange my needles, thank you very much.

So I knit the gusset. Oh, and I should mention that this first attempt was made in the home of a dear friend over coffee and good conversation. This means that I was not fully paying attention to the gusset. I had already done one, right? How hard could it be?

That gusset was awful. I ripped it and started again. But this time I was watching Sherlock (the episode where he dies and I cried because Martin Freeman is such a good actor that even though I know there is another season and Sherlock can’t possibly really be dead, I cried right along with poor John Watson). This means that I wasn’t paying attention. Again. I’m a slow learner.

But at this point I didn’t care. I just fudged some decreases and made it happen. I was done with this sock long before the knitting was finished.

I proceeded to knit… From the wrong chart, continuously mixing up my dominate yarn (it changes across the row – sometimes the CC is dominate, sometimes the MC), missing various color changes and not going back to fix them, and generally just trying to get it over with until I came to the toe. And then I knit the toe.

It really is a shame that I messed up the second sock so epically. This yarn is really nice. I mean, it’s really nice. It’s roll in a pile naked nice, sleep with it under your pillow nice. It’s the kind of yarn one hoards and can never find the perfect pattern for. Both colors are Dream in Color Smooshy, but the contrasting color is Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere, and boy! does that cashmere make a huge difference. Delicious.

There is a bright side to this tragic tale. And actually, the bright side is enough to blind me to the pathetic knitting catastrophe that these socks became.

Firstly, look at them.

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I can see the errors, but only if I look. Otherwise they are just lovely.

Plus, they are a wonderful kind of squishy coziness that makes my feet very, very happy.

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And, there is so much yarn leftover, that I can make another pair (using a different pattern, of course). I could probably even make a pair out of just the Cashmere.

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So, mistakes upon errors wrapped in failure, yet still a nice pair of socks. I can live with that. So can my happy toesies!

A Slippery Slope

It all started innocent enough. I was sitting here in my cold house sipping my early morning coffee and wishing I had a cosy hand knit sweater to wear. *

Then my mind started perusing the stash and I remembered that I have a sweater quantity of Dream in Color Classy that I purchased for such a thing. It is in the colorway “Black Parade”, a very pleasing black with hints of deep purple, dark blue, and deep dark green.

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Hmmm. What sweater should I turn that pile of happiness into? I wondered. I got out my iPad and logged on to Ravelry.

Fast forward a few minutes and you will see that I had moved on to striped sweaters. I also have a sweater quantity of the same yarn in “Callous Pink”, a gorgeous greyish purply pink. I could make a nice long sweater with extra long sleeves and wrap around fronts if I used the two colors together.

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But, as I usually do, I quickly turned from my search for stripes and began perusing colorwork patterns. Naturally, none of the colorwork patterns that I liked used less than four colors.

And that is how I ended up placing an order at Eat.Sleep.Knit for three different colors of Dream In Color Classy this weekend.

And I still don’t know what sweater I’m going to make!

* I know what you’re thinking. “Hey! Don’t you have lots of handkmit sweaters? Don’t you make sweaters for yourself all the time?” Well, yes, I guess I do. But I tend to make sweaters that are pretty, not cosy. What I am talking about here is a big, cosy, sweater that you may never even wear out of the house. Maybe it is ugly. Or unflattering. But it is the favorite thing to wear because it wraps the wearer in sweet bliss. That kind of sweater. I don’t have one of those yet.

The Falkland’s Will

I asked the wool what it wanted to be.
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It answered back, “Beautiful”

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I was happy to oblige.

So often I take a braid of fiber and I form it into what I want it to be. This time, I let it do what it wanted, taking me out of my comfort zone, yet soothing and easy at the same time. This braid of Falkland from Friends in Fiber spun up into such a gorgeous single that I knew it didn’t want to be plied. So I fulled it and snapped it and hung it to dry, then anxiously awaited the finished object. 

It did not disappoint. This lovely yarn is going to a dear friend and I cannot wait to see what she makes with it. Maybe it will tell her what it wants to be.