2 years!! what?

today marks a 2 year time lapse! of this blog! what? time really does fly! i can’t believe it is exactly 2 years since i last wrote in here! actually, yes i can! little boys are a lot of work! :) but so worth it:) today while we were driving my little alien t-rex was looking out the window and he said, broken, referring to the trees. we had a pretty bad ice storm in December 2013, and a lot of the trees around here are split or “broken”:( so then i said to him, yes, the trees are broken from the ice storm. and he said, Hug. he wants to hug the trees. i think i’m doing ok at being a mommy:) OK, so…on to the knitting:) I have so much to talk about, but first things first! I went on a little knitting retreat!

it was the first time i was away from my little tree-hugger, and i missed him a ton, but i also had a great time!

Spruce Hollow Farms

Spruce Hollow Farms

i found the information for the retreat on ravelry, check out this link. however, if you are not a member of ravelry (and why aren’t you?) then here is the link to Judy’s website for Spruce Hollow Farms. navigating her website will give you more detailed information about accommodations, but here are some quick ones, there is wi-fi available (free), all meals are included for your retreat stay, and there are a few fireplaces throughout the home to enjoy, as well as a nice garden outside during warmer weather.

now, details. this was the perfect retreat for me at this time. it allowed me to “get away” without having to drive too far, or get on a plane, and i wasn’t gone for too long. i didn’t have to do any cleaning or cooking. i didn’t have to worry about anyone else, which, sounds selfish, but honestly, it was nice for a change:) and i’m sure i’m not the only one out there who daydreams of that occasionally! i was looking for a relaxing weekend where i could knit as much as i wanted, and that is what i got. mostly. i say mostly because i foolishly planned this during a final exam period. so i did spend some time away from the other retreat goers while i finished up a class. i learned a big lesson there. wait until the class is over so you can enjoy All The Knitting Time!

when i arrived late friday afternoon, there were already a few other people there, and we all sat in the kitchen drinking wine and eating appetizers. i hadn’t expected that and it was nice after driving for 3 hours. then Judy served dinner, which she cooked, and it was delicious! also, dinner was served in the dining room, which was set up really fancy:) i mean, we had individual bowls with salt and little spoons. silly that this is something that really caught my attention, but i thought it was so neat. and i couldn’t help but think of downton abbey:)

the entire weekend judy cooked all of our meals, and a few of us walked away with some new recipes, which is always nice. so again, no cooking or cleaning, just relaxing with knitting, which made for a great weekend! but to top if off, not only was the food delicious, the room accommodations were nice as well. i slept really well for the first time in months. the bed was comfortable and i woke up each day feeling refreshed!

i would highly recommend staying with Judy at her farm for a knitting retreat if you are anywhere near the area, or even if you aren’t and would like to get away!

i hope to start writing on at least a weekly basis, so stay tuned for some knitting!! if anyone is still reading:)

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addi-turbo lace VS. hiya-hiya sharp needles

happy wednesday:) to check out what everyone else is working on today, head on over to tami’s amis and other creations for wip wednesday:)

this is just one of my wips. one i cast on late last night. i have a few in the works right now, but after reading this blog post, i got the idea to knit myself a shawl that i can use as a cover-up while breast feeding. i wanted something quick (anticipated arrival date of my little alien t-rex is next week!) but large enough to do the job. i took all day to make up my mind and i settled on this pattern, Catenacy by Kiersten Brandt. i wanted to use stash yarn since i want this right now, right now, so i’m using knitpicks shimmer hand dyed lace yarn held doubled, in the blue glass colorway. i bought this back in 2009, so i figured i might as well put it to use. however…i’m not thrilled with how the shawl is turning out, and i’m not thrilled with how the pattern is written. i’m using someone else’s mods on ravelry (noted on my project page here), but i’m thinking that this may not be dense enough to actually cover anything…but we shall see. i have a plan b, which i need to order yarn for, just in case this doesn’t work out. in the end, at least i’ll have something pretty to either keep or give away, regardless of whether it works for what i want right?

among my works-in-progress is a baby blanket (click here for pics and info) made out of wollmeise:) i’m very happy with how it is turning out and i’m on my 8th square out of 25, not bad since i started this at the beginning of the month! however, i was getting slightly irritated with my needle choice. clicking on the pictures below gives a better image, i apologize for not making the font bigger when i edited these pictures :(

i’m using 2 circulars to knit each square and i started with 1 16″ addi-turbo lace interchangeable and 1 24″ addi-turbo lace fixed needle. i love the fixed needles, the interchangeable’s…not so much. the tips don’t seem to be very pointy (which is the point for lace needles right? excuse the pun). the fixed addi-turbo lace needles are slightly pointer though. however, i don’t own a whole bunch of those. and the set of addi-turbo lace interchangeable needles i purchased i got for a steal (about $100) so i feel that i shouldn’t complain too much. however…i wouldn’t recommend these. i would rather have spent that $100 on buying a slew of hiya-hiya sharp needles:)

i heard about these on the knitgirllls video-podcast a few episodes back. i have several hiya-hiya circular needles for sock knitting, so i thought, sure i’ll give these new hiya-hiya needles a try for the baby blanket. and i love them. i definitely compare them to being the same (if not better) than the addi-turbo lace fixed circular needles. for 1/2 the price! i paid $16 for my addi-turbo lace fixed needle shown in the pictures, and only $8.50 for the hiya-hiya sharp fixed circular needle.

besides the issue with the tips of the addi-lace interchangeable needles, there is the issue of the two joins. my yarn keeps getting caught on the cable join and sometimes on the needle tip join. not cool. i don’t have any issues with yarn catching on the fixed circular joins, which is to be expected, but added in with the needle tips of the hiya-hiya sharps being as good as, if not better, than the addi-turbo fixed lace needles, why spend $16 on one set when you can almost get 2 sets for that price?

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my name is cujo, that be my name yo

another year has passed and cujo is now 2 years old!

he hasn’t gained much weight but he sure does have a lot of character. some of his interests are rap music, girls, playing both inside and outside, trying to eat pebbles (or anything else he can find outside), long walks, and long naps. a few of his accomplishments this year include:

*writing several songs

*running 4k’s without stopping

*winning all of the ladies (both young and old) affection in the entire neighborhood

*burping on a regular basis

*stealing the hearts of several friends of the family

*becoming my uncle’s favorite pet

and of course, providing constant love to his mommy and daddy:)

in june 2011, cujo underwent major doggie surgery for cryptorchidism. his recovery went well, but it took a little longer than originally expected. after a full day of immobility he finally came out of his funk when one of his lady doggie friends walked by. what a relief that was! we were starting to get worried but luckily, after that, all was back to normal within the week.

after cujo had his surgery, we weren’t sure if we were going to have to deal with any behavior changes/issues. but…as you can see from this video, nothing has really changed. he still loves his blanky a LOT. and he is still potty trained:) Happy 2nd Birthday Cujo!! :)

p.s cujo picked the song for the video. i guess since he is 2 he thinks he is mature enough to listen to this type of music. the song is considered explicit, here is your warning :)

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please excuse my models

i’m really excited about these two finished items:) the only problem is that it is hard to show off how cute they are without the intended model being here yet! :)

these are two free patterns by comfort wool, are really quick to knit, and i think will be cute for pictures (and warmth). the patterns both call for malabrigo worsted, which i was tempted to use. then i decided that i wanted something machine washable, and was going to use some lion-brand wool ease that i seem to have a lot of (shocker). of course i was fairly new to knitting and didn’t realize what i was buying at the time, and in its defense, it does have its place! but…none of the colors i had were what i wanted to use. then i discovered/found malabrigo rios…a superwash version of their worsted.

finding a color i wanted that was in stock was the hardest part of these two projects. malabrigo must be doing really well. they have tons of colors available and everyone loves their yarn, but it seems as though getting them from my primary online sources (webs, jimmybeanswool, yarnmarket) is tough, as most suppliers are always out of stock in the majority of colors :( i know getting the yarn to the supplier in the first place is a bit of a time suck as well…anyway…

i used malabrigo rios for both my chocolate owl baby hat and chocolate owl baby cocoon, in the coco (624) colorway (click these links for my project details and helpful notes). i also don’t feel too bad about spending the money on this yarn because…i’m telling myself that once these items no longer fit my little alien t-rex, i will just rip them out and knit him a sweater:) unless of course i somehow grow attached to these items and want to keep them in a box to look at years from now…

owlie sleep sack model is a gallon size water jug, and he worked it baby:)

 

 

 

 

 

owlie hat model is my favorite yankee candle at the moment, pink sands, take a bow girl!

 

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biggo yarn:)

i finished something! something that should (again) have only taken a few days…but i get bored so easily…this was a very simple, easy pattern (and it is free!) and the biggo yarn from knit picks is perfect for it! i used the duchess heather colorway, and the picture on knit picks is a very accurate depiction of the actual color. the yarn was incredibly soft to work with (50% superwash merino and 50% nylon). i used just under 3 skeins for this, but i think i could have gotten away with 2 and it would still have been fine. as it is, it is approximately 11 inches wide and 72 inches long, and extra warm if you wrap it a few times. you can wrap this up to 3 times if you like…

in the picture below it is wrapped twice around the hanger

this is a gift for a friend, and i really hope she enjoys it! :)

click here for my project details.

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reality check, and a failure notice

the madness i wrote about before has changed. reality set in for me after completing approximately 6 hexagons. i wish it had set in sooner…maybe after i wrote about my brilliant plan…that would have saved me some time. anyhow, i know me, and i know that i hate seaming things together and i often put off the finishing details of projects if it involves seaming. in fact, i still have 12 baby blanket squares that need to be seamed together from a few years ago…the blanket was for my niece, who is now 2 ½ years old. and i started that blanket about 5 months before she was born. i don’t have a great track record as far as seaming goes. or finishing projects lately for that matter…

the new plan is to use 3 different beautiful wollmeise colors to make the barn raising quilt. i’m already on my 4th square, and for the design i want, i need 25 squares. i’m sure this won’t be complete before my little alien t-rex arrives, but hopefully it will be done and put into use while he is still a baby:) AND i’m planning on using a 3-needle bind off to join all the squares, which i guess is still seaming, but it isn’t the kind that i seem to have so much trouble with. click here for more details if interested.

so…the whole seaming thing…yeah, i’m definitely not good at it. i figure i just need to practice, i mean, if i can make socks with an afterthought LEG…i should be able to sew some pieces of yarn together right? NOPE. i made the Petite Facile baby sweater a few weeks ago.

i fell in love with the pattern when i saw it in the Winter 2011 issue of Interweave Knits. i knew i had to make it. but i also knew that i wanted to be able to wash it in the washing machine, so i ordered some Knit Picks Shine Worsted in the marmalade color (this color has been discontinued) and eagerly cast on once the yarn arrived.

the construction is quite different, and going in, i knew i’d have to seam up the sides and under the arms, and the sleeves…but i figured (incorrectly) that it is a small project and the seaming wouldn’t be too difficult. i think for the average knitter that would be true. for me, not so much. i finished the actual knitting on this in about 3-4 days, and that was only working on it a few hours each day. it really is a quick knit, and it looks interesting as you knit it. i then put off seaming it for about 2 weeks, and i finally spent a few hours! (more than 3) seaming and re-seaming it together. i hate how it turned out, so i will be ripping it out and casting on for a different sweater, this time, one knit in one piece, from the top down. i tried to take pictures of my wonky under-arm section and side seams. my project details are here.

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let the madness begin

i mentioned in the last post that i’m working on the spring shoots from alice yu’s socktopus book as part of a kal on ravelry. this sock is constructed in a different manner than i’m used to. i’ve done toe up and top down socks. these are done toe-up (using a turkish cast on, which i LOVE, and was new to me), and then you put in waste yarn to do an afterthought LEG. after that, you begin your heel decreases. oh, and to get the afterthought LEG in, you must Cut your Yarn. so here is a photo of my progress so far. and i have been at a standstill with this for at least 3 days. i’m just working up my courage to do some snipping! i’m not really scared, but…i’ve re-knit the majority of the foot a few times now because i was not measuring correctly. hopefully, i’ve figured out the right place to put in my leg, and hopefully the heel will fit me too:)

getting ready to add an afterthought leg!

you might also notice the bag…here is a closer look:

project bag from adorenum on etsy

and my favorite little detail, the dragonfly zipper pull:)

close up of zipper pull

this bag is from adorenum on etsy, and i actually met the very talented ewenique at knit nation this past summer, where she gave me one of her beautiful bags:) posted about here.

on to the madness part (yeah, it isn’t the cutting of the yarn!!). i started on these guys. they are 2.5 inches wide by 2 inches long. that’s gonna be a lot of hexagons!!

hexagons for baby blanket; wollmeise 100% merino superwash

my plan is to make a small baby blanket, and then, as time goes on, slowly add to it, and one day, maybe it will be a nice blanket for my little alien t-rex in his home. i just started last night, and i’m toying with the idea of doing the little hexagons a little differently, but will see how my imagination translates in the real world. but this pattern has taken over many knitters on ravelry, the beekeeper’s quilt. the pattern was a gift from a friend, and i love the idea, but i don’t think i’m going to be stuffing them…project page info is here.

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