Archive | September 2017

Not a Good Day

Today didn’t start out so great. I snoozed a bit too long and got up to a puddle outside the bedroom door (Duncan isn’t great about going very long stretches without a potty break). I confess I cursed a bit as I let the dogs out.

Then when I came down for breakfast, I spotted a knitting needle on the floor. A thin size 1 DPN that should have been in a zipped project bag holding a sock WIP. Oh, that bag? Yeah, it was on the floor, says the husband. Sure enough, the bag had suspicious dog hair on it. I unzipped it and pulled out the sock, and discovered that the rogue needle had been on live stitches. This bag was my Yarn Pop bag, the one with the handy grommet in the side you can pull the yarn through. Apparently, you can also pull a needle through.

I got the stitches back on a needle, a different needle because the first had a splinter and few tiny tooth marks, and it seems to be fine. But OMG this dog. I know, I know. It was my idea, and I found this dog, and blah blah blah. I had clearly forgotten what it’s like to have a young dog in the house, and we got really spoiled with the first two dogs, who never had accidents in the house even at under a year old. So it’s a new problem for us to deal with. Like I said, not so great.

So in the hopes of turning that frown upside down, let’s look at yarn, shall we? I have marvelous friends who give me marvelous yarn. First up is my birthday yarn from a couple of work friends. It’s Madelinetosh Euro Sock in the color Daenerys. I think it might grow up to be a Miso shawl, a simple, versatile staple for my wardrobe.

Second, I have a new skein from an indie dyer, Canon Hand Dyes, in Portland. This was a gift from another friend at work, a thank-you for covering while she was on vacation. The yarn is Oscar Sparkle Fingering and the color is called Isobel Crawley (Downton Abbey inspired, as I’m sure some of you could guess). Isn’t it beautiful? I do love sparkly things, especially sparkly purple things! I haven’t decided yet what it wants to be, but I’m pretty sure it will be another shawl/scarf, something I can pet and admire while I wear it.

There. I feel better now, don’t you? I mean, I’d feel even better if I was at home playing with my new yarn, but we can’t have it all, I suppose. Here’s hoping your day is brighter than mine has been!

Finished Cowl

Last night was my girl’s last halftime show. They’ll still perform at their competitions, but it’s a wrap at football games for her. She went out with a bang, too: it was an awesome show. I’m actually glad I still have the boy in band so I can still go to the games for shows. But even after four years of high school football games, I still don’t like or understand the game, so it’s always knitting time for me. Last night I was able to finish my Basketweave Cowl.

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It’s so soft and squishy! It’s going to be perfect if/when fall actually hits here in the midwest! I cast on 200 stitches on size 8 needles and kept going until I was almost out of yarn.

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With that done, I need another mindless knitting project. This morning I tried on that sock I’m not liking, and it was too big anyway so I frogged it. I’ll probably just start a new, simple sock for all my band-related knitting this weekend.

Happy Saturday, friends!

Warrior Shawls

I have gone off socks, it would seem. Don’t worry, it’s temporary, I’m sure. I’ve been working on a pair that has not been very fun, not intuitive for me, which means I have to put more mental effort into it and then it’s not good travel/lunch time knitting. And the pattern insisted I cast on more stitches than I usually do, so I’m worried it won’t even fit after going through all the trouble. And even if it does, I’m already dreading the second sock. And now that I’ve verbalized all of that, I’m wondering why I’m not frogging it and picking another pattern. I did use a hot pink contrast yarn, and I cut the yarn after the cuff and heel, but if I reused it for a pattern with fewer stitches, it should be fine, right? Right. Anyway, I needed a break from socks, so I’ll worry about that another day.

In the meantime, I’ve got a mindless cowl on my needles. It’s the Chunky Basketweave Cowl and I’m using gorgeous ivory Ella Rae Cozy Alpaca, which is some of the softest, squishiest yarn I’ve used in a long time. It is very splitty, but I can work with that. I want it to be long enough to wear doubled, and I’m using smaller needles to make a denser fabric, so I started out with a cast-on of 180 stitches. That was too short, so I frogged and started over with 200, and that should be just right. I can’t wait to wear it when the temperatures cool down!


And for fun knitting that makes me think, I’ve been working on my two new shawls. The Rainbow Warrior is addictive. I’m so glad I waited until I could get the beautiful Miss Babs yarn, because I’m in love with how it’s turning out. I’m already planning other color variations! (Gray with purple variegated and black with rainbow are the top two, I think.) I’m on slipped-stitch section four of eight, so it’s coming along nicely.


Then there’s Wonder Woman. I took a short break because it was time to do wrap & turn short rows, which I’d never done before, and I was a little nervous. But last night I decided I didn’t want to wait forever for my wrap and just pushed through and did it, and it looks great, IMHO! It wasn’t hard at all, just fiddly, and I had to really pay attention to where I was in the pattern. I did mess up, because I somehow hecked up my stitch counts (off by three stitches), so the row after my triangle was a little tricky as I fudged to get the counts back to where they were supposed to be. I think it’ll be okay. Thank goodness it’s just garter stitch and not a complicated lace pattern.


So those are my WIPs for the week, but I’m already itching to cast on another new shawl! And as soon as the temps drop a little bit more, it’ll be time to pull out the alpaca for cowls. Fall is the best time for knitters, I think. So much delicious anticipation!

More birthday fun

One last birthday photo, because I can’t not share the super awesome cake one of my coworkers made. It was a chocolate cake covered in shiny purple glaze!! It was gorgeous.

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Okay, wait, one more. Because a couple of other awesome coworkers gave me some beautiful knitting needles that look like magic wands!! (Again, purple.)

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They gave me yarn too (Madelinetosh! HELLO!), but it hasn’t come yet. Seriously, do I have the best coworkers or what?? Another one gave me delicious chocolates, but those didn’t last long enough for a photo!

I’ve also had some good knitting time this week and I’ve cast on two new shawls. I was finally able to get yarn to make the Wonder Woman wrap, hooray!

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I chose Malabrigo Sock yarn in Ravelry Red and Ochre. I’ve cast on and done the easy first section, and am loving it so far. Now I need to move on to the scary part, which has wrap & turn short rows, which I’ve never done before. It’ll be fine, though. Fine. Just fine.

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Did you notice? I’m using Wonder Woman stitch markers too! Love them!

And this morning, I cast on for the Rainbow Warrior by Casapinka. I’ve been wanting to make this shawl for ages, but I wanted to do it with the Miss Babs yarn, just like the original, and I could never bring myself to order the yarn. Thanks to birthday money, I was finally able to place the order. And along with an adorable little mini-skein and three stitch markers, I got two skeins of Yummy 2-play, one in Perfectly Wreckless and one in Thunderstorm.

I’m pretty sure this will be a quick, fun knit. I’m already loving it and can’t wait to go back! How do I choose which awesome shawl to work on??

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Plus I want to cast on more things. Really I just want to cast on ALL the things right now. But hopefully I can contain myself to two shawls at a time. More might be overwhelming!

Duncan is settling in nicely. He’s feeling more comfortable, which is mostly good. He’s not quite as mellow and easy-going as he was the first couple of days. In fact, he can be rather ornery and mischievous, both with us and the other dogs. His appetite also grew noticeably, and he’s much more playful and spunky that I thought at first. He’s making the other two play much more than they’re used to, so at least they’re getting worn out. I’m having a marvelous time watching them all interact, and I’m so glad I was able to convince the husband to add just one more dog to the pack.

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Happy weekend, friends!

Birthday Fun

I love birthdays, don’t you? You get to celebrate with people you love, and eat yummy food, and sometimes you get fun presents too! I celebrated a few days early this weekend with my family and enjoyed being around three little kids again. (I also enjoyed it when they left and my house was quiet again, haha!) We grilled burgers and drank margaritas and ate cake and played with puppers and it was overall a perfectly lovely party. Duncan was quite a gentleman: quiet, well-behaved, and tolerant of the kids’ attention. Grace was the naughty one, stealing a bun from a plate left too close to the edge of the table! As for the presents, I consider myself a lucky girl:

The pens are Pilot Metropolitan Pop fountain pens and they’re super cute and super fun to write with. The yarn is CASHMERE, friends. Yes, CASHMERE. I will probably cast on with it today simply because I can’t wait to knit with cashmere. And I finally got some of the color-coded cords, which I’ve been coveting for ages. Hooray, lucky me!

It’s been a nice weekend with the new pupper too. Duncan is settling in wonderfully. All three dogs get along and play well together. Duncan is still more selfish about getting attention, but the other two are sharing nicely. He loves to cuddle, loves the couches, and really loves beds.

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So I consider myself pretty lucky with that too. In fact, Duncan might be the best present of all!

Rescuing Duncan

Meet our new furry friend, Duncan!

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He’s a shepherd mix, about 15 months old and 78 pounds (or so they said. He doesn’t seem that heavy, but he is solid). We met several dogs over the last week or so, trying to find our newest pupper, and none of the were just right. Duncan was a great mix of cuteness, playfulness, and respectfulness. They all three seem to get along well, and Duncan backs off every time one of the others corrects him, which is a great sign. He runs around the yard with Grace, which she loves, and he roughhouses with Jack, so I think this might work out well. (Fingers crossed!) He doesn’t have great manners all the time so we’ll be working on that, but seems willing to learn.

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Duncan was adopted from the Great Plains SPCA, and they were super helpful in our search. But in the KC metro area, you can also find lots of furry friends at Wayside Waifs and KC Pet Project. I’m a big advocate of Adopt, Don’t Shop!

There has been a bit of knitting here and there too. I finished the set I’m donating to a silent auction fundraiser and I think it turned out pretty cute.

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I used the visual element of the Twinkly Lights cowl and combined it with the Zig Zag Chevron hat and the 75 Yard Malabrigo Mitts. Hopefully someone likes it enough to bid on it!

Happy Friday, friends!

Socks, Hats, Dogs.

Remember how I finished two baby blankets for a friend with twins, and they just needed to be blocked? Well, they were washed and laid out to dry last weekend and looked great. Then I woke up Monday morning and spotted this in my craft room:

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Naughty pupper! But still cute. Thankfully, he didn’t damage it at all, just left some dirty spots so that I need to rewash it. And now I know to close my craft room door when things are blocking on the floor!

After finishing all my WIPs recently, I got to cast on a couple of new projects. The first is a sock, of course, since one must have a sock on the needles. I chose The Theory of Relativity socks and my new Cherry Tree Hill amethyst sock yarn, but pulled out a bit of leftover hot pink for contrasting bits. I have to pay attention to the pattern, but so far I love how it’s turning out.

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I’m just a little scaredĀ of the size. The pattern strongly recommends casting on more stitches because the pattern isn’t as stretchy as most, so I went with the size I needed per their measurements, but it seems like a lot! I really hope they don’t come out too big.

My other new WIP is a hat, which I’m loving because I haven’t done a hat in so long! This one is a donation for a silent auction. At first I thought I’d do this Zig Zag Chevron hat. I love how it looks and thought it would be a good way to try colorwork. HA! It did not go well and I hated every moment of the attempt. I do know that if I spent more time feeling comfortable with English style, it would be easier, and I could watch videos and blah blah blah. Bottom line, I didn’t like it enough to spend that much time on it yet. I’ll learn how to do colorwork someday, and that’s enough for me.

I still wanted to do two colors, though, and I still wanted to do something other than basic stripes. I decided to do my own thing based on a cowl I’ve made and loved called the Twinkly Lights cowl. This is what I’ve got so far:

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Just decreases and a big pompom left to do. Then I’ll make a pair of matching fingerless gloves to go with it, and hope someone likes the set enough to bid on it. And with it being a long weekend, plus jury duty on Tuesday, I should have time to make good progress.

Oh! And today we’re going to look at puppers! All the shelters are running specials to make room for dogs coming up from Texas (they’re bringing up dogs that were already in shelters, leaving room in the Texas shelters for dogs displaced by Harvey in hopes that they’ll be reclaimed by owners). That’s a good time to adopt a third dog, right? Haha! Yes, I’m probably crazy. But I’m okay with it, if it means I get to have lots of dogs!