Archive | October 2017

Wonder Woman Wrap

It’s done it’s done it’s DONE! My beautiful Wonder Woman wrap took about six weeks to make, mostly because I had to take breaks from the long stretches of garter stitch toward the end. The pattern is the fantastic free Wonder Woman Wrap by Carissa Browning, and I used Malabrigo Sock in colors Ravelry Red and Ochre.

This was my first adventure with wrap and turn short rows, and I was apprehensive at first. But once I started doing it, I realized they’re actually super simple. (Seems like that’s true for all the things in knitting I think are scary.) Somehow I did end up with wrong stitch counts after each short row section, but it wasn’t enough to mess up the pattern. The first time it happened, I adjusted with an extra KFB or two, but after that I just kind of rolled with it.

Earlier this week I made it to the end of the last yellow stripe and realized how close I was to the end, and that gave me the push I needed to power through. Yesterday I took a sick day from work (remember I mentioned poison ivy? It’s all over my chin and it was oozing and hideous, and I was miserable and needed to go to the doctor anyway to get steroids to make it stop. It’s even on my FINGERS. Thankfully it’s just a few tiny spots and the steroid cream I got helped control the itch there so I could keep knitting.) and in between loads of laundry to get rid of all the poison ivy plague, I sat and knit, all day long. By the time the husband got home from work, I was binding off.

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This wasn’t my favorite thing to knit. I still don’t love short rows, and the long rows of garter stitch got a bit tedious. But then it’s done and it’s so beautiful. I love it so much. I want to wear it tonight when we go to the symphony. And every day after that. Forever. This will be my Halloween costume.

Efforts in Optimism

If you remember, I was recently freaking out about my falling-down fixer-upper old house. I was feeling overwhelmed and annoyed and tired of dealing with it all and wanted to sell it and move like, tomorrow. So we had a realtor come out and look around and give us her insight. It was good, and not so good. The good news is that the main body of the house looks pretty good; refinishing the floors and painting the interior will get us good to sell, and that part supports the selling price we need. The not so good is what I was afraid of: the addition on the back that needs so much work could make it hard to sell as-is. We’d have to find just the right buyer wanting to take on a project, and while it’s certainly possible, it’s more difficult.

That night was rough. I was disappointed and discouraged, and sure that we would either have to stay in that house forever or sell it at a loss, and neither option made me happy. But sleep and a brand new day made a big difference, and the husband and I started making plans to move forward. He made an appointment with a flooring company, and I contacted a landscaping service to clean up the back yard. We cleaned out some big trash that’s been hanging around the basement and the backyard, and that felt good. I cut down some tall weeds that have been bothering me all summer, and that felt good too. (At least until two days later when I got a lovely case of poison ivy…on my CHIN. OMG.)

So we have a plan now: in the next few weeks, we’re going to take out the old radiators downstairs, which will free up some valuable wall space. We’ll move the furniture upstairs, we’ll all move to an AirBnB house for three days, and then we’ll come home to beautiful shiny, freshly stained hardwood floors. We’ve been talking about doing this for TWO years, and I’m so excited that we’re finally doing it. I think that’s made a big difference, just making progress on something. And we’ve agreed to get a couple more bids on dealing with the addition, to see if we can find one that’s more affordable. We’ll do it ourselves if we have to, and that will be okay. I can manage to stay here another four years, I think, if we continue to make forward progress on the repairs. The husband and I just need to stay committed, and force ourselves to take initiative on starting projects. Just do it, right? Right.

And I’ll end on a high note: Duncan no longer has accidents in the house! And we’ve found a way to keep him from chewing up the couches while we’re gone! He might actually grow up to be a pretty good dog.

P.S. he already is a good dog.  

Gloves and Flowers

As expected, I finished the blue and gray fingerless gloves yesterday during our drive to the band competition. With an hour and a half, I even had time to weave in all the ends, so they’re ready to go to their new owner today. The base pattern is the 75 Yard Malabrigo Mitts, but I added the design element of the Twinkly Lights Cowl.

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It was a good thing I finished them before I got there, too, because once we got there, I didn’t really want to be distracted. The girl is a senior, you see, and this was her last marching band competition. She was a featured soloist in their show, a siren standing atop a pirate ship, and I’m always amazed and proud of her, but last night the finality hit me a little hard. Of course I’m so excited for the next part of her journey, but I can’t help but be sad that this part is almost over. I wasn’t a band geek in high school; I was a theatre geek. They’re actually pretty similar crowds, and I love the collaboration and camaraderie and commitment that I’ve seen in her bands. They’re good kids. She’s a good kid. Plus, I’ve discovered I love band music. I love watching marching band shows. Thank goodness I still have three years to watch the boy in marching band! Anyway, it was a lovely, emotional night, and the band did well, winning lots of awards, including Grand Champions in the field show category.

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With the gloves done, I wanted to finish up another small project before returning to my bigger WIPs. The knitting group at work makes bouquets of flowers for friends who have lost loved ones, and we had a couple to make recently. They’re a beautiful variety of flowers: some people make felt flowers, some ribbon flowers. I chose my favorite crochet flower pattern, added a green pipe cleaner, wrapped the stems with floral tape, and finished each one off with a pretty button. I think they’ll make a nice addition to the bouquet.

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Now that I’ve finished two projects for others, I think I’m justified in going back to some selfish knitting today. I was clever and did the grocery shopping yesterday, so today I can relax with my tea and yarn. Happy Sunday, friends!

Sunday Suggestion

This is such an easy way to give a little bit of help. I had one of her patterns in my library already, so I was happy for a good reason to go ahead and purchase it!

NothingButKnit

As I’m sure you are aware the world has been in a lot of turmoil lately. There have been hurricanes, floods, fires and shootings. Helping our fellow man becomes more important during these times. It is heartbreaking to see people suffer and difficult to know the best way to help.

One of our own has suffered a complete loss of all personal possessions in the fires in California. It’s hard to know how to help someone when they are thousands of miles away and really a stranger. Jensaid if anyone felt that they wanted to help her they could purchase one of her patterns on Ravelry. I thought this was a fabulous idea and did just that. I hope Jen is comforted knowing that she’s in my thoughts.

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New Gloves, Blue Gloves

The problem with having a lot of WIPs is that it takes longer to have a FO. I’ve been knitting, maybe not obsessively, all week, and didn’t finish a single project. I did cast on a new one. Counter-productive, I know. I made a hat and glove set as a donation for a silent auction fundraiser, and one of the fundraiser coordinators liked the gloves enough that she asked me to make a pair for her, so that’s mostly what I’ve been working on.

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They’re Aran weight on size 8 needles so they’re going pretty quickly. We have a band competition an hour and a half away today, so with any luck, I’ll finish the second glove today!

Furls Purple Odyssey

I feel like I have progressed to a new level of crafter: I purchased a Furls crochet hook! I’ve coveted their hooks for ages, those gorgeous colored Candy Shop hooks and the striking black and silver Odyssey hooks, but never gave in to temptation. Partly because of cost, but mostly because once I learned to knit, I wasn’t much of a crocheter anymore. If I didn’t crochet often, why buy a $30 hook when that money could go toward yarn?

Well. That all changed when I saw the ad for the pre-order of the new purple Odyssey hooks. I ordered one immediately and started counting down the days until it would ship. Lucky me, it shipped sooner than I expected, and I finally got to open it last night. It’s so pretty! It’s a darker purple than it looks here, but just as shimmery and beautiful. I pulled out some scraps to make flowers to test it, and found that it’s heavier than I expected, but not unpleasantly so. The shape was definitely comfortable in my hand. The only thing I didn’t love was that there’s no thumb rest, so when I picked up the hook I had to make sure I was holding it right to get the hook positioned, and sometimes as I worked, it would turn ever so slightly in my hand, putting the hook in a less-efficient position. I’m eager to try it on a bigger project and give myself time to get used to it. 

Anyone else use Furls hooks?

Back to Knitting

My socks and I have reunited, but our relationship isn’t quite as obsessive as it was a while back. I do still work on it when I’m on my lunch break at work, or if I need an easy travel project, but I’m on the same pair I started almost a month ago, and I’m not even halfway through the second sock. That’s slow for me. Still, I’m making progress, and I’m quite happy with how they’re turning out. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered something sad: some wool socks make my feet itchy. Especially when it gets warm in the afternoon and my feet get too warm. There were a couple of days when I had to get them off as soon as I got home from work because I couldn’t stand the itchiness anymore. A couple of pairs are worse than others, so I’ll probably give those to the girl. And otherwise I’ll just save the wool socks for the coldest days and hope for the best. I don’t want to stop knitting socks forever, and I do like wearing the fun yarn on my feet.

My other current project is just about as mindless, it’s the Chocolate Diamonds Cowl with my Fiber Arts Expression purple silk/wool. This is my luxurious knitting, all soft and squishy and…well, silky.  It’s about halfway done and growing quickly. I’m hoping that I’ll have some time in the evenings this week to get back to my Wonder Woman Wrap. I want to wear it soon, now that it’s getting colder. Plus it would be the perfect thing to wear on Halloween night, while I greet trick-or-treaters!