Archive | December 2019

Sock It To Me Monday

As I’m sure you are aware, Christmas is over. And this year at least, I’m one of those “okay it’s done let’s put away all the Christmas stuff!” people. That doesn’t bode well for Christmas socks that are still on the needles! I used what little self-discipline I had to at least finish the one in progress yesterday while binge-watching ER.

img_6453-1Now I can put them in hibernation until late next year with a clean conscience, and I’ve freed up a set of sock needles, because you never know when you’ll need to cast on a new pair of socks!

Duncan is doing relatively well with his new restrictions. We have had to block off the couches and the stairs because he’s stubborn and thinks he’s fine, but he’s got a couple of comfy dog beds and has learned to lay down when we tell him to…sometimes. He still gets bored and restless every so often and decides it’s a fun time to wrestle with the other dogs or zoom around the dining room, so I’m hoping he’s easier to keep calm once he’s doped up after the surgery. Now we just need to get him used to pooping somewhere other than the backyard — it’s like potty-training a toddler again.

Happy Monday, friends!


Just Try It: A FO

Let’s get back to a bit of knitting, shall we? Over my Christmas break I pulled a skein of Magpie Fibers Swanky DK out of my stash and it became a neck tube! I wanted something snug enough that I could feel the cashmere softness against my skin and long enough to snuggle down into when it’s cold. I haven’t gotten to wear it yet but I think it will be wonderfully cozy.

The pattern is Just Try It and I did the slimmest version, which I think they call the “guy version”. It’s so simple and knitting ribbing with a cashmere blend was so much my jam that I wanted to knit until the yarn was gone. Instead, I stopped when the cowl was about 10″ tall and decided to make fingerless mitts with the rest of the skein.

I scoured Ravelry to find a good ribbed pattern for sport weight yarn, since I wanted the mitts to match the neck tube, and I couldn’t find one that looked like I what I wanted. So I decided to improvise my own pattern! I took my favorite fingerless mitt pattern, the 75 Yard Malabrigo Mitts, and cast on fewer stitches with smaller needles and did the same ribbing pattern as in the cowl. The thumb I did the same as the original mitts since I couldn’t figure out how to make it ribbed, and I love how it turned out, growing out of one of the stockinette sections. I made them snug and short, perfect for wearing while I’m doing things like typing or knitting, and they’re officially my favorite new mitts.

These took 95 yards and I had enough left over that I could have made the cuff a bit longer, but I’m pleased with them. You can see the pattern notes here if you’re interested.

Not great news

Duncan had his x-rays and it turns out he’s torn a ligament in his knee, the cranial cruciate ligament. He will have to have surgery next week and then there will be a minimum 8-week recovery period with limited movement. Starting immediately, he’s not supposed to go up or down stairs, jump on anything, or roughhouse with the other dogs. This is not going to be fun.

Since the backyard is down a long flight of steep stairs, we bought a ramp for the front stairs, and he has to go out on a leash to do his business. It took him a few tries to get used to the ramp, but he’s still not used to not being able to go outside whenever he wants.

He was pretty needy last night, probably thanks to some soreness after the exam, and pushed down the kitchen gate to come upstairs at 4:30 in the morning. I came down, let him out a couple of times, dozed a little, gave him some breakfast and another potty break, and when my back was turned cleaning up the poo I’d tracked in, he hopped up on the couch. And now he’s feeling a little better and is bored and restless and we’re struggling to keep him calm.

A friend who’s been through this said they put a mattress downstairs so they could lie down with the dog and sleep there overnight during the first week after surgery, so we’re going to try that. And I’m guessing I’ll need to take a few days off work for that first week or so.

The silver lining is that it’s not hip dysplasia or something long-term and debilitating that we can’t fix. But it’s going to be a long two or three months, and there’s a good chance he’ll end up rupturing the other knee at some point. Basically, I’m overwhelmed and tired. I have knitting to share but that’ll be another day. Hope your weekend is going better than mine!



Nope, no stress here!

My husband grinds his teeth, has for years. He has a bite guard and it helps protect his teeth, but doesn’t stop the grinding. I do not grind my teeth, never have. Over the holidays, a well-intentioned family member said it was the difference between his high-stress job and my quiet, non-demanding job. Right. Because that right there means I have no stress.

No, I don’t stress about whether I’m in a job that I’m passionate about, or that I’m afraid won’t grow into something more meaningful and rewarding.

Nope, no stress about the house that’s falling down and needs a huge, expensive renovation.

What, me stress about paying for another two and half years of college for the girl, plus then college for the boy?

I have no worries about the sweet large dog who’s going in for x-rays today because he’s having problems with one of his hind legs. He’s a large breed, 100 pounds, and I have no worries that he’s going to have debilitating joint issues for the rest of his life.

Yeah. It pissed me off. I know she didn’t mean it to be patronizing but it sure came out that way. No, I don’t grind my teeth. My stress and anxieties manifest in different ways, like comfort eating. Drinking wine. Obsessive knitting. Snapping at people. Stomach aches. Biting my nails.

I guess it all comes back to that saying, something like “Be kind, for everyone is facing a battle you know nothing about.”

And send good thoughts to Duncan today. He needs them.

Back to real life

Almost. I don’t have to go back to work until Monday but all the holiday stuff is over and now it’s time to just relax for a few days. Which is good because I got A LOT of yarn that I want to play with! The husband had a good time picking out yarn and he chose VERY well. img_6394.jpgBut I restrained myself to winding just two skeins and casting on two new projects, a shawl and a new pair of socks. The sock yarn is Yarn Geek and the shawl is Blissful Knits, both sellers on Etsy.

There is a teeny tiny part of me that is a bit overwhelmed by my yarn stash at the moment, feeling like I have reached SABLE (stash acquired beyond life expectancy) and it makes me want to cast on all the things, so I might cast on a new hat today too.

In other gifting news, I gifted two pairs of socks and one hat, and all three were well-received! And I think they might even all fit, how about that? Hope your handmade items were equally loved!

Nope I’m done

I really thought I was going to make more wine sweaters. I mean, I did make two more, and they’re cute and they’re going to a good friend who asked for them a while back. And then I thought about making more for the mother and the SIL and … just nope. They were going to be extras just for fun, so they won’t even know what they’re missing. And I get to move on to more fun knitting!

Last night I had the itch to cast on something new for myself, something with squishy garter stitch, something that’s bigger than fingering weight. I had a skein of yarn in mind but could find a good pattern for it. I went up to my stash to pull it out anyway so I could wind it, and in doing so, I touched a different skein. Friends, that skein had cashmere in it, and it said “HEY! KNIT ME! I’M SOFT AND SQUISHY AND DECADENT!” Well! Who am I to ignore the demands of my yarn?


This is Magpie Fibers Swanky DK, which is 80% merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon and SO silky soft. I wanted to be able to feel it against my skin, which is why I chose the close-fitting cowl called Just Try It. It’s making me happy to knit and it’ll make me happy to wear!

In other fun knitting news, I have a table in my craft room now. The husband recently finished a huge dining room table so we got to move the old one upstairs. Once I don’t need it as a wrapping station, it will become a winding station!


Happiness is having a room of one’s own, I think. Happy Sunday, friends!

Color Me Happy!

This project has been done for over two weeks, blocked and everything, and it wasn’t until yesterday that I was able to get some good photos. First it was too late in the evening and there wasn’t enough light, then there was so much cold and snow. But we’re in a warm stretch at the moment so I snuck out to the back yard after work yesterday with my new Color Me Happy Cowl.

fullsizeoutput_250cI didn’t measure it after blocking but before blocking it was at least 30″ long. This is a beast of a cowl, and I have to admit, it was a trudge to knit. So much stockinette in the round! I’d rather do that much ribbing any day. But wow, how I love the way the colors go together! And it’s easier to wear than I thought it would be, since it’s so long. It just all mushes up together around your neck.


There was one section with a bit of lace to break up all the stockinette, and that helped with the monotony. A little.


The green yarn is Ella Rae Lace Merino, the purple is Holiday Yarns FlockSock Sock, and the variegated is Supernatural Yarns Pixie Sock. And not only did I pull all these from my stash, but I have enough of the purple and variegated to make some gorgeous socks. And now, because it’s so pretty and the light was good, here are the rest of the photos because I couldn’t pick which ones to use!

Now I must go finish my holiday chores before I can get back to knitting!

FO Friday: Sweater!

You didn’t really think I had a person-sized sweater to show off, did you? No, the only sweaters I’m making progress on are wine bottle sweaters. Look at this super-cute baseball version:

img_6335That’s a gift for a very good friend who’s a huge Kansas City Royals fan, and I’ve got more of those buttons so I’ll probably make more. Maybe I can sell a few next year! I’ve also got another red one finished and a green one on the needles. I decided the mother and one of the SILs each need one. Why I couldn’t decide this a month ago, I have no idea, but there you have it. This is the Christmas tradition: declare I’m not making a lot of Christmas gifts, then decide at the last minute that I want to make Christmas gifts for so many people. And that, friends, is why we all declare January selfish-knitting month!

Hope you all are having a happy holiday season so far!


A Sea Chanty of Sorts

Because the holidays aren’t busy enough, I recently agreed to test knit a cowl pattern for Lindalou Anne Holley, and I’m happy to report that the pattern is live now! It’s called A Sea Chanty of Sorts, and it’s a one-skein pattern for either fingering or DK weight, and there are small and large versions of both. I chose to knit the larger DK version so I could knit up my gorgeous Big Sky Yarn Co. Squish DK, in the color Big Sky.


The diamond pattern is made with a slipped stitch/cable motif. Maybe my yarn was slippery, but I did have to use a locking stitch marker to hold the loose stitch so it didn’t get dropped. But it was an easy pattern to follow, and I love the finished piece.

img_8645I went down two needle sizes to get closer to the pattern gauge, and I used all but eight grams of my yarn, so I would recommend checking gauge if you’re making the larger DK version just to make sure you have enough yarn on hand. Normally I don’t for cowls; I just make sure I like how it’s knitting up.

It really was a perfect combo of yarn and pattern — they complement each other well and neither one overwhelms the other. This would make a perfect gift if I knew someone who loves blue, but I guess I’ll just keep it for myself!

Sock It To Me Monday

Yesterday I showed you my new sock yarn, now I’ll show you my new sock WIP! I actually started this one on Saturday when I had a bit of time in the car going from one shindig to another. It was so much fun that I kept knitting that night while I watched Gone With the Wind, a movie that changes for me each time I watch it. There are things about it that make me cringe now, but there are also parts that make me laugh and parts that break my heart. Anyway! Where was I? Oh yes, sock.

fullsizeoutput_2506I have given up hope of having them done by Christmas but that’s okay. I’ll probably set them aside and then I can have a brand new pair of socks next year!

My Pennyroyal hat is done and blocked and even has the pompom sewn on, after a minor hiccup. This is one of those poms that has a snap, so you can switch out colors, and somehow I always sew the base on upside down. Spoiler: it doesn’t work that way. But it was easily remedied and I have a lovely hat for the boy’s girlfriend.


The other skein of yellow is on the needles to make a second hat, this one for the girl. She might end up with a matching yellow pompom, though, since I didn’t buy a fancy furry one for her!