Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Knit A Week: Stashdown Edition

I have been knitting.
A lot.
Just not posting.
That pesky sun,
he hasn't been around much.
Winter decided to come to the Castle.
For about a week, maybe two.
That's enough for me and mine.
Just a taste of the white stuff.
Then a lovely chinook took it away.
The chinook's evil twin Mr. Nasty-Wind stayed.
He huffed and puffed and blew a bunch of shingles down.
Having to find someone to repair shingles 
takes away from knitting time, don't ya know?!

Here are my first two stashdowns for 2012.

A beautiful little shawl for Princess #2.
Ruffles and stripes, oh yes please!!

Confession time:  This yarn was purchased with birthday money
in (gulp) 2009. Yes, I'm blushing.
The Details:

Yarn:  Noro Sock Yarn 
(which in my opinion, would make horrible, itchy socks, 
but does make fabulous little shawls)

Verdict:  I love how it turned out.  The Noro yarns have very long color
repeats which lend themselves well to a pattern designed this way.

My knock-off Airquote Mittens.
Mine did *not* cost $65 in materials.
Kate Spade's did.

Cute little quotes!
Instead of intarsia, I using a little thing called
duplicate knitting. Handy little skill that is!
The Details:

I charted and added quotes by duplicate stitching.

Yarn:  Cascade 220 Wool in black and white
(No confession needed, I love to keep Cascade in my stash
always.  It is such a versatile, workhorse of a yarn. 
This yarn was leftover from some felted bags I made last year.)

Verdict:  I made these for a dear friend from college,
and she loves them.  Yay!!  More importantly she is 
using them!! Hope she wears them out at some point, 
so I can make her more.  It is joy to knit for
people who appreciate your work by putting it to use!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The One Where I Get Shot

After a rough morning, involving, a tangled skein of yarn, an uncooperative yarn swift, and a little boy trying to help by turning the yarn winder unbeknownst to the untangler of the yarn (that would be me), tempers flared.  I took the Prince over to the family room, coerced lovingly convinced Princess #3 to occupy him with Little People and finished untangling the mess that the "helper" had made.  Once tidied up, I made the rounds apologizing to the helper and those who had to witness the "flare".  I went on to make lunch, when the Prince crept up behind me and shot me with his little laser gun.  After I pretended to be mortally wounded, I hear this little gem.

Princess #1:  Hey! Come and get me!

Prince:  I not bad guy. I just shoot mama!!

There you have it.

He wasn't a bad guy shooting an innocent lady.

He was protecting mankind from his evil mama.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Yep, That's My Boy v.2

So here's the other side of my boy.  As I lay on the couch this afternoon, fighting off a nasty headache, he came over to check on me.

Prince:  Okay Mama?

Queen:  No, my head is hurting.

Prince:  Oh.  Here. (hands me his special blankie)

Queen:  Thanks sweetie.

Prince:  Wait. (fiddles around with blankie) Here's the good corner Mama.

Queen:  That will make me feel better.

Prince:  Yes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yep, That's My Boy

Prince:  Mama, I made a picture for you.

Queen:  Oh, thank you.  Please tell me all about it (trying hard to decipher the chaos in crayon).

Prince:  It's a litter box.

Queen:  A litter box???

Prince:  Yes, where Buzzy and Frosty go big poo-poos.  And pee.

Queen: (thinking)  I had to clarify.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The One Where I Should Have Known Better



Heaven for a mama's soul.


Good grief.

I have four kids.

I know better.


Evil plans are being made, perhaps carried out.

Naughtiness is being reveled in.

Thick, eczema-fighting lotion, is being spread over a little boy's naked body.

Darn* you silence, you sweet talking, trickster you!!

*You know that is not really the word I want to type, right???

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happiness Is . . .

. . . not usually having your husband considered to be a "non-essential" employee at work, but if it means a freebie day off, we'll take the label!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dear Void,

It has been a while dear Void, since I've had to bother you, but it is time.

I would like to know, why, dear Void, why my nap boycotting son refuses to sleep in.  I'm all for dropping a nap or two, if that time gets tacked on to the following day's wake up call.  Surely, he is missing that extra hour and a half of rest he used to get (I know I am).  So why won't he just take an extra few minutes in the morning and hit snooze on his infernal, internal, alarm clock.  It sure would go a long ways to making the castle a happier place to be these days.

Get back to me quick, will you!


The nap-deprived Queen

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Great Stash Bust of 2012

So, I have a lot of yarn, by some standards.  I am not apologizing or asking you to understand my obsession with string.  It just is what it is.  Last week, I took some time to clean out my yarn cupboard.  My cupboard is three shelves high, just about 3 feet tall, so it's not like wardrobe size or anything. All of my non-sock yarn is grouped by weight or by project, if I know the yarn's destiny. My sock yarn is kept in a different location, because in my world, sock yarn does not count as stash, sock yarn is special and set apart, lovingly handled as the need arises.

One of my biggest peeves with knitting is leftovers.  I try desperately to use every last inch of yarn and when I have a smidge left behind it annoys me.  It annoys me because I have a hard time throwing it away.  I might need it someday or it was expensive good quality.  I have gotten better and each time I clean out the stash, more of the littlest bits leave the nest.  However, there are a few stray balls of yarn.  Not big enough to make something on their own, but too much yarn and too good of quality to just trash or Goodwill.  (I do donate yarn to various charities, but most charities prefer machine washable yarn, and I just don't have much stashed.)

So, why tell you all of this dear readers, well, it is because this year I have determined to knit from the stash as much as is humanly possible (for me).  I have two shelves in my little cupboard of yarn that is for potential projects, and by George, I am going to knit them up.  I'll keep you posted (yah, you saw that one coming didn't you) on my progress, and may possibly have a give away or two this year.  I'm working out the logistics of that.

Here's to stash-busting!!  My needles are loaded with three projects right now, all of which are from the stash!  It is on!!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Happiness Is Not . . .

. . . having your personal latte maker head back to his "real" job.  After two weeks of being served some amazing coffee creations daily, I have become spoiled.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

A Knit A Week

What better way to start off the New Year than
with a lovely wool cardy??
This sweater is actually a test knit that I 
did for Terri Kruse, whose patterns I adore.

The buttons are made from a deer antler by
this etsy seller.  ((I think they bear a marked
resemblance to banana chips.))

So warm and pretty.  I love the offset opening and the cables.

And more pretty cables down the back.
Pattern:  Foster by Terri Kruse (it hasn't been published yet)

Yarn:  Cascade 220 Heathers in the river rock color way.

Verdict:  Wonderful, seamless, knit from the top down sweater.
Lots of stockinette, but having the cables to think about, 
made it bearable.
I think I will get a lot of use out of this one.  
I really like how it fits.

Monday, January 02, 2012

2011 Knitting Wrap Up

I did this last year, if you'll remember, and found it so encouraging and inspiring for the new year of knitting.  So I am doing it again.  This is not to brag or any of that stuff, this is for posterity's sake. {grin}

The tally goes:

Pairs of Socks:  10  (approx. 3,500 yards of yarn)

Toys (stuffed):  13  (approx. 5,000 yards of yarn)

Sweaters: 2 adult; 12 child size  (approx. 8,000 yards of yarn)

Scarves, Shawls, or Cowls:  8  (approx. 2,000 yards of yarn)

Hats:  7 (approx. 700 yards of yarn)

Pairs of Mittens:  1  (approx. 150 yards of yarn)

Bags:  3  (approx. 900 yards of yarn)

That is a whopping (approximately) 20, 250 yards of yarn I knit this past year!!  
I'm suddenly feeling very tired.

My favorite project you ask, well, hmmm.

Favorite socks.
Love the stripey goodness on these.

Favorite cowl, this double knit
beauty.  It is completely reversible, and
absolutely lovely.

Favorite new skill, planned pooling shown
in this poncho for Princess #3.
I controlled (as much as I could) how the colors
would stack up by tension, and where I started
knitting from the skein.

This one is still my absolute favorite piece
from 2011!!
The Hitchhiker scarf.
You'll be seeing it again in 2012. {grin}

Thanks again for all of your kind comments and encouragement along the way.
I already have quite the long list of knitting projects 
that I dream about having enough time to do for the coming year.
Happy New Year!!