I think I was distracted.

School didn’t leave me a lot of time for anything other than school. It was glorious, but my knitting suffered. I managed a few stitches here and there, usually while I was having a lunch or waiting for a ride.  Nothing earth shattering fell off my needles. My shawl got larger.

Well, other than stitches. It was a common occurrence for me to pull a project out of the bag and lose a needle somewhere.  My knitting and I didn’t get along as well as I would have liked. One day it attacked me and I ended up with a DPN embedded in my thigh.  I didn’t think those could really pierce skin.  Not the larger ones with rounded tips.  Nope, they pierce skin quite easily.

One tetanus shot later and my knitting and I are still not quite on speaking terms.

Take this small project for example:

It’s supposed to be straightforward boot cuffs. I’ve made dozens of projects that start like this. I must have been very distracted because it took a couple of days for me to get the thing to connect in the round without the stitches being twisted.  Then a couple more days to cast on the right number of stitches on the needles.  My first attempt left me with half the size I needed but double the number of stitches was too big.

Swatches lie like like dogs on rugs. FIVE retries later, I finally got one done finished.  I finished the other one late on Christmas Day.

I did well on my finals, by the way.  I know you were all just dying to know.

November’s needles

Hello, December and Happy Birthday to Mom!

Novembers needles had socks and boots cuffs on them.  I suspect the same will be true in December.

The cats and chickens are enjoying their staring contests.

This is what binding off in pattern

and not binding off in pattern looks like:

I was curious and so I had to try it for myself.  There isn’t a right or wrong, it just depends on what you want the finished edge to look like.  In this case, I wanted the finished edge to match the cast on edge, so I need to bind off in pattern.  Meaning, instead of just knitting and slipping the stitch over, I need to knit or purl, matching the stitch below.



School and Knitting

I started week 12 of school today and I see that I haven’t mentioned a thing here.  I made a big deal of choosing a new project to work on during breaks and at school and then didn’t really work on it.  I have been working on my shawl, but my knitting time has been so limited.

I finished a pair of Halloween socks.  The only bit left to do was the Kitchener stitch.  I really don’t like Kitchener stitch and it was this that put the sock back into the WIP pile. I had tried a few times, had to pick out the mess I made, and re-knit part of the toe. This is why I like top-up socks.  I did these socks top down because that’s the way it had to be done because of the yarn I chose. Since I adore this yarn and I have several others like it, I’m just going to have to suck it up and get better at Kitchener stitch.

I pulled out another pair of Halloween socks and will be working on those, but knowing how seldom I knit, I don’t see these getting done before the end of the month.  It’s just a project to keep me interested during the Halloween season. They are adorable though!  This pattern is a mash up of toe up sock patterns from some books, and Nancy Bush’s Fox Face socks.  The yarn is Salvia. My feet are cold on campus, so I have a lot of incentive to finish a pair or three of wool socks. From there, I’ll move on to a more Fall themed sock projects. Being in school tends to cut into one’s knitting and blogging time.

Halloween on campus was a blast. My costume even got a few nods of recognition. One fellow student commented “Sick Doctor Who costume!”.  I was pleased.  The dancing T-Rex and the Darth Vader with theme music were among the best things I saw that day.

CookAndCleanGiving is coming up and I think we’ll do ours early so we can get most if not all the kids there.  I would be looking forward to the break if holidays were really a break for homemakers. Whoa, negativity, did I say that out loud?

Look! Pretty fall campus!

School has been going well.  So well, in fact, I might not have to retake a class I thought I was going to have to retake. I was pretty excited and relieved. My brain isn’t as old and crusty as I thought and here’s to all oldies going back to school! We’ve got this!




Generational crocheting

Who taught my great grandmother to crochet and embroider? I wish I had thought to ask while my Grandma was still alive. She’s the one who taught me to crochet and I have evidence that her mother crocheted.  I am the proud owner of a doily that my great grandmother made. I need to remember to record that somewhere.

This was made by my great grandmother, Mary Ella Algood Collier.  She passed in 1960.

Cheating on a yarn diet

I think it’s safe to say you’re allowed a cheat day on most diets.  Otherwise you go kinda crazy and eat buy All. The. Things.

In June, my cheat was some lovely yarn from Sin City Knits in Las Vegas.


This week it was Knit Picks and Knit Circus. My break is over and I’m working on getting back into WIP and stash management. My Ravelry queue and WIP pile is really helpful for this.  I will be kitting up Christmas projects soon so I can always have a project ready to do. They will be small so I can also take them to school with me so I can knit a few stitches when my brain needs a break from physics.

Update:  My friend Janalee assures me that it’s not cheating on a yarn diet. The yarn was obviously always mine, I just need to wait until it was old enough to bring it home from the yarn foster care home.  I like her.

A new project is like a new notebook

There is something magical about a brand-new notebook. It’s crisp and clean and full of potential. I won’t lie, I may be a little addicted to school, office, and stationery supplies.

So much potential. This project is so new, it hasn’t had time to give me grief. Oh, I know it’s coming. These will be my at school project.  New school year, new project, new notebook.

Two at a time, toe-up socks in Felici Time Traveler.

Today’s project and mug

Today’s mug is a purple Catffeinated mug. I don’t remember where I got it, but I’ve seen it online.

The project is the Sword of Gryffindor Mitts that I started over two years ago. I wrote about my project notes the other day. I began searching through the other projects on Ravelry and reading the project notes and came across a kind Raveler who wrote the entire pattern out row by row with notes on what to change if you wanted the mitts to look like the picture.

I was hopeful that this time it was going to go a lot better.

Then I was reminded how tedious it is to tink ssk.

Project Notes

I’m working on a lace project. It’s supposed to be a simple lace project judging by the pictures. It’s a pair of stockinette arm warmers with a bit of lace up the side.  The pattern is a little on the vague side, filled with references I didn’t understand. Like “work 7 rows even”. I surmised that I should continue this same row for seven more rows. I wrote out the entire pattern including the extra 7 rows for most of the rows listed in the pattern.

I picked this project back up after letting in languish in my WIP pile for over a year. I immediately started to struggle with the pattern and here is what I found when I checked the notes I kept last year:

5/31 – I got gauge when I swatched. Yay.

This is weird for me. I’m suspicious. And the arm length already looks too long.

The pattern is already stressing me out.

6/1 – My daughter changed her mind on the color :/

The thing hit the frog pond and I’ll cast on with a really dark blue or purple. I get to decide.

Oh my gosh, I just had to learn a SPP, which is like the weirdest thing ever.

I’m reading between printed instructions and charts and then back again on one row.

Yarn over from the purl side?  Holy cow.

I’m barely a couple of rows in and some how I’m missing a stitch.

6/3 frogged again

6/4 -and again.

Despite reading the entire pattern, I missed the part that said “red the last 2 rows 3 more times”. I’m feeling really clueless here.

I used highlighter tape because it seemed really important

and again. I was short two stitches at the end of the last repeat. But hey, I got one row farther than I did before!

This isn’t champagne. But it should be. Or at least wine. Sadly, I don’t drink.

6/6 – I wrote down all the rows in a notebook and checked them off as I did them.

I finally got through the edging. I also wound the yarn into a yarn cake hoping I could convince the yarn that it was now something else and that perhaps it wouldn’t mind being this project.

My project jumped out of my bag and landed in a pile of tree pollen. I didn’t have to frog but it took me a while to get all the vegetable matter out of it.

8/7/2018 – I picked this back up again. I’ve done another couple of lace projects since then and it should be easier.

Purl 3 together. Who does that?

I missed the little bit that still has the highlighter tape on it again. It was still important.

I just figured out what “work 7 rows even” means. (Thanks Kit!) I hadn’t been doing it.

The whole damn thing hit the frog pond. Where is the magic, tell-all book that explains all the details that patterns like these leave out?

I may or may not have stomped on the the few stitches that wouldn’t unravel. In public, at knit night.

No wonder I haven’t worked on this thing for a year two years.

8/8/18 – This is an excellent project to keep a mother’s mind distracted while her son is getting his wisdom teeth out.

A closet full of clothes and I don’t have a thing to wear. Stash Edition.

You know how you can stand in front of a closet full of clothes and have “nothing to wear”?  I feel like that with my cross stitch stash.

I’m going to stitch Lizzie Kate’s Halloween Rules all together on one piece of fabric. How is it possible that I don’t have the right fabric? I know it’s an odd sized piece that is needed but look at how much fabric I have.  How do I not have the PERFECT piece of fabric?

I have a piece that is a close enough size if I’m not too picky about how much extra space I have on the edge. I’ve been taught that I should have three inches and this piece of fabric only give me two. It’s a good color of purple and I think it will be okay.  I’ll stitch the border first and see how I like it.

I wonder if the faded spots are going to bother me.  I have another option for this pattern and that is to stitch them in two columns instead of one. I don’t really want to do that but I have two good pieces of fabric for it if I do.

I would LOVE using the orange, but the pattern might have too much orange in it already to use an orange fabric. I think the orange fabric is from Weeks Dye Works and I don’t remember where the purple fabric is from.


It’s a stashing thing

I went through my cross stitch stash the other day.

I have piles of cross stitch fabric. Plain, beige, white, and hand-dyed.  With and without sparkles. Despite me having a stitching shop’s worth of patterns, I purchased a pattern at Pine Needles in Gardner Village. I was hoping that I would have some suitable fabric and if I don’t care that I’ll have barely two inches on each side, I have some purple linen that I would love to use. At least I didn’t buy more fabric and floss.

I recently decided I wanted to learn to make quilts. I started to amass a fabric stash. I apparently have to put myself on a fabric diet so that I don’t end up with a fabric stash that rivals my yarn stash.

I have a lot of stash. I’m pretty sure no one that knows me is surprised by this. I have been stashing for all sorts of crafts for a very long time. Call it an addiction, retail therapy, adult ADHD impulsiveness, whatever… I have a lot of stash.

You all have seen my yarn stash.  My yarn diet has gone well, with only one slip up purchase since I started late last year. I’ve slowed down a bit on the knitting and crocheting but I’ve stepped up the cross stitching and spinning. My goal was to use up stash and I’ve done that.

This blanket is a little bigger.  I really like this pattern.

I wonder if there is a 12 step program for people that obsessively stash for their chosen hobby or craft.  Does calling it a craft make it feel cheap to anyone else? Knitting, crocheting, spinning, cross stitching, and quilting is an art. I don’t feel comfortable calling myself an artist.