Sunday, January 31, 2010

William and Wool and Hippie Gear

I've had a productive weekend. I managed to make not just one, but two hats for William, and mitts. The first hat I made him was too small, so I gave it to Lizzie for baby Jake, when he gets here. Should be anyday now!

These wool hats were made from JL yarn. Not one I've used efore. I had a few surprises, for example, the yarn that appeared to be green and blue, surprised me with lots of purple. So, I cut a several purplish color sequences out, so the hat would be boy appropriate. I was a little disappointed with the colors in the yarn, but the texture and the feel of the wool was nice. It's very squishy and fairly soft, before first wash. It's really very soft after wash. It will be a good warm hat for baby hippies.

Chris named the first one a "Hippy Hat" based on the colors. When we gifted the first hat to Dan and Lizzie, Lizzie sent us a "Thank you" for the "Hippie Hat." We never called it a hippie hat to them, so it seems the sentiment is prevalent. No dispute, this is the hippie hat, so one guess what I called the mitts. :-)

The hat was made based on a pattern, but the mitts were pretty much improvised. A lot of things I'll do different next time. At the end of all the photos, I'll put my notes of how they were made.

Notes on the mitts:

Well, I thought I’d give this a try, I used “Mitts 101” from as a guideline. I’ll consider this a good first attempt. I know the things I’ll do differently next time, and next time won’t be too far away as these won’t fit for very long. LOL.

Made for William, almost 10 months old:
Cast on 20.
Knit 10 rows of twisted rib (k1 in back, p1)
Begin St st. & Knit 9 more rows then knit in waste yarn for the thumb.
Continue St st until it measures 2 1/2 inches from the beginning of St st.
Decrease 2 rows (start of each needle k1, ssk, k to last 3, k2tog k), then knit one row even, Twice.
Decrease 1 row (same decrease pattern as above) and one more row even.

Next time:
Ribbing should be doubled (at least) I want this to go further up his wrists to cover any gap left by a jacket. It’s okay for now, but not great and no room to grow.

I measured his hand and started the decreases at the exact point (2.5 inches) which is the distance from wrist to tip of pinky. If this yarn doesn’t grow, next time I’ll know to leave a little wiggle room, but he did seem to get a good grip (even without the thumb being done).

He loves the gloves. I could hardly get them back from him. He wanted to keep feeling everything with the glove on.

Definately not a perfect job, but I still consider it a win!

Note on the yarn: Will not buy again. I lost almost an entire skein of yarn to purple that had to be cut out. Didn’t expect purple on a skein that appeared to be all green and blue on the outside.

Also, there was no consistancy between the color repeats within one skein, nor between the two skeins used. Same dye lot. I tried cutting out the purples, then as I started finding knots (one in one skein, 2 in the other) I figured why not try and cut color sequence so I could match the gloves, but the same colors used in glove one did not show up again for glove two.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hotter Off the Needles and Buggy Things!

I finished these this a.m. in time for Pamela to wear them to school. Pamela and! It's been a long time since I've said those two words together, in a positive way. I think she is as thrilled about going back to school, as I'm about the prospect that she finally realizes where her priorities need to be. So, to the Flamboyant Gloves:

Unfortunately, I lost track of rows early on. I thought I counted right, I double checked 3 times, but with this thick/thin yarn, it's really difficult to see the twists, let alone "count" them. So, the end result is that one glove is about 1/2 inch longer than the other. I figure I'll block them to be the same size. I tried to match the stripes up, but the color repeat was not consistant. There was not another repeat of black to lavendar to pink, other than the cast-on on the first glove. I ended up with less than 1 yard of yarn left, and this is not in one piece, it's what is left from weaving in. All in all, I consider this a win.

Pamela did wear them this a.m. I finished at 7:17 a.m. and she left at 7:29.

I was trying to think of things that bug me. I'm happy to say, that I really couldn't think of many things, though. This is all that I could come up with:
  1. When people say "fer" instead of "for" (guilty, but I try and catch myself!)
  2. Like, when people, like, you know, say, "like" (aarrrrggghhh!)
  3. Thin women who claim they are fat (okay, it's probably just thin women period, who bug me)
  4. My neighbors who let their doggies out to poop, and they ALWAYS do it in my yard. We've been here 6 years, and they only poop in our yard...oh well, they're good neighbors, so we bite the bullet.
  5. When premium movie channels show movies that were originally "Movies of the Week" on channels like "Lifetime" or "Hallmark" or any regular station for that matter.

Not a bad little list. And I was worried that I woudn't be able to come up with anything. Apparently, I'm not as cheerful and upbeat as I thought.

So, on that note, let's try these notes:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hot Off the Needles!

I've done some small accessory knitting this past week. Just a few small things to use up single skeins of yarn, or odds and ends. I've taken a shine to making mitts, at least as far as entertainment value, the quality needs serious work. All these items are highly functional, and have already been getting used these past few days (well, except for the Flamboyant Mitts shown last...they are still on the kneedles).

This is my Manos Del Uruguay cap, as modeled by my loving husband. Aaaaah, isn't he cute?

I made these mitts to match the hat. They've both been really very warm. Combined, the two projects used less than 180 yards of yarn. That was a bit of a surprise, but the Manos Del Uruguay feels like an Aran weight to me, so perhaps this is right on mark.

I've also started another pair of mitts for Pamela. She's named them "Flamboyant Mitts." I had one skein of Classic Elite Desert in colorway "Northern Lights." It's very pretty, but the thick/thin of this yarn (and the Manos) makes for a very irregular stitch. I think I'm ready to move to something more consistant in thickness, so that there is more uniformity in some projects for awhile. These mitts have been very quick. Just started yesterday afternoon, and both are done except for the thumbs and weaving in the ends.

Well, it looks like I got my post in for this week, just in time. I'll leave you with this closing thought....Be happy....this could be your kid!

Monday, January 18, 2010

We Interupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming...

I think that it is my ethical responsibility to include public service announcements. We must all work together for the good of our world! So, for all the knitters, and garment wearers out there, please be aware:
And a little humor for our knitting enthusiasts

After reading the worst example of spelling I've ever seen, research was conducted, scientific of course, to ascertain the age of the author of said writing. After all, I don't want to make fun of a kindergardener. I figured, anything older than 3rd grade would make it unacceptable. Well, in fact, it was a 20 year old. Not a single word was spelled right. Even the word "do" was spelled "du." Gotta love the public education in America today. No child left behind. Just make the standard, "no standard" so all just get a pass...

Someone suggested the poor thing use spell check. Well, it appears that even spell check has it's limits...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Resolution Update!

Okay, first things first, obviously I've already gotten off to a poor start with the "write in my blog once a week" resolution....but I have an excuse (to this, I hear in my head, my father's voice saying, "Excuses are like assholes, everyone has one...")..

Quiting the Red Bull took quite a toll on me. I slept almost a week straight. Only waking for a few hours each day. It was rough. I finally broke down and did decide to allow myself one soda a day, so I didn't have such a shock to my system, making such drastic changes all at one time. (I also quit smoking as well, but didn't list this, as I never really felt like a smoker, no one smokes in the house, and I primarily only smoked at work, to get out of my office cage, but I decided since I never really "want one" why smoke any at all? So I dropped those completely...haven 't had one since last another month or so, I can consider that I did quit!)...

well, back to the one soda a day. This definately helped. I now wake up in the morning and actually get out of bed....LOL....

Since I decided to allow small amounts of caffeine into the diet (still, no Red Bull yet this year) I have exercised almost everyday, and I keep increasing the time I exercise...hopefully I'll see results soon. Also, now that I am awake, and among the living again, I will try to get on track with the one blog post a week resolution!

I made some mitts for Pamela this week, to go with her hat...

I also made a hat for Christopher, to go with his beer shooting mitts....these have really gotten a work out!!

I joined a Kauni KAL, but haven't managed to participate. My new schedule of helping my daughter with William while he is at school is pretty intense. I've only gotten as far as winding the first skein of Kauni...

Watching William has been fun. The biggest hurdle I have, is keeping him from biting the dogs nails (I've heard of biting your own, but the DOGS??) LOL

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 New Year's Resolutions

Happy Happy New Years to Everyone!

I am ready for an awesome year! So, resolutions? Well, nothing too shocking, several are recycled just packaged differently, but they have all been given considerable thought.

  1. Lose Weight!! Must lose weight. Not talking about dieting, it has to be the whole package, because this is aweful. I have the time and opportunity, so I am committed to this. I have identified my motivation for this, I'll list them at the end of this list. If you want to join me in any of the ventures, please, let me know! I'd love to have company!!
  2. Exercise daily, everyday. I'm getting older, and I don't want to start feeling it. I need to make a point to get regular exercise daily, I won't commit to daily time, because I want to take various opportunities throughout the day to get my blood flowing. So many way: wii sports and games, walking with the baby, walking with the handsome hubby, free weights, I need to take several breaks during my day and be active!!!
  3. No more Red Bulls. OUCH. Okay, don't tell DH, but I was up to 3 a day before Thanksgiving (for about a year) and managed to bring that number down to 2 a day since then, but now it's down to ZERO.
  4. No more Soda. Period. Water, and only filtered water from the tap, will be all I drink from now on.
  5. Spiritual/Intellectual growth daily. I will spend time, everyday, to reading something that will help me to grow, on the inside. I have plenty of books around here. I will be starting with "The Purpose Driven Life."
  6. Everyday I will make a point to notice, identify and acknowledge something that someone else has done or contributed to make life better/happier/more pleasant, and let them know. It has to be sincere, I know that I will be able to find something everyday. It can also be a memory of something that I recall from years ago, but only today have come to realize.
  7. Knit more, buy less yarn!
  8. Learn to speak with a Scottish Accent
  9. I will write in my blog at least once every 7 days. There it is. You knew it was coming...

So, these are my completely attainable, highly achievable goals for this year. I'll work on a template, so on my weekly posts I can post my progress/status on these.

Means and Motivation for Goal #1

"Yarn Diet-Diet"

It's a "Yarn Diet" Diet....How is that for a catchy name? Basically, I need to control the new yarn coming in, as well as lose weight (I've gained 25 pounds since I quite working in August!!!!). Obviously, my big resolution is to lose weight, but you could modify and use something like this to acheive whatever your New Years Resolution is!!!

I am a firm believer of success through rewards, smaller, more frequent rewards. So I thought I'd combine the two ideas...this one sounds good to me, lots of incentive and I get yarn if I'm good, lose yarn if I back pedal. I bet there are others out there too, who could use something similar to control the stash growth and weight all at once. Maybe we could collect ideas here!!

January 1 a.m. is my start weight.


1. Weigh-in is each Friday. There is a
48 hour re-weigh that can be called
by either party, to allow for things
like water retention or just to be
sure it's an actual stable weight.

2. For every 10 pounds of weight I lose,
DH buys me a sweaters worth of yarn
of my choice. Ceiling price is $60
(if I choose a more expensive yarn, I
must pay the difference).

3. For every 5 pounds I gain (from the
latest weigh-in weight) I have to
forfeit a sweaters worth of yarn to
my DH. I can't destash or use that
yarn as long as it's in the forfeit
state (can't even pet it).

4. If there is any yarn in forfeiture,
DH does not buy me new yarn, I must
select a sweaters worth of "forfeited
yarn." No new yarn will be bought by
DH until all forfeited yarn has been
earned back (making the incentive
that if I backpedal and put on 5
pounds, I must again lose 10 pounds
to get it back....kewl, huh?)

Motivation for Resolutions #1-4

Body For Life

While the prize is no longer $1 Million, $25K isn't something to laugh at, and again, I have no excuses not to commit to this completely. I have the time, need and commitment (yes, I know, I need to be committed).

If you want to join me in the Yarn Diet-Diet or the Body For Life, let me know, just give me the signal!