Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

A Finished Object that I wish didn’t have to exsist

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

I’m not a watcher of news. I should be but I often am just so disgusted by it because so much of it is bad.

Well if I was ever wondering if it could get worse, I was shown just how bad it could get in the afternoon of December 14, 2012 when the children of Newtown Connecticut lost some of their innocence. The fourteenth of December was the terrible day a gunman came into an elementary school and killed twenty children and six adults at that school.

What do knitters do?

We can not undo what happened, as much as we want(ed) to. God…who wouldn’t want to undo it? But since our knitted items give some degree of comfort for its recipients, why not make things for the surviving children?

That’s when 600 Monsters Strong came to life. I am a very proud member.

600 Monsters Stong’s Ravelry Page
600 Monster’s Strong Facebook Page

Sarah Waller Martin created this group to “bring monster-friends for children affected by gun violence and other traumatic situations through the generosity of crafters worldwide.” About a week after this tragedy, the town of Newtown was stating that they’re overrun with donations, making me wonder if our monsters would be put to good use. Martin decided to use this tragedy and give monsters to children affected by gun violence world wide. I hate that it was so easy to find another population of children to donate out monsters to. :-(

At first I was all “monsters?? Really?? ” But, unlike some, I took a few seconds before I jumped the gun. I looked at the pattern pages and just fell in love. This book was mentioned:

Oh my goodness!! HOW CUTE ARE THEY?!?!? They remind me of monster’s from the movie, Monster’s Inc.

I was so proud of my friend, Jess, too, when she said she wanted to join in and make a monster! Look at our finished ones:

Since we met in the office, I only found it appropriate to take a shot of our monsters near our time-stamp thingie in our office

The blue chica on the left is Ginny (Turnip in the book More KnitWits) and my monster on the left is Scout. She’s a dragon and can be found in the pattern Fireball. :-)

Pattern: Fireball by Katie Boyette from the book More KnitWits
Yarns(s): Lion Brand Cotton Ease
Colorway(s): Peach Pink
Needles(s): US 7 – 4.5 mm
Casted On: December 22, 2012
Casted Off: March 17, 2013
Modifications: None
Notions: I got the felt from Amazon and if anyone reading this needs some felt for a monster, let me know in the comments and I’ll send you some.
Making this was bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s a super cute toy but man did I hate why I was making it! Doesn’t help that ignorant people who clearly do not know me couldn’t get over the word monster. Sure…if I were creating this foundation, I don’t think I would have used the word monster just because of the instant association. People who say Adam Lanza was the monster are not wrong. Also, when most would ask me about the monster, I’d quickly say “think Monster’s Inc….not Thriller” and that would be it. Some wouldn’t. I got upset at one person in my life over an ignorant comment she made but then I realized…she doesn’t know me. If she thinks I’d add to anyone’s trauma by giving them something scary, much less do this to a child, she doesn’t know me. I wouldn’t want to have a violent sneeze around anyone who has been through a trauma.
This is how I help people. I knit for them. I’ve knit shawls for friend’s mothers to wear when they get chemo treatments. If you’re cold, I’ll knit for you. That’s just how knitters roll
If you want to help but can’t make a monster, they can use some help through other sources. Take a look at their Amazon Wishlist and help them out!

Finished Objects: Bebeh Stuff

Monday, March 18th, 2013
I have a rule when it comes to knitting:
 
I don't knit for people/pets I'll never meet. It's a self-preservation thing, really. If I won't meet these people, how can I tell they're knit worthy to me? They might be to the person asking but if that connection isn't there, than I can not make something for them. Same with pets too, believe it or not. If I won't meet their dog (most of the time it's dogs), then that says something about our relationship. If we'll never be in a position where I'd meet your dog, then, one can gather we're not friends. We might be totally cool but we're not friends. And if we're not friends, I'm not making something for this puppeh I'll never meet. (or cat but I can't say I've gotten many requests for cat stuff. And I certainly know how that'll end…making a cat a sweater….
 
Babies are the exception. Why?

THEY'RE HUMAN BARBIES TO KNITTERS!!!!

 
I can't think of another way to say it, really. I love making cabely-cardigans but I also appreciate that there isn't the pretty significant time commitment as there is with an adult. I must know the parents well enough…so as to avoid random requests “hey Laura, can you knit my neighbor's kid's granddaughter this?” and luckily, I've been able to gift two cardigans and a pullover to the short people in my life. :-D

First off, I'll start with lil Eva's Sweater:

 
Remember Hurricane Sandy? Well after that massive storm we had last summer, and this happened a few doors down from me:
 
tree
 
So needless to say I was FREAKING OUT when Sandy came through. I was nervous that the above would happen to us and then my brain started to get really creative–our stuff! our cats! where in God's name will all of us stay if that happened?!?!
 
And then I see that my ex-co-worker and his wife were heading into the hospital to give birth to their first child in the midst of this craziness:
 
 
So naturally I used their kid as a coping mechanism to get through the storm, if I can be completely honest. Instead of having a panic attack over things that may or may not happen, I made this:
 
 
Apply anxiety to a good cause!
 
Pattern: Assisted Hatching by Elizabeth Ditchburn Dew
Yarns(s): Cascade 220 Superwash
Colorway(s): Purple
Needles(s): US 7 – 4.5 mm
Casted On: October 29, 2012
Casted Off: November 25, 2012
Modifications: None
 
The one thing I nag…I mean ask for when I send bebeh items is a picture of them wearing it. I looooooooooooooooooove pics of babies swimming in an item I've made them because it means they have a lot more time to enjoy it, right? But with this particular sweater, I was nervous because it's a pullover and therefore harder to get the little one in there. dooh. So when John and Kyley sent me this picture, I was quite pleased that no bones had to be broken to get lil Eva in there:
 
 
Wook at heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Evidently she liked wearing this at a ski lodge.
And since knitting this for John's and Kyley's cutie pie, I have enjoyed getting to know Kyley. They're good peeps. Keep the pics of Eva and their adorable dog comin'!!

Secondly, we have Emily's Cardigan

 
I love me some fair isle. People think it's hard. It's not. It's fun. I found this pattern on Ravelry and this just looked like something my friend's Megan's and Stephane's youngest would like.
 
Bláithín (junior)
 
Pattern: Bláithín (junior) by Kate Davies
Yarns(s) & Colorway(s):
Patons Classic Wool Worsted – Natural Mix
Cascade 220 – Purple
Elann Peruvian Highland Wool – Green
Needles(s): US 7 – 4.5 mm
Casted On: December 9, 2012
Casted Off: January 23, 2013
Modifications: None
Buttons: I got them at G Street Fabrics. If you can believe it, this was a hard sweater for which to find buttons. I ended up with a pretty basic button, which is good given the smallness of the recipient.
 
I sent it out to my friend's house and then I got the PICTURES. Look at lil Emily!
 
Emily
 
There she is…keepin' it real.

Finally Lil Mikey's Grandpa Cardigan

 
First off, making a cardigan named a Grandpa Cardigan for a fourteen month old kinda cracked me up. It cracked up his mom too, my cousin's fabulous wife, Jeannie.
 
Gramps CardiganAll this cabely goodness in one little sweater!
 
Pattern: Gramps Cardigan by Kate Oates
Yarns(s): KnitPicks' Main Line Yarn
Colorway(s): dark blue
Needles(s): US 6 – 4.0 mm & US 7 – 4.5 mm
Casted On: January 27, 2013
Casted Off: February 19, 2013
Modifications: None
Buttons: I got the buttons off Etsy here. In my picture, they appear to be more grey but they weren't when I received them and that was a good thing! They were a blue-ish grey, which, as you can see, matches slightly better with the rest of the sweater.
 
Now darling Mikey, very much like his dad, my cousin, has issues staying still for photo time but here's a pic, nonetheless of the recipient wearing this sweater:
That's it for baby stuff for a while at least. It feels odd making baby sweaters as temps start to increase.
 
Next entry might be about hats, books, more socks or about a lil Monster I made…..
 

Finished Objects: Socks

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Oh mi goodness. Last entry was from late December?!

As I type this, I think I’ve come to the realization that I enjoy doing said hobby more than writing about them. I hope to get back into the swing of adding new projects and describing the new books I read. I did get a lot of enjoyment out of that before. I guess I just have to reintroduce myself?

I won’t make some promise though- No “I’ll-blog-twice-a-week!” promises because that’s the first way to shoot myself in the foot.

To catch up, I’ve noted what I haven’t shown off:

  • 12 knitted objects
  • 3 necklaces
  • Various works in progress
  • The six books I’ve read since my last blog entry
  • The other countless ones I read in 2012 and didn’t get around to reviewing

Whoops

I haven’t quite figured out how or if I’ll showcase everything. From October till about…April…I’d say? Between those months, it is so very busy at the office, so when I get home, I just want to crash. It happens. I really do want to work on making this loverly blog more of a habit.

So. TWELVE knitted objects finished since the last blog! Pardon me while I toot my own horn but GO LAURA! :-)

I’ve decided to do a blog by type of object. Today will be socks. The tons of socks I’ve made. I finished a pair the night before last and last night so this entry won’t capture them all as I still have to get finished pictures.

Let’s go waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 2012 and show off some socks. Shall we?

Pair #1

Herringbone Rib SocksLaura’s Herringbone Rib Socks

Pattern: Herringbone Rib Socks by Kristi Schueler from Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarn
My Ravelry Page
Yarns(s): Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi
Colorway(s): Lakeview
Needles(s): US 1 – 2.25 mm
Casted On:
July 14, 2012
Casted Off: August 12, 2012
Modifications: I made these puppies toe up just to see how much yarn I could use. Lorna’s Laces packs a lot of yardage in their skeins so these socks ended up being quite tall. yay!

These socks are super warm and I think I’m in love with Lorna’s Laces.
This pair of socks taught me something about stitch patterns. See…I have tried this sock quite a few times and it just didn’t work out. The pattern takes a while to form while knitting it. I kept on working on it, this time, however, and wha-la! It appeared.

So…lesson learned: Just because it’s a two row pattern, does not mean it will immediately show after two rows. BE PATIENT, Laura!!

Well this lesson was learned. I’m on my second pair of them for a friend of mine. yay!

Pair #2

Embossed LeavesMaggie’s Embossed Leaves Socks

What is with this pattern? I just looooooooooooooooooooooooove it. I can’t get enough!!

Pattern: Embossed Leaves by Mona Schmidt from my most favorite sock pattern book Favorite Socks
My Ravelry Page
Yarns(s): JoJo Land – Ballad
Colorway(s): 205-Pink
Needles(s): US 1½ – 2.5 mm
Casted On:
September 10, 2012
Casted Off: October 7, 2012
Modifications: I extended the pattern from 64 stitches to 72…the yarn was rather thin. No big deal. Also? short row heel. Again, no biggie

I often wonder if I do so many repeats of one particular pattern, am I closing myself to other cool and groovy patterns? Perhaps a little. It’s just so gorgeous though!Embossed Leaves

Finally, Pair #3

RPMJess’ Socks

Pattern: rpm by Aija Goto from Knitty, Summer, 2006
My Ravelry Page
Yarns(s): Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi…Again!
Colorway(s): Ashburn
Needles(s): US 1 – 2.25 mm
Casted On:
September 10, 2012
Casted Off: October 31, 2012
Modifications: None.

I don’t know why but this yarn seems to have Jess’ name on it. She really likes blue. She had mentioned that her apartment gets pretty warm so it’s not like she needed a pair of worsted socks. Just seemed like an all around good fit for her.

RPM

This is my second pair of RPMs. It’s a simple enough pattern to be used for such a colorful skein of yarn. The wrapping the purl stitches make around the sock make it fun in addition to the color variations.

I made these socks for two women that are like little sisters to me. At one point they used to both work in the same office with me. Now Jess has moved elsewhere on campus but we all keep in touch. Merry Christmas ladies! I hope you love them! I certainly love being your friend!

The next few blogs will feature FOs in groups of three. One for hats. One for bebeh sweaters annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd another group of three socks. Now that work has calmed down, I really want to make a point to update more!

 

Where have I been??

Thursday, December 27th, 2012
It's been over two months since I've blogged!!! So much has happened and it has just been so crazy of late. That happens, from time to time, I guess. Sigh…
What have I/we been up to?
Jermaine and I took a very relaxing trip to the Florida Keys:
I basically spent a week in a hammock and it was fantastic! We spent our second anniversary at a very nice Lady-and-the-Tramp-like Italian restaurant in Key Largo…very delicious and romantic.
Then we came home just in time for Hurricane Sandy:
Fortunately we were fine but I can not say the same for my cousin and his family in New Jersey. They were without power for a week. So many families had more issues to deal with too with all the damage to properties.
Then there was the election.
Maryland legalized gay marriage. Wohhooooo!!!! I am so proud of my state!
Work has been so crazy for the both of us. The craziness for my job occurred a little earlier this year. Luckily, it will always be busy but the crazy, ER-quality pace has dissipated.

Jermaine and I are enjoying a nice Christmas. Here is a picture of our Christmas tree:

 

It's what tress often turn into, no? :-)

Craft-wise and book-wise, I've:

  • Finished 11 books. No idea if I'll be able to write reviews for every single one
  • Finished three pairs of socks for girlfriends and one pair for moi.
  • Made two fairly nice necklaces for my boss and my mom. I've come a long way since making necklaces out of macaroni teehee
  • Started knitting a monster for the 600 Monsters Strong group. Inspired by the terrible traders in Newtown this December, this group aims to send these knitted monsters to kids impacted by gun violence.
I hope to share more here in the upcoming months. I feel bad that I have gone MIA both with my blogging and my commenting. I hope to change that.
 
Happy 2013, everyone!!!
 
 

FO – Claire Bear’s Mittens

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Happy Autumn everyone! Thought I’d start this, my most favorite of seasons, with a Finished Object for chillier weather :-D

I have a friend I met actually in high school. We went to rival schools. :-) Her name is Megan and we would see each other from time to time when the area Catholic high school bands would get together for the Honors Band program. Then SURPRISE we went to the same college!Anyway thanks to Facebook we’ve been able to keep in touch. This past summer I was able to meet her adorable children and I fell in love with her lil one Claire. I mean how can you not?

So when the new Twist Collective came out I wanted to make her something. The Horatio and Oren mittens were perfect!

Pattern: Horatio and Oren by Barbara Gregory from The Fall 2012 Twist Collective
My Ravelry Page
Yarns(s): The Loopy Ewe Solid Series
Colorway(s): Indigo & Ice
Needles(s): US 2½ – 3.0 mm
Casted On:
August 16, 2012
Casted Off: September 3, 2012
Modifications: None. But might I make a suggestion? This pattern is knit with 44 stitches. That’s pretty small so please please keep gauge in mind as you knit this. I k is these mittens will fit Claire just fine but if I were to do this pattern all over again I think I might have selected a more sport-weight yarn or maybe even a DK weight. With the stranded knitting, it can make for a tight pair making the mittens even tighter so keep that in mind when you got to select yarns ;-)

Super cute pair of mittens. I can’t wait to see lil Claire in them!

I’ve opened Santa’s workshop quite early this year starting four pairs of socks for loved ones of late so expect more socks in future knitting posts!

 

FO – Orange Pekoe Socks

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

This summer I participated in the Loopy Ewe swap and I was paired with another Cookie A. fanatic, a young woman named Mandy. She and I had a pleasure getting to know each other during this swap. I’ve always been paired with really nice women but I think she and I had more in common than many of the other swaps I participated in.

I had some difficulty with her socks. I started a pair right before going on vacation and a few days into it, I wasn’t feeling the love between yarn and pattern. And of course I realized this a few states away from my stash. Then the storm hit and, honestly, I didn’t even want to touch wool :-(

But then I found the Orange Pekoe Pattern and it was smooooooooth sailing from then on out.

Pattern: Orange Pekoe Socks by Cookie A from her 2011 Sock Club. Pattern Available here.
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): Three Irish Girls McCellan Fingering, .8 skeins, 320 yards.
Colorway(s): Mountain Cathedrals
Needle(s): US 1 – 2.25 mm
Casted On: June 27, 2012
Casted Off: July 12, 2012
Modifications: None

It goes with without saying how much I love Cookie’s patterns and this was no exception!! While it might not appeared that these flew off my needdles because I took two weeks to make them, I still enjoyed knitting them!

The yarn was a perfect match and wasn’t a heavy wooly feel because of its bamboo content. I’m sure Mandy appreciated getting them in the summer time. Perfect pair for this time of year. The yarn also handled the pattern very well too. Because of allllllllllll of this i found it very hard to mail these puppies :-(

I will definitely be making another pair of these for moi soon! :-D

FO – Cadence Socks

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Maybe it’s because it’s so hot out. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to carry around a bunch of stuff. Maybe it’s because I don’t particularly care for the feel of heavy wool right now.

A Combination of those perhaps?

All this to explain that my next few Finished objects will be socks.

I have heard knitting buddies say that they don’t particularly like knitting sweaters in the summer. I’ve always said “OK” because it didn’t bother me much. Well, this year it does. My motto this summer: Small projects for the WIN!!!

Cadence Socks

Pattern: Cadence Socks by verybusymonkey from SKA March Mystery Sock, March, 2011
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Mediumweight, .75 skeins, 300 yards.
Colorway(s): Spinel
Needle(s): US 1 – 2.25 mm
Casted On: February 13, 2012
Casted Off: June 16, 2012
Modifications: None.

Cadence Socks

…mind the leaves on the bottom of my feet….

I think there was something I missed in the directions about the direction of part of the calf pattern and it was supposed to make the socks symmetrical.

Cadence Socks

Whoops. That’s about as exasperated as I can get about it. I hardly notice it.

I really enjoyed knitting these socks because they were a little longer than most published patterns and, for me, that’s a plus because 1- I can use all the yarn (or more of a majority of it) and 2- this means my legs will be warmer :-) No complaints there!

Update on Hobby Progress on Blog

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

OK Notice how I have Goodreads widgets on the left? Last night I wondered – WHERE DID MY RAVELRY PROJECTS GO?!

I remember I had progress bars and thumbnail pictures but something happened with the coding. It was difficult to get it there in the first place so I couldn’t help but be exasperated by adding the code again because I simply couldn’t remember how I did it.

But I found a very helpful widget for WordPress blogs that I wanted to share. The My Ravelry Widget helped me turn adding this into a three minute production as opposed to what I did before…lots and lots of tweaking and let’s not even go into how much time it took to figure it out in the first place!

I know I have a lot of blogging friends that have WordPress blogs, so I wanted to share this helpful widget to you all.

And I’m a happy blogger – both hobbies with equal real estate on this blog. Yay :-D

Where have I gone?!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Goodness it feels like a long time since I’ve updated my blog. So much for my original idea of having a digital scrapbook!

Well in chronological order, this is what I’ve been up to:

  1. June 20- June 25 – I visited my mommy and her sweetie husband in South Carolina. Wonderful little vacation. Relaxing was my word for it :-D
  2. June 29 – A Derecho hit our area. What’s a Derecho? Wikipedia says it “is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms. ” What do I call it?? Simply put – an ass kicker of a storm. See:


We lost power Friday night and it returned Tuesday night. I distinctly remember during the Snowcopolypse of 2010, enjoying it a little. Jermaine and I were walking around wearing five sweaters and we played Trivial Pursuit. Sure, it got old but at least the first day was fun. This storm? Not a bit of it was fun because very hot days followed. Jermaine and I had just gone grocery shopping Friday night and we were mad as hell when we had to throw away a majority of our fridge.

3. So yes. It’s been very very hot too. I know many prefer heat over cold but I do not. I haven’t had much energy lately to eat much less update projects here or review books. This smiley, actually, sums up how I’ve been dealing with the heat

 

But since the last entry, I have completed two socks:

And I’m absolutely giddy about this pair I’m working on now:

Herringbone Rib Socks

On the book side of things, there has been A LOT read, which has led me to wonder if I want to review Every. Single. Book.

Books I’ve finished since last book review: (Some of these might have already been read since June 12)

Finished 5/13 Finished 5/20 Finished 6/1 Finished 6/5

Finished 6/22

Finished 6/23 Finished 6/29 Finished 7/24

So Book Bloggers – Question for you – Do you review every book you read? Why? If not, what makes you want to review a book and what makes you just skip it? As I delve more into reviewing books, it would be interesting to see what others do.

FO – Pointelle Socks

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

I’m doing more than reading! :-)

Sometimes I can’t keep all my hobbies straight. I never thought I’d say this but I appear to be reading more than knitting. I don’t feel bad of course but I guess I just want to acknowledge how people’s hobbies can change or expand

I finished a pair of socks from Knit. Sock. Love. Pointelle was one of my favorite new patterns in this book and I finally finished my own pair

Pointelle

Pattern: Pointelle Socks by Cookie A from Knit Sock Love
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): Frogtree Pediboo, 1.5 skeins, 382 yards.
Colorway(s): 1146
Needle(s): US 0 – 2.0 mm
Casted On: January 2, 2012
Casted Off: June 9, 2012
Modifications: None. I knit the larger size at a smaller gauge so the sizing would turn out correctly. (The larger sock required 70 stitches for cast on. I’m usually ok with size 1s and 60 stitches so using a smaller needle helped balance everything out.

I love Cookie Patterns! I can’t get enough of them. These certainly kept my attention with the curving vine going across the instep.

Pointelle

Here is a more detailed shot of my left and right foot up against each other so the foot lace pattern is more prominent:

Pointelle

And this color!

I saw a woman on Downton Abbey wearing a skirt made out of this light green and I just went “WANT!” and I seem to be attracted to this color for the time being. Case in point: Some of the loot I got at this past year’s Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival:

My creation

And it was interesting hanging out with my friends at MDSW. One friend was on a silver theme and another a blue theme. This year was pleasant because I didn’t pick my usual purples or deep reds

Well anyway…I finally was able to finish these socks after they spent some time in my project box and I certainly love how they turned out. I’m just about to finish these socks as well, to continue with my sock theme.

Cadence Socks

Cadence Socks

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