Friday, January 30, 2009

Out of touch

I'm feeling out of touch with the blog. Ever since I found out I was pregnant (just over a year ago), the blog has been low on my list of priorities (rightly so, I think). But I miss the blog. I miss the conversations. I miss sharing what's going on in my life, beyond the knitting. 

So I'm taking back the blog. 

What's new? 

The Bug turned four months old last week (where has the time gone!?). She loves to laugh and giggle, she tries to put her whole hand in her mouth, she loves to nudge her socks off. She is really looking at and manipulating her toys now. She loves to "talk" to you and will roll from her back to her side over and over again. She holds herself up well on her tummy, but hates being there for more than a few minutes. She's still not sleeping "well" according to almost everyone, but we're getting there. Mommy going back to work and colds haven't helped. 

I told my principal today that I want to move back down to a lower grade and she took the news well. Hopefully there is a place for me still at my school - I would hate to leave. I also (because I'm nuts) started some graduate classes in reading this past week. I'm just getting a certificate, but it's 27 hours of graduate work. Two classes to start, and while I'm a little nervous about getting all the work done, I'm unreasonably excited to read my textbooks! Dork!

I haven't been knitting much this month, but I've had a terrible cold with lots of sinus pressure and ear pain that I can't shake (no medicine since I'm nursing). I am feeling better, so hopefully next month will be better for the knitting progress. 

I did decide that my LYS closing could be good for the stash - I'm much less likely to order yarn than to pick it up in a shop, so hopefully I can knit down the stash a bit this year. The only problem with that plan is that I want to make baby things and they don't use up much yarn! 

I did spend an hour or two in front of the sewing machine a few weeks ago trying to piece the quilt pieces I cut before The Bug was born. I'm just doing nine patch blocks, but I'm loving it. Hopefully I can successfully turn my pile of pieces into a quilt, as I may have already bought fabric for another. 

I made Christmas pjs for my girls this year and they were super cute, which has led me to want to sew more. I've got a pile of fabric for skirts for me, dresses for The Bug and more flannel for pjs. 

One thing I want to accomplish this year is to embroider and cross stitch more - I still need to post pictures of my cute kitchen curtains.

And finally, I put my first pattern in my ravelry store this week.  It is the Loopy Laces pattern that was my first design for the Ewenique Feet sock club last year. It's $5.00 and available through ravelry here:

Have a great weekend! Thanks for the daring egg suggestions - I hope to get one soon! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Darn it!

So, a pictureless post, again. 

Last week was a bad week for socks - my embossed leaves socks, worn for the first time, blew out the toe (I knew I should have kitchenered it!). Grrr. 

And then hubby announced that he had holes in the bottoms of not one but two socks (separate pairs)!!! 

I find myself in need of a darning egg - any resources? I found a grand total of one on etsy and my googlefu must not be good today, as I can't find any. 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tech Socks

These have been finished (and worn) for several days/weeks now. Apologies for the dirty sock picture, but let's face it, it was this or nothing.

Pattern: Basic sock pattern
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Sport in Team Spirit Colorway from the Loopy Ewe
Needles: Chiagoo 2.75mm
Dates: December 2008-January 2 2009
Mods: none
Thoughts: Knit up very quickly. Feels a little too skinny to be "sport" weight. Hubby loves them - has declared all future socks must be knit with Lorna's Laces 'cause they are so soft. :) 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


It was such an amazing experience to watch the inauguration today with my students. I don't remember watching any other inauguration, other than the oath of office on the news.
 It was going to be special to me no matter what, but to see it through the eyes of a 9 year old...they clapped each time the people on TV clapped, they chanted "Obama" along with the crowd, they cheered each time they saw Obama's beautiful daughters. What a neat day for them - a day I hope they will remember when they are my age. 
I teared up a bit, but managed to keep it in control. What a powerful day for our country. Good things to come, I'm sure.

President Obama. Pinch me. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bad week

I really had good intentions about blogging more. I was waylaid by lack of pictures (darn that winter early darkness!) last week, and by sickness of The Bug and myself. (Luckily, she's getting better, while I'm getting worse - lovely).
But the real blow to the week was the news late Saturday night that my second home and part of my heart, my LYS was closing. 
Hubby walked in after putting The Bug down for the night to find me crying. When I told him the news he said "I thought someone had died." And I do feel like something has died. The shop was a refuge for me, a place where I have made some amazing friendships. A place where I learned more about knitting, taking risks, being confident, than I had before it existed. Where I learned that my heart really lies in teaching - teaching knitting. I have missed working so dearly while on maternity leave these past few months. And now I won't work there again. It is heartbreaking. And while my close friendships will remain, and there will still be a knitting group somewhere else, all the people I knew as casual friends, and folks I saw every once in a while, will probably be gone. And that crushes me. I'm sure many of you can relate - the shop was a home for me. I was always comfortable there, from the first day I went in. I felt loved, welcomed, accepted. The Bug was showered with love, and gifts from these wonderful people. And to think that she won't grow up in that store breaks my heart. 
Tears are falling as I write this. And I know EZ said to knit on, through all crises. But what if the crisis is that I may run out of yarn to knit with? 

Monday, January 12, 2009

January Goals

January Goals:

Finish Tech socks
Finish Ribbed socks
Finish small project 
Finish plain jane socks
Finish shawl collar sweater
Work on Smoke Socks
Start Stocking for The Bug
Start sweater for The Bug
Start slippers for me
Finish Isotope
Finish Clappy Scarf
Finish Anemoi mittens

As always, very ambitious. 

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Looking forward and looking back

It's that time of year again - looking at where I've been and where I'm going. First, a look back at 2008:

I knit the following things:

5 sweaters
10 pairs of socks
7 scarves
3 blankets
2 toys
2 adult hats
3 pairs of slippers
2 ornaments
1 shawl
2 dish/wash cloths
1 pair fingerless gloves
1 shrug 
and 34! baby items!

It's easy to see where my priorities where in my knitting last year! 

I wanted to knit from these books:

Kid's Knits -Heads Hands and Toes - done - Teddy Bear Hood, Inca Hat, Duck Hat, Ladybug Hat
Jo Sharp Knit Issue 1 - started - shawl collar sweater
Ella Rae Book 7 - not done
Handknit Holidays - done - Snowy Triangle Scarf
Greetings from the Knit Cafe - not done
Knit 2 Together - done - slippers
Folk Mittens - not done
Vintage Knits - done - Salina
Favorite Socks - done - Embossed Leaves
Knitting Vintage socks - done - Child's First Sock
Opinionated Knitter - done - Baby Surprise Jacket
Knitter's Almanac - done - February Baby Sweater

Pretty good! 

In keeping with this theme, I've found these books I'd like to knit from this year:

Treasury of Rowan Knits - Carpenter
Vintage Knits (Sarah Dallas) - short sleeved striped sweater
Adorable Knits for Tots - hearts and stars blanket
Special Knits - ribbed baby jacket
Celtic Knits - lace alpaca scarf
Simply Baby - pompom beret
Knitted Toys (McTague) - cheeky monkey
Itty Bitty Nursery - Flower Cardigan
Mason Dixon Outside the Lines - felted trees
Irresistible Gifts to Knit - Gnome
Street Smart (Patons) - cabled hoodie

I did not make my goal of reading my knitting books  - maybe I'll try that some this year. 

Let's look at the numbers - in January of 2007 I had 604 balls of yarn. In January 2008 I had 821 balls and 166,195 yards. This January I have 900 balls of yarn and 193, 453 yards. I used 97 balls and 17, 004 yards. To be fair to myself (and my efforts to knit up the stash) I did really go through and analyze and add a lot of partial balls to the stash. I also "inherited" some yarn - leftovers from The Bug's feet blanket and some leftovers from mom. Even so, I knit 11% of my stash. I knit almost 10 miles of yarn! That's pretty impressive, for feeling like I wasn't getting any knitting accomplished for much of the year. 

Obviously, I want to knit more from the stash this year. To accomplish that, I've set up some little "plans" for myself. 

I haven't officially joined NaKniSweMoDo (or whatever it's called), but I would like to knit 12 sweaters this year (same goal as last year). I've got several started (almost enough to count for all 12!), and I have a few gift sweaters to work on.
I have also bagged up a few small projects (yarn and patterns) and plan to pick one each month to knit up, to get some odd balls out of my stash. 

And I have 12 "plain" socks worth of yarn bagged up, some stuff I've been holding onto for a while that I want to be socks already! 

And I have my 12 "fancy" socks picked out. I'll be (hopefully) knitting these, in no particular order: 

Cider Moon - Bellatrix
Vesper - Groovy Socks
Jitterbug - Vinnland
Firebird (STR) - Firestarter
Chewy Spaghetti - Aquaphobia
Fleece Artist - Flicker
Malabrigo - Knitty Twist
Wollmeise - Brigit
Shibu - Conwy
Madelinetosh - Little Child's Sock
Zen Yarn Garden - Charade
Hazelknits - Hourglass

And then there's the laundry list of other things I want to knit, gifts and such, including stockings for the girls and sweaters for next winter for The Bug. 

One big thing I want to do is clear out the WIP pile. Some of these knits have been hanging around for over a year now, and they need to be finished! I ripped two sweaters (Ariann and Buttony) and both will be reborn, possibly this year. To work on other things, I've made a plan: I assigned a number to each project, and each  night I'll draw a number and work on that project for at least 30 minutes. I can work on any of them at any time, but this way they should all get worked on at least once a month. I've got 34 active WIPs (and a few that will stay hibernating for the near future), and I'd like to end the year with no more than 5 still on the needles (my sock yarn blanket is one that won't be finished this year for sure). 

As usual, I'm being way over ambitious about the number of things I can get done. But that's OK - shoot for the moon and all that. 

I'm off to get started! Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

2008 Wrap Up

I'm a little late finishing up my 2008 FO posts, but I had to wait for hubby's sweater to finish drying to take his pictures. Anyway, here are my last 4 FOs for the year. 

Pattern: Salina by Kim Hargraves, from Rowan Vintage Knits
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed - 7 balls
Needles: 5 US
Dates: Feb 2007-December 2008
Mods: My gauge was off, so I knit the largest size to get a 36"
Thoughts: Needs to be blocked. Could be a smidge longer. The yarn was crap to seam with. Didn't really take a year and a half to knit - back was finished in Jan or Feb of '08, other pieces knit this summer, waited until Dec (post xmas knitting) to seam. I think after blocking it will be the sweater I wear the most, after my Central Park Hoodie. Will be knitting it again, as my sister wants one too!

Pattern: Cambridge Jacket by Ann Budd, from Interweave Knits
Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Evergreen - 10 balls
Needles: US 7 Clover bamboo
Dates: um, 2006 sometime? to December 2008. Sat unworked on for most of that time.
Mods: Knit a tighter gauge to get a smaller size for skinny minny hubby. Didn't do the crocheted edging. 
Thoughts: Fits him really well after blocking - an amazing difference. He asked for no edging, and it's not flipping up too much. Zipper is put in much better than the zipper I used for my Ribby Cardi (which I need to redo). 

Pattern: Superlong Wrap by Kris Percival from Knitting to go box
Yarn: Baby Alpaca (no brand)
Needles: 10.5 US Clover bamboo
Dates: Sept 2008-Dec 2008
Mods: smaller gauge to make scarf instead of wrap.
Thoughts: can't decide if I should block it or not - I kind of like the curling quality of it unblocked. 

Pattern: Korknisse 
Yarn: scraps
Needle: US 6 or 7
Dates: Dec 2007-Dec 2008
Mods: none
Thoughts: knit all of the pieces last December. Got forgotten in a purse pocket. Found and bells attached for the girls' xmas ornaments this year. Will make more - they are so cute!

There were also 2 pairs of longies and a soaker knit for The Bug, but they are not super exciting blog fodder - they are in my flickr and ravelry, if you really want to see them. 

Now that my 2008 slate is clear, I can tell you about my 2009 plans. Tomorrow.