Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where are they now? - 2KCBWDAY4

"Day Four Prompt: Where are they now?
Whatever happened to your __________?
Write about the fate of a past knitting project."


"A Turtle Tale"

One day just before Easter Lumpy came off the needles of his Creator. His Creator lovingly stuffed his shell, tightened his stitches, and hid any scraggly bits of yarn that were left behind. She told him that'd he was going to live with a little girl or boy from her Sunday School Class and that he'd be loved.

Then his Creator put him in a basket with some other turtles and went to church.

At church he fell in love. She had pigtails and a wide, happy smile and she held him close and whispered to him that she'd always love him.

Spring turned to summer and Lumpy found himself lost in the sandbox. He sat forlorn in the rain and the sun for a month before he was found and tossed into the washer machine. 

Now he was even more lumpy than before, but no longer lost or forgotten. The little girl took him all over the house and liked to hid little bits and bobs inside his shell.

One day when the Creator came by for a visit she brought him out so that the Creator could check his stitches. The Creator told him that he was doing a good job and was looking "loved".

Lumpy knew that even if he wound up lost in the sandbox again, that he would always be loved.


I recently went over to my friends house, whose daughter is the proud "mama" of the above turtle, and she proudly brought him out to me.  He looked "loved on" and definitely a little more lumpy than I remembered when I made him, but no worse for the wear.  It seems that it's the little things that children cling to, a little thing someone made for them can become something precious. I loved seeing that the turtle looked a little ragged, it let me know that my hard work was being appreciated and used.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tidy - 2KCBWDAY3

 Day Three Prompt: Tidy mind, tidy stitches.
How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised?

Where the Yarn Hides

I am usually an organized person, but in the heat of the knitting frenzy when I have too much to do and not enough time to do it, the yarn and extra's can get a little out of hand. I have various landing zones I put it all when I am in "organization transition". A couple of times a year I will pull it all out and re-organize it, but on a whole this is what it looks like.
Works in progress end up in the living room next to the couch tucked away in the corner in hopes that the dogs and cats won't get into it, or they are piled high on top of the coffee table (where the blue case is). Finished works get "stashed" someplace "safe" until I can figure out where it "should" go. The red hat is a Christmas gift for 2011 for my husband (I told him he had to wait for it) and is sitting on top of my dresser in my bedroom. The white package in the bottom picture is on top of my husband's gun cabinet in my bedroom and either has in it yarn for my sister or yarn I bought and decided I didn't like.

This is the scene at the top of my stairs. On the left is a clever little footstool the cats have claimed for a scratching post and inside it is yarn I use when I make dolls. To the right is a plastic container where I keep all my knitting books and some graph paper for when I'm designing.

This final picture is from within my closet. Top left is a gigantic box of worsted weight from the 1980's I inherited last year from my Grandma Winnie. It is organized in the box according to color all in nice neat plastic bags (see I can be organized!). Bottom left in the blue bin is DK weight from the same grandmother and is also organized according to color. Bottom right is knitting on wheels! Inside are extra needles, some random buttons, and other stuff I'm not sure what to do with. Finally is a box of yarn I have used recently but have not taken the time to properly stash it away.

So there it is. 
Now I feel that I should pull it all out and re-organize it, once I finish my current project ....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Six Months!

I apologize for the lack of photos. I hope this makes up for it! No photo's were taken last month, we were sick for most of it.


Playing With Izzy

Valentines Day

Super Bowl Sunday

Skill + 1 Up - 2KCBWDAY2

"Day Two Prompt Skill + 1UP: Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year."

March of 2010 found me casting on for the most daunting project ever, my first adult sized garment (find hood posts here and here and here) . My sister asked if I would make her a sweater, I suggested a really neat hooded vest from Spud and Chloe. She saw it and fell in love. The yarn drooling commenced and we picked out yarn that was affordable and in a color she liked.

Fearfully I cast on. I didn't know how it would turn out. Would it be too big, lopsided, uneven, ugly? Would she wear it once I finished it?

It wasn't too big, lopsided, or ugly, in fact it took 2nd place at the county fair! She wore it for a month straight and even though I haven't seen her wear it in a long time, I know she still loves it. I learned how to make a hood, pick up a large amount of stitches, make sleeves, pom-poms, embroider so many X's I thought I'd die, it was quite the experience. Ever since tackling this big project and finishing it faster than I could have imagined I knew that I could achieve anything! Since this project I've been taking on more challenging things. Like toys, writing my own patterns, and free hand embroidery with out fear.

April 2010

Sept 2010

The pictures above are the same pattern (more or less) knit five months apart, the first turtle was knit before the hoodie and the second turtle knit after. It is amazing what five months can do!

In the next year I am knitting my sister awesome gauntlets where I will learn and master many new stitches. Last year I wouldn't have dreamed of casting on for such a project, this year I am confident I can achieve my goals faster than I can imagine. Also, in the coming year, I would like to maybe make something with cables (I'm thinking a sweater or a vest for my son) and two-at-a-time socks, which seems more practical to me.

I am excited to see where my knitting will take me. When my aunt taught me to knit that fateful day in October I didn't know that I'd be here still knitting three years later. I didn't think that I'd want to knit so much that I'd  beg a surgeon to repair my wrist (from a previous break) so that I could "at least" knit. I'm amazed that the gigantic pairs of mittens I made ( 3 pairs ) or the hats that didn't look right ( 2 that I can remember) or the too short scarfs or too long ones or the one that had so many different gauges of yarn that it never looked right didn't deter me. I kept casting on, I kept knitting, and project by project I improved.

I am so very thankful for that aunt... I think it's time I knit her a thank you gift.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Embellish the Story - 2KCBWDAY8

Wild Card Prompt: "Blog about an embellishment, be it a zipper, amigurumi eyes or applique patch which you are either saving to use or have in the past used to decorate a project with. "



In the waning hours before bed a woman holds up a baby sweater that she had just finished. She proudly turns it to show her husband her face waiting for the coming praise. "Honey, what do you think?" she asks holding her breath.

Turning from the TV he gives it a quick once over and then affirms with a nod, "Looks nice."

Nice, she thinks. I want more than nice. Nice means, you did it, you made it, you put just the right amount of effort to complete a project. I want more than nice, she muses. I want "Wow" or "Great" or "Fantastic" or "You Did That?"

The knitter frowns as she looks at her handy work and wonders where she went wrong. Did she block it right? Are her stitches neat and uniform? Are there any oddities? Yes, yes, and no but something in the back of her mind is nagging at her. She puts it down in front of her and thinks.

Her knitting is a blank canvas, inches and inches of clean stockinette stitch longing and begging for attention. Then it comes to her. She needs some embellishment. The knitter, now fueled with knowing the solution chooses some bright pink yarn, threads it through a needle, and gets to work. In a few moments she has added a flower, a heart, a little something to take her creation away from nice. 

"Honey," she says to her husband as she displays the sweater for him, "what do you think now?"

His eyes light up just a little like he's seeing the tiny sweater for the first time, "I like that, it looks nice."

This time the knitter does not fret over "nice". He said he "liked it" and she could see in his eyes that he meant it. Happily she sets her work down and picks up her needles, it's time to start a new project.

That was a scene from Friday night at my house as I finished a sweater for a baby shower. It seems that often when a project is "finished" it's not really "complete" until that last little bit is added.

I usually add a little embroidery because I have not planned to add anything and I'm pressed for time. Some times, when I'm thinking clearly before casting on, I will add some intaria or fairisle to a project to "jazz up" the plainness of stockinette stitch. 

One of my favorite things to add on is a little butterfly I found on Spud and Chloe. I have put it on hats and doll clothes even though the intended project is a little ring.
 Doll pattern can be found here, doll dress pattern can be found here, sweater (with hearts) can be found on Raverly, turtles found here, hat is here, the flower on top of the turtle is here
and the other sweater (with trees and buttons) here
Embroidery is my own

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bearly There

Bear & 2liter bottle

I am getting there, but obviously I'm not there yet. I have slowly and steadily been working on four bears for my Sunday School Class for Easter. I didn't knit them or give them anything at Christmas time and so I thought I'd make up for my lack of gifting with something super special.

I am using the pattern I bought last year from Twins Knit, but adapting it to make bears. I used US size 7 knitting needles and worsted weight yarn for the bears bodies and US size 9 and worsted weight yarn for the clothes. I will, in the future be knitting some bear ears and noses to put on the heads. I have been focusing on the big things (heads, bodies, clothes, arms, ect) before getting to the details. I can stay up until the wee hours of the morning Easter Eve and knit noses and ears quickly, but not clothes. I had to stop knitting arms and legs due to boredom (I have all the arms knit) and lack of stuffing. I hope to buy some stuffing soon because I have one whole bear to stuff and several arms and legs! I think I may have stuffed them a little too tight, you can see the stuffing in the pictures, but it's not so bad in person. I think, and hope, they will be a big hit!

The bears are turning out to be a good size. I was surprised when I put one of the bears next to a 2 liter soda bottle and the bear was a little more than half the size of it. 

I just started yesterday afternoon making some clothes. I went to a friends house for supper and before we ate I had a chance to cast on for the orange dress (Vanna's Choice: Goldfish) and immediately had issues. I wasn't paying close attention, because I was delightfully chatting away with friends, and I messed up on the ruffle a bit. I don't think that the kiddo she's going to will notice, I hid it pretty well. The clothes are also a little big, which is good for small hands since I teach the 2 to 4 year old class, but I think I will make the next dress a little smaller. The pattern I am using for the dress I am adapting from this one that I wrote last year. The dress I am working on now I am going to try and knit in the round. I am also going to knit a pair of pants and a sweater for the little boy in my class, I have only one, so that will be an adventure. I have to wait until I have some legs before I knit pants.

1 bear with no legs, 2 bears with no arms or legs, and some spare arms
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Knitting Wants

Here are a few things I found on Etsy that I want for Mother's Day:

Knitting Bowl an ingenious idea from Julie Knowles
8 or more Point Protectors  or These
Some Stitch Markers or These Ones
Cool Earrings
Something to keep my DPN's Organized
Pom-Pom helper

(yes I realize that Mother's Day is a ways away, just dreaming and thinking)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Four Months a Month Late

Now I have two teeth!
I like to eat foods out of a little mesh feeder.
I have eaten: carrots, apple, pear, peas, green beans, pineapple.
Mamma also lets me chew on raw peppers when she is cooking.

Mamma thinks I weigh over 20lbs!
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Friday, March 11, 2011

?? Pictures ??

More pictures of Owen are coming soon. Monday at the latest.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

More Love Monster Pictures

This is "Rolly" a Love Monster.
You can hide stuff in his mouth and he can hold papers with his hands.
He is saying "Happy Birthday!" to my sister who is Sweet 16!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blog Week

I just stumbled into this from another blog. I cannot wait to participate. It looks like a lot of fun. I can't wait to read what other people write and I hope you enjoy what I have to contribute.

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