Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Christmas Prep KAL

First some housework.

1. I realized that by calling it a KAL I was omitting a whole set of crafters: crocheters. If you are a crocheter and want to join, please do!

2. Due to a few people expressing the short time frame I am extending the KAL to end June 30th. The contest will end as planned. That way if you win and you participate in The Year of Projects you can look through the book or pattern and add it to your list if you want.

3. In order to participate in the KAL just leave a link to your Christmas Prep Project (blog post, photo or project page on rav) in the comments.

Tonight my husband will be away smelting until the wee hours of the morning so I will find a suitable Christmas movie on Netflix to knit to, or maybe just some Christmas music.

My first project will be a Christmas Stocking I am making for myself using this pattern. Its a rather ambitious project for a Christmas Stocking I think, but it will be fantastic I'm sure.

I don't have any WIP photos, but I do have some signs of spring!

I'm looking forward to see what you all are knitting!

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Helper

Photos Courtesy of Grandma
He likes to help. The week before the chicks came he helped fill the brood box with shavings, clean out some buckets, and fill the clean buckets with grain.

He also has a daily chore. It is his job to call the ducks in at night. He takes his job seriously.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Looking Forward

Todays final prompt for Knitting and Crocheting Blog Week fits perfectly with what I have been dreaming about the last few months .. Next years list for my Year of Projects. I have nearly completed this years list and when on Wednesday I cast on for my KAL I'll be pushing through the remainder of my list.

My project list for the coming year will be a little more vague as I want to focus on some skills, hurdles, and fears I have with my knitting.

  • A Vest for the Hubby -- he has been asking for a sweater ever since my knitting really took off. He believes wholeheartedly that I can do it, despite the fact that I keep telling him the yarn will be a lot of money and it will take a long time to complete. His answer to that: "The quality of the vest will be worth the price and time it takes." Oh, he really knows a way into a knitters heart doesn't he? I haven't decided on the pattern yet but it will be something with cables so I don't get bored. Most likely all one color so he can wear it all the time in a yarn that can be tossed in the washer with out causing me fits of anxiety. The last time I knit a vest for an adult it was for my sister and it went rather well so I have hopes that this will too. It just will take so much of my knitting time, but it will be worth it.
  • Participate in Two (or more) Test Knits -- this is such an affordable way to get new patterns and it helps out designers. Last summer I was tester and tested, I really enjoyed the process and since I am finding I'd rather alter the wheel than re-invent it when it comes to designing fits my life much better. It is also a good way to be pushed to finish something since the designer wants the project done by a specific due date.
  • Crochet My Mascot Project -- I am assuming I will be working on squares when I get frustrated or bored with the vest project, it will give me a break with out picking up a new project. I don't like having more than one project on my needles and I am hoping I can finish a few squares when I need a break from the vest.
  • A Sweater for Me -- If I haven't died from boredom knitting the vest and the vest goes well I will finally knit myself a sweater. I have spied a few that interest me: Hearth, Charlotte,  and Centripetal to name a few. Are there any Plus Sized knitters out there who have had success knitting a flattering sweater, I'm in the market for a pattern. 
How about you .. am I the only one who has been thinking about the next list?
Don't forget to tune in on Tuesdays to participate in my KAL!

This post is part of Knitting and Crocheting Blog Week. Please take a moment to check out other bloggers who are participating by searching: 4KCBWDAY7

Friday, April 26, 2013

New Arrivals

You know that you crossing over towards farm enthusiast when you get excited about a fence.

Thursday after work Mom and Dad put up a fence 3/4 of the way around the pond (the rest will be done soon) to keep the ducks from wandering away. A few years ago when Little Sister had a pair of Peking Ducks they managed to waddle out from behind the house, across the busy street, and to the trailer park across the road. Dad is afraid, rightly so, for the ducks safety. The fence will go a long way to keep the ducks and a certain little boy who likes to help with chores safe. This Mommy worries every time he goes out beyond the daycare yard to "help" with chores; I fear him falling in. With the fence up everyone can breath a little sigh of relief.

We got the call today that our chick order had arrived at the farm store. We picked them up this afternoon. The final tally: 1 White Barred Rock, 2 Silver Laced Wynodettes, 3 Araucana, 25 Cross (meat birds), and 10 Turkeys. The porch is quite noisy. 

Something Different

Today's prompt for Knitting and Crocheting Blog Week stumps me every year. Something different? Like what? I'm not comfortable in front of the camera and I hate the sound of my voice so a vblog or a podcast is totally out of my realm.

I finally came to the conclusion that one of my silly little doodles might work.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Color Review

Yarn may be red,
Violet and blue,
I'd rather have green,
But any color will do!

My favorite colors right now are gray, green, brown, and blue in any shade. 

I took a look through my posts, my raverly projects, and at my Photo Finish Board on pinterest to see what has really been knit.

It is clear to me that I don't stick to a color palette. I knit with colors that suit the pattern or the person, or what I have on hand. I'm not sure if that could be considered a "monkey" trait or not. Only a few times have I ever chosen yarn and then the pattern, for me the joy is in figuring out a new pattern not in using a new yarn. Although, I did buy striped sock yarn and chroma for the joy of using it, but those were the exception not the rule.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


This post is part of Knitting and Crocheting Blog Week. Please take a moment to check out other bloggers who are participating by searching: 4KCBWDAY3

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mascot Project

Last week, while I recovered from a nasty bug that kept me awake until the early morning, I pondered about a project worthy of my house. It needed to be challenging and fun.

My mind rolled around until it landed on my stash of “vintage” yarn (circa 1970-80) from my Grandmother. I have been wanting turn this yarn into an afghan. The afghan my Grandmother was never able to crochet me for my wedding.

Often during my knitting “down times”, those times when I don’t have a project screaming my name, I have thought about that yarn and how to knit it. Should I make garter stitch stripes like the afghan from my other grandmother? Blocks of different swatches? Feather and fan? As lay there not sleeping, it occurred to me, what better way to honor her than to learn a new skill. Her skill: Crochet.
 With the help of a dual fiber artist I will learn how to make a Granny Square and make an afghan that would make her beam with pride.

Below is the yarn I have from her stash:  pink, aqua, light blue, maroon, gold, light yellow, bright yellow, beige, black, and clover. I saved these skeins specifically for this project because these colors remind me of my grandmother. They come from stores named: Ames, Riches, and Ben Franklins with ball bands that I don’t recognize:  Clover Leaf, Carrousel Wintuk, and Branbry Crossing. I don't have a set color pattern in mind, I will choose colors at random, and it will probably be a little gaudy; but it will be all Grammie.


This post is part of Knitting and Crocheting Blog Week. Please take a moment to check out other bloggers who are participating by searching: 4KCBWDAY2

Monday, April 22, 2013

House of Monkey

The House of Monkey: Intelligent and with a fun loving side, Monkeys like to be challenged with every project presenting them with something new and interesting.

I don’t even remember why I learned to knit. I have always had a pull to create. As a young adult I tried sewing and cross stitch, but neither held my interest for very long. I need a something challenging that would stretch me creatively and be easily adaptable to my “rules were made to be broken” attitude towards patterns.

I must have seen someone at church knitting because one Halloween week-end I cornered my aunt and begged her to teach me how to knit. Sitting at the kitchen table she taught me how to knit and purl. She gave me vague instructions on how to bind off, a stitch glossary with a few projects and encouraged me to have fun. At the end of the week-end she left me with the project, not knowing what she had sparked.

My first project was a rather ambitious scarf; wide and long. I quickly got bored with it and bound off the best I could and gave it to the daycare kids to use as a blanket for their Barbies.  The next project I choose was no less ambitious: a six foot skinny scarf knit with thick stripes. It took forever, but I finished it, and gave it to a friend.
My first project
I don’t remember what my next projects were after that. What I do recall was feeling like I would never be a good knitter. I picked up the stitch book my aunt had given me and choose the most difficult looking stitch. I decided that if I could knit this stitch (a trinity stitch) that I could knit anything.

I didn’t disappoint myself.
Bolstered with confidence I decided that I could and would knit everything and anything I wanted. I made a mental list of all the obstacles I faced in knitting and took them on one at a time..

DPN’s? – yes
Circular? –yes
In the round? – yes
Mittens that fit? – yes
Did all my projects fit right? – no
Does that ever stop me? – never

My most recent challenge was a cabled vest for my boy for Easter. I knit it like I knit all things that challenge me: one stitch at a time, one row at a time.

This post is part of Knitting and Crocheting Blog Week. Please take a moment to check out other bloggers who are participating by searching: 4KCBWDAY1

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Project Report

Done! And I do a dance of joy!

I love this sock pattern from Susan B Anderson. It is simple and straight forward and she tells you how to customize it if you need it bigger/smaller. I knit this pair on a US Size 2 with the same amount of stitches and it fits my hubby just fine. When I knit another pair of socks, I will use this pattern again. 

The yarn is self striping from On-Line Supersocke. I'm not sure if they still make this colorway or not, its a few years old. This pair has the aloe in it and my hubby says they are super soft and comfy.

I am taking a break from my project list since I'm starting my Christmas Stocking on the 30th with the KAL that I'm hosting.

In other finishing news I finally sorted out the mess I was having with Stomper's Owl Hat and managed to complete it! He loves it and wearsit all the time .. just in time for warm weather. Hopefully it will fit still next year. I plan on putting it in his dress-up stuff so it will get a lot of use! The earflaps are an interesting construction. The rib is all picked up stitches, and either I picked up too many, too few, too tightly, bound off too loosely, or a combination because it's a little floppy. I think if I were to make it again I'd use my Gnome Knot pattern but knit it all one color and omit the knot. Jason thinks I should make two adult ones so that all three of us have one. Then he tells me he will climb a tree and hoot like an owl .. I might take him up on his offer. It would make an interesting Christmas Photo.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Four Dogs to run and play with,
A Saturday of Pancakes and Movies,
The freedom of jumping in Puddles,
Hot Cocoa and Coffee with Mommy,
New Knitted Socks for cold toes,
A Forgotten Easter Treasure found in a strange place,
A New Hat from Mommies needles, 
A Chilly Picnic in the park,
Playing With Papa on a twisty silde,
Going to Mommy's Favorite Burger Joint for supper,
Eating The First One of the Season in the early evening sun,
and being Mommy's Big Helper,

These are the things memories are made of.

Not enough photos? Check out some more..

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Christmas Prep KAL :: Prizes

I am very excited for this KAL I'm hosting. I plan on putting on some Christmas music or maybe even a Christmas movie and knitting two Christmas presents. No KAL is complete, I think, with out a prize or two for participating. I searched through my things and found two prizes.

Prize #1
Flight Path Pattern with Yarn
A year ago I decided to join a Mystery KAL. The designer was Mary Scott Huff, a blog I follow, and she is super funny and extremely talented. I purchased the kit and pattern, and then never participated. The hat, while wonderful, is not my style so I thought I might knit it and give it away, but I never did. I received permission from the designer to print the pattern and send it and the yarn to one lucky winner. The yarn is from Abstract Fiber and isn't it gorgeous! I did wind two of the little skeins into balls, but the rest will need to wound in to cakes.

Prize #2
Feminine Knits
I bought this book thinking I'd knit something for my sister from it, but none of the sweaters were her style. Since purchasing it I have realized that I am not a sweater knitter, I don't have the dedication. There are some really beautiful sweaters in this book. I have enjoyed dreaming about knitting and wearing them.

To be entered all you need to do is participate in the KAL and enter your name on my last KAL post on June 4th. I'll keep the contest open for one week and choose winners via the random number generator on the 12th. 

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