Saturday, July 26, 2014

Holy Hiatus!

This summer has been all sorts of crazy. For 6 weeks I was visiting family in Idaho and it was crazy and fun. I was totally working on the blessing gown but I had massive troubles with that thing and it ended up being frogged, thank GOD. My brother in law had the blessing gown that had been worn by his older sister who died a few years ago and I was more than happy to give way to sentimentality. Besides, my sis loves cables so I'm going to get on that. She's totally down for me making her some 3-6 month baby items considering everyone got her newborn items. Very sweet, but not enough for-thought for a little one!

I've also decided that in lieu of all the things I listed that just need to be done I need to step back and really think through projects. I know a lot of lovely people and I know a lot of lovely pregnant people but I've realized that if I'm going to get around to making  items to sell and maybe even one for myself, I'm going to have to prioritize. Family comes first. If I have extra time I'll knit up some baby items and put them aside and send them out. So OUT with the old list! We have new things to conquer.

By December:

  1. I have a butt load of slippers to make. I want to make a pair for every one in my immediate family, my nephews and nieces in particular, which is 9 pairs, P'lus 19 other pairs for siblings and their spouses if I have the time. Jeeeeeeez.
  2. Make socks for mom, grammy, MIL, SIL (I've decided that September will be the month of socks and booties, seriously, thats all I'm going to do, pair after pair after pair, it'll be a sockstravaganza!)
  3. I still need to make about 8 each of mitts and hats for my mom.
  4. Something for Matt and Selly
  5. Start the shawl FOR my mom
  6. Actually make something for myself
  7. Make a super cute hat and sweater for TK (soon to be born niece). I chose some patterns from my 60 Quick Baby Knits since I've been DYING to make something from it! Plus I want more knit books and I can't justify it until I've made something from each of the 8 books/mags I already have.

  8. That'll do for now I think. *rev up* Okay just 7 months to get things popped out!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

PAS and Dragon Tales

I'm currently caught up in the tidal wave of PAS or Project Avoidance Syndrome. You know, you are partway through a project, you have great forward motion, you've been working steadily, then suddenly you subconsciously find every reason not to do it. Heck I've even resorted to chores to keep from finishing. I'm thinking its because I've been working so steadily and whenever I sit down I'm knitting that part of my brain who doesn't appreciate all of my work apparently thinks I need a break. LAME! So instead of picking up my current project I decided to do a blog post. At least I'm being useful!


I feel like I came into the knitting arena late in the game. Well, late for half of my nephews and nieces. The 4 that are under 6 won't really notice, but I feel guilty that the 16 and 12 y.o. won't have the baby sets, winter sets, crazy hats, or toys made for them by Aunt Starcie. What makes the situation super ironic is that they live in Alaska and would have gotten the most benefit! I'm working on rectifying that this Christmas. In the mean time, I'll be seeing 4 of the younger ones in a few weeks and I decided that I need to get going for them. Whats the most awesome thing you can do? Matching stuffed animals!

From left to right in order of make, that dark blue fellow at the end totally has back legs now
I loved making the Tarragon Dragon for BB for Easter and I figured I have 4 other little ones who would probably adore a little stuffed thingy. The 3 boys are (respectively) 5,4, and 3 and my niece is 3. I thought it would be cute if all of them had the same stuffed animal. I have a fair bit of sturdy acrylic redheart yarn and a bag of stuffing is shockingly cheap, so hey, win win!

I liked the original but I wanted something a little bit sturdier attachment wise for the appendages and a little more shape so I made a few changes and have more in mind for future dragons. I had a hella hard time with that stupid kitchener stitch, but over the course of multiple faces I've gotten way better. The stitching is neater and tighter due to an adjustment on the needles I used. I'm really happy with them.

I think its fun to do a pattern multiple times, it shows how I'm changing and getting better and how I'm able to think outside the box. I freaking love this!
the newest head, tidier and less bulbous

the original head not so pretty and tidy

the original leg, dangly and cute but I didn't feel secure
with a little short row shaping i'm happier

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Lovin Me Some Lace

A friend of mine is getting her start in the formal gown and lingerie business and she has bestowed upon me the privileged of creating a set or two of gloves and a shrug for an upcoming event in August! It's so exciting and intimidating.

 I don't want to just find someone else's pattern and reproduce it. I'm always worrying that even if they don't say its only for personal and private use that I'll step on toes. If I make my own I don't have to worry! I'm super comfortable with gloves and am confident in my chart reading so I think its time for me to make an effort. Heck, in all honesty you just have to do a swatch and and figure out what lace pattern works for what you do!

Considering the formal aspect I feel that accessories should reflect the design which means I need to start getting myself all sorts of familiarized with new stitches. I know some basics but most of what I know to make involves a set stockinette stitch pattern along with a solid pattern. I love that but when I think formal I think ethereal, dainty and light weight. For this season anyway :P I checked out books at the library and there are stunning stitches but not the ones I'm looking for. So....TO THE INTERWEBS and consequently I found and epic sight. Knitting Fool. I'm totally in love! there are hundreds and hundreds of stitches and charts and swatches. I totally squealed. 

I've found some potential stitches for the gloves (they are going to be for her marine corps ballgown)

Stripes with Twisted Bars

English Lace Mesh

Cardigan Mesh Lace

 I'll admit I have shrugs on the brain after completing the one for my friend. I fell in love with a shawl that used the Lily of the Valley stitch and I'd like to adjust the shrug pattern to use it.

I love lilies of the Valley, 

Friday, May 2, 2014

I'm a delinquent

This vid has nothing to do with knitting, its just awesome!

I haven't been posting as much as I should and  totally apologize! I've been in a bit of a funk. I've been knitting (like crazy actually ) and have finished a bunch of projects or am halfway through others. I'm just sitting down and really going at it before I leave to visit my parents in June. I'll gather up all the goods and take a big old picture of them to post.

In the mean time, anyone who's having trouble right now, chin up, you'll get through it :) Grab your needles and a hank of yarn and find someplace where you can watch people and make something you will be proud of. Grab a few friends, take a good break. You deserve it <3

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I'm currently immersing myself in satisfaction

My previous post, Blanket of Doom, spoke of my utter determination to make a few skeins of Bernat Baby Coordinates into something awesome. Its taken over a year, a ton of annoyance, frogging, and freaking out but lo, it is DONE!

Its pretty and turned out alright. Its def crib length but I'll always think I should have done another swapped pattern repeat so there would be a total of 4 as opposed to 3. I think I'm just a big old symmetry person. I'm considering doing a border and stitching it on because I really really hate picking up stitches and hey, who knows I may prefer to sewing on a border. Or I'll hate it, it really can go both ways!

I also managed to get other stuffs done!

I finished BBs Easter Dragon and it turned out super cute! I'm already thinking of changes to the pattern for future dragons!

And I finished a basic hat for my mom to give to coworkers for Christmas. I didn't care for the yarn, its warp was way off. Its also really wooly so its hard to see the cabling, but I feel better knowing that its not just blah and boring! 

So YAY! Stuff done ^_^

Monday, April 14, 2014

Obsession at least results in beauty!

For the last week and a half I have been totally obsessed with the Layering Shrug. My dearest, most darling friend, Chelle, who has put up with me for about 14 years, heard my call for knitters block. She had a need for something to cover her shoulders and go with her strapless dress for an upcoming wedding. We spent a few days going through options, choosing one, and then the week wait for the gorgeous Bamboo Pop bamboo/cotton blend in cream. I figured I would have 2 weeks to get it done in order to mail it out on time. I sort of had another one of those moments where I didn't realize what I was getting into. Hubris is apparently my sin.

I am definitely learning quite a bit about realistic time management. I did use my wait time appropriately, learning how to do a provisional cast on and buying the needles, practicing the elastic cast off. I was feeling pretty confident. Then in comes the yarn, and out come the circs and promptly the first problem. The instructions did not state that I'd have to use the Magic Loop technique so I hadn't practiced it. This caused multiple froggings, having to recast on etc. It sucked. Even when I did sort out how to do it and how to work, the ladders were so ridiculous that I couldn't conceivably call it acceptable. Darn... I wish I'd taken pictures. Finally I tossed the circs and got out my trusty old DPN's and in quick order turned out the cuff

I've never been so happy for 2 inches in my life
Even though I misread the pattern and omitted the purl rows I was happy enough with it that I continued on! I had to rip back once or twice because I misread the patterns and did that stupid thing where I tell myself, oh its no big deal and I can fix it. I sort of mess up awesomely and have to back track. I did wise up and put in safety lines after having to pull back a little more than I preferred. Things eventually evened out and I worked at a fair clip with no more mistakes.

I am still totally in love with the pattern

I'm fairly certain that if I hadn't had so much issue with the first bit I wouldn't have had to bust butt so much later. I worked on it about 2-3 hours a day the first 4 days. After that I bumped it up to about 5 or more hours. I still took Butter Bean to the library 2 days a week but the days we didn't I was working on it when I wasn't cooking or doing mandatory cleaning etc. All but the necessities were put on the back burner. Little bit didn't seem to mind as that meant she got to sit and watch movies. It definitely wasn't quality time and talk about super parental guilt!

A few pattern repeats short of the second sleeve

I worked and worked and was not disappointed at all by what came of it. I was done with the body before I knew it, I was all "WOOHOO the border will go super quick" of course picking up 300 stitches and an additional 20 rows to do. I stayed up til 2 am, and spent another 5 hours the following morning knitting and knitting and knitting and finally, it was done! I got that thing out 2 days before I expected which meant it would def be in on time.

I was thrilled with how it turned out, it looked beautiful and fit like a glove. The pictures are unblocked and I knew my gf would prefer a little bit more give and it would open up the pattern more. It blocked beautifully but because it was a 50/50 blend the cotton didn't let it have as much give as it could have. I'd consider a different fiber blend or add another pattern repeat across the back for a more relaxed fit.

 I'll post pictures once I get them from her. But yeah, it consumed my every waking moment, exclusively for a week. It was worth it and this is the first clothing item I've made that was what I would consider intricate. It gave me a serious wake up call though on the difficulty level of making things that are a little more involved than a hat. When I decide to go all crazy and try intarsia and fair isle you can bet I'll do it on something small, like a cup cozy 0.o

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Magic my a$$

Right now, I'm sitting here watching My Little Ponies, eating a serving size of pseudo cookie dough I made up and finishing my daily coffee. My day warranted it.The beginning started off with a grumpy kid at story time, so our morning was a total bust. Thank god for nap time, then I can get to work on the shrug my friend needs by the 16th. I have plenty of time!

This whole project has already been an ordeal. I didn't have the 24 inch size 6 circs and I had to go to 3 different places before I finally found them. I had never done a provisional cast on and that took forever. Then I had a ton of problem with my first round, of course that would be because the pattern NEVER SAID IT CALLED FOR THE MAGIC LOOP METHOD! I have never ever used this technique. If I had known I was going to have to do it I would have looked into it while I waited for the yarn to ship.

I've learned something. I hate the magic loop. I hate it so much I have literally thrown things. This is the most impractical method of actually knitting that I have ever experienced all for the sake of not having to switch to straights. It took 3 different explanations/videos before it made sense to me. I tried and failed, frogged, tried again, frogged, decided to start all over (considering I've only done 2 rows tops it shouldn't be a big deal right?), over over over over! I will have 2 big ladders at the beginning and middle because if I pull tight I cant transfer my stitches back onto the needle. If its loose the ladder only gets bigger.

If I could afford it I'd just go buy anther set of needles that are smaller but no, instead I'm gong to have to sit down and do this stupid thing with this stupid method, swearing, ranting, throwing, and being an overall pain in the behind for the next week......

Screw you magic loop