Thursday, May 31, 2012

May in Review

May Finished Objects
Links to Rav project pages
1.) Ribbed Hat
2.) Pookie
3.) Sweater on the Fly
4.) Jellyfish Shawl
5.) Baby Raglan
6.) Baby Hat
7.) Washcloth

7 projects completed. I feel like this month was completely wasted in that I didn't finish anything old.
Everything I made was both cast on and cast off this month. That's kind of disappointing.

My proudest accomplishment this month is my sweater on the fly. I was so disappointed when I put it on and the weight of the sleeves made the neckline gape to monstrous proportions, but then I solved the problem by decreasing 25% of the neck stitches and now it is just a raging success.

I still have 3 projects carrying over from last year: The Hexipuffs (I haven't made a hexipuff in 2 months!), The Ski Sweater (I fixed the sewing machine so I might finish this up soon, if we get another cold patch. Which we won't. But I decided I'm going to give it to myself for xmas haha), and my Calcetines Azules (I should really finish those...) You'll notice this hasn't changed since last month. I really suck at that.

Techniques Learned
1) Multi-colored Granny Squares
2) Tunisian Crochet

Last Month's May Goals:
1) Finish Crochet blanket for realz
2) Sock knit: Love Socks
3) Tok knit: gnome home
4) Pookie- make one or two and tuck away for Christmas
5) No online yarn purchases (Maybe we can keep this one for all year, except birthday, yeah?)
Oh my gosh what a disaster! I suck at this!!

Goals for June:
1) Finish Love Socks- these can be an xmas gift for a secret special someone who likes squishy socks
2) Xmas gift ^^^^ see how I plan on killing two birds with one stone?
3) Tok Knit- I really do want to make a gnome home. And it shouldn't be too labor intensive.
5) No online purchases, even though it is my birthday.

As for my IRL yarn purchases?
I didn't buy a single skein.
Not online, not in real life, not on a train, not on a plane. Not in a box, not with a fox. And you know what? Someone who loves me a whole bunch even swung us by a yarn shop (my FAVORITE one) and asked if I wanted to go take a peek. And I resisted the temptation and didn't run in and charge 30 skeins of cotton onto my credit card like I wanted to.

Tomorrow is FO Friday. I need to get a picture of myself in that sweater, but um... it is SO hot outside. It's 106 degrees right now. And tomorrow is going to be 104. So yeah. Prepare for a not so well-lit picture after all.
Oh and what else is tomorrow?
My little boy's birthday. He's turning two.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Neckline trouble.

Tonight my sweater looks like this:

In the middle of frogging neckline attempt number 1.

See how grumpy my face is?

Turns out I was wrong about the neckline being the correct width.

So I decided to do some math magic to re-evaluate, since I thought I was making a nice boat-neck sweater and it turns out I was wrong. I forgot, see, that in the very beginning I did the back-neck shaping as for a crew neck. Which, since it's been there from the very beginning you would think I'd have noticed before now. Apparently I am blind.

Actually, I think it's the weight of the sleeves that changed everything because the neckline was looking perfect all along. (Curse you, gravity!)

At any rate, it should be done tomorrow.
I'm so excited to have a machine wash/dry sweater! I can't wait to throw it in the wash and have it come out all cuddly soft. ^_^
Then I'll try to get some pictures out in the real light.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A little crazy.

So yesterday I worked on my sweater for a while. I finished the first sleeve, then decided that the two needles holding stitches at the bottom were annoying both when I knitted AND when I tried the thing on. So I worked downwards from the body, adding another half of a chart repeat, and then 15 rows of ribbing to match the sleeve. I worked at it pretty late, and didn't even try it on to see how the length looked. I just stuffed it back in the bag and went to bed.

Sorry. Terrible quality. It's late so the lighting is all yellow/bizarre.
Also, heck yes those are my mario jammies.
Then today?
I didn't want to try it on.
I didn't want to knit the second sleeve.
I didn't want to knit the neckband.
I just didn't like it anymore: it was too chunky, too acrylicy and too ugly.

So I cast on something new instead.

Ahhhh... stripes.

I think, actually what it was that made me start something new was the knowledge that I have so much time on my hands- so little to do- that I was about to knit a cabled sweater without a pattern in 4 days. That's scary. (Also whenever I looked at the sweater I heard the Futurama theme song, which says a lot about what I do while Vyvyan naps.)

At any rate. You can't tell what the new project is in that picture, but it's totally going to be cute. It's a basic little EPS raglan for a friend's baby- due in September. I just cast on a likely number and it looks like it should be a nice size. I'm working on the first sleeve right now. I might add a cute little applique on the front. Maybe a rocket? Or a dinosaur? Or a robot? I don't know yet.

Oh and the yarn is (I'm pretty sure- no ball bands but it feels likely) Wool Ease from the stash. Actually, they're from two entirely different stash houses which made it feel like a happy accident that I found coordinating blues ^_^
(Yes I have multiple "stash houses". And apartments. And condos.)

So anyways tonight after I put the new blue sweater away, I decided to do this blog post and needed some pictures of my progress.
And I tried on my chunky sweater.
And I love it again.
And I like the color.
And I don't think it's ugly.
And it seems like the perfect thing to wear tonight. Which makes me kind of mad because, if I hadn't have cast on that dumb baby sweater, I could be wearing it right now.

P.S. I like the new length a lot. I think it will be a frequently worn item.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sweater on the Fly Update

So yesterday I worked on the new sweater quite a bit, and just about finished the body. I'm really not entirely sure how much yarn I have, but I think it will be enough. I had five full skeins, one partial skein, and then two large knitted items to frog. (The yarn and derelict project were both passed on to me by a deceased knitting relation of a friend.) I did feel kind of bad about frogging what was certainly hours of work, but I had no way to know what it was going to be or how to complete it and I think when I die and leave projects behind I'd rather see the yarn used.
It probably, all said, ended up being about 8 skeins of yarn. Which, since I'm doubling it, is about 800 yards and the yarn requirement chart I have says that for a 30-36" sweater I'll need 600-700 yards. There are the cables to think about, however...
There was this piece and then about half of another identical piece.

I really think (hope) I have enough... Just to be on the safe side, however, I stopped the body charts after 3 repeats and will add the ribbing after the sleeves are done. If I still have plenty of yarn left over by then, I might add another half of a repeat, just for fun.

Oh and I added some waist shaping, just 2 decrease rows, and I regret doing it. Not enough to take it apart, though.

The sleeves are about 35 stitches at the underarm, and I will be tapering them down and ending with 1x1 ribbing. I really hope that I end up with enough yarn to add some length to the body because right now (minus the ribbing, but still) it looks sort of silly.

Today I am hoping I can finish the first sleeve so I can gauge how much yarn is needed. Then I want to do the neckline because the cable twist at the top irritates me every time I try it on and I would have a better idea of how it will look if I could stop focusing on that. I still have one full ball of unused yarn and an indeterminable amount of frogged yarn.

Somehow the sleeves seem like they will take longer than the body. Mostly because I hate magic loop, also because of the weight of the entire sweater dragging along every time I do a round, and finally because the body had a fun and interesting cable and the sleeves are just wretchedly boring stockinette. So that's where I'm at with this. I can't wait to bind off the bottom; the two needles down there holding stitches are driving me nuts. I'm not sure how much I like this top-down knitting style...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Project, No Pattern

It seems I am casting on very much and finishing very little....

Newest project is a chunky sweater: I'm holding together 2 strands of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Prints from stash (I'm pretty sure I have enough...) to make a long sleeve sweater with an open rope cable down the center.

This is my first time knitting a sweater from the top-down. I'm totally guessing on everything- I did mean for the neckline to be that open, though. If I had any foresight at all I might have started the cable at a different point, so that the link up didn't land right on top of my boobs. But hopefully it will look okay when all is said and done.

I love knitting without a pattern because not knowing what is going to happen is so fun!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

WIP Wednesday

My newest work in progress is another venture in crochet. Somehow, I feel like knitting without a pattern takes a lot more math and work than crocheting without one, and like I can just bust out the hook and make whatever I want. Recently I've been wanting to make granny squares!

I have only made a few grannies in my life- just the few I needed for that cowl. But I really wanted to see what they looked like with different colors for each round. I thought some self-patterning yarn would do the trick, and I had some Bernat Mosaic in the stash.

Mosaic on left, Paton's Decor on right
The last time I used Mosaic, I made some slippers for my mom and I just about hated working with it. A few words must be said about this yarn:
1) Texture- My yarn is disgusting. It absolutely feels like jute or straw. The darker bits are rougher than the lighter bits, and are also much thicker. I say "MY" yarn, because at the store, I have felt the Bernat Mosaic and it is much softer. I don't know if this is because I have a darker colorway? (Check the comments in the Mosaic Ravelry page, and there are several people with a dark colorway complaining of texture) Or if it's because I bought this skein in 2010 and they have changed the yarn for the better.
2) Color changes- They are not regular, which is forgivable but still irritating.
3) Breakage- It is weak, and I'm glad I'm doing a border in a different yarn (Paton's Decor) so I don't have to deal with seaming with it.

But the yarn issues aside, it is coming along swimmingly. The plan is something like this:

I already have 7 grannies done, but the awkward color-changes in the yarn meant that I may as well have used solid colored yarn, changed the color every row, had prettier squares, and more ends to weave in.

I hate weaving in ends, though, which is why I'm going to keep crocheting granny squares until the ball is gone, and then pick the 9 best ones. I'll pick a few of the leftover squares to make a cute little wallet to put inside.
I like the grannies because it's been averaging 85 degrees lately, and my house retains heat. A lot of heat. So yes. That's what I'm working on right now.

Check out more at Tamis Amis!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


So remember how during my knitting hiatus I ordered a ton of my photographs in picture format from Walmart?
Excuse how all the pictures are kind of blurry- it's because I was too lazy to take the pates out of the transparent sleeves

I've been scrapbooking. It's actually a lot more fun than I had remembered or expected, and all the little notions available make it even more satisfying. I get most of my little stickers, cut-outs and decals from Big Lots and other discount stores and have saved them up over the last few years. It's so cool to finally be using them!

I've already filled my scrapbook, and can't wait to buy more sheet protectors so I can do some more. My layouts and designs aren't the most creative, but I'm pleased with how it looks and the pictures bring back memories of happy times.

Now I just wish I had a camera! I had a cheap little one from my birthday last year, but it recently suffered a nasty fall. It seems a pity that so many of my pictures are of bad quality- either from the cheap camera or my computer's webcam- especially since so many of them are things that will only happen once: Vyvyan's first steps, first Halloween, and first vacation....

I hope that it is something that Vyvyan appreciates some day. My mom had multiple children and never really documented my childhood; I kind of wish she had. (My baby book, for instance, has my birth date, time, and weight. And then it's blank from there on out.)

I definitely can't wait to take more pictures, plan more layouts, and create some more memories!!

"Business in the front, party in the back"
In memory of Vyvyan's natural mullet, which finally entered upon an eternal Sabbath of rest on February 19, 2012
A very fun past-time, scrap-booking does have a few cons. (Especially for a busy mom)
  1. It takes up a lot of space. While thinking about layouts and trying to get ideas, I find myself spreading everything out around me. Without an adequate table top I have to stack things on top of each other and then lose photos I was thinking of using. (Not forever lost, just lost enough so that by the time I get back to that perfect photo I realize I already put another one in it's place)
  2. All the stickers and decals are irresistible for children, so it isn't an ideal craft until naptime. (p.s: Sharp objects are equally alluring.)
  3. The clean up. 'nuff said.
But the pros are well worth it. Also, sometimes when Vyvyan is throwing a fit, I take out the scrapbook and show him pictures of him and his daddy or him and his cousin playing and it reminds him of fun things and we start reminiscing. ("Train.... with dada!!") Stopping my kid from crying makes it doubly worth it. No, triply. (He is one loud kid.)

So now I'm sending in for even more pictures soon- they're only 9 cents a print and I love being able to have them in my hands. My brother just came in my room right now to tell me that his computer is dead- it no longer boots up at all: This is exactly why I need to get all my digital pictures into prints so I never have to think about all the pictures I lost!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A simple hat.

I made a hat, and I it was a dreadful experience in which I re-learned why I hate pom poms.

  1. Pom-Pom making -even with a pom pom maker- is tedious business (I have this kind, and after looking into it, I think I might get one of these.)
  2. I never know when to stop winding: my pom poms are always either much too stiff or much too floppy. (In this particular case it was too stiff on one side and too floppy on the other, which is not a good compromise. At all.)
  3. I apparently also misjudge whether I should make a big pom pom or a small pom pom and end up wanting to make both so I can try it either way, which leads to my last and most important reason:
  4. Pom poms waste yarn. You can never un-do a pom pom. Once that single ply hand dyed merino is gone, it's gone. It's cut into teeny tiny useless bits.
So let me just re-iterate for myself one more time: I HATE POM POMS!!! I think, actually, the deepest and richest irony is how much I love pom poms. I think they are so darn cute, and wish desperately that there was a perfect pom-pom making service in my town. Le Sigh...

The hat was just a whim of a thing, where I didn't have any good easy knitting to work on. You know, except the garter stitch scarf, the garter stitch washcloth, the simple cotton socks, or the hexipuffs.... OK OK I was desperate to start something new! At least it was something small...
I used size 7's, cast on 84 and worked for about 11" in k2,p2 ribbing (talk about simple), then I did the decreases as written in Hot Head because I was too lazy to do any thinking for myself. The yarn is really all that's worth talking about: Punta's Merisoft Hand-painted Aran. It was so delightful and squishy and wonderfully wooly. I got it when one of the yarn shops in Sacramento closed down, for half-off. I actually wish I'd bought more of it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dinosaur Pouch!!!

I admit it: while I was doing the surface crochet I was singing the theme song to Dinosaur Train the entire time. ^_^
I am really happy with the results here, especially since it's the first time I've done any crochet without a pattern! And maybe it wasn't instant gratification, but it was done in one day!
I did a little eyelet detail by skipping stitches and doing double crochets, and made a drawstring out of 112 chains. I was kind of nervous about that because I knew I was going to do one row on those 112 stitches and I usually hate the first row of sc, but this time I worked through the "butt" or bottom loop instead of through the "v" on top, and it was way way easier. I think I'll do all my first rows that way from now on.

I added a little button for the eye, but for all I tried I couldn't find a way to embroider a mouth that looked good. So, mouth-less he shall remain. But Vyvyan likes it, and we put all his dinos in. The best part is?
There's room for more.

Friday, May 18, 2012

FO Friday

Two projects to share with you guys today!
First up is a Pookie!

Isn't it super super cute! *faints a little*
I seriously love him so much I don't want to give him away. I showed him to my older brother and HE didn't want to give it back to me! My sister, too, is under the pookie's magic spell.
The pattern was very easy, and I love that just by changing the ears you can get a different animal. The hood was charming to knit, and added the perfect touch. I used scrap yarn, mostly Cascade 220, to create this little guy. I love love love love love this pookie! He should have some more friends soon. I also really love that Barbara Prime, the designer, has such a generous policy regarding sharing and selling the toys/patterns.

OK project number 2.

I had it in my mind to make a striped shawl, and I was thinking about all the extra kidsilk in my stash and how I'd love to use some of it up. I decided to do a kidsilk ruffle (I didn't have enough to make a whole shawl, even with stripes) and had this great idea in my head.
Then, after knitting happily for a few days, I saw an advertisement banner on ravelry for a shawl exactly like I was making! So, I call this shawl the Agave Nectar shawl, because it is a sort of healthy imitation of Honey's Ruffles. I think I must have seen the advertisement before and the idea slipped into my subconscious. At any rate I have a new shawl!

Stripes are Queensland Collection Bamboo Cotton I used about 1.4 skeins of each color.  This yarn was very drapey and has a nice feel- it's sort of silky and smooth- but since it's so slippery the ends I weaved in keep threatening to peek through on the right side.
The ruffle is Rowan Kidsilk Haze in light pink held together with Lana Gatto Silk Mohair in light blue. Since I was using leftovers of the kidsilk haze, I ran out of the pink at the end of the second to last row and used just blue doubled from there out. You can tell if you look closely:
Holding the yarn together made the ruffle kind of stiffer than I'd like, but I tried with one strand first and it just didn't look right. I think I should have gone up a needle size, and that would have given it some nice drape. I realized this after a few rows, but I didn't really feel like frogging mohair...

Size US 6 (4mm)

I think at the end, after doubling the stitch count to make the ruffle, I had about 516 stitches. I bound off using the decrease bind off. I did the purl version, on the knit side. I did about 4 rows of garter stitch before I bound off but I wish I had done fewer.

I'm not sure where exactly I will ever wear this shawl, or if the color looks good on me or anything. I think this is going to be gifted...But I'm not sure who else in my family would wear a shawl like this either...
Or maybe I'll just keep it. So I can get high on Kidsilk Haze fumes.

Check out more FO's with Tamis Amis ^_^

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dinosaur Bag

You know those little tubes that are filled with tiny plastic toy animals? My son has one filled with dinosaurs, but it's kind of hard to get the little guys in and out of the tube. Hence, my newest project: a drawstring bag to contain all his little toys.
I'm using Paton's Grace, which is quite shiny and is very nice to work with.

I'm crocheting this little bag (using a size 00 crochet hook), partly to give my wrist a break from knitting but mostly because I think single crochet makes a nice and sturdy bag. Also, a part of me may feel that crochet is more manly than knitting which doesn't actually make sense nor does it matter since the person I am making it for is 2 and doesn't care about masculinity.
I crocheted a little circle and stopped increasing when it got big enough to fit most of the dinos. Now it's just crocheting around and around forever, I guess, which got boring pretty fast. I added purple so that at least the stripes would spice it up a little bit.

Every time I decide to crochet something instead of knit it, I get all offended that it's not done in like a half an hour. I swear, once I read that crochet is faster I just expect instant gratification. Even if I'm using a tiny hook, or I'm making something big!

So that's what I'm working on at the moment...the pookie is done, but I'll share that tomorrow ^_^
For now Vyvyan's dinosaurs are waiting in their plastic prison for their new fancy crocheted home...

(that one's a dilophosaurus)
Ok wow. It's telling me that dilophosaurus is spelled wrong, but when I click on it to correct the spelling, it's only suggestion is "brontosaurus" which is NOT EVEN A REAL DINOSAUR!!
Since I'm already off on the dinosaur tangent, what's your favorite dinosaur? Mine is the Dimetrodon, even though I guess he's technically more a lizard than dinosaur. ^_^

Monday, May 14, 2012


I'm knitting a Pookie today. They are small and cute, and I'm hoping to get a head start on some Christmas presents for the many (many) children in my family. This pattern is great because, even though it is very simple, I get to choose from 4 different animals. Once I add in the many color choices (and I'm using scraps), it becomes obvious that I can easily make a personalized one for each of the kids in my family. (I just counted, and I think there are 14 kids under 10... and I feel like I left someone out.)

In other news, my Knit Picks catalog came in the mail and my baby's taking a nap. So I'm planing out allllll the things I want to knit. You know, with all that time I have. Also planing out ALLL the yarn I want to buy. You know, with all that money I have.

Hope you're having a pretty good day, too ^_^

Friday, May 11, 2012

FO Friday

Ok this isn't really a finished object Friday post because technically I finished this object in the second to last week of April. But my phone is doomed and now my camera is as well (I dropped it right on its head) so I'm just going to have to accept that these terrible webcam pics are as good as it's going to get, since the shawl is being gifted in like 2 days.

So yeah, my FO is a shawl.
It's the Mara shawl, the behemoth garter stitch undertaking that threatened to rob me of my sanity since June 2011.
Gee, I wonder why that took so long.

At the end there were more than 750 stitches to bind off.

Being 50% mohair 50% wool it will be quite useless in the California climate for um... just about ever, actually.
It wraps around and ties at the back to meet my mom's busy hands-on lifestyle.

Regarding the wrist "injury"? It seems to be doing better and I have tentatively started a shawl. (If by tentatively you mean cast on and worked more than halfway through in one day....oops)

Check out more FO's with Tami's Amis.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Well, true to my word (if I hadn't written it in the blog I never would have done it, I swear) I set myself up this morning to make some Cranberry Shortbread Bars. It seemed like a very simple recipe at first glance, and I had all the ingredients already minus the unsalted butter and cranberries. A quick walk to the store solved that.

So um. Yeah, I baked.
Then I took this lousy picture as proof.
I baked cranberry shortbread bars, which is a thing that I have eaten before and I loved them so much I ate a billion of them. So I deliberately picked something that I knew I would want to eat. Then I pre-heated the oven, made the sauce and started the crust. Meanwhile, the oven beeped and I started to panic and rush things. The butter was still really cold so I microwaved it and accidentally melted it all. Then I freaked out a bit, wondering if that would ruin the whole thing (I hate when I ruin food. It's terrible, and it's usually a mess.) and then I realized that not one single measuring cup in my house has the number engraved on it so I was judging by eye and the only one I was really sure about was the one cup one. Then I "crumbled" the stuff on top, which wasn't actually as crumbly as I probably wanted it to be and the reason was probably the melted butter. Then I popped it in the oven and waited, while remembering that my stupid oven mitts have a hole in them so that the pan can burn directly through to the sensitive flesh in between the thumb and forefinger and that I probably should knit some new ones. Wait, damn. Um. Sew some new ones?

Then I surveyed the counter, and saw that all I had succeeded in doing was making a big mess that I didn't want to clean up, and licking a huge spoon covered in way more butter than is healthy. Also, now I know just how much butter is IN all those delicious baked goods and I quite rather wish I'd kept that fact a secret from myself.

At any rate, the raw ingredients are now a food.
A food that doesn't look like a food.
Oh, and I added powdered sugar on top because I thought it looked like mountains and mountains need snow. Also because powdered sugar is delicious.
The mess is cleaned up, and I sent the majority of the bars to my sister's house where there are plenty of tiny mouths to gobble it up. I put my piece in the fridge, because I want to eat it cold. And...
Next time I bake something, it won't be something sweet. I realized that the reason I don't bake sweet things often is because I don't really like sweet things.

I'm not entirely sure if I enjoyed baking or not. I did like when Vyvyan woke up and came into the kitchen and said "mama, baking." That was cute. Also, he really liked eating them. But I really didn't like cleaning up (again with the no dishwasher thing) and I don't like that the food I made was basically butter and flour and not healthy at all unless you count the frozen cranberries which were also bathed in sugar.

But I guess on the whole it was a positive experience because I already decided what I'm going to try next! Sweet Potato Rolls. Yum!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"ABC's of me"

I'm not sure where this little meme originally came from, but I found it on The Humble Carnival and since I have no knitting news to share, I thought I'd share a little bit about myself. So here are the ABC's of Cecilia!

Age:  23- my birthday is about a month away 
Bed size:  Double, which is too small :(
Chores that you hate:  Dishes! We have to do them all by hand.
Dogs:  are really awesome.
Essential start to your day:  Caffeine.
Favorite color:  I like all colors but let's say turquoise.
Gold or Silver:  Silver.
Height: 5'4”
Instruments you play:  Guitar. I can also play clarinet, sorta, and a few little ditties on piano.
Job title:  Stay-at-home mom: I should be making BANK for the s*** I do but instead I make zilch.
Kids:  Uno, and his name is Vyvyan. He turns 2 on June 1st.
Live:  in California.
Mother’s Name:  Emily
Nicknames:  Ceci, pronounced “see-see.” I stopped introducing myself as Ceci because I got sick of people hearing “Stacy."
Overnight hospital stays:  Only when I had the kid. I think I was there for 2 nights because he was born at 1 a.m.
Pet peeves:   When people misspell things. Or transpose similar words like their, there, and they're.
Quote from a movie or TV show:  “Is that the kind of man I am now? Am I rude? Rude and not ginger?”
Right or Lefty:  Right.
Siblings:  2, both older.
Time you wake up:  I wake up late compared to the rest of my family. Me and my son get up at 8:30.
Underwear:  are really great things to have.
Vegetable you hate: : Cauliflower. What is the point of cauliflower when we already have broccoli?
What makes you run late: The little person who throws a fit when I suggest it's time to put on shoes.
X-Rays You’ve Had:   Um. I don't really keep track of this, but I've broken a few bones and those probably all required X-rays and I remember having one when I was pregnant so let's say 5?
Yummy food you make:  Best chicken pot pies! My secret is to watch Sweeney Todd while I roll the dough ^_^ (Singing is required.)
Zoo Animal:  I love the tortoises at my local zoo.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Still searching...

I tried to convince myself that Tunisian crochet was my new hobby of choice. I told myself "it's not technically knitting and it's not technically crochet!!" and I said "after I do a nice little square I can learn to cross stitch on the fabric and that's not cheating at all."
Then I tried to prove my point by showing the Tunisian crochet hook to my SIL, a muggle. Her response? "Ceci, that's knitting AND crochet."


On the brighter side, I have uploaded 172 pictures of my happy little family to be printed up into real life physical photographs. The cost was about $25 and the packet is due to arrive at my doorstep in around 5 days. I can't wait ^_^

As for my wrist, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that it feels a lot better. That's actually the bad news too, because the only reason it should feel better is because I haven't been knitting.

Oh! And thank you to Michelle from CollegeKnitting for the baking suggestion. I have always envied bloggers (and people in general) with kitchen skills. I want to try this earl grey chocolate cake or maybe this zebra bunt cake some time soon, but all of my previous baking escapades have ended pretty badly! I also don't think we have a cute pan like that. Maybe some cranberry shortbread bars instead. YUM! Please keep the suggestions coming, readers!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Not Knitting...

Today marks the 4th day of not knitting.
I find myself desperately searching for something to replace it with.
I bought 2 yards of fabric, then remembered that I have no time to plan, mark or cut the fabric. Not to mention the fact that I don't know how to use a sewing machine. Also, I am always afraid to "waste" fabric.

Then I bought a few little scrapbooking accessories and was really psyched about continuing the scrapbook I started a few weeks after my son was born. Then I realized that all my pictures are on the computer or on Facebook and that sorting through them was a job for someone with extreme patience and a ton of time. I put a bunch of them in a folder on my desktop to send to CVS and then went to the website and found that they "recommend uploading only 40 at a time." That combined with the knowledge that the 150 I put in the folder were nowhere near "all" of the photos I wanted, and that all of these prints will cost money just turned me off to the whole idea.

So then I thought about things "like" knitting. Things related to knitting. I already decided crochet is out because my right hand has been hurting as well and I don't want to exacerbate it, but there are other things I could do. Hand sewing? Embroidery? Tatting? Friendship bracelets? Hemp jewelry? Beading?

So I found an old piece of knitting I worked up years ago. I had just bound off for my son's baby blanket but the episode of Doctor Who wasn't over yet and my hands didn't want to stop. I had just cast on a few stitches and knitted a square, which I folded over and sewed up as a sort of purse. I found it yesterday and decided if I can't knit I can at least sew in a zipper, lining, and embellish it.
The two stripes are me practicing duplicate stitch: the first stripe ran right to left, the second left to right. (I'm better at right to left)
Then I made the very first lazy daisy I have ever made. I realize it is quite imperfect, but it took me more than 6 tries to get it this pretty!! Embroidery is hard!
I practiced chain stitch for the stem, which I think is a very fun little stitch! It took me a few tries to get the hang of it but I'm glad I didn't give up.
Then the leaf was done with satin stitch: I definitely need more practice with that one! And then I outlined the leaf with backstitch.
The lining is a pretty little fabric I bought from JoAnn ages ago. I don't know why I bought it; I know I don't sew.
I sewed it by hand so the stitches are horribly uneven. And on one side the fabric was sewn much closer to the edge, so it sits inside kind of wonky. Also I left some thread hanging out on one side.
Oh and also?
I didn't finish sewing in the zipper.
Basically sewing is my enemy and I poked my thumb so many times I cursed in front of my 2 year old and bled all over my bedsheets and decided to put the whole thing aside. I told myself "This way when I want to knit tomorrow I can work on it again," But you know what?
It's not knitting. At all.
The embroidery bit was OK because at least it's yarn, and the darning needle can't make you bleed, but yeah. Basically sewing is still my enemy... I wish it weren't so. I would love to have a fall-back hobby, just to switch off so I don't get carpal tunnel or something, but sewing by hand definitely isn't it!
Jewelry is out, because I don't want to have beads around my small child. Also, I know from experience that I am not a creative beader. Also I have no beads.
It occurred to me, as I wandered around the kitchen looking for something to eat even though I wasn't hungry because normally at this time I would be knitting, that I am a one-trick pony. And that's all there is to it.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

From the beginning...

I have some things before me that have been in my possession for some time.
A book: Stitch 'n Bitch The Knitter's Handbook
Knitting needles: Blue, aluminum straights, size US 8.
A swatch: Varying from 45-52 stitches across, knit in Christmas-colored kitchen cotton in plain garter stitch. It is riddled with holes, split stitches, accidental decreases, decreases, and dropped stitches. It has not been bound off, but simply taken off the needles.

These things, with the exception of the needles which were my grandmother's, are not very old. They simply date to the beginning of my knitting career. This is the first piece of knitting my human hands created, the book that made the stitches possible, and the needles I used to create them.

This odd-shaped piece of fabric (I know now that the undulations on the right side were caused by my treating the first stitch as two stitches.) sat in a place of glory for weeks. The second I finished it- obviously neglecting the notion of "binding off"- I took four thumbtacks and pinned the whole thing to the wall right above my headboard. I was so proud of this piece of work!
And the second this was done, I went straight on ahead to my first "real" project: a ribbed hat. I never practiced the purl stitch on a swatch: I just cast on for Hot Head and told myself to figure it out when I got there. And what's great is, I did.
I made the hat, sewed it together miserably and wore it proudly to school every day for a week.

Seriously. But this was years ago, and I was a beginner, and I can look at these samples of truly atrocious knitting and appreciate how far I have come. And I can appreciate how deluded I was, to have worn the items in public. You should have seen my first sweater! Truly a disgusting specimen, I am quite glad it was cut to shreds by firemen. (Long story I promise I will one day divulge.)
So, back to today.
You can see in the first picture that my copy of Stitch n' Bitch is literally falling apart,
and that if I don't bind the swatch off soon, this memory will soon be a pile of twisted yarn.

The needles though, the needles that I learned on are doing fine. I don't knit with straights very often, so they sit safely in a vase where I admire them sometimes and think about my grandmother, and wonder what she ever knit and if her first piece of knitting looked as bad as mine did.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Today, a memory.

When I was in high school there was a boy who sat at my lunch table and his name was Tyler. He wasn't incredibly handsome, and he wasn't extravagant or loud or incredibly self-confident, and he kept his hair in his face and his face in his lap. I can still see him- mousy brown hair, lips like the guy from aerosmith, and a rubics cube in his hands. He was a real whiz on that thing...

Anyways, I mention Tyler because I found something yesterday in an old box in a stuffy closet that made me think of him. The sight of the thing brought back memories- it took a long time before I even remembered his name, although I could see his face with clarity. I thought I had lost this item a long time ago, but there it was. Real and tangible evidence that Tyler existed, proof that he was more than just a memory: a ski style hat, with ear-flaps and pom-poms.

Front view
In 2003, or maybe 2004, definitely no later than 2006, there was a sort-of fad at my high school and Tyler started it. In fact, he started it and, indeed, enabled its continuation. Yes, for the price of $20 you could join the cool crowd. How, you ask? Buy a hat that Tyler made.

Back view
Tyler was a crocheter. He took hat orders from just about everyone in Freshman year- plenty of Sophomores, too. Give Tyler a color scheme and twenty bucks, and in a few days you had a brand spankin' new ski hat made with Red Heart held double. Of course, aside from Tyler, I was probably the only one in school who knew it was Red Heart held double.

(Batman approves)
I had already learned to knit by this time- I certainly wasn't about to start selling my items, but I felt a certain affinity with Tyler and appreciated his craft. So - after balking at the price and talking him down a bit- I, too, purchased a souvenir hand-crafted hat. He asked what colors I wanted, and I told him to pick whatever he felt like. When he handed me the hat a few days later he told me he picked the color scheme to go with my personality- "crazy."

I was a weird kid in high school, I must admit. I was actually home-schooled for all but the first half of Freshman and the last half of Senior year- by choice. I was full of hate for authority, I made very few friends, and kept even fewer. I probably hated just about everyone at that school. I told myself it was because they were racist, but really I was the racist one. I hated "white people." I try not to hate so much any more, but yesterday when I saw the hat that Tyler made it brought me back to a different time, and to a different me.

Do you want to know how much I paid for that hat? I refused to pay full price, on principle. I told him I knew how much yarn costs and I knew hats weren't that much work. I acted all high and mighty and said I wouldn't pay the same price as everyone else. And so, I paid him nineteen dollars and ninety-nine cents. One penny: I was that stubborn.

Yep. It's a funny old thing, this hat. This memory. This life.
I am proud of his handiwork. Now that I know how to crochet I look at his color change rows and nod in satisfaction. His pom-poms aren't perfect- they desire some trimming- and there are some ends improperly weaved in, but I have to wonder...
Does Tyler still crochet?
Is he on Ravelry?
Can he still solve a Rubics cube in 40 seconds?