Thursday, December 27, 2012

Reviewing my year

At the end of the year I do my very best to review my New Year's resolutions before I make new ones. So, here goes:
1. Exercise 3-4 times a week to lose weight (Angel is going on a diet and going for more walks.)
This was a success. Angel is at her goal weight and although I have only dropped about 10 lbs, I have gone down four pant sizes. I toned a lot and I can jog a 15 min mile.

2. Trim down the clutter in my house by selling or donating a big bunch of it.
I gave away tons (literally tons with a fridge, freezer, oven, 2 fish tanks and a dishwasher) of items to freecycle and goodwill but I have miles to go.  This will be a continuing process into the New Year.  I think we are going to assign a room a month to de-clutter. Hubby hates this idea but after moving his parents and mine, we have realized we have got to pare down.

3. Knit down my stash without buying a crap ton more. 
This one is open for interpretation.  I knit up 10,363 yards and I purchased  3,371 yards. Sounds great till you realize this is a "Katie" story.  Between swaps, gifts and yarn that I won, my new yarn total is 7,864 yards. Before you say swaps shouldn't count, I should confess that I swapped new yarn that I won or was gifted this year for other yarn so it still counts.  Plus none of that counts the fiber I have purchased.  I think I broke about even.  I did knit up lots of old yarn though so I will still count it as a win.

I think I am planning to keep these resolutions for the next year.  It took longer then a year to gain and it will take longer then a year to slim down.  Hugs to all and happy New Year!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Superfluous Knitted Parade

So my unexcused absence is just that.  I have not blogged for 6 months. I should go to blogger boot camp. Mea culpa.

Now, lets talk about what I have been knitting while gone from here.

This is the Ruched Yoke Tee by AnneLena Mattison out of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece
I am going to knit this one again.  It is FAB.

This is Kiki Mariko by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne out of scrap yarn, mostly Lambs Pride.
I plan to make another one of these too.

TPHPE by Heather Zoppetti won me first place in the fair

Henry here was made from the  Wasabi the Gregarious Pug pattern by Rebecca Danger

I made pairs of SOCKS

Dragonfly Socks by Jocelyn Sertich in Yarn vs Zombies Damsel only took me a month to knit.
2012-09-20_14-18-50_871 2012-08-05_19-10-14_344
These 2 pairs of socks were made up in my head. The yarn is local from both. Top is Beyond Basic Knits and the bottom (Hubby socks on my feet) is from Solitude Wool.

Bugs is learning how to knit.

I will write more later about what's been going on. I think I am going to make Sunday my blog day.  We will see how that works out.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

And Breathe

This month has been like going into labor. There are moments of calm followed by painful progress that leads to a permanent change to life as you know it.  The only problem with this analogy is that you KNOW when you are done with child birth and every time I think I am at the end of this craziness, one more thing happens.

At the beginning of the month of madness, I was expecting to go through some big changes at work, lose a hubby to a crazy class/ work schedule and have my mother move 120 miles further away from us. All this has now happened plus
  • We received Mom's stove, dishwasher and fridge that were all newer then ours which required finding homes for our old machines and install the new ones. Dishwasher still isn't quite right.
  • The guy who was mowing our lawn and my mother's one acre lot quit and Bear had to take over mowing both.
  • Bear took a renewed interest in the fire hall and has been volunteering at least one night a week
  • I got a kidney infection and was laid up for almost a week.
  • There has not been one week where I have workout all three times.
  • Two friends have gotten the news that they have cancer.
There has been ups and downs but all and all I am glad to see the end of it. Knock on Wood.

Oh, when you have a Kidney infection and really good pain meds, there is little else you can do besides watching Firefly and knit on socks.



I think after this month, I deserve a pretty top and another pair of Monkeys.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Right now my life is full of monkeys.
These are my Monkey Socks, pattern by Cookie A.  I frogged them out on May first (it was just a bit of ribbing anyway) to knit them for the Stockinette Zombies Two Balls KAL.  I was knitting on them at Bugs' spring concert (which means all the kindergarteners in the school to stand up on stage and sing.) I thought I kinda liked these socks and then the magic moment happened.  The kids on stage were singing "I'm a Believer" and they started doing the Jerk dance moves (which with 5 year olds go much faster.)   I realized as I was laughing at the kids that I had the pattern memorized. WOO HOO!!

Boo has a collection of monkeys and this last week he named them all.
Going clockwise and starting at the top they are: George the Big Monkey, George the Monkey Two Tags, George the Monkey No Tags (because hand knits don't have tags) and George the Monkey One Tag.

George the Monkey No Tags was made by SecretlyAMermaid but she never made a project page.

Then he named his Zombie the Podcaster that I knit him (which was previously deemed too scary to be his friend.)

This is George the Zombie No Tags.

Pretty methodical for a 3 year old.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Knitting Tip of the Day

I cast on two new projects this week.  One project is Monkey (socks) by Cookie A.  They will be pink and I am super excited but I don't have a photo to share yet. This is mostly because I have been obsessed with starting my second project.


Adriatic Cardigan By Amy Christoffers  is such a cool pattern and I just recently got enough Cotton Fleece in Prosperous Plum.  I hauled the magazine to bed with me Saturday night, read it all the way through and cast on.  I could not get past line 11 of the chart without messing up some how.   I ripped back and went to bed.  This morning I knit and ripped out lines 11-15 twice, the second time after sticking a crap ton of stitch markers in to help keep my place. The lace just wasn't looking like the photos. I went to spend lunch and did a bit of birthday outlet shopping with my mom. While out, I decided I should go to Ravelry to see who else knit this and if they had any problems.

Since I linked it above you may have already spotted the problem.  I didn't look for the Errata.  I should have been working off this chart.  So, your check list before you start a knitting project,  swatch, careful not to twist when joining in the round AND always check for errata before casting on.

P.S. My swatch for this project is a sleeve.  Since this pattern is knit sideways and starts with one cuff, I just figured I could swatch and if I get it right, keep on knitting sweater.  I would never recommend someone else do this because cotton shrinks and I never wash my pseudo swatch.  I am living on the edge.

P.P.S. I will be at Maryland Sheep and Wool on Saturday.  Stop me and say hi if you spot me.  I may be buying some fiber.  I will go into my spinning in another post.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hello MO FO

If you have been reading my blog for the past six months, you will note that I didn't show any  pairs of finished socks photos.  This is because since the Friday before Rhinebeck (October 14, 2011) I have had the same sock yarn on the needles.  Well, I am here to say that those sock are my new FOs.

Doing decreases today at the National Zoo (with my Jessa Lu bag)

Left spins clockwise and Right spins counter clockwise

So comfortable I almost don't want to give them away

I will be giving my Mom her new socks after I soak and block them. I think I am going to make myself some Monkey Socks next.

So I now have everything knit up from last MDSW.  Yea me! Now I just have to knit 1,000 yards of lace before September 29, 2012.  Do you think I should knit a Top or a lace shawl? I am taking suggestions.

Megan, from Stockinette Zombies, mentioned this idea of knitting up everything you buy at one fiber festival before the same festival the next year. She thought it was a thing that lots of people do.  I haven't heard of anyone else doing this but me.  In fact, I thought I made it up as a way to keep me from overspending last year.It worked well and I will be doing it from now on. I recommend that everyone think about trying it sometime. It really makes you think before you buy AND it challenges you to knit it up.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day Zero

Today is day zero of the mad month.  It was a normal Sunday so I cannot call the beginning of the crazy time till tomorrow.  So, today was pretty normal.  I didn't go out of my way to do extra cleaning as I feel like today I need to conserve my energy.  I did dishes and laundry but there are more of each waiting for me.   I actually spun on my friend's wheel and I am going to attempt to ply tomorrow. Then I am going to make myself a hat and since it is undyed wool, I am thinking I may dye it beofe knitting it up. We will see, I may just knit it up plain.

I have got a lot of sock knitting done since my last post.
This was about 3 inches of a cuff on April 19th.

Most of the cuff was done here this morning. Side note: on the right is my 6 year old son, Bugs, replacing batteries in his toy.  He had my 3 year old son, Boo, handing him batteries, screwdriver and the cover like Bugs was a field doctor and Boo was the nurse.  In my head played, Suicide is Painless until my kids started singing Bob the Builder. Sigh, kids these days have no culture. Giggle.

Back to the sock, this is the last photo for the night:
Hard to see here but I have turned the heel and actually as I am typing, I only have one more decrease round until I am done with the gusset.  I am excited that I should actually go to Maryland Sheep and Wool with all the yarn knit up that I purchased last year. (Well, I will have leftovers but I am not counting them.) Yea me!!

P.S. Apple Blossom is coming up again in Winchester, VA. Please, don't forget the post I wrote last year about Cole Brother's Circus.  Wild animals should not be tormented for our enjoyment. Please, find a way to show your family and friends that the circus is best when there are only humans and possibly domesticated (well treated) animals.  For example, Big Apple Circus or Cirque Du Soleil.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hurry up to make it easy

I am on a organizing spree of my house.  I have decluttered and organized the kids room, cleaned things that were not yet dirty, refilled soap dispensers that were half full, pulled out the crock pot and I have done more laundry then usual so I am actually ahead of my normal schedule.  Why?

I am planning to have a single parent week this next week and a crazy month this next month.  Bear is taking a volunteer fire fighter class 2 evenings a week plus two weekends in the next 6 weeks. This on top of his 48 hour schedule and one night a week mixed martial arts class.  So, I will be missing my knitting group and my nice evenings with a hubby who cooks and helps put the kids to bed.  TO add more stress, Hubby and I are both changing job descriptions, his has a raise involved (woo hoo) but both will be a big work change in the middle of crazy month. Good thing Maryland Sheep and Wool is coming up cause he will owe me a nice day off.

Speaking of all things fiber and knitting, I have an FO:


It is Hitchhiker by Martine Behm but I had to be smarter then the designer.  So I slipped the first stitch of every row. This made the shawl a cresent shape which while pretty is not something I will do again.  Next time I see a pattern I like that has over 5,000 people who have knit it, I will follow the design.

I will say this pattern is great for handspun yarn.  I had no idea what I started with and this is how much I had left over.


Like 4 inches, I think.  Isn't that amazing?  I think it is.

So, my goals for the next week:
  1. Stay sane: if the kids eat PB&J or hot dogs more then once this next week, the world will not end.
  2. Workout more: my birthday is coming up and I am almost down another dress size.  Birthday money will mean new clothes and I want them to be the smaller size.
  3. Knit lots on my second Down the Rabbit Hole socks: my goal is/was to knit up everything I got from MDSW before I go to a new MDSW and this sock yarn is the last of it.
Edit to add: I forgot to mention my supportive, helpful, always there when I am in a pinch mother is moving two hours south for the next year and my trusty brother the babysitter is helping her get organized, packed and such so her house can get on the market in two weeks.  They are my normal safety net.  Sigh.

Edit to add 2: I forgot about the soccer practice, soccer game and school zoo trip I offered to chaperone before I knew it would be during this mad week (Bugs and Boo are both going with me but it will be for Bugs' kindergarten class.)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hi Ho!

I am so sorry that I have ignored this blog for three weeks.  Everyone got sick and then the pretty weather came and I just wanted to be out in it.  I have nothing finished but I do finally have a HO*

Down the Rabbit Hole Yes, I am in my grinch pjs. They are cozy.

36" out of 60" done on my Stash Down Blanket

18 points on my Mermaid Hitchhiker I have to get knitting fast on this since I only have 8 days to finish it if I want it to count towards the SSK KAL. I may learn how to knit on the stationary bike.

Speaking of workouts, I can fit in my skinny clothes!! This is the size I was 10 years ago! I am still working out 3 days a week and hope to continue my weight loss.  I can do a mile in 15.23 minutes on the treadmill and 2 miles in 20 minutes on the elliptical.  Best part is that I look forward to my workouts. I am so excited about how good I feel.

*(Half-finished object normally when you have to make two of something the first one finished is a HO. See Stockinette Zombies for more details. They are awesome. )

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sick Day

I was sick yesterday and woke up today with more of the same.  I called in to my boss and as I got the boys ready for school, mentally started planning the day.  I would take a long bubble bath, finish a book, knit while watching Downton Abbey, write a witty blog post and eat any junk food that made me feel better.  Well, I drove the kids to school, came back and laid down on the couch with a book.  Two pages in, I fell asleep and woke up 8 hours later. Damn.

I just have time for a quick blog post before I have to pick the boys up.

On the Needles:
I have some socks on the needles for my mom. I have FINALLY turned the heel for the first one.  I cast on the socks during my Rhinebeck trip (which is like late October).  The socks are to blame however because they were fighting me.  My mother chose Whirlpool Socks. They were a pain to knit and I frogged them. Then I started Stuccato Socks but the yarn complained that it didn't look right in that pattern.  Down the Rabbit Hole has been perfect. I like to knit it, the yarn is happy with it. Plus it looks similar to the first pattern that my mother will likely not care.

I am designing some socks for my kids. Colorwork always looks so lumpy till you block it.

Speaking of colorwork, my stash dash rug is coming along nicely.  I have knit up almost 900 yards so far and I am only 1/3 of the way there.

Finished Objects:
Zombie the Podcaster
Chubby Chirp
Leaflett Cardigan

Something else to report is that I have lost 7 lbs and have had to put away all my "fat" clothes.  You know those clothes that are one size up from your normal size that you wear when your regular jeans are too tight. I was wearing those clothes all the time but not anymore.  I am hoping to get back into my "skinny" jeans this summer.  I hope everyone else is having a healthy day and I hope I can get out and enjoy this weather soon.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wait! Wait! I can explain!

So, I got some more yarn and a project bag in the mail this week:


Considering I just blogged about some replacement yarn last time, ya'll are thinking I went over the edge. Well, Nuh Uh!

This is my Rock Creek Woodland yarn in the Cable-icous Sock Yarn (BFL and Nylon) base. It is a very special commission yarn that I pre-ordered in October.  I had to have it because RC's Twisterino is not withstanding Bear's rough feet and steel toe shoes very well but he NEEDED camouflage socks.

Then in January, RC had an update and the Sparkly Sock Yarn was so cute. I called fellow knitters to share in the cuteness of the yarn and my Mom decided that I had to have it. She contacted Rock Creek and behind my back she sent in the payment for both yarns and shipping. Because they were shipping together Sparkly had to wait for Woodland to finish dying. (There is a long story about why Woodland took five months to ship but lets just call it quality craftsmanship and let everyone know that I am very happy with my commission order.)


So, then about mid February, I helped a Ravelry friend with her new shawl pattern. Turns out my mad Microsoft Office skills are not just handy at work.  I really just made a beautiful pattern look pretty on the pages.  So, as a thank you, she sent me a Loopy Ewe gift card.  It was burning a hole in my pocket so I chose Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock in the Kristy colorway.

And lastly, the Knitgirllls got really Della Q cool bags on this week's episode (which I saw on March 1st) and I found them on Webs for $9, I couldn't pass that up.  Especially since it was burgundy AND  had the word "Random" on it.

So, if the mail lady (who has brought me all this yarn in the past week) contacts the knitting police, I can honestly say that only ordered one item a month, that I have only spent like $15 and that sock yarn doesn't count.

Because I know you are all dying to know, I have been working out three times a week since January without fail.  Now I just need to work on tweeking my diet and I will be losing mad weight.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

If I could turn back time

My Blue Earl Gray Socks are gone.  They were my first real socks. They fit perfectly right off the needles.  They were cozy, squishy and warm.

RIP Blue Earl Gray Socks 6/10-2/12
The problems started when the woman selling me the Cestari Yarn at MDSW 2010 told me the yarn would not felt.  One run through the washing machine with cold water showed that to be untrue.  They just shrunk a little though. So, I would just block them after I hand washed them and they would fit as long as I kept the smaller one on my left foot.  This went on for over a year till I just had to face the fact that my socks were too small for my feet. So, I gave them to my mother.

This was my second mistake. I love you, Mom but you are the kiss of death to anything that is hand wash only.  The first sock was gobbled up by her overgrown 70 lbs puppy.  I was very sad.  The second sock snuck in to the washer to commit heri kari.  So, Mom being crafty is making one into a sock puppet and the other into a pot holder.

There is a happy note to this story, however.  I walked in to Yarnability this past week (really nice store that I will be returning to soon) and spotted this on the sale rack:


It is the same yarn, same color of the my cozy socks!  I grabbed them up and took them to the counter where I explained my excitement to the owner.  She said, "How nice. You are going to make your mother some new socks?"   I said, "Heck no. These socks are for me!"

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Week in photos

Angel, Bregetta and Bugs
Boo walking slowly

Pretty path

Friend came over for tea

We went to the farm and saw the cows and calves

Bear using my Addi Turbo Clicks

Blocking my Leaflet

'Gita gets the 4th bath of the week.  Two more weeks of dog sitting till she goes home.