Saturday, January 24, 2015

Crocus Progress

It is Saturday morning and I'm baking for my night shift tonight.  I love baking treats to bring but I'm always a little down too because it means I won't get to go near my knitting for the next 3 days or so.  Especially this knitting!  This is my Crocus Blanket I'm knitting for our eventual baby stash out of some bee-YEW-tiful merino/silk/cashmere yarn I got on clearance from WEBS.  It is a soft yellow yarn with subtle pale mustard mottles.  The photo doesn't do it justice.  It is a fingering weight single and has been a pleasure to work with.  I can't say as much about the pattern...

I started it and did the 16 rows of garter stitch and then had to rip the whole thing out after the first two rows of the lace pattern.  As I sat there, swearing through my tears, I got to thinking that I don't think I've ever tackled lace before (other than feather and fan) and then I didn't feel quite so bad.  Those first two rows were the worst too because you're setting up the pattern there's nothing to guide you.  I set markers between the repeats and meticulously counted my stitches after each repeat to make sure I was still on track and thank goodness the wrong side is just knits and purls.  My mother looked at this and said, "You know Katie, this really isn't that difficult of a pattern."  Way to kick me when I'm down Mom!  ;)  She makes a good point that some laces are patterned on both sides.  Yikes!  I've been a brat the last 2 weeks and took 4 on call shifts so I could obsessively work on this and so far have 3 out of 10 repeats done.  This is personal.  I will not let this lace defeat me!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Slipped Stitch Stash Hat

 Last fall I purchased a bag of scrap yarn at Saver's for $1.99.  It wasn't labeled but I knew in my heart of hearts that it was Malabrigo.  The balls were clearly leftover scraps but I was sure I could use them for something, and what a wonderful color assortment!

I found the perfect pattern!  The Slip Stitch Stash Hat!  I believe this is linen stitch because it looks like the popular colorful scarves that are making the rounds.  You get a lot of colorwork and variety with slip stitches and a few simple rows that are repeated.

I loved the back side with all the slipped stitches.

The only downside was all the finishing.  I am a knotter vs. a weaver so I had to untie all my tails at the end and weave them in.

Here are all my snipped bits.  I just love all the colors!

Monday, January 19, 2015

 We finally had our family Christmas two weeks ago and my parents, my sister and her family, and my brother and his family all came to stay with us.  I love when my family gets together and I love my house because we can host everyone comfortably.  I am reminded of a prayer I ran across:  When you have piles of laundry and dirty dishes to deal with, be thankful because it means your family is nearby.  When you have garbage to take out, and vacuuming to do, snow to shovel and a lawn to mow, be thankful because it means you have a house.  There is more to it but it escapes me at the moment.  It was bitterly cold but we still had fun playing outside on our frozen pond.  My nieces brought a pair of skates and couple hockey sticks and we all had fun knocking tennis balls and practice pucks around playing boot hockey.  Amy even found a child's hockey stick for Erik the next day when we all went thrifting.
 I know I wrote last winter about our hockey neighbors and how serious they are about it and all the equipment they had.  Dave surprised us all by building a goal net out of our old garden gate, some pallets and some landscaping fabric!  He quietly put it together out in the garage while we were clearing the breakfast dishes and took it down to the pond.  I think he had the most fun out there and was truly the hockey hero that weekend.
What a great winter playground we have out there!  Dad used a shovel to make fox and goose trails which was a winter game he used to play as a kid.  I love this action shot because Erik and the dogs are following in his trail and Sparky's ears are blowing in the wind.  We brought lawn chairs down to the ice and Mom and Dad sat and watched us play and held little kids when they were tired. 

Monday, January 05, 2015

Last Minute Finishing

 I spent all of last night awake on call and got to stay home the entire night.  I'm such a homebody brat that I would rather sit up working on projects and forfeit a 12 hour night shift of pay.  We are having our Christmas next weekend and last night was one of those times when I felt like I had way  more money than time.  I finished up so many things though and have a great sense of accomplishment.  As much as I love being home on call, I hate being on call because I nervously eye the clock all night and wait for the phone to ring.  It is good to keep busy or otherwise I'd have gray hair and a twitch by the end of the shift!
 These are the gloves I finished for my two older nieces to go with their winter coats.  I used the tried and true Patons Next Steps pattern.  The purple ones are for my 13 year old niece and I used the ladies' size.  The green ones are for my 8 year old niece and she is so tall for her age that halfway through the first child sized glove, I knew they were not going to fit.  Luckily I'd traced their hands the last time they were here and kind of fudged my own pattern using her lengths and monkeying around with the widths and was pleased with what I came up with.  I wanted her to be able to wear them for at least one season.  I just hope they don't lose them!  We also redeemed some of our credit card points to get them Barnes and Nobles gift cards.  They are both book worms and the gift cards were a big hit last year too and while they were here visiting, we took them to the big store near us.  I have to say I couldn't wait to be finished with these.  I have so many new projects I want to start but I had to finish these last gifts.  And of course if you put anything on the floor to photograph, Lopi has to come along and investigate!
 I also made this year's batch of crackers for Christmas lunch last night.  These went much quicker than crackers I've made in the past because I used wrapping paper that had a grid printed on the back.  No measuring this year, just count, cut and stuff.  I thought the prizes were particularly great this year!  I wrapped the last remaining gifts, finished sewing and packaging another Etsy sale (Weeeee!) and got halfway through knitting a Christmas stocking for Lopi.  Yes I know I am insane.  I starting watching Orange Is The New Black last night too and am now kind of hooked.