It has been since I last bought yarn!

Monday, September 29, 2014

It's a Start....

Last time I told you I was feeling a little overwhelmed by the possibility of WHAT I could make.  There were so many options.  I couldn't really focus and decide what I wanted to do.  I'm still in that state a little.  Every day new whims come on and I'm like "I'M GOING TO CAST THAT ON RIGHT NOW"- and then I don't.  I don't know why- I just can't seem to commit to a project, so I think I just need to keep the projects small and cute and not overwhelming.

I decided to knit Mittens.  Mittens are apparently my kryptonite.

Truthfully my big boy has had a little bumpy pre-school adjustment.  We're slowing getting better, but I tell ya, his teachers are SAINTS.  And despite all of the tears, I do know he really likes them.  In fact last Thursday he wanted to invite one of them over for dinner so she'd keep playing with him.  :-)  One of Parker's teachers is pregnant and due in January, and so I'll give her a blanket.  (I have a HUGE pile of un-gifted blankets that I'm just going to start handing out like crazy and get that space back.)  But his other teacher, the one who I think is the designated "crying kid" teacher, I want to give her something special too.  She's been so great.

SO- I'm making her mittens.

I cast these on and very quickly they grew.

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Now- the first mitten is cast off and I'm ready to cast on mitten #2 already!  It's amazing how fast mittens knit up when you aren't designing them.

I'm already thinking MORE mittens and maybe a hat for my kiddo.... but I'm full of ideas and we'll see what I actually commit to next.  It's both exciting and a little overwhelming to have such knitterly freedom!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fall Finish

Apologies for the length in between blog posts.  Life here has been BUSY.  Last weekend marked the FOURTH weekend in a row that I was not home.  Needless to say knitting hasn't been happening at frenzied pace, or really at all.  And yet- I somehow managed to finish some things up.

Scrappy Zig and Zag blanket is done!

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Pattern: Zig and Zag Sock Yarn Pram Baby Blanket (Ravelry link) by Debbie Orr
Yarns: Oh Gosh- a little bit of everything left in my scrap pile.  Remember this?
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Needles: US 2
Notes: This is a great GREAT leftover sock yarn stash buster.  I did end up buying a small skein of light pink to keep up the theme, especially after I ran out early, but I used that all up too so I didn't even count it!  LOVELY results!  I would highly recommend knitting this up with your leftovers, it's a cute blanket.

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So far I don't really have a recipient in mind, but Parker's pre-school (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) teacher is pregnant and maybe if she has a girl I'll give her this.  It's a lovely little light weight blanket, perfect for a the car seat.

As if that wasn't enough success, I also finished my hat project.  How many hats did you guess when I started this journey?  My initial guess was 18....

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.... I ended up with 21!!

Pattern: Basic hospital hat pattern with some modifications
Yarn: Bernat Baby Sport Solid in "Chiffon" print
Needles: US 6
Notes: I think we can safely say I used up all of that yarn!

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GAH.  No more hats for me for awhile.  Next year I have a plan but it will hopefully result in me knitting LESS hats and more stuff for me.

SPEAKING OF STUFF FOR ME.... now that my unfinished object pile is manageable (just those Maui socks left...) my brain wants to KNIT ALL THE THINGS.  I can't go on Ravelry right now without falling down a ridiculous rabbit hole and favoriting 8 zillion things.  I want a sweater, also I'm thinking a pair of nice mittens for Parker's other pre-school teacher (!!!!) and maybe a cute Christmas idea for a family member, and a pumpkin hat for a baby, and maybe a new pair of mittens for me and ....... just stop me now.  The world is my knitting oyster and I am ready to KNIT EVERYTHING.

I can promise that I'm not making a baby blanket for awhile.  A couple of small projects sound really appealing but I keep coming back to "sweater" (or more likely "CARDIGAN"), but I need to organize my thoughts and my knitting cupboards and just let those ideas marinate for a bit.

Either way- fall should be a lot more interesting around here- stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Holiday Knitting

No, do not panic.  Do not let this blog title fool you.  This is not a post about "OMG Christmas is only ## days away and you have not knit a damn thing yet!"  This is not that.  This is me telling you what I knit on vacation!

Yes- I did actually knit on my vacation.  This is somewhat a miracle as usually I pack more knitting than I ever needed to begin with and then promptly ignore it all vacation.  I actually got a few things done this time!

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The baby blanket is OFF the needles... sadly I need to weave in about a bajillion ends.  Who would like to volunteer to do that for me?  (Don't all shout at once now....)

I really hate weaving in ends.  I really hate it.  I really also want to get this done so I can just move on without any guilt so I imagine in the next few days this will enter the finished pile.  This project did a great job of cleaning out the bobs and bits of color I was using.  This is all that remains!


I also managed (thanks to Bob the Builder!) knit on the plane!  Since I needed the knitting to be simple to pick up and put down, I opted for hats.  BEHOLD- 2 more hats for charity.  And good lord, there are probably still 4 more hats left in that giant ball!  (I am already promising myself less hats to knit next year!)


Since that's all I really have to show you right now, I also thought I'd give you a glimpse at what a great time we had this last week.  It was the perfect end to an absolutely lovely summer.

         


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Charity Break

Hmmm actual knitting progress seems to have halted while I wrap up a few charity obligations- 2 Western Canadian Oddball Baby Blankets showed up this week and I had to get them out the door.  Both are very colorful!

This Scrap-tastic Blanket is turning out quite nicely.  The only downside was that I had a million ends to weave in!

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When Rainbow Bright showed up a few days later, I couldn't help myself and added in a rainbow to keep the colors flying.

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Since I was on a charity kick anyway- I finished up hat #15.  There's at LEAST 4 more hats in the ball- at LEAST.  Yikes there's a lot of hats here!!

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This means that progress on the socks and the blankets hasn't really happened yet.  Hopefully this week I can get those projects finished up and out the door!  I can't wait until I can start brainstorming about a big fall project to sink my teeth into!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Warm Distractions

OH yeah...HI!  I was so busy enjoying the nicest summer I can ever remember that I forgot about the blog.  The weather this summer has been dry and hot and just lovely.  With weather like this it's really hard to stay inside and sit still.  (And knit)

        

There is some knitting that has occurred, BUT, it's at a much slower pace than I had originally planned.

The blanket is moving along and looking quite lovely.

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I think that I've decided to do 3 more sections after this, there should be enough yarn.  It feels really good to get through the scraps and whittle away at the leftover pile.

Also seeing some progress, the second sock in the Maui socks!  A 5 hour (childless) flight to Cabos meant that I had a lot of knitting time to take advantage of!


It's nice to get something done on this vacation other than just burning to a crisp!  I'm hoping that I can finish these projects up by the end of this month so I can begin our fall with something a little more "fall-ish".  I'm thinking sweater .....

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer of Simple

This will be just a short blog post today because I've kept the knitting really REALLY simple this summer.  It's a really nice change from the intensity and stress of my Stampede projects, so it's really a much needed change of pace.

I knit another hat for the collection, bringing the total to 14 hats.

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At this point I'm fairly certain I've got more than 18 hats in this ball.  This is what is left for the yarn after 14 hats.  Any guesses as to how many hats it has left in it?

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Because I'm weird and I like rules- I've decided that there must be two identical hats in the collection.  So, I've been trying to make sure each hat has a match.  This hat was supposed to be a match to the double moss stitch hat I knit, but it actually ended up being the wrong stitch pattern.  (I worked from memory, apparently wrong.)  Oh well- now I've got another one to make plus another double moss one!  (At least there's enough yarn.)

Also moving along rather simply and beautifully on my pink scrappy blanket and whittling away at the scrap pile.

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This is just so easy (besides the ends to weave in)- and it's fun to see the color progressions.  It's a 2 row pattern I'm not bored, I'm just really curious to see how it's going to look when it's all finished!

So far my "summer of simple" is going beautifully and I'm definately in a relaxed knitted state!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ribbon Roundup

Well- the ribbons are collected and Stampede is over for another year.

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I'm pleased with my placing this year.  2 first in categories and a second overall is nothing to be disappointed about.  But I am.  Please don't mistake this next part for my being ungrateful or being bitter at the winner (I am not)- but DAMMIT I want to win.  And so, because I'm really just a hyper competitive spirit disguised as your average every day mother, I'm already plotting, already researching and already trying to think what I can do to be first overall next year.  (So far I'm not getting very far... )  So, yes, brace yourself because I'm probably going to be obsessing for the next 11.5 months on what I'm going to do next year.  And after 7 (8?) years of blogging I think it's clear I'm FIRST OVERALL when it comes to obsessing over things.

While I plot my next big thing, I'm knitting little, simple things.

A child-less trip to Vail (for a wedding) over July 4 weekend meant that I brought the sock out of hiding and enjoyed having airplane time to knit.  This has got to be a record for the longest it's every taken me to finish a plain and simple sock!  (Started back in JANUARY!)

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I also eked out another charity hat because these babies aren't going to knit themselves!

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And, I finally got to cut my teeth on an easy project that would also address some of the sock yarn leftovers.  Mother in law encouraged me to just let the project flow and be organic and not worry so much about matchy-matchy stripes.  But on top of being obsessive, I'm also like things painfully symmetrical, so say hello to my newest little stash buster blanket....

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Just 2 rows to remember and fingering weight yarn make this is an ideal project to knit over the summer.  Light and easy- a well deserved break from the agony I experienced with the mittens.

So stay tuned to see what else I'm whipping up and adding to the "finished" pile.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Results Are In

For those of you who don't get the privilege to go to the Stampede grounds- I'm going to spoil you on the final results in the knitting.  If you don't want to know yet and want to be surprised.... skip this post until later.

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I had a very successful year this year!  2 red first place ribbons AND a second in section overall.

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The mittens, after all the agonizing, showed very well and were selected as "second in section"- which means CASH PRIZE!


The blanket also placed first in it's category and also had a lovely red ribbon on them as well.

It appears that I was not the only one who thought about Calgary themed mittens this year, as I had some competition....


My Mother in Law also did very well- with a red ribbon for her socks too!  My pic is really awful but her socks were really beautiful.


The overall section winner is the same person from last year who designed another really lovely sweater.  (Great job Tamara!)


Even my little man seemed impressed with mommy's work this year....


We had a great time at Stampede this year and it does feel that all the project agony I experienced was well worth it.  We've been busy taking in parties and playing Cowboy dress up, so knitting progress hasn't really happened around here- but once this week is over, things will go back to normal and I fully intend to knit up a storm sitting out on my deck.  :-)

HAPPY STAMPEDE EVERYONE!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Now What?

Well now that the Stampede projects are out of my hands... now what?

First I had to catch up on some charity obligations that I didn't want to get behind.  I knit sections for the "pie" blankets for the WCOBB charity group.

Key Lime Pie

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Lemon Meringue Pie



Then I decided I needed to get 2 more hats out the door and off the big ball.  (I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to get even more than my original guess of 18 hats out of this!)


And now I'm free to knit what I want.  So what do I want to knit?  Well... I have a bunch of sock yarn leftovers that need to get busted out of my stash.  MiL has been working on these projects and her stuff looks AWESOME- so I've been inspired to do something with this little pile.


I also really want to dig waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back into my lost projects pile and re-attempt the shawl again.  Remember the Shawl of GIANT FAIL?  (I can't even find a blog link for it... so just trust me- I started and failed miserably at a shawl and I want to restart again.)

I also want to give my little boy bunny a girlfriend.  He looks lonely on the shelf.

I'm aiming for nice and simple this summer.  Probably a few more hats too, just lots of easy projects to have on the go that don't require a lot of brain power.  Hopefully it'll keep the blog interesting too.  So stay tuned.... hopefully the finished project pile will start getting a little fuller!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Glamorous Mystery Part 2

That was kind of mean telling you about the baby blanket but saving the reveal of the REAL mystery for today.  (Sorry... one has to keep you interested somehow- right?)  Well... WAIT NOT LONGER- behold, my Misery Mystery Mittens!

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Pattern: Calgary Mittens by ME (Jennifer Johnson).  (HOLY CRAP I DESIGNED THIS!)
Yarn: Filatura Di Crosa Zarina in 1912 & 1401
Needles: US 1 - my guage on stranded knitting continues to improve!
Notes: Oh god this ended up being so much more work than I thought it would be!

AND NOW- the story can be told.

To date, this was one of the most difficult things I've ever knit.  The knitting itself, once I got into it, wasn't a problem, but the planning and planning and PLANNING of this pattern took MONTHS in advance.  I agonized over design elements and agonized over what should and should be there.  I harassed family members to regularly vote on what they liked and didn't like.  Family members who I'm sure thought it regularly, but never said it out loud, "You're over-thinking this too much!"

So much graph papers with doodles and false starts and trying out ideas.

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YEAH.  That's a lot!  I sketched and erased and tried to come up with ideas that would cohesively blend together.  Every design, every detail on that mitten was created by me.  And I tried to be really thoughtful about what went on there representing my city.

On the cuff- the criss cross pattern is meant to look like the Peace Bridge in Calgary.

Peace Bridge

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After the flood last year I was so impressed by the way complete strangers helped one another out- I was always smitten with the idea of boys and girls holding hands, representing the strong sense of community this city clearly has.

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On the hand I chose icons that are so well known in this city... the Calgary tower, the mountains so close to us and of course- the stetson we all don 10 days out of the year while we celebrate Stampede.  That pretty much sums up Calgary to me.  My original design has also included the city's name

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but as you'll remember- the mitten was too long and I had to rip it out.  (*sobs again*)

On the inside of the hand, a maple leaf for Canada and thumb elements of a rearing horse (taken from the City of Calgary's logo) and on the inside a wild rose design for Alberta.  (pictured in the collection below)

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I started and stopped this project so often there's part of me that still feels this lingering concern that I didn't finish it even though it's already handed in.  

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This post is picture heavy because I'm proud of myself.  I'm proud of what I did.  Will I design mittens again?  Maybe, although right now my brain needs a break and my hands just want to knit simple things.  But for now, we wait- we sit back and wait to see what the judges think.

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