Sunday, January 29, 2012


I'm finding it a little difficult to knit this way.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Birthday Monster with a Vest

This morning I awoke to Henry asking me if he could play with Eric's monster. A quick "no" from me as I grabbed my glasses. "Can you make me a monster?" Ugh. I haven't even had a cup of coffee yet. I probably shouldn't have left the birthday monster I made for my nephew on the table last night. When I shuffled into the dinning room the monster was still on the table, not being played with, but it was surrounded by every other monster in this house plus a dog, giraffe, bear and sock monkey.
The monster I made for Eric is a jumble of three monster patterns by Rebecca Danger. I just didn't have it in me to knit another exact pattern, and since I can't get her monster book from the library, I decided to just improvise. It is not the best looking monster, but it is kinda cute. It is made from the leftover yarn that I had from the Christmas monsters. I also made a sweater vest for Eric. This pattern is from the book More Last minute Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. The letter is put on using duplicate stitch after the sweater is finished. Again, I used the yarn I had available here.
For the most part this sweater was an easy knit. Once you get to the arm holes you start having to put stitches on holders. I think at one point I had six holders with stitches. For the arm holes and neck there is no set amount of stitches to pick up. The directions are to pick up 3 stitches for every 4 rows. Not too difficult, but I like to know about how many I should have. Still, I like this little vest and I think I will make one for each of my kids.

I finally finished up the cowl I had been making for my sis-in-law, Kaye. It is made with the one ball of brushed baby alpaca yarn that I had hanging around. It is not very long, but it is very soft and I think it will be warm as well.

I also made a hat for my brother Matt. Again, it is made from the leftover yarn. The pattern is Welldigger Hat from Ravelry. So easy to make and I love the way it looks. My picture is not good and doesn't not show this hat off. It looks cool and it did not take a lot of time.

Henry wants me to make him a Hippo. I am waiting for two pattern books from the library. Each has a Hippo pattern and I'll let him decided which he wants. He wants the Hippo to be red which is good since I do have some leftover red yarn hanging around. Of course, now he wants me to make him a Louie the Lovebot while we wait for the pattern books. Sooooooo not gonna happen.
I told the hubby that I am doing selfish knitting for a while. I have a ruffled scarf that I started months ago and that is what I'm going to work on. Plus, I have my first socks to make. I will be the one sitting in the corner petting my yarn while whispering "Mine. All mine." Well, I will be until the darn library books come!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

First Knit of 2012

The first knit of 2012 was the Meret or Mystery Beret. I used the stitch makers to help keep track of where I was. This is important when the 6 year old and 4 year old start fighting at the same time as the 2 year old wants to ride on the back of the dog.
I liked the look of the 1 inch of stockinette stitch followed by 1 inch of 2x2 ribbing. Then in the pattern I repeated the openwork chart one extra time. I wish I had repeated it twice because the hat isn't quite as slouchy as I would have liked. Still, when (and if) the snow flies I will be glad to have the hat! I need to have Mark take pictures of me. I could not get a good angle. The yarn used is the Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd's Wool. Still love this wool! Any yes, somehow we managed to roll the yarn into a ball. If you read my last post about running out of yarn with 8 rows to go you know that I have the worst luck winding yarn. I don't have a swift so I do it by hand, usually with some mixed results. This time Mark held the yarn while I rolled it into a ball. I'm hoping to use the ball winder to make the remaining yarn into a cake.

I've also knit a quick pair of mittens to use as a gift. The person I was going to give them to never came over so I now have a pair of mittens made out of Lion Brand Jiffy yarn. Current knitting project has been set aside (again) while I knit a sweater vest and monster for my nephew's 4th birthday. Since I still cannot afford to purchase yarn I am using leftover yarn from hat and monster projects. Not the best yarn, but at least it is something!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Last Knit of the Year and Knitting Goals

My last knit of 2011 was Gavin's Roar! hat. I finished it at my mother-in-law's house around 9pm on December 31st. Gavin ran around her house wearing it and roaring like a Dino. I am quite pleased with the way it turned out.

My knitting goals for 2011 were pretty simple. In 2010 I knitted 3 miles, as reported by the handy Knitmeter. For 2011 I wanted to beat that by knitting 4 miles. I beat it all right! I knit just shy of 7 miles, coming in at 6.70 miles. I am pleased...but I wish I could have pushed to get 7. Needless to say, one of my knitting goals for 2012 is to surpass 7 miles. 10 would be great!

Another knitting goal was to knit a pair of socks. I did not knit a pair but I started my first sock before the year ended. Below is the picture evidence of that. I started it and then went back to finishing Gavin's hat.

The final goal set for 2011 was to crochet something. Other than crocheting a chain I have not crocheted anything. I did not meet this goal at all. I did receive a "Learn to Crochet" beginner kit so one of these days I am going to crochet the scarf pattern it comes with.

My first knit of 2012 is a hat for myself. I would have a picture of the finished project, but I've run out of yarn 8 rows shy of finishing. Let me correct that, I have the yarn to finish but it is not rolled into a ball/cake yet. I have a ball winder but not a swift and it makes winding balls so difficult. Mark tries to hold the yarn while I work the ball winder, but somehow we still end up making a mess and cursing a blue streak. Every time I nag Mark into helping me he always ends up asking (almost pleading ;-) how much a swift costs. I'd love a table top swift which are less expensive, but even those cost around $45. My birthday is coming up (in March so not really that soon) and I'm hoping we'll be able to afford one by then. I'm sure my husband would consider it a gift for himself too!

Knitting Goals for 2012:

  • Finish my first pair of socks.

  • Crochet a scarf

  • Knit an afghan for my younger brother

  • Knit at least one sweater for each of my kids (3 or more sweaters!)

  • Knit some baby items (blankets, booties, sweaters) for my 2 pregnant friends

  • Knit more than 7 miles!

Overall, I'm pleased with my knitting of 2011 and I've started out well in 2012. Things are good :-)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

An End to a Year, or A LSG Tribute, or Knitters/Crocheters Rock!

My first blog of the new year is about the generous nature of knitters. It is no secret that I love Ravelry. It truly has something for every knitter or crocheter. I have made friends, joined groups and found amazing patterns and new yarns. The A Swap in Time group is a swap group that has become a close group of crafters that are always glad to "see" you. There are funny groups, serious groups and everything in between. When my mother passed away someone recommended the Motherless group. You come to ravelry because you're a knitter/crocheter but it gives you so much more than patterns.

One group I joined this year is the LSG group. It is not for the faint of heart or pearl clutchers. It is a group of women and men that are strange, strong, creative, funny, kind and band together to help one of their own. There is even a Facebook page for our group. It was on this page that I posted a whine about my husband getting a new job. I was upset because it was another trucking job that would take him away from home for weeks at a time. I was pleased that he would be working, but I did not want to be left alone here in this new town. The group gave me support, reassured me that I was not a nut for feeling this way and missing my husband.

A few days later I was given reason to make another post. When Mark went in for his DOT physical the doctor refused to give him a med card. Everything was in well working order, but she decided that since he is diabetic he would need to have his a1c tested again. There was no reason for her to request this test. His sugar levels were within range and the last time he had the a1c test (just before we moved) it was well below where it needed to be. Mark complained to the office nurses and was told that this clinic hated this doctor with a passion. She had recently transferred in and was making every one's life hell. That day alone, she had refused med cards for 3 other truck drivers. For some reason she does not like them.

So, why not go get the a1c tested? Well, it has to be ordered by a doc and then the results are sent to the doc and he/she gives them to you. At this point in time we do not have doctors in our new town. Why? Because no one within a 4 county radius will take our state insurance. We could drive to the town we used to live in and he could have the DOT physical done there for $80. We could drive to the town we used to live in and visit his doc there, have him schedule the a1c, then drive back another day for the results then take those to the clinic down here and hope for the crazy doc lady to hand over a med card. Confusing? Yes, it is. Of course, the big problem with all of this is that we have no money. None. Without the help from Sassafrass and her husband, Chris, we would not have been able to give our children Christmas.

So, I posted about our new troubles on the LSG Facebook page. I was just looking to complain, moan a bit and perhaps get some advice. I got all that but I also got more. These wonderful people banded together and sent what money they could so that we would be able to pay for gas (for the 5 hour round-trip) and to pay for the $80 DOT physical. What a surprise and what a gift from people that only know me from a group on a knitting site. So don't scoff at knitters/crocheters. They keep this world together.

Unfortunately, the trucking company would not hold the job while Mark arranged for the physical, etc. However, I am positive that he is going to get a better job, a job that will allow him to home at night and on the weekends. And he'll be able to get it all because of the help from some damn fine knitters and crocheters.

A jolly good New Year to you all! May it be a year without fear and full of great yarn!!