Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Knitting Christmas Socks

Three days ago I got it into my head that I needed to knit socks for the kids to have on Christmas morning. That's three pairs of socks in nine days. Basically, I have three days per pair of socks. Sure! I can do it!

In the picture you can see Gavin's finished socks, Irene's almost finished first sock, and the yarn for Henry's socks. Since taking that picture I did finish Irene's first sock. Still have to start the second.

I have a ridiculously bad headache right now. I am taking a coffee/blog break before casting on again.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


 I just finished knitting socks for my brother. Peter has size 15 feet. It takes a lot of time and yarn to knit him a pair of socks. BUT. He loves them, always thanks me, and even asks for more. Makes him knit-worthy in my book!

Anyway, he asked for a particular shirt for x-mas. I got an awesome deal on the shirt, so I decided to knit matching socks. Also got an awesome deal on the yarn for the socks. I put the shirt away as soon as I bought it. Never bothered to check the color because I was 100% positive it was red.

Guess what happened next...

The damn shirt is a kind of muted burgundy color. Not red. Ahhhhh! The yarn even comes in a similar shade, but I was so sure that shirt was red. Soooo sure. Now, I do not have enough time to buy more yarn, have it shipped here, and knit socks that'll fit size 15 feet.

I'm hoping he'll appreciate red tweed socks.

In other, more happy, news I do have Irene's teacher gift ready to go. It is two hand knit wash cloths, lotion (which I LOVE), soap, and lip balm (which I also LOVE) from The Humblebee. From my older posts you know that the bus drivers are getting a small gift that includes the Humblebee lotion and lip balm. I love this stuff. Seriously, check it out HERE.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Cards, Cards, and More Cards!

 Nineteen holiday cards so far! Every time I look over at them I smile. It is such a simple thing, but it makes me feel good.

I joined the holiday card swap in my lsg group on Ravelry. Each person on the list sent as many cards as they were able to the people below them on the list. There were a mix of countires, although the US had the most sign-ups. I sent to Canada, the UK, France, Germany. I wish I could have afforded more international postage because I would have sent out more.

The kids and I have had fun opening the cards and hanging them up. I think I am getting far more excitement out of it than they are though. I remember being young and my mom hanging all the christmas cards on the curved archway between the living room and family room. Perhaps that memory is why I love getting cards so much.

Here are some close ups of a few of the cards...
 Our group is very much a 'not safe for work' group and this card summed that up nicely! Our card swap did offer a 'family safe' option if needed.
 Santa from Hawaii! I liked getting a card that identified the state so easily.
 Canadian bears wearing sweaters! This card got everyone excited the most. We really love Canada in this house. Please adopt us, Canada!
 It's a knitting/crochet/fiber group, of course you gotta have sheep!
My hands are currently covered in glitter from opening and hanging up today's cards. I'm sparkly, dammit!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Little Gifts

It is no secret that I LOVE the lotion and other goodies from The Humblebee. The lotions and lip balms make perfect gifts for bus drivers/teachers/etc.

With the kids riding buses to school this year I wanted to put together a little gift to give the bus drivers. Humblebee lotion, lip balm and a $5 gift card to Tim Hortons made up the perfect gifts!

And yes, Irene's teacher is getting a slightly different version of this gift bag. Plus, my father and father-in-law are getting some lotion and lip balm as part of their gifts. And while I would love to hoard all the lotion for myself (seriously love this stuff on my eczema!) I also want to spread the love. Check out The Humblebee by clicking HERE!
I love holiday cards. I love to send them, I love to receive them. This year I got a terrific deal on cards from Amazon. I addressed them to family and friends and still had a lot left over. Then I just happened to be on Ravelry in my lsg group when the card swap forum started. I signed up right away! The card swap is a list of people willing to send out any kind of card to other people on the list. There is no 'set' number of cards you have to send out. You just send out as many as you can afford.

I sent mine out right after Thanksgiving. Then I bought holiday postcards and sent out more. Then I ended up having 4 stamps left so I bought an inexpensive pack of cards and sent out four more. I sent out cards to multiple states, several to Canada and the UK. Two went to France and I think one to Germany.

I wanted to send out more international cards, but I did have a set limit on what I could spend on postage. Next year I will start buying stamps and cards earlier!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Hats and Neckwarmers

I like to knit hats for the kids each winter. I try to match the colors and designs to their winter jackets.

The yarn is the hard-working but soft Caron Simply Soft. I like this yarn for hats for my kids. It can take what they dish out and can be washed.

Henry's hat is Rib-a-Roni by Jane Tanner. It's a quick knit that is so easy to change up with colors.

Irene's hat is Quick Ombre Hat by Emily Dormier. Another fast knit that can be used with any color combo.

Gavin's hat is Owelette Hat by Taiga Hilliard Designs. This was the second time knitting this hat for Gavin. I made it years ago with shades of blue. He still wears that hat, but wanted another one this year to match his jacket. Such a cute design! Comes in multiple sizes, too.

The neckwarmers are all Ribby Neckwarmer by Tiennie. Very fast knit! Cast on 100 stitches and knit in rib for 40 rows for the bigger ones. Cast on 88 stitches and knit in rib for 30 rows for Gavin's.

Monday, November 20, 2017

With A Little Help From My Friends...

The last few months have been rather stressful. When I'm stressed I like to knit socks. I was knitting the last bit of sock yarn I had when I got a surprise package in the mail.

It had been a particularly bad week when I grabbed the mail. There was a small padded envelope addressed to me. The kids immediately knew it was yarn (squishy package!), but I wasn't expecting anything. I opened it and inside was this beautifully colored sock yarn. It was such a happy surprise, and came at a time when I really needed the pick-me-up, that I had to fight tears.

The wonderful Danielle, my first Ravelry friend, knitter that I emulate, and maker of awesome soaps/shampoos/lotions, knew that I could really use a bit of pretty in my life and sent the yarn.

I finished up the sock I was working on and cast on this new yarn. I LOVE it. It was easy to knit with and the finished project is perfect. So many colors coming through! Since I've finished these the week of Thanksgiving I shall wear them on Turkey Day.

Oh! The yarn is Pagewood Farm Hand Dyed Sock Yarn DENALI in the colorway Sky Blue Pink.

Also, you can check out Danielle's wonderful lotions, soaps, shampoo, conditioner, and lip balm by clicking HERE. I highly recommend them all!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Stress Socks

As I've written many times, I knit socks when I'm stressed. Unfortunately, this pair did not help relieve my stress. Knitting this pair made me feel like I had never knit before.

Same sock pattern that I always knit, How I Make My Socks by Susan B. Anderson. Shouldn't have been any problems. And yet. The first of the pair had to have the toe pulled back twice. Twice! Then I had to pull it back all the way to the heel and fix that. By the time I started the second sock I was stressed from the stress of knitting. Add to it that all three kids and myself are sick with a cough/cold. Frankly, I am amazed that I finally finished the second sock.

But it's done. I've even caked a new skein of sock yarn. I am optimistic that I'll feel up to casting on. I need my stress relief!

The yarn is the Countess colorway from the Knit Picks Felici yarn.


If you read my last post you know I am withdrawing Gavin from public school. He is so stressed and sick from being there. They have him in the office, in a room alone, or just send him home so often that I cannot keep sending him. He is getting no education while being there, and this past week they've started keeping him inside at recess time. 

Schooling him at home will be a whole new kind of stress. However, I found a box curriculum that I feel will actually work for us. It gives me just enough hand-holding to make sure everything that needs to get accomplished each week is getting done. Plus, it has all subjects, including cool building projects. I am actually feeling hopeful about schooling Gavin instead of the absolute dread that each school morning brought. 

Of course, the box curriculum is not cheap. Right now it is not a purchase we can make out right. After stressing about it, I finally made a GoFundMe page in the hope of raising some money for it. 

You can check it out here...

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Homeschool Help

I am so behind on posting here. I do have a lot of knitting/yarn things I want to talk about. Instead, I am adding my plea for homeschool help.

If you read my family blog you'll know the entire saga of Gavin and the school. Gavin, my 8 year old son, has a type of anxiety disorder. He is in counseling. Yay! Good start. The anxiety is related to the school environment and actually makes him physically ill at times. (Tummy troubles. Oh the tummy troubles!) The school is either keeping him the office, including at recess :( or they are sending him home. Add to that the days he is home sick and we are fast approaching the school limit of sick days. Plus, he is missing so much school work!!! At least, by schooling him at home, he can work for a bit and have a break. Heck, he doesn't even need to get dressed! He can lay on the floor to work, run around when needed, and have breaks outside as a type of 'recess'.

I plan to withdraw him from public school and homeschool him. Unfortunately, money is an issue. I found a 'box' curriculum that has all the subjects he needs and gives me just enough hand-holding that I think I can do a good job.

You can check out the second grade curriculum at The Complete Package is $624.

So, I'm including the GoFundMe for Gavin's curriculum help. I admit I'm terrified of doing a poor job, but what he gets with me has got to be better than the schooling he is currently getting.

If you're able to help in any way, I am so grateful. Thank You!!!

Friday, October 27, 2017

I can't knit enough Socks!

Another pair of socks off the needles. Once again it is Susan B. Anderson's How I Knit My Socks pattern. I love this pattern for self-striping yarns. Plus, I have it memorized. The yarn is Knit Picks Felici in the colorway Witch's Brew.

For me, knitting socks is a great stress reliever. I like to have a pair always waiting. It's a great project for when I have ten minutes here or there.

And yes, I do have yarn ready for the next pair.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Sending Comfort through Knits

As I mentioned on my family blog, my brother has been recently diagnosed with a fairly rare syndrome. Unfortunately, I cannot be there to help cook, clean, and provide in-person comfort. We've sent a restaurant gift card, and I immediately felt the need to knit him something.

It's just a hat, but I'm hoping, that in this case, it is the thought that counts. A hat knit with love, if you will.

The pattern is Skyping Beanie by Halldora J. It was an easy knit. I just wish I had knitted it a bit longer. Even with blocking it still isn't overly slouchy. Still, it's a hat that is easily tossed on to cover the messy hair, or when a little extra warmth is needed.

The yarn is Sublime Extra Fine Merino Wool DK. It is sublime. Soft, so easy to work with, and the finished knit is lovely. I would definitely buy this yarn again. Love it. I think I bought it online at WEBS, but I am not 100% sure about that.

My knitting plans for my brother had included a pair of fingerless gloves. Unfortunately, after trying three different patterns I finally came to the conclusion that it was just not going to happen. I do have enough of the yarn left that I thought I might knit him a tie. I think the color is a great one that would go with a lot of other ones.

So, for now, I am back to sock knitting. Gotta finish that second sock!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Moisturize Me!

Look what I got! This lotion is fantastic.

I have had eczema since I was six years old. Currently I have a flair up on the knuckle of my middle finger. On my dominant hand. That sucker is constantly cracking, peeling, and stinging.

I use a ton of lotion. I am very picky since so many of them just don't help. The Healing Lotion from The Humblebee is my new favorite. It's thick, but spreads over my hands easily. The scent is very light, doesn't irritate my nose. I want to say it smells organic verses perfume-y. Later, I caught myself wondering what smelled so nice...turned out it was my hands :-)

The true test is how it affects the desert of dry skin on my knuckle. Turns out this lotion makes the patch of scaly skin feel supple and smooth. There is no burning, no stinging, no redness. I could bend that finger without feeling like my skin would rip apart. The best part is that hours later my hands still feel great. I've picked up kids, helped with homework, made pizza, and my hands still felt soft and smooth.

Oh! Almost forgot. As a knitter, I don't like any lotion that leaves my hands feeling greasy, or feels like the it (or the scent of it) will transfer to my yarn. No worries here!

So yes, I love this lotion. I need multiple bottles of it. And, as much as I would love to hoard it all for myself, if you want to give it a try you should. I paid less than $8 (including shipping) for this bottle of goodness. So worth it.

Click HERE for The Humblebee

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Cat Hats

 Irene loves cats. Irene also loves cat ears. I've made her several cat hats over the years, but this is the first time I made one with ears.

The pattern is Cabled Cat Ears Hat by Lorna Watt. The yarn is Knit Picks Mighty Stitch Super Bulky. This hat knit up very quickly, but it also made my hands hurt! The finished hat is heavier than the typical hat. Very warm, too. Still, it was fast and the cables made it a bit more engaging than the usual. I did add an additional cable section to the hat to give it more length. I think if I was to ever make the pattern again I would use bulky yarn instead of the super bulky. That is just due to personal preferences on look and fit.

Irene loves it and tries to wear it even on days when it is 80 degrees out. Silly girl.
 And yes, I did make myself one. Irene and I have matching hats. We can be silly kitties together .

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Tale of Two Mittens...and a Hat

 I love Cephalopod Yarn. Unfortunately, it is discontinued. Every once in a while someone on Ravelry will destash a skein of it. This skein I just happened to find on eBay. I rarely go on eBay, in fact I don't even have an eBay account anymore. However, I was checking out a friend's eBay destash when I thought I'd just put in Cephalopod Yarns and see if anything came up. Surprisingly, there were 4 different listings.
This one is Cephalopod's Skinny Bugga in Ghost Moth. I've actually knitted a hat in Ghost Moth, and loved it, so I bought the skein.
 Light Stripe Mitten by Pauliina Hurme is the mitten pattern I knit. Granted, my mittens do not have stripes and I had to change a little bit of the pattern, but it was an easy and fast knit and worked well with the yarn.

I had to add extra length to the finger portion of the mitten. Apparently I have a freakishly long middle finger. Plus, my long finger made doing a kitchener bind off not doable. Instead I did two rows of k2tog before pulling the yarn through to cinch it closed. I also had to add length to the thumb. I just kept trying the mitten on (while keeping count of the rows knitted) until it finally covered my entire thumb. Then I did two rows of k2tog.
 I am pleased with the mittens. It was an easy and satisfying knit.
 I knit the Wurm Hat back in 2013 with Cephalopod's Ghost Moth. As you can see, the colors don't exactly match up. Of course, four years between dye lots will account for that as well as number of stitches, patterns, etc. Still, I like they way they look together and they go well with my new winter jacket.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Candy Shoppe Socks

I love knitting socks. Besides reading, it is one of my favorite past times. It is also really calming for me.

I have a simple and well-loved pattern from Susan B. Anderson the I knit over and over. It allows me to use fun/crazy colors or self-striping yarns.

This latest pair of socks was knit with Felici Yarn from Knit Picks. The color/striping pattern is Candy Shoppe. It is such a happy and bright combination of colors. They will be cheerful socks to wear during the colder months!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Grab Your Needles and Balls...


Above is the work-in-progress, unblocked lace shawl that I was test knitting. Unfortunately, I had to do something that I am very embarrassed by. With Gavin getting sick followed by Henry, Irene and me catching it I was unable to get any knitting done. I finally realized that there was no way I could make the deadline for this test knit. I did write the pattern maker and explained the issues. She was very understanding and kind. Still, I feel horrible about it. I definitely dropped the ball.

We are still trying to get a set schedule with school and get ourselves settled into a routine. Knitting has not had a lot of time dedicated to it these past few weeks. Hopefully I will have something (besides an unfinished lace shawl) to show off soon.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Should I just stop now?

Ugh. This past week has not been a good one for me. I was sick, with ridiculous pain, starting Monday night going through Friday morning. Not that it mattered because school started for the kids on Tuesday morning, so I was up at 5:30am and managed to get Henry on his bus. Then dogs got into a huge fight just as Gavin and Irene needed to get dressed for school. We were a little late leaving the house because of that, but I still got them to school with ten minutes to spare.

Wednesday, I tried to work as much as possible on the shawl test knit. Yeah, messed up and had to pull back every other row. I was so far behind and so upset with it that I decided I needed to take a break. I took the mitten I had started before the test knit to the bus stop to work on. Then discovered that I missed the increase row for the hand and had to tink back ten rows of stitches. That was enough for me to say I was never knitting again.

Thursday, I tried again with the test knit. Things were going well until I had to meet Henry's bus. As I was waiting a flippin' wasp stung me on my left thumb! It hurts! A lot! My thumb was swollen and in pain, so the knitting was set down again.

Friday started early with Gavin not feeling well. Yeah, in the three days of school my kids had this week, Gavin managed to catch the flu. Yay. The weekend has been full of him coughing, sneezing, and emptying his system.

Nothing has gotten done here except for one load of laundry. Not exactly how I thought the first week of school would go!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

First Day of School

First day of school started with a thunderstorm followed by a lot of rain. Thankfully, the rain stopped long enough to get Henry on the bus before it started to downpour again.

The afternoon was sunny and warm. All three kids had a great first day. Here's hoping it continues!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Ugh. Lace.

I am test knitting a lace shawl. I hate knitting lace. Too many interruptions while trying to do 5 different decreases, double yarn overs and well over 300 stitches. It looks beautiful, but it makes me very unhappy.

I think it is not a summertime/kids-are-home type of knitting. I wouldn't have agreed to do a lace test knit, but I just really like the designer and have test knitted many other projects for her.

Oh well. I am knitting through...and tinking back stitches. Hopefully, I won't lose it and toss it out into the street!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Paper Shamrock

Another year, another set of tags for the backpack. Once again I got them from The Paper Shamrock on Etsy. Each tag is $5 and laminated. These things are tough and last through the rough and tumble of the entire school year.

First names on the front. First/last names on the back along with the school they go to. Since all three kids will be riding buses this year this should help with any forgotten bags. I highly recommend!

Monday, August 7, 2017

What'cha knittin'?

Yeah...I may have a few projects going. The lovely, green, lacy thing is a shawl test knit I am currently doing. Lace is beautiful, but with three kids at home for summer there are constant interruptions. I tend to forget my place and mess up rows.

It's slow going, but I feel rather accomplished with each row added.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Hat to Match

 Since I had a bit of yarn leftover from the fingerless mitts I knit a hat for Henry. The hat is Boyfriend Hat by Stephanie Nicole Bennet. The yarn is Neon Stripes from Red Heart Yarns.
 It was a very fast knit. Only took a day with a lot of breaks taken for laundry, dinner, dishes, etc.
Henry is very pleased. And so am I :-)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fingerless Mitts

 Henry really, really, really wanted fingerless mitts. Since I finished Peter's birthday ties I said I would knit him a quick pair. Henry picked out this yarn, Neon Stripes from Red Heart Yarns. It's kinda scratchy, but it is hardy and knits well. I think it'll be able to take what Henry can dish out.

The pattern is Maine Morning Mitts by Clara Parkes. Very easy. For the thumb I did pick up 6 stitches instead of 4. Knit one row then on the second I decreased twice. This pattern is quick and took me only 1 day to knit.
With the leftover yarn I am knitting up a quick hat for Henry to wear with the mitts.

It's currently 80 degrees outside, but Henry is wearing the mitts. I'm guessing he likes them :-)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Birthday Ties

 My brother, Peter, asked many months ago if I could knit him a tie for his birthday. I found a decent pattern, free from Bernat, that I thought looked pretty good. I am not totally pleased with the final product, but it isn't bad.
 The two yarns are both from Knit Picks. The green is City Tweed DK in the color Basil. I really like this yarn. It's soft and it knits up beautifully. I think it worked really well for the tie.

The yellow-ish yarn is Swish DK in the color Cornmeal. The yarn is okay, but I hate the color. It looked much more sunshine yellow than Century-21 yellow when I checked it out at the Knit Picks website.
Overall, I am pleased with the ties. I will be mailing them out on Monday with plenty of time for them to arrive before Peter's birthday.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Birthday Knits

The yarn for my brother's birthday gift came today. The yellow is a little more gold in color than I expected. I love the green, though. I really want to make myself something with it. Oh well, gifts first!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Again with the Socks!

Yes. I finished another pair of socks. Again, the yarn is from SeeJayneKnitYarn and is in the NCIS colorway McGee.

I think I am now out of sock yarn. I guess I will have to start that cardigan.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Rainbow Sheep

Added it to my car today. It's small and cute. Looks good!