Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye, 2012. Don't let the ball hit you on the way out.

Back in January, we all had such high hopes for this year. And it didn't start out all that badly. But by the time we got to the second half, I was ready to throw in the towel. November/December made this an awful year on record. My father had a stroke in November. He's doing much better now, back to work and driving, but his speech is still waffly. I know it could have been much worse, and I'm thankful it wasn't. I've gone out there more than I normally would be to help out as much as I can but it isn't enough. My mother is wrung out. Then comes December, all innocent. Worrying already about Christmas (I always do), my grandmother took a turn for the worse. She'd been in and out of the hospital for a while after a fall broke her let. She was transfered to a rehab center to get her walking again and she never made it that far. Another 2 falls and she was back in the hospital. On December 7th, they removed her from the cpap machine, gave her a bit of morphine, and allowed her to slip away in sleep. Several of my relatives made it down in time to say goodbye, my mother wasn't one of them. She had to stay and help my father still and there just wasn't time. She slid quite rapidly down that slope of health, they'd been talking about sending her home again provided she kept recovering like she was. Then just turned and went the other way. My sister called and told her she loved her, I couldn't bring myself to do it. My grandmother is and was a large part of my life. I stayed with her for a few years when I was younger and was always being dropped off there. There were always letters and phone calls and cards and newspaper clippings.Money she'd send and I'd call and yell about it (then send it back in her birthday cards so she could yell at me). She loved the dishcloths my mother and I made. A friend of hers used to make them and when she got to the point where she couldnt make them any longer, we took up the call. I have 3 sitting near me that my mother made, I was going to make a 4th and mail it down. She liked the natural shades and creams best. That washcloth sat on my needles forever, mocking me silently. Why didn't I finish it? It wouldnt have been a challenge, I made those while reading. Yes, other things came up but it wouldnt have been that much a chore to work that in and send them out. But I never did. I finally picked them up again a few days ago. I finished my grandmothers washcloth and started another. She praised how good a job we both did with them, even though my mothers always looked better. On the day she passed, I didn't have a chance to cry. It was my daughters birthday, she turned 9. I could either show up to pick her up and ruin her day with it or shunt it aside and make sure she didn't suffer. To this day, I still havent cried, it's still sinking in. I found the cards she'd sent last year for christmas when we pulled out decorations. One of my sisters found a letter from her in a drawer, long forgotten. The magazine she always renewed came in the mail. I bought a calendar and remembered she'd always send me one (every organization mailed her one, plus she had a couple for christmas). Little things that make you remember her, it didn't hurt to remember. It was just there. She keeps popping into my head. The obituary is printed out and lays next to me, she'd have hated the photo. Always complained they turned out awful.The pictures from this summers visit are still on my phone, we actually got a picture of my two sisters and I with my mother and grandmother. All my grandmothers children got to pose for a picture with her. I almost kept the birthday cards she'd sent us this year. Little signs I should have read, little hints that she might not be with us long, I ignored them all. But she's no longer in pain, she's at peace. We'll say goodbye in the spring and I can visit her, it's not far a walk. I love you grandma, and I miss you so.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Garter Brim Toddler Hat

Apparently this never got published and was eventually eaten in drafts. Yay, right? Anywho, here's the pattern again!

note this was a tester, the pattern is fixed to make it the right length before decreasing

Lion Brand Wool-Ease (or any yarn of a similar gage)
Size 5 (3.5mm), 7 (4.5mm) circular needles and a set of 4 size 7 (4.5mm)dpns
darning needle for end weaving

note: I have very loose garter ribbing, so much so that I had to go down to a 5 just to match with the st st on the 7's. If you are a tight knitter, you may want to start with a 6 or a 7, it's all on how you knit.

Using the size 5 circ, cast on 70 sts, Starting with a purl round, work garter in the round for approx 1" (about  3 ridges). Starting with a p row gives it a neater edge, but thats just my opinion. Switch to size 7 circs, and work in st st until piece measures 4" from beginning edge.

Dec rows:

Rnd 1: K8, k2tog - 63 sts

Rnds 2 and 3: K

Rnd 4: K7, k2tog - 56 sts

Rnds 5 and 6: K

Rnd 7: K6, k2tog - 49 sts

Rnds 8 and 9: K

Rnd 10: K5, k2tog - 42 sts

Rnds 11, 13, 15, 17: K

Rnd 12: K4, k2tog - 35 sts

Rnd 14: K3, k2tog - 28 sts

Rnd 16: K2, k2tog - 21 sts

Rnd 18: K1, k2tog - 14 sts

Rnd 19: K2tog - 7 sts

Cut yarn, weave in through sts, fasten off. Weave in ends. Tada! Hat!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Squishy Mug Hug

Not to be confused with my cup cozy, this little squishy piece of knitting is made for your fav handled mug. Uses those odd ends of bulky weight yarn (the kind thats almost super bulky, not the heavier aran weight ones) and one funky button. We all have odd buttons, that one that was too pretty not to buy, but too pricey to buy an entire set of them. Or you might have re purposed them from that beat up blazer thats too worn for even donating. I've snagged some very nice buttons that way, even some from old coats. I had this ball of mystery yarn lurking in my stash for some time, no label, wound into a ball, thrift store buy. It mocked me forever, finally made a toddler hat out of it and had leftovers. Hated the idea of not using it, had yet to make a mug hug for myself, and voila an idea was born! This is easily adjustable to what you need for width, I like one wide enough to cup the mug in my hands painlessly. You may prefer just something to soak dribbles from the brim (it happens, not quite awake and that first cup of coffee).

bright and cheery, the red kind of dominates the pictures but it isn't that bad in real life

Now, I'm not sure what kind of yarn this is. It's either Loops & Threads Charisma or Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky. But any yarn of that comparable weight will work just fine. 
also needed:
  • size 11 (8mm) straight needles
  • one button (larger decorative, size depends on whats left over. you'll see don't rush me)
  • matching thread or embroidery floss and needle for attaching button
Cast on 7sts (this depends on how wide you want your hug to be. Make sure it's an uneven number)
Row 1: K1, p1, rep to end of row, ending with a k1
Repeat row 1 til desired length has been reached. Now this should be the hug stretched around the mug itself, you want it nice and snug fitting. Once it reaches the perfect length, bind off in pattern. 

Button tie: 
This is where the creative part begins, you may only have a few inches of yarn left, thats plenty! What you do is draw the yarn through the edge of the mug hug, in the middle. Nobody likes an uncentered button. Don't pull it all the way through, thread it back through the other side of the stitch so both raw ends are on the wrong side of your hug. Knot the ends together, resulting in a loop large enough to accommodate you're chosen button. If not, might have to dig through the stash again, I did. Tada, matching loop for your mug hug!

see? nobody can tell you didn't icord, crochet a chain, or do any of that yarn wasting stuff

also can double as a large cuff bracelet 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Coziest Kindle

My mother gave me a kindle (yes, I'm all for my actual books, but i cant knit and read a paperback), but she  didn't have anything for it. To protect it, I've been lugging it in its box when I hunt for free wi-fi connections. My purse, while large, isn't quite that spacious at the moment. After a trip to Michael's for some hat yarn, I found a pretty skein of Loops & Threads Impeccable I liked. It wasn't my first choice, I spent a good 10 minutes fondling the yarns, but it was on sale and something I could use for multiple projects. Now anyone who's looked at ereaders or tablets knows the problem is all the different sizes. I snagged a few from Ravelry, but none of them were sized to what I had (or they had charts and my printer is currently out of ink lol). After doing some looking, it turned out I had the 4th generation kindle, also known as the kindle. Specific, huh? But I specify for you, dear reader, because so many didn't. I apologize ahead of time, this is a picture heavy post, but it helps to see what I'm babbling about.

To make this, I use a technique called double knitting. It sounds daunting as all get, but it really isnt too hard. This link shows you how to do it with 2 colours, and also right side out, but the way I learned was to make catnip bunnies. Lets get started, shall we?

You will need:

  • Size 6 (4.0mm) straight needles, plus 2 spare dpns
  • Loops & Threads Impeccable (shown in Earth) or any worsted with an 18st/24row ball band gage (Im horrid with gages arent i?)
  • 2 buttons
  • darning needle
  • coordinating thread/needle to attach buttons
  • small amount of ribbon (optional, I'll explain at the end)
Cast on 42 stitches (on the straight needles, the dpns are used later)
Row 1: k1, sl 1 purl wise
repeat row 1 till desired length, in my case about 6 1/2" 
Yep, thats all there is to it to make this a pouch with no seam at the bottom. You'll notice you are making it inside out, isn't that clever?

You can see the slipped stitches with the varigated yarn, neat to watch it grow 

Keep working that same row till its the size of your kindle


Now take your dpns, and hold them both in your right hand, your left hand will be holding your needle with the live stitches on it. This is where the sides are split to make the pouch. I suggest sewing in that cast on tail now, before it gets flipped otherwise you'll have to flip and flop again.
All you need to do is alternate the stitches back and forth, feeding them onto the dpns.

And here's your pouch! Push it inside out to see how pretty it is

yes, I slipped it in to make sure all my hard work paid off

If you just want a pouch, here's where you stop. Just bind off all your sts and you are ready to go. You can add a button and crochet chain a loop for it or leave it open. If you want a flap, continue on (like a choose your own adventure thing huh?)


Bind off 21 stitches, starting with whichever end your yarn starts
first few sts are a bit awkward, but it gets easier

see? halfway there!
omnomnom pouch

This is the end of the dps, you're going to be working on your straight needles again (just work off that one dpn and set it aside after). 

Keeping the 3 sts on either end in garter, middle in st st,  work back and forth in rows for 1 1/2" 
Buttonhole row:
k5, k2tog, yo, k7, yo, skpsso, k5
Next row: k3, p to last 3, k3.

Continue for another 2-4 rows (all depends on your buttons, big buttons give them more room. small ones, less).
Work 3 rows in knit, bind off (gives you 2 garter rows for an edge). Weave in your end. Attach buttons.

Now if you were like me, and made part after the buttonholes too long, and it started to curl a touch, this is where the ribbon comes in handy. Take a small piece, long enough to edge the flap with raw edges folded in, and pin it to the wrong side. Sew it with matching thread. Or if you arent happy with your hand sewing (like me, im terrible) you can always give it a quick run through a sewing machine.

And thats it! Would it have been faster to make it on dps? Probably. But I hate sewing that bottom seam. My pouchies use a bottom seam, but thats because they need the support. This is just to keep it from getting banged up in commute :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Coffee Cozy

I've been unhappy with those cardboard sleeves coffee shops give you for some time. I bring them back to reuse them, but they still depressed me. So blah, boring, and not all that helpful (they were just as hot as the cup). So, finally created my own!

Ta dah!

All fancy right? Left over yarn from a hat project. The yarn itself is discontinued (or "vintage" as Ravelry puts it), but it's an easy enough yarn to substitute. I know, these patterns are a dime a dozen, but hey, who cares, because this one is mine. Onward to the pattern!

You will need:

size 7 (4.5m) dpn set of 4
Bernat Softee Chunky Twists (discontinued) #5 Bulky weight yarn
Ball band gage: 15 sts = 4" on size 10 needles (Ive found its easier to compare bands than swatches if im substituting yarn)
Project gage: Mine was about 4sts per inch on size 7 needles, but you may be a tighter or looser knitter. Width is what counts here, you can make it as short or as tall as you like. 

Cast on 30 stitches (yes, the gage makes that number sound strange but remember we want it to fit snug. Nobody wants a saggy cozy so we need some negative ease) and divide onto 3 needles. Work 2x1 rib (k2, p1) for 3 rounds (if you place the sts evenly it makes for an uneven knitting for the rib. Shuffle the work around if you want to end on a p for each needle). Work in st st for about 2" or however long you want your cozy to be. Work 3 rounds in 2x1 rib. Bind off in pattern. Weave in ends.

Now when you bind off in pattern, it makes that bind off a bit wider than the cast on, making it an idea top end. The picture above? Isn't blocked, increased, or anything, thats just how it turned out with the bind off. Slip it on your cup and show off your style. Make hoards of them to match your mood or stick them in a basket at work for when you need them.

lighting wasn't ideal, but i was excited and it was leaving me soon

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chair Booties

Yes, you read that title right. I'm making chair booties. A woman my mother works with asked me to replace some she has. Of course I agree, after all they couldnt be much worse than baby booties right? Yeah, they aren't all that difficult to make (especially with no pattern), but she needs 24 of them. No rush, but 24 booties. I think I'd just buy a darn rug. I swore I had a pattern (saw one on rav and thought I saved it) but turns out I did not. Luckily, she gave me one of her damaged ones to show me what exactly I was making.

 Easy peasy, so here I am knitting booties while playing that time consuming game zynga calls Castleville. Don't start it, stay away, it will suck your soul. Anywho, looking again at the pattern, it uses sock yarn. I sadly don't own that much sock yarn, and plus I want mine to stand up to a bit more wear and tear. So, dear readers, you get the benefit of having my chair bootie pattern using (bum bum BUM!) ACRYLIC YARN! Yes, that horrid stuff just about everyone has lurking in their stash (I have oodles because a) its washable b) its durable and c) its cheap). Perfect for this project right? Right. So, here we go:

You will need:

Small amounts of Red Heart acrylic yarn (any colour will do obviously, it's all your preference)
Size 4dpn (gage really isnt crucial here, just needs to make a nice tight fabric that fits around your chair leg)
Darning needle (just for weaving in ends and whatnot)

Cast on 21 sts

Work in k2, p1 rib for however long you want (mines about 2 1/4)

Next rnd: K1, k2tog; rep around
Next rnd: K
Next rnd: K2tog; rep around
Next rnd: K

Cut yarn, draw through remaining stitches and fasten off. Weave in ends.

Voila, you have a chair bootie!

Make 3 more if you don't want your one chair leg to feel different.

it's a little scrunched in due to the rib, but it fits my chair perfectly

bottom view
chair bootie in action! dark action, but its a black chair leg

If you want to make it a bit more durable (and I aim to attempt this) you can crochet a small circle to stuff inside the bottom of the bootie. Any colour is fine because nobody but you will see it. Secure it with a few stitches (thats why I made mine a bit taller than the original). Let me know how it works!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


New pattern! Been a while, and I'm very sorry. I'm not really much of a designer, I mostly tweak other patterns to fit my style. Been debating on posting this for a while, hoping to get the hat and mug cozy finished first but they went into UFO limbo for a bit and it's depressing digging through that. As for all these patterns, feel free to make them as gifts, but please don't charge for them or claim them as your own design.

This is designed to be worn across the chest so the strap lies on the shoulder and the pouch sits on the opposite hip. Holds your immediate essentials like a cellphone, cash, and lip balm for those trips when a bulky purse really isnt desirable (like concerts, craft fairs, or regular fairs)

You will need:
  • size 8 dpn (set of 4)
  • Red Heart Supersaver (one skein makes more than one pouchie)
  • small button (maybe half an inch? never measured, just matched them to the yarn from my stash)
  • sewing needle and thread for button
  • darning needle or crochet hook for weaving in ends and attaching strap
My gage was the 17/23 listed on the ball band, but yours may vary. It isnt critical to this project, but it shouldnt be terribly loose. This does have a bit of stretch to it, so account for some give.

Cast on 30 sts, and divide onto needles (10 on each), keeping a long tail for sewing up the bottom later.
Work in the round for 6".
At the beginning of the next row, bind off 15 stitches.

Flap: working on 2 dps back and forth

Work the remaining 15 sts in st st, making sure to work the first 2 and last 2 stitches of each row in garter (prevents curling).
Work for 2" from the bind off.

RS row: k7, yo, k2tog, k to end of row
Next row: k (garter edge)
Weave in flap ends

Use the long cast on tail to sew the bottom together (I used a fake grafting to sew mine, adds that little bit more support)

Cast on 3 stitches, leaving a tail for attaching
Work in i-cord for 48" stretched, or for however long you wish. Make sure you account for stretching! The weight of your phone and goodies will pull the icord longer than you made it. To make mine, I kept stretching it around a wooden ruler, make measuring easy too.
Bind off, leaving a tail for sewing.

Using the tails, attach the icord to either side of the flap, to the bound off stitches not the flap itself. Weave in ends,

Sew on your button, add a motif if desired (one that stretches 15sts by 15 sts fits best, I have some drawn up. Soon as I figure out how to plot them, I'll start posting :) )

Show off your pouchie!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Rain, rain, go away...on second thought, stay a while.

June 3rd. Monday (still may) was hot, sunny, and we were all breaking in flip flops. Sunday (now June), pouring rain, wrapping in blankets, and drinking hot chocolate to warm up. Insanity. But at least we have the rain and the nice weather for Memorial Day. Lots of people got their gardens in, planted flowers, we made our annual cemetary run. The last one nailed me with a tick in my leg (oh the joys). Ever wanna scare yourself, research Lyme Disease and tick bites. It was a rotten deer tick too, I've had dog ticks bite me but this is a bit more serious. Everythings looking fine, obviously red but it's not getting worse just..there. Along with black fly bites which take FOREVER to heal. Heard a neat trick for those though, clear nailpolish. The air is what makes the itch reaction so no air no itch. Meanwhile, I'm using my Aveeno anti itch stuff. Highly recommend it for anyone with kids, no stinging, stinking, and no itch. Back to the rain and the fact that its cold and sucky. Stick around rain, means no annoying children running rampant in the parking lot. Not to mention, end of hard yellowed grass and hopefully means we get grass instead of that sickly green seed/fertilizer we have now. I've avoided the forcast, worried it will put a damper on my week planning (ha, like I plan anything!). National Running Day is June 6th and to promote healthier habits, the school is having the kids run. Parents invited. Me + running = pain and painful to watch, but I love my kid enough that I'm going to try. Eep. Friday will be the Family Fun Night (pack a lot into the last month of school don't they?) so there's a reward for good behavior on both our parts. I need to start buckling down and get serious about my weight and my diet. I've developed a pattern and its not good at all. I'm starting with soda vs water intake. Bottle of water when I get up instead of can o'soder (except this morning, alternated). Eating breakfast foods early instead of grabbing a handful of something salty (like chips) or whatevers leftover in the fridge at 9 30, 10. Lunch when I'm hungry, not because it's noon. Dinner at a decent hour, not right before bedtime. Cut soda intake down from umpteen million to two cans (still sounds like a lot but thats a huge cut for me). I'm even keeping a mental food diary, it's hard not to cheat though. I keep "forgetting" i ate a fun size candy, or cheese and crackers. But theres a certain amount of effort in writting it down that keeps me from doing it, that and the worry of someone finding it. I don't count calories, fat, or anything of the sort, just what I eat. This cruddy weather really isn't instilling any fasting thoughts so I'm distracting myself with rotten facebook games. Carry on lovlies!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Monday is new web comic day, Tuesday is new yarn day

Ok, only the first part of that is true. I haz new yarn! Granted, its a lot of Bernat Bling Bling and some odd balls of super bulky but yay! Why yay? Because it means I get to look them up on Ravelry and discover some new ideas for projects. Like a crochet pattern that I'd like to test even though I can't follow a pattern to save my life (nice picture though). In other boring news, skipped the breast cancer walk (long drive for a minimum of walking), my other projects are at a total standstill (other than dishrags), and the house is a disaster. Part of the last is not my fault, rotten kitchen drain had a clog and it of course chose after hours to blow. Literally. Flooded the cupboard. So I've been waiting for it to dry, all the stashed junk got to see the light of day, and my kitchen is inaccessable till it dries. Otherwise I'm ducking lysol, dishsoap, and vases. So I sorta have an excuse right? I did laundry at least! Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, this year like every year I join my mother and aunt to take care of the family plots (plant flowers, add statues, etc etc). It's gotten to be something I look forward to. I enjoy seeing the two of them together, my mother seems so different but when they start interacting it's funny to realize they are sisters. Its kind of nice seeing that, my mother tends to be a bit standoffish. More good news? My grandma will be up next month! Yay! Not long, but long enough to see her and hug her. Which is always something :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Short end of the hook?

A friend asked me to look for a pattern for her, shed had no luck and her computer hates her at the moment (got news for everyone, mines not too fond of me). So i started hunting through crochet, and im astounded by the vest patterns. They look so happy in them but they look terrible! Some of those I havent seen since Blossom aired. I mean a vest isnt the greatest item of clothing ever made but still that doesnt mean it has to be a shame to wear! I've gone through the knitted vests (looking for costume ideas) and while there were some bad ones, there werent anywhere near as many as there were for crochet. The question is why? There are some totally cute crochet items out there, why cant they make a good vest? Looking at the tops, i see so many I want (i cant do much beyond a granny square) but its just the vest that are bad...i guess its to outweigh the knitted blankets?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mom Jeans

This seems to be a mom thing. We are either at that point where we have 3 pairs of pants and are constantly washing them, or we have just enough to get through and stop looking at clearance racks for our size because the kid(s) outgrowing everything again. I'm currently on the first right now, halfway between sizes so anything I buy of either or does NOT fit (and yes, cry like a baby while struggling to either peel them off my calves or watching them puddle between the knees). I'm looking at the slowly shredding material and thinking "I just bought these!" and remember, I bought them last year. We had a little extra from the paycheck, I had just torn out my 2 best fitting pairs of pants (yep, year old then too but I wore them daily) and he took me shopping. Full price shopping no less, because I found nothing at the thrift store. I hated it. I hated spending that much money on something when I knew it could stretch so much more on the kids clothes, on cleaning supplies, on groceries, on anything and everything else BUT me. I've reached that point again, and I'm getting very dismal about it. I'm stuck digging out pants that are too loose but wearable, pants that mean i cant sit down for an hour because they need to stretch out again. I'm stuck looking like that person you see walking down the sidewalk thinking to yourself "why doesnt she buy something that fits?". Now you know why. And it honestly tends to be a mom thing. My mother will sooner buy herself a new shirt and shoes instead of pants. Why? One pair of pants will match 3-6 of her shirts and shoes. She will wear them till they are air conditioned (torn out in the thighs, back pockets, all that area). She won't go out and buy a new pair unless she desperately is in need of them. So, I started bringing some from the thrift store (it wasn't something we were really doing, dad was and is a brand name everything man). Now I get requests from her. Its comforting to know that I can help someone out with mom pants, even if it isnt myself. Maybe thats what it takes, someone else to bull us into getting pants when we need them despite us protesting every step of the way. Till then, I'm suffering with my pants, please ignore me if I'm stuck wearing gym pants one day because we all needed socks and underpants again (thats something else that falls under mom jean catagory). I'm well aware those pants are better suited for someone half my buttcheek size, but until you take me shopping, stfu.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Updated Lifestyle

I feel like I've ignored this poor blog. These past few months have just flown by and I swear someone has been taking days out of my week. What doesnt help? How many interruptions a week can have. I house sit for my parents when they go out of town and that includes doggie sitting. Its mind numbingly simple to do, they know what they do all day all they need is food, water, and poop scooping (the inside one is more attention needful but the hellspawn takes care of that). Otherwise I'm bored to tears. Knitting time right? Wrong, I'm at that bordom threshold where nothing seems interesting. Add the health walks. I know you've seen them, community walks that want people to raise money or donate for such and such a cause, great idea. I did the heart walk with my sister (did we ever look classy, plaid pj pants and red shirts woohoo). Now the breast cancer walk, which again is a great cause. I have no objections to doing them, it's fun. I get sibling time (there wasnt a lot of that growing up, I was an absolute pest) and I get to see how many people are willing to come together for, in some cases, perfect strangers. Now I bought a small ball of Patons Cotton DK at the thrift store, of course I went on Ravelry to check projects. I discovered a few were used to make Tit Bits which is something I've had lurking in my pattern folder. While these are not for everyone, it might bring a smile to the face of someone whos faced down cancer. The notes Beryl Tsang wrote are touching, giggle worthy, and seem to embrace what most survivors seem to be. Maybe knitting for a cause can get me back on track, I need to fine tune that coffee cup cozy and the ugly hat needs finishing (along with countless other things). Hopefully more patterns soon! Unless I get distracted..then yeah...SQUIRREL!

Monday, April 30, 2012


Blogger re did it posting and I'm all kinds of thrown for a loop. So, till I figure this out and also when I have something TO blog about, I'm leaving you with this

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Soup Cozy

During one of my moments of brilliance (see the sarcasm dripping?), I burned my hand taking one of those nukable soup thingies from the microwave to the table. The soup itself was fine to drink, but the container was a bit too warm for my wimpy tastes. Whats a kniter to do? Make a useless cozy!

You will need:
  • size 4 dpn (set of 4)
  • Knit Picks Swish DK in Hollyberry (I had less than a full ball, I could make another one still)
  • Soup container (for sizing)
Cast on 36 stitches. Divide amongst needles, 12 on each. Work in 2x2 rib for 4 1/2" (or until you reach the plastic lid, you may prefer it shorter). Just make sure you have a little bit of an overhang on the bottom, helps it stay put. Bind off in pattern (always looks sucky, you may prefer a different bindoff). Weave in ends and voila! Useless soup cozy!

looks so unassuming doesnt it?

bottom view, see the slight lip?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lite Reading

(yes, I hate "lite" too but it was clever in my own head!)

Finally was able to get my hands on a copy of The Help by Katheryn Stockette (waited weeks and the library had 3 copies). Devoured it within 3 days (slow, but I did have to juggle everything else) and I was stunned. That is a powerful book, I highly recommend it to any and everyone. I'm usually turned off by excessive cursing/slurs in books and tv (why I stopped watching Dexter and avoided Spartacus), but this dealt with what happened in a very real way. Those terms were widely used, widely accepted, and widely taught to the next generation(s). You felt for these women, you could feel the shame and the anger and the fear though the pages. I'm not normally a jump-on-the-bandwagon book reader, but please read this if you get a chance to do so.

Also, brainstorming new patterns so I *hope* to be able to finish my WIP and work on new goodies :D

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Craft time!

No, this isn't my picture. Not even my idea. But it kept popping up during an internet search and I'm sharing it with everyone.

See? Totally doable. Even if you only have ugly buttons, grab glitter glue and go wild with them. Dollar stores have loads of things to help you decorate :D

Sunday, March 25, 2012

50 posts!

Yes, according to blogger this is my 50th post of nothing! To celebrate, I'm going to have a mommy koolaid, work on the never ending blanket, and post a picture I snagged from Gay Marriage USA on facebook. I've seen this shared around and it always made me smile. I support marriage equality. I support peoples right to religious freedom as well. I also support the laws that are supposed to keep the two separate, there's a reason religion and politics don't mix. People get hurt.

Wave your flag, hold your sign, and be proud to be who you are! That is who you are meant to be!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


No babbling post here, just a picture for laughs :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring sprung! And fell flat on its face..

Project Updates:

  • Ugly hat is at a standstill
  • Baby blanket may never be finished, I realized why I never knitted one before. Crochet is so much faster!
  • Yoga socks are moving along speedily, amazing how quick it goes with no toe decrease or heel flaps
  • I am in serious need of dishcloths but I hate making them. I've churned out so many that I'm bored with the pattern. Luckily my mother toils away at them so I can always exchange new yarn for finished work if needed

In other news, spring seems to  be springing! Although that means all the ghetto fab neighbors are letting their spawns out of their sight once again. My neighbors being no exception (2 boys I'd say ages 5 and 3? Maybe 5 and 4). I've asked them twice now to stop banging on my porch railing, a third may require a cattle prod for them and wine for me. And because the height difference makes for a natural activity table, they have been playing with the bits of mud and flecks of bark from the banging sticks. Jokes on them, I'll sweep it off later and rake the yard tomorrow! Mwuahahahaa! Yeah, that didn't require a really evil laugh. The ones on the other side are old enough to know better but the door slamming and shouting get old reeeeeal fast. Ugh, especially after a weekend where the only noise were dogs barking. Tomorrow is monday which means school for these urchins, small consolation when I still have to suffer a few hours. Whiny bitch today, aren't I? I blame it on the lack of chocolate in the house.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Christmas Fo Me!

Found this from Vogue Knitting who shared it from another page, it looks so comfy doesnt it??

Red Pen Edit

I'm knitting away at my yoga socks and adding my mods to my project. Then it hit me that I was nit picking apart someone elses design. How completely RUDE was I to take something someone made and take it apart and rebuild it? (ok, not making that many mods but enough) Someone did that for one of my designs and I wasnt thrilled, I was very happy someone made it their own. I hope thats the way all these designers feel about the projects. Knitting is about making something your own, lots of people (and machines) have been there before but thats no reason it's any less personal. For example, checking out patterns, I came across a free hexipuff pattern. I've seen the Beekeepers Quilt published by tiny owl knits and liked it. But it was all made with fingering weight and I'm a cheapskate at heart. So I stuck it in the unattainable part of my knitting and went on my way. I did download some free charts, tiny motifs that look at least similar to what they are supposed to be aren't easy to make. When I spotted the freebie hexigon, I was thrilled because it was using a heavier yarn weight. Meaning semi attainable again. The cat swiped it so that meant a stuffie that was a dual use for pet and human toy. Problem? People were shredding the designer(s) on their ravelry page for posting that pattern. Pages upon pages of spewing. From some of the earlier posts, the designer may have posted things that shouldnt have been there. They were removed and the post cleared but still it went on. I was rather disappointed in my fellow ravelers. It's a shape, whats the problem (after it was edited of course)? It would be like someone getting upset over another person making using feather and fan. Or a basic cable. These are things that are a staple and impossible to copyright. Back to the original topic, the designer(s) saw the pattern, and were inspired to recreate it in their own way. Was it morally wrong as so many claimed? Was it he same as what I'm doing with my socks? I don't doubt that the designer worked hard on my current project pattern, is what I'm doing thumbing my nose at her as I type what went wrong (for me)? I find it buried into one of those grey areas that will probably never be resolved. So I will type my notes, and I will enjoy the pattern because those socks are mine made by me. And everything that someone knits is their own, regardless of pattern copyright (not saying go sell them, im just saying take pride in making something that is uniquely yours).

Friday, March 9, 2012

If you drink, don't drive, do the Watermelon Crawl

Doom hat is complete! Dan loved it, popped it on as soon as it was handed to him. Luckily I snapped a pic before hand..

Suki modeling for us

So now that means I can start working on all those projects I had set out. When I cleaned my stash, I set aside things to make so I wasnt rooting for new ones and making a mess of what I had just cleaned. One was a set of yoga socks. The link to the free pdf pattern can be found on Just Jussi's Ravelry page. I've tested it before, but had to frog because I ran out of yarn, wound up frogging these again because I had the ribbing wrong. I called them the Watermelon Crawl socks because of the colourway (Sorbet Multi by Knit Picks in Stroll Fingering) and I can't wait to get my feet in them! Then again, everytime I wear them that song will be stuck in my head.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Giveaway at Natural Suburbia!

Happy 4 Year Anniversary!

She's been blogging with knitting patterns, recipies, and everything in between and now shes sharing the fun. Visit her blog here Natural Suburbia Giveaway and be sure to check out her whole site. That link will take you to that specific blog.

In other news, that damn rib hat is mocking me. I'm up to colour 2 but I'm tempted by other projects even though I swore I'd finish this first. I will finish that boogery thing one way or another!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Second Look at Yarn

Finally making a hat for Dan. Using the Tricolored Stocking Cap pattern from Hip To Knit (yeah, I didn't make the title mkay?), I started out yesterday dreading the venture. Which really wasn't fair, it wasn't the patterns fault I made the first with cotton blend. Heavy, droopy, saggy, cotton blend that took forever to finish. Hubs loved that hat, claimed it immediately and is still wearing it. Dan wanted one too, so after looking at the original and finding yarn that actually works WITH the pattern, I cast on. All 128 sts in damn dk weight yarn. Knit Picks Swish DK to be precise. When they showed up in the mail, I was disappointed. I'd heard it was soft (for wool) but the balls were a bit rough, not something I'd use for baby projects like some had. Too late to turn, I kept going. Imagine my shock when I got a few inches of ribbing in (the massive amount of ribbing make you want to stab it but it's worth it) how the yarn became different. It was actually soft, you could still feel it was wool but it was an improvement to be sure. Now I'm running into a different worry, running out. You need 5" of the first colour and Adding up the amounts needed, 3 different balls should have had enough yardage. With 2" left to go, I'm starting to doubt I'll get there. It isnt a big deal, I just make up the difference with the other colour but its the principal of the matter. And the fact that Hubs deserves a decent replacement and I'd like to use the same kind of yarn. My other projects are on hiatus at the moment till I crank this out (seeing as its waaaaay overdue) so I'm trying to rush this. Tomorrow is the start of another busy week however, lets see what I can get done >.<

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Urk in Progress

I have this yarn that came with a bunch of others in a bag from the thrift store. 2 balls worth and it's been lurking in my shash for years now. Its called Bernat Galaxy (thankfully discontinued) and it looks like something an animal yucked up. I'm scrolling through Ravelry (what would I do without you?) for project ideas and a lot of people agreed with me. Its not that soft, it has clumps of ..stuff cropping up every so often that makes for a pain in the keister if you stick a needle in the middle of it, and did I mention it looks like upchuck? See for yourself, not my picture but its the same colourway:

Does that not look like something you'd step on in the middle of the night?

Anyways, the other projects all included scarves, shawls, hats, slippers, even a few sweaters (one for a disgruntled looking cat). Only one was in my colourway and yep, it still looked awful. Some of the others looked better, like a lint trap after drying a load of clown costumes. But I was stuck with my vomit. I refused to give up on it, that would have been admitting defeat and I'm pig headed sometimes. I tried blending it with anything I could and it just made it worse. So I'm going with basic black. So far? Not too bad, although grey might work better. I'm using Bernat Softee Chunky (yes, only a bulky with a super bulky but hush you) as my alternate yarn to tone down the heave tastic shading. I figured there are others with an odd ball or two hidden deep within their stash depths just waiting for the chance to get them used and out the door (preferably with some unsuspecting giftee) so I'll be posting it as soon as its finished. Obviously you can substitute a non icky yarn in place of that affront to a decent brand, but then it wouldnt be an Urk would it? Maybe we can call pretty ones Ack instead. I'll test a better one to compare. Please excuse all the terms for regurgitation in this post, I couldnt resist.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pass the wine and earplugs please..

"Mid Winter Recess" What a joke that is, we haven't had enough snow to say so. And now you're sticking us with our children for a week? Great..maybe you'll disinfect the school while youre at it. No snow and warmer than average temperatures every other day means perpetual colds for all. I've Lysoled everything that stays still, disinfected every light switch and handle, bleached whatever I could in the laundry and it still lingers. But not having to prep the kid for school and no drop offs/pick ups mean more time for knitting right? Wrong, means time to declutter. I already destashed a bit, the yarn out is all for intended projects (otherwise it goes right back to the closet or the to-go bag), and its all contained..across the room anyways. Now onto tables. Thats my weakness, if it has a flat surface EVERYTHING gets piled onto it, I don't think Ive seen the coffee table in months. Last I saw the diningroom table, it had a puzzle that was put away for the computer (that I'm on right now), and the side tables are loaded with books and dust catchers. Then I keep coming home with more crap. Why? Because the thrift store is full of enablers. I so much as look at something for more than 2 seconds they try and sell it to me. Luckily, a bunch left this weekend (goodies for mumsie) but otherwise, I'm stuck with 3 bags left to go back. And what am I doing now? Wasting my day online, it sucks you in. Webcomics and Ravelry are my biggest downfalls, what are yours? What makes you sit on your bum all day and stare at the screen? Ugh..on the knitting front, finally got the yarn ordered and delivered for a hat requested months ago. Problem? Knit Picks didnt have red. Plain red. So I substituted with something that looked close enough. Get it here and its not. Luckily, the red only takes up a small part of the top so I have time to replace it! Now if I could just find the needles..which I think are in another hat...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Clancy's Hershey Kiss

So coffee mitt did NOT turn out as planned, need to fiddle and redo it (ugh, still not enthused) but in the meantime, I have a cute little cat toy for you! My mil's cat likes to steal Kisses because of the shiny wrappers which irritates her chocoholic mother to no end. So she asked if I could make him a toy to distract him. I owed the poor guy new toy mice seeing as his were (very) ratty and I hadn't gotten around to digging out supplies yet, I figured I'd do this. Ravelry search turned up nada for knitters. I could have glitched my way through a crochet pattern but what about my fellow chicks with sticks? Those who can't or won't crochet? Not happening, says I. Remember, the patterns offered on this blog are free to gift, keep, or charity donate but please don't sell them. If you aren't friendly with the needles, I will be making more and selling them on Chivalry Isn't Dead. It turns out to be about 4" high with about a 3" base and looks like a garlic knob but you know what? who cares!

You will need:

  • Size 5 dpn (set of 4)
  • Stuffing
  • Caron Christmas Glitter yarn (worsted) - since been discontinued but there are plenty of glitter yarns out there. Can't find on you like? Check out embroidery floss, they have shiny kinds, and hold both the floss and yarn of your choice together throughout. Aiming to test it with Moonlight Mohair too, I'll let you know how that works.
  • Small amounts of novelty yarn in white (I used Lion Brand Fun Fur) if you're making it as a cat toy. For a person you can stitch on a bit of ribbon, a strip of felt, or just crochet/knit a chain/icord
  • darning needle
  • stitch marker (yes that thing that keeps getting in the way)
Assembled your gear? Here's what you need to know how to do:

  • kfb -increasing by knitting into the front and back of your stitch (i specify because some patterns dont and you're left to wonder if its this sort or a m1 increase)
  • how to use dpn
  • k2tog decrease
Got all that? Let's get started!

Instructions are written for each needle, repeat the row on each needle (easier to keep track)

Cast on 3 stitches, divide on your needles (1 on each, yes its tricky but hold on) and join.
Rnd 1: kfb,
Rnd 2: kfb, k1
Rnd 3: kfb, k1, kfb
Rnd 4: kfb, k4
Rnd 5: kfb, k2, kfb, k2
Rnd 6: kfb, k3
Rnd 7: kfb, k4
Rnd 8: kfb, k5
Rnd 9. kfb, k6 - 16 stitches on each needle

Hard part is over! It does get a little squishy with all those increase, this is what it looks like spread out over extra needles:

Pretty right?

Now you get to work even for 4 rnds (takes the stress off those increases)

Dec rnds:

Rnd 1: k 6, k2tog
Rnds 2 and 3: k
Rnd 4: k 5, k2tog
Rnds 5 and 6: k

See where this is going?

When your opening starts looking small enough to keep stuffing in, start poking it in. Otherwise you'll be at the end and need to use a needle to jab it in (like I did). You can always add more as you decrease but having the bulk of it in there first makes it easier.
Keep working till you reach 3 stitches left, one on each needle (yes, again, but its easier this time, promise)
Work one round on those three stitches (I knitted one, stabbed the needle into the kiss to hold it, then went to the next needle. Told you it was easier)
Cut yarn, draw through your stitches (where that darning needle comes in handy) and fasten off. With a little scrunching and shaping, you have a garlic knob! Er, I mean kiss!

Now if you want it to be for your furry overlord (if you are a cat owner, you know), run a length of novelty yarn through the top and knot it tightly. You can either braid it with the remaining tail or do what I did and leave it loose. I confess, I tucked my end in before I thought of that but you can learn from my blunder. Otherwise, you can attach your ribbon or whatnot or just leave it plain. Give it to your kitty and watch him ignore it. Leave it plain and give it to your diehard Twilight lover as sparkly vampire repellent.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Project: Lag

Working on a coffee mug cozy (there are at least 11 pages on Ravelry and those are just the knit ones but bear with me) and I finally got one that is working. Problem? I'm becoming unenthusiastic about my own design. Awful isn't it? It's turning out, a few minor tweaks, but it's just becoming a chore to finish it before posting (you'd like a picture to go with it wouldn't you?). Maybe it's a case of the winter blahs. It's being made in the yarn that was closest to me when I started brainstorming which is a cream shade so that might be my problem. I want to make a plain one I can add motifs to as well but that will have to be knit bottom up (which is a bit intimidating). Those I can sell on etsy (don't know the shop? Chivalry Isn't Dead please look us up!) But I can at least remedy a problem that bothered me with quite a few of the other patterns. I get coffee mugs come in lots of shapes and sizes, but when I was repeatedly told "average size mug" I got a bit frustrated. I measured 3 average mugs, 2 were 10" one was 11" and thats not including the skinnier ones or the novelty shapes. There was one that featured 3 button holes for tapered mugs but it left that extra bit hanging if you didnt the extra room. And I wanted it more for a handled mug than a to-go cup. I still might test it for my oddly shaped owl mug (perfect for that mocha nom fix). Some were just odd, I don't need a fuzzy bunny shaped one, nor do I need a Twilight themed on (my feelings on glittery blood suckers aside here). So, in the end I decided to make one and add instructions for all 3 sizes (I measured a few other mugs and found a few 9" ones lurking). This still doesn't help my current predicament, design blahs. I keep getting in a few more rows between facebook games and blog sentences but it needs to be going a bit more before I can even jury rig it to a mug for photo ops. So maybe I should post so I can get knitting? Yeah I don't believe me either. My sluggishness aside, the mitt isnt a hard or bad knit, I'm just getting into a lull. Post as soon as I'm finished!

New Year, New Post

Yes, late, but it's the thought that counts right? I stayed at home on New Years (not for lack of trying) but in hindsight I'm glad I did. New Years tends to be a drunken fools game, and I for one am not a fan of hoards of sloshed idiots. But what really gets me are the resolutions. Theres always someone asking what yours is (and if any of you have, I'm not offended, just amused. you'll see why). People create all these inflated dreams and hopes for the new year and some set insanely high goals for themselves. Some are great, quitting smoking, getting in shape, keeping in touch with family. Most will break those in the first few weeks in January. Others, silly goals like having a partner by the end of the year, married in June, learn to sky dive. All things that shouldn't have a time limit. What makes me smile is that these people insist on doing it January 1st. It would work just as well March 7th or October 20th. If you really want to start fresh, then do it. Just don't do it because of the resolution hype. If you make it, all the more power for you. If not, don't be hard on yourself maybe it wasn't an attainable goal (like growing the longest eyebrows evah). I'm just hoping to finish some of those U.F.O.'s lurking around here..if I can find them all.