Monday, December 30, 2013


And sometimes there is time to knit more than one.

I know these blanket square posts are just thrilling but I'm too busy going out and doing things to actually write about it. The good news is the blanket is now a fourth done.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Single Square

There isn't always time to knit multiple squares. Sometimes I'm lucky to get even one finished.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Socks

I cast these on May 28th, 2012. They are made from two socks yarns held double over 40 stitches on size 1 needles.

Knitters know to write such things down, that the important bits that we think we will never forget like stitch count and yarn information and even the size we are making, will be gone from our mind if we set the project down for more than 3 days. So we have paper patterns highlighted, notes saved online or on mobile devices, a knitting journal, or a spreadsheet.

I do all that. I did all that. I even gave these socks the name Christmas Socks but I didn't write down who I was thinking of when I cast on. So here they are, finished just in time, if a year late is just in time and in knitting it is, and I can't remember who they are for.

I'll tuck them away for next year and maybe I'll remember or, perhaps, I'll take them around like Cinderella's Prince Charming to find who they fit. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sitlka Rose

I started this project August 6th, 2012 in yarn that was bought for me in Alaska. That's pretty exciting.

It's Rabbit Ridge Designs in the color Sitlka Rose and the pattern is The Amanda Hat. I love how it turned out and it's a perfect match for my winter coat. It's also a great yarn/pattern combo. I will be knitting other variegated yarns in that pattern because the little floats break up the pooling and alow the color to shine.

The best part is the hat used just a little more than half of the yarn so I have plenty left to knit something else.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's Not Easy Being Green

And back to the green. It's even more vivid in this pairing. I wouldn't have thought that was possible.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Bit Small

I finished Shilling and while it was supposed to be for my brother it came out a bit small. It fits me ok but I think would be even better on a kid. Since my brother has a super sized noggin I will have to knit him a different hat. 

The yarn is Berroco Vintage and very nice to knit and it's machine washable, although, the swatch really fuzzed up in the wash.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Evil Bunnies

In July I tried the South Beach Diet. I wanted a gym membership but I thought it would be too expensive and healthier eating would be a good place to start. A month on that and the grocery bill showed what a bargain a gym membership really is. Rice and potatoes went right back into my diet but I haven't reintroduced sugar back into my apartment. I do eat it when out or with friends or I'm gifted candy in a swap box but it's not in my cupboards. 

So when my Secret Santa at work put a pound of chocolate on my desk every day for five days it was manna from heaven.

Earlier this year, in the silent mocking of the shrines coworkers put in their cubes, I had decided that my cube theme is knitted rabbits. This is the only one I got around to knitting. He is so cozy looking sitting between my awards and diplomas.

I had always planned on knitting more, on knitting a herd of epic proportions, although, it would never rival the Star Wars action figures five rows over or the Hawaiian Honeymoon shrine across the way.

However, it's been nine months since my last promotion and I've sucked every last bit that I can out of this position and I'm searching for my next place in the company. Looking around I'm thinking Hawaiian Honeymoon isn't going anywhere and I know that Star Wars action figure is not and keeping it subtle would be good way to go.

I still hope to get a few more bunnies up to soften my cube since I'm the only one that has left mine bare, even my supe (the most subdued of the bunch) has a mini shrine of cats, just not epic army of evil bunnies.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Life Hack

Not only am I clearing out my pile of unfinished knitting projects, I've taken care of and finished filling in my budget. I track all of my spending in a spreadsheet, updating it twice a month, but I had let that go since mid November. So I took the time and filled it all in and while I was at it I made the new spreadsheet for 2014.

In making the new spreadsheet I rearranged my budgeted spending a bit. 2012 and 2013 I had $15 a month allotted for my home. That was just fine in 2012 but I failed at keeping it in 2013. That $15 a month is for cleaning supplies and things that are needed to keep a place up and running, however, in my heart, it's actually for making this place inviting and cute and a home so I do my cleaning with dish soap and white vinegar and spend it on other things for my apartment first.

I looked over the months and the reason I didn't make budget in 2013 was two incidents. In July the K-Mart next to me closed and I went to the going out of business sale then in October all five lights in my bathroom blew out and the specialty light bulbs to fit the fixture cost $41.19.

While the budget is to keep me from going to clearance sales it is not for me to live in the dark so I've increased the 2014 Household budget to $20 a month. I didn't magically make up the money but I had the electricity set at a $100 and for 3 months I did use $96.00 of electricity but most of the other months came in at $44. I lowered the electricity allotment adding to household and some to my food too.

Some people might think keeping a budget is a bit too much and I know mine is very tight, but it's what I have to do to live without a roommate and keep pets and I think it's worth it.

So, Saturday, when I opened my spice cabinet and things fell out onto my head, like it does every time, I just snapped and I wanted magnetic spice containers to put on my fridge.  I've wanted magnetic spice tins since I first saw them online in 2010 in a vague sort of way but this weekend I needed them and I needed them NOW.

That wasn't happening since the 2013 household budget is in a deficit but I looked online and read reviews and decided that they would be at the top of my list in April.

Most of the time needing something NOW is because I've told myself that I can't have it and I'm having an internal toddler temper tantrum. By setting a date I know I can get what I want, I just have to wait, and that NOW feeling subsides. After a few days normally I don't even want the thing anymore at all or if April rolls around and I still want it I get to buy it since I keep my word, even to myself. At that point I know I really wanted it and the item will make me smile every time I use it for years, unlike impulse buys. So I set the date and moved on with my day.

On Sunday I was lazing in bed and mulling over what I was going to knit this week and magnetic spice tins and how a few reviews said they leaked and the lids stick or fall off and would I even like spices on the fridge and surely couldn't I do something now to take care of the issue...

I have spices, I have magnets, I have glue, I'll just make my own with what I have.

Let glue set for 24 hours.

They are pretty sweet and I think just the cutest things ever.

What I learned from this.

1. The glue won't stick unless the spices are wiped off the bottom of the jars with alcohol. I used the Rum in the photo having no rubbing alcohol on hand.

2. I had almost no spices in my spice cabinet. The problem is not the spices but that cabinet shelf holds all of my baking ingredients, my rice, my pasta and anything and everything that comes in a smallish container. This is the smallest kitchen I've ever had and even after living here a year I still fight it everyday. Removing the spices did nothing to clear it up but at least I can cook with them without opening the cabinet door and facing the avalanche.

3. What I really need is thin, tall but not too tall, plastic storage containers for the rice, pasta, and flour. That is not in my budget at this time either and much less thrilling then cute tins. I don't see that going on my list anytime soon.

Maybe if I pull everything out of the kitchen and put it back in I can find a better configuration...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Still Waiting for Daylight

The buttons are finally picked out and sewn on. It's knit from TOFUtsies sock yarn held double and the pattern is one I made up as I went along.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Intensely Green

Two more squares finished for the blanket and that lime green is so very intensely green.

Friday, December 13, 2013


Another project pulled from the unfinished basket. This one I started April 4th, 2012 and all it had left was a few ends to weave in and the buttons.
Again I'm using Grandma's button tin, although, some of those buttons I've collected myself. The purple ones are from that silk skirt from my freshman year in college, the brown ones to the left are from my white oxford that I wore ushering so I could watch a season's worth of events for half an hour of light work. I saw Morgan Freeman preform in that shirt and it was so moving I cried and makeup ran. The pink buttons are from my favorite work shirt that I just wore to death and then wore some more before finally deciding I shouldn't wear it in public, much less to work. Most of my knitted shawletts are made to go with that shirt. I have socks knit to go with that shirt. I glowed when I wore that shirt.

But button sorting isn't just about the memories it's about picking the best match. My favorites are the orange and they are too small so they were some of the first to go.

I've narrowed it down and I'm leaving it out so I can see it in daylight before making my final choice.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

More Projects

 More squares finished for the Weasley Blanket.

I've also picked my next project from the unfinished pile. This one was started November 8th, 2013 so not all of the unfinished projects are old. The pattern is Shilling and there is nothing wrong with it. I just get too busy to knit for a bit there.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Boboli and Dolce

Another project I pulled out of my unfinished pile.

I started it May, 11th 2012 and this one didn't even have any knitting left, just 4 ends to weave in. Stalled out for more than a year from the weaving in the ends. Yep. Not a job I enjoy doing at all.

The multi colored yarn is Berroco Boboli that was gifted to me for my birthday, I think that year, and the brown is Cascade Yarns Dolce, an alpaca yarn, from my stash. It's knit in my favorite K1P1 rib scarf pattern. However, I've developed a sensitivity to alpaca and I'm wondering if it's this very soft scarf will be too itchy. The next step is to wash it really well and rinse with hair conditioner and go from there.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cover Version

Nerd wars Challenge (Encyclopedia): VOLUME C: COVER VERSION

Your challenge this month is to take inspiration from an existing craft project - either one of yours or someone else’s - and craft something new.

The skein in the back is one I spun of a different round of Nerd Wars. It’s a ply of brown and one of pink. For this challenge I took the leftover singles of the brown and spun up a purple mystery batt and plied the two together. I then spun more of the pink and also plied it with the purple.

It was rather quick spinning since the fibers were well carded and I spun it long draw into a nice, lush, heavy aran weight yarn.

200 yards of the brown/purple
140 yards of pink/purple

Team tie in. There is enough yarn to knit Kaylee a scarf and the pinks, browns, and purples will look real nice with the pink, brown, and peach of her dress.

Monday, December 09, 2013

The Ron Weasley Blanket

Another Harry Potter project.

I don't know how I missed it when the movie came out but when I ran across it recently in The Prisoner of Azkaban (and The Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Pheonix) I was obsessed. 
I had to knit it. I had to knit it RIGHT NOW! I even considered buying the yarn for it but that seemed rather un-Weasley like. However, nothing in my stash looked like it would be enough. I had already knit all of my worsted weight into the Curve of Pursuit last spring.

It took about eight hours before I had the flash. I have a whole lot of scraps of Cascade Eco, it being the one yarn I would knit with for the rest of my life, you know, if I was made to choose and malabrigo Twist didn't exists.

I have two skeins of brown in the stash and one of lime green and a whole lot of scraps. It's not worsted weight so the squares are turning out larger but that will mean less sewing in the end. I cast on 30 stitches on size 6 needle and I'm slipping the first stitch of each row. 

The colors aren't a match the original but that is just right for a Weasley blanket. It's more real this way.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Wave Your Flag High

Nerd Wars Challenge (Nerdology): WAVE YOUR FLAG HIGH!

Craft something inspired by a different nerdery that brought out your flag! Wave your Nerd Flag high!!

This is the hat that Hermione wears in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I love her so much in the books.
The hat is STUNNING. It's great that when I wanted to knit this hat I had the yarn in my stash. No trip to the yarn store needed. I love my stash. The color is a very good match too. It's the nighttime photo that makes the blue grey look so warm toned. And now a ball of Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport in  Grey Heather from 2003 finally found the right project.

Team tie in:

The color matches Shepard Book's hair.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Button, Button...

Started April 7th, 2012 and it's a project that I had stuffed away for not working out. It's issue was running out of yarn before the arms or button bands were knit.

I think my way of addressing it is rather clever and very attractive and looks like the whole project was planned that way.

I pulled out Grandma's button tin and spent a good long time sorting and choosing. It's like Christmas shopping but better because of no crowds or spending money.

The pattern is Super-Natural Stripes and the yarn Mission Falls 1824 Cotton. I love that yarn so much if it's the spinning from before it was discontinued the first time.

A few weeks ago I helped a coworker set up as stash sale after a knitting family member passed away. I mentioned how nice it is and discontinued so they gave me all she had as a thank you and it was no small amount. I'm now set for a good long time. Hopefully long enough for me to find a non discontinued cotton yarn I like just as much.

Friday, December 06, 2013


It's time for more Nerd War entries. I'm still playing for team Browncoat.

Challenge (Discovery): CHEMICAL COLORS

These colours we see and love are due to the tree withdrawing green chlorophyll from the leaves and two groups of chemicals being revealed: the carotenoids (the yellows, oranges and browns) and the anthocyanins (reds and purples).

Your challenge this month is to craft something in the colours of carotenoids or/and anthocyanins

From the USDA Forest Service 

"During the growing season, chlorophyll is continually being produced and broken down and leaves appear green. As night length increases in the autumn, chlorophyll production slows down and then stops and eventually all the chlorophyll is destroyed. The carotenoids and anthocyanins that are present in the leaf are then unmasked and show their colors."

When I picked these leaves up they were such a dark brown that they looked black and were a perfect color match to the yarn. It was the burgundy of Anthocyanins that gave them that color. They sat around a while before I took the photo and the color has faded. I believe that the tannin is the leaves is now showing but mostly it's the crappy night time photo and indoor lighting that changed the color from a rich chocolate brown to dead leaf tan. I have a goal of setting up a nice photo shooting spot.

I started with the pattern Rikki but I modified it so much I don't know if it even counts as using the pattern. The cast on number is the same, at least. The yarn is madelinetosh DK in the color Whiskey Barrel. It's the first time I've worked with the yarn. I know. I know. I'm probably the last knitter to try that yarn it's so hot right now. It's rather nice and the best part is how smooth it is so there should be very little pilling.

Team tie in for extra points:
The color is a match to the brown coats worn by the Independence.

Team Unity Project with Team Robbingood for even more points. Team Robbingood represent movies about grifters and thieves, usually with the heart of gold.

I found the movie Burglar.

Bernice Rhodenbarr, a former burglar, resumes her life of crime when blackmailed. She needs the hat to contain her dreds. It’s much more stylish than the one she is wearing and will look great with her sweater

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Brought to You by the Letter V

The alphabet swap where each person was given a letter along with the name of their partner. daughterofartemis drew me and the letter V and, Wow, what a phenomenal package.

First. Wrapped? Seriously? That’s an extravagant touch for an overseas package sent from the UK. And look at all the LOOT! There is so much in there!

Let's do the best first, ok! 

Wow. Just wow.

This shawl is as light as a whisper and yet it’s pretty substantial. It has knit and crochet bits with the yarn woven through the stitches. daughterofartemis, says it’s tunisian crochet. It looks really really hard. A truly epic project. I’m in awe. The colors are gorgeous and it fits right into my wardrobe. I’m going to wear this all the time. The pattern is Venus

The vittles.

Viennese, chocolate truffle surrounded by special Viennese chocolate and encrusted with sparkling sugar. I’m watching what I eat and I asked that any yummies that are sent to be cheat worthy. So very cheat worthy. I can’t even describe how good these are.

Very Good Chocolate and Valina Chai. I’m hording these to get me through December. Thank you.

Vanilla reminds me, I also received a Vanilla candle that didn’t get a photo. It smells wonderful.

Vintage inspired tin for tea. Just what I need. My kitchen is prone to bugs in the fall when the weather changes and they want to move inside where it’s warm. I use lots of containers and this one is just my style and perfect.

Vivacious. This is the most crappy photo ever but the yarn is stunning. Aqua through blue, violet to periwinkle, with a little bit of acid yellow. It looks like the very first leaf of spring. It will be my first time knitting with Malabrigo Sock and I can’t wait.

Villains. The stitch markers made me squee and laugh out loud.

Vern, Vicious Viking and Virgins. What great choices!

I haven’t read Jules Verne since that dystopian literature class I took in collage and I haven’t read Around the World in 80 days at all. Right now my knitting time is watching Warehouse 13 and Jules Verne is a recurring character. It’s going to be fun to read it in that context rather than the writing an 8 page paper context. Although I enjoy that too. What a great gift. Thank you.

You obviously know I admire the Vikings their aesthetic and use of line in decoration. Now I have a chance to dig deeper into their culture and get the real scoop. This one made me laugh so hard.

Ooooo Virgin Suicides. That looks very promising.

daughterofartemis, you are amazing. The shawl is beyond amazing. I love everything and feel so touched. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013


I finished one class and I can sleep again. The other class will be wrapping up soon. In the spirit of wrapping things up for the year I started pulling out unfinished projects and finishing them. They have been piling up a bit.

I started these March 4th 2011. The plan was to make a garland or bunting from them although I can't remember why. I do remember cranking them out over several weeks of watching Doctor Who.

All they needed was to be sewn together and stuffed. They might still become a garland but I'm rather smitten with the Woodland Wreath pattern that just came out it has hedgehogs so they could become the start of that.