Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Something bright

I want you to know I finished the neon purple toddler sweater. I'm pleased with how it turned out for the most part. I just hope it's as functional as I imagine it to be.

The design is an open cardi, meaning there is not much body in the front paneling. It's mainly just the ribbed stitch edge. Obviously you can modify this if you'd prefer a more covered look. As you knit the increases before separating for sleeves, just add increases by the sleeve markers. I imagine this design will be good for little people who are busy in activities like finger painting or water and sand table splashing or baking cookies. There will be less fabric to swing down in one's little and exploratory way.

Now I just need to get it to the kid. My timing has been kinda poopy lately.

Other bright things in the Ellen universe? Remember I told you May was kinda busy? It's also been really full of bright moments. A great afternoon with my Dad and the boys watching basketball eating Thai food. Mother's Day with my stepmother and my sister and nephew. Family luncheon with my husband's family at their Godfather's house. He sets an amazing table and has the most beautiful roses. A tasting menu dinner with an old family friend we've been trying to see since January -- and The Kid who showed his city living palette is on point. In a blazer no less. :)

Mother and son cinema days are becoming a regular thing and we were lucky enough to go with Mrs. Canada and her son last week.  I finally had drinks with an old co-worker and it was so nice. She seems really happy and serves as a good reminder of the possibility of a good life outside the agency ;)

Lots of good times.

We've also had a bout of stomach sickness in the apartment along with a few other unexpected life issues, but look! Behold all the brightness!

More knit to come...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May is moving along

I was hoping to get another post in last week, but it was not meant to be. May is becoming a rather scheduled month. I am tempted to list out the things that I've done and I'm doing to prove my point but really snoozeville, right? Let's just say all household members have both fun things as well as obligatory health, work and school things on the agenda. Not that unique, but "for reals" stuff that limits both knitting and baking time.


However I did manage to get the blocked Traverse cowl off to my friend Mrs. Canada. It was a quick exchange since she was double-parked picking up a kid from the apartment. She was gracious enough to send me a picture. I think she looks great in it. I'm really happy I followed my instincts and doubled up on the pattern.

Because I'm properly obsessed with knitting, I have made sure to put some stitches into something somewhere.

Lately it has been The Littlest L's cardigan. It's a new pattern for me. The Kiddy Vertebrae

I just bound off the body. I didn't go down 2 needle sizes for the ribbing just 1 since I'm having some Uncommon Ground flashbacks and I seem to be a tighter knitter than I realized. Looking at the tension, I really could've gone either way, but it neatly finished off the first skein and that was gratifying.

I haven't really made any sock progress, simply because I'm trying to crank out this sweater so I can move on to the next small person knit.

Eye on the prize people.

Monday, May 4, 2015

How'd that happen?

A good friend of mine in high school used to use that phrase for when stupid actions equaled stupid obvious results. I'd like to say it was only in observing other people in our high school society, but that would be a big fat lie. It was mostly observing others, and occasionally ourselves.

Anyways, back to the knitting ranch...

Well, I dunno if it's obvious how this happened.

But THIS happened. And I was early getting ready for work one morning -- showered, fresh faced and all (not cheery, I'm sorry, I'm not cheery in the morning) and then I picked up my to go knitting.

The Hermione socks. AKA Smart Girl Socks

The night before I had completed turning the heel and picking up half the stitches for the gusset. I was in the middle of knitting the pattern for the top of the foot when I realized I wouldn't have enough stitches to complete the pattern. This meant ... I was "missing" TWO stitches.

I can't figure out where that happened. I mean I can't see a dropped stitch, and I know I ended each needle on the right place for pattern repeats, so I'm thinking maybe I'd just need to rip it out to where I started the heel again. Hmm.

A nice person on Instagram mentioned I might be able to just not decrease 2 in the gusset on one side ... this  still feels lopsided and I don't see how I can get the pattern repeat right.

Ugh, I can't think about it.

So, I picked up this instead :)

Yeah, same pattern, but a different colorway and I'm magic looping instead. The pattern is written specifically for a magic looper. I did cut the cast on down to 60 from 64 since I didn't have a US 1 long enough and am using a US 1.5.

I'm getting a little gun shy as I prepare to make the hell I mean heel. I already had to back out about 12 rows in the pattern due to another mistake I kept perpetuating. I had a weird ribbed pattern on one half of my sock. This time I decided not to question "How'd that happen?" and just fix it.

Lastly I have these scrappy pieces. Leftover Wool-Ease Thick and Quick scraps and stash. I'm attempting a new pieced together blanket/throw. I figure working on pieces is kinda like working on blocks. Perhaps it is not my smartest knitting decision to work with Super Bulky weight yarn in the summer. Ah well, who knows what the weather will bring.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The weekend recap

I really tried to slow my pace a little this weekend. I could feel myself tensing. I was prepping to do MORE and not less. I could feel little bubbles of anxiety that start with phrases like, "I should ..."

And then I got in touch with my sweatpants and said, "Nah."

When I got home from work on Friday, the boys and I went to the local market where they have food stalls and everyone picked out something to eat because I was too tired to cook. Then there was some baseball watching before I fell asleep on my knitting needles, ha!

I did manage some exercise Saturday morning before another Spring season soccer match. There was lunch and tea and board games with pals.

I didn't bake this weekend. I know, crazy right? I'll have you know, the soccer team won anyways. It wasn't pretty, but it wasn't ugly and  ... it was a win, and from all the little Muppet chatter it sounds like it was fun times.

We watched some playoff Warriors basketball. No knitting for that small time frame. Family friends came over for dinner such good company and well, we all need to eat, eh? Just simple eats -- roast chicken, scalloped potatoes and sauteed greens (spinach, kale and arugula) with garlic and bacon. Raspberries, whipped cream and chocolate pastries provided by our friends for dessert. Easy, simple, early with friends.

I knit a bit more before falling asleep in front of Midsommer Mysteries (Things that go bump in the night.) I was SO close to finding out who dunnit! ACK! I will have to scour the internet this evening for some closure  -- hopefully I won't fall asleep, again.

And yes, there appears a theme of me falling asleep early, in the middle of watching something on t.v. or ... well knitting. This wouldn't bother me so much, I have been very tired. However I wake up in the middle of the night almost every hour. If I were a comic book, there would be a question mark over my head.

This would not have been so bad except that I was getting up early to run the Across the Bridge 12k with my pal Alv. He's a really good guy and super fast runner. We met in gym class and have just some how managed to support each other's endeavors in passing. He mentioned he wanted to do a running event and we had been trying to meet up for coffee or brunch and here was an opportunity to do both. 

 It was nice to have a pal to wait in the queues with and chat and ride the shuttle over to the start line. However we run at very different paces and we just planned on meeting at the finish line with no pressure. I'm not very good at running with someone anyways. It makes me self conscious and I need to go at my own pace whatever that may be. The first photo is what the view was at the end.

This run was not my best, not only am I out of running shape (honestly I'm never in running shape, but you know at least I have more training before) but it basically proved to me that my shoes are dead. I had the worst blisters on the inside of my feet ever. I'm sad. I loved those shoes.

Awkward angle ...

But brunch was super tasty and fun. I think we'll try to do it again at some point this year.

I came home and after showering sort of had a pity party with my blisters on my bed. I just felt really tired, and sore and out of shape. I laid there and watched 2 episodes of the new season of Orphan Black. I love this creepy crazy show.

I finally pulled out the yarn and did the button thing for my 4T child sophisticate.

Not fantastic photos.

The Spring knitting mojo is still going ... I hope you found a good pace this weekend as well.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Smart girl socks

I had misplaced the cowl pretty much all weekend until Sunday evening when I watched Wolf Hall Episode 3. (Is anybody else watching this? What do you think?) I bound off the cowl, but it still needs to be "finished" with some weaving and blocking. Hopefully,

What I worked on in the meantime was my first sock of  Hermione's Everyday Socks.

I'm beginning to see the pattern. I'll work on these until I get to the heel. I really have a few things I need to get going on.

Andi in the comments from the "hopes and dreams..." knitting post said it best,
I don't know knitting on size 1 needles seems tiring me to me as well, even though there is not much of a difference between 1's and 1.5's. I can still feel the difference. 
Too right, Andi. Too right. And because of this sound assessment I will actually fiddle with the stitch count (notice how I am conveniently not committing to using the "g" word). and see if I can get a desired circumference with 1.5s next time around with the pattern ...

Araignee sums up my everyday day dream
Sock knitting cures what ails you.
And thus, one should always keep a pair of socks on the needles.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spring Giveaway Winner!

The Random Number Generator selected Vera as the winner of the Madelinetosh Spring Sock yarn and lotion bar.

An email has been sent, but if any of you know Vera, tell her, you always knew she was a ... WINNER!!

Vera is a contributor to this stitching blog here.

Vera is new to sock knitting and I thought it would be nice if any of you could offer up some good resources for newbie sock knitters, I think it might be interesting and helpful to bunch of us.

A lot of you continue to provide me with great helpful hints. Things like, avoiding ladders with dpns or maybe a magic loop sock knit tutorial video you like? I think I am seriously going to have to try this technique. Jesse recommended the two at a time sock knitting book. It keeps me company at the side of my bed, but I still haven't committed to even the top/cuff down version (I think Jesse is a toe-up knitter.) Maybe my next holiday that involves less running around ...

I liked having a seasonal theme for this giveaway. I like seasonal themes in general, so maybe we'll have to have a summer giveaway as well :)

Tell me, if you were going to add something to your crafting kit and kaboodle, what would it be?

Personally, I have a bunch of wonderful mementos from my trip to London and Paris I'm seriously considering picking up a basic scrapbook. BASIC people, nothing fancy -- just a centralized place to glue things in. I always have room for sock yarn, despite what The Manfriend and The Kid say.

But the truth is I don't need much of anything. (do not tell the family I said that) What I actually need is to organize my things and my life ...ah an ongoing battle ... I mean journey...

Maybe just organize my needles? Kathy B. just mentioned she is using nail polish to distinguish and group her dpns and what not. BRILLIANT. Why have I not done this sooner.

Tomorrow WIP! Show or tell us what ya' got!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Hopes and dreams and some comments on progress

These are a stack of my hopes and dreams. 

Clockwise starting from the top is the beautiful sherbert yarn that Dee sent me. It's Florida yarn! Next is the Harry Potter inspired colorway, Godrics Hollow. Front and center is, Mind the Gap -- London Yarn, whoo to the hoo! and then lastly is the second cake of chunky Mad Tosh for Mrs. Canada's cowl.

Here is a stitch detail of that cowl.

It's coming along, almost done -- Sunday night at the latest, but you know, it's busy over here at Chez Ellen.

I did finish the pair of neon socks from Spring Break that I put on Instagram.

Also in the wings, but not pictured. The extra yarn to finish a toddler sweater came in the mail. I'm almost finished with that too, but I will need to get some buttons, ugh. I also have started my first pair of Hermione socks, just finished 20 rows of cuff. I think I need to master knitting socks on the magic loop for any socks that require US1 needles, because Knit 1, Purl 1 on those tiny @ss dpns felt like so much more work than usual. Maybe I'm just super tired.

I will have photos of these projects soon. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the weekend. May it bring you lots of laughs, lots of knitting and some tasty treats. :)