Tuesday, December 30, 2014

This is why I knit: Christmas Week Retrospective

It has been rather radio silent over here at Chez Ellen. I think you're all probably aware of a small holiday known as Christmas, whether you celebrate it or not -- for those that do, it tends to sort of suck up a lot of time, focus, money and of course, sanity if you let it.

It is also when we have some really good gatherings. We had a Christmas celebration this year that included my Mother and Stepfather who came in from Kansas, which was a super treat.

I hope you all had  good time and are finding more good ways of winding down the year.

That is what I am doing. I am winding down the year.

This past week was absolutely what the holiday season means to me. Family, friends and sharing. You share time, laughs and food.

The Christmas Eve Spread
The hardest on me is the pace. I felt like I was running the whole time, even during the lulls in the action. I think it is just my nature. I'm tightly wound. I like to put the world into a spreadsheet to see the big picture and to try and not lose the detail. All the mental notes and tricks to negotiate anxiety and to take a step back and figure out appropriate responses instead of just feeling and reacting sort of dissolved into "keep going".

The Manfriend carving the TurDuck (the butcher forgot the Hen)
I am a little sad I guess, because I found myself rather impatient with myself and with everyone.

The Colonel and his two Wiley grandsons at Treasure Island on Boxing Day
This is why I knit.

Christmas Day Endeavors
Many of you have mentioned it's natural we can be hard on ourselves this time of year when we want everything to be just so (and I don't think I expect too much). My mistake is putting a lot of the pressure on myself, thinking it's my job to lead the charge. Though in a way it is. One of the things with people who suffer from varying levels of anxiety is a need for control, to manage expectations for oneself and unless you live a recluse life, for others. I've gotten better through the years, but I've still got some work ;)

The cousins with Manfriend and Moms playing some 5 card draw. What? gambling is just probability and ratios!
As you can see from the pictures I think it was a good time for all.

And now...  now the kitchen and the living room are pretty much back to normal (which by no means means clean, but perhaps a little tidier). The laundry is caught up. The bedroom looks like we've been burgled but ... it's in progress.

The boys went to AZ to visit The Manfriend's eldest brother and Grandparents and Aunties, while I held down the fort.

I'm back at work and the emails and post-its are being managed. We get a new director next week when most of the holiday schedules have returned to normal. The Kid will be back in school. The grind goes on ...

And this is why I knit. (it's also why you should celebrate and give thanks when you can)

So, I have a new spreadsheet. For the last 2 months my spreadsheet has focused on the Christmas holiday. Items return to projects around the house, the school and of course, knitting. (I'm going to finish a bulky cardigan, damnit.)

I did manage to finish my peppermint socks while the Christmas tree is still up and I'll post them when I block them shortly.

From Instagram: my wild night without the boys. 2 nights in total, but it's been cold I could use more bodies in the apt.
Tomorrow I'll post the last giveaway winner of 2014!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The final giveaway of 2014!

I am still surprised it's 2014, how'd that happen? How is it almost over? Well, here we are with a final yarn giveaway.

I've got some knit picks wool/silk worsted blend. Interested? You know the "pattern" (I crack myself up). Leave a ravelry handle or a way to contact you.

I'll pick a winner next Wednesday.

I may also have a surprise runner up prize ...

Monday, December 22, 2014

The holidays and I have to work through some tough times ...


Well, I am a little dramatic. I'm only working 2 days this week and I worked 4 last week. I am trying to finish a lot up, because I hate coming in after multiple days off to pick up work in the middle when I don't have to. Project work often can't be finished, but I would love to be at a tidy milestone, you know, like at the end of a pattern repeat :)

I have managed to obtain presents.

I managed to entertain my friends and my son's friends on Friday, the last day of term. I wish I had pictures but I was prepping a  lot of food and having a lot of fun. We fit 9 kids and 10 adults in my 2 bedroom apartment! Somehow my neighbors are still speaking to us!

I managed to wrap obtained presents and cook a meal for my sister's family and my mother and stepfather who have flown into town.

I have managed 3 different kinds of cookie dough in the past week. What can I say when the pressure is on, I like to completely add to it by wasting time with unnecessary baked goods. 

I have managed to drive my husband and child a little insane with my incessant nagging.

So pretty much holidays are on track.

I sort of vacillate between having a good time and being a bit of a nightmare. I thought I should be honest with you all since I was really trying to tap into the holiday spirit in the last post.

In case you were wondering it's a hard sell if you're telling people to have a good time (damnit) with a clenched jaw and balled up fists. Ha!

Seriously though, most of the pressure is off me now. Christmas Eve is the Manfriend's show. He is going to put on an amazing spread. It's been fun listening to him plan his menu and make his lists. He sparkles a bit like tinsel when he taps into his inner CF (control freak). I just gotta make some short bread and appetizers and keep space in the fridge for him. Easy peasy pudding pie. (I'm not actually doing pudding or pie because they are both things I fail at miserably.)

I came into work today and found a lovely wrapped gift and some cookies and some home brew from Harrigan's family. How sweet is that? I also had visits from some co-worker's children that came by for a hello. The under 10 set is so charming. Lip balm is always a hit with the little girls and then they each get a grab in the chocolate jar.

I admit, I've been hoarding these ...

WHAT? I'm not completely out of hand. The mint truffle kisses things are like horrible. You can't eat just one. HM and I at work have little green wrappers on our desks a little too often. The Dove Peppermint Bark is with dark chocolate and they are just really, really happy. They are a seasonal treat, so I have to eat them NOW, you see? Also they are probably making me a kinder person.

In fact I think that I will stop eating the rest and use them for my shortbreads! BRILLIANT.

Maybe it will make up for the fact that I don't think holiday cards are gonna happen. Oh and I'm not knitting any gnomes either, sigh. Crap, I'm lucky to knit a few rounds of sock at midnight.

Thank you for letting me think outloud.

Tomorrow I will post for the giveaway! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Trying to catch-up and sending you some happy holidays

Yesterday after work I had a 6pm appointment. It was raining angry cats and angry dogs. My bus passed 2 buses broken down on the route there. I was amazingly only 5 minutes late. The rain gave me a small break but there is no return bus and the boys said they forgot to pick up eggs for my cake. I started walking to the nearest market with organic eggs on the way home. And then the heavens unleashed again, with no bus insight. I snuck into a Walgreens thinking I'll wait for it to either clear up a bit or the bus to come AND get some oversized boxes for some holiday gifts.

Alas the rains and the bus route were still uncooperative. My pants were very wet. I finally caught a bus with just 2 stops between me and home, but it was worth it, otherwise I was going to duck into a local bar: eggs, boxes, and all.

I got in and slammed down some dinner the boys had put together in the kitchen (and already eaten -- its 8pm now). I did the dishes and began making 2 cakes (from mix). I got them in the oven and finally get around to using the restroom. I remembered to get out of my wet pants when I went to bed, because I am stupid.

I am pretty sure for the next week this pace will continue.

I have a feeling I'm not alone in this.

What I am reminding myself, what I ask you to remember is there is a reason for the madness. We are trying to enjoy ourselves. We LIKE a lot of the happiness, celebration and the cake (no matter how ugly) that goes on. We like to share with others, we like to show we care.

At the end of the day you don't have to, but most of it, you want to.

It's not going to be perfect. It's not going to all be done, but if you keep your wits about and remind yourself to have fun, you'll get the most important things done and you'll get the most out of your holidays. And I may sound a little nuts (well, I am.) But I promise you, I'm having fun. I hope you are too.

Clearly I am not knitting right now, and that's just the way it goes. But I will be soon. I miss you all and will visit as soon as I can, but for now, I am going to get a cup of tea, run a quick errand and meet my family to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies :)

If you have the time and the inclination leave me a note and tell me if you're managing your holiday pace and tell me something fun and fabulous happening with you and yours!

Coming soon: The final giveaway of the year!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

DK Weight Socks

So here is the truth. I like my DK weight socks. I enjoy wearing them. They are toasty.

I know you all hoot and holler about the greatness of a slipper. (And yes, I have slipper appreciation, so don't get me wrong ...)

But I like these "touch of cashmere" socks. They bring comfort like a warm shower after a winter walk. (not a long shower people, storm or no storm, we're still in a drought out here in Cali)

So thank you everyone for your support in convincing me to see my sock vision through. I'm pleased.

And I'm even more pleased that I've got another ball of this stuff tucked away for later. hehe.

I've just reached the gusset on my peppermint socks and bound off on the body piece of my kid cardigan. I'll progress with the socks, but I think I'll rotate a sweater project and get a coffee cozy or two done.

Oh who am I kidding? I don't know what the heck is next.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekend Bites

I was determined to do one test bake this weekend and this is my chocolate pound cake from The Joy of Baking.

It is much lighter than I anticipated when hearing the words "pound cake". It wasn't too chocolatey and too sweet, which makes it a great vehicle for ice cream, and whipped cream and fruit :)

I spent a lot of this weekend, "tidying". You know, putting this here, and that, there, making clean "spots" without really feeling clean. There was full family participation at least! It's always nice when everyone puts in an effort.

But one of the weekend highlights. It may not look like much, but it really made me "enjoy".

Thinly sliced mortadella (like tissue paper) from Whole Foods (1/4 lb ran me about $3.40, but yielded a lot more than you would think) on lovely sliced Acme bread and toasted to perfection with a little mild cheddar. If I had been thinking properly and not quite so ravenous, I would've put a baby bit of Dijon mustard and arugula on there.

This with tea was really just a fantastic little weekend moment.

I knit a few rounds on my peppermint socks and FINALLY knit a baby hat in plain blue and am trying to finish the body on a 4T cardigan. I don't know why I'm knitting it now, I've got until February. I guess I started it and I want to see it move forward.

I decided the only specific Holiday gift knitting I'm going to do is coffee cozies.  I'm already feeling beholden by this baby sweater.

Do you ever know you have your knitting priorities mixed up but can't seem to change gears? I have so many things I want to knit, but I can barely keep up with what I already have on the needles! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

WIP Wednesday: 'Tis the Season

I think that Araignee and I were on the same wave length as we kicked off December ...

I finished my non pareil socks (I'm working on getting you a photo of them weaved in) and immediately cast on these happy kickers. Seriously, the color way is called "Cheer" in Felici, by Knitpicks.

Can we discuss this colorway for a second? Part of me is surprised at the pink instead of the white with the red. It's ... pepperminty, but feels a little bit polluted, like they meant to do white, but they messed up. I like it, but straight white and red would've been nice too.

Now can we talk about this self striping yarn that KnitPicks seems to have discontinued? They brought back a few colorways for a hot second. I'm guessing someone in the warehouse discovered they had some "extras" laying around, but I'm sad there isn't a proper offering of this fun stripey yarn. It's no secret I have a problem with self striping yarn :)

I have other things on the needles, but nothing that is really making me as happy or as excited as these, so we'll focus here today.

Tell me, do you have anything festive on the needles? Or is there just something that is making you happy for whatever knit reason that you don't want to put down?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Holiday Weekend Recap

The Kid had Wednesday off so he put me in Turkey Day training. We went for a run/walk around Chrissy Field out by the Presidio and Golden Gate bridge. Always a beautiful place to be about. After our little active out and about, we got some lunch and moseyed back home.

Thanksgiving I did my Turkey run for the local food banks and earned my gravy so to speak. Mmm. delicious gravy. My Sister in Law across the bay smoked a magnificent bird and baked the best homemade bread that she also used in her homemade stuffing. Dream City. I wish I had photos of her lovely feast, but I was too busy stuffing my face.

Friday, I stopped fretting about exercise for a day. The Kid went to the car show with some besties for a birthday celebration and sleepover. The Manfriend was back at work. I tried to catch up on some housework and then it sort of devolved into trying to pick up dropped stitches while a new to me Poirot was airing on PBS.

Saturday was some light exercise, baking, and laundry and then we had some friends over to play and for an easy pasta dinner. We drank some wine, we laughed and slept in on Sunday before more exercise and chores. There was dungeness crab. There was knitting and math flash cards and copious amounts of Indiana Jones on t.v. Maybe a cat nap or two ...

It wasn't chaotic, but it went by very quickly. I'd gladly do it again. :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday Business: Winner Before Turkey Dinner!

The random number generator gave us #11, which makes Craftyone our November sock yarn winner. I'll pm you on ravelry for a mailing address and get this to you as soon as I can. Congratulations!

I loved reading the comments on what you guys are up to in the knitting world and what you'd stick in your virtual shopping basket. One can never have enough needles or yarn, but it seems a smooth functioning swift brings us all joy. I found it interesting too, how Evelyn from Project Stash and Kepanie from Knitspiring Odyssey, liked books, ever feeding their creative inspiration.

I have been slowly knitting in between the work and the domestic (also known as obligatory non knitting time). I'm taking an extra day off before Thanksgivingto hang out with The Kid this week (they get an extra day off from school). Hopefully I'll have some knitting and fun times updates soon.

Wishing you all the best.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Knitting Care Package

Ooooo. Look what arrived for me in the mail!

It's a knitting care package from someone who knows I care about knitting ...


ha! got ya didn't I? I have things delivered to The Manfriend since I am not allowed package / mail delivery at work. He saw the KnitPicks tape on the box and just sort of sighed when he handed it to me.

So what did I get? Well a lot of sale items. I want to say they are all practical necessary purchases, but it's a bit indulgent as well.  The rectangular card board box in the back is a Christmas present for me to put under the tree. (He doesn't know it yet, but I'm thankful for "his" kindness). And since it's not Christmas, I'm not taking it out of the box just yet, but it's something novel and yet practical at least for me. I'll post a follow-up picture at the end of the year.

I got one "fait avec amour" tag for a project for someone I have some amour for, wink wink, nudge, nudge.

There are some rainbow cable needles, because like stitch markers, they often go missing. I have been known to use a lot of things as cable needles, and I've knit a few things without. Still, I prefer to have a set in my knit tool kit.

One skein of Hawthorne fingering, because it was too hard to not buy yarn while on their website.

And a set of double point needles in some small sizes that seem to constantly disappear.

What you can't see in the front of the box is dpn tubes. I'm really disorganized in the remaining unsnapped dpns I have, and need a way of easily storing the correct sizes together, especially when they are unmarked. Though I'm going to have to trust my needle gauges to suss out the difference between US 1.5 and US2 for a few older knitpicks and other dpns that have their sizes scratched off ...

Then I can really justify having 5 pairs of socks in progress, right?

So tell me, what would you put in your knitting care package to yourself? What's irresistible for you? What is something you actually need?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November Giveaway: Yes, it's another ball of sock yarn!

Lang Jawoll Magic Degrade:
Tell me, is this relationship getting a little old and tired for you?

Are you tired of me offering up sock yarn, assuming you are a sock knitter and want my tokens of knitterly affection?

Is this stale?

Well if it isn't and you don't mind this creature of habit, leave me a ravelry handle and if you're in the mood, tell me what your favorite thing is you are knitting now and if you could cast on something new, what it would be. You have a week!

Me? I want to make some Christmassy socks, but I am making tracks on yet another kid cardigan. I'm always 2 projects behind!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend Recap: Feeding Frenzy

Friday: Dinner out and about celebrating another year together or as the joke in our house goes... For-EH-vahhhhh and Eh-vaaahh.

Trio of creme brulee L to R: Pumpkin, Classic Vanilla, Butterscotch

Saturday Soccer Mom Snickerdoodle Morning. Alas it was another loss, but another wonderful season with a great team of kids and families. It's been really wonderful watching these kids grow as they play season after season together.

a little heavy handed with the cinnamon, I was in a hurry ...

Saturday Evening Eats. The nephew came over to spend the night while his parents went out to celebrate my sis's birthday. So I roasted a chicken, The Manfriend made gravy and we watched "The Ewok Movie". Also known as Return of the Ewok ;)

I admit to preferring a 4 side sear in a cast-iron skillet before roasting
Sunday night comfort food. Thai rice porridge (jok). Toppings: chili bamboo shoots, savory thai omelet, cilantro, fried garlic, sauteed cabbbage and spinach, pork belly bits.

When food feels like hugs
There should be some ebelskeivers with jam and chocolate chips in here too, and a slider and tattertot lunch etc., It was a lot of cooking and dishes -- made it easier to motivate for exercise. Everyone seemed happy with their eats and that makes it well worth it.

* I know a few of you silent passer-throughers will see the duplication from Instagram, sorry it's not 100% fresh today ;)

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Friday What: Happy Birthday Little Sister

Notice the love of the cardigan started early for me. At 8, I was already dedicated to the flexibility of a good cardi.
I'm still just as happy to be around my sister. She's still the quiet one.

Happy Birthday, Lukie - love, Sister

Luke in Thai is baby so we "Americanized" it as her nickname when she was little. But by grade school we were not allowed to call her this "in public." I think some of the kids overheard and called her, "loogie" like the spit thing. She didn't call me by my first name until she was like 19 so I am forever, Sister.

I love you all the sand in the world and stars in the sky.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Back and Forth Knitting: Sock Progress

Finding time to knit has continued to be challenging. So there is not as much progress as I'd like to show you.

I continue my back and forth knitting with socks.

I ripped out the dk socks on US1s and swapped them for US2s. I kept a 56 Cast on. It's not perfect, it's not gauge, but it'll do, and it knits up much faster. In this picture I've knit approximately 50 rows including the ribbing and I might just turn the heel here.

Thehe first Little Pumpkin sock is done. I cut the foot length a little shorter to fit me but I worry it may be too short, but perhaps with a little blocking things will work out ... otherwise HM gets another pair of socks :) (yes I cut the yarn and have ripped back on this stupid sock at least 3x!)

I love the instructions at the end of this pattern.

I will need to cast on for the second sock by this weekend, or I worry it will be some bizarre standalone October decoration.

I have been seriously struggling with sock knitting this fall. I thought for sure they would bring me great joy this season, alas, I just feel kinda pouty about it.

Don't worry, I'm sure it will all work out eventually. Besides there are many other things to knit up until the sock mojo returns properly :)

What are you knitting?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Hand Jive

I'll start this off with a pair of finished hand/wrist warmers from last week.

These are the pair I knit up in a Medium, and Ms. J at work really liked them so they are now hers. She's modeling them for me, pleased. :)

Well, I thought I'd have a go at a size small for me. (It's nice to know there is some / one area of me that remains generally small, hehe)

I started with one pink. But then got distracted with some blue I had in a knitting box. So the result is now 2 pairs in progress. I'm okay with it.

The socks are slow going. Maybe some progress for next week Wednesday. I was just wrapping up the toe on Pumpkin sock #1 last night, according to the pattern and realized I'd been doing it wrong. Where I would normally do a knit 1 ssk, knit to end of needle, their style is knit one, slip one, knit one pass slip stitch over. However I read it wrong and was knit one slip one pass slip stitch so now the edges look, loopier? I don't know, but it means frogging back the toe and hoping the knitting gods keep me from dropping stitches. I'm running out of patience with this sock, it's a good thing I am so far along with sock #1 or I'd abandon this thing, for sure.

I have big plans for some other knits -- must return to a hibernating cardigan soon. ALWAYS distracted. Which reminds me, I want to thank everyone for their vacation yarn buying validation. I knew there was a reason we were friends ;) I'm not in a rush to get to that yarn (maybe a shawl, maybe a long roping textured cowl), but it is so pretty and soft. I admit I have not put it away and have been petting it in the living room the past few evenings.

Oh! the store also had this sample for a  Gatsby necklace in teal. My non knitting friend, Lady A really liked it and ... D I S T R A C T E D me.

Have any of you made this before? I know many of you are knitting with beads friendly, and as in awe as I am of you, it scares the jimminy crickets out of my hotpants. But the knit force is strong in this project, I may have to give it a go ...

In the meantime, it's all about the hands.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Broken promises: New yarn

I hope you all had a Happy Halloween and a good weekend.

I did, I spent it with friends up the coast.  It was just lovely. The boys stayed home and hung out with their pals and had a good time of their own. A win was even a win at the soccer match on Saturday (Yay!)

I managed to knit a bit here and there. These are all friends that are used to me carrying about bags of yarn and knitting everywhere with them. A few even knit a bit, quite well. They are just not insane about it like me. heh.

We went into town on the last day and we split up walking and I started getting a flurry of texts:

"yarn shop!!"

When I made my way over, they were all pointing and waving me in. It was a pleasant find.

There was a 20% off sale, so despite my commitment to not buy anymore yarn this year ...

I bought 3 skeins of Madelinetosh Merino in Earl Grey.

Trick or treat ;)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How I managed my nerves during World Series Game 7

I finished Turn a Square last night as my blood pressure and muttering willed the The SF Giants to their 3rd World Series win in 5 years.

It was pretty amazing. Our city was a bit bonkers the rest of the evening. I fell asleep to the sound of the choppers between our neighborhood and the Civic Center.

Well, baseball allows one to keep your hands busy, and apparently series clinching games ups my knit pace.

I knit this with some scrap yarn from the EXACT same hat from a few years ago, but my son lost it, 'cause he liked it. Just like he lost my favorite handwarmers (The Kid is cut off this season of any handknits, especially mine!) I was worried about having enough yarn and did not add an extra inch like I thought I would, but it seems to fit my enormous noggin. Hats don't look that great on me, but that's okay, it's toasty and it may be the new security blanket for my head.

But I think I need to cast on another. I love this pattern.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Another post where I whine about sock knitting.

If you could see my inner-self now, there would be a teenage girl in a raggedy maybe at one time it was black cardigan on, flopping around on her bed upside down with her semi greasy but all natural dark colored hair collecting dust on a shag carpet, whining, whinging, sighing, and flopping her arms.

The Dental Anxiety Ankle socks are ... no more.

I frogged them because despite the fact there probably was someone, somewhere that would enjoy them, I simply would not enjoy continuing to knit them, and really friends .. why the heck should we be bothered with that?

Knit with joy, I tell ya'.

And thus my Non pareils were born. I bought this yarn impulsively when going in for something else, something practical, like buttons, replacement dpns or gift yarn. Anyhow, it was layed out on a table with different swatches of the various colorways knit together.

It is so soft.

KFI Luxury Collection. Indulgence Cashmere.

But because I can't just leave things well enough alone, instead of doing my standard sock pattern, but wanting to do stockinette, I am trying  US1 needle. I know, from US 3 to US 1. It's the exterme reaction of the above moody teenager.

Also my US2s are otherwise engaged with my Pumpkin socks or can be used for kindling since I keep snapping them.

The colors make me happy. Chocolate candy happy.

I was tappy, typing my new "sweet" project into Ravelry when I noticed, this is not sock yarn.(please, don't tell me this should be obvious, because if it's anything you should know about me and knitting, nothing, absolutely nothing is obvious to me, until I'm in so far, I practically need a legal team and military specialist team to extract me from my situation)

It's dk weight yarn.

Okay, so it's not the end of the world. Plenty of people knit socks with dk weight yarn. Theyll be comfy, cozy, house, camping what the heck ever rustic socks.


I actually think size wise it might work. It's early days, they seem very stretchy,  but the US 1s are a lot of work. I do find some joy in them. Will I continue to?

Do I stay the course? Do I rip that out?

The thing is, I really like this yarn for socks. I even knit on them at lunch. I don't want a shawl, a cowl or mitts. I want socks out of this damn dk impulse bought yarn.

Tonight I return to the pumpkins. I need a little less drama in my sock knitting for a hot minute.

Let me know if you have an opinion, but don't be surprised if I frog these too.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Another gigantic argument for getting gauge

Yesterday The Kid had 4 teeth pulled as part of his ortho-plan. My sweet boy had the cutest teeth when he was tiny but his adult teeth have come in a little too large and crowded for his little mouth.

His dental hygiene leaves much to be desired so since we are in a position to do this, I'm hoping it will provide some better long term dental health. 

The week was already rough on his mouth, a gum scrape when he got accidentally whacked with a marker in class by a seat mate, and he chipped a tiny bit of tooth on Quinn's head at practice Thursday night. Sigh.

Well you all know my level of dental anxiety but through a lot of anxious chatter, venting and support by some friends I readied myself as best as I could.

And naturally, I knit. I decided to try an ankle sock pattern from Purlbee.

I was trucking along and then I held it up. Hmm perhaps you need scale?

Does the potato help??

Maybe a pear? 

No? I never said I was a photographer. This thing is baggy. Ugh.

I used some leftover Zauberball which is thinner than a lot of my other sock yarn. The pattern called for US3s.

So why am I surprised? I'm not now that I'm not in the throes of parental anxiety. 

In the end I held it together for the boy. And now I'm a short order soft foods cook ;)

Thanks for tolerating the bad photos, weak mother stories and baggy socks. I'll try for more quality in the next post :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Winner Winner and Weekend Notes

Numero THREE was selected by the random number generator, making Steph of Woolythyme happy place our Uniform Cardigan pattern giveaway winner. If you're not already a regular visitor, be sure to go over and take a scroll around her neighborhood. She always has something fun knitting going on and lots of beautiful photos of her world.

Steph are you on ravelry? I'm elns and if you ping me I can gift you that pattern. It's worsted weight  yarn  I hope that is OK -- I believe you are a fan of the fingering :)

Weekend Highlights
Special request baking, chocolate crinkle cookies and for curiosity and scientific purposes I attempted gluten-free molasses cookies.  The flavor was alright, the texture, was still too cake and crumbly.

Saturday was another soccer loss for our boys. It was just like the Swansea vs. Stoke City match this weekend. Swansea started off strong, but then when Stoke City picked up the pace the 2nd half, the swans couldn't complete or finish it. Painful, but I love it.

However after there were hot dogs, video games, board games, home made videos and lots of snacks. Family and friends of different team mates. I did overcook the tritip roast a bit. shh.

Sunday we slowed the pace and it was exercise and I took a nap!! Very exciting. I also holed up in my room and finished the leg on my pumpkin sock #1 and whipped up the 1st wristwarmers of a pair I'm working on. I am making Mediums, but I'm already thinking I might have to make a pair in Smalls for myself if there is enough yarn left :) 

And that my friends is our winner and my weekend in one post.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

F O for reals!

I don't care it's Wednesday. There is a new FO in town.

Buttons? Check.

Weaved in ends? Check.

Whoo hoo.

Maybe it needs a hat...

Pumpkins are back on the needle, proper cuff and all. And yes I even managed some green cast on for another little person. 

Ah knitting season.

Friday, October 10, 2014

October Giveaway: The Uniform (Cardigan) Pattern

Image from Ravelry (c) Carrie Bostick Hoge
It's October and I'm totally, completely in love with my fellow internet knitters. I have just been really grateful for the joy you bring me, when I read your blogs and your comments, either here or on other people's blogs.

However I did notice after I posted earlier this week my intentions to knit up The Uniform this winter, that many of you commented on it and seemed to like it. What's not to love, it allows you to mix and match elements of a cardigan without you trying to do the Maths, hello!

Andi was kind enough to gift it to me, so I thought, why not gift it to someone else who wants it? Let's keep this good stuff going.

And here we go my lovelies. Leave your ravelry handle ('cause that's how I'll get it to you) by next week Friday October 17th and we'll see if the random generator picks you.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend filled with whatever you want. Knit some good times.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I swear, it's a good excuse!

The button bands are still not finished on the baby cardigan. But the excuse is good, I promise!

Saturday started with another migraine and puking for The Kid. I'm secretly beginning to dread Saturday mornings around my apartment. The Kid managed it the best ever and he even made it to the second half of his match that morning. They lost, again. It's going to be a rough soccer season.

I cracked a tooth. I go in on Wednesday to find out the extent of the damage and additional pain I must endure. I don't know if I've expressed it here, but I am without a doubt the biggest DDS wussy ever. I'm sorry, I have an irrational fear. How does one handle this? Well this morning I had a Reese's peanut butter "pumpkin" cup for breakfast. Breakfast of Champions, hey, it's better than chronic anxiety at work.

The rest of Saturday was chores, baseball and chores. It really is lame when you haven't done any housework all week, because it takes so much time doing basic things like, laundry, bathroom cleaning, sweeping etc.  Baseball made me nervous, so it was good that I could channel the nervous energy in cleaning ... but no knitting. It was ridiculously warm that evening and we ended up hanging out with some friends on their deck while our kids threw things off it onto the lawn below.

Sunday I ran a 12k. The Bridge to Bridge Run benefiting The Special Olympics. A pretty run for a good cause. From the Ferry Building near the Bay Bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge and back to the edge of the Marina Green.

And now, my body is still just a mush. This was my 3rd one this year, but my first that I ran all the way through. Honestly, I'm more of a 5k kind of gal. I slept so well last night. More so than Sunday. It was the sleep of recovery, it was sound. My son laughed at my snoring.

Yes, I snore now.

I have an early appointment after work today, but then I'm going home back to my boys and the couch. Reading and knitting -- that's on the agenda. My legs said I should do it for a bit and leave them alone.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Winter and Fall Knits: More Hopes and Dreams

Flowers, because.
I'm on target to finish that baby cardigan this week and hopefully work on my pumpkin socks. I won't make the My Sister's Knitter KAL deadline, but honestly, that's OK. I never make the KAL deadlines anyways, ha!

So as always I have a knit list blooming as I anticipate an FO:

1. Child Sophisticate -- yes, yes, I know again, another small people knit AND another pattern repeat, but what can I say? Someone has asked/requested and you know, I've never done one in green or a bigger toddler size.

2. Finish a cardigan I have had on the needles since January or so. I stopped knitting it because the weather out here was so warm. Yes, it is still warm. Hellooooo drought. I have completed the body, so now it's just the rest. 

3. Need to knit a hat. Just need to. Probably a Turn A Square, Jared Flood because its a fun/simple knit. Oh, and there is DEFINITELY yarn in the stash for a hat ... or two. ahem ahem.

4. Another cardigan. I've been in love with Uniform for a while. It speaks to the simplicity I truly am (stylistically), but allows me flexibility in pattern which I always crave -- I have not decided which components I'm going to use for my Uniform, yet. However, that's part of the excitement of this project. I have some stash yarn options for this one too. The pattern was a birthday gift from a very kind and generous Andi.

5. Handwarmers. Simple ones. I just want to knit some for myself stockinette with some pretty worsted  yarn that does all the "work" for me.

And with those 5 (well 6 if we rope in the pumpkin socks), I think I've sealed my fall/winter line-up. There will be some other small knits mixed up in there, but I feel good about this.

The undercover secret list of distractions
  • A little girl cardigan for the girl with the curls, CL.
  • Coffee sleeves for a school fundraiser in school colors black and yellow! (though uniforms are black & white, thank goodness)
  • Socks, delicious, easy traveling, best yarn ever socks.
  • Maybe a shawl. Maybe a husband scarf, maybe a cousin cowl ... oh so distracted already.