Wednesday, January 06, 2016

More Knitting - Knit Last Year

So remember way back in April when I knit a black sweater that I loved so much that I decided to make a tiny Queen sized version?

And then I ran out of yarn?

Yeah.  I barely remember it either.

Luckily for you it rained this week.

And by rained this week I mean it has rained every single day this week.  It is all gray skies, and gloomy clouds, and actual water falling from the sky.  I think we are trying to get our entire year's quota of rain in the first month of the year so we can then resume our uninterrupted blue skies.

I love the rain.

Love it, love it, love it, love it, love it.

And in case you missed it, I love the rain.

But it makes the house crazy cold.  I don't even understand it.  I think it has something to do with the tile floors laid on top of concrete.  So cool in the summer, but crazy cold when the rain drops the temperature suddenly.

The other day I put on a hand knit sweater.  And I was still cold.  So I put on some hand knit socks.  And I was still cold.  So I put on a hand knit scarf.  I was going to Wear.All.The.Knits.

The Queen is a little polar bear.  She loves the cold.  But I felt this was too much and went digging in her drawers from some baby sized warm knits.  I emerged with this little gem.


Don't let her sweet little face and pose fool you.  Most of the pictures I tried to take look slightly blurry (like the one above) and she's doing this at me.


You can thank her older sister for teaching her that face.

I knit this sweater when the Queen was wearing 6/9 month size clothes (which she wore until her growth spurt in October).  I made this a 2T size with the usual shortened sleeves and longer torso.


I got the sleeve length spot on (something I would like to attribute to my amazing knitting skills but really it was dumb luck.  It could have gone either way.  Case in point, see the extra long sleeves in my last post)

The lines of this sweater feature a longer back than the front.


I think the front could have used a little more length, but Queen Bean isn't complaining.

She's too busy being a toddler.  Her new favorite hobbies include dumping out things, opening the front door, getting into the pantry, spilling what ever she can reach onto the floor, and


then eating the food off the floor.

I suppose I should be happy she is eating.

I think I would like the sweater better if it were all one color, but all in all?  I can work with this.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

First Featured Knit of the Year - Conveniently Knit Last Year

So I think it's time to feature some fine knitting on this here knitting blog.

I've heard rumor that I do in fact knit from time to time.  Like during nap time.  And after bed time.  And at knitting time.

I knit this little beauty during my summer spree of baby sweaters.



And it is a beauty to behold and the Queen really seems to enjoy wearing it.

Pattern:  Child's Aran Pullover

Yarn:  Recycled Cotton from a Savers sweater

Needles:  Size 7 and size 8

Modifications:  Because this sweater was for the Bean I attempted to modify it to fit her physiology better.  People with Down syndrome tend to have shorter limbs and a longer torso.  The Queen is no exception.  So while I cast on for a 2T size, I knit the sleeves an inch or so shorter than recommended, and I knit the torso for a 3T fit.

Review:

The sleeves are still too long


But how fabulous is all that knitted texture


It's the little details of a pattern that get me.  Like the cable running up the sleeve.


I just adore it.

Now this yarn may have been, alright let's keep it real, it absolutely was way too thin to knit on those size needles to this kind of gauge.

But I don't care.

I've realized that I prefer a big drapey fabric when I knit.  I don't want a sweater knit so tightly it can stand up all by itself.

So the pattern on the torso might be a bit more open than the designer intended.

Who cares?

I love it.

And so does the Queen.


And that's all that matters.

and now I will feature a cute picture of Queen Bean for no reason at all.


I love how tiny she looks on the new couch.

Side note:  Let me be a cautionary tale.  Never go shopping with low blood sugar.  You might black out and when you come to you find you've somehow managed to purchase two new couches and WAY too many throw pillows.

Or at least that's my story...

 and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Hello 2016!

Let's face it.  2015 was a craptastic year.  Just craptastic.

And it went out with a bang.

We all got the lovely puking virus that was going around in early December.  It ran right through the family.  The Greatest and I consoled ourselves with the fact that we got it early and would be healthy for Christmas.  Only we didn't get better.  Or that is to say I didn't get better.  I stopped puking.  But the fatigue, the nausea, the cold symptoms, the fever.  None of that went away.  It hung around for weeks.  My friends have diagnosed me with the flu.  I diagnosed my lingering constant cough as bronchitis.  But I haven't bothered an actual medical professional, mostly because I feel too crappy to drag myself an hour away to a doctor who will say "yup, its bronchitis.  But since you're barely wheezing there's nothing we can really do at this time.  Come back if it gets worse, but in the mean time be sure to pay the receptionist $45 on the way out."

So good-bye and good riddance to 2015.

To be honest the prospects for 2016 aren't looking much brighter.  The Queen Bean's open heart surgery looms large on the horizon.  It fills me with fear.  Her tonsillectomy was not an easy recovery and I mentally multiply how hard it was by a billion in anticipation of what the recovery from heart surgery will be like.  It will be hard, but we can do hard things.  I'm just tempted to dig in my heels and tell them "No. I don't want to do this to my beautiful healthy baby."  I have a hard time reconciling the fact that my rambunctious, naughty, joyous, thriving toddler has a life threatening heart defect.

All of the challenges from 2015 are still in play for 2016.  But we're making a concerted effort to try a different approach this year.

The Greatest and I have decided our new motto is "Fuck it all."

I will do the very best I can, and I can't worry about the things that are out of my control.  I don't have that kind of time or energy on my hands.  When I try I end up so rundown that a 24 hour bug knocks me out for three weeks.  (In the plus column I am finally wearing all my prepregnancy jeans.  So there is that.)

I've got to do better.

I've heard that you should begin the new year as you mean to live the new year.

So I began my new year with cheesecake for breakfast.  (Evidently I don't intend to stay in my prepregnancy jeans for long)



And I fit in some knitting time.


While I watched our team DOMINATE!


GO BLUE!  Sidenote:  I love when my nail polish matches my yarn.

Bird made me her specialty



Cotton Candy Balls. (Food really seems to be a theme for the new year)

And The Greatest and I snuck out for Date Night.


Notice how he's watching the football game in the corner.  Next date night will feature a restaurant that doesn't have a tv.  Also note the change in nail polish.  I love that sparkly red!

To recap:  New Year's Day featured all my favorites:  Knitting, Food, My Man, and nailpolish.  (I know the kids aren't featured, but trust me, they were in the mix).  If this is how the year goes, it's going to be a great year!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Knitter Problems

I might have a problem.

Admitting it is always the first step right?

I have several commission pieces to knit.  I have a Knitpicks pattern to test knit.  I have Christmas with the annual creation of hand knit presents breathing down my neck.

And did I work on any of them this weekend?

Of course not.

Instead I spent two days knitting another Star shower.

I couldn't help myself.  I was just so in love with my blue/green version.

Let us take a moment to relive its majesty.



It's so pretty how could I not want another one.

And I got to thinking.  I'm currently nurturing another obsession.




Plaid.

I am a child of the 90's.  How could I not rejoice over the return of plaid?

And I didn't realize until I took this picture, but apprently  my obsession skews towards red plaid.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing...

Anyways, you know what would be PERFECT to wear with all my red plaid?


A grey Star shower cowl of course.

It still needs blocked and then I can add it to my large pile of items that need the ends woven in.  But I did it.

I knit it.

I created it.

And now that I've got that out of my system I can return to my commissions and test knitting and Christmas creating.  Right?

Only I'm super in love with my Stepmommy's sweater and I really need to make one for myself in red.  Need one!  Like last week need one!  I could wear it over my red plaid with my grey cowl.  I'd look fantastic! I've got time to sneak this project in right?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

I'm cold

Here in the desert we basically have two seasons.

One is hot.  And I don't mean pleasant warm your cold winter bones summer heat.  I mean freaking depths of hell hot.  You know that blast of heat when you open the oven.  That dry hot air that just hits you in the face and makes your eyes water?  That is what the air feels like for months at a time.  Too hot to go outside.  Too hot to touch metal anything on the playground.  Driving with oven mitts because the steering wheel is too hot to touch hot.

When we're in the endless days of summer, when day after day after day is over 100 degrees.  When it "cools down" to 91 over night.  When you're sweating it out in the endless heat you don't think its ever going to end.  You forget that life isn't always this hot.

And then it is cold.

Freaking cold.

Joints ache cold.  Can't get out of bed cold.  Miserable shivering cold.

Which might feel worth it if it snowed.  But in a cruel twist of fate it is never cold enough to snow cold.

And I am aware that what I consider cold like the freaking depths of cold dark space cold is really a mildly chilly day in other parts of the country, but I have lived here for almost a decade.  My blood is thin.  Too thin to be of any use.  My body no longer knows how to function in a normal four season environment.  It does as little as possible to stay cool during the nine month summer, and then for the three cold months it doesn't even know what to do.  I've forgotten how to function like a normal human being.

Usually there is a week or two of glorious beautiful weather between the "it's too hot to open the windows" and the "it's too cold to open the windows."  But not this year.  This year it was hot, and then it wasn't.

Which means I can finally wear all the awesome knits I've knit.

Let the angels rejoice and sing songs of praise!

I've started small today.


Just a little cowl.

Pattern:  Star Shower Cowl

Yarn:  I'm not postitive, but I think this was 1 skein of Socks That Rock heavyweight.  I can't be sure.  One of the helpful things The Queen Bean did for me was to remove all the tags off the yarn in my yarn cabinet one day when I was lying on the couch with a migraine.  I'm so lucky to have such a helpful little girl who kept herself quietly occupied while I prayed for death.

Needles:  The pattern called for a size 6, but I found the fabric to be too dense for my taste so I went up to a size 8.

Modifications:  I'm pretty sure the only change I made was the needle size thing.  I don't think I adjusted the pattern to make up for the change in gauge.  But I can't be sure.  I really need to start keeping better notes.  I may have omitted some rows at the end because I ran out of yarn, but I don't remember exactly what I changed.  I am the WORST blogger ever.

Review:

I was pretty "meh" about this cowl after I knit it.

The shape is off.


It isn't an exact circle or rectangle.  It is a weird hexagon shapey thing.

I wasn't feeling it.

I wasn't feeling the weird hexagon shapey thing.

So I added the cowl to my stack of scarves in my closet and moved on with life.  It was too hot to wear a scarf anyways.

But this morning I was cold.  I didn't want to take off my comfy warm bathrobe to put on real clothes.  But my daughter's boyfriend is coming over this afternoon to watch a movie, so real clothes must be worn.

I put on my weird hexagon shapey thingie cowl and discovered something amazing.


THIS IS THE MOST PEFECTEST COWL TO EVER EXIST IN THE HISTORY OF PERFECT COWLS!

That weird hexagon shapey thingie means there is lots of drapey fabric in the front but not too much in the back.  There is enough cowl on the back of your neck to keep you warm, but not so much that you feel like you are being strangled.

It is glorious.

Plus looks at all that knitted textured goodness.


I'm a sucker for some photogenic knitted texture.

I also really enjoy how the variegated yarn played nicely with this pattern.  You never know how variegated yarn is going to behave.  It can flash and pool in the most terrifying of ways.  But not on my cowl.  It is all blendy blue and green beauty.

My cowl was the perfect way to ease into the cold season.

In an added bonus, the cold also means I can start dressing The Queen Bean in all those tiny tiny baby sweaters I was so addicted to knitting over the summer.  Pictures coming soon.  If I can get her to hold still long enough to take them.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Favorites?

When The Greatest asked me to knit him a sweater it took me five different attempts, two different yarns, and 10 years to complete it.

When my Dad asked me to knit him a sweater, well, it's been nine years and that sweater is still sitting in The Abyss.

When my Stepmommy asked me to knit her a purple sweater, with or without rust stains,


Three months later I have a finished sweater.  I just need to block it and weave in the ends.

Take from this what you will.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Its A Blocking Party

For someone who doesn't consider themselves to be a knitter...



I sure have been doing a lot of knitting.

Future finished objects to come.

Or not.

We'll have to see.