Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Sometimes I like hard

I have two patterns that are almost ready to be released, and I'm really pleased with them.  I have a third pattern that's knit and typed, but it needs to be sized.  I've never written a pattern that needs to be published in more than one size before, and I've started but I'm finding it incredibly awkward.  I don't know if it's only a matter of never having done it before or if it's compounded by how I've written the pattern.  I wonder if the way I've written it doesn't lend itself as well to different sizes than some other way.

I think maybe the answer is writing the different sizes one at a time--completing one before moving on as opposed to trying to do the math for all sizes step by step through the pattern.

I'm reminded of how I felt when I was writing the first patterns I've published, like I just don't know what I'm doing.  But I have to admit that sometimes that's a super satisfying place to be, because I know I'm learning something.  There's a satisfaction from coming through something that doesn't come easily to be that I really enjoy.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Hello Old Friend

Last winter I started a blanket with leftover sock yarn, the small balls at the end of a project that I don't want to throw out because us still good yarn but that aren't enough to make anything by themselves and are slightly wacky colour combinations anyways. The blanket is sort of of spiral, except square, and it is the colours are wildly varied.  The spiral aspect means that there are only twenty stitches on the needles at any given time and it's simple enough that I always have a project I can pick up when my other projects get to a point where they need math, or my entire attention, or to be swatched well before it's started.  I haven't worked on the blanket for most of the summer, I've had a ton of other projects going on and it's big enough now that it does a good job of keeping me warm, but I got it out after returning from Vermont. 

I have a bunch of projects I want to start but require me to sit down and plan things out a bit and I haven't had time to do that so it's back to the blanket and the repetition and crazy colours are like this insanely enthusiastic warm hug and I cannot even begin to tell you how much I completely and totally adore this project.  I'm considering going until the thing is six feet square because I love it so much.  It is currently about three and a quarter feet square, it's knit with sock yarn on 2.25mm needles and I just never want it to end.  

Also, both kids are sleeping and I've got the evening to myself and can do whatever I want, which is so delicious that I actually did a literal happy dance in the kitchen.  I really love my family, and I love vacation but I haven't been alone in almost two weeks.  I have a smoothie, a computer, pumpkin bread, my knitting, and a plan to work on a sewing project and look at some recipes online, and it is completely delightful.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Souvenir Yarn

I just got back from a trip to Vermont that was wonderful. There was knitting and lots of food, we went swimming and played with the kids and sometimes we hung out without the kids because my inlaws (who are absolutely wonderful) were there with us and they took Calrb and Ada a number of times.

We visited the local yarn shop and I got buttons for Ada's dress, and yarn. It was hard to find yarn I wanted to buy because a lot of it was lovely yarn that I can buy here in Ittawa and if I'm going to buy souvenir yarn I want it to be something I can't get here.

I finally settled on this: 

The colours are nuts and I love it. In going to make a lined pair of mitts and either a matching hat or cowl. Probably a hat but I'm not sure yet.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

A hat to Match

I decided that I would like to have a hat to match my scarf. I was pretty sure that I had enough yarn to do both, but I didn't want any of the yarn left over. I've been trying to use up my stash, which is mostly leftovers from other projects and so I didn't want to add to it. Besides, it seems silly to leave a tiny little ball of yarn when it could have been used in the scarf. So, when I had knit thr scarf close to the length I wanted it I put the scarf on a spare set of circulars and made a hat.

The hat is also moss stitch and it has a hemmed stockinette border. My favourite part is that the hat is huge, instead of using negative ease to make it snug I knit it very close to the measurement of my head circumference. I often wear my hair in a ponytail or bun and I did that hats usually don't fit over my hair when it's up and then my ears get cold because the hat doesn't cover them.  This hat is not going to have that problem, I just finished it and it fits perfectly over my hair. It wouldn't work for skiing or even skating probably, it might fall off. But for the cold car rides and dashes in and out of buildings that comprise so much of my winter hat wearing this is so perfect.

I've got the scarf back on the needles and am almost done.  It's squishy and smooshy and thick and exactly what I wanted. Both of these things are as much what I want as the sweater I ripped out was something I didn't, and I'm completely pleased about my decision.

Monday, 14 September 2015

A sweater reborn

Recently I ripped out a sweater I knit years ago. It was fun to knit but a terrible cut and the fact that I knit it isn't virtue enough for me to wear it. I'm knitting it into a scarf. It's wide and thick and simple, around five and a half feet of miss stitch. 

This really is the perfect knit for vacationing with children, I can put it down and pick it up without much thought to where I was when I had to be interrupted  and its repetition is relaxing. It's a dappled green with a little brown and the perfect colours for the Vermont mountains, and I'm so so pleased with it. I don't normally knit such plain scarves but its exactly what I wanted and I'm so happy with it. I probably wouldn't have bought this much yarn for such a plain project and it's going to be so lovely.

Monday, 7 September 2015

The Technophobe Wins One

I've never been the sort of person who's really into technology, and if something techy goes wrong in our house I normally defer it to Joshua.  He's a software engineer and can usually sort things out in a fraction of the time that it takes me to understand the problem.  We do have some strengths in common but there are a number of other areas where one of us is clearly more proficient and we're both pretty good at asking the other one for help.

Except, sometimes I don't want help.  Sometimes, I want to do something on my own, I think it's because most of my days are spent talking to children under the age of three, sometimes I just yearn to accomplish something kind of grownup.

In the last month I have managed to add pin it buttons to the photos on the right side of the blog and I've just sorted out a few things in HTML all by myself.  I'm pretty proud of it.

It's a welcome grown up moment.  I need those now and then, especially on days like today when I discovered my toddler had been slicing tomatoes in the family room while I was in the washroom.  (There are SO MANY things wrong with that sentence.)

Friday, 4 September 2015


We are going on vacation in a week and I am panicking for two reasons.

1) I have no idea what I'm going to knit.  I'm so close to the end of my current project that it will be pretty much done by the time we leave.  I may bring it so I can weave in a billion end on the drive but  I will have nothing to knit there unless I actually bother to plan and swatch.

2) There is a yarn shop there.  My husband and I will go into town on a date (a date!  without children!) to have lunch at a lovely little crepe shop.  It's a perfect date, it has CREPES and YARN.  And I am worried that I will ruin it because I can't figure out what I would buy yarn for.

First world problems, my friends, first world problems.

I should stop knitting my current project, do some serious math involving Caleb's sweater, and then pack everything, or just make a scarf and socks and bring the blanket.  Actually, now that I think about it the blanket is a brilliant idea because I always get cold and then I'll have a blanket and a knitting project in one (it's now almost four feet square, big enough to keep me warm while I knit it).  At the yarn store I should be spontaneous and just see what I fall in love with.  I am really bad at being spontaneous, but having two kids is kind of forcing spontaneity upon me simply because I don't have time to plan things and then I have to wing it.

On a related note, I am totally waiting for the time that I'm knitting the blanket with it over my lap and someone's like "You know what would be funny?  If you were knitting the blanket you're working on!" and then I just stare at them because that's what's happening.  This scenario has to play out eventually, people always say that when I'm making a scarf, thinking it's super-funny.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Sewing with needle-nosed pliers

We are planning to go to Vermont this month.  The weather will likely be nice but a bit cool, but that won't stop my son from wanting to swim so it occurred to me this morning I should make him a nifty robe out of a towel (we went to a waterpark last week, the kid was cold but his towel kept falling off his shoulders).

I grabbed a sweater that fits him, some newspaper, and a marker and made a pattern this morning, and  as it's now nap time I've cut everything up and sewed it together.  It's gone remarkably well considering I usually sew out of necessity and have never made my own pattern before.

The only issue is that the waist ties.  They're long thin rectangles, and I've sewn them and am in the process of getting them right side out, it's slow going but I'm using needle-nosed pliers to help and it's going a lot faster now.