Mostly Annoyed

And here is why:  I have had two knitting projects in the last week become giant fails. 

First, I tried to do up a pair of scrappies for the Belly Bean.  A few months ago, a friend gifted me a huge box of yarn odds and ends.  Yay!  I love making scrappies (ie. garments made out of scraps of yarn).  Usually, I don’t care if they yarns match or not, and I’m just happy to add willy nilly and knit away.  Not so, this time.  I don’t know – I just don’t love the darker colours I used in this pair of scrappies.  Perhaps if the dark sections had been smaller, I would like them better… but as it stands, I think I’m going to rip them out.  Belly Bean has quite a few pairs of pants already, and I have some other yarn that I’m dying to knit into uber cute longies for her, so I think that I’ll frog these ones and try again later, maybe with a different combination of yarns.

Scrappy Longies

The other fail:  I really love this yarn – a whole skein of it showed up in the random yarn bin from my friend.  It’s beautiful!  It’s full of rainbows and light!  It’s soft as a cloud!  Buuuuuut… it’s not pooling like I had hoped.  As Carolyn pointed out, every square has a rainbow, but I’m kind of worried that I’m going to give someone a seizure if they look at it too long.  I’m not sure that I’d wear it, being so crazy.  I prefer it when my entrelac shows off the yarn, and the yarn shows off the entrelac.  I believe that the two are fighting in this Quant, so I’m frogging it as well.  I know I’ll find something glorious and delicious to knit this yarn in to… I just don’t think this quant is it.

Crazy Quant

Knitting Wins!

Here are my knitting wins… First, a pair of newborn sized longies for the Belly Bean. These turned out so well, and I really love them. I also super love how well they match these new baby shirts. Is this going to be baby’s first outfit? Maybe! I guess you’ll have to wait and see.

Newborn Longies

Newborn Longies

Here’s an obvious win: My sister’s Christmas gift, modeled by her! I wish she had her coordinating scarf on too – that would have been awesome… but I didn’t think of it. Anyway, I think she loves them. At least, that’s what I’m guessing by the happy look on her face and the fact that the next day, she was trying to line them (durn wool allergy can even pick up small amounts of wool! Boo!).

My Sis

Here’s half a win… Look, it’s a completed sock!  Yay!  I really enjoyed doing these socks, but I broke a DPN right near the end of finishing this sock.  I’m ultra annoyed because now I have to buy a full package of new needles (a set of 5) when I really only need one.  **grumble grumble** But I can’t work on the second sock until I replace the needle that I need.  ::sigh:: So it’s off to Michael’s with me today. 

Completed Sock

Actually, it’s ok – I’m going to try to pick up a different sized circular needle while I’m there.  I really want to try knitting on some smaller sized cords (instead of magic looping all the time), so maybe my trip will inspire me.  I also want to see if they still have the sock yarn on sale.  I bought some beautiful sock yarn last well… but apparently having the yarn for two pairs of socks laying in wait isn’t enough! LOL! 

So if I buy the sock needles and a shorter circular needles, I’ll have what I need to finish up two outstanding Christmas presents.  I’m trying to keep to a “1 present to 1 item for me/us” ratio in my knitting so I don’t get burned out, but I don’t get too behind (on the stuff I’m already behind on… I KNOW!!!), but I am totally itching to do, like, 800 pairs of socks for myself.  I dunno.  I guess this might be the year of the socks? 

Anyway, here’s us in our Christmas Jammies, just for funsies.  It’s funny – we only took one picture, so I’m glad it turned out.  Kitten was so exhausted by Christmas Eve (the night of the jammies/picture), that I’m shocked that she’s not completely melting down in this picture.  We didn’t want to force the issue and have her be a complete beast for any subsequent photos.  So yay for a good one on the first try.

Christmas Eve Jammies

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Survival!

Well, here we are, just this side of Christmas.  I am pleased to say that we’ve made it through (for the most part!).  We had a ton of fun both at the in-laws on Christmas Eve, and with my family on Christmas day.  As expected, Kitten was spoiled rotton (I have no idea when she’s going to get to play with all her toys – too many toys, and not enough hours in the day!).  The only thing I regret is that there was so much mayhem and confusion during the gift opening, that I didn’t really get to pay attention to who gave her which present.  But I guess that’s what you get when you have 5 children and 9 adults opening presents all at once!  It was good fun, though.

I got quite spoiled as well, as did Rob. 

Oh, hey!  My sister has her presents, so I can show you the other two projects that I have been busy making in this last month!  First, I knit the Sideways Grande Hat (or Cloche, depending on how fancy you want to get).  This was a super simple knit, and I would totally make it again.  Only not for me, because I look like a mad fool with it on.  It looks super cute on my sister, though.

Please forgive the craptastic picture – apparently I need to clean my mirror. Or needed too – it’s been a couple weeks since then. Also, I think this hat looks better on people with shorter hair, and possibly best on shorter, curlier hair. Regardless – I look like a dweeb, and I realize it.

Sideways Grande Hat

I re-placed the cable on the hat after I took this picture – I had realized how crooked it was until I was looking at the photos. And then I was all “gah! The world is ending! Christmas is coming and I have too much to do!!!” and didn’t retake this picture. So imagine that the cable is straighter and covers up the seam. Then you’ll be all “Ooh, so cute!” Ha ha.

Sideways Grande Hat

And probably my most favorite thing that I’ve knit this Christmas season are these Phenomenon Mittens. Yes, they were inspired by the mittens that Bella wears in the Twilight movie. No, that is *not* the reason that I knit them. Frankly, I wish that they had never been featured in that show – I super love love LOVE the mittens, and pretty much *HATE* everything Twilight-related… so it pains me to tell you that they are the same pattern as the ones in the movie.

That said, I love them so much because of the cabling pattern on the back of the hand, and even more because of the cross-stitch pattern across the palm and the thumb. I’ve never done a cross-stitch pattern before, and now I want to do it on everything! It’s not terribly difficult to do, but definitely takes a bit of brain power while knitting. But it’s very dense, and VERY warm, so I think these mittens will serve my sister well for a long time.

Phenomenon Mittens

I should really upload a picture of the cross-stitch pattern on the palms of the mittens. I’m in love.

Today I finished a pair of Easter-egg inspired baby longies. I’ll have to take pictures of them and post them up soon. Just not today.

Also, I’m going to try to keep track of how many kilometers of yarn I knit in the next year. I’m hoping to knit a bunch of yarn for my stash, and see where that takes me. I’d like to get 5K’s knit, but we’ll see – I hear that having a new baby in the house sometimes prevents much crafting and other things! 😉 So you won’t see my meter to the right change until after January 1… Truthfully, I have knit quite a lot this year… I just haven’t kept track of it all! 🙂

The Last of the Christmas Fishes

I can’t show you the last of the Christmas Knitting because some of it is for gifts for my family/friends who read this blog… so here are the pictures of the last of the fishes.  I am grateful to be able to take a short gift-knitting break, and do up a teeny pair of baby pants for the belly bean.  I figure if I do one gift, one baby item… and rotate like that, then I’ll get the gifty stuff done soon and won’t have to be knitting the baby things as I’m in labour.  Unless I want to, of course… but you know, I’d prefer to plan to NOT knit during labour. 

Behold!

Completed fish sets

Set #6

J's fish set

J's Fish hat

J's fish mittens

Kitten’s hat (no mittens for her!)

Kitten's fish hat

Kitten's fish hat

I wasn’t going to do a hat for her any time soon (perhaps in a month or two?), but courtesy of an epic melt down when I was trying to take the first picture (because! Look at all her fish hats! She is going to put them on! They are hers! HERS! All of them!), I conceded and knit one up. I tried to find some lovely yarn for her hat that was similar to the Small Fry hat (ie. a jacquard yarn), but they only had old lady colours, not girlie colours. So I really couldn’t make up my mind after that, and in the end just used up a bunch of acrylic left overs from my scrap bag. Sure, maybe it means that I didn’t spend any money on her hat, but I think it turned out really well, if I can say so.

I would like to tell all the yarn makers out there that maybe they could start doing some different variegated yarns?  I would have paid a lot of money for a jacquard print yarn with white, black and orange (or similar colours)… as that would have made the perfect fish hat.  But no.  Oh well.

Oh, and for your enjoyment:  Here’s a picture of Kitten (and a turtle) singing Jingle Bells at church.  She wouldn’t put the turtle down, and the teacher decided that a turtle on stage would be less of a distraction than a sobbing angry kid.  Very true.  I do have a video of this epic event, however I’m chosing not to put it online – I don’t own the other kids, and wouldn’t appreciate *my* kid’s video online without my permission.  So, if you need to, just imagine a bunch of squeaky 2-4 year old voices singing jingle bells, my kid petting the turtle and then doing all the actions about a second after everyone else, and you’ve captured pretty much the experience.  It was hilarious (and cute!).

Kitten performing at church

Plenty of Fish in the Sea

If you’re wondering where I have been, the honest truth is 1) hibernating because I’ve reached the anti-social part of my pregnancy (yay, third trimester), and 2) knitting. Christmas will be upon us soon, so I’ve got to get a bunch of stuff done. I know that you’re here for the pictures, so without further ado:

Set #4

S's Fish Set

S's Fish Mittens

S's Fish Hat

I really like how the colours came out in this set. They pooled nicely so I didn’t have to do a lot of alternating or striping to break up the big colour blocks. There does seem to be a brown side and a blue side… but I guess you could say that maybe some fish are like that too? I dunno. Anyway, I’m pretty happy with how this set turned out. If you’re interested, you can view my Ravelry pages for the hat and the mittens (for notes, etc.)

Set #5 – I’m calling this set my Small Fry Fish Set. They’re made for my youngest nephew, and because he’s still fairly wee, I had to alter the pattern quite a bit. In the end, I made my gauge a bit smaller so it would be smaller overall, then I made the hat shorter, so it would really only fold at the very top, rather than trailing down the back of his head. I thought it would be more comfortable for both him and mom (with the carseat business) if it was a bit shorter. Strings were put on the mittens as per the mom’s request.

Small Fry Fish set

Small Fry Fish Mittens

Small Fry Fish Hat

And for scale, I put the hat on a spool of DVD’s. It’s quite loose on the spool (and very stretchy), but just so you can see how wee the hat really is.

Small Fry Fish Hat

You can find my notes and adjustments on the Ravelry pages for the hat and mittens.  I wrote down all the stuff I did differently (shortening the hat, thumbless mittens, etc.) there, so you too can make your own Small Fry Fish set.  Also, I have to give a giant shout out to that yarn.  It’s Bernat Jacquards, and it has worked up so beautifully.  I love how the white and blue bits look like scales, and how the blues and grey striped so nicely on it’s own.  I didn’t have to anything at all to get it to look like that.  I’ve used jacquard yarns for socks before, but never on a larger object, and I have to say that I am LOVING it!  It’s acrylic, which isn’t ideal for all situations, but it is really quite lovely for things like kids hats.  It wasn’t too plasticy feeling, which was really wonderful as well. 

So, due to all this super knitting, I have finished Buffy Season 7 (I can’t decide if the crying was hormonal or not), and I am nearly finished the regular Stargate series (SG-1).  I think I have only 4 or 5 more episodes before I start up Atlantis.  I understand that Atlantis and SG-1 actually overlap, but couldn’t be bothered to watch them that way.  Once I’m done Atlantis, I’ll probably try to get all the re-runs of Stargate: Universe (the newest one).  I have been keeping up with the regular shows too, but now that most of those shows are on their winter break… well, not a lot of new stuff is being watched around here.  However, Rob and I do have to catch up on Fringe and Dollhouse (both sitting on our PVR, piling up), and Kitten and I have been catching some of the excellent Christmas Specials that show up around this time of year too.

Can I just say, how exciting is Christmas when you have a kid who really understands what’s going on!  When we drive anywhere, she screams “IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!!” every time she see’s lights, and gets super excited about presents, and has even started talking about Santa a bit (she’s just really been exposed to Santa, for the first time, in the past week or so).  I think we’ve decided to have Santa come and visit and leave us our stockings, but have all the presents be from each other.

Anyway, nose back to the grindstone.  I have two projects that I am suuuuper excited about, but can’t share with you until after Christmas, as they’re for my sister.  She knows what they are, but I want the actual first viewing of them (for her, she reads this site) to be when she opens them.  Hopefully they’ll be done by then, and I won’t have to wrap my kntting needles up! Ha ha.

Merry Christmas, People!

I hope you all are enjoying your holidays (Christmas, Solstice, Festivus).  We are starting to get into the swing of things tonight, as we visit my dad and his family.  Kitten has already tried to open presents, but we’ve been pretty successful in staving her off.  I’m sure she’ll be pleased when she can open one tonight (our new Christmas Jammies!).

I managed to catch a horrid cold, so if anyone calls to wish us a Merry Christmas and gets dead air, that would be me trying to say “hello”.  I have a voice on occasion, but it’s mostly gone.  ::sigh:: 

Merry Christmas!

Mittens & Christmas Ornaments

I’ve finished up two more projects that I’ve been working on.  The biggest project was a pair of mittens for my brother’s girlfriend.  I really have no idea if she will like them, but I’m really hoping so.  With my luck, she’ll super hate pink or something.  Oh well, nothing I can do about it now! 

The problem that I had with these mittens is that I didn’t buy enough wool.  I thought that I would have enough, but no.  I double knit the mittens so they would be super warm, which was a great idea, except that I only had enough wool for one mitten.  When I went back to get more, the shop had just sold the last of it.  I could have just wept!  So, I ended up ripping apart the mitten that I had completed.  I separated the yarn and used a charcoal grey as my second string of yarn for the mittens.  They turned out a lot darker than the original mitten did, but I think that I liked the overall effect. 

They’ve been washed in wool wash, and as soon as they’re good and dry, I’ll have wrapped them up and Christmas prep will be FINISHED!  Yay!

Christmas Mittens

Christmas Mittens

The colour has pooled interestingly. It kind of wraps around the mitten, which you can’t see in the picture. Apparently I can’t count, so one mitten is a slightly different size than the other one. I’m all kinds of awesome about that! It really annoys me, actually, but there is NO WAY I am taking these apart.

With the leftover yarn, I tried to make a globe Christmas ornament. It turned out ok. I think it would have looked nicer if I paid more attention to making sure that I didn’t get ladders (which I did), and I stuffed it with plastic bags instead of cotton batting… so it’s slightly more lumpy than it might have otherwise been. I didn’t have any cotton batting hanging about and didn’t want to buy a bag for a fist sized ornament… so I went with what I had. I’m all right with how it turned out, I think.

Cabled Christmas Ornament

Oh Man!

I can’t WAIT until this gets to my house.  It’s going to be soooo awesome!  Is it not just absolutely gorgey?  I think it’s going to be an itty bitty clutchy type baby blanket.  But it’s only 220 yards, so I’m not sure how far that’s going to go. 

In other news, I finished the “practice” mittens for Kitten.  You’ll notice in the picture below that one is bigger than the other, it’s because I was trying to make the size perfect for Kitten’s little hands. 

Practice Mittens

Perfect Mitten #1 has been completed as well. However, I seem to not be able to do a proper Kitchener stitch to save my life, so I just gathered up the remaining 8 stitches and tied them off at the top. I think this worked out because I double knit the mittens in a worsted weight… which means that they’re the thickest mittens I have ever held. If they had been thinner, you’d really be able to see the gathered portion… which wouldn’t be so awesome.

First Good Mitten

Top of Mitten

Please excuse the very bright flash business in the pictures. Either my pictures are out of focus because the shutter speed is too slow in the regular overhead lights or everything is a little over exposed with the flash. Oh well.

I’m very pleased with how these mittens are turning out. I plan on making one more set of mittens for someone at Christmas, although I will be making this pattern, and I will be making 3 mittens, in case the recipient loses one. I think that’s a great idea, and because the mittens are made for either hand, it will work out pretty well. However, the pattern looks a lot more complex than I had hoped, but I’m sure I’ll be able to muddle through it.

A small brag:  We all slept in until noon today.  I don’t know what possessed Kitten to sleep for that long (perhaps that molar that is just breaking the surface?  Seriously, 4 front teeth and the tip of a molar.  This kid gets teeth in a weird order!), but it was glorious.  Even Rob slept in, he who is typically up with the birds.  After we got up and got out the door, we picked up almost all of our Christmas shopping.  We have a total of 5 small things left to get.  This means that I don’t have to go to the mall any more!  Yay!