Knitting and pets.

Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

New Years

It is that time of year again. 2011 is rapidly coming to an end and 2012 is almost here. 2011 has been a pretty good year for me; I started a new job in my field, I got engaged, I finished some pretty awesome knit objects. I had some goals for 2011 I didn’t stick to, as tends to happen all the time.

One of my goals was to do a little destash in the yarn I have in my house and my parents’ house. I have gone through the containers I had in my house and managed to empty one completely; I put all the yarn I knew I would never use into big garbage bags and dropped it off at Goodwill for someone else to take advantage of. I haven’t gone through the stuff at my parents’ house yet but that is still on my list of things to do eventually. It’s not as pressing because they aren’t as concerned about space, whereas we need all the space we can get right now.

Another goal was to keep exercising. Sadly that has completely stopped now. Due to the hectic schedule of the end of 2011 my mom has stopped going to aquafit and thus I have also stopped going. I have let my Wii programs slide to the point of being non-existent now.

So as you can see I had some success and some failures for 2011, but that’s ok! 2012 is a whole new year, a whole new chance to start over again and this time I have new goals, better goals, than before.

So here are my 2012 New Years Resolutions!

First I plan to knit from my stash as much as possible. Sometimes someone requests a project that I just can’t complete with what I have on hand so I go get what I need for that individual project. Last year I did a lot of buying for specific projects. That means I have yarn for 3 sweaters for myself, lots of socks for me and others, lots of baby stuff (and since there is another baby coming to my family I will need some baby stuff), stuff for a blanket for my cousin, and then I have all the stuff I have acquired over the last couple years that aren’t intended for something in particular but that I can use for things. I have the Big Book of Knitted Monsters by Rebecca Danger and have a serious love of these monsters so I plan to knit a bunch of them. The great thing about this book is you can really use any yarn, any size, that you want to make the monsters.

A big goal for this year is to start planning my wedding. So far we haven’t really planned or even discussed anything about it. He says that he has done his job and the rest is up to me, but we’ll see about that. He has to have an opinion on at least some things!

Another big goal is to try to do some actual budgeting. My weekend retail job pays every 2 weeks, direct deposit, and my other job pays weekly by check. I need to start keeping track of what I’m spending and dividing each pay up into chunks. Some for my fiance for bills and groceries, some for my credit card, and some for my line of credit. I really need to get these debts moving along because I have no desire to be paying this off for the rest of my life. Some of my money also needs to be out away for the wedding, a house, a car, stuff like that. As it is I spend too much on lunches (such as Subway every day) and junk I don’t need. My yarn ‘diet’ should help matters since I won’t be spending very much on yarn this year.

Another big goal is to keep on top of housework. I started making a weekly schedule for cleaning, a couple things a day based on my work schedule. I let it slide when I got my new job and was working full time. Once the holidays are over and I’m back to work I need to start my schedule again so that things are getting done. Along with this is cooking, I don’t cook very much but I really need to learn and keep up with it. I made a few meals for us this year but only a couple and then it also slid when I got the new job. Now that I should be adjusting to the new job I really do need to get back to doing more cooking and cleaning.

For now that is my list of resolutions for 2012.


WIP Wednesday

It’s Wednesday and that, apparently, means talking about WIPs. I have 4 active WIPs currently. Grandma’s sweater with Sirdar Crofter, my Berry Leaves sweater with Mirasol Qina, Cassie’s Pullover with Sandnesgarn Mandarin, and Lisa’s Playmat with Lion Brand Homespun.

Having recently finished a pair of socks and a shawl for myself I decided it felt good to knit for myself. I also have a lot of gifts and commissions to do as well though so I have a schedule for my WIPs. Right now I am on a 3 ptoject rotation but Grandma’s sweater (not being needed until January) is not included right now. My rotation is day 1: Berry Leaves, day 2: playmat, day 3: pullover, day 4: playmat. This way the playmat, which is largest and most pressing, is worke on every other day and my sweater and Cassie’s pullover get equal time.

I’ve made amazing progress on my sweater, I am almost done the bust increases on the back. Cassie’s pullover was doing pretty well until I messed up and ended up with a big hole somewhere that I didn’t know how to fix. The playmat has 2.5 animals done. The sheep will be the death of me because the body is almost entirely bobbles! Luckily I am done the bobbles part now so it should be faster knitting from here. Grandma’s sweater has one front that will need to be fixed (neck issues) and most of the back. Since I did it in one piece to the armholes it has most of the second front too.

I decided to give my finalnopinion on the Google+ KAL since I’m totally done my shawl. I loved the pattern, I was informed there were errors but the one part that was supposedly wrong looks fine to me and the other areas I seem to have been able to work through just fine. One problem I had with the process was that my stream is filled with all kinds of stuff that I really have no interest in. That isn’t just because of the KAL but some of the people posting EVERYTHING as totally public are from the KAL people. The best part of the KAL though is seeing everyone else’s shawls. They are all beautiful and everyone has done a great job with them. It’s interesting to see the finished shawls show up in all colours and sizes. I could see myself doing this again in the future. It was a lot of fun.

I wanted to add pictures to this but didn’t get time to so since it’s Friday and I wrote this 2 days ago, I’m posting now.

Google+ KAL

I was thinking about my blog and about how rarely I update it. I’ve decided I’m going to try to update it every Saturday. Today is the first Saturday of this resolution so here’s my post.

Google has started it’s own social networking site now, Google+. It’s a bit like Facebook but I find it a little easier to use and has a bit of a better layout. I still have my Facebook since not a lot of people use Google+ yet but I like both. One of the reasons I like Google+ right now is that I have over 100 knitters on my friends list so I have lots of people to talk to about knitting. With the knitting community that has started there is already a knit along happening. There are 107 people that are involved in the knit along, at least last time I checked! We are knitting the Bashful Butterflies shawlette and it’s really interesting to see how everyone is doing it. Everyone has a different yarn weight, colour, fiber content, needle size, and speed of knitting.  I’m loving seeing all the pictures appear on my stream every day. Along with the KAL someone started a “knitting meme” of 5 questions to answer about your knitting and then a picture of your favourite finished object that you have knit. I’ve seen many people repost that and one thing I have really noticed is how many people hate weaving in ends and sewing seams. I’m really very intrigued by all the different people I have a direct link to now.

In other knitting news, I’ve been listening to a couple different podcasts. I’ve caught up on Stash and Burn and Knit Purl Gurl and right now I’m catching up on Sticks and String. I like Stash and Burn because of the various yarns and patterns they talk about as well as the ideas I’ve heard for knitting down the stash. I have a huge stash and I don’t know what to do with a lot of it. Honestly my favourite part of Knit Purl Gurl is the theme song. I adore it and everytime I hear it I feel like I have a stupid grin! I love to listen to some of the things she talks about, such as being a younger knitter. I’m younger still and I get looks and questions all the time. One thing that I think is pretty cool is that I have her in my Google+ friends. I like Sticks and String (which I have A LOT of listening to do still since I’m only on show 32 right now) is funny, thoughtful, and informative. Of course, not being Australian some of the information doesn’t mean much to me since I won’t be around for the knitting groups and such that he talks about but it’s still interesting to listen to things that happen in a totally different part of the world. I also love his cats! A couple times I’ve been listening on the bus or while walking and heard the meowing and started to look around for the cat only to realize it was the podcast I was listening to, not a cat here! There are a couple others I would like to listen to as well, but I think I need to catch up on the ones I’ve already started first.

In random, non knitting news I’m eagerly waiting the arrival of my own copy of The Sims 3. Prior I was borrowing a copy to see if I would enjoy playing it as much as The Sims 2, turns out I do really enjoy it so I have started purchasing the game for myself. I have purchased a copy that is base game and Ambitions all in one, and Generations. Generations arrived the day after I ordered it but the base game and Ambitions have not arrived yet. I ordered both 2 weeks ago, Generations came the next day but the other one is taking forever! I’ve been out checking the mail every day to see if it’s there yet and every day I feel so disappointed when I cocme back to the house empty handed. I have one more week for the date they gave for delivery (it said Aug. 9-26 when my BF checked which seems ridiculous to me!) so I’ll keep checking every day for it to show up.

Yarn U App Review

The other day I was given an opportunity to try out an app for iPhone and give feedback on here. The app is called Yarn U and it is essentially information about different yarns. You open it up and it presents a list of yarns. You can scroll through the list and if you pick a yarn it will tell you the weight, yardage, a couple pros and cons, and some information about the yarn. You can organize the list alphabetically by name or by fiber. You an also choose from a list and organize by a keyword.

As an example: I want to make cotton socks so I select fingering weight and set it to organize by fiber and then find the cotton section (which is at the top because it goes alphabetical) and then I can go through and find one I like and read about it. So I picked Comfy Fingering Weight. I open that up and it has a little paragraph about the yarn which mentions rising prices for cotton and some knitters being thrifty, then it talks about a knitter that likes the yarn and a pattern suggestion. After the paragraph it tells me the yarn is made by Knit Picks, it’s fingering and comes in 50 gram balls, the guage is 7-8 stitches/1 inch/US 1-3 Needles, the fiber content is 75% Pima Cotton and 25%acrylic, and there are 218 yards per. Next comes a list of pros and cons. So this one is inexpensive, machine washable, great colour selection, and terrific for cables, but it’s very stretchy so you’ll probably want to go down a couple sizes. 

I think this would probably be most helpful if you’re shopping for yarn and you have a pattern that specifies a certain yarn. You can compare the yarn in your pattern with other yarns in the store using the app and make an informed decision based on what the app tells you about the yarn.

I did notice that some yarns I have in my house were not listed in the database of yarns so there seems to be some work yet to do. Other than missing yarns, however, I quite enjoyed playing around with this app and reading about some different yarns and seeing how big the world of yarn really is!

Ok, I linked to the Apple store at the top of my post, but here’s the link again in case you missed it the first time. Yarn U

Wendy’s Baby Sweater

A while ago a coworker asked me if I would make a baby sweater for her friend. I said I definately would but she wanted to find out if her friend knew what she was having so I could make the sweater gender specific. It took a while of waiting and asking, but she finally got to talk to the friend and found out she was having a boy. She thought that the boy would probably have dark hair and eyes so she wondered if a brown sweater would be nice. She had also mentioned blue, so I decided it would be nice to combine the two, they do go very well together. Originally I was going to do solid brown with blue stripes but I couldn’t find a nice, inexpensive, worsted weight brown. I already had the blue, but the brown wasn’t happening. I did, however, find a nice variegated blue and brown and thought it would look just adorable. I showed it to my coworker and she loved it, which made me happy, of course.

Next I needed a pattern. My coworker had said she wanted one like the sweater I made as a gift for another coworker who recently became a father. I had issues with that pattern though so I didn’t want to use the same one again. I found another one, a hooded toddler sweater that buttons. I decided on that one but I didn’t want a full button up so I decided I was going to try and make a huge change in the pattern. I wanted 2 buttons and then the rest to be pullover. Figuring out how to do it took a bit of thought since I’m not yet an expert on things like this, having only done socks without an actual pattern before. I decided on an action plan and went with it. Throughout the process of knitting this sweater I had serious doubts about how it was going to look. I was afraid I had really messed it up, added too many stitches, gone too far down before joining in the round… it was very nerve wracking.

After about a week of knitting I was done… completely done, and it looks AWESOME!

The Sweater

The modifications I made are as follows:

The same row as seperating the sleeves and casting on for the underarms, cast on another eight at the end of the row (the front) and then join to work in the round. Continue working the pattern as given except it is now in the round, not back and forth. (I did the same for the sleeves, they were supposed to be worked flat then seamed but I HATE seaming so I did them in the round too.) Then you pick up the stitches along the right hood and front (I did it in multiples of 4, then skipped one, worked perfectly) and knit 5 rows then make 2 button holes (mine were cast off 2 stitches and cast them back on in the next row.) The row that I cast off the stitches for button holes I started short rows to make the button bands wider than the hood ribbing. Knit to where hood meets body, turn and knit to end, turn knit to where hood meets body, purl 2 from hood, knit 2 from hood, turn knit to end, knit to gap, purl 2, knit 2, turn, knit to end, turn, cast off all stitches (including hood).
I did the same on the other side but started the short rows one row earlier and knit one complete row after short rows before casting off. (This is because you are working in the other direction this time.)

The pattern can be found here.

New Blog!

Hi, my name is Sarah and I’m going to give this a try to see if I like it better than what I was using. This first post won’t be very interesting because I’m just saying Hi!

So to tell you a little about myself. I’m 23 and living in a tiny basement apartment with my boyfriend and our 3 furbabies; 2 cats and a dog. I love knitting and am desperately trying to design my own patterns. I just finished a couple socks that I did without a pattern. I’m going to finish 2 more then get the recipient to try them and tell me what he thinks. Feedback from my mom so far has been the legs are too short. We’ll see what he says when he tries them.

This was my first attempt which I didn’t like so I pulled it all out and started again.

These are the ones that are finished as of now. I am currently working on the matches to these.