School House Rocks

I have fallen in love….with Craftsy!! I signed up for a few free knitting classes, then bought a few spinning classes and I am more than impressed.  The format is amazing and the instruction is clear, concise and easy to understand.  For the first time in….well, ever…I don’t feel like I have to exclude patterns just because they have short rows in them.  Wrapping the stitches has never been a problem, but until the short row mini-class I had no idea how to knit the wrap with the stitch.  I do now.

The spinning classes are even better.  For the first time I’m using my wheel instead of my spindles and I’m enjoying it.  I have some great hand-dyed merino in a color that looks just like Sully from Monsters Inc. and I really want to get it on the wheel and see what I can do with it.

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Hue Shifting

This Hue Shifting Afghan pattern is great.  I was nervous about it as I had never made a mitered square before.  The pattern when first printed out was daunting looking, but after slowing down and doing a little reading on Ravelry and a video on YouTube I was ready to give it a go.  I jumped in and it was a success!!

So I’ve currently got 3 active projects on the needles: The Hue Shift Afghan, The Moderne Log Cabin Blanket and a pair of vanilla ribbed socks that I’m attempting without any real pattern.  A bit nervous about the last one, but I’m familiar enough with sock construction to be able to work out a simple sock that way.  Everything else is on hold for now.

I’m also back to working with my spinning wheel.  I’ve mastered spindling but the wheel has always eluded me.  I’ve signed up for two separate Craftsy classes for spinning and drafting.  That’s going to take up a lot of my crafting time for awhile.  I want to be able to spin the yarn that I want for projects.  Lord knows I have more than enough fiber to double my stash. LOL

Swatch Question

I’m kind of obsessed with the thought of 12 pair of socks in 12 months idea.  I’ve been stalking the sock pages in the pattern section of Ravelry. I’ve been fingering all my sock yarn.  I’ve gotten out almost every sock book I have.

This obsession brings me to my question. When it comes to swatching for socks, I have been experimenting with the gauge of a stockinette square vs a circular swatch. I find, for me at least, that the difference is so small as to be negligible.  I was wondering if that’s true for a lot of people, or am I just deluding myself into thinking it’s true…the measurements don’t lie, though, right?

Another sock knitting question.  When you are getting ready to knit a pair of socks do you choose the yarn first and let it lead you to the right pattern or vice versa? I tend to pick the yarn first, but am working on picking the pattern and then the yarn.  I’m curious about what others do.

Upon Further Reflection…

A sick day is a good day to reflect on knitting and organizing and other types of goals.  I’ve been in and out of bed all day today, feeling like crap. I’m wheezy, which I hate, and stuffed up, which makes me feel downright panicked at night when I’m trying to sleep.

I think that Socks 2015 is a great idea and I’m going to hold onto it.  But I think there also needs to be a big, goal oriented project.  I’ve been wanting to knit a sweater desperately, but haven’t found the right one, didn’t have the yarn etc.  So I’m going to be getting some yarn soon and I’m thinking that my sweater’s worth of yarn is going to be Knit Picks Shine (not sure what weight yet). I’m thinking something with stripes or colorwork of some sort, bc I love the colorways so much, but am also open to the thought of a one colored sweater. I’d love some ideas from anyone who wants to share. Either worsted or dk are fine for the size.

In order to further facilitate my move to more organized and concise system for projects, I need to purge the WIP basket.  It’s name should really be the “Needs to be Frogged” basket if I’m honest.  It’s a number of things that I mostly don’t like but haven’t had the heart to admit defeat yet again (if it’s on the needles it’s still a project mentality). Time to let that go, stop feeling like a knitting failure and to finally have a needle reclamation party.  I have no clue what needles I have and don’t have b/c of the insane number of WIP’s. Of to rip-it, rip-it, rip-it…good luck to me….LOL

The Cure for Knitting ADD….I hope…

I think/hope I found the secret to help abate my rampant knitting ADD; YOU are that secret, blogosphere.  Yup, it’s that simple.  If I tell you what I’m knitting and putting on the needles etc then I feel like if I tear it out because I’m bored, or something else catches my eye (which happens an awful lot), I’m obligated to explain to you, the reader, why. And bored, something new, “wrong yarn” are not viable excuses.

This is the year of the sock for me.  I’m bound and determined to finish 12 pairs of socks this year. By the end of 2016 I want to have enough socks knit to get rid of commercial socks altogether.

So in the spirit of both of these things…I cast on a pair of Jaywalkers by Grumperina. I’m knitting in Claudia Handpainted Fingering (which is apparently called Addiction now) in the Circus Dancer colorway.  And yes, it’s the “clown barf” that it sounds like. I cast on last night without gauge swatch; I’m going to start the cuff in pattern and measure the gauge based on that. If I’m off it’s not too much to rip out and if I’m right, I’m already into the project.  Oh, and I’m working on a “new skill” – double pointed needles.  I’ve always knit socks M.L. or 2 Circs. This is a challenge, but one I’m ready to meet.

I’m off to work on the first sock of the project. I think I’m spending most of the day in bed, anyway. This horrible respiratory thing that’s going around seems to have found a way past my defenses. I think I’m getting the flu….argh.

I’ve been neglectful of the blog again lately.  I truly mean to post every few days to every week at the most, but I always seem to let it slip through the cracks.  I’ve made resolutions this year that I’ve kept thus far, so blogging more consistently doesn’t seem like that difficult a thing to do.  Any tips/hints for motivation re: blogging daily please let me know.

So what’s new in 2015 for me…

Personally: My divorce is final. It wasn’t as heartbreaking as I thought it would be. Of course there was a huge sense of sadness and loss, but there was also a part of me that felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of me.  It’s been hard on the kids, but I believe that, in the end, this will be the best thing for them. I am now a proud home owner…all mine, no mortgage, no lein, nothing.  That’s another weight off my shoulders. Dating, at this point, is so far away from the agenda I can’t even see the possibility at this moment. I think it’s time to enjoy life for what it has to offer me. I haven’t been “single” since I was 19 years old.  This is like an adventure.

On a not so pleasant note, we are having a lot of problems with J and his video game addiction.  He’s still being punished from the last time when he got caught taking his 3DS to school and then being flip with the principal about being late to class because of it; he’s got 2 weeks of a 2 month grounding left. He got caught lying about and playing video games behind our backs.  He seems to think it’s all some sort of game and that as long as he can ride out the punishments, I don’t think he cares.  Any suggestions here would be appreciated.

Will update later today or tomorrow re: knitting in 2015….

Clapotis Heartbreak…

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This Clapotis is made with my FAVORITE yarn and colorway ever. I fell in love with it 8 years ago. It’s 100% bamboo and the colorway is 7th Heaven. The vendor was Yarntopia or something like that I think. I would, buy a ton more yarn (loved so many of her colorways) if I could just find her again. She also sells a lot of lace – weight tencel yarns as well as blends. Her colorways are always bright and colorful; multi-colored and pretty. If anyone knows who I’m talking about, please let me know.
Back to the Clapotis.  I cast her on 8 years ago. It was when I was still fairly new to knitting and she was my first attempt at a shawl; I was so ambitious but it couldn’t be in the round and it couldn’t be too hard. So Clapotis it was.  I dove in, had a few problems here and there, but fell madly in love as soon as I dropped my first stitch. It hummed along for awhile and then I learned to spin. First the spindle took my attention away from her, then it was Penelope, the spinning wheel. Poor Clapotis got put away in a knitting bag.
Over the following years I would get her out and work on it for a few weeks, getting a decent amount each time.  I got it out for what I swear will be the last time. I’ve been working on it for days. I just started the decrease part of the pattern. Today I discovered that I made a few mistakes that altered the course of the patten. So after trying a few things to fix it, I went with the radical idea to frog the whole thing. I think there was pms involved. But it’s done now. I have 800 yards of perfectly yummy DK bamboo. Any suggestions for a worthy project would be really appreciated.