Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Staying the Course

I have yarn. Really, I have a lot of it. It may not be considered "a lot" to some people, but to me it is. I have recently admitted to myself the fact that my stash no longer fits in the three box system that I had going on. I have two 12 gallon plastic boxes that are full of yarn, plus one 19 quart box that is full of sock yarn. They are full. Can-hardly-close-the-tops-on-them-no-matter-how-hard-I-try kind of full. And up until this past week I was okay with that because, after all, I could still close them and the stash still fit into the three box system.

That was before I had to relocate the stash from the guest bedroom into the office for my mother-in-law's visit. I wanted to make sure that Anne had plenty of room in the closet to stow her stuff and that was not going to happen with all the yarn, knitting books, knitting bags and yarn winder and swift in there. Being the thoughtful daughter-in-law that I am, I moved all of that stuff into the office closet which will soon become Ailish's closet once she moves out of our room and into her room and the office becomes a joint tenant of the guest room. (There's a lot of moving going on here!)

I was in the process of moving the yarn and assorted knitting paraphernalia when I realized that I don't count certain yarns as a part of the three box system, though I really should. Case in point, the 10 skeins of Shine Worsted that was for a very short time the Cherry Bomb tank top from Big Girl Knits. Those 10 skeins are carefully wound up again and sitting in a clear project bag that hangs from the clothes rod. Right next to it, in their own clear project bags are 7 skeins of Reynolds Rapture and 6 skeins of King Tut Cotton. Why don't these 23 skeins count in the three box system? Because they didn't fit comfortably in the boxes at the time that I needed to put them in there so I didn't bother, plus this conveniently left me room in the boxes to purchase more yarn.

Clearly I have plenty of yarn to knit with, so why on earth did I spend 2 hours last night putting yarn into various online shopping carts and then closing the screens before purchasing anything? I was so darn tempted to buy yarn that I really don't need?

My remedy to this is to harness the power of Ravelry! I have my entire stash cataloged on the website and so I spent time going through each yarn to see what other people have made from it. This gave me a lot of wonderful ideas and I now have 18 projects in the Queue that have a specific yarn from my stash attached to them. There's no more excuses! I have yarn to knit with and patterns to make it into!

Now I'm all revved up and ready to go but have a few more projects on the needles than my Mommy Brain can handle. The challenge now is to finish the two socks that I'm working on before I can cast on for a new project.

This is my first toe up sock and it's being worked Magic Loop style. I'm really enjoying this process! The wedge toe fits my foot amazingly and the short row heel (another first for me!) is quick and easy. Last night I finished the first sock only to realize that my usual way of binding off was not going to cut it. I researched a few different ways of binding off and found the Sewn Bind Off to be perfect.

What I'm not loving is this particular yarn. It's Sockotta and I'm not liking the striping pattern. My OCD needs the stripes to have a pattern to them and it is not happening. Mom, on the other hand, thinks that it is great and has claimed the socks for herself.

For my next pair of socks with the short row heel I need to figure out how to not get holes in the heel. I picked up my wraps but still have holes. A little bit of research and I'll be set.

I'd also like to find how to do a short row toe. If the toe is as good as the heel it will make me a very happy knitter!!!

Lastly, this is the Moss Grid Handtowel from Mason Dixon. The yarn is Merlin Tristan that I got in the swap from Tammy and it is 100% linen. This has been a yarn that is hard for me to get used to. It doesn't have a great hand and all of my stitches look uneven and just plain wonky. Hopefully they'll even out with blocking.

A positive thought is that I had planned on purchasing enough linen yarn to make a curtain for a small bathroom window. That will not be happening, at least not with this type of yarn.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ino the unknown

I mentioned in my last post that I would show you something that you have never seen before. Are you ready?

This is my sewing machine. I have owned a sewing machine for two and a half years and have never used it. It scared me. There are buttons and pedals and it plugs into an electrical source, none of which knitting does. But recently, Allison posted about a pattern that she was going to sew for her daughter and I fell instantly in love and I knew that it was time to overcome the fear of the sewing machine.

My mother-in-law, Anne, has sewn since high school and when I showed her the cute patterns I had found online, she was more than willing to sit next to me and hold my hand (and occasionally the fabric) while she taught me how to sew. We went to Wal-Mart at 9pm one night (yes, we're crazy) and picked out 2 patterns, some fabric from the clearance section (this particular outfit cost $1.00 in fabric), and the notions we'd need. The next day the fabric was washed and after the men folk went to bed the three girls stayed up and did some sewing.
As you can see, Ailish was more than pleased to be up helping us even though it was really late. She wanted some creative input in the process since she would have to wear the final product. Poor girl didn't make it to the finish line, though, and decided to call it a night at 11:30pm. Anne and I worked until 1:30am and then collapsed in bed ourselves.
The next morning we finished things up and found that we had successfully made a very adorable outfit. Anne helped me a lot, with everything from cutting out the pieces to some of the actual sewing. She also taught me that your sewing will look a lot better if you have the foot down while you're sewing... and she was right!
The next outfit will be completely done by me but Ailish is proud of what I've learned so far and excited to wear her outfit once it fits her in a couple of months.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Here and There

Here and there perfectly describes my knitting. There hasn't been as much luxurious knitting time as I thought I might have with the Mother In Law in town, but we've been having a lot of fun taking her around so I've caught little chunks of time while in the car. Thankfully, I don't get carsick so this has worked out really well for me!

Though there may not be much knitting going on, I did have a chance to finish the Scrunchable Scarf! I took it with me on Sunday afternoon when I met Sarah, Tammy and Ginger at Starbucks for some knitting and chatting. Scarf knitting seems to drag on and on but when you become determined at finishing it's amazing how quickly it can go! I got a huge chunk done on the scarf at Starbucks and then worked on it more before going to bed and then finished it up the very next morning after one of Ailish's early morning feedings.

The Scrunchable Scarf is going into the gift box and will be given to Jared for Christmas. I love seeing the gift box fill up!

To leave you giddy with anticipation, in the next blog post you will see something you have never ever seen before. What is it?! Tune in next time!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I love Trekking XXL. It is one of my top sock yarns ever, and you all know I've knit a few pairs of socks.Take a look at those colors. The blending and swirling of colors. I never get tired of knitting with this yarn.
These are the L&D Socks, short for Labor & Delivery. These are the socks that I started right before going into the hospital to have Ailish. Right now I'm starting the gusset decreases on sock numero dos and I'm thrilled with how they are turning out. Mom has threatened to steal the L&D Socks if she ever comes over to my house and finds them not on my feet. I wouldn't put it past her. The woman only wears hand knit socks now.
Speaking of color...Time for a change! I've been feeling a little "blah" lately and while doing a little shopping I decided that it was time to shake things up a bit. This right here is $9 worth of happiness in a bottle. Natural Instincts in the color Rosewood which is a dark auburn color.
What do you think?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Earth to Brianne

I've been sitting in front of the computer for the past ten minutes just staring at this blank space where I'm supposed to type. Honestly, I'm drawing a blank. There's a lot that I can talk about but I'm having issues with piecing it all together into something coherent. I hate that feeling!

Last night I got together with Kate and Tammy and some other ladies from the church and I forgot how to cast on. It was embarrassing and a little startling! The sticks and string were in my hands but I couldn't figure out what to do with them. Then I remembered that I first needed to make a slip knot and it all came back after that. The lack of sleep is really catching up to me.

On a happier thought, Kate is leading us through how to make socks toe-up using the magic loop method. I've done cuff down magic loop but not toe up. The rest of the girls are doing two socks at once but I opted to just do them one at a time so as not to really confuse myself! Second Sock Syndrome has never been much of an issue for me so I'm not worried about not finishing them.

Also, I'm finally on the second sock of the Trekking socks that I started the night before I went into labor with Ailish. It's only been 7 weeks. The second sock is moving along much faster than the first is and I'm about 4" into the cuff.

I love these Trekking socks. Tammy and Sarah were shocked when I told them that these socks made me want to rip out all of my other socks and knit them again. They fit like a second skin.

Bryan's Mom is flying in on Saturday to visit for a week. I'm so excited that she's coming and partly because I can't wait to get in some real knitting time while she plays with Owen and cuddles with Ailish.