Knitting Feeds

I think they spell it hubris

Yarn Harlot - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 15:50

All week long I’ve been kicking arse and taking names in the Christmas department. Knitters, I am so on it that I’ve impressed even myself. I went the mall, I’ve got the house coming together, the shopping is almost done and I’ve been plowing through the knitting in a way that makes it all seem possible. Sure, the house is kinda trashed, but it’s that kind of trashed that’s like cleaning a closet, things are only this bad because they’re about to be much, much better – or at least that’s what I’m telling myself every time it threatens to overwhelm.  Yes, there’s wrapping paper everywhere, but that’s because so much is wrapped. Sure, there’s knitting on every surface, but that’s because I’m working on so much of it. Agreed, that bedroom looks like Santa’s workshop exploded into an elf rave that went on for days – but… well. I have to clean that up for sure, but really, things are coming together. They really, really are.  That’s what I was telling myself yesterday morning when I made my to-do list for the day and consulted the schedule that has a bow on this Christmas by the time Joe gets off a plane tonight.  (Mostly.) I’ve been motivated by how great it’s going to feel to be relaxed and prepared this holiday, and how effortlessly I’m going to slide from event to event, and how Joe’s to-do list is going to be so short that it’s a gift to him in itself.

To pull this off, you understand, things need to be pretty seamless. There’s not a lot of room for error in this scene, and I need to stay right on track. That’s why it was more than a little gutting yesterday when I realized that yes, I was almost finished a pair of mittens, right on schedule, but that they were both right mittens.

I bounced back. ripping the work back, mentally revising the plan and trying to laugh at myself for such a rookie move. I got the work back on the needles, gave up knitting for the moment, and got the day’s shopping done. Then I went upstairs to clean the bathroom. That went super well, it didn’t need much, and I decided that since I’ll have a whole houseful of guests on Saturday and I had an extra 5 minutes, I’d touch up a place where the paint in the bathroom needs it.  I popped to the basement, got the can of paint I’d bought for just this purpose, fetched a paintbrush, opened the paint and trudged back up the stairs to do a two minute paint job. I believe that as I went up the stairs, I even congratulated myself on finding the time to do an extra credit project, and smiled, thinking about how impressed Joe was going to be. We’ve been talking about fixing that paint for months.

At the top of the stairs… I, I don’t know what happened. I can’t explain it. I put my foot on the top step, I remember that. I turned to go into the bathroom, that much is clear… and then…. I let go of the can of paint. It slipped right out of my hand, and the whole world suddenly slowed down, like I was in a movie.  The can hit the floor at the top of the stairs and for a moment I thought it might be okay, I thought it might just land on its bottom, but as I watched it tipped over – not onto the floor, but towards the stairs. I grabbed for it, desperate to prevent disaster, but it was too late. As I watched, the can bounced off the edge and downward into history.

I do not have time to use all the words to explain to you how I felt when it was over. First there was shock, then I became…let’s call it “understandably upset”.  I couldn’t even figure out what to do next. The paint was everywhere.  It was not just on the steps, it was on the floor, the wall, the wall opposite the stairs (?) the newel post, the ballusters, the carpet at the bottom of the stairs, my bike – Elliot’s ball (I guess I should put that away) it spattered the coats hanging on the newel post – my ski jacket, Joe’s favourite old man sweater, it’s all over my knitting bag.  It’s like a crime scene.   I stripped off my pants (paint spattered) and socks (handknit, now ruined) and realized that everything I could possibly use to clean this up (what the hell was I going to use to clean this up?) was downstairs, on the other side of that disaster.  I took that picture (once a blogger always a blogger) and then started to cry as I walked down the stairs through the paint, in my underpants.

Today I’m going to try and bounce back, but boy, was I right. Joe is going to be SO impressed.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Checking it Twice

Yarn Harlot - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 17:15

Joe is still away – and that means I am still whipping through the Christmas preparations, unencumbered by the burden of consultation, regular meals or conversation. The yarn pile looks quite a bit better – Here’s where I was on Friday-

and here’s where I am today.

I know it’s not super impressive, but some of the weaving is done, and more than that, I managed to figure the warp math so that might need a lot less than I thought originally, which might mean I’m halfway there on that, I’ll see later.  I still have to cut and sew the cloth, but I’ll wait until it’s all woven.  The stocking is no longer in the pile, it’s finished and wrapped. The second sock of the first pair is started, and I’ve started the first sock of the second pair too.  3/4 pom-poms are made (one not pictured) and I have to solve a yarn problem before I go any farther than that. I’ve got 1/6 mittens almost done, and all the rest of that yarn is wound – not that it helps much, but at least it makes me look more ready. No progress on the small sweaters or the ornament, but I thought about them a lot.

Since my goal is to get everything (except the knitting) finished by Saturday, I’ve been prioritizing other stuff – I can keep knitting after that.  I’m only a day away from having the house “Christmas Clean” though I’m sure it will get absolutely trashed on Saturday – and I’ve started the wrapping, and set a menu for Saturday, and plotted a path to success.  It’s starting to involve warping the time-space continuum a little bit, but only a little.

It all hinges on today though – today must be executed to perfection or all hope dies here. Today I’m going to drive our car (be impressed, I only do it about 5 times a year) and I am going to go to the mall. I hate the mall, everything about it makes me wild, but once a year I have to concede that it’s the best way to get a lot done in a single day, and off I go.  I have planned what I think is the best day to go – I feel like Tuesday should be the quietest day, and I’m going in the daytime- I’ll avoid everyone who’s eager enough to go on a Monday and stay right away from everyone desperate to do it before a weekend, and that should leave me jockeying for space with only those also smart enough to show up on a Tuesday who can also go during the daytime, and I feel like I can deal with that.  I have a plan (a really good one) and it is written down with a list of all the things that I need, and what stores they should come from, and I have looked at the mall map, and know what my route through the place will be. I know where I will park, and I have a timeline.  If all goes well today – if it all falls into place according to plan, with my wool as my witness, I will not shop again this year.*

Wish me well, my friends, and if I don’t come back, know that I loved you all, and ask Jen to divide the stash as fairly as she can.

 

*Except for yarn which is fine. 

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Klaralund

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 12/09/2019 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Klaralund Knitter Extraordinaire: Mary (Ravelry Profile) Mods: Left off the sleeves from the original pattern. Details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: If it never gets cold enough for big wool sweaters, what’s a knitter to do? Especially a knitter living somewhere warm. like Texas? Mary decided

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

FO | Kintra Mitts Red Cash Silk

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 12/08/2019 - 19:22
Well, that was a short-lived struggle! Just a few short weeks ago, I was determined to stay focused on the tasks already at hand, but then in a moment of distraction I found myself casting on yet another pair of fingerless mitts, and I realized I'd lost that battle.

And I'm glad I did. Just in time for the holidays, I have a pair of soft, silky red mitts to go with my recently completed Kintra cowl.



To change things up just a bit, I used the rich purple Cash Vero and a three-needle bind-off to seam the mitts with a kiss of contrasting color. Overall, I'm pleased with the effect, and should I grow tired of the purple, I can easily remove it and redo the seam with red.



Kintra Mitts
Yarn: Cash Silk (Zegna Baruffa), Cash Vero (Cascade)
Needles: US 8 (5 mm)
Yardage: ~96 yards
Size: M

For now, however, I like the purple accent, and because the cowl features a removable button, I can achieve a matching look by substituting a purple pompom for the black button. (Yep, it's the same one I made for the Wyndfael cowl, but it works just as well here.)




Christmas is only a few weeks away and there's still much to be done, but meanwhile, I'm ready for the season with my vibrant red cowl and mitts.


RELATED



 Pattern | Kintra Cowl-Scarf  Pattern | Kintra Mitts


Categories: Knitting Feeds

Making a list

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 12/06/2019 - 23:14

I think it’s time to settle into the reality of what’s happening here.  The tree has been up for a week and we’ve transitioned into full-on Christmas breakfasts around here which you would think should have installed a full-on sense of panic in me about getting ready, but it has not.

(Elliot is seen here eating Santa Strawberries and Snowman Pancakes and wearing Santa jammies after his first sleepover here last night, and It went great, thanks for asking. He slept between us in a deep cuddle, and we were prepared to run him home at the first sign of trouble- I think Joe slept with his car key on the bedside table. Ellie did really, really well. Meg and Alex thought he was ready and I’m glad we trusted their judgment – we all had a great time.)

I’ve been plugging away, getting organized and getting ready and consulting the spreadsheet, but in a really relaxed way.  I went to River City Yarns to work for a few days (what a great shop and such a fabulous team) and felt like (despite full days) that I’d have tons of time to knit.  I felt so good about it actually, that when Joe suggested that if I was going to be in Alberta anyway, maybe we should grab a quick ski- that seemed totally reasonable too, after all, I’d have lots of time to knit. I did find time to knit in both places and I came home inexplicably feeling like there was heaps of time to get Christmas together, and then something about the day before yesterday got to me.

Joe came home from work on Wednesday and told me that he needed to go to Calgary for work on Friday (that’s Alberta again) and asked if I wanted to come along for a ski. I flipped open my calendar and super casually said “let me just check…” and suddenly, I got it. I looked at the date, I looked at the date on Friday, I looked at the date we’d be back and I… I got it.  There, in the shadow of the Christmas tree, with four days of my yarn-ish advent calendar open, with the smell of balsam fir wafting through the air, having already attended two parties and noted that my evening walks are snowy and lit by pretty lights all around me… I GOT IT.

“Dude, I can’t go anywhere” I told him, and what I meant was that I can’t go anywhere that isn’t going to help me make a Christmas, and skiing is not that thing. (I saw him open his mouth to say something about how much knitting I can get done on a flight, but we are so far past that – I think he saw something in my eyes and stowed it. If you were a witness to this marriage, I promise that you would be stunned at how often Joe saves his own life based on a glance I give him without really any sense of what’s going on. It’s an instinct.) I thought about it for a few minutes and then came up with a plan.  “You go.” I told him, and opened the spreadsheet. *

Joe is leaving in an hour and he’ll be gone for five days. Our annual Gingerbread Party is in 13 days. I get back on a plane in 15 days, and I won’t be home until the 20th (although there will be lots of time to knit on the flight.) The way I see it,  I need to have this whole thing wrapped up (literally) except for a little bit of knitting (for the flights) before I hit the road on the 16th or my whole world will be regret and I will guarantee myself no damned fun this Christmas at all. I can tell you (or the family can) that if I’m not having fun, ain’t nobody going to have fun, so today has been all about the spreadsheet of Christmas power, a series of lists, a plan divided by zone, stores and tasks, and a huge pile of yarn.

Yeah. That’s my yarn plan. That there is roughly three pairs of mittens, two pairs of socks (one started.) A small sweater (half done.) A stocking (half done.) One ornament (not started.) Four towels (that’s weaving, it’s fast don’t panic.) Not pictured, one optional sweater which is my last priority because it’s very small and the recipient isn’t even born yet and couldn’t care less, and four pom-poms, for which I do not have yarn. (Don’t ask.)

I know, that’s a big pile of yarn, but somehow it seems manageable to me – and actually like the least of my problems- Christmas wise.  I’m going to spend the next five days shopping, wrapping, cleaning, knitting and weaving and I think… I think I might have woken up just in time. Maybe.

Knitters. it’s go time.

*This is like the Hunger Games.  I volunteer as tribute.

(Also, like in many good rescue missions, I think I’ll be faster if I go alone.)

(Also I will have a list for him to do when he comes back, don’t you worry.)

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 12/06/2019 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week An excellent list of ideas for gratitude that are small, easy, and oh-so-effective. Is it self care or self sabotage? 15 things to stop giving a sh*t about. Air travel and climate change- frequent flying is a part of the problem. I hate flying- the whole industry seems

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Almost Metropolis

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 12/02/2019 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Metropolis  Knitter Extraordinaire: Michelle (Ravelry Profile) Mods: Changed the shaping to be A-line, worked a turned edging instead of ribbing at the hem, cuffs and neckline- and worked a keyhole back to the neckline, where the turtle is, of course absent. Also added side seams for stability. Great details are on her project

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

There's Still Time

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 12/01/2019 - 19:06
As much as I love Thanksgiving, when it comes so very late in the month as it did this year, it can really put a crimp in the holiday season. One day, you're completely focused on family, friends and food (I'm a total turkey addict), and the next you realize Christmas is just a few weeks away. 

The only solution is to take deep breaths and remind myself (over and over again) there's still time to whip up some knitted gifts. Just in case you're in the same boat, I'm here to share some quick and easy gift-giving possibilities.


ORNAMENTS
Christmas Trees
Worked from the top down, these classic reversible Christmas Trees are ideal as ornaments, mug mats, hotpads, table accents and more. As an added plus, they can be knit in any gauge, any yarn weight, and a wide range of sizes from extra small to extra large. 

To buy the Christmas Tree pattern now, click here.
To read more about it, click here.


ACCESSORIES
Dojeling Shawl
This is a bit more ambitious, but if you choose to use large-ish needles, you could easily create a triangular shawl or bandana scarf in time for gift-giving or holiday wear. Dojeling is reversible, readily adapts to any gauge and yarn weight from fingering to bulky, and features innovative construction to keep work in progress manageable for knitting on the go.

To buy the Dojeling pattern now, click here.
To read more about it, click here.


Kintra Cowl-Scarf
The Kintra cowl-scarf features a unisex design that's quick, easy and suited to anyone you deem knitworthy. Use shrine of precious yarn for something truly delectable, or opt for sturdy workhorse yarn for durable daily wear. The pattern is written for sport weight but readily adapts to multi-stranding and heavier yarn weights that work up quickly. (For a superfast knit, check out the short version, which takes about 165-200 yards.)
To buy the Kintra Cowl-Scarf pattern now, click here.
To read more about it, click here.


Kintra Mitts
The Kintra Mitts are not only fast and easy, they feature a versatile unisex design. Choose soft and sumptuous yarn for a woman, or something sturdy and tweedy for a man. As an added plus, the pattern is written for sport weight but readily adapts to any yarn weight, so opt for heavier weights and you can quickly work up several pairs.

To buy the Kintra Mitts pattern now, click here.
To read more about it, click here.


Wyndfael Mitts
A combination of classic two-stitch mock cables and ribs make Wyndfael fast, easy and versatile. Because the pattern is written for worsted weight yarn, these mitts work up very quickly. Simply follow the pattern as written, or use the tips, tricks and easy modifications to tailor each pair to a range of recipients.


To buy the Wyndfael Mitt pattern now, click here.
To read more about it, click here.


HOME DECOR
Graefen Cloth & Towel Set
This fast and easy pattern produces a set of reversible cloths and towels. They work up quickly in DK weight, but you could speed things along even more by using worsted, aran or bulky weight yarn for a single towel, set of cloths, or both.


To buy the Graefen pattern now, click here.
To read more about it, click here.


Sweet Hearts & Soft Spots
Designed to function as coasters, hotpads, placemats and decorative accents for your table or tree, Sweet Hearts & Soft Spots are ideal for gifts. Celebrate the season by working them in holiday colors, use rainbow hues for a range of recipients, or get a jumpstart on Valentine's Day using rose, pink and red.


To buy the Sweet Hearts & Soft Spots pattern now, click here.
To read more about it, click here.


Whimsy Owls
Know someone who loves owls? This design works up quickly, and the pattern includes instructions for three different sizes, so you can create an entire owl family if you wish.
To buy the Whimsy Owl Family pattern now, click here.
To read more about it, click here.


From afghans and accessories to holiday and home accents, there's something for everyone. Each pattern includes a range of sizes, detailed yardage breakouts, and handy tips, tricks and easy modifications. For many of you, this means you can dip into stash to make the most of yarn on hand, to save time, money and shopping hassles.

It's crunch time, fellow knitters, so let's get busy. Christmas is coming!

Want to acquire several patterns? Click here to go straight to my Ravelry pattern store.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 11/29/2019 - 11:00

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It’s a huge shopping blitz this weekend- and I’m having a Black Friday sale too! All my patterns are 50% off with the code knittedbliss. No limit, use as many times as you like before end of day on Monday, December 2nd. Shop patterns here! My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Looking for a

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