Thursday, September 10, 2020

No Really, You Shouldn't Have

I really have no business casting on another blanket. Especially when I have three blankets still on the needles. That's right, three. But here I am, casting on a blanket like I have absolutely nothing else on the needles.

I honestly have no idea what spurred me to start a new blanket and more specifically, a scrappy one. Last month I found myself on the couch whipping up a mitered square using a mini skein that I found in one of my project bags. It was such a satisfying feeling to finish that square in one sitting that I grabbed my bag of minis and leftovers and just kept going. A few weeks later I had to stop and re-evaluate my game plan. Am I doing this? Is this going to be a blanket? What about the others? I'm about fifteen squares into this, so yeah...I'd say I'm definitely knitting up another blanket.

I've been loving knitting shortie socks throughout the summer but I also needed something not socks on the needles, too. I've been wanting to cast on a cardigan that I've had my eye on since last summer but just don't have the brain capacity at the moment for anything that involves math and a proper gauge. Since my move I've been on this hardcore quest to knit up deep stash and most importantly, to use what I already have rather than go out and buy more (cause really, I don't have the space for more). I have an overwhelming amount of leftovers and mini skeins that I've been hoarding collecting for the past decade that I don't have the heart to get rid of and so the idea of knitting a project that involves using these up was quite appealing to me.

A blanket made up of mitered squares seemed to be the popular way to go in terms of scrappy blankets. A quick look in my queue and I saw that I had favourited The Coziest Memory pattern by Kemper Wray of Junkyarn (please note that link goes to the Ravelry pattern page). My gauge tends to be tighter when I knit garter stitch so I usually go up a few needle sizes, but for this blanket I went up just one size from the suggested one in the pattern because I didn't want the fabric to be too light and flimsy.

I have no colourway theme game plan for this blanket, I'm just blindly reaching into my bag of yarn and using whatever I pull out. A part of me is a little anxious that the blanket will turn out ugly because the colours are so all over the place, which is silly as that's the whole point of a scrappy blanket, right? I had to go through my mini skein collection and weigh everything out as I've discovered that not every one of them was 5 grams or more. A few times I ran short and tried to colour match a second yarn as close as possible to finish the square. I don't think this would've been such a big deal if it weren't for the extra ends that would eventually need to woven in. 

So what about the other blankets? Well, one of them is for the Kid and it's more than halfway done. It actually sits right next to my spot on the couch and I stare at it every day. I had stopped working on it because I needed to make some choices, I have to either find more yarn in a colourway that apparently isn't that popular (and possibly in a second colour...I don't know yet until I get to that part), or try to fudge it and use what I have. These are choices that I really don't feel like making at the moment so I stopped working on it.

The second blanket, I'm not quite sure why I stopped working on. Most likely I got distracted with the thrill of casting on something new. I am nothing if not predictable. I do recall making an attempt in April to find all the yarn I was using so that I could continue on. It's quite possible that during my search I came upon another forgotten WIP or a skein that I just had to knit up pronto.

The third blanket, the original blanket, the one that got me even thinking about the possibility of knitting blankets, is The Beekeeper's Quilt (link goes to the first blog post I made about the project). This project has been on my needles since 2011 and I honestly don't see myself finishing it. Aside from feeling done with this pattern, I also got rid of the three bags of Poly-fil stuffing that had been taking up valuable crafting storage space for the past ten years. I think I have completed about a hundred hexipuffs out of the nine hundred that I was hoping to knit in order to have a blanket that would fit a king size bed. Just so i don't feel like a complete failure, I think I might pull out all my puffs and sew them together and what size I end up with is what it will be. Only time will tell if I actually get around to doing that, though.

For now, I'm going to knit as many mitered squares as I can while I'm still on this project high. I've got my fingers crossed that it'll last long enough for me to churn out a king size blanket! 

♥ Happy Knitting! ♥

Friday, August 21, 2020

Summer of Socks

** Please note: this post contains links to Ravelry pattern pages **

I never planned for this to happen but I guess it's a thing now. This summer has officially been the summer of sock knitting. Shortie socks, that is. I honestly thought I had lost my knitting mojo earlier this year when a shawl I was working on just didn't turn out the way I thought it would. Then the move was happening and all ideas of knitting went down the drain. Once my family and I were moved in and somewhat settled, I had the urge to cast on something mindless. But quick. I needed some instant gratification. 

*Shortie socks has entered the chat*.

Socks and baby knits are my usual go-tos for instant gratification but I wasn't feeling the baby knits, but most importantly, I wasn't feeling up to the task of digging through the stash to find appropriate yarn for a baby knit. What I did have within reach though, was sock yarn. So socks it was going to be. To make the socks actual instant gratification for me they couldn't be my usual 6" up my leg full sock. No, they were going to have to be super short and vanilla. I also didn't want to think about think about the pattern and do any math, so no modifying my usual sock recipe. 

I had already knit the popular Rose City Rollers by Mara Catherine Bryner before and liked how they were fast, easy, and that they had fit perfectly. Done! I grabbed a skein of yarn from a yarn bin closest to me - which wasn't hard since I have yet to find a permanent spot for them all to be so they're all currently taking up space in the corner of the dining room, and cast on the first sock while waiting for The Kid to virtually connect with his school teacher and classmates. I haven't looked back since.

Spring Mix Shortie Socks
Spring Mix Shortie Socks

The first pair of Rose City Rollers that I had knit (3 years ago!) had a rolled cuff, as per the pattern. While I didn't mind the rolled hem, they just weren't that comfortable for me whenever I wore them with booties, which are my choice of footwear if I can't be in sandals. So for this pair I switched out the rolled cuff and did my preferred 2x2 ribbing. I guesstimated how long I should knit the cuff and in the end made the ribbing 3/4" before continuing on with knitting in the round for a total of an inch before starting the heel flap. I continued on with the pattern until I got to the toe. I think I got distracted enough that I had started the toe a bit too soon, so to make up for it I decreased the toe a few stitches more than called for.

I was pleasantly surprised about a few things: one, how fast these socks had knit up for me as I'm still having issues with my right hand. Since I haven't been working for almost two months leading up to knitting these socks, my hand was feeling good enough to knit for longer periods of time than I was used to. Also, I was working on these socks while supervising The Kid during his learning from home school period and while having what felt like endless family movie nights. It felt good to finally produce something during this pandemic. Pleasant surprise no.2, these socks almost came out identical even though I wasn't trying to because...pleasant surprise no.3, having small feet meant this pair only used one skein of Knit Picks Felici. I did a stupid move in that I didn't weigh my skein at any time during the knitting process and took a leap of faith in that I would have enough yarn to finish the pair after removing a few stripes so that the second sock could start on the same colour as the first sock did. Thankfully, it all worked out for me in the end and aside from the stripes I took out, I had a small amount leftover, so in total I used less than 200 meters (approx. 200 yards) for a pair of shortie socks. 

:: Sock Details ::
Pattern: Rose City Rollers by Mara Catherine Bryner
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici
Colour: Spring Mix
Needles: Knitter's Pride Karbonz Fixed Circular in 2.25mm (US 1)

Positively Pink Shortie Socks
Positively Pink Shortie Socks

The second I bound off the last stitch of the Spring Mix shortie socks, I had immediately cast on another pair. This time, with a single skein of self-striping pinks that I had no idea what I was going to do with. I had originally bought three skeins of this colourway, thinking I was going to knit a pair of knee-high socks. Those socks ended up as regular socks because I had misplaced the third skein while I was trying to match up two of the skeins in hopes of making the socks identical (for the curious, I'm talking about these socks). I finally found the third skein while culling the herd but didn't have the heart to give it away or to try to destash it. I mean, it's pink. What if I needed it? So I threw it back in the stash, thinking one day it will find its purpose. And look! It did!

This pair took me a week to whip up. This shocked me immensely, as it has been quite a while since I've been able to knit for such a long period of time and so quickly. I changed a few things this time around, I used a needle a size smaller than my usual size for the ribbing and I had knit only one round between the ribbing and the heel flap to make the leg height a bit shorter.

Again, I didn't make the effort to make these socks a matching pair but I think they came out pretty close. I didn't even bother taking stripes out so that the cuffs on both socks were started on the same shade of pink. This is most likely due to the fact that I had started the second sock in the truck while waiting for the Mr to do our grocery shop and I really couldn't tell the shade difference between some of the pinks. During the earlier pandemic times, the Mr and I saw no sense in both of us going inside a store together to do the shopping when one person per household just makes more sense in order to avoid having too many people inside at a time. As a result, I did a lot of knitting on these socks while being outside and will always remember knitting on them while getting the chance to visit and enjoy usually overly busy touristy hot spots.

:: Sock Details ::
Pattern: Rose City Rollers by Mara Catherine Bryner
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici
Colour: Positively Pink
Needles: Knitter's Pride Karbonz Fixed Circular in 2.25mm (US 1)

Pride Shortie Socks
Pride Shortie Socks

Next up, yep! You guessed it, more shortie socks. Can't stop...won't stop.

Since June is Pride month I figured I should knit a pair of rainbow striped shortie socks to commemorate. Not to mention that I have like, six skeins of this colourway in the stash. And yes, like the pink pair above, I had already knit a full pair of socks in this colourway before (that I had called my Reading Rainbow Socks). I wasn't in a hurry to get these socks off the needles but they did work up pretty fast because as I've said a million times before, knitting self-striping yarn is so addictive!

June was a weird month. Well, what month during this pandemic hasn't been weird? But June for me was when The Kid went back to school on a very, very part-time basis (but was still doing the majority of the school work virtually), the Mr had taken a lot of time off, I was still not working and with no idea as to what was going to happen with my work situation, and with Covid cases being so low on the island, things were slowly opening back up again. These socks had accompanied me to a lot of local breweries.

Funny story: even though these socks had knit up fast, it took me weeks to officially finish them. I'm going to assume that I needed to cast on the next pair of socks because I was going to go somewhere where I could knit for a longer period of time and needed a project that could match that. I guess I got thoroughly swayed by the thrill of turning the heel that I had completely forgotten about these rainbow awesomeness and they quickly got lost under a pile of other WIPs. Had I paid attention, I would've realized that the second toe only needed the toe grafted together. Oh well. At least I discovered this detail weeks later and not years later, and can still say I finished these socks in a month span!

:: Sock Details ::
Pattern: Rose City Rollers by Mara Catherine Bryner
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici
Colour: Rainbow
Needles: Knitter's Pride Karbonz Fixed Circular in 2.25mm (US 1)

Opal Shortie Socks
Opal Shortie Socks

Sock no.4 for this Summer of Socks! I found my Ziplock bag of Opal minis from the Opal Christmas Advent Calendar that I got five years ago and decided to take a break from the self-striping yarns and knit socks that were mis-matchy. I still had sixteen minis from the advent and had a hard time choosing which minis to use. For some reason I thought it would take four minis to make a pair of shorties (yeah, I didn't bother to look at the other pairs of socks I had knit using these minis to see how many I had used) and selected the four that looked like they would blend well together.

I didn't deviate from what I did with the previous pairs so there's really nothing to say about this pair other than the fact that I ended up using 2.5 minis instead of my predicted four. Now I wonder if I could challenge myself in knitting another pair of shortie socks using a mini per sock and pair it up with a solid coloured yarn for the cuff, heel, and toes?

Hmmm...I'll have to keep that challenge in mind for later. For now I got other yarns demanding to be turned into shortie socks!

:: Sock Details ::
Pattern: Rose City Rollers by Mara Catherine Bryner
Yarn: Opal 4-ply Sock minis
Colour: Unknown, each mini label does not contain the colour info
Needles: Knit Picks Nickel Plated Fixed Circular in 2.25mm (US 1)

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A Bad Knitting Habit

Yesterday I was on the hunt for some sock needles. I have no idea why I felt compelled to go on a hunt for more sock needles since I just cast on a new sock. Maybe it's because I was rooting around my crafting cart and noticed a stack of empty needle packages? I know I have at least ten pairs of needles that I use for socks (2.25mm/US case you're wondering) and for some reason I couldn't see any in sight. I have two needle cases and let me tell you, they were looking a little bare. A quick peek at the little tote that I keep my other knitting notions in, and all I saw were more empty packages. What gives?

Needless to say, I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon digging around in all my project bags, yarn bins, and boxes on a hunt for needles. How could this have happened?? Back in March when I was packing up house I had come across an embarrassing amount of forgotten WIPs. Just so.many.WIPs. A lot of them were still in the beginning stages, just cakes of yarn attached to a circle of ribbing with an interchangeable cable threaded through with the needle tips missing. There were a handful of so-called projects that were just in the cast-on stage and never made it past that first row. Some projects were so old that the stitch markers had tarnished beyond repair and the needles had a weird powdery yet tacky coating on them.

And that's when it hit me: I have a really bad habit of casting on projects and working on them for a few days or weeks and then ditching them for something else. The projects would be so new that I never got around to making a Ravelry project page for them or even making any notes about them, like what needle size I was using or even what pattern I'm supposedly knitting. Anyone who knows me well knows that I've gotten pretty good at keeping a project page for everything I knit and try to attach as many photos and make as many notes as I can, not for the sake of other knitters (although, if it helps other knitters then that's just a bonus) but just so I know later on what was going on with the project and what needles I was using (not just size but what brand and needle composite). I think of it as setting myself up for success, "Present Melissa" is taking care of "Future Melissa". I can't tell you have many times this has saved my sanity!

Going through all those projects, it was quite cathartic to rip out all those needles and cables and reclaim them, to frog all that yarn - some I chucked out, others I donated, only a few I put back into the stash. It felt so freeing to finally get rid of WIPs from ten years ago and best of all, to not feel guilty that I never finished them and that I chucked out perfectly good yarn (I was feeling ruthless...and yeah, I may have been panic packing...). Marie Kondo was right, getting rid of excess stuff feels like a weight is being lifted off your shoulders. 

Anyhoo, all this to say that I really need to break this bad habit of being sooo close to finishing a project and then abandoning it to cast on something shiny and new. Of basically having Starteritis all the time. In my needle search yesterday I found two sock WIPs under a pile of finished hand knit socks. One pair, I had started a year ago in June, needed afterthought heels put in; the second pair (pictured above), I had started a few months ago for Pride Week, only needed to be grafted together at the toe!! That's it. Why did I abandoned it? What's wrong with me? I'm going to blame it on 'pandemic brain'. Or maybe I had cast on a new sock...?

I haven't found all the missing needles yet, but I did reclaim two pairs of sock needles. I'm going to consider that a win for now...and yay! I'll have two more pairs of socks to add to my hand knit sock collection!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Stitched: A Scrappy Floor Pouf

Holy smokes! I'm posting about a sewing project? A finished sewing project? Yes, yes I am. Oh man, I can't even remember the last time I posted anything about sewing. Maybe five years ago? Yikes! So this post is quite over due!

If you follow me on Instagram then this is actually old news, as I had whipped up this sewing project back in May. After moving into the new place I realized that I needed to downsize my stuff even more than I had originally thought. I had spent the whole month of April unpacking, trying to figure out where to put everything, and was constantly rearranging our storage locker, Tetris-style. With knitting on hold and this new burning desire to sew up my fabric stash as a way to free up boxes, I pored over my old notebooks looking up the sewing ideas that I had been wanting to do when I had the time. I was also scanning Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration and finally decided on a project that I had been wanting to make forever: a floor pouf!

The original floor pouf that I had wanted was one of those knitted floor poufs made popular by Nordic knitting brand, Pickles (this one to be exact - FYI: link is to the Pickles website). I had purchased yarn to make one eons ago and obviously never got around to knitting it. I have since destashed the yarn. The, from the beginning of the pandemic, I was seeing other makers post about their sewn floor poufs. Yes! So I looked through my files to see what patterns and tutorials I had saved over the years. Ugh. Note to self: cull your bookmarks from time to time! Everything I had saved were either not what I was looking for, were no longer to my design tastes, or the link was broken. Back to searching the world wide web. Luckily for me, I didn't have to search long before I started to see that every floor pouf I liked was being made from the same pattern, the Closet Core Patterns DIY Pouf Pattern!

This floor pouf was exactly what I was looking for and turned out much better than I had hoped for! After much digging around in my fabric bins, I decided to use the leftover scraps of my favourite Japanese cotton/linen canvas Echino prints. I had mainly used these fabrics for project bags (99% of them were sold, I think I kept maybe two of them for myself? Sadness.) but it makes me so happy to use them for something that I could display on a bigger scale in my home.

Anyhoo, back to the pouf. I followed the Closet Core tutorial completely as written (yes, this pattern is a freebie on their blog!). Things of note that I did for my floor pouf:

♥ I used a medium weight interfacing on all the top wedges and side panels to give it more structure and stability.

♥ since no one but me was going to be flipping the pouf upside down and looking at the bottom, I decided to use a blue decor-weight canvas that I had in my stash instead of one of my precious Echino fabrics. At first it bugged me that it didn't "match" my fabrics but after some thought I said screw it, no one was going to see it. Now that it's been done, I'm happier with my choice as over time the regular canvas will hold up better to the wear of being rubbed on carpet than the fancy Echino prints.

♥ I knew it would bug the living daylights out of me if the top wasn't perfectly lined up with the side panels, so I used pre-made black piping at the top and bottom of the side panels to visually break up the alignment and to make the whole thing pop. Let me tell you, who knew that trying to find pre-made piping during a pandemic would be so hard? Since the fabrics stores in my city weren't open at the time, I had to search online. It took me a few days to find a few packages in Canada and then another two weeks for it to arrive.

♥ I also made a zippered inner bag to hold all the stuffing, that way I can throw the pouf into the wash if needed. Instead of making a super big square drawstring inner bag like the tutorial has you do, I made a second pouf the exact same size in fabric that I had no idea what to with but didn't want to throw out cause well, it was still good fabric (and it was sort of sentimental fabric, as I had used it to make my Kid a carrier back in the day). To make the inner bag I used the bottom piece, found the middle, and cut it out on the fold. I could've pieced all the side panels together to make one long rectangle, but decided to keep it as individual panels because the wide of the fabric I was using wasn't wide enough and I liked sewing all the pieces together. I think making the inner bag the same size as the pouf helps with the shape and ensures all parts of the pouf is being stuffed.

♥ I took great pleasure in stuffing my pouf with threadbare clothes, all the scraps that I finally decided to part with, and the two bags of fabric that I had set aside and was going to donate to a charity that sews quilts for the homeless (they never called me back and because of the pandemic, no one was accepting donations of any kind). I thought I was getting rid of so much fabric. Yeah, it barely stuffed the pouf! I went through all my bins again and weeded out more fabrics that I knew I wasn't going to sew with but didn't have the heart to throw out (cause you know, it costed me good money). The pouf is still not as stuffed as I would like it, so whenever I come across a threadbare piece of clothing I stuff it into the pouf and the plan is whenever I do some sewing, all scraps immediately go into the pouf! Isn't that brilliant? And less garbage for the landfill! Bonus!

♥ I wasn't paying attention when I was sewing the wedges for the top and so the points in the very middle of the whole thing did not line up nicely. It drove me bonkers. Times like these make me happy that I'm a packrat. I had a crapton of cover your own button kits that I had no idea what to do with, so I covered one in black Kona cotton to match the piping and stuck it on top. I think it worked in helping me not see my sewing oopsie. And I think it adds more oomph to the pouf in general.

Hiding the misaligned points. Sanity = saved!

This was such a fun sew! Seriously, if I had the space in my place I would totally make more. I want to make more! That's how fun this pattern is. Although, if I were to make another pouf I would add tabs at each end of the zipper that's at the bottom of the pouf, for more stability when opening and closing the pouf to add more "stuffing". Otherwise, I think this pattern is perfection! I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who was looking to sew something stashbusting or needed this type of house accessory.

This project gave me so much gratification that it really jump started my motivation to do more sewing. For the first time in a long time, I'm excited to sit in front of my sewing machine!

Let the sewing commence!

Monday, July 27, 2020

The Return

Hey, hey, hello!

Wow, I can't believe that it's been two years since I last made a blog post! I knew I was going to take a hiatus but I didn't think it would be that long! So much has happened to me and my household in the last two years...getting a job outside of the home, turning that job into a permanent full-time position, the Kid entering middle school, moving house (eleven years of being in the old place means eleven years of accumulated stuff), and of course, a world wide pandemic that we're all currently going through. That last one? Yeah, that's a biggy. But I'm not going to go into that today.

I had been thinking about reviving the good ol' blog since last summer but then got really busy with work and trying to figure out that elusive work/life balance (I never did). I thought about the blog again at the beginning of this year but life events started to kick into high gear and once again I found myself too busy to even knit or craft, let alone to try to write out a blog post. Fast forward to today and I've been furloughed for almost five month now with absolutely no idea when I'll be recalled back to work. While the new place isn't completely unpacked (I still have a lot of downsizing to go!), my days are no longer completely consumed with packing/unpacking, and since the Kid is off school for the summer I actually have time to craft...and to finally sit down and write a blog post! Yay!

Bare with me has taken me what feels like  f o r e v e r  to get this measly little post together. On top of cleaning up and deleting all the spam comments left on previous posts, sorting out the new Blogger stuff, and how to make the blog mobile friendly (luckily, it was a one-click fix...phew!), I've completely forgotten how to edit my photos, what font I used for the watermark, and how to even attach a photo to a post. I'm sure there are other things that I've forgotten about but I'll worry about all those when I come to them. For now, I'm going to give myself a break and remind myself why I stopped blogging in the first place. In case I never mentioned it, I stopped because I was putting too much pressure on myself - by either trying to finish a knitted project weekly or monthly as a way to create content, by trying to post several times a week, trying to keep up with daily posts on Instagram...and for what? To fit into a community that I never felt like I belonged to in the first place? Blogging, knitting, and sewing just stopped being fun for me.

So what does this all mean going forward? Well, for one, I'm going to move at my own speed. I had started this blog way back in the day as a way to keep track of all my crafting projects and I've revived this blog for this very exact reason. While I plan on posting once a week, I'm not going to freak out if a week or two goes by without a post. I'm not going to stress out that I still can't find my DSLR camera and will have to use my smartphone to take photos until I do. Not every post will be about knitting as I've rekindled my love for sewing (one of the positive things about my move!) and am trying to use this stay-at-home pandemic time to sew myself a new wardrobe and if I ever go back to work, some new work clothes. I've also been giving quilting a proper try. Before my move I had cashed in all my gift certificates and purchased a Cricut Maker. I have no idea how to use it but take great pride in completing three projects successfully! And, like the rest of the world during this pandemic, I've been baking. Lots of baking.

So...all this to say I'm ready to go on some crafting adventures! Do you want to come along for the ride?

Until next time...

 Happy Crafting! ♥

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

April Happenings

Hello, Friends!!

It has been a while, hasn't it? Like, a month! But, you know, life demanded attention and a lot of stuff fell by the wayside. As a result, by the end of most days I was just too exhausted to even knit. For me, that's pretty darn tired because I'm usually never too tired to knit! But alas, I was. Quite honestly though, I'm glad for the mini-break because I was starting to feel a little burnt out when it came to all things knitting (and that included social media). I didn't realize I was feeling burnt out until I read Amy's post about how she was feeling tired of knitting too. I thought I was losing my knitty mojo but I knew in the back of my head there was more to it than that. It sort of relieved me to know that someone else "in the game" was feeling this way too and it sort of gave me permission to go easy on myself for not wanting to be all about knitting all the time.

Anyhoo, without this post getting too wordy (as I know I can sometimes get!!), I'll leave you with a "gist list" of things that have happened or will be happening around here:

 The Kiddo just had his two-week Spring Break. Trust me when I say that two weeks is a long time. Especially when you didn't plan a single thing - no camps, no days away, no adventures. Both mine and the Mister's work schedules just didn't allow it. The Kiddo is old enough to entertain himself and doesn't need me to supervise him 24/7, so I really can't say I was busy, busy, busy for those entire two weeks, so much so that I couldn't get anything done. No, I'll admit that I never got anything done because I decided to be lazy for those two weeks. Also, I never turned down his requests to play a board game. If anything, I was the one hounding him just as much. Anything to get him off the electronic devices, if only for a little bit!

 I thought I would take the chance to use Spring Break as an opportunity and somewhat as a deadline to "Bang Out a Carbeth". Yeah...that didn't happen. I got as far as getting halfway through the body before I decided to give my hands a break and simply because of the aforementioned knitting burn out.

 Now that Spring Break is over, the Kiddo is back in school, and my work schedule seems sort of stable for the rest of the month, I'm feeling eager to get cracking on Carbeth. If I haven't fallen asleep on the couch by 9pm, the Mister and I have been throwing on some Bob's Burgers on Netflix and I've been getting in a few rounds here and there...before we both fall asleep on the couch.

 I've made the final executive decision to STOP accepting custom project bag orders, especially in situations in which the customer purchases and then ships me the fabric. After a span of several months for a handful of customers, it was getting WAY too stressful for me when I had no control over both time and the postal systems. Maybe it's because I live on an island, maybe it's Canada Post, either way, packages took way too long to get to me (even when they were coming from only a few hours away up island!) and it was even more nerve-wracking when packages left my hands and took way too long to arrive (and one time got lost). I learned that just because you PAY for express shipping, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll GET express shipping. Same goes for tracking. Just because you pay for it, it doesn't always mean you'll know where that package is. In the end, the custom project bags with customer fabric was just too time-consuming and costly.

 I've also made the decision to STOP accepting custom project bag orders that involve me trying to find the fabric(s) in a theme a customer is looking for. The fabric store options in my area are extremely limited and again, placing online orders take time. I won't even get into the demands for fabrics that are no longer in print (and the threats of "going to another maker that wants the business")! I guess I'm just too thin-skinned for custom work.

 For those asking, I have not finished my Wanderers Mukluks. After frogging the whole she-bang and successfully finishing one Mukluk, I decided to take a break. Mostly because a part of me is insanely worried that by breaking the yarn to rearrange the colour sequence, I may have shorted myself on yardage needed for the other Mukluk. So now I'm in avoidance mode. Don't judge.  

 I finished The Weekender pullover but have yet to block it. I thought maybe Spring Break would've been the perfect time to do so but then discovered that with the Kiddo home full-time I simply lacked the space. Also, I lost the momentum of getting it done when I discovered just how warm my workplaces were and that such woolly goodness would leave me in a state of all-day sweat-a-thon and I would possibly suffer from heat exhaustion. Yet as my work gets warmer, I'm finding my house AND outside is still just as cold as it was in the winter months. So there's still time to block this bad boy and still get some decent wear out of it before the warm weather gets here (if it ever does!).

 On the sock knitting front, well, it's been slow going. My hand just hasn't been loving the combo of tiny yarn on tiny needles lately, so the lack of sock knitting isn't fully by choice. I haven't touched Pixel Rise since forever and had only touched my stripey, plain vanilla socks here and there while out and about. I have yet to even finished the first sock!

I think that's it, for now. What have you been knitting on lately?

Friday, March 9, 2018

All The Ends!

Look at all those ends!!

Last weekend I took advantage of Craftsy's free, All-You-Can-Watch Weekend and decided to check out the class, The Essential Guide to Finishing Handknits with Anne Hanson. Even though I've been knitting for over 10 years and, according to Ravelry, have knit over 250 items, I'm still not that confident in some of my finishing techniques. I'm a firm believer that in knitting there are several ways to do something and that for a lot of things there's really no "right" or "wrong" way, as long as you achieve what you were after and that in the end, it looks nice to you. 

Still, I always felt uncertain about my techniques. Probably because I'm a self-taught knitter. In the past, I've read books and online tutorials and I've watched YouTube videos and even fellow knitters at knit nights on how they accomplish various finishing techniques. I've always been tempted to take finishing classes when they're offered at knitting events like Knit City and Vogue Knitting Live, but usually get lured away with the promises of yarn shopping or meet-ups with friends from out of town. So when I learned about the All-You-Can-Watch Weekend you can bet that I was going to make sure I took one of the finishing classes that they offered! And let me tell you, I'm SO glad I took advantage of the opportunity!!

The second the class ended I had gained this newfound confidence. I wanted to cast on immediately a project that involved seaming. I wanted to cast on a project that involved sewing in a zipper. I wanted to sew grosgrain ribbon to the back of every button band on every cardigan I had ever knitted. I felt like there was nothing I couldn't do knitting-wise!

Buuuut I settled for just weaving in the ends on a pile of projects finished months and years ago. *ahem*  Unfortunately, due to the lack of space in my place, I'll have to block each project one at a time. I figured if these projects have already waited months and years for their time in the spotlight, I'm sure an extra day or two won't matter... But hey, at least I'm weaving in the ends! That's a HUGE step for me. My M.O. seems to be that I get overly excited and obsessive over a pattern/project, knit it up in a frenzy, and then the second that last stitch is bound off I promptly forget all about the knit and move on to the next shiny and new project. Since I don't consider a project a proper FO until I've woven in the ends and blocked it, a lot of the time my projects end up in a heap next to my desk...or I'll wear the knit anyways (especially when it's socks)...

I'm excited to be adding a handful of knits (mostly shawls) to my spring wardrobe rotation. I just hope my family doesn't mind the constant smell of wet wool in the living room for the next week or two!  

♥ Happy Weekend Knitting! ♥

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