Friday, June 27, 2014

One Finished, Four Started.

I've been pretty good about knitting productivity and keeping the WIPs down. That just changed.

Well, hopefully it's just the second part that's changed. I do want and plan to keep the FOs coming. I finished one thing tonight, then swatches for four other projects, two of which I want done by the 4th.

First, the FO:

It's much cuter in real life, I promise. It's a test knit vest I did for someone on ravelry. I used KP Full Circle Worsted and really liked it. This is the 2T size, so will be keeping Arthur toasty this fall. It's drying after a bath, so model shots will have to wait til this weekend.

And this is the finished Sunnyside cardigan for Ruby Rose. I forgot to share it last week. I'm very pleased with how it came out, though I did forget to add the last buttonhole. I couldn't be bothered to go back and fix it since this is 0-3 months size and will get such short use anyway.

Now for the new WIPs... no pictures yet since they are still in swatch form, but I'm excited about them.

First is Arthur's sweater to coordinate with the one above. I'm using the same yarn (KP Stroll HP in Hayride), but held double. That gives it a little different look and gives me the gauge needed for the pattern, Flax. Sorry for no links, it's difficult from the kindle (check out my ravelry page for info). It's going to be such a cute pullover!

Next is a 0-3 months size dress that I'm testing for Taiga Hillard, the designer of the Year Round Cardi I recently finished for myself in KP Shine Sport. Her tests fill up FAST, so I was lucky to get in for the size that I wanted. It's such a sweet dress and I can't wait to show off progress pics. I'm using KP Stroll Sport in Firecracker Heather.

Those two knits have a longer deadline. I want both done by the beginning of September, which I think is totally doable.

 For the July 4th deadline knits, there's a crocheted infant sweater I'm testing and a summer shirt I want Arthur to wear to the 4th of July celebration in the next town over. The test sweater should be very quick since its 0-3 months sized and it's crochet. I'm using KP Shine Sport in Cosmopolitan. The yarn will be pretty drapey for a sweater, but I think it'll be nice for transition weather and the milder winters we get here in Georgia. It'll be great for layering and will be oh-so-soft.

Now the Independence Day sweater... I'm using the Playground Shirt pattern and KP Simply Cotton Sport (Carnelian Heather and Bermuda Heather) and KP Comfy Sport (Cream). I think I'm just going to do simple stripes of red, white, and blue. I want it to be cute and patriotic, but not over the top (plus, I'm setting a close deadline for myself!).

I will get pictures of these WIPs up soon. I did very much enjoy my marathon swatching session tonight and was quite impatient waiting for everything to come out of the dryer!

Anyway, that's enough chatter for now. I leave you with a picture of my sweet baby boy picking blackberries the other day at my parent's neighbor's house:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mid-Year Resolutions Check

I was thinking about the goals I set back in January and wanted to revisit them and see how I was doing:

Fiber Resolutions:

- Finally make stockings for us. I've had the kit and extra yarn for quite some time now and it needs to get done. Not started yet, but there's still time! I don't have the yarn for the fourth one (who knew I'd have two kids by December 2014?!), so can't do that one til I make an order later on.
- Knit 12 pairs of adult socks (2 toddler pairs can equal an adult pair). I have knit 3 pairs. A bit behind and I don't know if I'll finish another 9 by the end of the year. I have SSS so bad lately! I do want to make some tube socks for Arthur for fall, so maybe I can reach my goal if I while out a few pairs of those for him.
- Make at least 3 sweaters for me. One of which needs to be a summer top. I have made one, the summer top. I planned more, but baby knitting has kind of taken over my life so my knits are on the back burner for now. I do have plans for two fall/winter sweaters for me and think I can do it.
- Finish my scrappy sock yarn blanket. Not gonna happen. I rarely work on it these days. It's my car WIP so I just do a square here and there.
- Knit a skirt for myself. Another not gonna happen. I don't want to make one til the baby is born and that'll leave very little time in the year for a skirt knit.
- Finish spinning the woollie bullie fiber I bought with part of our tax return. Then actually use it to make something. So close to being done! I have less than 4 ounces to go and I work on it daily.

Non-fiber Resolutions:

-Get back in shape. I'm many pounds heavier than I was pre-pregnancy and need to lose at least 30lbs (in total I want to lose 50). I did lose 15lb in early pregnancy, but am slowly gaining it back. I don't expect to make this goal by the end of the year, but do want to by my birthday next year. Ruby will be our last baby so I can really focus on working out (I wasn't so motivated after Arthur since I knew I wanted to get pregnant relatively soon anyway).
- Start running again. I used to run daily and really enjoyed it. I just hate the getting-back-into-running part. See above. Not til baby is born.
- Be nicer to Charlie. I'm not mean to him, but could be nicer and not let me temper go so quickly. Yes! This move to Georgia has helped so much. I'm nicer to him and he's nicer to me.
- Potty train Arthur. He's ready for it, I just don't think of it during the day. Yes! Well, about 90%. He goes days without an accident, but then has a bad day where he pees every five seconds. He can even go out and use public restrooms (though he hates them). So I'm calling this one DONE since he's as good as I can expect from a boy that turned two just two months ago.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Knitting Group

I was in a very active and fun knitting group in college, but had to quit going once I graduated and moved back home. Then I did the Army thing, the moving to Texas thing, and then it was marriage, a baby, etc. I did go to a meeting once in Michigan, but never went again because it was kind of far and a pain to get to (traffic, construction, etc). As soon as we moved back to Georgia, I went on the search for a local group I could join and really participate in regularly. I found it :)

I went for the first time last weekend on WWKIP Day. The Covington Knitters met in the square and we had a good time. I couldn't stay long because Charlie was watching Arthur and had to get to bed for work that night, but I went long enough to finish a hat and say hello. Like my college group, most of the members are over 50 years old, but that doesn't bother me. Most of my interests are considered for old people anyway, so I tend to get along with mature ladies better than gals my own age.

I went again today and it was held in the usual spot, The Square Perk, a cute little coffee shop/cafe on the square. I got the yummiest decaf white chocolate latte... it's been so long since I've had a coffee treat since its kinda hard to find decaf unless you go to Starbucks, which I refuse to do. I did have to pay 5 bucks for it, but it was really big, really good, and it went to a local independent so I didn't beat myself up over it too bad. Plus, it's just a once a week thing so I think I can treat myself to a good coffee while I get some good knitting and socialising in.

Anyway, I'm thrilled to have found a local and active group to meet with. Oh, and they are child-friendly... most have grandkids and don't mind the two weekends a month that I will have to bring Arthur. The cafe has an awesome kids play area in the back where we sit so he can easily be kept occupied for two hours.

On to some FOs (I seriously cannot stop knitting right now, I hope this streak keeps up!)...

Here are some test knit hats I made last week. They were so fun and easy to make and gave me the opportunity to do my first colorwork braids (super simple, by the way):

It's called the Modern Reindeer Hat. The pink is infant sized and the brown is the child one. I used scraps and leftovers of KP WotA, plus a little handspun a friend in Colorado sent me as a gift (the denim blue color). I love these hats and am tucking them away for this fall and winter. I know my kids will probably hate me for it later, but I'm taking every opportunity that I have to make them match/coordinate before they are old enough to protest too much! I am working on matching sweaters right now in KP Stroll HP, Hayride. I'm working on the second sleeve of Ruby's sweater.

Then we have the finished pair of Snowdrop Socks (test knit... I'm so addicted). I didn't enjoy knitting the second sock, but not because of the pattern. I just got Second Sock Syndrome so bad and really had to practice some serious willpower to get the pair done. I'm glad that I did though since it means that I'm finished with the test, gave the designer suggestions, and I have another pair of socks. Unfortunately, I wasn't checking for fit and they're a wee bit snug on me, so I will likely gift these to someone with a half size smaller foot than I have. I used KP Stroll Glimmer in Pomegranate. It was my first time using the glimmer and I liked it, but did find it a little on the gaudy side so would stick to accessories and little girl knits for this yarn.

OTN... the infant sweater, a baby bib, and I just cast on for yet another test knit, a kids vest. Up next is the sweater for Arthur and probably a few hats for charity and some small things for craft shows.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Few Happy Things Today

Finishing a sock and starting on the second immediately (Snowdrops Socks test knit in KP Stroll Glimmer, Pomegranate).

Hydrangea blooms off the bushes out front. My favorite flowers.

Veggies from the garden (minus the apples) from the past two days. This doesn't include the several squash and zucchini that went into our dinners yesterday and today. The tomatoes are turning red, there are tiny baby green beans on the bushes, and the okra is fixing to bloom. I love my garden.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cute Bug Repellent

No, not repellent for cute bugs.

I needed more cedar sachets for my stash, so made these cute ones tonight. I used an old shirt that was too big for Charlie and did some freehand embroidery of some of my favorite things, then sewed them up with cedar chips inside. The cedar came from my parents property. Gotta love projects that are useful, easy, quick, and free!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

More FOs

I finished both of my test knits and I love them!

These are the Fond of You pullover and the San Martin Baby Hat. I adore both of these knits so much. The sweater will probably go to craft shows with me since its too small for Arthur and too boyish for Ruby, but I definitely have plans for others that will be kept. The yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca, a wonderfully woolly, wonderfully soft yarn that I will be sure to use again. The blue was purchased for me by my brother a few years ago (good call, bro!) and the Orange was a prize I won in a KAL last year. The hat is knit is Shelridge Yarns fingering weight that someone sent me in a trade a little while back. I had never heard of the yarn before, so jumped at the opportunity to try something new. The hat will be taken to the hospital for Ruby to wear.

My current WIPs are another test knit (socks this time) and a blanket for the baby in KP Chroma, just like the ones I made for Arthur and Mikah before they were born. Sadly, I can't find Arthur's blanket... I think it got lost in the move somehow. It makes me sad since I remember putting so much love into it as I crocheted and it was a favorite of his when he was little. I will be sure to keep a more careful eye on this new blankie (which should be easy since its in the Guppy colorway, which is bright blue, yellow, green, orange, and purple).

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Finishing Stuff

I went on a little finishing spree last weekend and have several FOs to share:

I had half a skein of KP Swish Tonal in Blue Yonder leftover from a hat I made Arthur back in 2012 and wanted to use it up (one thing about having the stash visible is that I get so annoyed by leftovers and little scraps). I made a pair of Fetching mitts with it and will take them to craft shows this fall. Love how they came out.

I finally finished the baby dress in Pagewood Farms Yukon, Army Girl colorway. I bought the yarn as a treat for myself a few months ago; it was my first non-KP purchase in a very long time. I didn't want to use it for socks because I don't like drapey sock yarn (this is part bamboo) and it was too pretty anyway. This 12 month size dress will be put back for baby Ruby Rose.

I used about one and a half skeins of some Malabrigo (Cinnabar colorway) to make a Tulips Scarf (I joined the ends into an infinity scarf/cowl). This will also be taken to a craft show. The yarn has been in stash for 2 years and was a gift from someone I did some spinning for.

I did a test knit for someone and this is the resulting soaker. So cute! I enjoy test knitting when I can because it gives me a chance to help out a designer, try new things, and it lets me have a free pattern. Plus, it's neat to be involved in the design and pattern writing process. I used leftovers of Cascade 220 (red) and KP WotA (the green). It's sized for 3-6 months and has been added to the cloth diaper pile.

I'm almost finished with another test knit, an adorable infant sweater. I just have the bottom ribbing and sleeves to go. I'm swatching tonight for yet another test, this time a newborn cabled hat in fingering weight yarn. I have plenty of KP Stroll in stash for it, which is the called-for yarn, but I'm thinking of using up a random skein of non-KP I got in a trade earlier this yarn. We will see.