Sunday, November 30, 2014

NaBloPoMo Wrap-Up

Well, I did it.  I posted every day for a month.  Let me tell you, it was really hard!!  I have a new-found respect for bloggers who update their blogs daily!  Some posts were total fluff, but I think I got a few in there that were posts I have been meaning to write for some time.  All in all, it was a fun experience, but I don't think I'll ever do it again!!  haha.

I still have a couple of FO posts that I meant to post this month, but didn't get around to it.  Yes, that is how lazy I am - I was forced to write daily, but still couldn't manage to post my FOs!!  Those posts take a lot of effort because I have to look up/remember all the details of the project, plus take pictures.

In addition to posting every day, I also set some other goals for myself in November, most of which I did not complete.  I wanted to do something with my Hexacomb Cardigan and I never touched it.  I didn't make it to a knitting group, sadly.  But I did almost finish the Sugar Maple Shawl!  I am in the middle of casting off as we speak.

Well, this was fun.  See you next month!!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Cat Trap!

Have you seen the latest internet phenomenon, #catsincircles?  Well, I decided I had to give it a try with Roxy.  It goes like this: you put a circle on the ground and your cat is compelled to go sit in it.  I was skeptical, but it totally works!!  Check it out:

Roxy is a little embarrassed that she fell for this silly trick, but she is just happy to be part of the #catsincircles phenomenon and not the #catbreading one.  So, it's a win for her.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Craftsy's Black Friday Sale!!

OMG - I've never seen a Craftsy sale quite like this!  If you can believe it, ALL classes are $19.99 or less! You've got to get in on this action!  (FYI: that's an affiliate link, which means I get a little extra yarn $$ when you use it!)  The sale ends on Monday at midnight.

So, here's my dilemma: I am pretty much already enrolled in every Craftsy class I want at the moment.... plus, I already pre-paid for 5 classes at $20 each a while back, and I happened to recently acquire a credit for a free class, so... I may not be able to do too much with this sale.  But, you know me, I'm sure I'll find something that I just have to have!  I'm going to be on the lookout for some $9.99 classes.  Maybe a cooking one?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am hosting the big dinner at my place this afternoon, so no time to knit today and definitely no time to blog!  I hope you have fun plans too!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Yarn Problem....

I want to write about something that has been weighing on me for some time now...  you see, I think I have a yarn problem.  Have you seen all those warning signs that you may have a drinking problem?  Well a lot of them apply to how I feel about my stash.

Feeling guilty about how much yarn I have?  Check.  Lying to people about how much yarn I have?  Check. (Hint: it's not all logged on Ravelry...)  My friends and family would probably be worried if they realized how bad it really is....  I do buy yarn to feel better and I almost always purchase more than I intend to.  But, at least my stash has never caused me to black out (at least not that I recall.... lol).

The thing is, I know it's bad, but I really don't know what to do about it.  I have gotten lots better about new yarn purchases, so I think the growth of the stash is slowing a bit.  I mean, I still buy lots of yarn, but at the very least, I only buy yarn when I have a specific project in mind and I make sure I buy the proper quantities for that project.  So, the yarn is less likely to sit there for years: I am likely to use it soon because I have a plan for it.  In my early stashing days, I would just buy  yarn totally at random and then I could never use it because I couldn't find a suitable project or I wouldn't have the right amount to make what I wanted.  So, a large part of my stash consists of those odd-ball purchases (pun intended).  I really should get rid of all of those.  But doing that is so hard!!  What if I need them some day??

The other particularly problematic area of my stash is the range of acrylics in different colors.  As you know, I like to make amigurumi, which means I use a little bit of a lot of colors.  After a while, all those partial balls add up.  But I can't throw these out because if I ever need that color again for another amigurumi, I'd have to buy a whole new skein for just a few yards, which is crazy talk.

Plus, even if I decided to cut down my stash?  What would I do with it?  Do I just leave it for the Salvation Army?  How do I know they will find a good home for it?  I can list it for sale (or for free) on Ravelry, but that is a slow process.  I don't have any friends who knit who I could give the yarn to.  I'm stuck.

Well, I thought writing about this topic was going to make me feel better, but really it just left me feeling overwhelmed.  I guess I can live with a yarn problem.  I mean, as far as problems go, it's fairly innocuous.  Unless anyone out there has any brilliant ideas for me??  Or do you just live with it too?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Felici is back!!

Hooray!  Knit Picks brought back Felici for their big sale!  I just bought two colorways: the rainbow one and a nice neutral one (Rustic Cabin). In retrospect, I really wish I had purchased the colorway Time Traveler as well, but I'm not going to place a second order and pay shipping just to get two balls of yarn...  probably.

Sadly, it doesn't look like they are bringing this yarn back for good, just for the sale, so if you want some, you'd better get it now!  This is seriously the best self-striping sock yarn I have tried - I was devastated when KP canceled it.

Maybe some day I will get more creative about the sock pattern I use with Felici, but as far as I'm concerned, it's a match made in heaven for Jaywalker....

Monday, November 24, 2014

Maybe Monday: Bath Pouf

I love knitting and crocheting beautiful things, but there is also something very satisfying about creating something that is useful as well.  That's why this week on Maybe Monday I'm thinking about crocheting a bath pouf.  I used to have a little bath pouf that I traveled with, but during my last trip it broke.  Since I don't really want to travel with a full sized pouf and I can't find another little one in the store, I'm thinking that crocheting my own might be just the solution I've been hoping for!

Check out this free pattern from Daisy Cottage Designs.

I'll be sure to report back and let you know how it goes if I decide to attempt it!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Progress Update: Sugar Maple Shawl

I made excellent progress on the Sugar Maple Shawl this weekend.  I finished the base of the shawl and picked up all the stitches to make the ruffle.  It required a ton of stitch markers to set everything up for the ruffle and I grabbed all that I could find and ended up having exactly enough!  Hooray!  (I have zillions of little stitch markers, but it was hard finding ones that would work on size 11 needles!)

I would show you a progress picture of the shawl, but it is too big to fit nicely in the camera frame.  (I tried!)

I was panicking a little earlier this week that the shawl wasn't going to get finished in time, but now I am confident that it will.  I'm estimating that I'm at least 70% through with it.  This is good because there is one other project that I would really love to finish my Christmas, but it still may not happen....  but maybe I can try!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sneak Peek!

I was getting bored with my etsy shop's branding, so I decided to shake things up a little!  I got the amazing Maria of StyleGraphicDesign on etsy to make me a cute new logo and I'm giving you a sneak peak today!!

Here is my old business card...  It's still a fine logo, but lately I feel like it is just too pastel and soft looking and I want to be a little more sassy.

So...  here is my new card!!  I'm loving the new colors and slightly bolder fonts.  The butterflies are fun too - that was totally Maria's idea, but I think it really works.

I ordered matching stickers to seal up my packages before mailing, so as soon as those get here and I have all my new branding elements in place, I will update the shop and everything digital with the new look.  So very excited about this!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

JKnit: A Cool Knitting App

I know there are some knitters out there with awesome memories and the uncanny ability to "read" their knitting so that they don't need to use row counters.... but, that's not me.  I like to use a row counter.  I own like 10 row counters and they are pretty much all in use.  So, when I got my very first iPad, you can imagine the first app I went to download... a row counting app!  (FYI, my favorite app for counting rows is called Knit Counter, but that's not what this post is about....)  In my search for an awesome row counting app, I stumbled upon JKnit.  It's sort of a row counter, but it is also much more!

(I actually purchased the pro version of JKnit for use on my iPad, I just happened to take screenshots on my phone, which only has the lite version installed).

So, what makes JKnit neat is that it counts your rows AND gives you instructions for the row you are working on!  How cool is that?  This is such a great idea if you are working on a complicated lace pattern with text instructions and you are having a hard time finding the correct row on your pattern.  I usually have to move a sticky note up and down the pattern so I can easily see what row I'm on, but why use a sticky when you can use an awesome bit of technology!?

See how it tells you what row you are on, and what the instructions are for that row?  It also gives you helpful information like how many stitches should be on the row you are working, etc.

JKnit comes with a built in pattern and you can download more at their partner website.  If you have the pro version, you can also convert any pattern you want into the program, though, to be honest, the process is time-consuming if you are inputting a really complicated pattern.

The other downside to using this program (and any row counting app) is that if it takes you too long to finish the row, your screen goes to sleep and you have to slide to unlock it and enter a passcode if you have it, which is kind of a pain.  There may be a setting on the iPad/iPhone that lets you keep your screen active for longer... but then it may eat your battery, so I'm not sure if that's a great solution.

The upside to using JKnit and other row counting apps is that they (usually) track pattern repeats as well as keeping track of your overall rows, which is pretty bad ass.  No resetting the counter at the end of each pattern repeat and keeping a second counter on hand to count how many times you have repeated the pattern.  You can also keep track of multiple projects all in the same app - so no more owning ten row counters (and never being able to find a single one of them when you need it!!)

So, in conclusion, I love the idea behind JKnit, but, for me, the work it takes to enter your pattern into the system is a little more trouble than it's worth, and I don't want to be limited to using the patterns already designed to use with the system.... so, it's not for me.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A brief moment of panic...

Yikes!  I officially have less than a month to finish up that Sugar Maple Shawl and I really haven't made much progress on it at all since I last updated you!  I'd better get to work on that soon!

ETA: The last two days I have totally phoned it in with regard to my NaBloPoMo commitment to post every day, but tomorrow I will try to write a post with actual meaningful content.  (Although, I think yesterday's post touched on a very meaningful topic when it comes to a knitter's budgeting priorities...but I didn't really explore the idea...)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Yarn for Sale!!

Like many knitters, I have a bit of a stash problem.  According to Ravelry, I have 192 different yarns in my stash...  that's not the number of balls, just the number of varieties!  Yikes!  That's a whole lot of yarn!!  As much as it pains me, I realize that occasionally I must part with this yarn, because it really is a ridiculously huge stash.  I keep my "Will Trade or Sell" tab on my Ravelry stash pretty up to date with yarns I am looking to find a new home for.  I love trading/selling yarn via Ravelry - so far I have found good homes for 24 yarns.  So, I thought I'd throw in a little plug here: if you need yarn, check out my stash on Ravelry!  Everything on the trade/sell tab must go.  If you see something you love in the regular stash, I may be persuaded to part with it, so feel free to contact me about it (unless you want the Felici.... I'm never parting with that!!)

I would especially like to draw your attention to this white acrylic yarn.  I managed to acquire 46 skeins of this stuff a few years ago and I will never ever use it all!!  So I'm willing to share some.  It is great for amigurumi, or if you want to go crazy and make an afghan or something with it - I could get behind that!  I would say it is the equivalent in softness to Red Heart Super Saver, if you are familiar with that yarn - not the softest in the world, but not too bad.  You can have it at the bargain price of $0 per skein.... just pay me whatever it costs to ship it to you.

Do you ever have yarn you need part with?  How do you find it a new home?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Maybe Monday: Pleated Vest

I'm loving this pleated vest designed by Amy O'Neill Houck for Blue Sky Alpacas!

I often shy away from knitting garments for myself because they are such a huge time investment and I find that I don't get as much wear out of them as I do out of knitted socks and accessories, but this vest might be a good option.  It won't be as much of a time commitment, and it's something I could wear year-round, increasing the odds of it actually getting worn.  I also love the shape.  It reminds me of the Mrs. Darcy cardigan and Bluebell, two of my favorite pieces I have knit for myself.

The only thing I don't love is that it's knit out of two strands of sport weight yarn held together.  That's sort of weird, right?  I don't want to do that because it means I would have to buy twice the amount of yarn as I would if it was knit out of a worsted or bulky weight yarn to begin with.  So, that's a modification I would have to make.  I'd probably try my best to knit it out of a worsted, because a vest knit out of a bulky weight yarn sounds... well, bulky.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Something Other Than Knitting.... Crewel Embroidery

I worked long and hard on knitting my Sugar Maple shawl yesterday morning, however I started to feel a little burned out with it, so I switched to another project.  I didn't really feel like doing more knitting (gasp!) so I pulled out a crewel embroidery kit that I bought several months ago but haven't started yet.  I made a little progress on it and it was a nice break from knitting.

When I'm finished, I will end up with a really colorful sort of retro tree, like so:

I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do with this tree once it is all stitched up, but that is a problem for another day!

The danger now is that I'm sort of in-the-zone on this project now but I can't afford to neglect the shawl, as the clock is ticking on that one.  So far today I have been busy with other stuff, but perhaps this afternoon I will have a little time to work on both the shawl and the tree.  AFTER I go to Petco to retrieve some food for my dear hungry kitty cat.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pattern Writing: It's Harder Than It Looks

One of my goals this year was to write my own knitting pattern... and I'm halfway there.  I thought the hard part would be designing the socks, but it turns out the hardest part is actually writing out the pattern!  I took a class on Craftsy (of course!) called How to Say It: Pattern Writing for Knitters* with Edie Eckman, which helped a lot, but I'm still struggling.  I should have started with a simple pattern, like a scarf, but instead I chose to do a toe-up sock pattern with a gusseted heel and it is just something that is difficult to explain in writing.

I also had to make charts and stuff, which is also sort of complicated, but I managed.

After working on this for almost a year, I think I am pretty much finished with the technical stuff, now it's the "artsy" stuff that's holding me back - like figuring out how to lay out the pattern all cute and writing the description of the pattern (Edie calls it the "romance").

I've sort of put this project on the back burner the last several months and I'm not sure I will pick it up again before the end of the year, but we'll see.  It might have to be repeat a goal for next year!

*that is an affiliate link, if you click on it I get $$ for yarn!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Weekend Forecast: 100% Chance of Me Knitting

I'm making excellent progress on the Sugar Maple Shawl.  I am about halfway through knitting the body of the shawl then after that will come the long process of knitting the ruffle for the shawl, but I'd say I'm at least 30% through with the project.

I really want to focus on that this weekend because it absolutely positively must be finished in a month.  But I'm tempted to work on some other projects as well.  After all, all work and no play makes Pepper a dull girl... right?

I love to marathon TV shows while I knit and I have recently become quite obsessed with the Gilmore Girls, but that was at the expense of abandoning Star Trek: Voyager with only two episodes left!  So, I think I will try to finish up Voyager this weekend while working on the shawl.  But, I'm behind on Bones which I've got on Hulu Plus, so I may watch that.  Then again, season two of the Carrie Diaries just came up on Netflix...  so it's really anyone's game at this point.

Sorry this was a bit of a useless post, as you know, I am obligated to post every day for the rest of the month, so sometimes it's gotta be just me yammering on about what TV shows I plan to watch over the weekend.  Thank you for hanging in there, dear reader!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Just a little yarn humor...

Today I'm just sharing this silly little graphic I made....

Funny, huh???

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

FO: Turmeric Socks

Last Fall I was looking for a cool new sock pattern and someone on Twitter recommended this one, Turmeric Socks, by verybusymonkey.  I took one look at them and knew I had to knit them.  I love the way the pattern tapers into a V on the top of the foot!  So cute!  The cables pattern is very interesting and not too difficult, though I did have to use a row counter to stay on track.

If this yarn looks familiar, it's because I accidentally bought two skeins of it way back when, so I now have two pairs of socks in exactly the same color.  Whatever works!

yarn details
Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Gypsy 
Fingering Weight 
75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon 
dye lot 9597 
Machine Washable/Tumble Dry Low 
$9.99 per 100 g /462 yd skein

project details
pattern: "Turmeric Socks" by verybusymonkey, available for download on Ravelry for $4.50
needles: size 1.5 bamboo dpns (2.5mm)
gauge: ??
yarn used: 0.63 skeins = 291 yards
finished size: Foot: just shy of 8”;  Top of cuff to bottom of heel flap: 8.5”;  Foot circumference: apprx 7”
duration: October 8, 2013 - April 7, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veterans Day!

Sending a shout out to my favorite group of veterans today!  This great group of WWII vets still meet up every year for a reunion.  Sometimes I get the chance to join in and I love seeing these guys!  Happy Veterans Day!

The 64th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 13th U.S. Army Air Force

That's my grandad third in from the left (standing)!  An extra special Happy Veterans Day to you Herbie!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Maybe Monday: Cabled Cardigans

I saw two sort of similar cabled cardigans this week on Ravelry and I love them both!  They are both hip-length open cardigans with cabled details and I think one of them should be my next sweater project!

They are the Quadraphonic Cardigan by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud and Wink by Hanna Maciejewska.

First up, the Quadraphonic Cardigan:
{Quadraphonic Cardigan by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud from Knitscene, Winter, 2013}

I am absolutely in love with the back of this cardigan. Can you see how it sort of flares out at the waist?  I think that would be really flattering on my body. I also like the mix of simple garter stitch on the edgings and stockinette everywhere else.  I don't love the sleeve length, but that is easy enough to modify.

Next is Wink:
{Wink by Hanna Maciejewska of Hada Knits}

I like this one a whole lot!  It's definitely got a lot more going on than Quadraphonic, which would make it really interesting to knit.  I love the cabling on the sleeves, it is just gorgeous!  Not so sure I love the raised seams or the fact that it's mostly in reverse stockinette, which is just not my favorite pattern...  I always feel like I'm wearing something inside out.  (Which I think is sort of the look this designer was going for, actually).  I'm not 100% sure how I feel about the ribbing on the front.  I love the way it looks, but I'm not sure I would like the way it hangs on my body.

So... which one will I knit?  Tough to say.  I think I would like the Quadraphonic Cardigan better once it's finished, but Wink sure does look fun to knit!  Luckily, I've got a while before I will have time to start a large project like a sweater, so I have plenty of time to mull it over.

Which one do you like?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

WIP: Sugar Maple Shawl

My grandma is turning 100 on December 24, 2014.  It occurred to me a few months ago that I should buy her a present... but honestly, what do you buy a 100 year-old woman?  She pretty much has everything.  So, I thought "wouldn't it be nice if I knitted her something?"  Then I was like, "Boo!  I don't have time to finish anything by then!"  So I abandoned the idea.

Then, about three weeks ago, I decided that it was very important that I knit her something and the only think I could think of that she would use is a shawl, so it had to be a shawl.  I consulted my stash and had a sufficient amount of lace-weight yarn to make a shawl, so I hit up Ravelry to look for a lace-weight shawl pattern that would knit up fast (I filtered the search by needle size... went as big as I could go).  I found what seemed like a suitable shawl pattern and got started on it right away, but after working on it all weekend I decided (a) I didn't really like it because it was too airy and wouldn't do anything to keep grandma warm, and (b) I was never going to finish in time with lace-weight yarn, even on size 10 needles.  Back to the drawing board.

With a little over a month to knit this, I decided bulky weight yarn was the way to go.  I hit up Ravelry looking for a pattern that was pretty, but looked like I could knit it quickly (no plain stockinette/garter stitch shawls, but also no super elaborate lace or cables).  I decided to go with the Sugar Maple Shawl by Suzanne Stewart of Tree Knitter Designs.  Then I ordered some bulky weight yarn online and *gasp* even paid for two-day shipping and got started right away.  So far, it's going well.  I have this much done so far:

It's a little thin, but it will have a ruffle border knit on one side which will make it wider.  In a perfect world, I would have added one more pattern repeat, but I wasn't sure if I had enough yarn and it would take significantly longer to knit with an extra repeat, so this is going to have to do.  It will probably block out much wider as well, hopefully.

Here is a close-up shot of the lace pattern and a more accurate representation of the color of the yarn:

I'm going to have to book it, but I think I'll finish in time.  Wish me luck!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Craftsy Confessions

Heads up...  there are affiliate links in this post.  That means I get some extra yarn money if you buy a class using one of the links in this post!

Confession: I am a total Craftsy addict.  I am enrolled in 73 classes (and counting!) and it is my absolute favorite way to learn new skills!  If you don't know anything about Craftsy, here's the deal: they have tons of online classes in all sorts of subjects, including knitting and crochet, of course!  Once you enroll in the class, you have lifetime access to the video lessons and.... here's the best part.... the class is interactive so you can ask the instructors questions, talk to other students, and upload pictures of the stuff you make.  Neat!

It is way too hard to pick a favorite Craftsy class...  but here are a few that I have really enjoyed that you might want to check out:
OK, that was actually way more classes than I intended to list... but it is SO hard to pick my faves!  (I think someday I'll get my act together and review some classes on this blog, but I am usually so busy watching them, that I don't make time to write about them!)

One more awesome thing about Craftsy: the classes are guaranteed, which means that if you don't like it, you can get your money back within 30 days.  I've done it and there was no hassle or anything, I just said I didn't like the class and they sent me the refund.  Easy-peasy.

So... now that you are all excited about Craftsy, it may interest you to know that they are having a huge flash sale right now!  It's sort of a unique sale: when you purchase a class during the flash sale, you will unlock a second set of classes on sale. After your purchase, you will receive a email with a link "unlocking" the next set of classes.  The sale ends tomorrow, November 9th, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT, so strike while the iron is hot.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Saw it on Pinterest: Crocheted Charging Cord

I am 100% in love with this idea I saw on Pinterest, courtesy of Kirsten Kapur Designs.

Not only is the idea of crocheting over a cord awesome, but I am also absolutely in love with this yarn!  Kirsten says in the blog post that it's not available anymore because the company went out of business.  I wonder if anyone has any ideas for a similar yarn?  It's just gorgeous!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

It's cold! Bust out the knits!

The weather is getting pretty chilly in Boston lately.  We even had some snow on Sunday!  Yikes!  In general, I'm not a fan of winter, but, as a knitter, I do love the opportunity to bust out all my knitted treasures.  This week I have been sporting a hat that I finished in September 2013, but which I didn't get much of a chance to wear last year.  It's not really a super cold weather hat, but it is perfect for fall.

The only thing I don't like about this hat is that it's a little loose on the brim.  The pattern said to block it around a plate to get the beret shape, but when I did that it totally stretched out the brim and it never bounced back.  Luckily, I've got the curly hair that is sort of voluminous so the hat stays on.  All's well that ends well, right?

You'll notice that I'm not wearing a knitted scarf.  I think it's still a little warm for that, so I just have on a lighter weight fabric scarf.  Next week I'll probably take my Riverrun scarf out of storage.  I usually wear that one in early Spring, but it could work for Fall.  Might clash with the hat though.

Too bad my Wave Rib scarf is only 1/3 of the way done!  It would look fantastic with the hat!

What's the weather like where you are?  Are you busting out your winter knits yet?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

FO: Gordon the Flamingo

Meet my new friend: Gordon the Flamingo!  Gordon was in my September box of the freshstitches kit club, I think choosing a flamingo for the kit was Stacey's last ditch attempt to hang on to summer....  and it worked a little!

I have a coworker who loves to hear what is in my kit club shipments and as soon as I mentioned that this time it was a flamingo she got very excited because she loves flamingos, so I told her that Gordon would be hers.  He is off to his new home now and enjoying it very much.

yarn details
pink and orange worsted weight yarn
100% wool
(from freshstitches kit club, September 2014)

polyfill stuffing
12mm black safety eyes

project details
pattern: "Gordon the Flamingo" by Stacey Trock available here for $4
finished size: 8'' tall (not including legs), legs are 5'' long
hook: I (5.5mm) hook for feet and legs, H (5.0mm) hook for body and beak
gauge: don't even ask...
yarn used: used up all the yarn in the kit plus a little extra orange from my stash
duration: Sept 25 - Oct 18, 2014

  • I tried very hard to get gauge and thought I had it with an I hook, but I ran out of the orange yarn way too soon.  Had to modify legs so they are about 3 or 4 rows shorter than the pattern calls for and I had to pull some orange yarn from my stash to finish up the beak.  Switched to an H hook for body and was good on the pink yarn.
  • The kit came with a rattle insert, but I didn't put it in this guy since I was making it for my coworker.  I'll save the rattle for some time when I make a baby toy.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November Knitting Goals

This probably should have been the first post this month, but oh well, it's coming at your three days late... some of my knitting goals for November.  Oh, and I reserve the right to amend this list at any time.

1.  I want to be done with the Hexacomb Cardigan.  This has been a WIP since 2008 and has actually been finished for several months now, but I still haven't done anything with it.  It's just sitting in its knitting bag.... and I want it out of the bag and into the closet.  I honestly don't even remember if I have blocked this or not, but I should probably figure that out.  Then I should take some nice pics to show off here, then put it away until I can actually wear it this Spring.

2.  I need to finish the Sugar Maple Shawl.  This is my high priority knitting project for the month because it must be done by mid-December.... and there are a few other knitting/crafty things I would like to get done before Christmas, so I'd like to not leave this until the last minute. (I'll post more about this shawl tomorrow!)

3.  I really should go to a knitting group.  I have wanted to join a knitting group for a long time, but there hasn't really been one that is geographically convenient for me.  A couple of months ago I learned of one that is just 2 train stops away from me, so I would really like to go check it out.  They meet at 7:30pm, which is sort of late for me, which is why I haven't gone before now, but I think I should probably just suck it up and go.  Maybe November will be my month for this!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Maybe Monday: Christmas Tree Skirt

It's sad to admit this, but I don't have a real Christmas tree.  I have one of those little tiny trees that's like two feet tall.  I make it work by putting tiny ornaments on it and a little angel on top.  It's no so pathetic that way, right?  You know, because it's all to scale?  I even have a tiny little tree skirt to go around it, see:

The problem with my tree skirt is that it is actually too tiny, which is hard to comprehend that there is an even smaller tree out there that this skirt was intended to fit....  I would love to replace it with a slightly larger one, but I have never found anything that would work, and I figured I'd have to sew something custom, and who has time for that? So it never happened.

Then, I saw a crocheted Christmas tree skirt on Pinterest, and I was like "huzzah!  What a great idea!"  Why did it never occur to me before to knit a tree skirt?  So, I hit Ravelry and found some great ones.  But this one is by far my favorite:

The pattern is by Mary Triplett Designs and you can purchase it on Ravelry for $6.00.  Of course, I will have to modify mine to make it fit my tiny tree.  I think I could just do less of the "V" lace repeats toward the center of the skirt (the part in red), OR, this pattern is knit using bulky weight yarn, so I wonder if just switching to sport weight would to the trick?  I'll have to do some swatching to experiment.  Either way, I'm super excited about this project!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Looking for a Gift for Your Knitter?

About two years ago I created an etsy treasury of unique gifts for knitters.  (I blogged about it back then and even created a cute graphic that you can pin!)  This turned out to be a very popular treasury and has had over 1,000 views, which I think is pretty awesome.  I went in this week to check on it and realized that a bunch of the items that were on the treasury were no longer available and it was half empty!  That wouldn't do, so I filled it back up again!  Everything you see in the bottom two rows below is new to the treasury.  I especially love the personalized yarn skein necklace and that bright yellow notions case!!

Of course, you will see some stuff from my shop on the treasury as well.  It's sort of bad form on etsy to put your own stuff in your treasuries, but it's not forbidden and I think I sell some pretty darn cute gifts for knitters, so I added them to the list.  And that's that!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

NaBloPoMo 2014

This month I am joining my blogging group on Ravelry in a NaBloPoMo challenge where we will post to our blogs daily throughout November.  Crazy, right?  I'm not sure I will be able to do it, but I'm going to try my best!

Thanks to Ddidit for making the cute badge!

I'm trying to think of interesting stuff to post, but I fear you may be getting a lot of fluff.  Still, it is an fun exercise and I am looking forward to trying it out.  Wish me luck!