Sock Story

A few days ago, I had a blog all finished and published, because I was full of piss and vinegar and thought I was a total badass knitter.  Then I tried to do what it was I had blogged about being so prepared to do, and I screwed up.  Big time.

I did about 3 rounds of a 40 stitch project, and said to hell with it!  I have not gone back to this project, and in fact I pulled out the needles yesterday for a project I am planning on starting tonight.

Eventually, I'll get back to it.

Instead, I found a really great sock pattern that I thought I would try.  It uses worsted weight yarn (that's #4 yarn or medium weight), and small(ish) needles.  It's the Easy Peasy Sock pattern for First-Timers by Stacey Trock of FreshStitches.

This pattern is WONDERFUL!  It's a free download on Ravelry, and...Well, I'll just say it:  I MADE A SOCK!  I'm calling them my World Series Socks, because I started during the World Series, and have been working on them while watching each game, though, last night, I put them down because baseball gave me a migraine.  Once the game was over, I went to bed and read Gone Girl.  I was super tired and ready to put it down, then I turned the page to Part Two: Boy Meets Girl, and instantly thought, "What a mighty, mighty a-hole!" Then kept reading, despite the fact that I was about 90 minutes past the time I had gone to bed, and had to wake up early this morning.  I eventually put it down, and intentionally haven't touched it this morning because I don't have the time to get super involved in it.

But, I digress!  I came downstairs this morning and was distracted by a grasshopper in my kitchen sink.  I tried drowning it, the same way I deal with finding cockroaches in the kitchen sink, but the damn thing kept jumping and waking the kids up squealing on a Sunday is not high on my list of things to do.  So I left it.

I decided to leave the sock until later today, and....started another sock!  Because I wanted to start a pair of actual socks with actual sock yarn, since I am getting more adept at using the double pointed needles.

The husband came home, and that puts a pause on everything knitting.  I got him to dispose of the grasshopper that wouldn't get out of the sink, and he scared the crap out of me with it.  Halle woke up, and we all have cream of wheat together.  Now I'm here, he's here, watching football, and Halle is God knows where.  I have to leave for work in 30 minutes and am still in my pajamas and sorely tempted to pick up this damn book so I can find out what happens.

Folks, this is my life.

Stashed

Every time I consider purchasing more yarn, I think of my yarn stash, and how much of a hot mess it is.

Seriously, it is ridiculous how obscene it gets. At least once a month I 'reorganize' it.

Well, THIS month, I decided to cull the stash a bit.  Just some stuff that I won't use anymore (lessons learned, I call them), or stuff I have no use for at all.  I once insisted on purchasing a ball of eyelash yarn.  It ended up in one huge knot that I couldn't unravel. This of course was in the beginning of my knitting 'career'.

It was just yarn that seemed like a great purchase at the time and turned out to be more of a headache. So, it'll be donated.

It made some room.  A LITTLE room, for other yarn so that it isn't shoved into bags and such.  Now, I just have to work on marketing what projects I have that are finished and I am not keeping.  Last year, I made a whole bunch of scarves.  Bulky weight scarves that were arm knitted.  They're great.  They're huge, and they're only useful for about 2 weeks around these parts.

Those projects are contained in a very large Rubbermaid container, in fact, the largest one I own.  Lots of projects and fabrics that I might never use again.  I must make room just in case some generous soul decides to give me a yarn shopping spree, that way I have space for what I am going to purchase. (Fingers are crossed.  My anniversary is coming up.)

I am thinking about selling what I have on one of the Facebook groups for my area.  I have hats and blankets and those silly scarves I spent a whole night making.  So there's plenty, I just need to buckle down and photograph it all and set up the pricing for it.

But first, I must work!  It's still Saturday (even though I was sure it was Sunday and I still have to work on Sunday anyway), so I must go and get ready.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Walking

My 'trade', if you will, is home health. I am a certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and have been since around this time in 2008.

When I first finished my course, I was not certified.  You go into this stuff and you're thinking OK, in 8 weeks I'll be a CNA and making BANK.

Around the middle of the 4th week you find out at the end of the class all you get is a piece of paper and the need to pay $65 to be tested on your knowledge before you are certified.  I had to do that.  Twice.

Thankfully, I found a company that does home health care, and they hired me on soon after finishing my class, without certification.  I was sent on jobs that were basically "Hang out with my mom while I'm at work" sort of jobs.  I would just sit with people for a few hours a day so they wouldn't be lonely.

I took my test and failed.  I went though the entire test thinking "Ooooh, I'm so awesome! I'm gonna pass, and make lots of money! YAY!" When I was about halfway home, I realized I had done something.  Something so bad that it was considered an automatic failure on the test.  I had done it, and hadn't gone back to fix it.

After the first of the year, my boss offered to pay for me to retake the test, if I agreed to work for the company for a set amount of time.  Sort of like indentured servitude.  It wasn't a problem for me, since that's what I had planned on doing for at least a little while.

Now, I'm still here, hanging out with people, but of course with a much larger scope of practice.  Currently, my job is an easy one. for the most part.  A lot of times, the hardest part of my job is that I have to drive an hour each way. The best part is, I get to hang out with a cool guy, and watch movies. Literally, that's my job.  There are other things that go with it of course, but what it boils down to is, we watch movies, and sort of give them the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment.  We watch a LOT of scary movies, but then we crack jokes about what's happening, so it's not too scary.  It also helps that I am about 8 hours away from going to bed when we watch them.

Then there are days like yesterday.  Yesterday was the Walk for ALS in Scottsdale. I haven't been to something like that since I did the walk for Breast Cancer with City of Hope. And that feels like a century ago. Days like yesterday are a source of stress for the mom of my patient. So, any time she asks if I'd be willing to go with them to something like that (she always asks me first, then calls to make arrangements for me to stay longer), I always agree.  For some reason, we sort of balance each other out.  Mostly because my freak outs are almost always internal freak outs. Outside I'm as cool as Billy Dee Williams, inside I feel like Animal from the Muppets.  That and I can drive the HELL out of his power chair.  Thank you, Nintendo!

It was really nice yesterday to see her not worry too much about what was happening.  We all took turns driving the chair (I only had to drive him in and out of the van and into the stadium). Family and friends were there for support, and we all had a really nice walk together.  But dang, it was HOT out.  91 degrees in Scottsdale yesterday.  I don't think we were out there in 91 degrees (we were done by 10:30 am), but it was pretty warm.  We were all melting.

It was amazing how smoothly everything went.  There were no incidents, medically or anything.  Except I did a bad job of getting the power chair out of the van when we got there.  Those darn wheels! I really liked it, and would love to do it again next year, but I think they've all but decided not to walk next year (already! Boo!).

Today, now...Today is an important day. It's Sunday, my "Friday".  It's also the first day of the Jimmy Beans Wool MKAL "Frozen Upon A Time"! I'm so excited!  In fact, I'm up obscenely early refreshing my email box and pattern page just to make sure I get it downloaded as soon as it comes through. Lame, I know, but I'm THAT excited.  I actually SWATCHED for gauge something I never do anymore, because I NEVER get gauge with the given needle/hook size.  I just go one up.  But I got gauge for this one.  While I did not purchase the Limited Edition Lorna's Laces made up for the MKAL, I did find a really awesome variegated from Plymouth Yarns. It's Encore Worsted Colorspun, in Jade Prints.  That means it's full of greens and blues and completely fantastic.

So, if anyone needs me, I'll be here.  Sitting and (impatiently) waiting and (constantly) refreshing my email box and my pattern library on Ravelry, until it's time for me to get ready for work.

Hat Overload

I have made it my mission this year, to try and make hats for gifts. As the days pass since I have made this mental decree, I am beginning to think I might have completely lost the plot. I'm going to have to write everything down just so I'm not going completely bonkers.

If I really put my mind to it, I can make a hat in a couple of days.  The thing is, I'm thinking about making at least three of the same hat.  I did this already, and by the third hat, I wanted to throw stuff.  It's really very tedious and gets boring.  The first hat took less than 2 days, the second hat a little longer, and I just cast off the last hat yesterday morning, and that was only because it was for the middle kid and you know middle kids.  I'm totally trying to make him as not Jan Brady as I can.  More like Peter Brady, who was at least more well adjusted than his female counterpart.  (I totally just spelled female "Femail".  Yay waking up at 4 am to a neighbor's dog barking incessantly to be let inside while the neighbor sleeps like nothing is going on!).

So, the boys of MY house are totally outfitted for the cooler weather.  My daughter and I, not so much yet.

I made her wrist warmers with a matching (well, the same yarn anyway) earwarmer/headband type thing. Which she proudly displayed in the living room and unwillingly posed for pictures in.


Her 'cape' is a crocheted blanket my mom's aunt made special for her when she was a baby.  It's almost 13 years old.

But she doesn't have a hat, yet!  Sure she's got ball caps, but she doesn't have her 'Winter Hat'.  Since I've made one for everyone else, she's got to have one too.

The problem is, she's a girl.  And she wants fancy stuff instead of regular "Just make me a hat" stuff like the boys (who really didn't get a choice in which hat I made, because I messed up and made one too big for someone else and sort of just gave it to my son. And that started all the fun.

What the girl does have, though, is MY hat.  The hat I splurged on yarn for (a $20 ball of 100% wool yarn, Noro Yarn, I love you!), FOR MYSELF.  She has seriously worn it more than I have.  And she thinks that I should go spend another $20 on the same ball of yarn to make one for her.  Yea.  NO, girl who leaves my iPod in her pants so my mom can wash them and ruin the iPod! NO!

I am making her a hat, though.  It's almost done, and I'm pretty sure she will dig it, especially when she realizes that it's a knock off of a hat from one of her favorite shows, "Once Upon A Time" on ABC. She told me her favorite character is Regina/The Evil Queen, but Regina is far too cool to be wearing a lot of crochet/knitted items, so I'm going with one of Emma Swan's hats, that she wore in the "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" episode.  Carolyn Small on Ravelry was awesome enough to reverse engineer the hat and share her pattern for free.  I have almost completed one set of cables, and am having to put it down so I can go get dressed for work.  I might even get finished by tonight, if I don't get too distracted.  Then I can start on another one, for me!

It's Friday, People!  Have a great weekend!

Finished!

So, I promised pictures!  Get ready!

I'm so excited about what I've been finishing (and getting ready to work on) that I have several folders marked with the same date in my picture files.

First:  I blocked my Jehanne Mitts yesterday while at work!  I soaked them for around 15 minutes (multi-tasked by taking a shower instead of hovering), in Eucalan wash.  I didn't measure it, so I'm pretty sure I didn't use enough of it, but they're blocked, so I can't complain.



My daughter took the picture here, so you can't really see the detail on them.  She was acting goofy so I only had her take the one.  I'd have asked HER to wear the mitts so I could take the picture, but she'd have stolen them and then there would have been this whole Keystone Kops style chase around the house, and it was late.  I do, however, have some pictures of single mitts that I took.


Well, that's not much better is it? I'll take some more with better light.  As soon as the sun comes up.

So, I made them in Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Stone Washed Mix.  I bought the yarn a while ago, because I liked the heather-y look it has.  I might pick up some more, though I think if I'm going to give them as gifts, I might use a machine washable yarn.

I made 2.5 hats!  They are the regular guy beanie by Yarnman Knits (Chuck Wright).  Very easy to follow pattern, though I used a circular needle and DPNs instead of solely using DPNs.  I'm good, but not that good.

One was done on size 8 needles, the other on size 7. Both were made with the intention of them going to David.  Once he put on the one made on the size 8's, I knew I'd have to change something.  So I gave the bigger hat to Joseph, who will be standing out waiting for the bus on Monday (It's starting to cool off in the mornings), and made another on the smaller needles.  This one fits David better and won't give him too much trouble when he's wearing it on the motorcycle.



Now, I'm on my third hat.  I gotta tell ya, I'm getting sick of the regular guy beanie, and am so glad I've made it to the decreases.  My problem now is that I don't remember where I was when I stopped to go to bed last night.  So I'm troubleshooting.

I've made it my mission to learn to knit continental style (Finally!).  Not for any specific reason, just because I think it'll be a good skill to have as part of my needlecrafting arsenal.  Yesterday was a good continental knitting day.  I've been trying to watch various people knit to see how they do it.  So far my style is a total bastardization of a lot of people's styles.  I have done most of the last half of the Regular Guy Beanie I'm currently working on Continental. And I can sort of see where I started.  It doesn't show in the pictures, but I know where I started.


OK, I guess if you look where the yarn tail is on the left of the hat, that's about where the line is in this picture.  All I have to do is not get cocky about it.  And then I start thinking about Star Wars and how I should really go out and buy new copies of the movies and how much I don't want to have to buy The Phantom Menace and all that crap that came later. (the kids have decided the Star Wars movies are divided into My Star Wars and Their Star Wars, so they always ask for clarification. My answer is always, The GOOD Star Wars, mine!)

Today is my last day off until Monday, so it's a busy one.  I am a little thankful that the kids will be home on a day that I'm going grocery shopping.

Now, I just have to finally decide which yarn I'm going to use for the Jimmy Beans Wool Once Upon a Time MKAL that starts on October 12.  I need to buy some and just be done with it.  Hopefully I'll do that today.

It's Friday Eve, people!  Make it great!


Dyed

Months ago, I found two rather large bags of Te Awa Wools wool yarn.  At the thrift store.  For under $5 each.

I left them.  Eventually, I figured out what I wanted to do with them so I went back and thankfully they were still there!

I bought them home and planned to dye them both.  Not the same color, mind you.  One I did in a purple/darkish pink color, the other was done in a red/orange color, though you can't really tell that it's something besides red at all.

I'm looking for the pictures right now so I can put them up on here.  I haven't used them yet because I have a problem.  There wasn't any sort of yarn weight on the label, and searching for what I had was a bust...I would find wool by Te Awa Wools, but none looked even remotely close to what I had, and no one sells Te Awa Wools yarns around here.

I'm an idiot so I didn't think to take it into the LYS to ask, either.  I would take them out periodically and try to knit or crochet with them, but I wasn't happy with anything that I was producing.

Hey!  I found the pictures!
Purple and Pink!

Red and...Orange??

.



Dying them was time consuming, but it was fun and a great learning experience.  I haven't dyed any yarn since, but that's not because I don't want to, More like I don't want to take the time to dye yarn, but with a dash of I can't figure out what the hell colors I want to use.

I did it all on the stove, using pots and towels I got at the thrift store.  I used Rit brand dye, and I spent about 2 hours doing both I think.  We have a clothesline out back (our electric dryer broke and we didn't fix it for years), so when I had finished dying each bundle, it hung up on the clothesline for a few hours.

When they were dry, I brought them in and wound them into cakes.  I knew I'd have to make more than one cake of each bundle, but I didn't expect the stuff to break.  I got a bunch of smaller balls out of one bundle before it wouldn't break and the last few were larger.  The Red one was great.  I think it was two or three balls.

Today, though, I finally found SOMETHING that I wanted to use the yarn for, and I actually had the correct tools for it.  It's a lot of yarn, so I thought a shawl would be the best thing for it.  I found the Just Knit It Pattern!  You can use whatever yarn you'd like and just keep increasing as long as you'd like.  So I can use up all the yarn for the one project!  And it's going really well, so far.  I mean, the width is less than a foot right now, but I've only started today. I stopped for a while to do home type stuff.  You know, breakfast, a shower, clothing that's not pajamas so I can leave the house.




Tomorrow, look for some pictures of finished projects!  I'm so excited that I'm done with these, I might make another LONGER set.  I just have to get my daughter to sit still and put these gloves on, or take decent pictures for me.  

I have decided which yarn I'm going to use for the newest Jimmy Beans Wool MKAL, now I just have to purchase it.  I was going to do it today, but it doesn't start for 11 days, so I might wait.  Knowing me, though, I'll change my mind 32 times before then unless I buy the darn yarn. It should be interesting, I'll have to knit a pair of mitts with DPNs, which I don't think I'm very good at, at least not at the start.  I can do a mean 2x2 ribbing with some DPNs.

You've made it! It's Wednesday!  I hope your week ends on a great note and that the weekend is full of love and lots of fun!