What to muse about today?

March 18, 2014 ~ Runner

Star Runner

I finished the lace runner for Teagan’s dresser the other day.  It was much easier than I thought.  It was not as difficult or fiddly as I thought it would be!

Scared of the idea of a doily, lace, I had gotten some sock yarn – fingering – to use instead.  I hadn’t thought about the sock yarn would be a bit more stretchy than the cotton thread.  I just thought it would be a bit less daunting than the thread, and not as tiny to work with.   At least for a first attempt.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought!  Granted, the first two attempts to do the motif weren’t successful, it felt as if the pattern was written for someone that knew what they were doing.  Not me.  Those first attempts were wonky, with the wrong number of stitches, bad joins, too stretchy.  Eventually, I got it figured out though.

Even with the wrong yarn, I decided to go ahead and work it up anyway.  A decision that Teagan was very happy with when she found out the pink star thingy was going to be for her.

It didn’t take too long to work up, I could get two maybe three motifs done and connected a night.  A week and a bit to get it all done, with the border.  There’s just blocking to do.  I’m not sure how well it will block, stretchy sock yarn and all.  But it will be just fine.

Teagan will be happy with it, as is.  I’ll probably do this pattern again, with cotton thread, I enjoyed working it that much, and am than pleased with how it turned out.


March 9, 2014 ~ I Forgot

Attempt #3

Let’s not talk about the things I forgot – both daughter’s shoes (!?!?!?) yesterday, my wallet on a trip to the grocery store today, what day it was, so missed calling my dad on his birthday…  Let’s talk about crochet instead.

I started working on this runner to put on Teagan’s dresser.  I’m stuck on two other projects – one knit and one crochet, (I think I’m going to frog them, do over) – so decided to learn how to crochet lace.  Since I’m using a sock yarn, so light fingering instead of crochet thread.  I may be crazy, but I’m not completely insane.


The first motif was challenging.  The yarn is a bit more stretchy than a cotton would be, and the instructions for the pattern aren’t always clear.  Eventually I got the first motif done.  The pattern calls to join motives as you go, my first attempt there wasn’t very good either…

I hadn’t realized that when I joined them, they were just a tiny bit off.  It wasn’t too hard to figure out where I went wrong, finding the time to actually fix it was more difficult.

Once I got that, the next four came easily!  Only 17 more to go!















PS. Yes, I really did forget the girls’s shoes.  Stu and I packed them into the car for a trip home, neither wanted to put their shoes on for the ride, so we carried them.  I turned the alarm on and locked the house.  We only realized we forgot the shoes when we got to my parents and went to get the girls out of the car.  They’re almost 5 and 3, it’s not like they’re itty bitty and don’t need shoes.  Sheesh.

Can I blame it on the time change?


January 19, 2014 ~ Boat

Two girls in a boat

Today was a pretty good day.  The girls were good, and this helped.  While I snuck a morning nap in the living room, they played nicely in the playroom.

Stu was also in the living room, not sitting in the dining room keeping half an eye on them as he usually does when he works on Sundays.  But he was listening to them play.  They ended up pulling almost all their toys down, out of the bins, shelves, and put them into a pile.  This is where their baby dolls, (Peaches and Baby, though sometimes she’s also Peaches,) were hiding, and safe.

They will need to help clean it up.  Tomorrow.  Today was too busy!

After her nap, I took Ashlin to the store to get eggs and flour.  We were going to make cookies!  And cheeseburgers.  She requested cheeseburgers for dinner.  I ended up making meatloaf.  Close enough!

I sent them both up/Stu took them up for some quiet time and another nap while I set up the cookie stuff.  Pulled out the mixer, the ingredients.  Pre-measured everything.  I did leave the flour in the sifter, thinking maybe Teagan would be ok sifting it.  She had a bit of trouble with the side to side of the sifter.  Maybe if I had one of the crank ones, she wouldn’t have.  Oh well.

Ashlin was a bit fearful of the stand mixer, too loud.  But she found courage by the time we needed to add the chocolate chips!  Teagan broke an egg, and did a pretty good job for her first egg.  Ashlin didn’t want to.  She just watched for a bit.  They had a pretty good time dumping things into the mixer, or watching them go in.  Teagan had a hard time not touching the stuff in pots and jars – she got flour all over the table, her hands, herself.

I tried hard to not get too worked up, too stressed out, but there were a few times that I didn’t do so well.  I took over a few times, told them – when I should have asked them – to watch for a step.  I need to remember that they really don’t know anything about cooking, and are very eager to learn, to explore.  They don’t know not to take a bite of the stick of butter, or taste the flour, or pour it all in at once, or why they need to be sure to sift over a bowl.  I need to remember this and try not to freak out.  I’ll get better.  They’ll get better, and more patient, or obedient.  Still, it was fun.

They weren’t very interested in dropping the cookies on the tray, but it could be the double spoon method we had to do.  I don’t have a fancy scoop yet.  But I’ll get one.  For next time.  There will be a next time.

While I scooped out and baked nearly 6.5 dozen cookies, they played in a box.  Their boat.  Quietly “reading” and looking at Highlights magazine.  Well after they got in trouble for trying to play in the kitchen while I was finishing up the cookies and dinner.  Touching everything, hot cookie sheets, oven, pots.  Gah.

Still, mostly a good day.  With cookies.  Peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies.


PS. Stu is still humming “Let it Go.” Ha ha ha.


October 22, 2013 ~ Time Turner Shawl



Before I started the girls hats and mittens (Yes!  There are mittens now!) I knit a lace shawl.  Yes.  A lace shawl.  With really thin yarn.  It had actually started as a crochet shawl, but though I loved the pattern, I wasn’t happy.  I frogged the crochet and swapped over to some knitting needles.  Thanks to Ravelry, I was able to find an easy enough lace pattern.  One that I was capable of doing.

A friend and I started the Time Turner Shawl at just about the same time.  That gave me confidence!  We’d be going through it together, I’d have someone to ask questions of, bemoan the tricky bits.  The beginning was easy enough. once I figured out how to pick up stitches down the side to start the triangle shape.


Stitch markers and a pink lifeline

I restarted a few times, learned that I needed to use a lifeline and was also incapable of counting to six with any accuracy more than twice.  Stitch markers were a lifesaver.  Every 12 or so stitches, I’d put a new marker.  At the start of every 8 row pattern repeat, I’d place my lifeline.  I would still get lost in the pattern, so a friend suggested writing the piece of pattern I was doing onto an index card. Looking only at that.  This, with the lifeline and stitch markers got me through.


There are still mistakes.  I had to use that lifeline more times than I’d like to admit, but I did it!  All in all, a frustrating, fun, and learning experience.  I couldn’t work on it when I was tired.  Or distracted.  But that was ok, I worked on the Big Button Wrap when I couldn’t think enough to do the shawl.  Working on it start-stop like that, it took almost two months to finish.


In progress

While doing this I added a few skills and tricks to my bag – slip, slip, knit (SSK) and make 1  (M1), stretchy cast-off.  A bit more of how stitches stack up and work together. I thought, since I was knitting right to left, that I needed to swap my decreases, so anytime I saw SSK or K2tog I would swap them. (I’ve since learned differently.  Go figure).

Anyway, it was great to finally finish this shawl.  But the work wasn’t quite done once it was off the needles.  I still needed to block it.  I pulled out the blocking wire kit, prepped the table while the shawl soaked in the sink.  Then I rolled it in a towel and pushed the water out.  You’re not supposed to let the work stretch out with the weight of the water, or twist it dry.


On the wires

Getting the shawl onto the wires wasn’t difficult, but was a bit awkward.  Watching the lace open up as I pinned it out on the table was amazing.  And rewarding.  It felt really good to see my work go from nice to airy and beautiful.  I  was really proud of my work.  And maybe took a few too many pictures…


Lace detail


Edge detail


Open lace

I gave this shawl to my god-mother. My aunt.  She couldn’t believe I had done it.  The last time I had seen her, I was only crocheting.  I got a phone call thanking me, and also a lovely card.  She took it with her on her trip to Paris.  I love that my work made her so happy.  That makes me happy, and makes all the effort worth it.


September 8, 2013




This was my birthday present from my mom.


It is totally cool.

I know it’s been a while since my birthday, but we only just got the box down to our house.  Every other trip we’ve made since they presented it to me, our car was full to the brim.  It’s nice to finally get it here.

I’m not sure when I’m going to be able to teach myself how to sew, I’ve only just got the hang of knitting.  I only just finished off a lace project that took a lot of time.  I won’t need to learn in a vacuum.  One of my friends sews the most lovely things and she’s offered to help me get started.



April 12, 2013

First hat with first pompon!  #knit #hat #pompom

Hat with pompom

Look! My first knit hat!

I had some left over yarn from one of the first baby blankets I crocheted, I figured why not try to make a matching hat?  Once I figured out how to make the tail long enough to cast on, (but not too long!), and once I got it joined properly, (a bit more tricky than it seemed), and once I got past the first two rows (more annoying to not twist and get the stitches to flow than I thought), it worked up quickly.

The hat was done in two nights?  Or was it three?  Anyway, fast.  Maybe just as fast as a crocheted hat, at least this style, anyway.  And using the  double pointed needles once starting the decreases took a bit to get used to.  Maybe I’ll splurge and get another circular needle and do the trick the ladies at the yarn store showed me.  I wasn’t ready to start that way, I may need to know how to use the double pointed needles at some point.

And I will admit, I enjoyed knitting around and around and around, only needing to think about moving up the stitch marker as I completed a circle.  Depending on the hat, I may like knitting them more than crocheting them.

Once complete, I felt quite accomplished, pleased with myself.

The pompom?  Well, it’s my first one as well too!  I probably could have made it a bit thicker, but I thought I had enough yarn wrapped around the cardboard.  Next time I’ll double it.

I feel like this hat gave me a bit of experience, enough to start the one for Ashlin, or maybe for Teagan for next winter.  With non-leftover yarn, as well.

I’ll write up the other projects I’ve been working on soon…  and the few remaining from Christmas too!

Does it look like a #hat? #knit #round

Knit in the round


March 27, 2013


That there is thirty inches of scarf. It’s getting there! In the past few days I’ve learned how to tink, how to hide an added stitch, though I ended up tinking it out again…

It is so much easier to rip work out in crochet, with its one life stitch, than knitting. I am still unsure which leg is the right leg, which leg is facing me when I start to work. I know eventually I will see what the yarn is trying to tell me, figure out the best way to fix, or erase, a mistake. For now, I have knitters I work with, and there’s a knitting group at one local yarn store on Wednesdays and at another one on Sundays.

I took a late lunch today to be able to take advantage of the knitting group’s knowledge, and beg some assistance. They had me quickly sorted out, and I stayed for some pleasant conversation, I don’t know how many Wednesdays I can do this, but it would be nice!


March 24, 2013

20130324-194426.jpgLook how long it is!!

I have about a foot of scarf now, in garter stitch.  It’s going faster and becoming a bit more enjoyable, less work, less thought demanding.  Still not as natural feeling as crochet, but miles better than it was even three days ago.

I’m loving how squishy the knit is, how stretchy.  Crochet has give, usually, but nothing like this.  Or, it doesn’t feel quite as elastic as this garter stitch does.

Soon enough, I’ll start working on getting purl stitches down once this is done.  And maybe after a few crochet projects.  I also need to figure out how to work with circular needles so I can make a hat.  Teagan likes the yarn, though she’d prefer red.  I guess this will be Ashlin’s scarf and hat set.




March 19, 2013


Tonite’s Practice!

So, four days into this knitting thing… and it’s getting better. Not easy, but better.  This is tonight’s practice work.  I’m pretty happy with it too.  Other than some tension weirdness on the third or fourth row, and the bumpy slipped selvage edge it’s not too bad.  IMO, of course.  Good enough to maybe start a real project.  Maybe.

Pay no attention to the lost stitch by the f key...  #knit #learnnewthings #oops

Knit and purl

Sunday, I was able to get the purl stitch to work.  A friend came over with her kids,  and while the three older kids played and danced and talked in outdoor voices she helped me figure it out.  Thanks to her help I was able to work a few knit rows followed by some knit/purl rows.  I was somehow gaining a stitch or two with the purl rows.  Oops.  Monday at work, a coworker who knits thinks I may have somehow done more than one yarn over.  Could be…  in crochet you do multiple yarn overs all the time.

Last night’s practice work wasn’t too bad, but the edge was a bit less structured than crochet edges seem to be.  A friend suggested doing a slip stitch as the first stitch.  So, tonight I tried it.  I think I may have been putting the needle through the wrong way, creating the bumps.  I’ll try a bit more tonight with the needle going the other way to see if it looks better.

Rib! #knit #yarn #learnnewthings

Last night’s practice

It’s getting there!


March 16, 2013

Since yesterday, there’s been a lot of attempted knitting going on. During naps, while the Fresh Beat Band or Wonder Pets help distract the girls. While last night the accomplishment was actually casting on (two needles) and maybe getting a row or two done (right handed!) today was spent doing lots of things left handed. All in all, I tried three different needles, and three different styles, most both left and right handed.


Right-handed English

Last night I couldn’t get the hang of casting on. It was easier to do a two needle cast on versus the slingshot/long tail version. Still, I was able to work a few rows of knit stitch.  Some of it could be due to the worsted yarn and a US6/4mm needle.  When I changed to the larger needles (US11/6.5mm), it was a bit easier.  By the end of the night I knew I couldn’t really keep going on right handed, though everyone said I should try to learn that way, it would be easier in the long run.  So…

Today, I switched to left-handed.  Figured out the slingshot cast on.  Tried English left-handed (easier!), Continental (both hands) and Eastern European (left-handed) methods.  There’s not much difference between the Continental and Eastern European other than the direction the needle starts the stitch.  Both use a “left hand” hold (or, for me, right hand!).

Ok. Right to left is better. Slingshot cast on. Just need to figure out which is better - English, Eastern European or continental?  #knit #yarn #learnnewthings

Slingshot. Left-handed English

Left handed continental. I like this except for the start of the stitch front to back. Could be just tension or familiarity. It works better somehow than English. #knit #learnnewthings

Left-handed Continental

I’ll be switching back and forth between Eastern European and Continental, just to see which works better for me when going back and forth between knit and purl stitches.  Eastern European is most like crochet like hook work and yarn overs.