Sunday, August 25, 2013


I was away again last week, Tuesday to Friday, visiting my parents with my three kids.  Got home Friday afternoon, and now it's Sunday morning and we're heading camping for 5 nights and to the parents for 1-2 nights.  I haven't gotten much finished in the past two weeks (another berry picking bottle holder), and have several little projects that need finishing, but who wants to pack a baby hat that needs 6 rows?  I haven't had much time to think about a new "big" project, but perhaps a complex shawl isn't a smart thing to start right now, LOL.  So, it'll be tiny mohair pants for photo props.

See you....probably not till Wed. Sept. 4 (Tuesday is the first day of school, but it's a short day and The Snowbirds do a fly over at our school, and I have my lunch supervisor job, so I won't be home much that day either!).

Sunday, August 18, 2013


I've been away from home this past week, got home Friday evening and have been SO busy--catching up from being away and getting ready to go away again on Tuesday....then when we get home on Friday I have to recover from this trip AND get ready to go camping on Sunday!  Feeling a little stressed!  I didn't get as much knitting done as I would have liked while away (at my parents' with my kids) because we went wild blackberry and wild blueberry picking, and I had to drive.  Oh well, it's been a bumper crop this year, so it's nice to have some in the freezer!

I figured this would be a good time to update my Yarn In total, since I just bought some more yarn.  Yes.  More.  Sorry for the no pictures, but this just needs to be done quick!

Camo acrylic (Red Heart?), 235gr, $1.99; Bernat Max, 75gr x 6= 450gr, $5.98; total $9.01
Patons Shetland Chunky, 100gr, Some other grey chunky, 100gr; and a beautiful yellow laceweight rayon by Infiniknit; total, $23.30
DGB Confetti sock yarn; one ball partially knitted, 100gr; $3.39
Red Heart Boutique Fizzle, 100gr, $7.90

The Fizzle is neat, I wish I had had it when I made the three "Epic" hats, I think it's what was used in the inspiration photo.  It's really hard to describe.  When I made those hats, I would knit three stitches, then make a chain of about 10 stitches, and join it back to the top stitch.  This gives the same result, but it's more like two plies of the yarn are twisted into a mini-twist cord, at very close intervals along a binder ply.  Does that make sense? 

Yarn In:  1185gr + 7837gr = 9022gr
Yarn Out:  4997gr
Balance:  4025gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $43.60 + $227.61 = $271.21/231 days = $1.17/day

Monday, August 12, 2013

Blue and Fuzzy!

I found this yarn at Value Village (there were some other colours too, but too wild) and knew it should be a simple layering blanket.  However, it took several attempts.  The yarn on it's own, was not enough (yardage) to make a decent size blanket.  Just a little on the short side.  However, the yarn did not like being ripped out, so I knew the last try would be the last try.

I knit one row with the thick yarn, then one row with a thin navy chenille.  Then slid the stitches back to the other end of the circular needle, and knit the thick yarn.  Using the circular needles meant that I could do only one row of each yarn, using one only ball of each (normally you'd have to do two rows to get back to where you left the other yarn).

It didn't turn out square, but it's very flexible and shapeable.  Just give it a shake.  It's SO soft.  I'd like to snuggle with it!

Yarn In:  7837gr
Yarn Out:  82gr + 4915gr = 4997gr
Balance:  2840gr more brought IN than out
Cost:  $227.61/225 days = $1.01/day

Yes, I know you're dieing to know what I bought this past week!  I'm dieing to show it!  Right now though, I need to get back to the custom order skull mei tai that I'm making!

Friday, August 09, 2013

Modern Babies!

I've written before on how I love wool diaper covers.  I wish I had believed people years ago, that they actually worked.  When Hugh was born, 13 years ago, I wasn't sewing, and I looked at cloth diapers, but the start up cost was too much (yes, I pointed out how much we'd save over the course of several potential children...).  I didn't really start sewing until the third kid, 8 years ago.  I didn't get into the cloth diapers until she was almost two.  I could have made SO many cute diaper covers!!  Even if I had purchased cloth diapers and sewn my own covers....

Anyway.  Now, I knit them for other people!

Newborn soakers in a grey/soft white/charcoal blend.  Slightly higher in the back to avoid the dreaded plumber's crack.  $18 includes lanolizing (but shipping is extra).  What modern baby wouldn't love a wardrobe staple like this?

Yarn In: 7837gr
Yarn Out: 42gr + 4873gr = 4915gr
Balance:  2922gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $227.61/222 days = $1.03/day

And yes, I know I still have to add some new yarn to the "IN" total!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013


My dad really liked the crocheted water bottle holder I made him earlier this summer.  He likes that it's stretchy and fits different bottles, and that he can loop it around the roll bar of the tractor.  He asked if I could make one for holding spray paint cans, on the handlebars of his 4 wheeler (ATV).  He wanted a short handle.

The body of the holder was easy.  I wanted to do something different for the strap though--something that allowed for easy access and to use in different situations.  I didn't have a 4 wheeler handy either, so I couldn't test anything.  I felt that a simple strap like the water bottle holders would be too loose around the handle bar, even shortened up.  I toyed with a wide strap that folded back over the handlebar, so the holder projected forward--like the water bottle holders you clip over the handlebar of strollers.  But how to attach it?  Buttons are difficult with gloves on.  Velcro?  No way.

I came up with the idea of making short ties, all the way around.   This allows it to be tied many ways--directly over a bar, projecting forward from the bar, even on a belt.  For the ties, I chained the length I wanted, then slip stitched back to the top.  I tried sc back up, but it was too bulky.  While it's tied to the handlebars, the loose ties can be used for holding  a whistle, bear spray, bug spray, keys, trail ribbons, etc.

Yarn In:  7837gr
Yarn Out:  39gr + 4834gr = 4873gr
Balance:  2964gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $227.61/220 days = $1.03/day

Of course, the "Yarn In" and "Costs" amounts are not up to date :)

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Let Me Count the Ways

I've been working on a shawl, "Branching Out", since New Year's (okay, a couple days before New Year's).  The beginner went super.  Usually does with top down shawls.  Then I worried that my mixed blend Paton's "Lace" would not block out much, so I added repeats of some of the charts.  I'd work on it for a few days, then get to a new chart, or get an order, or sidetracked somehow, and it'd sit for awhile.  And I have the pattern on my tablet, and although I can mark where I am on the pattern, sometimes I have a hard time finding saved/downloaded items on it.  So, the shawl had been languishing on and off.  We have been having a "staycation" with my husband's American relatives, and that meant driving around playing tourists, AND my youngest's skating lessons are now over an hour, so I thought this would be a good time to get back to it. 

I was starting the very last chart on the weekend.  Because I had done extra repeats earlier, I knew I might have trouble.  However, the previous chart is only a 4 row repeat, and I figured it should actually be easy to start the last chart (figuring each half of the shawl increases by 2st every RS row, so 4st over those 4 rows, and the new chart had a 12 st repeat).  I started the new row 1, but it didn't seem to line up right with the previous row.  The previous chart was only a 4 st repeat (I think...), so the new 12 st one should fit nicely, shouldn't it?  The strange thing is, all along the shawl, the yarn over of the previous knit row is treated as a single knit stitch--never part of  a decrease.  The row 1 in this chart took that yarn over and put it into a decrease.  I did not like that and it seemed to be creating a problem.  The following rows did not do this either.  So, I opted to knit that first stitch, and then start the pattern, lining up a centred decrease so it fell on top of a group of three stitch from the last knit row. 

Once I did this, it was going well.  I got to the middle, and the chart says that now you work across the middle, not doing the YO, k1, YO that had created the centre spin up till then.  I had to fudge some stitches to get that centre k1 to line up nicely with the new pattern, then continued on my way, fudging the end of the row to get it to end properly.

Did the purl row.

Started the next knit row.  Went well, until about 1/3 way across.  I investigated, and found an error in the previous knit row.  Argh.  Ripped out that knit row, the purl row, and 2/3 of the knit row below :(

This set me back a bit.  Got the row re-knit (if the pattern had kept the centred spine, I could have just ripped out the two rows from the mistake to the centre!).  Got the purl row done.  Got almost 1/2 way across the knit row....again, something wasn't right!  This time, I decided to just rip out the two rows.  While this was faster, I did end up with a little bit of the yarn I had unravelled left.  Hard to describe--I had unravelled from the middle to the end, two rows; but I had already knit across to the middle.  So, I re-worked the two rows using the long strand that was attached at both ends...when I got to the last stitch of the purl row (meeting up with where I had left off on the next knit row), there was a bit of yarn left, in a loop.  Theoretically, I should have used it all up to re-work the stitches it came from!  As well,  I somehow ended up with the yarn from the ball in between the (circular) needles...I can't even describe it.  Had to slip the stitches off onto another needle, free the yarn, then slip them back (or knit them off actually). 

So, I got back on track, and now that the pattern is (correctly) established, it's smooth sailing, and the last 14 rows are flying by.  Well.  Flying means 25 minutes for a knit row and 17 minutes for a purl row.  I'm going to count my sts and rows at the end...