Monthly Archives: February 2017

Anni Sweater Progress and Knitalong Afghan

So, thanks to planning a birthday party for my Jellybean and being sick with the stomach virus, I didn’t knit for about two weeks. It took me several days to catch up with the housework that had been neglected. The first chance I felt like I was caught up, though, I took some time to work on my sweater. It’s going much faster than I expected it to! I keep putting it on waste yarn and trying it on, to make sure it’s all working out.

Bathroom Selfie!

Seriously, that was the best photo of the sweater. Sorry for the toilet shot, haha!

It’s a couple of inches longer than it shows here, because it’s all rolled up. Stockinette does that. I will knit a few more inches before I start the smocking pattern at the bottom of the sweater. When I get the body done, I will come back and knit the sleeves, which are currently held on waste yarn.

The pattern for Anni is the best organized pattern I have ever seen. It’s broken down into steps and each step has a chart listing the stitch counts for each size. Typically, when knitting patterns are written for several different sizes, they will list the stitch counts in parentheses. For example, if a pattern is written to have small, medium and large sizes, it may say to cast on like this:

Cast on 10 (20, 30) stitches for small (medium, large) sizes.

But the designer for Anni, Christina Körber-Reith, writes it like this:

Cast on the following number of stitches

 small  medium  large
10 20 30

The table is SO MUCH easier to read and it makes the pattern more fun to work with. This is the first pattern of hers I’ve ever knitted, but having a look at her designs, it probably won’t be my last. I’m particularly fond of the Jella Hat and the Five Colors Hat. I’m guessing those patterns will be as easy to follow as Anni.

Now, as far as the afghan blocks go. I think I may be out. I really loved the first block but the next three leave a lot to be desired. Block 2 was a squirrel. Block three is… I have no idea what this is even supposed to be.

What?

And surprisingly Block 4 is out already, too.

Ughhh.

Suffice it to say, I am not a fan of either of those blocks. I think block 3 is supposed to be a plant or something, but it just looks phallic to me. Also, the textured piece is an actual pocket and the vine/leaf combo is intended to be left loose. No, thanks.

And I know that block 4 is supposed to be two hearts, but I just see a particular piece of anatomy. *sigh* I didn’t even download this pattern.

But wait! Before I published this post, block 5 was released.

Plain, but nice!

Block 5 is much better than the last four. I follow Susan B. Anderson’s blog, and when I saw this block was designed by her, I knew it would be better. This block is simple, but the texture looks very cozy. Susan’s designs are all classic and cozy. So, I’ll dig out some yarn and knit up this one. This afghan, so far, gets a 40% approval rating from me. Ha! We’ll see how the rest of it goes.

That’s all for this week, my friends!

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40

My dad is somewhat of a jokester. I won’t say how many years ago, when my mom turned 40, he and a mischievous buddy of his spray painted a billboard on the highway to announce her birthday. Only they said she was 50, instead of 40. That billboard stayed that way for as long as I can remember, and I don’t even remember when it was painted over or taken down. (I think dad’s partner in crime owned the land or the billboard or something like that, I never really knew if they were actually committing a crime, but there are photos of them in the act.).

Redacted to protect the (not so) innocent. Ha!

Mom went through a whole range of emotions about that billboard, but it is definitely something that our family will never forget.

I remember thinking 40 was old and 50 was grandparent material. If you made it past 60, then you were just ancient.

This past weekend was my own 40th birthday. I didn’t get a billboard announcement. (Thank goodness!) I also don’t feel as old as I thought I would, or should.

I started having kids a decade later than my mom. Sometimes, I wish I had had my kids at a younger age so I could have more energy to play with them and my joints would hold up to the rough housing. But I know I wouldn’t have been the same parent 10 years ago. I lose my shit way more than I’d like to admit (it’s really hard to parent a 3-year-old and stay sane), but overall, I feel like I’m more patient than I was at a younger age.

I’ve had these 10 years to learn some much needed life lessons. Lessons about love, money, compassion, empathy, time management, and judgement. Having my kids when I did enabled me to find a wonderful, supportive group of mama friends, who I still keep in touch with daily, even though I moved away from them.

Being at the point I am, with two small kids at 40 years old, I realize how much age is just a number. I may not have the energy to keep up with my kids for as long as they want me to, but they definitely keep me active and strong.

I turned 40 without much fanfare, and that’s OK. I’m beginning to think that the less excitement you have in your life, the longer you get to live it. So bring on the quiet birthdays, may they keep coming year after year.

P.S. This post is a week belated, as many of my plans that weekend were waylaid by a stomach virus. We were all sick, all at once, and it was awful. Thankfully it was short-lived and we’re all better now and I’m catching back up.

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Have Planner, Will Plan

Good Morning and happy Monday to you, my friends.

There’s not much to talk about knitting-wise this week because I’ve not done much knitting. I have made some decent progress on my sweater – I’m working on the shoulders at the moment – but since it’s such a small yarn, it’s not going as fast as my most recent projects. I don’t mind that part, though. It’s very meditative knitting… around and around and around and remember to increase in the right spots and just keep knitting. I’ve very nearly used all of the first skein of yarn and I’m not even down to the sleeves yet.

I did try it on this weekend to see if it was starting out the right way and I’m happy to say it’s going well. The shoulders fit me right the way they should and nothing’s to tight or too loose. It’s exciting.

So, if I haven’t been knitting much this week, what have I been doing?

I’ve been planning a birthday party.

For a *gasp* FOUR year old!

My big kiddo turns four this week and we’re having a party. I usually start planning his parties right after Christmas, but so much stuff was going on this year and I kept putting it off. So I’m trying to put it all together in about a week and a half. It’s coming along, and I think he and his friends will have fun.

I’ve also spent a lot of time this week just trying to get organized. I felt things going off the rails, with work and kids and trying to keep the house in reasonable order, so I am working on making myself a planner. Traditional day planners don’t quite fit my needs – I need more of a prioritized task list than an appointment calendar – so I’ve been searching for free planner pages, printing them and trying to see how they work with my brain. I’ve found a few things that are working and I’m tweaking the pages that don’t quite fit for me, so hopefully I can keep everything more tidy. I am a planner, I like lists and meal plans and organized shelves and everything in its place. The reality is that I don’t always have every little thing organized, and I have several piles of my stuff laying around in places. Plus, living with two kiddos (who prove the chaos theory) and another human (who can buy a week’s worth of groceries in one trip and make a week’s worth of meals without ever thinking about a list) means that it’s a lot of work to keep things from getting out of hand.

Last weekend, I was feeling so much stress about everything I felt was on my plate. This weekend, I am getting it organized and in its place. I have no illusion that I will stay organized forever. When I get comfortable with my routine, I won’t need the detailed planner as much, but for right now, it makes me feel so much better just to have it all written down in one spot.

I am going back to my knitting, now. Have a great week!

P.S. I am anxiously awaiting block 3 of the mystery afghan. I really hope it’s one that I will want to do. I could use a short, easy project to work on as I need a break from the big projects I’ve got on the needles.

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