Monthly Archives: February 2016

Worn Out, But Still Going!

Sorry for the radio silence last week, friends. We had a week full of birthdays and birthday celebrations. First, Jellybean turned 3, then later in the week was my birthday and my Mom’s the day after! We had the big party for Jellybean on Saturday and I spent the week prior making cupcakes and getting prepared.

I tried four different cupcake recipes before I found one that worked well enough that I was happy with it. The recipe I really wanted to make is my favorite chocolate cake – rich, moist and very very chocolaty – but it did NOT translate into cupcakes.

Yummy, just way too flat.

Yummy, just way too flat.


I may try those again sometime and not fill the cups so much. That recipe had a cup of boiling water, so I tried just leaving that out for the next batch.

Looks promising, if a little overfilled.

Looks promising, if a little overfilled.


Uh, no.

Uh, no.


After scraping all the bits off the cupcake pan. At least this will still taste good on ice cream!

After scraping all the bits off the cupcake pan. At least this will still taste good on ice cream!


The third recipe was Alton Brown’s fudge cake recipe from I’m Just Here For More Food. I liked it pretty well, good flavor, nice texture, but there were chunks of chocolate throughout the cupcake, which was distracting.

Pretty, and tasty, but not quite what I'm looking for.

Pretty, and tasty, but not quite what I’m looking for.


At the 11th hour, I decided to try this recipe. They turned out pretty good. They are a bit on the dry side but they taste good and are firm and have a nice shape.

Almost perfect, and that's good enough!

Almost perfect, and that’s good enough!


We have cupcakes and cupcake bits galore in our freezer. Since we only eat dessert two nights a week, we’ll be eating chocolate cupcakes for a while.

Anyway, the party was fun for everyone. (Even the little girl who got a door shut on her foot while playing… ouch!) It may not be Pinterest worthy, but I am pretty proud of what I managed.

Yes, we're paw patrol fanatics around here.

Yes, we’re paw patrol fanatics around here.


Anyway, yes this is a knitting blog and I did manage to get some knitting done, too, thanks to a couple of snow days.

I finished Jellybean’s birthday present. It’s Rory from Huge And Huggable Mochi Mochi. It was so fun and fast to knit. The only problem was getting the final touches on it after stuffing it. I didn’t want Jellybean to see it, so I had to work only at night.

He doesn't have a name yet, but Jellybean insists his tongue be sticking out at all times. Ha!

He doesn’t have a name yet, but Jellybean insists his tongue be sticking out at all times. Ha!


I finished the Maeve hat. I’m planning on the mittens, too, but I will definitely have to use a smaller gauge. The hat is warm, but I would like the mittens to actually fit.

Yes, it's that huge!

Yes, it’s that huge!


I made myself another pair of felted slippers. My old pair are worn to death. They are fixable, (I’ll show you how I fix them later) but I wanted to try a new style, too.

Old and Definitely busted.

Old and definitely busted.


New fuzzy hotness!

New fuzzy hotness!


I’ve been getting a head start on Christmas gifts, too. I decided to make my nieces and nephew toys from Huge And Huggable Mochi Mochi by Anna Hrachovec. Those are going really great, just like the dinosaur, but I’m stuck on them until the eyes are delivered. I sewed the eyes on the dinosaur, since I know we’ve got a new baby on the way, but I think safety eyes will be just fine for theirs.

Thanks to the weather and timing, I still don’t have a photo of hubby in his new sweater. Hopefully he’ll get a chance to wear it this winter. Hey, there’s a chance of snow on Thursday. Perhaps I can convince him to put it on.

Other than that, I’m nesting. I’ve got about two more months before Lollypop’s estimated arrival date. I’ve started washing the tiny clothes and prepping the cloth diapers. I’m digging it all out of boxes and trying to figure out where to put it. We bought the new car seat, I’m searching for a new babywearing wrap, and trying to get all my breastfeeding supplies in order. We sold a few crucial items (bassinet, swing, bouncy seat, to name a few) to a neighbor after Jellybean outgrew them, so we’re trying to find new (or gently used) ones for Lollypop. I am excited to have a new baby around, but a little nervous about the changes that will happen around here. Thankfully Jellybean is a pretty easygoing kiddo. I think he’ll be a really awesome big brother.

I’m going to go knit on some toys, now. I hope you have a great week, friends!


Filed under Family, Knitting, Not Knitting

Knitting Hangover

After finishing a big project, I often feel like I’m hungover from knitting. I’ve worked so hard on the one project and now that it’s finished, I don’t know what to do with myself.

On Friday night, I finished the knitting part on Hubby’s sweater. I wanted to wash and block the pieces this time before I seamed them together. We were watching a movie when I finished, so I couldn’t just get up and start washing without interrupting the movie. I didn’t expect the last bit of work to go so fast and I panicked a little, wondering how I was going to pass the time.

(I could just sit and watch the movie, right? Ha ha. It’s so hard for me to just sit and watch TV at home. I feel like I should be doing something productive with that time, too.)

I went digging in my knitting nest, as quietly as I could. I found a hat that needed repairing and a pair of gloves that were finished, except for the ends weaving in. I finished the hat quickly and wove in all the ends of the gloves and the movie was still going on. (It was the first half of the Lord Of The Rings: Two Towers, if you must know.)

Well, since I didn’t want to interrupt the movie, I had to stop there. It was so strange to just sit without any work to do with my hands, but I managed it! Ha ha.

I had to wash and block the sweater parts in stages. I did the front and back on Saturday, then the sleeves on Sunday. Then I ripped out the remaining part of the old sweater, wound it into a hank of yarn and it’s been washed and is drying now. I want to use the used yarn to seam up the sweater, but I needed to wash it in order to get all the kinks out. Trying to seam up the sweater with kinky yarn would just drive me bonkers. I would constantly be undoing knots, so it’s best to wait for that yarn to dry before continuing.

I was hoping to have the sweater finished by today. We’re expecting a bit of snow tonight and tomorrow, and I wanted Hubby to be able to wear his new sweater when we knew it would still be cold. It’ll likely be tomorrow before I get to work on finishing it, though.

In the mean time, I made a list of projects I want to work on in the near future. I’m getting a very early head start on a few Christmas presents for my nieces and nephew. There are a few toys from Huge & Huggable MochiMochi that I think they’ll love. The book is so awesome and the toys are lots of fun to make. I made one of them for Jellybean’s 3rd birthday (I can’t believe it either, yes, he’s 3!) which I’ll show you next week.

I need to make myself new slippers, since I’m wearing holes in the soles of mine. I have several different balls of sock yarn, so socks are always an option (although I usually keep those for the car.) I also have a pattern I need to knit again to make sure my pattern is right, so I can get that published.

In my latest yarn order, I also included some conductive thread. Remember these gloves?

Hubby's Gloves

Hubby’s Gloves

Hubby really likes them, but he has to take them off to mess with his phone. I’m going to run some of the conductive thread along the thumbs and index fingers. The thread will make his smartphone usable without having to get his hands cold. Win!

As I was looking at things to work on while I wait on sweater parts to dry and yarn to come in, I ran across a hat that I had started a couple of years ago. The Maeve hat is really beautiful! It was the first colorwork project I’d ever done. I ripped it out several times, never quite getting it right, and not being satisfied with my color choices. I made some changes to my color choices and I’m almost finished with it. There’s a mitten set, too.

The first iteration of Maeve. I swapped out the bright purple for green.

The first iteration of Maeve. I swapped out the bright purple for green.

I’m nearly done with the hat, then I’ll decide whether to do the earflaps and mittens.

Maeve with green.

Maeve with green.

I’m also trying to decide what to knit for Lollypop. A Late April baby probably won’t need a wool sweater, although I could knit a 9- or 12-month size for next winter. I thought about a light cotton jacket, but it won’t be worn for long. I will definitely do a hat or two, and I have the little booties already. I thought about crocheting a blanket. I could definitely get that done before the birth, but what pattern? and what colors? I know Mimi is already making a Lollypop blanket, although the color and pattern are a surprise to me. So, what to do? What to do? Any suggestions?

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Filed under Knitting

Reclaiming Yarn

Have you ever made a project that you thought you’d love, but when you got it finished, it just wasn’t anything you wanted anymore?

These days, when I’m knitting for myself, I try really hard to make things I think I’ll wear. That seems obvious, doesn’t it? So why, if I’m not a vest person, do I have three vests that I’ve made, but never worn? It boggles my mind, for sure.

One vest has been reclaimed for yarn for my Merle Sweater. Another one has been put in the yard sale pile. (It’s not worth it to me to reclaim that yarn.) The third is one is waiting for a project to come along that will be perfect for the yarn. There’s also a shawl or two that I don’t really care for. These projects all took time and effort to make, but they’re just sitting, not being used.

I’ve gifted projects that I don’t like for myself to people who I think might like them. These purple socks went to my mom as soon as I finished them. I expected the yarn to knit up as purple with just hints of the bright colors, but it turned out way too bright for me. She loved them (and they did happen to match the shirt she was wearing that day.)  We’re both lucky we have the same size foot!

Purple Socks 2

Purple Socks!

There’s this one


I bought a whole bunch of sport-weight yarn for that, cast on a million stitches (actually, I think it was only 300-something, but still) and actually made two sections like the above, then joined them with a cable down the middle. The trouble is with that lace part you see right there. I just can’t get past the phallic-ness of it.

It’s sitting in a bag, and the ends haven’t even been woven in. It’s been sitting like that for almost 3 years. It’s obvious I am not going to wear it, so I think it’s time to frog so I can use the yarn for something else.

My project page says I used 4 skeins for a total of 580 yards. I’m not sure if that’s what I used in the entire thing or if that’s just what I bought initially. I know I went back and bought more yarn after I decided to do something different than the pattern called for. I know I have at least that much, though, so I can work from there. So, off to the frog-pond it goes.

There’s this one, too:

Evening Shrug

Slippery bamboo cuff of a shrug-thing.

That’s the start of an Evening Shrug in Berroco Bonsai yarn. The yarn is Bamboo and nylon and it is so slippery! It’s very shiny, but it’s very hard to work with. It makes knitting a cuss-fest. I couldn’t even get it to stay in a center-pull ball. I don’t even know what I could stand to make with it. I think this yarn is going to the for-sale pile.

When I first started knitting, I picked up my knit stitches the wrong way. This made all my knit stitches twisted. I purled correctly, but the knitting was just wrong. I discovered this when I was taking a class learning to knit socks. I was probably halfway through with the pair, and I decided to just finish them out the wrong way then figure out how to knit right. This was 5 years ago, and I’ve never worn the socks. I never even wove in the ends. They’ve been sitting, unused and unloved for that long.

First socks.

First socks.

When the first snow of the year hit, I realized Jellybean didn’t have mittens that fit. He has a mismatched pair, but they’re too small. I offered to make him more. I dug through my stash and found a really great superwash yarn in yellow.

“What about yellow mittens?” I asked him.
“Well, what color would you like?” (I knew the answer already.)

And I came across the first socks. They were knit with Crystal Palace Yarns Merino 5 Print. Red with hints of orange, yellow and magenta. Worsted weight, so they’ll knit up fast. Superwash for easy care. Perfect!

I had no reservations about ripping out the socks to make mittens. I wasn’t going to wear the socks, so I’m happy the yarn gets some good use. I used Dulaan Easy-On Mittens for the pattern. They took an afternoon to knit and as you can see, they’re great for snowball fights with daddy.


Look out!

The sweater I made for my husband is also being reclaimed to make him a sweater that actually fits. Yarn can also be reclaimed from thrift store sweaters! It’s fun to find a beautiful cashmere sweater for $5, then rip it out to make something new.

It may seem frustrating to make something, then just rip out all that work. However, I would rather rip out a project to make something useful than to just let it sit there, not being used at all.

Have you ever undone a project to make something new?


Filed under Knitting