Archive for December, 2007

December Challenges

So how did you do? I did fairly well. I didn’t get all the things on my list done. However, I did add a bunch of crap to it, so I think it’s okay.

Read a book a week. Well, I read one book- Wicked. I’m halfway through the second- Beloved. Yeah…

Cook one paper recipe a week. I did three. I was gone for almost a week and it threw my schedule off. But still.

Knit everyday. This one I think I did alright on. I’m pretty sure I only missed a day or two here. Most of that was because my sleep schedule got jacked.

I added re-arranging the apartment to that. All the furniture and most of the odd stuff is organized. All I have to do is finish up details and clean for the living room and craft room. Yes, I officially have a craft room, not just a storage closet for abandoned craft junk. All in all, I don’t feel too bad about this month. Pictures of the finished rooms coming soon.

Oh, and the boyfriend scarf? I’ve knit about four rows on it. It’s never getting done.


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Still Knitting

Can you believe that on Christmas Day, after driving 4 hours home, I’m still knitting my last damn scarf? I’m starting to think my boyfriend’s not worth it. I’ve had to frog this whole thing more than three times after knitting a sizable section, each time wearing down the yarn and my soul a little more. I’m four blocks into it, just used up my little yarn balls of MISERY and am ready to start knitting from the skein again.

The last time I frogged was when I got to my mom’s. It rolled so badly that I couldn’t stand it and I didn’t find a solution until too late.


I found that a garter stitch border plus an alternate stockinette/reverse stockinette stitch for each block finally did the trick. I’m not frogging again. You can’t make me.

Also, Mom taught me how to crochet again.

And we went through her yarn stash. Here’s the tip of the iceburg.

Since I came into possession of nearly half of that, my own small but enjoyable stash is going to freakin blow up.

And just for the record, Mom loved the garter stitch mitts. I even learned how to do that provisional cast-on.

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I Have A Mitt!

I finished one! Really! Look! The unwrapped ball was one of the left-overs from Mom’s scarf. It took about 1 1/2 of these for one mitt.


This is the first non-scarf item I’ve ever knitted. I learned how to do short rows and was supposed to learn kitchener stitch. Yeah… Read your patterns, kids. I got to the end and went, ” ‘Provisional cast-on’? No. Permanent cast-on. Beautiful, only-one-I-know cast-on. Crap.” Believe me when I say I had no friggin clue what the hell I was doing. I just sorta whipped-stitch it together somehow. Miraculously, it’s good enough to where you can’t really tell where it is!


Once I got near the end, I had to omit several rows of knitting so it wouldn’t be too long. Different yarn and gauge and needles, ect. Plus, I had to end up doing a few short rows on the opposite side to get the sides to match up. Teach a man to fish… And that second ball of yarn I added? Yeah, different shade. This is the palm side because you can see some of the mistakes. Note that I’m wearing it backward for the pics because I can’t take decent pictures with my left hand.


All in all, I’m so happy with it. My mom will freak out. I’m freaking out. On to the next one!

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Wrapping It Up

So, only one scarf left to do. Everything else is knit, weaved, blocked, and wrapped. I’m very proud at how much I’ve done and of the initiative I took so many months ago.

Best Friend Scarf on left, Mom’s scarf on right

BF Scarf was done in Bernat Bamboo yarn in green. This was my first ribbed scarf and done on US 10s. It’s already soft and the blocking not only brought out the ribbing but made it SO much softer. She’s going to love it just for that. It does have the startling tendency to look like freshly-scrubbed carpet after cat vomit when it’s wet though. Can you see it? Ew.

My mom’s scarf was in Moda Dea Dream also in a green. It was a quick knit on US 11s, but I’ve got to come up with a better way to do keyhole scarves because I have at least 6 ends to weave in, more if you have to add new skeins.

I found a pair of garter stitch mitts on the lovely Ysolda blog. It’s a free pattern, and I think I can do it. I’m a bit confused on some parts, but it’s because I’m a beginner and not because of unclear directions. My mom wears a lot of these, so I’ll see if I can get them done before I leave- Thursday morning. I might be able to work on them while I’m at her house, but I’ll have to be sneaky. Or just give her an IOU and do it in front of her. We’re easy-going people.

All the wrapping I used for the last three gifts was re-used. The BF scarf was stuffed inside one of those plastic nets you get for wine bottles to keep it in one place while I wrapped it.

The wrapping paper, ribbon, and bow all came from a present I just got from my Dad and Step-Mom. Also, I talked her into letting me teach her to knit. So she gets my pretty size 10s and some scrap yarn in colors she’ll like. I also found a purple gift bag- very purple theme for her.

I found the gift bags for my Mom and Step-dad that I used last year complete with gift tags with their names on them. (Told you I save this shit.) I laughed hysterically at that. They’ll be used again this year with tissue paper from my Dad’s gift again.

Also, another ornament! This is from MissGioia. It came complete with a little card and the coolest envelope ever. It’s my first package from Taiwan and I’m so keeping the mailer.

Wish me luck on the mitts!

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I Got Stuff!

Another ornament! This is real, thick wool hand-stitched. It’s even a real mitten with an opening and everything. And look at the lovely packaging. I love this swap.


 Christmas present from the boyfriend: bamboo knitting needles and my first stitch markers made of glass.


I even took the time to put the US size on the tops.


I also made a super-quick wreath for my kitchen window.

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FO: Keyhole Scarf

Well, the good news was that I did indeed finish that scarf in time. The bad news is that I don’t have an address that I can send it to. Sigh. I’ll just have to make another trip up when they get settled. I did get to ship out all 8 of my packages though. There was something so romantic about those little brown envelopes.


The scarf was done in Icelandic Jewels from Yarn Bee. I didn’t have a pattern to follow so I just winged it and I think it turned out great. It’s about 27″ long, done in garter stitch on size 11 needles. When it came time to do the hole part, I realized that I had cast on 15 stitches. Sorta dumb, but it worked out better in the end. I just knit 7 stitches on either side and bound off the one in the middle. It got kinda fiddly because I knit one side of the hole, cut the yarn, then used it to start knitting up the opposite side, cut that too, then knit it all back together casting on another stitch cable-wise.

See? I’m learning stuff. I had to deal with a lot more weaving in, but you can’t tell. I want to do a keyhole scarf for my mom too. I’ve been looking at the patterns and it seems like they all either knit it sideways and just bind off for the hole, or knit it top down but wide and have a width-wise hole. Does that make sense? I don’t want to do the first because I don’t have any needles that would be long enough and I don’t like the look of the second one- it’s like a big mouth on a scarf. I might have to give in though because I’m going to use two strands of thin yarn on size 11 needles. It’ll be harder to repeat what I did for this last scarf.

Anyways, here’s what I could capture of the yarn itself. This is a pretty good representation, though you can’t see any of the shine from the colored yarn. It looks nice, but I’m going to have to think long and hard on whether I want to wear that as a sweater.

For anyone who came wanting to hear about the yarn (because Hobby Lobby doesn’t like to give you info), it was pretty easy to work with. I think a size 11 or 10 1/2 knitting needles works best since it was a bit stiff on my 10s. It didn’t split like I thought it would. It’s reminiscent of a handspun in that it gets thicker and thinner in areas, but it’s not noticeable in the finished product because it’s not too extreme and the colors hide it. Overall, nice and relatively soft on the skin.

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FOs: Swap Shell Ornaments

Wow. I’m so happy with how these turned out. All I needed was a good kick in the right direction. Once I returned to something I loved, it took about 30 minutes. This doesn’t include the trial run I did last night. See this tiny thing? Hours of blistering pain and a whole night of carrying around a glass of ice water. Stoopid.


I lost my glue gun sometime in the past year and had to buy another one. I remember why I may have “lost” the other. I’m still covered in little glue strings. I wanted to really invoke a day at the beach and the laid-back, natural beauty you find there. Obviously, you need shells. I also picked up some white feathers and used the natural twine and unfinished wooden beads I still have from making a shell necklace.


Each is still different and has a unique attitude. I’m slightly worried about them making it in the mail, but the beauty of it is that they only need to hold up on the basics. Part of their charm is that they’re not perfect anyways- if they chip it’ll only add character. Still, I hope the large shells don’t break and they fall apart. Some careful wrapping will be in order, but I can finally stop whining about this.


I plan to finish my last mailing scarf today and get all these mailed out tomorrow. My first swap is coming to a close. I’ll have to think about doing this again sometime.

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