Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Is In The Air

I've been struggling a little with the motivation to actually finish anything. Although I have managed to finish the mittens for my mom. I really love how these turned out. The yarn itself is so pretty! 
I'm really glad I decided to just go for it and knit nice, plain mittens. 
Of course the motivation to finish things is gone but the motivation to start them isn't! 
I started another pair of socks, my Bride of Socktober Spooktacular socks. 
I'm knitting the Skew pattern again because I just adore how it fits my feet. They're kind of a wiggle to get your foot in them but once you do, they fit so incredibly well. They don't twist or slide around at all and they definitely don't slip down like some of my other hand knit socks do.
It hasn't slowed down my yarn purchasing either. I bought two skeins of Copper Canyon from Yarn Love when it was her featured color and they came in last week. 
I absolutely love the color but it does remind me a bit of some other yarn I already have now that I have it in hand. Oh well, apparently I love the blue and brown combo. Although on this yarn (her Juliet base) it definitely looks more coppery. So gorgeous! I even picked up 2 skeins so I can do some big, epic project with it. Maybe after Christmas. 
I'm holding off since this just came in today!
It's so Christmassy I can't stand it! I realized recently that I don't have any Christmas socks so I had to pick some up when Vesper had a sale. I got this one and 2 others. Which means I also got the cutest tote bag! 
I'm not really sure what I will use it for, maybe trucking back and forth to knit nights. I sure hope I can get to one again soon! I miss my Knitters!!! 
Meanwhile this happened. 
Now I just need to decide if it should be plain socks or Skew again. Plain requires less attention but come on, this would look amazing as Skew socks too! 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

When The Yarn Calls You

Sometimes, when you have an awesome mom like I do you think of her when you're doing something. Even something like yarn shopping. This summer when I was at the Zombie Knitpocalypse I found a skein of yarn that I just couldn't seem to leave alone. I just kept going back to it over and over again. It was like it was calling to me; "Sarah, come knit me."
I'm not usually one for really speckled yarn but I just loved it. The gray with the pops of brighter colors, it just sang. But since I already had a similar one I also wanted to purchase, I was trying to justify buying this one too. That's when the idea came to me to use this lovely skein, with its pops of pink to knit something for my mom for Christmas. Her favorite color is pink and I thought this with its subtler pink and lots of other colors would be so fun. So, the skein ended up coming home with me. 
I showed it to my mom and asked her what she wanted it to be. She's a crocheter but doesn't know too much about things involving fingering weight yarn so I made a few suggestions. This skein is Superwash Corriedale and nylon, which isn't a fiber you see a whole lot, so I was excited to try it and I knew it would make some great options, socks, mittens, a cowl. There are a lot of things this skein could become.
She chose mittens. I wound up the yarn right away of course, intending to get started immediately but as usual, time slipped away from me until I was looking around for something to start this month for HPKCHC and I found this skein. 
I'm so glad I did because I am loving the way it's knitting up!
I've got a few more ideas for Christmas gifts but if I want any of them to come to fruition, I had better get a move on!
In the meantime, back to the needles.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Time Just Keeps on Slipping

Wow, somehow an entire month got away from me there.
I guess I've just be struggling with focusing on what I want to say and getting it out there.
I've been knitting away though and participating in the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup (HPKCHC) again this term. This is the third month of term so next month is break month.
That means I am trying to focus on whether I will do any crafts for Christmas gifts this year. I have one project done and ready and another on the needles but I really think I will keep it minimal again this year. It just gets to be too much pressure.
So I'm still here and hope to keep on blogging. Hopefully more regularly.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Friday Shenanigans

I swear I am so glad this week is done that I could cry. It was filled with some fun times but also a great deal of being so tired I could barely function and it was capped off with today. Let me give you a little example of how my day has gone so far.
8:00 am Half an hour before I am normally going to leave for work I frantically rush to the bathroom to semi tidy my hair since I need to leave immediately to handle a "work emergency" there is a spider. I am not a big fan of spiders. They have too many legs and move too fast. Normally we have one or two daddy long legs style spiders in the bathroom and I leave them alone. I figure they are pest control. This one though, this one looks like an Aragog wannabe (Harry Potter giant spider in case you don't get the reference and if you don't I'm not sure why you're reading this blog). It is on the corner where the ceiling meets the wall. Since I'm rushing out the door I decide to leave it. I run off to deal with a stressful day at work.

2:00 pm The husband is home and I briefly think that perhaps I should locate the Aragog spider so he can squish it (or remove it humanely, I don't really care. I just want it gone!) before he leaves for the weekend. It is nowhere in the bathroom. I decide I have more pressing things to deal with (like getting the husband to actually finish packing and get out the door!) so I decide it can wait.

6:20 pm Finally get the energy together to start doing the dishes. Go to the kitchen to start sorting things. Plates, bowls, etc. There's a few days worth since I've been so busy (no judging, I don't have a dishwasher and it's not my favorite chore) as I'm scooping the last of the silverware out what do I see? Freaking Aragog! Thankfully he appears to be dead. Wash him down the drain with scalding hot water and go knit instead.

Yup, glad this week is over. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Freyja Start

Tuesdays are for spinning and thankfully the Tour de Fleece reminded me how much I love spinning and made me decide to make a point of taking the time to actually spin more often!
I was a little disappointed with how much I got done this year but with no set goals and then a back injury, that's to be expected. 
Once I had finished with the few things I had set aside, hoping I would get them spun, I was pretty wide open though. I didn't have anything specific planned. Well, a little stash diving always solves that problem so that's what I did. And I came up with something heartbreakingly beautiful.
This is Freyja from Cloudlover on (brace yourself for this) 60% Superwash Merino/20% Cashmere/20% Silk. It is amazing! It feels so soft and fluffy but with amazing shine. I've really been wanting to try spinning this fiber so I was extremely happy to find this in her booth at Shepherd's Harvest this year. 
It had been a special custom blend she ordered and I don't know that she regularly carries it anymore. 
But I loved it so much that I went scouring people's stashes on Ravelry and scored a braid of the same fiber in one of my all-time favorite colorways of hers as well. (Poison Arrow if you're wondering. You can check my stash page if you'd like to see it.) 
Since I'm not really sure what I would like to do with the finished yarn and this is more of a spinning experiment than anything else, I decided to go for a chain-plied yarn so I didn't split the braid the long way at all. I simply pulled off a piece of the roving and drafted it into a fine, soft little strand. 
It looks like this when its ready to spin. Then I just started spinning it up.
I love how fine it is, although I'm not too sure I like how the white is blending right now (leading me to consider splitting the roving lengthwise now in the hopes of changing that a bit).
I'm guessing this is going to be a pretty long-term project but one I'm really enjoying. 
So for today you just get to see the start but what a start. Right? 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Summer Sock Conundrum

Summer is a great time to knit socks. They don't sit heavily on your lap, overheating you. They will be very useful when the cold weather in fall and winter comes and many sock patterns are easy to memorize. 
All that has led me to my current conundrum. 
Three pairs of socks in various states. This is just the active ones. I'm sure there's at least a couple of pairs tucked away somewhere. So, let's examine them.
First there's these lovely socks. Knitterly Things Vesper sock yarn in Twitterpated. On her 100% Superwash Merino base being knit into plain old top-down vanilla socks. These are my "purse socks" so they get shoved into my purse and worked on whenever I have a quick minute. They really aren't a priority since they don't have a deadline and they're just for fun. Plus I'm knitting this super fine yarn on US 0s so progress is pretty slow even when I do work on them. Honestly this one is about ready for its heel flap though so I should get through that so it can be mindless knitting again.
Next up there's these beauties.
Knitterly Things Vesper again but on her Superwash Merino and Nylon base. The colorway is Sesame Cha Cha and I actually purchased it from a seconds sale about a month ago. One strand of the yarn didn't take the dye the same as the others so it has a sort of swirled effect. It's still gorgeous and I am loving the semi-solid look of each color. These are being knit into the Skew pattern and are now at the heel gusset increases. If you've ever knit this pattern (or even read through the many pages of it) you know that it's pretty simple but you do have to pay attention and keep looking at the pattern. Honestly these socks fit my feet so well that the attention-paying is worth it though! This is my first time knitting the Superwash Merino with Nylon into this pattern so I'm excited to see how it wears. 
Lastly there's these socks.
These are plain old toe-up socks on Knit Picks Felici in Baker Street. They will have an afterthought heel when they're done. I really have no excuse for not working on these more except maybe that they're boring. I think the colors of the stripes are too similar in real life. And the dark blue is right next to the light blue and all the grays are together and look pretty much exactly the same. Yawn.
I don't really like this method of knitting a sock but I thought since it's in 2 balls that it would allow me to use most of the yarn with the least effort. As you can see I already wound the remains of the first ball into a hand-wound ball. Partly because it was getting tangled and partly so I could estimate the amount for the heel and the ribbing so I could figure out how far to knit the leg. I know they'll be nice socks when they're done, it's just a matter of getting to that point.
So there it is. The summer sock conundrum. Three pairs of socks all waiting to be finished. (Did anyone notice they're all striped too?) 
I've been working on nothing else lately too so they should be getting much more progress. Here's hoping that our car trip this weekend will allow for some knitting time which will mean some things can get done! (More about the car trip later)

Wednesday, August 03, 2016


Oh hello.
Here I am once again, back after an absence. This time I really don't know what happened. I've been doing quite a bit of knitting (and spinning as it was the Tour de Fleece), not to even mention my paper crafting and planning lately but I seemed to have been stuck in my writing. Maybe partly it was the realization that if I posted something it would be my 500th post to this blog (yes, it's true!) and I wanted something special and fun but I couldn't come up with anything great. A giveaway could be fun but it doesn't need to be a giveaway, or something else. I just didn't know what that something else should be.
Plus, I've just been feeling a little overwhelmed with life in general lately. It's a combination of the busyness of summer with graduation parties, weddings, family reunions and the fact that I'm not always doing the right things when it comes to taking care of myself. I'm not talking just eating right and exercising (although that has fallen to the wayside a bit too) but doing the things I know are useful for my mental health like having some quiet time, allowing daydreaming and reading silly books just for fun.
I'm starting to realize that I need all those things though and starting to work them back into my routine without making them something I stress over (meaning something on my to do list that MUST get done).
And since I'm starting to do those things again, it's making me come back into my own brain and realize that the way out of this block I've been in is to just get it out.
Just keep writing.
Even if it's silly gibberish.
So, here I am, trying to get motivated again.
I know sometimes I get held back by the belief that  no one wants to see a post with no great photos. Or maybe no photos at all. But is a written post better than no post at all? Probably.
So I'm going to let it go. I'm going to write when I feel like writing, whatever it may be about and sometimes it will include crafts and wool and sometimes it might not. Hopefully.
But ultimately it will probably be a peek into my very crazy brain.
Welcome to the ride.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

A Tale of Two Socks

Sometimes you can try something and it just doesn't work out. I think as a knitter you have to be okay with that to a point. Sometimes, even if you gauge swatch, it isn't going to come out right.
This is a tale that does not involve gauge swatching though. This is a tale of two socks.
Once upon a time there was a knitter who loved to knit socks. She especially loved self-striping sock yarn and the way you could knit and knit and it would do the work with the colors. Her all-time favorite self-striping sock yarn was Vesper. It was heart-breakingly beautiful and came in so many colors! Plus, it softened so wonderfully once it was washed. After she tried it she started hoarding the yarn like a dragon. Although, she did often knit with it and soon had a lovely collection of socks knit from this magical yarn. Since the socks were so beautiful and comfortable she continued to knit with the yarn even though it was very fine. So fine in fact that she thought perhaps rather than her usual 1s to knit these socks, she should try to go down to 0s to make a firmer fabric that would hold up to wear. This was after her first pair of these socks developed a sad hole. They had, of course, been in service for over 2 years and were worn often as they were some of the knitter's favorites. 
She decided that since she was going down in needle size she should also go up in stitch count so rather than knitting the socks at her usual 72 stitches she went up to 80 stitches. She cast on and happily knit her first sock. Soon after she cast on her second sock, remembering that she was knitting on size 0 needles she somehow got caught up in the yarn fumes and forgot the larger stitch count. Where did she realize her mistake? 
Turning the heel. A whole foot knit incorrectly. On size 0 needles. Now, if it fit properly and seemed to work the knitter would probably have just kept going but with striped yarn, it makes an odd sort of sock if they don't line up stripe-wise. The knitter specifically didn't start on the same color but rather the next so they would line up just right in a little different way. Off just one stripe, that plan was now foiled. That means; it's time to frog. So now the two socks in this tale are down to one. 
In other news, since the knitter will not be working on these socks for a bit since they're so frustrating, take a look at the shawl that's being knit instead. 
It began as this gorgeous ball of yarn purchased at the Zombie Knitpocalypse it's from Penguin Soup. (It doesn't look like her shop is complete yet. Keep an eye on it if you're interested though.) I just purchased it on Saturday and it's already becoming
This. Isn't it the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? Well, it is to me at least. The pattern is Castra and its part of a Yarn Love knit along. We only started on Tuesday so there's still time to join if you're interested, check out the Yarn Love group on Ravelry for more details. 

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Get it Started

I've been feeling a little blocked lately. Unable to express myself in writing, even though I had things to say. To be honest, I think I've been feeling a little burned out. Work and life have been so busy lately that I feel I am not myself. But last weekend was just as busy and it energized me instead of tiring me out. It was just what I needed.
So now I'm back and writing again. I hope you'll forgive the absence.
I had a skein of Knit Picks Hawthorne around. I had tried to knit it several times and I just wasn't happy with how it was knitting up. But I wanted to knit it so much! To really give the Hawthorne a try. So I finally decided to get it working as socks for a Christmas gift. That's right, the Christmas knitting has already begun!
I started these earlier in the year actually, as toe-up socks but they just weren't working. So last month I started again, this time from the top down. 
I actually finished them Saturday night at knit night. It was a bit of a yarn chicken situation. Here's the yarn that was left.
I'm hoping it's enough to to knit one hexipuff. But at least the knitting is going again and the first Christmas gift is ready to go! 

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Passport Flip Through

Hi planner friends. I know it's Sunday and not Midori Monday but I moved into my passport size Midori to try it out for May and I did a quick flip through on Periscope. 
You can find me there under the name Kalkette and the broadcast will only be up for 24 hours.
If you watch it let me know what you think! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ashburton Beauty

As I've talked about before I had been working on spinning some Merino wool from Gritty Knits called Ashburton. I absolutely loved the colors which remind me of a rich, bold sunset so I handled the fiber in a way to keep those colors as they are, separate and beautiful. 
I spilt it the long way into smaller pieces then individually drafted each of them. I then spun them fine end to end. 
The roving split into pieces. 
On the bobbin.
This bobbin picture is when it was finished. It took a lot of spinning hours to spin it this way. I knew I wanted to chain ply it so I just kept going, spinning fine. 
I let it rest overnight and plied the next day. It's a good thing I was camping and had lots of spinning time because it took about 7 hours to ply!!
That is plied yarn going onto the bobbin! Doesn't it look great?! I love it.
The finished skein is a little overpriced, which is normal for me and I prefer that to under plied so I'm good with it.
I absolutely love the look of it though and the ply-twist did relax a bit in washing.
Here's a look at how fine it really is. 
These skeined pictures are from before washing, I wanted to show pictures of it washed as well but it was washed on Sunday morning and still isn't totally dry! The hazards of the spring rainy season, I guess. It's been so dark anyway that I don't know that I could get it to photograph well anyway. 
It really didn't change much in washing except the ply-twist softening a bit as I said and I'm very happy with the skein which is about 650 yards!! 
I can't wait to knit something amazing with it!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Knit Camp Recap

I'm sorry for the long silence blog-friends. I sort of flamed out on re-entry.
I was camping. Well, it was more like glam-ping. A knitting friend and I headed out to our third round of what we call Knit Camp. We rented a cabin at a Minnesota State Park. It's pretty comfortable actually with electricity and heat. You just have to walk to the bathroom. Which is a vault toilet. (Think mini biff in a solid little shed building.)
Here's a look at the outside of the cabin. We were in Maple at Lake Bemidji State Park. Even though it's a drive to get there we like the quiet atmosphere and being surrounded by the trees. So peaceful. 
Can you see George Fredrick IX there? 
He had a grand old time hanging out with the spider who lived on the porch, Milicent. 
William preferred to hang out with the drum carder though.
That's my friend's lovely Romney going onto the carder. Isn't it gorgeous? It has a lovely sort of shiny quality in real life. Since it was just the two of us this time we had plenty of space in the cabin so we both brought our spinning wheels and got so much done! It's lovely having no interruptions. 
I finally finished the singles of my Ashburton and even plied it but I will save those pictures for spinning Tuesday as it is still waiting for a soak and twack. 
We ate excellent food, relaxed and had a grand old time. We even slept really well thanks to the memory foam mattress pads we ordered and brought (the provided beds are a little hard for our taste).
We even had our Camp Knit-Til-U-Drop sign in our window. I'm not sure what the neighboring cabin thought!
Of course all too soon it was time to pack up and leave.
The cabin always looks sort of sad when it's cleaned up and we are leaving.
Despite all the relaxation and the great sleep, it was somehow still hard to come back to real life and get back into my usual routine. I was exhausted Monday, Tuesday was struggling with some anxiety which wore me out all over again and I'm finally starting to feel like myself again. 
I definitely recommend camping with knitting friend though. It was a blast as usual. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Midori Weekly Set up

Today is Midori Monday but I thought it would be fun to show off not only the completed page from last week but also a little look at how I set up the current week.
So first up, here's week 14 all complete.
At the end I went a little crazy with the stickers in the blank space since I was so excited about the drive-in opening and I bought a bunch of stickers for the movies we were going to see. 
Last week is over now and it's time to start setting up this week. I try to do this before Sunday night but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. So here is a look at the blank spread when I first turn to it.
It isn't quite blank. I did put a sticker on it when I scheduled my day off so I wouldn't forget and that will stay so we will just work around it.
I usually start by drawing my little square for the weather.
Then on the right side I create my time tracker. I start with the long vertical line.
Then add in the other details.
Of course I had to write the pm a little wonky but it's fine. At the very top I have the days of the week, the times down the left and then space below to write descriptions. Mostly I track my sleeping patterns here which helps me make sure I'm not having other issues. (Too much sleep and still tired can mean depression and not enough sleep usually means I end up getting sick.) 
To the right of the time tracker, at the top I put my weekly chart which will track any daily tasks and tasks I try to do multiple times in a week. So, I draw in the base.
I should also mention that for all of this I sometimes use a ruler but often just freehand which is what I did here. To some it would be super messy but it's fine for me. I really don't mind if the lines are a little wavy. Once the base of the chart is in, I start filling in details.
I color code almost everything in my own system so as I fill things in, it's the right color. As you can see I also added our work times on the left here. 
Next up is decoration. I will be totally honest. Sometimes a I do this first, sometimes last. It just depends on the mood I'm in and whether I have a specific plan for the week. This time I had my lovely stickers from Happie Scrappie that I wanted to use. Aren't they cute? They're the stationery theme so I got them all together and then chose a sheet of Planning Made Perfect stickers that was similar colors. I also picked a washi tape that I thought went with them and started decorating,
The biggest trick for me in decorating the midori is to be sure and leave room for my task lists. Under my weekly chart I also set up some goals for the week. I try to do between 3 and 5 goals depending on how busy the week is and how long each of the tasks will take. I don't always finish them. That's something I'm working on.
Once the goals are filled in then I added a note that the remaining space will be used for notes. 
Then I'm ready to start filling in the tasks for each day.
So that's a quick look at how I get my week set up in my midori. I hope you enjoyed it! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

All Done, Except for the Fit

Knitting has been a bit thin on the ground lately as Spring cleaning has begun in earnest on the homestead front. Honestly, right now it's so discouraging as so much of the house has been ripped up and looks worse than ever. To keep my sanity I decided to take a little time and knit each day though. Even if it's just 5 minutes before I collapse into bed, I try to squeeze a little knitting in.
To that end I finished a few things this month. First up some beautiful purple ribby socks out of Gritty Knits nom.
Honestly these had been on the needles for months and were the second pair of ribbed socks I had going at once, I'm not sure what the thought process was there. I didn't enjoy knitting ribbing that much! They're done now and while they're in need of a decent blocking, I wore them anyway today for the first time. They fit so well it almost makes me want to cast on more ribbed socks. Almost.
I also started a little colorwork hat out of some leftovers.
I started just making up the pattern and then grabbed a quickie chart from Ravelry called a Norwegian star. I really love how it turned out and the absolutely gorgeous alpaca silk yarn can't be beat. The trouble though? It doesn't fit. It's too small. I can sort of get it on but it's tight and doesn't look good all stretched out. I'm debating whether a complete rip and reknit is necessary (I already wove in the ends. Ugh!) or if a good blocking will help.
While I decide whether I should go to the trouble of undoing the whole blasted thing I decided to cast on something new. I've been pretty good lately on the finishing front so I felt OK with a cast on.
I've been wanting to place an order with Blue Moon Fiber Arts for some time but the lonely single skein I have from them has been languishing for literally years! It's lovely but has a bit too much of yellow and tan in it for me but I made a deal with myself a couple of years ago that the idea was to try out the yarn before I bought more so I should knit it up before I could place another order with them. Over the years I had tried several times to find the right pattern and they always came out 'weird' to me. It mainly has to do with my aversion to pooling and the dyeing of the yarn tends to create pooling in many patterns. I love the squishy yarn though so I just plunged in and cast on a plain, old sock. 
As you can see it striped decently down the leg but then the heel created big blocks of color. I'm resisting ripping it out. That part will be hidden by my shoe anyway. Besides, the idea here is to get it knit up so you don't feel guilty buying more. So just keep knitting right?

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Ashburton on the Wheel

I feel like the entire month of February got away from me. I was so sleep-deprived and exhausted that I just couldn't form coherent sentences for writing blog posts. With the return of some more spring-like weather and sleep I am feeling a little better though and I'm ready to dive back into blogging! 
So, today it's all about spinning. It is Tuesday after all.
After a couple of disappointing spins I decided to go for something beautiful that would make me happy. I chose this.
It's Gritty Knits Merino in Ashburton. I absolutely love all the colors so I wanted to keep them somewhat separated, although this would make an absolutely beautiful barber pole yarn as well. 
As such I split the braid in several pieces the long way and wound them into balls. Here are a few of them. 
Then, when I'm getting ready to spin one of them, I draft it out until it's super fine and thin like this.
See how much smaller the strand is? I'm spinning it fine and plan to chain-ply so I can keep the colors as they are.
I'm not even halfway done with the spinning but it's beautiful so far and I should get a nice chain-plied fingering weight yarn. We got a different couch last summer and I'm finding it harder to get comfortable to spin so I haven't been spinning as much as I used to but I really miss it so I want to make it more of a priority from now on. I would like to finish the spinning on this at least, if not the plying, by the end of the month.