Addition and Subtraction

I’m not TRYING to grow my stash. I swear! It’s just… I can spend money faster than I can knit or crochet. And the pretties… they CALL to me!

We stayed in Williamsburg last week, we had an outdoor wedding to attend last weekend, and my in-laws had a bunch of timeshare they needed to use. Most of the week was spent doing what we usually do, just in a different location. The condo property had outdoor mini-golf and heated indoor and outdoor pools (by reservation only). The kids loved getting to play mini-golf almost every day and they got to swim twice. I swam with them once. I can swim, but since I’m not olympic level good, I don’t do it. We were the only ones at the pool, so I swam a TON of laps. And I wasn’t as bad at it as I remember. When I feel comfortable swimming indoors with other again, I think I’m going to take up lap swimming. The kids got to see their grandparents for the ONLY time this year (we all wore our masks and spent as much time outdoors as weather would permit).

One of my frivolous outings was to the Flying Needles in Williamsburg. I needed to pick up a couple pom-poms (they are super nice and REALLY affordable) and I wanted “travel” yarn. They shop is absolutely abiding by the state safety guidelines, and I was the only shopper in the store. I wanted 2 yellow pom-poms, but they only had one. Blue is nice too. I’m going to make myself a pair of socks out of the Queensland Perth. The special purchase was the Robin’s Promise Yarn. Its locally dyed. The multi color braid is 8 fingering weight mini-skeins at 90-something yards each. I’m pairing it with the not-actually-black fingering weight in a yet to be designed project. Vest? Giant shawl? Dunno, I’ve about 1300 yards to work with.

A pile of cash later.


I also picked-up lunch and stopped at the grocery store, so we didn’t need to go out an additional time. This makes me feel slightly less irresponsible about shopping for non-food in person during a pandemic. But only slightly.

Now that we are home, we are hardcore quarentinging. Even though we are feeling fine, spouse and I are going to get Covid tested for peace of mind. Different place, people we don’t see normally. If either of us get hot tests, we’ll get the kids tested. Making the conscientious decision to stay home has been a bit relaxing. I crocheted a baby size beanie with some leftover yarn (stash bust 2 partial skeins, I’m counting as 1). I already have a home planned for it! My daughter and I also spent at LEAST 2 hours making pom-poms today. It was EXHAUSTING. By the end, my thumb was numb from the cutting step. Together we made 14 pom-poms, using 8.1 oz of scrap yarn! We decided we are going to make a Christmas project together, once we make a bunch more pom-poms.

Also today, a yarn order I placed a week and a half ago arrived. Kid sweater quantity of Cascade 220 Sport Superwash (a DK in the colorway “Punk”) and a skein of Cascade Heritage Wave Sock yarn. My girlchild needs a sweater replacement, all of her’s are becoming crop tops! And OF COURSE I need more socks…. I’m home a lot and require pretty handknit socks.

My new internet haul.

So the score for the week is 3 skeins out and 10 skeins in. For the record, this is more skeins out (only counted in finished projects) than usual.

Project Notes: Kyyyyyle

I’ve been doing some guerilla gifting to my friends this year. Not out of anything except I want to make stuff, and I don’t have the space for said stuff. SOOOO I guess you could say I’m pawning off my finished objects on unsuspecting friends and using the USPS as an accessory to my shenanigans. Kyyyyyle also brings a crochet project to the hook again. I had a little pause in my cro-jo, but it seems to be back again!

I think I started back on Friday the 13th. I wanted something simple, but not another basic granny square. I saw a C2C worked in this yarn and it looked unflattering. The pattern is just me “winging” it. I’m sure there is an actual name for this square already, I KNOW I haven’t invented something new.

The “Pattern”: The center is magic ring with 12 SC around the loop followed by a round of 3DC CH3 into the 12SC. The rest is just a DC square with 2DC separated by a CH3 at the corners (7 rows of this, making a total of 8 rows with DC).
(My initial attempt was 3DC, CH2, 3DC at the corners but it was too many stitches and caused a ripple). I’ve finished 2 full rows (out of a projected 5).

The squares are joined with a slip stitch on the reverse side upon the completion of each square. It’s not perfectly square. I don’t mind. I’ll put a border around the whole thing to eradicate some of the inconsistent sides. It’ll still keep my friend cozied up in a hand crocheted hug from an old friend.

Back story: Kyle and I are friends through a mutual friend. We’ve known eachother since 2003/2004 or thereabouts. Kyyyyyle is an inside joke. Perhaps only myself and another friend (who is NOT Kyle) find it funny. I don’t see nearly enough of Kyle (and the rest of the members of our friend circle) since moving a few hours away back in 2009. I think of all of them often, even if I am rubbish about being in touch regularly.

Year of Projects: Week 13

Greetings from the 8th Continent

Sunday?!?! (Ok now that I’m ready to publish its MONDAY) Already?? I’m still plugging away on Cardi B. I’ve also started the Kyyyyyyyyyyyyle blanket for a friend. I’m excited to finally have another crochet project on the hook!

The wave is real.

If I’m being quite honest, I think I miscalculated my corner stitches, because the squares are wavy and obviously NOT correct. I will rework the current one to see if that’s what it takes; much easier than ripping out everything if it isn’t going to work.

This one I will re-work, as a test.

Cardi B is making steady progress. When I make my next cable cross, I will also add some pockets. I’m going to use the same technique I used for peasant heels on a pair of socks earlier this year: work the stitches that will be the pocket with a contrast yarn. When I’m done with the sweater, I’ll pick out those stitches and use those live stitches to knit the pocket liners from. I am feeling a bit of trepidation regarding the amount of yarn remaining. I have less than a 1/4 of my current ball and 2 full balls (278 yards each) but need to construct the sleeves, the neck, the button bands, AND finish the body. Living dangerously…. That’s me.

Progress!
The remains of ball 3 (out of 5)

Between Cardi B and Kyyyyyyyle, nothing new to report. I delivered all my finished masks last week. I actually kept a couple for myself because the prints I had earmarked for myself for the longest time (for a different project). Last week I donated 80 masks. I’m STILL NOT out of elastic!! The giant spool I ordered off of Amazon seems to be lasting forever. At least now, I can see that I’m making headway in using it. I have less than 10 yards of quilting cotton left, the only fabric I have suitable for mask making. I think it realistic that I can use it all by the end of the year! Let’s be honest, masks are here to stay awhile, no need to stop creating more. I might actually purchase more fabric and make some for extended family and give as gifts. They have been wearing the sad boring disposable ones.

One of the new masks I’ve kept for myself. Perfectly coordinating with my Chaos Cables Cowl and PlumBody to Love sweater (both my own pattern coming soon)

Year of Projects: Week 12

Half at the Quarter. Or a Quarter at the Quarter, if you count it all.

Boy howdy! I’ve been doing YOP updates for 12 weeks already! A quarter of a year. I’m a couple weeks shifted from other bloggers, which is advantageous. I already read many of the quarter year updates about a month ago. I’m going to do a little round-up before I get to my most current projects.

I have 11 completed items, with a goal of 20 tasks, out of a list of approximately 40 lines that I came up with back in August. I’ve added 1 item. Below are some finished line items.

I’m feeling pretty good about my progress. My current project, Cardi B, is part of my destash goal, and one of my two stash-made sweaters! I started on it about a week ago, and already I’m into the body.

Cardi B, left side.

I’m already planning a second (at some undefined point in the future) in a non-discontinued yarn (Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool)! There is a small possibility of this sweater becoming a free pattern in a Large/XL. Mostly because the yarn is unavailable, not because the design is lacking. I like designing as I work, because I can make changes in real time. Pocket? Cabled rib? Fold-over placket? Shawl collar? I have no idea!! Don’t worry, I’m still writing/formatting as I go. Just in case I decide to release this into the world.

Oh. Look. A pile of masks ready to sew.

Even though I finished my initial mask sewing goals from August, I am still making masks. I’m not QUITE out of fabric or elastic- YET. I have made close to 200 masks for personal, family, and donation since March/April. This is just an approximate guess, I haven’t tallied them up.
I have 35 mask finished (last week) awaiting local delivery (this week). And 19 more that I cut out this morning. I like how fast I can work the basic rectangular ones, I can sew on auto-pilot and listen to my audiobook dejour. I’m most excited that I’ve used almost ALL of my quilting stash. I will have leftover fabric to create a few more once I make my kids new (longer) PJ pants. By the end of 2021, it is completely realistic that I will have most of my stash fabric (including apparel and home decor) worked. At the very least, I’ll be able to store it all in one (large) plastic storage drawer.

Enjoying a pleasant fall day (from Saturday).

I still don’t have an actual crochet project! There is nothing that I’ve been inspired to make. I guess this is just one of those natural dips in my “cro-jo”. I have a blanket that I SHOULD finish (its a YOP WIP). I’m not in love with it, which makes it hard to dedicate the energy to finish it. I could realistically finish it in 2 weeks (less than 15-20 hours). I even have a friend that I can send it to once I finish it.

I hope to have an update on time next week. The week got away from me. I had an awful head cold on Thursday/Friday and my kids had a 3 day weekend (end of the semester teacher work day today). I honestly lost track of what day of the week it was! Hope that my sweater is done by then, or at least I have added a crochet project to the mix!

Cardi Starti

I’ve named my deep stash cardigan Cardi B. Its a cardigan. And the B plan for this yarn. It’s still a sweater for me with cables. But not the all over cable pull-over of my dreams from a decade ago. I have a feeling it’s too frumpy for the actual Cardi B, but absolutely on brand for a middle aged suburban mom of 2.

Not an accurate color representation of the actual progress representation.

M1 raglan increases flanking a 10 stitch cable/border. I’m going to pick-up the neck (using the cast-on as a decorative element) for ribbing with short rows to raise up the back neck. Considering a folded placket. Maybe some pockets?

I don’t really love the yarn. Specifically the tweedy bits. They don’t seem spun well enough into the yarn and are sticking out and being ugly. Some of the tweed nups look like pills, it is likely that if I ever go over the sweater with a sweater pill comb most of the nups will be swept away.

Really enjoying the make it up as I go joy of this deep stash sweater. Hopefully I’ll have a crochet project to share soon! I can’t figure out what I want on my hook!!

Madness

Today is election day in the states. It seems that the nation is voting on the soul of the country. I cast my ballot via absentee and dropped it off at an official collection box a couple weeks ago. Today I got email confirmation that my ballot was counted. I feel a sense of relief that my voice will be heard via my duty as a citizen. Regardless of how this madness all shakes out, I feel that my vote for something larger than myself will have been important.

Pic from October 23rd.

In an attempt to stay sane (hahhaha), I’ve been distracting myself with projects. Once I finished my Mini Chaos, I cast-on a cardigan out of some deep stash. I purchased some Queensland Collection Rustic Tweed back in 2010/2011 to make a cabled sweater. It has a moderate alpaca content, so I am currently rethinking my purchase (because alpaca has a tendency to grow). But it’s too late to return it now. The yarn calls itself a worsted with a recommended needle size of 8/5mm. I respectfully disagree with this assessment. Its DK at best and I’m using a 6/4mm. It will be a top down cardigan with cables at the fronts, the raglan centers, and when I divide off the sleeves at the sides as well. The placket will be picked up, as well the neck. Considering ribbing for the neck and folded for the placket. I like taking a wait and see approach to design sometimes. The yarn dictates the vision, not the other way around.

Yesterday.

This yarn is discontinued, so it’s unlikely that I will turn the sweater into a pattern. I’m still taking notes, never say never. I may knit another in a different, non-discontinued yarn. The future: so unclear.

I also finished up another batch of masks this morning. I washed 65 masks this morning! I have to iron, label, and bag them still- but the sewing is complete! These are destined for the High School at the end of my street and my kids’ Elementary School (for staff, administration, and teachers). I’m not done making masks, I haven’t run out of elastic YET. I honestly have no idea how many I’ve sewn. I’ll make a guess of about 200-250. And I’m almost out of quilting/cotton fabric- something to really celebrate!

After finishing all those masks, I quickly stitched up a pillow for my new chair. Brights are my jam. And the Batik fat quarters turned throw pillow are perfect for my aesthetic. I should have sewn in a zipper. But I didn’t want to. So I had to torture myself with hand sewing the opening together. It’s done, but in retrospect I should have just put in the zipper.

According to West Elm, this chair is pink.

In non crafting related life happenings, I purchased myself a new cookbook. I know, weird since the internet has every recipe I could ever want to make. I also just sold a dozen cookbooks to my local used media retailer, so adding a new cookbook seems silly. Yet with all these considerations, the Snoop Dogg cookbook is now part of my collection. And before you start with the “420/green” jokes, all the recipes are legal in all 50 states and the territories too. I’ve paged through it and have earmarked a handful of recipes that I want to try. The fluffy biscuits, the cinnamon buns, the orange chicken, the “mack and cheese”, thanksgiving turkey, and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies just to name a few. I will try and remember to share my results.

Until another day, where I’ll talk about some of the books I’ve read/listened to over the last couple months.

Year of Projects: Week 11

Does working on a second item of the same pattern count as progress?

This week felt like I got no crafting done. I barely made a dent in my new round of masks. There was only chaos (cables) on the needles. The pattern is approaching testing stage (I need to add the simple chart)!

I take the WORST mirror pictures. Blocked Chaos Cables

With Halloween events, my littlest’s Birthday, and my parents coming up for 24 hours, I barely had the time to craft. I washed and blocked some knitting, including my Chaos Cables cowl. I love the drape of the superwash! I didn’t aggressively block, but it still grew as expected. I’m going to keep the mini version I made for my daughter (elementary school aged) unblocked, the closer fit works better for her.

The blocked original, the in-progress mini.

I wasn’t able to complete the “October Minimalist Challenge” until today. My spouse helped out by letting me count a pair of his shoes he was getting rid of. SO SUPPORTIVE of him! I will attempt this challenge again, when the kids are back in the buildings for school. With them being around ALL the time, its difficult for me to be able to rip areas apart to sort without inquisitive little faces. I’m sure I will have amassed more stuff by then…. I have entire areas that I didn’t even tackle! If my quick math was correct, I am down 496 items from the house. I can’t REALLY tell. I think this means I have too much stuff crammed into all the nooks and crannies.

While I catch up on my design projects and their pattern writing, I’m going to start working another sweater. Not for release, just for fun (or a one size release so I don’t have to math). I hope to have new excitement to report on next week!!

It was wet and chilly enough for me to wear my Cute-Fight sweater today!!

Season Two is Finally Here!

I’m unabashedly nerdy. I love sci-fi and fantasy. One of my favorite franchises, STAR WARS! So today I am extra stoked that the Mandalorian is back for season two! And with new Mandalorian episodes, there is sure to be more of the Child, a.k.a. Baby Yoda!!

I spent some of today (when not celebrating the littlest’s birthday) enjoying a hot beverage using my favorite cup cozy!

Seriously cute!!

This little guy was my first published pattern! I’ve knit a bunch of these, and I still love making them! The most recent iterations have button eyes!

If you want to knit your very own version, this pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry and Etsy.

Not Enough Time

To do everything.

This week has not been particularly productive for knitting or crocheting. Heck, I’m not even working on an actual crochet project. Yikes.

Monday night, a friend of mine and I took our kids to a ticketed Halloween Drive-Thru candy event. It was a nightmare. We WAITED in a HUGE line of cars from 5:45 until 8, when we actually got to do the drive-thru part. And it took all of 10 minutes. We lamented not just buying a pinata and a couple bags of candy to hit with stick in my backyard. It would have been WAY more fun. I brought my knitting, but decided not to knit during the wait. We didn’t even take pictures of the kids in their costumes.

Even with this unsuccessful event, we did have a successful Halloween event! Friday night, my YMCA hosted a super small trunk-or-treat in the back parking lot and a movie in the soccer field afterward. 25 families, 12 candy stops, 1 group at-a-time at each table, SOCIAL DISTANCING, appropriate masks at all times for participants over 5. I appreciate all the hard work they did to make such a fun event! I got to knit during the movie (the new animated Addams Family movie).

Snuggled up waiting for the movie.

I started cutting out the fabric for more unsolicited masks. These are going to go to my kids’ school for teachers, administration, and staff. Mostly because, if the district moves toward a hybrid learning model, I have a feeling they are going to need a lot more masks the get them through the day than they initially anticipated. Again, I’m just trying to find ways to support my local community in ways that are accessible to me. They will also need lysol wipes, tissues, and hand sanitizer- things they needed even before the pandemic.

90 rectangles cut to 6×9, enough for 30 3-layer masks.

I am working through a Mini-Chaos as my current knitting project. Same diameter, shorter height. One of the options in my upcoming pattern!

Looks just like all my other updates…. But I promise, it’s different.

On a nerdy front: I like mental puzzles. I have a short attention span. I also have two young children who need my attention whenever I start doing something that doesn’t involve them. The New York Times Mini-Crossword Puzzle has been my favorite thing for like 8 months. I’ve done it 6 days a week since I found it. Back in July, I finished the puzzle in 24 seconds. I thought that was the BEST I could do. HAHA, today I finally beat my time! 23 seconds!! Before you think I’m magic, its 10 clues total. 5 across and 5 down. A normal fast day is sub-45 seconds. It has taken me up to 4 minutes to finish. SO here I am sharing my totally useless victory. Honestly, I’m not really certain if I could complete it any faster. We’ll see.

Booya!!

I guess that’s all I have to share. Nothing much else for this catchall post.

Year of Projects: Week 10

Nothing From the Checklist.

We had a family adventure at Dinosaur Land this morning. It was damp, dreary, and quite chilly out. But the dinosaurs didn’t seem to mind. There were some other people around, but everyone did a good job of social distancing AND mask wearing.

Up close with everyone’s late-Jurassic era favorite.

I was able to get a couple fun outdoors pictures of some knits in action for upcoming patterns. Yay!! I’ve been sitting on them for no special reason. Except photos.

The Merry-Unbirthday Hat has been impossible to photograph outdoors, until today!

But I digress. I finished up the small chaos cables cowl I was working on. I started a mini (same diameter, just shorter).

Unblocked Chaos. Its warm!!

This week had me working on a few additional masks for school donations. I finished up the first set (29) and they have all be sewn, washed, IRONED, and packaged for their trip to the post office tomorrow. The second set (34?) I’m working on has the light colored ones complete. I’m on the pleating step for the dark color ones. I believe I am nearing the end of my quilting cotton fabric stash! I do not, however, believe I am nearing the end of the elastic spool I purchased this spring however.

Non-craft related: I’m still podding along on a semi-modified “Minimalist Declutter”. Some days I do multiple days in a row, or I group items from multiple purges into one day. I am seeing progress with my cosmetics, underwear drawer, and sock drawers…. as evident from my overflowing bathroom trash can. Additionally, I wonder if I can count shipping random yarn based crafts to my friends as decluttering- I say yes…. Up next: Purses. Maybe. But not the expensive ones.

This coming week will see a trip to the post office, finishing up masks, mini-chaos, the Chaos Cables pattern draft, (fingers crossed) testing release of said Chaos, a car based Trick-or-Treat Event, getting ready for my littlest’s birthday on Friday, and preparing for my parent’s coming to stay for the weekend. I might by busy??.

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