Travel Knitting

Recently I had the opportunity to travel for work. I was headed to the cold tundra that was Minnesota in February. I attended a three day software conference in a very nice part of St. Paul Minnesota in a fantastic hotel. The week that lead up the conference was incredibly busy and hectic including the last minute cancellation of baby sitting plans. I barely had to time to keep my head above water at work and pack something resembling a suitably filled suitcase. At the last second I grabbed by project bag that held my Down Pour socks I had planned on redoing and dashed to the airport. I knew they had wooden needles from Joanns that I wouldn’t mind losing to a zealous TSA agent. 

Once at the airport and safely through security where my knitting was not deemed a security threat, I pulled out my project and pattern only to find that I needed several stitch markers and they were not in my kit. I had needles, yarn and pattern ONLY. Sigh, so these socks had to become cuff down vanilla socks. Not my favorite…but it was better than than no knitting at all for four days.

I made up for my project D’oh by knitting in the posh hotel wrapped in a plush bathrobe with the remote control all to myself! I have to say is that was pretty much heaven to a pregnant knitter after sitting in ballroom conference chairs for 7 hours!

I’ll try to show my total trip progress if I can grab some updated photos this week. Happy Knitting!!

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Another One Bites the Dust

I popped open my email the other day to a sad note. One of my favorite local(ish) yarn stores was closing after 12 years. Yarns Sold and Told is an hour and a half away from my house so I didn’t exactly drop in all the time but I adored it none the less. It’s where I took Jellybean for his monkey yarn. The lovely ladies there were always welcoming and helpful without being pushy, and the yarn selection and aesthetic was right up my design aesthetic. I always found something that needed to come home with me.

Well they are closing their doors and the entire store was 40% off…..I’ll pause for dramatic effect. So while my husband was out of town I took Jellybean to Papa’s house for a boys only day and my mother, aunt and I hit the yarn store. I pretty much exhausted my yarn savings account. But I came away with some really need stuff to fill holes in my stash and new yarns I haven’t tried yet! (And mom purchased two sweater quantities of Berroco Chunky and Berroco DK for my birthday….next November). It was a lovely day of shopping with family, just sad for the reason for our trip.

Any way…..here is the flash of stash or yarn porn section of this post….

From left to right you can see

  • Cascade Heritage Sock in Italian Plum
  • Cascade Heritage Sock in Dahlia
  • Cascade Heritage Sock in Moss
  • Wonderland Yarns Cheshire Cat Mini Pack in Mad Tea Party
  • Wonderland Yarns Messenger Kit #13
  • Cascade Heritage Sock in Zinnia Red
  • Anzula Ava in Raspeberry (this one has cashmere….mmmmm)
  • Cascade Heritage Prints in the Tropics

I picked up the solid colors of the Heritage Sock for contrasting heels, toes and cuffs. And the rest of the yarn was just pure lust and yarn fumes. I just couldn’t pass up the 40% off deal. It’s how I dealt with the impending loss of one of my favorite yarn shops. Now I just need to jump start my knitting mojo and get some of this yarn cooking!!

Happy Knitting!!

One Skein Down

Jellybean’s Purple Blanket is one skein in!

The jumbo locking stitch markers are a HUGE help to this novice crocheter. I have thus far (knock on wood) been able to maintain 10 stitches in between the markers. I have had to fudge once or twice but no one can tell and the blanket is still square! I do struggle with consistent tension. But that will come with time and practice. I don’t find crochet as therapeutic as knitting so I don’t know that I will devote a ton of time to crochet versus knitting. But it’s nice to have that tool in the toolkit.

I leave this project in the living room where Jellybean and I both can see it. He reminds me every once in a while that his blanket isn’t done yet. So it’s good motivation to add a few stitches every night. Now I only have 2-3 more massive chenille skeins to go….

Happy Knitting….er, I mean crocheting!

FO Friday: Midas Hat

Hip hip hooray….I have a FO!! My Midas hat is done and soooooo pretty!

Pattern: Midas Hat by Laura Reinbach

Yarn: MJ Yarns Simple Sock in King’s Blue

Needle: US 3

Mods: None

The color is a little blown out in the photo above. But boy do I love me some symmetrical hat decreases. This pattern was simple, concise and just what I needed. The double thickness brim should do quite nicely in the cold Kansas winter. And it has juuuuuust the right amount of slouch for this knitter.

The one caveat is the yarn. I LOVE the color but the knit fabric has a little “crunch” to it. MJ Simple Sock is a light fingering yarn made of 75% wool and 25% nylon. So definitely not as soft as Merino or anything but what can you expect from miscellaneous wool. It did soften after a dip in wool wash. But I may give it another bath with some gentle conditioner after a test wear. My face breaks out easily from grease or irritation so I may be a little bit of a princess on this one. But for this beautiful simple silhouette and GORGEOUS color I can suffer a little bit.

Happy Knitting!!

WIP Wednesday: Midas Hat

Happy Wednesday to all! I bring tidings of joy and a hat update. My Midas hat has grown quite a bit since I last posted about it.

Turns out you CAN knit most of the body of a hat during a movie. Jellybean had a playdate and the hubby took me to Bad Mom’s Christmas at the $2 theater (which is now closer to $3.50). Simple stockinette round and round in the dark while laughing my butt off at inappropriate jokes and innuendo.

I have already set up for the decreases! I really think I can finish this one this week!

Happy Knitting!!

FO Friday: Neon Jungle Cowl

My Neon Jungle is finished in all it’s neon glory!

Pattern: Neon Jungle by Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich

Yarn: Frolicking Feet DK Gradients in Pot O’Gold by Done Roving Company

Mods: None

Needles: US 10 to get gauge

I am so pleased withe the finished item! It’s bright, cheery and the perfect winter pick-me-up. And both the right side and wrong side of the fabric look great. (I neglected to get a photo of the inside…but you can kinda see it in blue/purple part that is flopped open around the neck in the second photo.) I still think this might end up in the gift pile, I’m debating.

My one complaint is about the yarn. This is my second go with this brand. And I learned the hard way that their dye has a tendency to run. A pair of socks I knit bled the purple or blue dye and completely dulled the whole sock! I contacted the company twice about the yarn and received ZERO feedback. I was disappointed. I wasn’t going to buy their yarn again but I got this DK skein on super clearance at a yarn store closing.

So this time around I was careful being wiser this time. I washed the FO in cold water and wool wash. Then I rinsed and washed a second time in pretty warm tap water and boy oh boy did the red dye let loose. I had thrown in a color catcher so most of it ended up on that.

So I decided to use a Citric Acid Soak with the cool colors in one bowl and the red color in a second bowl. I followed all the directions and microwaved the lot and set it out to dry. I tested the red portion and dye is STILL coming off. So this FO is in time out until I can redo the citric acid soak. Harrumph…but it’s still gorgeous.

Happy Knitting!!

Bread Machine Fail

I grew in a strongly Norwegian and Swedish influenced family. One of my fondest memories was Swedish Rye bread straight out of my Grandpa’s oven slathered in butter. My family makes dark brown loaf flavored with molasses and textured with medium ground rye flour. We omit the caraway seeds and other ingredients some people put in other rye breads.

Well, PB likes when I eat bread so I have been cranking loaves of Swedish Rye out of my bread machine for toast and sandwiches to keep said fetus happy. Jellybean has affectionately nicknamed it “mommy toast” and now requests that for breakfast four or five time a week. Well this latest loaf…..complete flop….literally….

Me thinks that pregnancy brain either mis-measured the yeast and put too much in….or I forgot to the put the salt in to keep the yeast in check. I sliced this loaf and it was dense and awful. Thank goodness for do-overs!

 

WIP Wednesday: Neon Jungle Cowl

My Neon Jungle has grown. I’m cooling off in the color progression!

We had another super cold snap turned 50+ degree melt turned cold snap again. This means I have had some time to knit by the fire. I do admit that I have made some silly mistakes in this super easy pattern. But the texture and lovely color changes hid it well!

Happy Knitting!!

Neon Jungle Update

My Neon Jungle has been my nighttime/bedtime knitting. And the rainbow has been surprisingly motivating despite pretty pronounced evening nausea.

I’m all the way through the warm colors: Red, Pink, Orange, and Yellow. And i’m just starting into the green transition. This piece will definitely be served well by a good blocking. And I’ve found a couple places where I got off patter a bit but noone but I will ever notice. This object *might* end up in the gift pile for next Christmas….time will tell. I’m not sure I’m in love with it yet. But it’s still a fulfilling and fun knit.

Happy Knitting!!

Midas Hat Update

My Midas Hat has a brim! I was selected for the core team of an software implementation project at work. So this week I had two loooong days cooped up in conference room talking expectations, timelines and assigning project duties. The Deputy Director of IT is a knitter and therefore understands the need to knit to save one sanity.

I managed to plow through the 30 rows of inner and outer brim and connect in the round! The yarn is just so stunning. It’s not quite as purple as it shows in the photo, it’s definitely deep royal blue. The needles are some cheap bamboo Clovers. The tips are showing their age and I swear I got a splinter the other day. This might be the last project these needles see. But for now it’s just straight knitting until I reach nine inches (or desired length) of hat. This project has been living in my backpack and has been great to pull out when I need to keep my hands busy.

Happy knitting!!