Knitables · Patterns

Don’t Mind Me

I’ve been out of range of the blog for a very good reason:

My hands have been on a pair of needles almost every minute they’re not eating, drinking coffee, sleeping or wandering around town in the rain.

It’s been five days since I was last at work and I’m having a tough time adjusting to the whole ‘sitting at the desk in the mildly dark lighting trying to organize the 80 million things I have to get done.

[may it be known that it took me two days to write this post.]

I’m writing emails, email writing (get the difference?) proofing emails, filling out requests for barcodes and proofing site creative along with the 10 million other things. My knitting sits next to me, spilling out of the bag, staring at me. Judging me. Whimpering at me to be knit.

So. Seattle. It rained a lot. We left a snowstorm and came to a fresh mist of rain that kept the ground wet for the entire visit to the city.

I knit Brother’s Huskies hat on the plane(s). I previously had finished the fair isle so I felt confident leaving the cream color at home and just finishing with the purple. I did finish with about 10 minutes left and pulled out the Chevry shawl but found that the yarn was tangled into a mess that rivaled some of my most serious yarn barfs so I put it back and sulked for the last 20,000 feet of the flight.  I realized I left my darning needles at home so I would need to make a purchase upon getting to the yarn shop.

I’m quite proud of my knitting prowess, and was very nervous to give it to him.


I have a tendency to get extremely flustered when flying and when people ask me where to go when I possibly know less than the person asking about that city, I get frustrated and snap every so often. Mom would ask where we’re supposed to go (as if I’m supposed to remember from a year ago) and Boyfriend bounced ideas off me and I clenched my jaw and walked a few steps ahead of them to avoid freaking the frak out at them(even though I did anyway). Boyfriend, in all his amazing intuition, found the rental car place, we got a car and Siri brought us to the hotel.

By 3 p.m. we were in the hotel room (sans view, even though we asked for one) chilling out for a bit before we decided to go venturing out. Mom chilled out at the hotel while boyfriend and I went to a yarn shop near Pike Place Market. The yarn shop (So Much Yarn, in case anyone wants to know.) was little and the owner/woman working there were sweet. They immediately asked to look at my hat, asked if it was a certain kind of yarn and was baffled when I told her it was MadelinTosh. It’s like she didn’t believe me. She then spent the better part of 20 minutes showing me the most expensive yarns in the place. I found the sale yarn (it’s a sixth sense, I swear) and got three skeins of Prism Symphony in a Marina blue and a sea green.

Of which there is no image. I didn’t get home until 10 p.m. last night and yarn was last on my mind.

The green was an impulse buy as there was only one skein and it’s 120 yards but it was too gorgeous to pass up. I got two skeins of the blue with the intent of making myself some flip-top mittens. I also got some size 6 circular needles from Knitter’s Pride. They’re purple. That’s all I really cared about. I forgot the darning needle and boyfriend created a notification for when we got to the next place.

Upon returning to the hotel at one point during this day, I noticed that there isn’t a 13th floor in this building. The elevator just whizzes past 13 on its way to 14 and there’s no button.

But seriously. Those people on the 14th floor KNOW what floor they’re really on.

We met Brother for dinner right down the street from the hotel and about a 10 minute walk for us from the yarn shop. We drank, had a great meal and drank some more while Brother got to know Boyfriend and we all caught up with everything going on that side of the US.

Saturday we slept in late and got to Emerald City CrossFit for our WOD. If you want to read more, head over to KnitEatLift.

We headed back to the hotel, cleaned up and set out for the Monorail, which took us to the Space Needle

Better than the crappy free photo they took of us before we got on the elevator.

Then went to Pike Place Market where I found some raw honey and dark chocolate covered bing cherries.

We then went back to the hotel and made the attempt to go to the Freemont Troll and the yarn shop out there, but it turned out to be too dark too soon (4 p.m.. Seriously) so we put the troll off for Sunday but still went to The Fiber Gallery where I hit the motherload.

Upon entering the shop, I instantly made a beeline to the notions rack and picked up a packet of soak in Aquae (I figured unscented would leave me with a wet-dog smelling hat, so Aquae seemed masculine enough) and a set of darning needles. Then came the real shopping:

I got two skeins of Sincere Sheep for a second Chevry. These skeins, while pricey, have 330 yards of DK weight yarn and look at the colors!!! I’m not sure if there’s going to be enough yardage for it, but I can fib it a bit as the B color uses significantly less yardage than the A color. I’ll figure it out.

I also got two skeins of some gorgeous Malabrigo Rios without a plan to knit anything with them but because they’re so gorgeous I couldn’t help myself. I finally got one skein of blue Malabrigo Worsted for a blue beanie for boyfriend(It’s a web-developer thing). He liked this color best after going through all the colors in the shop to find the perfect blue for his hat. He won’t be getting it for a while as I have stuff to knit for myself first, but I’m sure he’ll appreciate it when it’s actually finished. It’ll be the first thing I knit for him and, not to worry, it’ll be at least February before I knit it up.

Sorry, no images of this stuff either. Again. 10 p.m. and sleepy.

Bag stuffed and belly empty, we went back to the hotel and had a delicious dinner at the restaurant at the base of the hotel (no room service, so annoying).

I don’t know what that dressing was, but it made me so happy!

Sunday was a fun day indeed. Mom, Boyfriend and I went to the cafe across the street (same one we went to two years ago… killer pastries) and went to a Green Bay Packers bar for the game (10 a.m. game. oy to the vey). I knit the Chevry for the entire game and made good progress on it. No pictures, though… sorry.

After the game, Mom and brother went shopping and boyfriend and I went to a brewery tour.

The blurriness has nothing to do with the beer… Seriously.

It cost $1 and you got 5 samples of their brew AND got to keep the glass. Red Hook is nationally-distributed and did I mention it’s pretty delicious?

I knit whenever in the car and we took the scenic route back to the hotel. We had Potbelly for dinner and didn’t see Mom until the next morning.

Did I mention Seattle at night is really pretty? The Space Needle features a green top and a lighted tree from the spire as it does every year. It’s pretty cool.

Christmas Eve was interesting. All three of us didn’t want to do anything so we bummed around. I realized I had effed up Chevry and couldn’t figure out how, but, after taking the entire shawl off the needles and ripping out five rows, putting all the stitches on the needle, I figured out my idiot problem of knitting too much.  I fixed the issue and kept merrily knitting along.

See that? Blue on bottom and orange on top. NOT SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE THAT!

Mom, Boyfriend and I went for a walk to the market and saw the fattest pigeon ever.

They got sweatshirts and we all got lunch at a cute little cafe. After we cleaned up and went to Christmas Eve services where I belted out Silent Night via candlelight and we both got to pull out our German. It was a very nice service and maybe next year we’ll get to see the live-nativity thing everyone keeps talking about.

After services, we drove back to the hotel to find that EVERYTHING WAS CLOSED. Seriously. The entire city had shut down in observation of the holiday. We were starving and didn’t even care what food was available. Pizza places were closed, the restaurant downstairs was closed, and everything seemed dark. We went for a walk in the hopes we’d find something and, miracle of miracles, we found a Subway. Dinner was had and it was all well and good.

The next morning, Christmas, was a slow one. We got lucky and had breakfast served to us through the hotel (as everything was still going to be closed) and went to Brother’s for an extremely paleo dinner and presents and hanging out. Brother got me a Paleo slow cooker book and I gave him his hat and the Leg Lamp from A Christmas Story and a bunch of other little tidbits from A Christmas Story. He gave Boyfriend a couple large bottles of beer. We watched A Christmas Story (sensing a theme here?), ate a delicious dinner and then watched Ted and Kung Fu Panda (We’re nothing if not immature at times). I knit for the entire day. We left shortly before too-late and went to bed early knowing it was going to be an early morning.

Mom’s birthday(HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOMMY!) was a day of travel. We packed, I in a frenzy as always, and we made it to the airport, sat in the ever-growing security line that was about 800 people long and made me want to have a panic attack in the hopes it would let me through security faster. The flight was cramped and we watched The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King as soon as we hit 20,000 feet. I knit and knit and knit. I finished the fifth and final chevron and started the last rows before the border only to find out it’s a 24-row border. Ever-growing.

I used the flash to blow out the colors a bit. It’s now getting so big that the bag can’t really hold it. 24 more rows to go!


We unpacked, started laundry and went upstairs to finish watching LOTR. I knit some more. I finished the four rows before changing colors and put it away. Today I sit at my desk, Chevry staring at me.

I can’t wait to knit you tonight.

Did I mention all the ends to be woven in?

My hope is to finish this thing by the end of the weekend(I do realize it’s Thursday and I work a lot over the next three days) because I want to wear it. Now.



You can probably hear me sighing from my perch in the Library as I post this.

It’s been a trial and error- mostly error- time with Anthony’s scarf.

I love Caron’s products. I always make items super cheap with their stuff and I found all the yarn for my friends’ Christmas presents through Caron.
I went with the tried and true: Caron Simply Soft. Then I looked to the left and saw “Simply Soft: Eco” and thought it was worth a try. It was the same price as the Simply Soft but was just a little bit softer.

I first tried a simple garter stitch but I didn’t like how it looked so I decided to try a rib stitch but I hated how that looked and finally settled on the vertical scarf via garterstitch. Mom said it was a beautiful effect when turning the stitches so they appear as vertical stripes on the yarn.

THEN (yes the mistakes continue) I started knitting but found that it was too short. When I went to graft another piece to it, the seam was so ridiculously clear that I couldn’t keep it like that and respectfully give it to him.

So I frogged it… all of it…

Then I made the swatch and figured out how many stitches I’d need for it to be 6 feet with the needles I was using.

After casting on 300 sts, I found that the sts were completely crammed on the circulars I was using. I dealt with it until my mom’s metal circulars BROKE.

Yup. They broke. The nylon just separated from the metal part of the needle in a clean break. It was saddening but I dealt with it and went out and bought a new pair of bamboo needles to repay mom for her loss and I got me a pair too.

I lost one stitch in the process of trying to get the yarn back on needles. Luckily I picked it up the following row so, while there’s a tiny hole where the stitch was lost, I didn’t lose all that much ego boosting quality.

Having 300 sts on the needles is a bit daunting and I’m finding myself wishing I hadn’t put so many on, but I just keep plowing through and finish every row one at a time. I don’t think about how many rows I have left… and if I’m tired I remember that Anthony is going to be so happy with this scarf (he already is and he’s not seen it yet!).

I’m so far around 16 rows. I’ve got about 10 more depending on how wide I want it. I’ll probably stop when it reaches about 6 inches wide since I feel like a scarf doesn’t have any quality unless it’s thick and wide- better to cover you up in the cold weather!

It’s perfect timing too. The semester is over in just a couple weeks and then Anthony is going abroad- hopefully to some cold countries!- and will be taking the scarf with him. We’ve recently been getting some seriously cold weather and we’re expecting our first snow in Milwaukee so I’m hoping to have it done for him tomorrow so he can start wearing it and hopefully keep warm and comfy while braving the many wind tunnels that populate UW-Milwaukee.

I promise I’ll post pictures as soon as this sucker is done. It’s taking a lot longer than I thought it would. I’m glad to be making it though. I love the feeling of seeing their faces light up when I give people one of my presents. There’s such a gratifying look on their faces that just lights up my life regardless of my stress level.

Yup… pictures will go right here!

Anthony’s basic black scarf
Size 10.5 needles
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Eco. Colorway Black
Bought at Joann Fabrics and Crafts- Brookfield WI.


It’s all about the positives

It’s getting a little chilly out lately so I put on an old store-bought knit sweater that I used to wear in Middle School and prayed that it still fit.

It did fit but… not in the right way. I didn’t want to simply throw the sweater away so instead I took it apart.

That’s right. I took the whole thing apart.

My mom thought I was insane but also was very impressed at how the sweater easily came apart. She expect me to run into endless snags, knots, felted pieces, etc. because of how old it was. She laughed every time she heard a growl of frustration because she knew I had run into a cut piece that wasn’t intended to be cut, and finally, a “yay” of satisfaction at the end.

I bet you’re wondering: How do I take a sweater apart with maximum yarn-return?
It’s not easy, let me tell you that much. I lost a good amount of yarn because of how I cut and how I took it apart, but I’d rather lose half of it by taking it apart the way I did, than having the entire thing sit at some lonely Goodwill store.

So how did I do it? All you need is a pair of scissors, a lot of patience and arm power.

I started with cutting at the seams, carefully so I wouldn’t cut the main part of the sweater and did that until I had five pieces: two arms, a front and back, and the cowl neck.

I then snipped the end piece where the final cast-offs had happened and began unraveling. A lot of my pieces would end of the other side of the sweater due to my cutting being off so I tied them to the main piece and kept frogging*. It was very tedious but the end result was so worth it.

Now what do I make with it?!

I then finished off with the yarn into balls, even though I should have left them in hanks, wet them down, and let them air dry rather than forcing them into the balls and letting them stay all kinked etc. That’ll be another project some weekend.

I’m now addicted to doing this. I’m thinking of going to Goodwill and picking up some sad, lonely sweaters for a couple bucks a piece and take them apart in a weekend project.

*Frogging: when you unwravel the knitting you’ve been working on. If you listen it makes the sound of a frog “ribbet-ribbet.” Some people call it “Ripping” because you’re ripping the stitches out, but I think it’s cute being called “Frogging”