Sunday, May 29, 2011

I've Got The Blues

I've been feeling a little blue recently. Nothing serious. It just seems like there is a little cloud over my head. I know what caused it too and I'm a little embarrassed to admit the cause... since it's a bit stupid. But I was comparing myself to others again. I was looking at blogs, noting how long they've been going and how many people follow them. Perceiving other people as more successful is a recipe for depression, let me tell you. (It's silly because right now, there is nothing going wrong in my life. I'm following my passion, ie. writing knitting patterns, I'm not hungry, cold, or sick... etc.)

So I've spent the last two days trying every trick in the book to cheer myself up and then some. I had friends over for dinner, drinks, and a movie. My movie choice was praised by all as an great choice. (I'd watched the movie before, so I knew that already, but it was nice to hear it.)

I've been wearing cheerful socks.

I've gone for two bike rides, 16 miles each. I figured that maybe I could exercise the sadness out of me. It hasn't worked just yet, but I might try again tomorrow.

Last night I managed to figure out a pattern problem that has eluded me since January. (Of course a new problem materialized, but it was nice to get past the first problem.)

I finished my mitten design and even fixed the thumb problem I'd been having. (On a separate note, I've got some test knitters interested testing this pattern, but I'm always looking out for new test knitters to add to the pool... so if anyone is interested... I know the picture isn't terribly descriptive, but the mittens are based on the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.)

Last night I even made cookies. A sure fire way to feel better. Usually.

So I'm out of ideas beyond just waiting for the feeling to pass. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to them.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mothra Is Eating My Yarn

We've had a bit of a moth problem around the house recently. I'm usually all for "throw the bug out of the house" method. But moths are a bit different.
Moths (or moth larvae to be precise) eat wool, silk, and other protein fibers. That's right. The moths might be eating MY yarn. It's them or my yarn. I'm sure you can see how that battle has been playing out. I'm certainly not losing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sticking Out Like A Sore Thumb

I've been hard at work on my mitten pattern. The idea seemed simple enough, but the actual knitting the silly thing has been full of, "what looked good on paper didn't translate nearly as well when it was knit" with a sprinkling of, "this would fit better if it was 4 stitches less". The most irritating issue as of late is the thumb.

Don't get me wrong. I think this is the best thumb I've ever knit. I can hardly tell where the palm ends and the thumb begins... and I put the thing in. The top the thumb is perfectly grafted.

But the stupid thumb is about three stitches too high on the palm. Which means when I (or anyone else for that matter) slips the mitten on, the tips of my fingers push too hard on the top of the mitten so the overall pattern distorts. AHHHHHHH. It isn't an easy fix either. The thumb was an after thought thumb, so to get back to fix it, I have to rip half the mitten apart.

It's worth it though. I'm really looking forward to wearing them... and releasing the pattern.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stash Cleaning

Yesterday I spent time cleaning my desk up, which lead to reorganizing part of my yarn stash. Of course, in order to get the extra tub I wanted for my yarn, I had to clean up the Christmas light/ assorted light box. I made a little animation of the organization.

I had to move from three containers to four. One box for yarn remnants/half skeins, a box for all the animal hat yarn, a box for other full skeins of yarn, and the little folding basket now contains knitting in progress. It'll be pleasant looking for yarn and not having a whole mountain rain down on me.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Designs In The Works

The last few days have just flown by while I was designing. It's all I can do to knit as fast as I can design. Right now I'm swatching for a second shawl design.

I have also finished up charting a mitten pattern. It is now being knit. I've had the idea for these mittens for over a year and a half now. I even bought yarn for it more than a year ago! It's kind of a relief to get the idea out of my head and onto paper.

The pattern for the Green Gables shawl has been finished and is now being test knit. Just need to take better pictures for the actual pattern.

Of course I've got another scarf on the drawing board and two hats that are so close to being done it's a little silly. One needs to be test knit and have an additional photo added. The other just needs one last little bit designed before it is finished up. (I almost called myself lazy for not finishing the two hats. But honestly, having six knits I'm simultaneously working on is a bit draining.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I just wanted to share a little something that my brother and I had to say to each other. The names have been edited to protect all guilty parties.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Green Gables Preview

I've been quite the little worker bee since my last post. I'm happy to say that I finished knitting my very first shawl pattern, which is inspired by Anne of Green Gables. I'm now hard at work writing it all up. I can't wait to show it off (and for those of you who have seen me in person, I haven't waited to show it off) But for the rest of you all, I thought I'd give a tiny sneak peek.

Friday, May 13, 2011


I use to spend more time than I'd care to admit to clicking through my favorite blogs waiting for an update. What a time waster. After that phase, I used the blogger feature that showed the most recently updated blogs in my sidebar, but that just made my blog look messy. I've now found the solution, and I'd like to share it with those who are not in the know.
I've been using Bloglovin', which is a site that lets you know when your favorite blogs have updated.

After making an account, you can find blogs by searching in the "search for a blog" bar, or you can check out the many, many categories to find new blogs.

Once you start following blogs, the magic happens. When a new post is up, you'll see a number next to "New Posts" on the top bar of the site. Click on that and you'll see the new posts. Old posts that you have already read will be grayed out.

When you click on the post, a new window will pop open. At the bottom of the window there is a bloglovin' bar. You don't have to click between the bloglovin' site and each new post. You can simply click "Next". The bloglovin' site will record that you have read that particular post and it will be grayed out. For posts that you particularly like, there is a "like" button. On the bloglovin' site, you can see the list of posts you liked. I enjoy the using the feature when I want to go back to a page at a later date. It is easier than having a million bookmarks.

Not sure who to follow? Never fear, I have some suggestions. (The following buttons will link you to the bloglovin' page of each respective blog) In no particular order...

I Go By Katie is one of my favorite blogs to follow. You will get a daily dose of beautiful pictures, cute objects, neat project ideas. And weekly she suggests another beautiful blog to follow.

A Lost Feather is another fun place to go. Sarah regularly talks about the fun adventures she has had around the US, posts a weekly photo project, and has a cute jewelry line to boot.

And here is one of my more recent regular reads. One Sheepish Girl aka Meredith writes about her knitting projects (and photographs them beautifully). She also finds the most amazing knit related artwork and objects. (I may be a bit jealous that I don't find those knits before she does)

And if you aren't following me already, I'm also on bloglovin'. Happy reading!
Blog Button

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pillars Of The Earth

I just finished watching an excellent series called Pillars of the Earth, which is based on the book by Ken Follet. (At the moment, it is free to stream on Netflix) It is set in the 1100's during a period of unrest. There is a fight over the English crown between Steven and Maud.

But there are several story lines in the series. It's about a mother's fearless love for her son. Her willingness to sacrifice everything for him.

The use of God's name for the greater good.

And for personal gain.

All the while there is a cathedral being built in Kingsbridge, headed by Tom Builder and supported by Philip, Prior of Kingsbridge. The construction spans several decades just as the story does.

There are various hardships as the construction goes on. Issues with finding stone, dealing with corrupt officials, and building a type of cathedral that had never been created before.

And all the while there is a boy whose destiny intertwines with the corruption of the church and the building of the cathedral.

There are many other lives and stories built into the series. But rather than spoil anything, I'll just recommend that you watch it. There are so many twists and turns, I was enthralled the entire time. On occasion I'll take a break from a series half way through. Not this time. I had to force myself away from watching this so I could actually get to bed at a decent hour.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Shawl Setback

For the past few days, I was chugging along on my first shawl design. It was going so well I thought I might even finish knitting the sample by Wednesday. Unfortunately, I've had a bit of a setback.

The effect I wanted (which looked great on paper) has not translated well onto a full size knit. So I will be ripping around 40 rows of knitting. 40 rows. I was supremely pissed at myself for not admitting that the design wasn't working earlier. I kept telling myself, "In a few more rows, it should look better." HA. Not so.

So I've printed more graph paper and will be changing a large part of the design. I'm fairly confident that it will go better this time. In the least, I do have cookies. Lots and lots of cookies.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sprig Is Here

I am a terrible gift giver. It's not what you think, though. I am excellent at finding a good gift, but I'm terrible at waiting to give them.

Case in point: Mum's birthday scarf. On Sunday, Mum told me that she was going to have an early birthday lunch on Friday. I hadn't started her gift yet because I thought I had another week to procrastinate.

I blocked the scarf today. And then it happened. I couldn't wait. I HAD to give it to her. It was still warm from being in the sun when I handed it over.

I believe she is quite pleased. She even stood for pictures. On a different note, her birthday lunch has been moved to Monday. But I don't care. I don't have to wait anymore.

I wasn't sure when to announce this, but as we all know, I can't wait. So, if you'd like the scarf pattern, Sprig, for FREE, you can check out ravelry, or you can go to to download it. It's on me.
EDIT - As of November 30th, 2011, this pattern is now a pay-for pattern.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Yet Another Hobby

The other day I went down to the local Kinokuniya bookstore. I love that place! It is full of all sorts of interesting books. It took me awhile to find what I was looking for, since I don't understand Japanese. Luckily the store is organized in a very logical manner.

I have decided that I am going to learn how to needle felt. It appears that there are very few limitations in the kinds of shapes that can be created. Plus, everything is cute.

I think I will be making a miniature Scooter. I have saved some of his hair from his last hair cut. Originally I was going to spin with it, but I think a mini Scooter would be much more fun.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Snake, It's A Snake

I went for a lovely hike yesterday. There were gorgeous flowers everywhere. Poppies...

...Columbine. There were a bunch of lizards out sunning themselves too.

We also happened to come across a small snake.

Not just any snake though. This one was a baby rattlesnake. For those of you not in the know, the baby rattle snakes are far more dangerous than the giant ones. They don't control their venom very well, so when they bite you, they give you all they got. We chased this one off the trail so no one would step on it.

My favorite bit of the hike is the farm at the end. It is a demonstration farm and every spring there are baby sheep, pigs, and goats. This little guy couldn't have been more than a week old.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


The Appalachia hat has now been released!

And the Appalachia KAL (knit along) has started over at the 11 Hats in 2011 group. I'm pretty excited about it. There are 59 people signed up for it. Maybe I should make another so we have 60 people.

For anyone who is interested in buying the pattern, you can either get it on ravelry. For those who don't have a ravelry account, it also available on the for $5.

And to add a little music inspiration, here is the song Appalachia by The Church. I absolutely love this song. It was one of the songs I played on the radio when I was a DJ. The video artwork is by David Duchow. (There is more of his artwork on dadaist654's youtube channel.)
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