Friday, December 5, 2014

The Hat from ****

If you are a knitter, you will know exactly why I am so exasperated today!

My daughter asked me to knit her a new hat for Christmas this year-- so of course I obliged. I love knitting for her-- and I love that she loves for me to do it-- especially since she is 18 and away at college!

I had just finished knitting an old Fiber Trends Felted Slipper pattern (at the request of my oldest son) and decided that I would wait to knit the second  pair (requested by my youngest son) until after I finished this very, very, EASY-to-knit, cabled hat.
"Why not get that done first since it's so easy?" I thought to myself.
About now you should be sensing the knitting drama that has unfolded this week.

I found some lovely Blue Sky Alpaca Sport Weight yarn in my stash. Doubled, it should just about give me the right gauge for the Interweave Knits pattern that I downloaded onto my ipad. Two of the skeins had already been wound into balls.
"This is gonna take like a day!" I say to myself.
Then I sit down in front of the big screen- with the Roku- and find an interesting series by which to knit. Masterpiece Contemporary from the BBC strikes my fancy. Benedict Cumberbatch is the lead role in this older drama. "Yes," I think to myself. "Benedict Cumberbatch. That is the one to knit by. He's pretty easy on both the ears and the eyes." As knitting requires one to look away from the TV a great deal, this seemed to fit my needs quite well.

And so it began. Cast on 80 stitches. Divide amongst four needles. Join and Do NOT Twist. Check.
Knit 8 rounds of 2/2 rib. Begin charted row 1. Knit Charted rows 1-4  five times before beginning decreases. All easy enough.

'Oh look, there's Benedict Cumberbatch."

"Hmm this show is about some weird futuristic data collection with people. I am not really understanding. Oh now people are dying. Wait-- why is Benedict Cumberbatch being naughty with his recently dead brother's widow?"

"Oh-- look at my pattern. Why is my pattern wrong in 5 of the 8 repeats. I had better rip back."

So this went on for two nights. Knit forward, Rip Back. The pattern should have added this caveat for ME apparently. And it clearly didn't say: "Please don't take your eyes off of the ipad for so long that it goes black and you have to stop knitting-- to put the chart back into your viewing area-- while you are still trying to knit AND see why Benedict Cumberbatch is running down a hallway." It didn't, but it should have.

So after two nights of knitting my one evening hat, I ripped back ALL five repeats to the beginning ribbing and began again. Two hours later, at 1am, I had finally successfully knit two rounds of the cable pattern's FIRST repeat.

I know.
I suppose I should mention that I also FORGOT about the large pile of two-strand yarn that sits precariously on top of the CORGI--sitting beneath me, near the couch. She was lying there, sleeping, while I ripped back 20 rounds. That's right. The dog is asleep under my pile of ripped out yarn.

And it is time for bed. I don't mention the pile earlier, because frankly, I didn't know the dog was sitting there. Or I forgot. I click the TV remote, the TV makes a sound as it turns off, and the dog jumps (as she always does) to run upstairs- so that we cannot put her in her kennel for bedtime.

I watch as my knitting needles start chasing the dog-- and my pile of yarn-- across the family room floor. I do what any sane person would do at this point-- I scream at the dog. (Clearly she should know that she is wearing my project and behave completely differently tonight.) All the while my husband is laughing, doubled-over, as he has been witness to all of the ripping back, swearing, and stress of this one night project. No wonder I can't get  him to take up knitting.

But it all turns out okay. Or at least it is all at a point where I can stop and start again tomorrow. At this point the yarn is safely piled on top of the arm of the couch and the project sits on the foot stool. Now my only issues are that I cannot possible take the project anywhere, as the yarn would become hopelessly tangled, and the fact that I am going to have to knit FASTER now, as my Christmas projects are piling up and time is ticking. It is only 20 days to Christmas now.

But I know this will only take ONE night now. You see, I am done with the Benedict Cumberbatch series. Now I will put on something I have seen a thousand times, like Pride and Prejudice. Something I can listen to without looking up, because I know it so well.... Except for that one scene that is....the one where Mr Darcy comes in to apologize and gives her the letter......and the other, where she walks around Pemberly in shock of what could have been hers.....and the end, where he walks over the hill in the sunrise and he proposes....

Oh I guess I had better be prepared to keep ripping......

A one night Hat indeed.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ode to the Inkle Loom

 Such a busy year.....that this post remained a draft for months and I just found it today!

 I will be posting photos of the decor and styling of  my daughter's wedding day soon--but until then, here is a little taste of other weaving that happened over the winter!


March 2014:

How the months have passed since my last post is beyond me. You would never know it is March based on the weather we have had this winter in Minnesota! It has been -10 to -20 more than I can ever remember. We broke some kind of historical record with 50 days below zero. No wonder I haven't posted. I have been HIBERNATING.

Actually, it has been good for making things in my little studio. After tackling all of the crochet for the upcoming summer wedding (which I DID get done-- high-five) I veered off into weaving again. This time I decided to pull out my Inkle Loom and start to weave bands. The original band that I made was intended to be a Handfasting Band for my daughter's wedding. However, she has decided that she wants to use a different tradition and is not in need of a band. So my first, very patriotic colored band is adorning my craft table until I decide what to do with it. The second band was made in an opposite color scheme. These little bands are addictive to make. I just might have to make some more!

Post Script, October 2014:
These bands are now listed on my etsy page for sale: look for my shop on etsy:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's Gonna Be one Heckuva Year of Crafting!!!!

To say that this is going to be a busy year in our household is an understatement! We have three graduations, a high school grad party and a wedding all within the calendar year, most of it between May and July.....

I am not quite sure how I will survive all that I have to do, but I do know that a LOT of it will require me to do what I love most: design and make cool stuff for each event!

My eldest daughter (who's wedding we are planning) was home for three weeks this Christmas break of her last year of college. We had a chance to make a few decisions regarding her color scheme and decor choices for the big day. Her wonderful, kind and very amazing Air Force Pilot fiance has been a bit of an influence on their day! The event will be all things red, white and blue--Americana! Not a stranger to the decorating scheme in our home already, we have a number of fun items we have chosen to bring with us, ripping them right off of the walls at home! Lucky for mom.....

I do, however, need to spice up the table settings for the 'Up North' wedding -at the lodge our family loves. (I am getting excited to spend time with all four of our children on the Big Lake (Superior that is) where my husband and I spent our Honeymoon 23 years ago--and many important events since!)

We are using the lodge's white linens and I really want to make sure something pops on the tables, because we are reusing some clear Ikea milk vases from our son's rehearsal dinner last year. Luckily my yarn SABLE (for you non-knitters that is Stash Aquired Beyond Life Expectancy) holds a lovely bag of red and blue Rowan Wool Cotton -back from the years when I was designing hand-knitting patterns. So I came up with this!

Now they haven't been blocked yet, so the edges will look smoother and more refined at the wedding, rest assured! I will be making nine more of the large and two more of the small (the small are for the sweet head table for two.) The secret to all of this though, which you cannot see, is the very fun decor that will go on top! I am posting only a PART of the decor the other pieces aren't ready yet. Besides, we need to make sure there are a few surprised on the big day for the guests!

So in case you are like me and are busy trying to decide what is going inside and what all of this years crafting is going to include....I will give a clue. I had to order a ton of Americana paper! That should get a few mouths watering for a future post about what is happening with the wedding crafting this year!

Now onto making another list, planning another party on this snowy January day in Minnesota--no,
maybe not. Maybe it is a good day to snuggle up on the couch with a crochet hook and some Jane Austen and get some of THIS work done :)

After all, I need to try and control my ADKD (my affectionate term for not being able to finish one project at a time....Attention Deficit Knitting Disorder!)

And I have such a good start, wouldn't you say?!