Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Every Time a Bell Rings...

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all of my internet friends! We had a lovely, quiet day here in Chicago, and I worked on Ben's second pair of socks, cooked, and am about to settle down and watch It's a Wonderful Life before I go to bed. Today, just before we settled in to open our presents, it began to snow! It snowed for several hours, leaving just enough of a sparkling layer to make everything glisten beautifully. I'll be back tomorrow afternoon with pictures of mittens and--finally--talk of the Suupa Seekrit Holiday Knitting! I hope that you all are having a beautiful, peaceful night.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Sorry for letting a few days go by with no posts! I've spent the last couple of days cleaning the daylights out of our home, and I'm extremely pleased with the results! However, the main reason I haven't posted wasn't the cleaning.
The next bit of this post is going to be a bit of a downer, but I promise, the post ends with happy things and knitting. Stick with me.
It's a very long story, but here's the quick version: the other night, I was organizing my stash, and there was an extremely loud noise. After investigation, we discovered that the apartment next door, whose residents were not home, was engulfed in flames. This was the room directly next to our room. The only reason that we still have a home is because the walls in this old building are made of concrete. The loud noise I had heard was the sound of the entire ceiling, complete with ceiling fan, collapsing to the floor. Several hours after our discovery, the firemen finally left, and we returned to our unharmed apartment, incredulous, shaky, and inexpressibly thankful. Incredibly, we had absolutely no damage. The following morning, we saw the interior of the neighbor's room in the daylight, and it had been reduced by the flames to a black and ashy hole in our hallway. It's taken us a few days to recover from the shock of this event, and I've done a lot of knitting, and a lot of cleaning, to cope with my frayed nerves. We are grateful beyond words, and have been celebrating our blessings by making our home as nice as possible.

I've been working on converting one corner of our tiny apartment into a sort of knitting area, with a floor pillow and all of my knitting books and supplies nearby. It's almost done, but it needs an area rug, so I'll take pictures when it's complete. I spent a lot of time sitting there today, listening to records and going through all of my project bags and storage containers, winding remnants of yarn into little balls and getting rid of trash. As a result, my stash, projects, and supplies are 100% organized. I have located absolutely every item I own, and everything has a place and is in that place. My yarn is sorted by weight into a plastic storage container with drawers, and I have made one of my decorative storage boxes for project bags, WIPs, and small finished objects, and the other for supplies. I'm really excited that everything is so well organized now, because I think I'll spend much more time knitting, and much less time looking for things.

I also finally got some pictures of the blue mittens, which I will share with you tomorrow! I'm now going to get started on my one bit of holiday knitting, which is a project that shouldn't take too long. When I get that finished up, I'll be sharing it with you! I'm so happy to be spending this quiet evening safe in my home, with all of the people and things I love unharmed. I hope that all of you are having similarly peaceful evenings.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Remember that unexpected adventure? It was a deeper rabbit hole than even I anticipated. It took me four days to reach completion, but I'd say it was worth it.

In February of last year, I decided to start my first sweater. I chose the pattern, Plain and Simple Pullover, ordered some Knit Picks Palette in red, and got started. However, I planned on making it with long sleeves, instead of the short ones in the pattern. Being a newer knitter than I am now, it didn't occur to me right away that drop sleeves wouldn't be able to be easily converted by just knitting them longer. Ultimately, I asked around on Ravelry and found someone who said they'd help me convert it to a raglan. I knitted both sleeves from the cuff up, but life happened and the Raveler was unable to help me. So, I finally put the sweater away, with plans to take an evening to frog it at a later date.

However, it never did get frogged, and the other night it floated back into my mind when I was falling asleep. I realized that I could probably manage the raglan shaping now, having gotten many a sock gusset under my belt since then. Using EZ's directions from The Opinionated Knitter, I did the calculations, got numbers for my gauge, and the rest was history. Victorious, glorious history.

(This might be my new favorite picture of myself.)

It's been a really gloomy day outside, so we'll probably take more pictures at a later time.

I'm so happy with this sweater. It fits very well, which was more than I expected, and it's delightfully warm. All the math worked out beautifully, and now I can't wait to make more sweaters! I'm so glad that I didn't have to end up frogging all of my hard work. I named her Rosemary, because I finished her the same night that I saw White Christmas, with Rosemary Clooney, for the first time. I know, shameful, right? One of the most famous movies in my favorite era of cinema, and I hadn't seen it.

But, it's just like this sweater--better late than never. :)

P.S. I also finished Ben's first pair of socks, and started a second. Pics to come.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I had an idea this morning that has led to quite the knitting adventure. With enough perseverance and good knitting mojo, I should have something very interesting to share tomorrow. Send me good vibes, my friends.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


This is the first day off I've had since the last time I posted! Wow, I really need it, too. I wanted to show you the last thing from our little photoshoot in the park. I finally knitted Ben a proper wool scarf, after all these years.

It's about time! For the past six years, he's been using the scarf that I crocheted him out of Red Heart when we first started dating. Yeah, not exactly the warmest, coziest thing to make a scarf from. I wasn't always the yarn snob that I am now.

Anyway, it served him well enough through New Orleans winters, but he needed something a little more substantial in Chicago (if he wanted to survive until spring.)

It's just a plain seed-stitch scarf, made extra wide and long so that he can wrap it around three times when it gets cold enough for him to need that. I made it from two skeins of Imperial Yarn Columbia in 116 Black Cherry. I think I used 5.00mm needles, but I'm actually not sure. That's what the yarn called for, so that's probably what I used. He's gotten a lot of use out of it so far, and it's a very sturdy yarn, so I think it will be a scarf that sticks around for a long time.

I am almost done with my first pair of socks for Ben! The first one fit him perfectly, and I'm really excited about stocking up on socks (hah, get it?) for winter. Pictures soon of a couple pairs of finished socks. Until then, back to knitting by the tree!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Heavenly Peace

Sorry for the lapse in posts, y'all. The past few days, I have been getting in a whole lot of much-needed relaxation. Tuesday was my birthday, and I had a fantastic day! Ben gave me something I've been wanting for a long time: a Willow Tree nativity scene. I've been spending so much time lately blissfully curled up with my knitting, enjoying the coziness of our light-bedecked apartment and tiny Christmas tree! I will be back very soon with the remainder of our photo shoot pictures! Until then, I hope you are enjoying some of your own cozy holiday cheer.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


This shawl turned out totally differently than I thought it would, and I find that very symbolic. (In case you haven't noticed, I find most of my FO's symbolic. Humor me.)

It's hard to explain how it's symbolic or why, but I can show you how surprising the transformation was. When I finished, I thought that I'd block and wind up with a beautifully simple and functional piece.

But, then I blocked, and the yarn and the pattern worked together to create something even more gorgeous than I originally expected.

I enjoyed this project immensely. It was soothing and the finished product is gorgeous. I'm so pleased.

Pattern: Damson by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Primavera
Needles: 4.5mm

I would normally have used 4.0mm needles for something like this, but I used my handmade needles that I got at VKL at the beginning, and realized when I transferred onto circulars that they lean more toward 4.5mm. So, I transferred onto 4.5mm circulars, and I don't mind the larger gauge. Also, I left off the border because I didn't have enough yarn due to the slightly larger gauge. I think this particular version of Damson in this yarn looks better without the edging.

Also, my Cyber Monday yarn purchases came yesterday!!!!! I'll share some pictures soon, but I will say one thing now: There Will Be Socks.

Oh, and they put up a beautiful tree in the tiny park where we took our photoshoot. It's the holiday season, yay!