A Knitter’s Dilemma

August 31, 2015

I’m in a snit with my knitting which has made me not want to blog. There are few things that I find more irritating than working on a project for a month only to have to rip it out. That really, really bothers me. Yes, it’s my choice to scrap the project but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I would rather start over than be unhappy with a finished product, but it feels like I’ve wasted a lot of valuable time. Thankfully, it’s not something that happens very often. But it did in July.

I was working on this scarf, a pattern recommended by a friend. It wasn’t even on my radar, and I have a lot of patterns in my queue, but I was looking for something mindless to give me a break from a complicated pattern I’ve got on the needles. And I already had the perfect yarn wound up. So I cast it on.


At this point, I remember thinking it was a little too loose. But my friend convinced me it wasn’t so I continued. That was my mistake. I should have listened to my instincts. It took me about 3 weeks to get through half the yarn and that’s when I realized I wasn’t going to have enough yarn to make the scarf long enough. And it was way too wide. I was going to rip it out.

Banana leaf...

In the picture, it looks pretty beautiful. Once blocked, it would probably end up about 25 inches wide, maybe 70 inches long. I’d rather have more length and less width. I like the pattern, and it’s been an enjoyable knit so I will make another one. In fact, I bought a beautiful green yarn for it so that I could make it longer. I’m also debating whether I want to go down one needle size or two. I’m not going to start it for a bit though. As with any breakup, I need some space before I can see it again.

I did finish one project this month, and am almost done with another. I’m getting my groove back.


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October 11, 2013

Sorry I’ve been away from here for so long. I’ve written so many posts in my head, they just never make it to the computer. We’re keeping busy.  Same old, same old.  My little goose is at such a fun age.  Sometimes, challenging, but mostly a joy.  joshua and friends
He’s figured out how to take pictures.  And he takes a lot.  I have about 13 of this breakfast.  Pretty artistic for a little guy who has no concept of photo composition.
joshua's self portrait of breakfast
In my free time, I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of crafting, knitting mostly. I’ve got so many projects that I want to do, and of course I keep adding to the list. It got to the point where I made a physical list of my top priority projects. It’s been helping me focus.
my knitting to do list
I’ve been knitting pumpkins out the wazoo.  I started at the beach, when we went East for vacation.  I’m leading a KAL at work so I wanted to practice before the workshop.  Now I’m creating a pumpkin patch in front of my tv.  I do like pumpkins as decorations since they work through Thanksgiving.  I have an idea for a table runner for my pumpkins to sit in.  See, how the list just keeps growing?!
pumpkins for felting
Those pumpkins got felted and shrunk down.  They still need some finishing touches which I will do at our workshop on Wednesday and then I am done with pumpkins.  It’s been fun but the last one was just tedious.  It was also my 10th.  Yup, done with pumpkins.
herringbone cowl
One project that I finished up that was super fun was a cowl/infinity scarf for my cousin.  She is very stylish and wears a lot of scarves so I made her a neutral scarf for winter.  This is out of Misti Alpaca and super warm.  The pattern makes a really dense fabric.  Good thing she lives in Wisconsin.  I think it turned out well.  My only concern is that it seemed a little sheddy, but I’m hoping that the bath I gave it helped.  It was well received!
cloudy day
And my most recent finished project is this cute little beret.  It was a fast knit (less than a week).  The yarn was Elfin Tweed by Knit One Crochet Too and I love, LOVE this yarn.  I’m very happy with my beret.  I think I’m going to wear it to work tomorrow.

Well, it’s 10pm so I’m going to say goodnight and knit a few row of my next project.  Gotta get through the list!

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August 8, 2013

I feel like I am in a constant state of shuffling. Shuffling stuff around my work table so I can work. Shuffling stuff around the table so we can eat. Shuffling furniture around the house and garage. These things need homes so they can be put away. Why is it so hard? ‘Cuz there’s too much stuff. Oye.

I’m making progress. We sold a couple of things at Bill’s office. The stained glass supplies are actually out of the garage. It’s almost a miracle. I brought in a bedside table from the garage and am going to use it for Joshua. I think it will be a good place to store his puzzles and duplo blocks and flash cards. (So sometimes it is nice to have “extra” stuff.) The first thing Joshua did when he saw it was open up all the drawers. The bedside table cleared up space in the garage so I moved (shuffled!) things around and put some stuff away. I moved some things outside that need to be broken down and thrown away. We need as much space as possible in the garage to store our outdoor furniture because we will be having the backyard redone next month. (yay!!!) My goal is that when the yard is done and all the furniture moved back outside, I’ll immediately be able to park a car in the garage. Permanently. Once I get to that point, I’m going to start going through the garage cabinets and thinning out the stuff in there. It’s just neverending.
joshua's table

I should probably clean up the kitchen but I can’t. Honest. I have part of a sweater blocking on the counter. What a shame. I guess I’ll just have to sit in my craft room and knit while contemplating homes for the stuff on my worktable.
sweater blocking

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A Needle Emergency

March 31, 2013

And it would have to happen on a national holiday.  I was sitting down with my knitting and the Blackhawks game when “crack”.  knitting needle in two pieces.  Bugger.

a needle emergency

My interchangeable tip cracked.  And that was my only set of size 5s.  Grrr…  Thankfully it is not the end of the world, just an inconvenience.  I am knitting off a size 4 tip, and knitting with the size 5 tip.  After every row, I have to remember to switch the tips.  Grrr…  I’m so close to finishing a project that I didn’t want to lose a few ours of precious knitting time.

On a happier note, Happy Easter!

happy easter

Hope you had a lovely day!

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We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Project

March 30, 2013

…to bring you something new.  Lace.  And Cashmere.  Yum.

diamond shawl

Two weeks ago, I saw this yarn at the store.  We have previously carried the Art Yarns Cashmere 1, but I hadn’t seen it in the gorgeous teal we now had in the store.  (My photo does not do the color justice.)  Of course I had to have it.  Two of it, actually.  I want a long scarf and wasn’t willing to sacrifice width for length.  Instead, I sacrificed some dinero.

I was itching to cast it on.  Forget the fact that I am in the home stretch of a sweater and have two linen stitch scarves on the needles.  Tonight I casted on and did a full repeat of the pattern.  It is soooo nice.  Sooooo soft.  I’m going to put it down for now to finish my sweater, but I’m excited to get back to it.  Did I mention how soffffft it is?


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I Did It

February 28, 2013

Or rather it is what I didn’t do that I am proud of.  This past weekend was Stitches West.  It’s a huge knitting convention close to my house.  I’ve lived here for almost four years and never been.  I lived in Maryland for eight years before I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival.  Anyhoo, I really wanted to go to Stitches this year.  Find out what all the excitement was about.  But I have yarn coming out of my ears and I knew that going was going to mean more yarn.  I am out of room in the yarn armoire and I don’t want to have the stash spread beyond the armoire.  So I didn’t go!  Which isn’t to say it didn’t cross my mind every day.  I was ready to throw Joshua in the car on Friday and go.  And then Bill telling me he’d watch the baby while I went on Saturday or Sunday made it so hard to stay strong, but stay strong I did.  I even went so far as too look at the vendor list.  Instead, I went to the store to check out new shipments that had come in (Koigu!  Tosh!) and I did add a few skeins that way but not what would have come home with me from Stitches.

I couldn’t resist this Koigu yarn.  It makes me so happy.  Not sure what I’m going to do with it, but I LOVE it!!

However, next year I am all over Stitches.  In preparation, I’m going to spend the rest of the year knitting down my stash so I have room for more good stuff!!!  I picked up a sweater I started two years ago.  It freed up no room in the yarn armoire.


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My Days

February 8, 2013

When Joshua naps, most days I want to curl up in bed with the kitty and nap too.  Sometimes I do.  This week, however, I have “forced” myself to stay awake and spend some time on projects.  I’ve been getting my digital photos for 2012 organized so that I can work on my 2012 album.  That’s tedious.  Important, but tedious.  The first album I did, which only covers two weeks of Joshua’s life, took me two weeks to make.  I’m hoping the 2012 album doesn’t take me a year.  I did the first album on Shutterfly and it’s perfect!  

I’ve also spent naptime working on some quilting projects.  I finished, Finished, FINISHED my colorwheel quilt.  As I think I mentioned before, it’s larger than I expected it to be, but I found a spot to put it.  I’m a little concerned that a certain little boy might pull it down, but we’ll see.  I’m really happy with how it turned out.  As I look at the picture, I see a couple of segments that maybe weren’t put in the exact right place but I’m okay with that.  The only use for this quilt though is to hang on a wall.  It got a couple of stains on it just in the course of my working on it.  The white looks great but so not practical.

colorwheel quilt

I also finally got around to working on a paper-pieced quilt square.  I bought the book 50 fabulous paper-pieced stars with the intention of making all 50 (over the course of a very long time).  I pulled fabric for my first square months ago (last summer) and I just now made that first square.  I love it!  I used some Heather Bailey and Amy Butler fabrics.  It looks so different from the traditional fabrics used in the book (yay!).  I’m trying to make these squares with stash fabrics.  I’ve got some good stuff.  I spent some time pulling fabrics for the next two blocks.  I’m also going to be doing a QAL with a girlfriend (Swoon!) and I pulled some fabric for that too.  I actually already have fabric cut for it (my halloween quilt) but I might do another one if I can find the fabric in my stash.

delaware square

The rest of my days with Joshua really fly by.  We do a walk almost every day in between Joshua’s first breakfast and second breakfast.  Then we play.  He’s getting so fun now that he’s walking.  When the weather’s nice we go out in the afternoon and he walks to the corner with me and Casey.  We were out for our walk when Bill came home from work and joined us.

family walk

Once Joshua goes to bed I pull out my knitting.  I finished my honey cowl (finally!) and started my second Marin with some Malabrigo I bought at the store.  We got a new shipment a couple of weeks ago and a couple of skeins asked to come home with me.  I’m halfway done with my scarf and I’m thrilled with how it’s coming out.

marin #2

And then, sometimes I manage to read a few pages before bed.  I’m working on Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence.

And that’s that.

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My First Knitting Project

January 10, 2013

I had a couple of friends over last week for knitting and Downton Abbey.  We starting from the first season and doing some knitting while we hang out.  If we chatted a bit less, we’d probably be through the first season, but the chatting is oh so fun.  To top it off, I’ve been making progress on a project that’s been languishing.  In the course of our chatting, I realized that I’ve known how to knit almost as long as one of my friends has been alive.  That makes me feel old.

first project

first project 1

A couple of days later, I found some photos that show my first ever knitting project.  It was some kind of feather and fan blanket.  I guess my mom taught me how to do the pattern.  It seems like a rather challenging project for a first, but I don’t remember ever doing a hat or scarf.  At least not in those early years.  I distinctly remember sitting on our red couch knitting that blanket during football games.

I’m hoping that somewhere, I have a better picture of the blanket.  Clearly, these photos are really of my cat, Maggie.  Such a sweet kitty.  Anyway, it’s kinda cool to see some of my early work.

As for later work, I’ve been working on my colorwheel quilt.  Bill bought me the fat eighths kit four years ago and I’m finally getting to it.  The timing is perfect though, because I’m going to hang it in Joshua’s room.  I think it’s perfect for a little one.  I pulled out some of the more floral fabrics and used some stuff from my stash instead.  There’s still some flowers in it, since my boy is going to appreciate nature.  Sewing the quilt has been fun and I’m really excited about how it’s coming together.  I think I should be able to finish it this weekend.

colorwheel quilt

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Color Affection Accomplished

August 1, 2012

I finished my color affection shawl today.  It’s blocking.  It’s a little itchy.  For some reason, I got it in my head that I was knitting with alpaca.  I didn’t.  It’s merino and mohair.  Hence the itchiness.  I think it is a little better.  I picked the yarn more for the colors.  Love the colors.  It turned out well.

color affection blocking

I even made time to make some spaghetti sauce.  Joshua played in his playpen and watched me chop.  I love this sauce.  Most of the stuff is from our garden, supplemented by some farmer’s market tomatoes and an onion from the whole foods.  But mostly from the garden.  :-)

making spaghetti sauce

Lastly, my little man helped me fold laundry.  And he showed off his teeth.  Such a sweet little boy.  Melts my heart every day.

my little helper showing off his teeth

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Three Little Hats Plus A Fourth

May 20, 2012

For some (unknown) reason, last weekend I cast on three hats.  Not one right after the other, but over the course of two days.  I was playing with some of my newly purchased yarn, Finito by Malabrigo, and it was sooo soft so I decided to do a little gauge swatch and then I cast on a hat for Joshua.

baby hat

Then, not too long after that, I was inspired to pull out some stash yarn and cast on a hat for myself.  I really don’t know why I decided to do it at the instant but I did.  That was Saturday.  On Sunday, I realized that I needed to get started on a hat for one of Bill’s coworkers whose wife is expecting a little girl.  Enter hat number three.  It looks sort of small but is super stretchy because of the ribbing.

ribbed newborn hat

I finished the pinch hat (my hat) on Friday.  I used some Debbie Bliss Andes that I had, held double.  I had just enough.  My mom is going to bring me a brooch when she visits next.  She is the queen of brooches.  It’s a cute hat though I’m hoping that it will stretch the tiniest little bit when I block it.  It’s a winter hat.  I have no idea why I knit myself a winter hat except that I liked the pattern and I had the yarn.

pinch hat

I’m also realizing I never blogged about a different hat I knit Joshua.  One of the women I work with at the yarn store designed a giraffe hat and I had to knit it.  I made some modifications to it (knit it with a ribbed band and knitted the ears and nubbies) but otherwise I followed the pattern.  It worked up pretty quickly although I need to work on my tension when I do colorwork.

giraffe hat

sporting his giraffe hat

Hopefully by the end of this weekend I will be down to one hat (Joshua’s Finito) and I’m not in  a big hurry to get that done.  He won’t need it for a while.  And there’s so many other projects I want/need to work on!

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About Me

Welcome to my spot on the web where I talk about needlework, crafts, and [many] other random things.

A few tidbits about me: I met my husband in college, flirting over tuba letters in the Penn Band. Our dog, CJ, and our cat, Sabrina, round out our family. I'm a sewist, knitter and needlepointer, and an occasional scrapbooker. I love organizing, reading, making jewelry, and hiking. A Chicago girl at heart, I am an avid follower the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.

You can email me at mlynapier [at] pobox [dot] com. Thank you for stopping by!

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