Knitting in a Post Vacation Visit Funk

My husband, as a surprise to the girls (and me, except that I found out about it a couple of weeks early), flew my son and his little family (and me) to CA to visit my sister and mom and then flew us all back here to NJ for a two week visit. They helped us clean out the massive mess that was my home while they were here, besides having fun times with the girls and my daughter-in-law’s sister and husband that also came up to visit from MD.

They left last Friday and since then, I’ve been in a funk. It was nice to have a two-week vacation from the things that have been pressing on my mind. Unfortunately, as is usually the case when others see your life, some “new” things cropped up during their visit that I now have to deal with. And, of course, those things that were put on hold for two weeks are now all clamoring to be done. That, added to the lack of sleep which, in my case, always accompanies vacations and visits with family, has put me in a blue funk.

Knitting has taken a back seat to these activities, but I’m still doing a little. I started a KAL from the ravelry American Girl Knitters group – to make an AG sized pet for our dolls. Of course, I feel like I should design a pattern, knit up a sample and then make two or three, one for each of my dolls. I can’t help but want to add variations to the pattern I chose (a cat sitting all prim and proper). We’ll see if I finish it, as well as the second one that I’ve already got plans and yarn for.

I’m also working on the second sample for an AG doll top that I’d like to get ready and have test knitted soon, but because of my funk, I have a hard time making myself do it. The thing is, it’s in a bright, happy color and I found the cutest buttons on the planet for it. But I still can’t seem to make myself sit down and knit it. Ok, I started yesterday and have 4 rows done, but still!

Along with those, I’m trying to finish up the (feels like overwhelming) task of finishing the decluttering we started two weeks ago, plus trying to instill habits in all of us to maintain the wonderful, newly super-cleaned parts of the house so that we never, EVER, have to do that kind of deep, super cleaning ever again. All while trying to catch up with things that need to be done and all the things that are done regularly now: church responsibilities; chair yoga class for me; SAT practice for my 17-yo; helping my 19-yo find a job; working at my day job; finishing up my third book on programming so I can eventually leave that day job; home schooling said 17-yo; getting my belly dance class ready to perform in Oct; getting back on a good sleep (DETOX!!) and eating schedule; going through all the medical bills again to make sure that they all have contacted the third insurance company we had before the deadline to submit “old” claims.

Not easy – especially when all I really want to do right now is sleep until the Second Coming.

I need to make deadlines for myself. Ok, here are some:

1. Finish the sample AG top by Sat, Aug 23.

2. Mail all the boxes of stuff that I promised my son by Fri, Aug 22.

3. Shred all the paper still needing to be shredded by Thu, Aug 21 ( that’s paper recycling day here in NJ)

4. Make a schedule for decluttering the other rooms by Sun, Aug 24.

And do all the other stuff by the time that it is due.

Oh well. It’s time to drive my husband to the train and get on with my day. I’ll print out that little list of deadlines and get going.

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American Girl Doll Bathrobe Now Available

I am proud to announce that my newest pattern is available for sale on revelry:

Cozy 18″ Doll Bathrobe

two American Girl Dolls in bathrobes

Cozy AG Bathrobes

 

I’m very happy that I had it test-knitted. The women that tested it for me really helped me find errors and refine how I worded things.

The link to buy it will be on my pattern page.

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An Idea for a Website

or maybe a book.

I want a lace pattern website/book that lists the lace stitch patterns by stitch repeat count. Or maybe even for non-lace stitch patterns.

Are there such books? My stitch pattern books don’t organize things that way – it’s by type of stitch, or perhaps by difficulty of said stitch patterns.

Why do I want this? Well, I want to make a Pi Shawl, and instead of just doing stockinette stitch, I thought it might be nice to add some simple lace patterns to the various rounds, but to do that, I need pattern repeats that fit in the various stitch counts of the Pi Shawl sections. Most Pi Shawl variations I’ve seen online are way, WAY too complicated for me to do without too much fuss and concentration.

So, I think I may decide to create a website like that, or, at least, a spreadsheet for myself. After I figure out what (if any) lace patterns I’ll use on my Pi Shawl.

Time to go dig out my stitch encyclopedia books.

P.S. Found, totally “by accident”, a site that does exactly what I was wishing for. Knitting Fool has a stitch count listing of all kinds of stitch patterns, not just lace. I’m going to be spending a lot of time happily rummaging around in their lists.

 

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Rethinking My Pattern

I’m rethinking my easy mop head pattern after I read a comment from the one person who tried it on revelry. Since it is downloaded rather frequently, yet there are no comments or other projects about it there, I’m thinking that most people who have downloaded it either haven’t really tried it or haven’t felt strongly about it enough to post about it.

Fine. I understand that. But the one person who did post about it ended up frogging it and made a comment or two that made me think that I should get test knitters for all my patterns, not just the ones I want to sell. Of course, I posted this one a long time ago, having made several for my own mop  and they turned out ok. But I’m going to figure out gauge on it, and yardage so that people will have a better idea of what to expect when giving it a try.

I spent some time today googling Swiffer mop head patterns … mine is one of the more basic ones, but since it is based on Grandma’s Favorite Dish Cloth, it should be one that could be used a lot, if I just figure out what I need to change in the pattern.

Since I’ll be flying out to CA for a brief weekend visit in two weeks to see my mom and sister, I’ll have plenty of time to work up the three mop head trials that I think I’ll need to make myself feel better about this pattern.

I also want to start a Pi shawl on the way too. So I can see a lot of cotton yarn going to CA and back with me in my carry-on.

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A New Milestone

Check it out:

Knitted dish cloth with a hole in it

The Worn Out Dish Cloth

I DID IT!!!

I used my dishcloth, finished in March 2013, until it wore out!!!

The only thing I’ve ever knitted that was used enough to wear out is what I call my Eight-Year Sweater (it took me 8 years to finish it because I would knit on it for a while, toss it into a drawer and wait 6 months or more to get it out again), which reminds me I need to darn those elbows …

Anyway, it looks like time to make some new dishcloths.

 

 

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I FELTED!!!

I know. I know. There are a few things I said I’d never do when I started knitting again: a baby blanket, a Christmas stocking, felt anything, and Fair Isle.

Another one bites the dust.

I joined the Red Hat Society on May 1st of this year. According to the website (in March), they sent new members their “first red hat”. However, between March and May, they adjusted the membership kit and no longer send a hat. I can totally understand why, but I was left in a lurch – I don’t own a red hat, and having hit all the Goodwill stores in my area, could only find a purple hat (which Red Hatters wear on their birthday).

Fortunately, my good friend and co-knitter loves to felt. She felts pretty much everything she can.  During the month of April, as I prepared to become a Red Hatter, she felted a crocheted hat that was simply so cute I could hardly stand it. So, when I realized that I would have to make my own red hat, I did a google search, found a free pattern that looked like something that I would wear, and got the yarn.

I used Cascade 220 and Lion Brand Romance yarns, in red and purple, of course. I doubled the Cascade to try to get gauge, but couldn’t quite make it, so I adjusted the stitch count in the pattern to make sure I made the hat big enough. I was worried that it would felt too small and I’d end up making a red hat for my American Girl dolls!

Tuesday, I visited my friend and we felted my hat. It took about an hour in her top-loading washer, and we had a blast, laughing ourselves silly at our wet hair and water running down our backs as we both tried it on every few minutes to make sure it fit. I then took it home, put a cereal bowl over an upside-down vase and waited until it dried. And this morning, it was dry!

Felted Red Hat with purple eyelash band

My first Red Hat

(I’m so happy!)

P.S. I’m going to make another one for my friend, who is going to join the Red Hat Society with me.

P.P.S. All I have to do now is find some purple clothes.

P.P.P.S. Knitting with eyelash yarn is a pain in the neck, but it turns out so lovely.

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I made a Kitty!

A month has gone by since I posted about, well, anything. At the yarn tasting, I bought a ball of the softest, plushiest yarn by Cascade Yarns to make a baby toy for my grandson. Well, what with having the cold-from-you-know-where hit my family one at a time, myself being the last to catch it, and trying to declutter various parts of my house, I haven’t been posting. But I have been knitting.

I found a cute pattern on their website for a stuffed cat (see it here with all the other patterns for this yarn) and decided to make the yarn into that. And, here it is!

Pluscious cat 01

 

Cat 02

He’s not exactly like the pattern – I changed it to be knit in the round (I hate seaming!) and made the arms a little fatter to match the pudgy little legs. I love the little snap-in eyes. All in all, I’m pretty happy with him.

Now, all I have to do is pop him into an envelope and mail him to my grandson. Shhh! Don’t tell him! I want it to be a surprise!

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