My knitting mojo is on vacation


First of all thank you commenters for the boy sweater suggestions. Perhaps if my knitting mojo would return from where ever it is hiding I'd cast on one of those cute sweaters,

I'm not sure why my mojo has left the building but here are my top 3 hunches.

3. I'm cold sheeping.
Back in March I joined the Stash and Burn cold sheep thread since my stash had been making me feel a bit overwealmed for awhile. Overall this was a good decision. It caused me pull the trigger on some yarn/pattern combinations that had been sitting in my brain for awhile. It also made me realize that if I don't knit new purchases in a timely manner that the yarn sinks to the bottom of the stash bog for all eternity. And sale yarn, just don't buy it Heather cause you never never never knit it. (You just look at it in disgust later.)
However...... I will admit that sometimes going and buying a sexy new yarn is just the thing to snap you out of a knitting slump. Has my stash turned boring or is the problem that...

2. I've been knitting nothing but socks.
The biggest part of my stash is sock yarn so in May I went on a crazy sock knitting spree.
First I paired a Hazel knits sock club color "Aloha" with Knitspot's Chicklets pattern and knocked them out in only a week.
Great TV knitting by the way.

Next was a combination that had been in the brain for years, Claudia Handpaint's "Sea Dreams" made up into Knitty's Azure socks.

Then I cast on Cat Bordhi's Jeweled Steps and Knitspot's David sock and made it through one of each pattern before fizzling out. Is second sock syndrome to blame or is it that....

1. I'm a giant pregnant woman who can't get cool.
small Bump 29 weeks
Sir snacks is getting pretty big, I'm already carrying around 40 extra pounds and window AC units do not cool the house the way central air does. Blahhhh it's going to be a long summer.

I'm a boy, I'm a boy, but my mom won't admit it


Haa haa, for some reason I've had that Who song stuck in my head for days. In actuality my husband and I were pretty sure that we were having a boy, due to my extreme hunger. (Extreme as in I do not sleep through the night but have to get up several times to eat) When he gets to be teenager he's going to eat us out of house and home.
Feeeed Meeee!

One thing that is hard admitting is that boy baby sweaters don't seem to be nearly as fun as girl baby sweaters. I'm having a hard time finding patterns I'd actually feel like knitting. If any of you have some suggestions for boy or unisex sweaters please let me know.

In the meantime there are a few baby things that have come off the needles.
One finished Brownie hat in Cascade 220 Heathers...
I'm still surprised that ear flaps are "in."

And one Otto in Sublime cashmere/merino/silk...
grrrrr, argh

Both patterns were good stash busters for some odd balls that had been hanging around.

I'd hoped to have FO photos of the Vogue Heart Yoke by now but the ideal button has been elusive. Some custom made buttons have been ordered so maybe by the beginning of next month there will be a nice final post for that.

A little something for now


Hey look some pretty color-work...
Hee hee hee Hearts.... black hearts.

It's good to do some experimenting with your color work, but knitting in only red and white taught me two things:
1. You really do need the number of colors the pattern specifics. If you ignore this then enjoy your super bland color-work.
2. Red, white and heathered gray = sock monkey colors. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not what I was going for.

The odd ball stash saved me by yielding up balls of Filatura Di Crosa Zara in dark gray and black. Then the Red Current Sublime merino was switched out with the Plume color and all was good.

They'll be a proper FO post later when I'll kvetch about all the errors in the pattern. Till then I'll be weaving in a million ends.
Ewwww, shouldn't there be some sort of elf for this?

Getting Salty Again


Yes, the package with the extra balls of Salty colored merino arrived and now we're gonna "Get all Salty." By getting salty I mean take some pictures of Frog with the yarn and then start knitting the Vogue Heart Yoke cardigan again.
Frog is a yarn sniffing connoisseur.

The short rows were all finished up and then we hit our Duh moment. All this time I'd been looking at the Vogue photo and thought the yoke only consisted of 3 colors.
Don't hate me because I'm beautiful and wearing hand knits.

When starting to knit the chart I was wondering why it had so many different symbols. Duh, maybe because there is a bunch of gray in it! (Seemly you didn't bother to read all the yardage requirements either, silly knitter) I might just ignore this and go with my original color plan of only red and white. Maybe throw in the MC in for a little variety, we'll see.

In the few days when the Heart Yoke sweater was stalled I purchased Wooly Wormhead's Twisted Wooly Toppers book. There is a bunch of worsted and DK yarn in the stash that is either left over from other projects or only 2 balls were purchased. Knitting up a few of these lovely hats should take care of that problem and maybe produce a few gifts.

First hat cast on was Brownie knit up in some Cascade 220. As long as you aren't being an idiot and trying to knit the cabled brim in the round then it's a very easy pattern. All that is left are some ear flaps and this will be going in future baby's clothing stash.
That's right DH, the baby is going to wear funny hats. You can't stop me!

Riddle me this, Frogman


The project in question - Heart Yoke Cardigan from Vogue Holiday 2009.
The mystery - Where the heck did all my yardage go?

With the help of my frog assistant we will try to crack this case. To begin with we give you exhibit one.
The directions state that we need 1100 yards of the main color for size 36.
My Rav stash page says we have 1270 yards of Sublime Extra Fine Merino which seems like more than enough.

Pattern states that gauge is 22sts by 28 rows in 4." Yes we did knit a gauge swatch before starting (However lets not go into how small that swatch was) but let's check the gauge of the sweater.
Here is the body which is knit flat.
Stitch gauge breaks down to 5.5 which is spot on (just hard to see, I assure you it's a half stitch on the edge) Row gauge breaks down to 7, my row gauge is a tad tighter at 8.

Now let's check the sleeves since they are knit in the round.
Ahh, gauge on the sleeves appears to be the same as the body.

I sent frog off to do some calculations to see if the tighter row gauge would suck up an extra 170 yards. However he sort of zoned off and might have been making certain "words" out of numbers.

I went with the non scientific route and knit until all the yarn was gone. Sadly the short row directions included a line I'd missed when gambling that there was enough of the main color to get to the Fair Isle section. (Repeat short rows 3 and 4, 6 more times.)
Yes, my project is currently stalled until more yarn reaches me via snail mail.

The verdict - The extra rows must have done me in. Or maybe Vogue directions suck.



Did your mother have a button box? My mother's button box was (and still is) a very nicely made wooden box with proper hinges and maybe even a hint of cedar inside. If your mother was also a sewer (like mine) that box tended to house some rather exiting little gems. There were several metal shank buttons with coats of arms imprinted on the top. Those where favorites, however I also had a fondness for a good honest wooden toggle always floating on the top due to it's large size. Oh, and the big navy plastic ones with anchors on them, yeah they're common but I love that anchor.

It seems that I've never gotten over the giddiness of pawing through my mother's button box. Right now the "button box" that I paw through would be There are times when I must set up a self imposed ban on this site so that the grocery money doesn't get spent on old stock glass buttons from Europe. However this being my birthday month I figured a little retail therapy was in order.

First purchase Victorian metal buttons with snowflakes on them. Some future hand knit cardigan + snowflake buttons is going to = awesomeness.

Vintage black plastic buttons. They're classy and they're black, enough said.

Victorian black glass buttons with silver luster. The Precious!!! Back off, I saw you staring at them. They're MINE!!!!! OK, I'm better now..... maybe. Now I just have to get myself a proper box.

Midnight Manu


Way back in November 2009 I started stalking Kate Davie's blog when she posted a beautiful new sweater and added that a pattern was being created. I might have started checking daily even though I know designers need time to grade, work out the kinks and get things test knit. It didn't matter, that sweater Must Be Mine!!

The pattern came out on Feb 28th, I tossed the stash, decided to use some navy felted tweed and knit like a women possessed. (If you a person who never highlights their size numbers...ahem me... then do it for this pattern. It makes you life soooo much easier)
M front

As usual with felted tweed my lose knitting means to get gauge the needle size needs to be scaled down to size 3. My stitch gauge was still .25 off but I figured that the extra width would be a blessing with my currently expanding body. The sweater's main body and sleeves where all knit with size 3's. The neck and front bands knit with size 2's. However I learned the hard way that no matter how lose your gauge is an icord cast on is pretty tight. After casting on a few sleeves that would have only fit over a baby's hand I used the recommended size 7 needle and got the right size wrist circumference for me. If knitting your own you may want to check the sleeve length. Felted tweed always blocks out with extra length for me so I was not concerned when the sleeves were bracelet length pre-block. Post block my sleeve sat comfortably at my wrists, though I did to stretch them while wet. If you are working with yarn that will not grow much you may want to add a few extra inches to the sleeve length.

M alt side

This was my first sweater with pockets and they did cause me some annoyance. Knitting the pockets is easy, you just pick up and knit from the bottom following the increase and decrease instructions. Seaming the sides onto the sweater was a pain in the ass. It took hours to get the sides even and then get both pockets to look the same. However the pockets are really the only fiddly bit and the only part that needs seaming. You don't even have to calculate button hole placement and the i-cord button holes where the easiest I've ever knit. (There does seem to be a pattern error under "Work I-cord edging." It says, "from rs.... starting at a point between the right front and back, begin to work i-cord bind off.... across the edge of the cardigan back and left front." If you need to work across the back to the left front you can't do this from the right side you, you need to be facing your wrong side. That's what I did and then made sure to do the i-cord cast off on my pockets from the wrong side.)

M Back

The instructions have you fold the pleats in the same direction across the neck. I noticed that other ravelry members switched the pleat direction at center back. Maybe it was a bad brain day but I tried and failed to do this on the size 36. Still it's a nice customization to keep in mind if you're interested in knitting this design yourself.


The only thing that I'm not fully satisfied with is my button selection. My local stores seemed to only have coordinating navy buttons in sizes too large for my already completed buttonholes. These wooden ones are pretty but always seem to clash with the cool colors of the rest of my wardrobe. I'll probably switch them out with some silver buttons in the future.

Concluding thoughts on this pattern and sweater.
The pattern is very well written and Kate made sure to include an instructional sheet on how to do all the cast on/casts off needed in the project. The style is the perfect combination of simplicity with "a twist". People love love love the neckline, I've had both knitters and non knitters comment upon it. (Non knitters are sad that they can't run to the store and buy one) The pockets totally redeemed themselves to me when I discovered they are deep enough to stash a pair of sunglasses or a set of keys. Overall the fit is very comfortable and the 5 button closure is great for this time of year when you need a little bit of extra warmth. This was an enjoyable sweater to knit, I'd recommend it to anyone.

Also should add the the designer Kate Davie suffered a stroke early in the year from a heart defect that she was not aware of. She has been blogging about her road to recovery with much good humor. I wish her all the best, she is a very talented designer and I'm sure Manu is not the last lovely design she shares with all of us.

An Apology to my Blog and Some Cute Baby Pics


Dear Blog,
I had the best of intentions back in February to visit you on a more regular basis. You probably know that I spend much of every day online but have left you all by your lonesome. Part of the problem is the on going sleep deprivation which turns my brains to mush. However it occurred to me lately that there are many blog conversations running around in my head. Conversations and a pretty pic or two that I'd like to share. So poor neglected blog, I'm sorry and maybe we can string a couple sentences together, you know when I'm not worshiping the porcelain god.

Anywho, my little baby in progress is being a bit high maintenance demanding feedings every two hours (even at night) and flooding my body with enough hormones that often I must revisit that last meal. It's been my practice to browse on over the shutterfly site housing all my nephew's cute pictures when I need reminding of what waits for me in the future.

Back when we found out my sis was expecting a boy I went to the FO stash and got out the Vintage Car Coat from The Little Sublime Hand Knit Book. This was knit way back in Jan 08 out of some Cashsoft my sister gifted me for Christmas.

Well Little D is big enough to be our baby model and show off his knitwear.
D in Car Coat 1
Hello there, aren't I adorable?

D in Car Coat 2
Yes, I have short arms but pay no attention to that cause I'm smiling for you.

D loves wearing his hand knits because they feel just like his blankets and are easier to stuff in his mouth.
D in Car Coat 3
Mmmmm tasty sweater.

Good thing I sewed those buttons on tight. ;)

Comfort for the month of March


I'm not completely sure how March and I got off on the wrong foot. After all there are glimpses of Spring as the giant snow drifts slowly recede. Here and there daffodil greens peek through the earth and the birds have been singing brightly outside my window for days.
Perhaps the problem is that March will start out sunny and warm causing me to run about willy nilly without securely fastening woolens around my vulnerable neck. Then I will get a head cold, which will make me cranky, which in turn makes me hole up on my couch and think dark thoughts about March.
Dark thoughts don't last long though if you find yourself reading a particularly lovely book. Add to that some quality wool swathed around your neck and a mug of tea in your hand, it's almost bliss.
The book is "A Homemade Life" by Molly Wizenberg, Stories and recipes from my kitchen table.
Some of you are probably already in the know and have been reading her blog Orangette for years. Somehow she slipped under my radar, so this book was a delicious surprise for me. One that ended much too quickly. At least there is the added bonus of trying out some of the recipes. When I'm feeling better some of them will be gracing my table.

The Wool is technically for baby. However since baby is snug and warm inside me I don't think baby will begrudge my appropriation. Besides baby is arriving in August when a wool baby blanket might be considered a form of child abuse. (Can you hear me cackling mine all mine!)
The pattern Tweed Baby Blanket by Brookylntweed was chosen because even a pregnant automaton can knit garter and remember to increase or decrease once at the beginning of every row. I would add you can also remember to do this while dead tired and having a conversation with the electricians cutting holes in your walls. (They will also think you are pretty handy to be knitting for your baby)
The Wool, that deserves it's capital letter, is woolen spun worsted weight Cormo from Elsa Wool Company. Jenny and Nichole over at Stash and Burn mentioned this website on one of their podcasts and said the wool was very soft. I bought 3 skeins of light gray for the main color and 2 skeins of dark gray for the contrast.
Other details:
* Since the pattern is for DK weight I bumped up the needle size to 9's for the blanket and a 10 for the i-cord bind off.
* I was unsure of my yardage amounts but they turned out be be just right. The second skein of contrast color was only used for the i-cord bind off so there is plenty for left over for a hat or two.
* The finished blocked blanket is 36" by 40" the perfect size for covering your lap or maybe scrunching around your neck. (The fact that it can comfortably be scrunched around your neck tells you how wonderfully soft this wool is)
Mmmm delicious and comfortable, just what I need for March.

Slowly returning to the land of functional knitters


I fell off the horse and laid on the ground and twitched a while. There might have been some drooling but let's keep that between you and me.

For about 2 1/2 months there was no knitting, no podcasts, no ravelry, no sewing, and no baking. There was only snow, sleep, and the glorious invention known as Netflix streaming. Outside the feet (FEET!) of snow piled up and I merely glanced at it and returned to my bed.
Snow blog

My world shrunk to a pin point because it turns out that growing a new human is a much more arduous task than one might imagine. Seemly the body knows what to do and at the same time is confused by having to suddenly provide for two instead of one. Still the days pile up just like the snow and perhaps your husband comments (with relief) that your knitting phase is over and all this "junk" can be gotten rid of.

You wouldn't say a corner has been turned but suddenly there is brightly colored yarn in your hands and the beginning of a sock flowing from your needles. After all your knitting is not a phase, it is what you are and always will be. Even if sometimes you fall off the horse.

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