Just a note that I have moved to Blogger, and am now called Milwaukee Knit Chick. Hope you come on over!
I survived the move, and am now living in the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin.I think I may change the blog name so that to reflect the move, and adhere to at least one of the necessary knit blog rules. Any ideas, oh 2 people on the internet that actually read this thing?
Its been difficult staying with the kids here, while Andy continues to work in Minnesota. But one of us has to have a job locally before that can change. I may end up working in marketing if I can’t find any business analyst jobs in the area. It’d be a real change, that’s for sure!
Before the move we took the kids to the Como Zoo one last time, and I noticed some really cool handknits in the gift shop. I brazenly took some pictures, and I think I may try to figure out a pattern for a few of them.
I’d just love to make a llama hat for my friend Heidi’s twin girls. She’s nuts about llamas. Don’t ask.
A few monkeys followed us home from the zoo too, but they don’t eat much.
A lot has been going on in knitting news. I convinced my sister to try knitting and…she’s totally addicted. When I heard her say “just let me finish this row” the other day, I knew she was hooked. She picked it up really fast, and her first projects looked damn good for a beginner. She even got excited about buying kitchen cotton on sale at Michael’s yesterday. (FYI, its on sale for a $1!) It’s so exciting to have someone to talk about knitting with!
Also, I have had a lot more time to knit since quitting my job. The kids do take up a lot of my time, but I have had time to knit every day. I’m working really hard at finishing my socks I started back when dinosaurs walked the earth in December. I’m about 80% finished with the second one, and I know I will love wearing them, but sock knitting just takes so long! I would love nothing more than to have enough handknit socks to wear a different pair each day of the month, but at the rate I make them, it could take a decade to get to that point. I’m making myself finish them before I use 3 skeins of delicious Misti Alpaca worsted to make something for myself.
I did manage to hook up with some ladies in the Waukesha area of the Milwaukee burbs for a Stich N’ Bitch recently. I dragged my knitting-virgin sister along. (That’s how I convinced her to try knitting, that I couldn’t go alone, so she just had to at least know how to knit a washcloth. Mwuahahaha!) We went to a little bistro called Sprizzo’s and met a really nice group of knitters. I didn’t enjoy my sandwich, and the beer was kind of pricey, so I will try to eat before I go next time. Its not an established SNB, so everyone was either a stranger or casual acquaintance that had met through Ravelry. Got to see a bunch of interesting projects, but I didn’t really feel comfortable taking pictures for the ol’ blog, as I barely knew anyone. Maybe next time. It’d be nice to meet some knitters closer to where I live too.
One of the ladies agreed to bring some tools along to our next SNB and show us how to make stitch markers. I’ve always wanted to know how to make them, but I don’t want to go out and buy the wrong tools. It’ll be a lot of fun to see one made first-hand.
I am utterly disgusted with the project that I was working on for a friend’s twin girls that are due this Friday. I was going to make two pairs of the baby ballerina socks from Drops as seen below.
Who can resist such an adorable project, right? I actually knitted TWO of these in different yarns before I threw in the towel. This is the second attempt with some alterations to the pattern. Looks ok from the front, right?
The problem becomes more obvious from the side view.
It took a freaking long time to make them and I think they are really ugly and ill-fitting. I think that the way the sole is shaped is either off, or not translated correctly. If I had time and patience, I could probably work out the issue, but I hated the damn socks by the time I was done with the second one.
I’m going to toss them and make a couple of pumpkin hats for her girls to wear in the fall. She’ll probably appreciate a handknit more then anyways. Everyone always gives new parents a ton of baby clothes, and they always give them the small sizes. If your babies grow fast or are tall like mine, they end up wearing the clothes maybe once before they outgrow them. Seriously. My 7 month old is almost too tall for 12 month clothes already.
I’m starting the hats tonight since I was doing some essential knitting lately. I took the kids to the indoor playground today and a grand time was had by all. Thank god for these little parks during the Minnesota winters.The place was packed to the rafters full with kids trying to burn off some steam of being stuck inside for so long.
I even got a little time to knit in between treks to the log tunnel and fishing pond. My oldest has lost at least 3 pairs of gloves already this year. I should have known better and just knitted him mittens in the fall. He still loves handknits, which is soooo heartwarming as both a knitter and a mom. I’m comfortable enough with knitting now that the projects I choose are to challenge myself, but sometimes its the basic ability to provide warmth and function in my handknits that makes me so happy that I learned how to knit.
Pattern: My own
Yarn: Cascade 220 Wool
Needles: US 5 circular
Notes: These are super simple mittens, but if anyone is interested here is the pattern. They are meant to fit an 8-10 year old.
1. Cast on 32 stitches.
2. Work in 1×1 rib for 2 inches.
3. Work in st stitch for 1 inch.
4. Work thumb gusset until there are 11 stitches between markers. Place thumb stitches on scrap yarn.
5. Work body of mitten for 2 inches.
6. Work decreases until 6 stitches remain. Pull yarn through remaining stitches and weave in end.
7. Pick up stitches on thumb, adding an extra stitch at each side of thumb gap, and twisting the stitches before after knitting.
8. Work for 1.5 inches, then decrease until 6 stitches remain. Pull yarn through remaining stitches and weave in end.
9. Weave in tail from cast on.
10. Make a crochet chain to attach mittens together to string through coat.
On Valentine’s Day we headed out to the Mall of America to bring our oldest, Aidan, to Nickelodeon Universe as a reward for all the hard work he’s put into his schoolwork and therapy. Much to my surprise, we arrived to one of the largest crowds that I have ever seen at the Mall! We couldn’t figure out why it was so crowded until we got to the main rotunda and found this.
So while my husband and Aidan went on the rides, Jameson and I cruised the fiber booths and took lots of pictures.
The crowds were pretty thick all day, and they had some really cool giveaways such as a ginormous yarn bag from Lion Brand Yarn and a free 10th anniversary edition of Knit N’ Style magazine.
And all the major national yarn brands had booths showing their newest products. Red Heart was giving away some free patterns and kind of felt a little out of place. The displays and patterns felt very granny-esque in comparison to the rest of the show. Didn’t they get the memo that a younger crowd of whippersnappers are knitting these days? I mean really, mannequin heads with beanies? What’s next, a Barbie doll toilet paper cozy?
The Lion Brand Yarn booth was more relevant to today’s knitter. I have a love/hate relationship with Lion Brand yarn. I think that much of their synthetic yarn is overpriced and of poor quality. And let’s face it, they’re probably the main enabler of novelty yarn knitting in the U.S. But on the other hand, they really seem to be branching out with new natural and luxury blends. I guess I don’t see a lot of incentive to buy it other than the fact that at least you can buy Lion Yarn at JoAnns with their discount coupons.
I have to admit that it was really cool to see the full spectrum of colors for the newer blends and luxury yarns. If it hadn’t been so crowded, I would have been brave enough to take closeup pictures. Maybe I’ll try out one of their new lines since they were giving out these.
The Caron booth had a contest going on and free patterns. I really liked the feel of some of their new line of Eco-Yarns. All the brands had new eco-friendly yarns made from recycled material, but Caron’s felt the softest.
There were a lot of free workshops available at the two smaller rotundas in the mall, but I hadn’t brought any knitting with me.
And while there wasn’t any fiber for sale, a few of the local yarn stores had booths such as my favorite, The Yarnery.
And the Yarn Garage had some cool displays.
I keep meaning to check out the Yarn Garage, but its kind of a hike since its in Rosemount, a southern suburb of the Twin Cities. I’ll have to stop in before we move this summer.
All in all, it was a fun event to slowly wander around with Jameson in his stroller. I’ll have to make an effort to go to the next yarn expo in my area that actually sells fiber.
As you may remember, I recently made a blanket for my niece, Hattie, who was born a few weeks ago. I washed it twice today with a little boost of bleach hoping to get the blue tint out of the white sections. It didn’t really do much good, and the yarn started to disintegrate!!!! It literally fell apart in my hands as I was examining it, so into the trash it went.
I guess I should be glad that it didn’t happen after I gave the blanket to them. Has anyone ever had an old acrylic yarn fall apart on them? It just gives me more incentive to use natural fibers.
We went to my niece Hattie’s christening today, and the other gift I made to replace the blanket went over very well.
Yarn: Cascade 220 Wool
Needles: US 5 circular
Notes: What an easy and fun knit! It was really interesting to see how this came together, row by row. I’ve heard horror stories of Bliss’ patterns running large, but I didn’t run into that problem. The shrug was exactly the size it should have been.
I did have a bit of difficulty seaming the sides because of the way the stitches morph along the seam. I’ll probably make another of these in the future, but in a cotton next time. My sister-in-law loves the color orange, not a color I would usually choose for an infant, but I like how it turned out. Gotta love how vivid Cascade yarns look in natural light. Delish!
Ugh, all these layoffs and the bad financial news is really starting to get to me since I work in the financial industry. Doubly so since we are moving to Milwaukee in June with no jobs waiting for us when we get there at the moment. We’re hoping to find jobs within the company we work for, but there are no guarantees. If anyone knows of a great company looking for an experience project manager/business analyst in the Milwaukee area, please drop me a line!
On to brighter thoughts on this chilly January day.
I recently picked up the delightful Knitting New Mittens & Gloves by Robin Melanson with a gift card I received at Christmas.
I don’t have a very large knitting library, but I am so happy that I bought this one. I was drawn to it right away because of the beautiful photography, but I ended up buying it because of the wide variety of patterns. Every style you can think of is included, and the patterns are detailed but not overly complicated. I also liked how it didn’t have that soccer mom vibe or tweeny glossiness to it like so many of the knitting books I see.
There’s a little writeup on how she came up with the pattern, and the yarns are so luxe that I think I will actually try to make a pattern in the yarn recommended for once in my life.
I can easily see myself making a large portion of these patterns since mittens/gloves make really great gifts. You may have frinds or family members that won’t appreciate a pair of handknit socks, but almost everyone I know will wear mittens/gloves.
I also had the opportunity to stop in at The Yarnery in St. Paul last week and wow! That store is so tiny, yet it has a huge and varied selection. The prices were fair and the staff was helpful without being overly nosy. I’ll definitely try to head over again before we move this summer.
I picked up three skeins of this aqua-colored worsted weight Misti Alpaca called Marina Melange. I’m hoping to make a Calorimetry and some gloves with it. I’ve been wearing crappy store-bought gloves and scarves all winter, which just doesn’t make any sense with my hobbies.
I really hate it when my husband has to work overtime. He works third shift, so the weekends are the only time we really get to spend together right now. He got stuck working Saturday, so he slept all day, went to work, came home this morning, took Jamie for a few hours to try and let me get a little sleep, and then slept all day. If that’s not two ships passing in the night, I don’t know what is.
To top it off, Jameson is teething and hasn’t slept for more than a couple hours straight for the last 3 days. He doesn’t cry very often, but he is obviously in pain, so he wants to be held 24/7 for comfort. It makes getting anything done really difficult.
When I have a spare moment, such as in deadlocked traffic, or during my breaks at work, I’ve been working on my orangey goodness socks.
I love Plymouth Yarns Happy Feet sock yarn. Its so soft to work with, and the colors are very vibrant and fun. I’m knitting these on size 0 needles in the hopes that they end up being very durable. I know the pair I knit for my son have held up to multiple machine washings really well, and they were on size 1 needles. I’m going to try an eye of partridge heel too, if I can ever keep track of the rows correctly.
I was recently organizing some photos and realized that I should really try to take action shots for my knit pieces. Its always easier to decide if you want to make a pattern when you see an action shot, so here is one for a sweater I knit for Jameson before he was born.
Child’s Placket-Neck Pullover by Joelle Hoverson
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK in Aqua and Plymouth Yarn Dreambaby 4 Ply
Needles: US 5 circular
It’s not the best view of it, but it does show the true colors and fit of the sweater. It was a size 6-12 months, but was a bit on the small side. I’d call it more of a 3-6 months sizing. The Dreambaby is still very soft but pills a bit, even while knitting. Nothing that a little sweater shaver can’t fix. The Debbie Bliss yarn is dreamy but I don’t recommend using it with Dreambaby in this color. It kind of bleeds over the white because of its halo, giving it a strange tint. Even so, it made a very soft and non-itchy sweater that kept Jamie warm on a very cold day.
It feels kind of wierd to be updating twice in one week. But I realized the other day that if I don’t start making some time for the things I enjoy, I’ll end up being one cranky mommy/wife. I enjoy blogging and want to do it more often, so lets see if I can make that happen.