Friday, February 20, 2009

Optimist Hat Challenge

Misti Alpaca Worsted

My digital camera is dead. D-E-D Dead. So you'll have to put up with crummy camera phone photos or old photos that I just haven't posted before.

I am starting a hat challenge in the month of March for my Optimist Club. We knit hats for the babies at the hospitals and for a couple of midwives in town. Lately the knitting has slowed down and I'm the only one who's contributing to the warmth of the babies heads. So... I decided I would challenge the club to a hat making contest. Most likely it's going to be me against the rest of the club. No one in the club other than me is a regular knitter and most use the Knifty Knitter loom. The downside of this for me is that they can whip out a hat in an hour. The upside, most of them only knit one hat a year.

So here is how I have it laid out. Any thoughts?

The Challenge:
To knit or crochet as many hats for the babies of SMDC and St. Luke’s as we can in the month of March.
Duluth Noon Optimist Club participants will be divided up into 2 teams.
Contest runs from March 1-31, 2009.

Any baby size hat counts. You may use any type of yarn – although the softer the better and natural fibers are preferred.
Each hat counts as one point for your team.
Hats may be brought to any Duluth Noon Optimist Club meeting during the month of March to be counted. Hats will be turned in to a non-knitting judge to be held and counted until the end of the contest.

The Prize:
Honor, Glory and the Recognition of your fellow Optimists.
A travelling trophy
Jess will buy the most prolific knitter’s lunch on April 7, 2009.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Insanity, thy name is...

What does it tell you about me that I am starting a project that I know will drive me absolutely, completely, utterly insane? It's miles of stockinette. It's fine yarn. It's a project that will take me over a month when I have other projects that I have to get done.

This is destined to be the Silk Cocoon Cardigan from Interweave Knits Spring 2009.
The yarn is Plymouth Yarn Alpaca Prima - the softest loveliest yarn I've seen in a long time. Colorway 3181. The craziest thing for me is that when I saw this pattern I knew I had to have one. I searched through my stash thinking there was no way I was going to spend the money on more yarn right now. I found the Alpaca Prima that I had bought for another project that I just didn't have the inspiration for right now. I did the math (yes, really I did). I had more than enough yardage (well 300 yds extra). Then, (now I know you're going to laugh) I swatched. Really, I did. And guess what? I. Got. Gauge.

See, Destiny!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's Day Walk

Adam and I took the girls for a walk on Saturday. Our plan was to walk down to the grocery store to pick up a loaf of crusty bread for fondue that night. It's 8 blocks to the grocery store.

We had no sooner gotten bundled up and out to the alley when Lily decided that she needed to be carried. There was no way I was carrying her the entire way (I've done it before and needed to seek chiropractic help afterward) so we got the wagon and some blankets out of the garage. Lily was very happy to be a rider, she kepting saying "Wheee! I'm on a roller coaster!"

Addie on the other hand, was quite the mountaineer. She went snowbank climbing and had to stop frequently for energy breaks (i.e. chocolate).

We got all of 4 blocks when we decided that everyone was too cold to keep going. We walked back home, got in the car and drove to the grocery store.

It's Mine!

Sorry for the crummy photo. I think my camera officially died.

I made the Squash Hat from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders (Is anyone surprised that I knit a pattern out of that book *again*?) I think I'm just putting a permanent link to the Amazon listing for that book rather than post it every other post. I'm in training for the Great Optimist Hat Challenge 2009 (more details to come), and wanted to see how fast it took me to knit an infant size hat. About a day is the answer.

Lily found the purple sparkly hat and immediately tried putting it on her head. Adam tried telling her that it was not for her, it was for a baby. Lily gave him "the look" and said, "Yes it is my hat, it has a noodle on it." How do you argue with that?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Chase's Scarf

A co-worker asked me to knit a scarf for her boyfriend for Valentine's Day. We met up last Friday and she gave me some chenille yarn she had left over from a crochet project. I'll admit it, I'm a yarn snob. I am not a huge fan of chenille. However, I thought I would give it my best effort. I started with just an easy knit one, purl one rib and did a few inches. It was looking a little too much like Lily's favorite teddy bear at that point so I did the "Man Test."

I asked my husband if he would wear something like that scarf. "No. But my brother might."

Hmm... that was less than helpful. Since I don't know this woman's boyfriend I decided to play it on the safe side. I grabbed 2 skeins leftover from AJ's hat and started playing around.

The Pattern: Cross-Stitch Scarf from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. I believe I have used this book more than any other in my library.
The Yarn: About half to 3/4 of a skein of Malabrigo in Foggy Gray and most of a skein of Berroco Puruvia
The Needles: Size 13 straights
Mods: I didn't think the scarf would be long enough for a man when I ran out of the Malabrigo so I added super long fringe. I think it works now.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


It's my first yarn since the wheel has been officially mine! The woman who sold me the wheel gave me some grey Corridale to practice with. I'm now working on some beautiful dark grey BFL. Boy, I need to get out of the rut of greys and browns all of a sudden. What's my deal? Normally I have a very deep rut that only runs to blues and greens with the occasional red. Come to think of it, that's how my house is decorated also. Can someone come over with a few gallons of paint to help me out? I seriously need a color overhaul.

Tash Enhancing - I found this Corridale roving at a store in Grand Rapids, MN last week. It's super soft and has a nice long staple. It's 6 oz. - approximately 3 oz of each color. My plan is to make long striping sock yarn. I think I'll try to Navajo ply it to keep the colors separate - assuming that I can find my spinning book that tells me how to do it. I guess there's always YouTube if I can't find it. Darn, I hate when I reorganize and then can't find anything!
*Edited to add- Ohh ohh ohh, I'm all excited. I just found this nifty conversion calculator. It has been killing me that I have no idea how to convert ounces to grams. Now I do!! I don't know if it's a failure of the US school system or just my particular small town school, but I was caught in the middle of the US/Metric conversion. I know some measurements in metric and some measurements in US, but I really don't know how to convert them. So I can tell you that a meter is 3 feet, but I don't know how long a yard is. I know that there are 4 tablespoons in 1/4 cup which is also 2 oz, but I have no idea how to convert it into liters. Basically, I'm math challenged.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Can She Do It? Yes She Can!

The Challenge-
Find a hat pattern and Grey Malabrigo yarn on Wednesday late afternoon and cast on for a hat. Find contrasting colors on Thursday night and finish the hat by Saturday. The true challenge is trying to find time to work on said hat while still attending all the family activities that were planned for the week.

The Yarn-
Grey- Malabrigo in Foggy Day
Red- Malabrigo in Sealing Wax (this may be my new favorite color of Malabrigo)
Black- Berocco Puruvia

The Result-
I actually wrapped up the mostly completed hat for AJ's birthday party on Saturday. I was frantically working on it in the car, but I just couldn't quite get it done in time. I finished it up that afternoon and was able to give it to his parents the next day.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

In Progress

Whenever I'm stressed or life seems out of control, I make lists. Normally this is contained to shopping lists and lists of calls that need to be made at work. However, right now I'm really stressed. So stressed that I wake up in the morning after having dreams of making lists that never end. Then, I go to work and make more lists that never end. Shit. Would anyone like to buy some newspaper advertising? Lots of newspaper advertising??

Projects in Progress:
-Scarf for Co-workers Boyfriend - Cross-Stitch Scarf from 101 One Skein Wonders
-Socks for Sock It To Me 3 Swap - 1/2 done

Projects That Need to Be Done:
-Sizzle for Mom
-Socks for Advent Calendar (I'm already a month behind on my 2 kid socks a month goal)
-Fiddlehead Hat
-Debbie Bliss sweater (too much money spent on this yarn to be sitting around)
-Baby Surprise Jacket for Winterscheidt Baby due end of March - done in super soft organic cotton.
-Matching Hat for Winterscheidt baby??
-Set up Hat Challenge for Optimist Club. I need to kick the members in the rear to get more hats made. I'm thinking of challenging them to see if the club can make more hats than me in a given month. Might end up being a challenge to see how much coffee I can consume in a given month.

Not terribly long ago a friend asked me if I was a type A personality. Apparently he has a theory that most salespeople are type A's. I laughed and said, "I am so not type A."

Friday, February 6, 2009

Eye Candy

Eye Candy....

Yarn P0rn....

However you want to look at it, it's good stuff.

Check out the Sundara Yarn photos.... it makes me happy.

Bad Blogger!

I'm sorry, I've been a really bad blogger. I have been absolutely swamped at work and home has been just as chaotic. I am overwhelmed with all that needs to be done in a day so that all I want to do when I get home is pour a glass of wine (or a bottle) and sit in the bathtub. This week has made me understand why salespeople have a reputation for being alcholics.

Enough whining and complaining on my part. I have been doing a bit of shopping so I'll have some new yarn to show you soon. Plus, I've finished one of the socks for the Sock It To Me 3 swap on Ravlery. It's a cute little thing, but I can't show it to you until I send it off. Plus, plus, we're supposed to have a lovely weekend... we are out of our deep freeze and on a bit of a warming trend. It was actually 10 above today when I left the house instead of 10 below. That means I'll be able to go to a car wash!! It's the simple things in life, folks. :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

I have to keep reminding myself that there are children in 3rd world countries that spin laceweight yarn. Or at least they used to. Spinning used to be children's work. So wouldn't you think it would be easier for an adult to spin fingering weight?