Monthly Archives: June 2015

To hell with clothes, I need to make sure I have packed enough knitting!

The ‘ol Confederation Bridge (A picture from last year’s trip)

Tomorrow we are headed off on our week long PEI vacation! My lovely lovely parents rented us a cottage for a week as our Christmas present. The first half of the vacation my husband’s parents are going to spend it with us, and the second half my parents are going to spend it with us! Its going to be a grandparent visiting PEI potato eating bonanza! Yippeeee! We went last summer for a weekend and had a good time despite the weather being irritatingly unsummery, so we have high hopes for this one.

Lots of time will be spent sightseeing and beach playing and attraction visiting, but there will be time spent just driving, as well as time spent relaxing….

Thus I am faced with the knitter’s dilemma …

what knitting do I take with me on the trip?

I feel like I’m in some sort of knitting schoolyard pick and I’m deciding who I want to be on my dodgeball team, and because I was often the kid NOT picked during schoolyard picks, I feel almost obligated to bring everything lest my yarns and projects feel left out. This, obviously, is more than a little bit nuts.

So what to bring! Obvious first choice is my Sock Yarn Blanket. I always need to have a simple, “mindless” knit with me, and this is the best of those. It is the least portable of all my projects because it requires I bring my big bin ‘o sock yarns with me as well, but so be it. A vacation seems like an idea time to work on a project like this! Sitting out on the deck, soaking in the sun, knitting my brightly coloured little mitered squares…. ahhh….. paradise…..

Second obvious choice is my Fellowship of the Shawl. It is a no-brainer because it is super compact (the entire thing, including the pattern, fits into a ziplock sandwich baggie) and sometimes you just need some focus forcing lacework to break up your day. I’ve actually been working on this project over the past couple of weeks and I am just a few rows away from being done Aragorn!

I feel like I need a third thing. A smaller, quicker, uncomplicated third project. Something that I could maybe even complete during the trip, like a hat or fingerless mitts or socks or something. Bonus points if it is something that can be easily worked on in the car. (My sock yarn blanket isn’t super duper for car knitting for obvious reasons.) While my laundry is going this evening I’m going to poke around in my stash and see what I might have that could fit the bill. I still really want to make another pair of slippers, big bootie type slippers, so maybe this is the time to do it!


I wonder if anyone else spends as much time planning the knitting for a trip. I predict that what will happen is that I will spend most of my time tonight preparing and packing my knitting, and then be in a huge last minute rush to pack everything else and then forget something important like pants or bras or something.


Of course there is always the option of finding a yarn store on the island and buying some new yarn for a project if I find myself poorly prepared for my vacation knitting needs…. 😉

I made a fancy block… not sure why…

Despite this blanket being buckets of busy and in no way a “subtle” or “boring”, I went and upped the ante and added some extra interest to a square. It isn’t that exciting frankly, all I did was add some extra texture by not sticking to just garter stitch. For one block I switched to stockinette stitch for different colours in the self-striping yarn. If you look at the picture you can see the yellow is in stockinette and the purple is in garter stitch. I think it looks kind of neat, and it does add a bit of je ne sais quoi to the block. However, I wish I had thought of doing this earlier into the blanket. I’m almost 200 blocks in, and NOW I decide to add design elements? Yeah, not so brilliant, so this square may remain an only child. A bit of an easter egg in the blanket. It isn’t hugely noticeable, nor is it especially distracting when the blanket is viewed in its entirety.

So close to 200! 1

I’ve had a difficult couple of days. No particular reason that I’m aware of, but my emotional state has been pretty precarious as of late, and I’ve been really struggling to be happy. I do have depression, but in general am quite well maintained and controlled as long as I take my antidepressants. Its always there, but I’m generally able to keep it from taking over. The fact that I am generally well controlled I think led me to forget how bad it can be when things go off, and yeah… this has been a bad one. Without consciously deciding to to, I have found myself rededicating myself to knitting. It is interesting to me that I clearly “self medicate” using my knitting. Totally unbeknownst to me, my brain said, “Okay, I’m really sad right now. I’d better start knitting again, STAT!”. And so I have. And it has helped. Last night on the couch while my husband and I watched Alias he looked over at me, watching me for a bit before saying, “I love seeing you knit again,” with a decidedly lovey dovey expression. I was sort of surprised and confused. My husband has never been AGAINST my knitting, not by a long shot, but I didn’t know it was something he outright liked or appreciated. 2015-06-16_22.05.28[1]The cynical depressed part of me thinks it is just because this hobby doesn’t pose a threat to his precious lawn, and yeah, maybe that factors in, but probably last night it had more to do with the knitting clearly helping in my depression. It truly has been a difficult few days, and the time I spent knitting yesterday was the time when I was not only not crying/overtly sad, I was actually feeling more normal and maybe even happy. I think he saw that and was grateful for it. I know he knows that knitting in therapeutic for me, but last night I think he properly saw HOW therapeutic it can be for me. I think when he said that he loved seeing me knit again what he really meant was that he loved seeing me feel better and he knew that knitting was the thing that did it.

Anyway, about my sock yarn blanket…

I’m at 189 blocks now! Absolutely loving how it is looking, and MAN am I ever close to that 200 block mark. I can’t wait to cross that threshold.

This blanket is definitely progressing and growing, but it does definitely feel like a bit of a personal Everest. This is a HUGE, time consuming project, and it may very well be the single biggest (both in terms of physical size as well as in terms of time) project I will ever complete. Already I’m very proud of this project, but I’m really looking forward to having done and having this finished and usable.

That said, I’m starting to think 800 blocks may be a bit much. As it stands the WIDTH would be a good LENGTH if I truly intend to use it only as a couch blanket. Right now the length is ~ half the width. For the time being I think I am just going to aim to make it a square and then see where it stands. Maybe I’ll be super happy with it with just 400 blocks. The great thing about this project is that it is easy to make it bigger whenever I want. So for now, the goal is to make it a square and then reevaluate.

How do you knit a sock yarn blanket? One square at a time.

174 blocks!

174 blocks!

Slow going. Sweet mercy, is it ever slow going! And it isn’t for any reason other than I haven’t been spending much time knitting lately (as I said previously), and when I have done some knitting it has been mostly on dinky little filler projects, like my dishcloths or a knitted headband thing I threw together to keep my bangs back when the humidity was making my hair frizz and tickle my face. I have done some work on my sock yarn blanket, though, and I am creeping ever closer to the 200 square mark. Since I’m now thinking it will be about 800 blocks to finish this blanket at the size I want, crossing 200 squares and hitting the 25% done mark will be significant.

Yarn Chicken 
Knitting with a very limited amount of yarn and risking that you won’t be able to finish it before the yarn runs out.

  • 174 blocks! 26 more and I’ll be at 200!! Whee!
  • I still continue to be way too hung up on yarn randomness, and spend way too much time choosing the yarn for the next block. On one hand I think taking the time to ensure the yarns are well randomized and ensuring I don’t create pockets of similarly coloured blocks is well worth it. But then, on the other hand this is a SOCK YARN BLANKET, not some sort of oeuvre d’art upon which I shall be forever judged against. But then back to the first hand I know that if I DO end up creating too-closely repeating pockets of colour/yarn I will forever see it and it will drive me absolutely bonkers and I will be angry with myself for allowing it to happen while I was making it.
  • I played yarn chicken this week and lost. See that big square at the top of the blanket, going from chocolate brown to pink to a greeny yellow? Yeah, I started knitting that big block from one of my small balls hoping that it would be enough for a big one. About half way through I started getting very worried, my little ball of yarn was dwindling quickly. Sure enough, with only a handful of rows left, the ball was done. I finished the square off with some beige (trying to keep with the earthy tones), and I think it looks alright. I don’t think you’d know it was a different yarn unless I pointed it out.
  • My step son (who out of the blue picked me a super pretty bouquet this evening) continues to be impressed to hell by this blanket. He thinks it looks really “tricky”, and I totally blew his mind when I explained that the stripes and patterns in all of the squares were super easy to do, that the yarn did all the work by changing colours. I showed him one of the balls of yarn and how the colour changed, and then showed him a block I had done in that yarn. He was pretty shocked (for lack of a better description). He did the whole mouth agape scrunch eyed “WTF!” expression and everything. ha ha