mistakes


This is what I get for making slippers out of wool… :(

20160119_214812_medium220160121_213117_medium2I made some slippers. I thought they were lovely slippers. Warm and cosy and quite comfortable. I used yarn I received as a gift from my husband and kid to make these slippers, and all was well with the world.

Then one of those slippers went all Bilbo Baggins on me and decided to go on an adventure.

An adventure into the washing machine.

On the hot water cycle. 

So yeah, massive shrinking and felt city. I don’t even know if it would fit my 9 year old. Tragedy.

R.I.P slipper. You will be missed.

So, the cold weather is rapidly approaching. Guess I should make a replacement pair, eh? Yes. Yes I should. I have multiple goals in mind with this pair.

  1. CANNOT BE SHRUNK! This seriously sucked, so I am making sure I use a yarn that protects me from any future adventuring slippers.
  2. Durable. We moved (YAY) and our new house is likely going to be hella colder than what we’re used to. New house is a lot bigger and no wood stove any more = slippers all the time!! So I need them to be able to stand up to constant wear.
  3. Warm. See #2
  4. Bootie style. I want them to have a proper cuff so that they stay on easily, but also in case I go tromping out in the snow in them. (Yes, this happens. A lot. I’ll be inside and my kid will be all “LES! Come see this!” and I’ll have to tromp outside in my slippers and hastily tossed on jacket to witness something he deemed worthy of my effort.)
  5. Appropriately scuffy/floppy so that they are super comfy but also of a size that I could wear them with a pair of socks as well, should the need arise, and it probably will because Canada.
  6. Pretty. I like pretty things. I swear, pretty things are warmer than boring things.

So that’s my plan, and actually I have already started. First of all, I’m using acrylic. I know I know, I “should” be using proper wool and I feel somewhat bad for using acrylic for slippers, especially since I have some really nice wool just aching to become slippers, but you know what? I can’t. I can’t face another accidentally shrunk slipper. Plus, I have a ton of Loops and Thread Impeccable in all sorts of colours that I should use up. So don’t be givin’ me any of your sass about how acrylic sucks and isn’t warm and try to make me feel like I’m breaking some good knitter law. Hurumph.

14079477_10157336087155603_3063458909892975478_nSo goal one is the cuffs. I’m knitting cuffs as tubes (Double Layer! Extra Warmth!). 26 stitches around on size US 9 needles. It isn’t a tight knit by any stretch of the imagination, and that is intentional. I would knit to a much smaller gauge with this yarn, using like a US 4 or something for a yarn weight like this, if this was an outdoor item. Windblocking and all that. But this is an indoor item, where comfort and squishy warmth are what matters. So I’ve knit the tubes, with some added fun of colour shifting, and since I’m knitting to such a big gauge they are knitting up SUPER fast. Already done one and halfway through he second. WIN! Also, they are looking pretty snazzy. I’m knitting them all grey with a blob of colour on one end (see the adjacent picture for what the block of colour looks like). When I finish them I’m going to make the blob of colours go on the side of my ankles, mostly just for fun but also to differentiate the two. I’m not weeping over the existence of seams, but I suppose if I had been smart I could have done a provisional cast on and then kitchener’d them together, but screw that. I’m going to crochet the two ends together and call it a day.

Once the cuffs are done I am going to knit the booties. I can’t decide if I want to start them by picking up stitches around the cuffs and then going that way, or if I want to knit toe up and then seaming them. Decisions decisions. Also, I think for warmth and durability I am going to knit the booties with the yarn held double. Will prob go up a couple needle sizes as well.

Cold weather is approaching quickly. Looking forward to getting these done ASAP!

 


One Day Rainbow Thrummed Mittens

Ow.

rainbow_midFor real, these mittens shall forever be known as the cause of my inevitable carpal tunnel. The problem isn’t the mittens really, but rather my insane choice to try to knit these mittens in one day. I started them one saturday morning, just casually knitting and managed to finish one by the early/mid afternoon. Plenty of the day left! Maybe I can finish the other one too!

I’m an idiot.

I mean, yes, of course I could. There are lots of things I COULD do, like smash lightbulbs on my face, or shave curse words into cats, but should I? No. No I shouldn’t. I need to stop and think harder over the “SHOULD I” question. Because in this case I probably shouldn’t have.

Signs that I should have stopped:

  • I developed knitting blisters on the sides of my palm where my needle rubs. The solution CLEARLY was to put on protective bandaids to reduce the friction. No thoughts of stopping.

    rainbow_thrums_for_days

    I also had to make all the thrums, which was a feat of its own

  • During the couple “breaks” (and I use that term very very loosely, since the breaks were only long enough to pee or eat something) I found it increasingly difficult and painful to bend some of my fingers.
  • Wrist pain. Wrist pain that started before I had even finished the first mitten and only got worse as the day went on.
  • A cramp in my hip/butt muscles from the weird way I sit when I knit.

Did I heed any of these signs? No. No I did not. These mittens became a matter of knititng HONOUR. I turned in to some sort of weird knitting Klingon, with a fatalistic “Perhaps today is a good day to die!” attitude. Nothing was going to stop me from finishing these mittens in one day.

 

12 hours, over 300 thrums, a handful of Advil, and five bandaids later, I finished them.

rainbow_finished

I spent the day after popping advil and having ice packs on my wrists while my husband repeatedly reminded me that I did this to myself and that that I had no one else to blame for the pain and discomfort I was in. I wasn’t able to knit for days because of the pain in my wrists and fingers, but you know… I’m still proud of having done it. And the mittens are undeniably warm and beautiful. I just love them.


I played chicken, and the chicken won.

The first mitten before I removed and frogged the flap and tore back and redid the grey edging bindoff.

I am not a fan of playing yarn chicken. I know, in the grand scheme of things yarn chicken isn’t exactly the most badass or risky of behaviours, but it is outstandingly annoying when you end up NOT having enough yarn to finish a project as you planned. And yet, despite my hatred of yarn chicken, I played it.

My Tri-Blend set is so fabulous I can hardly breathe, and looking at the yarn I had left over after I finished the cowl I thought for SURE I’d have enough yarn to make some matching mittens. So I went ahead and just started knitting. I finished one and declared it pretty damned cool. I had some things I wasn’t 100% on, like the thickness of the icord bindoff around the top (which I frogged and redid as just a normal bindoff, looks way better), but overall I totally liked it.

I went to start the second one I had a moment of “Oh crud…” because the amount of blue yarn I had left seemed extremely insufficient for the second mitten. “Maybe it is more than it looks!” I said to myself, steeped in denial and misplaced optimism, and I started the second mitt.

Yeah, no. It was exactly as much as it looked. I was down to INCHES to spare when I was finishing the thumb, so no way in hell did I have enough for the finger flappy bit. My husband said to just knit the flap using the yellow, saying it wouldn’t matter if they weren’t exactly the same. I scoffed at this suggestion, declaring that I put too damned much work into this set, I was NOT going to settle for an unmatching imperfect pair of mittens after all this.

This is all I have left from the three skeins I bought in PEI. Notice how the blue is just a ramen-noodle resembling mess. I haven’t properly balled it up after frogging the first flap.

I had no choice.

I carefully detached the flap from the first mitten and frogged it. I now have two matching fingerless mitts with no finger flap, and yeah, I could just leave them this way but that would defeat the purpose since I’m aiming to make a super warm set to battle the cold cold Canadian winter weather. Fingerless mitts = frostbite. So my plan now is to redo the flaps, each flap being its own little tri-blend gradient. My plan is to go Grey – Yellow – Blue so that when I attach the flap to the mitt it will be blue on blue and therefore look tidier. I’m also going to actually WEIGH the blue yarn to make sure I have an equal/even amount of yarn for both flap.

Even then, I’m pretty sure I am going to come very close to using up every little bit of this yarn. I have hardly any blue left, even less grey, and a bit more yellow, but still! I feel sort of proud for so completely using up the three original skeins of yarn I got from MacAusland’s Woolen Mill. I continue to be very happy with this yarn and I continue to totally regret not buying more of it when I had the chance. The only thing I can say against it is that when I soaked and blocked my hat and cowl there was a surprising amount of colour in the water from the blue and yellow yarns, but honestly that isn’t a huge deal for me.


To frog or not to frog… That is the question… 2

If you don’t know what spring peepers are, they are just this little frog that vocalize (a high pitched “Peep! Peep!” sound) in the spring. For us hearing the spring peepers is the first sure sign that winter is finally over.

Friday night my husband and I went on a bit of a summertime date (He got us some ice cream, and then we parked by the river and watched the sunset while we ate our ice cream. So romantic! ) and on the drive home with the sunroof open we heard the loud calling of spring peepers.They do their loud dusk calling throughout the summer, but last night it was crazy how loud it was. It was remarkable enough that I took a video.

They are one noisy-ass frog, lemme tell ya, but this was way beyond normal in terms of volume. On top of that, they were very timely because I have been thinking over a bit of a predicament…

I am seriously considering frogging and restarting my Stripes Gone Crazy Sweater.

StripesGoneCrazyIncreasesI haven’t worked a single stitch on it in many months (not since JANUARY for heaven’s sake!!), and, yeah, my sock yarn blanket is part of that, but the big reason is that I am not happy with my sweater so far. I mean, geeze, the last post I made about it was how I totally effed up my shoulder decreases as well as where I picked up the stitches on either side, and frankly I did a pretty pathetic job of fixing those issues. As I have worked on other things since I hibernated that project I feel like I have improved a moderate amount since then, and I definitely wouldn’t be repeating those mistakes. I also know I’m always going to see those mistakes every time I look at the sweater. Its one of those “No one else would notice but I will” things. I could knit the rest of it totally perfectly but I will just see that weird seaming and gappy shoulders.

 

So what to do… Do I frog the hours of work I have put into it so far and start over, or do I continue along under the hope that once the sweater is done I really won’t see the mistakes?


Quick fix. I need a quick fix.

In Greek Mythology Sisyphus was a sinner condemned in Tartarus to an eternity of rolling a boulder uphill then watching it roll back down again. Every day he’d have to push that boulder up the hill knowing full well the next day he’d have to do it again and again and again for eternity.

Okay, so I am hereby admitting that having three big projects on the go at once was stupid. I’m not going to say it was a stupid idea because that would imply there was some thinking or planning involved. This was not an idea I had. The problem is that I WASN’T thinking and I just started these three big projects without thinking “Hey, you know, I already have these other major projects on the go. Maybe I shouldn’t add in another major project.”. I am a foolish woman.

The problem is now that I am craving completion. I need to complete a project. It doesn’t have to be one of the three biggies I have on the go, it just needs to be a knitting project that I can finish relatively quickly and easily. The longer I go without finishing a project the less fun knitting starts to feel. Going a long time without a finished project starts to make it all feel somewhat Sisyphus-ish. Endless toil that serves no purpose and with no reward. So I am very impatient to find a quick project that I can finish so that I can get back into the groove of things. I actually started a new project with this “just finish something” goal in mind. Here it is…

20150511_203343Um, yeah, I have no idea what the hell this was going to be.

The yarn is feltable and I think that was what I was thinking about when I started knitting, that maybe I would felt it, but still, I have no idea what it is supposed to end up as. Possibly a slipper? An oven mitt? A savagely misshapen hat? Your guess is as good as mine. I sincerely just started knitting without a plan, and now I have… whatever the hell that is. I’m to the point where I have to admit that it is pretty much the stupidest thing ever and there is nothing that I can make out of it that won’t just be a sad sad plop of what had been nice yarn, now ruined by lack of planning and impulsiveness. I will be frogging it. That yarn deserves better.

So attempt one at doing up a “quick fix” completion project was an utter utter failure. Embarrassing, but there you go. I shall frog and pretend it never happened, but that still leaves me with the problem of my needing a nice, solid, quick knitting project that I can complete relatively easily to regain the knitting motivation. I’m tempted to do something properly useless, like a mug cosy, but man…. mug cosies just make me sad. I sincerely don’t get their appeal. But I gotta do something and FINISH something soon.