Saturday, March 17, 2018


Whenever I say I'm not going to buy more yarn, I inevitably fail at that lofty goal.  Last night I realized I was about 40 yards short of what I needed for my Easy One sweater in fingering weight.  And I know I'm gonna want it a little longer than the pattern calls for.  So I had to hop online to order more Stroll Tonal in Matcha for that sweater.  And of course I didn't want to pay for shipping, so I shopped around and added 2 project bags and 3 other skeins of Stroll to my cart before I checked out.  I went with a handpaint called Big Top, and tonals called High Tea and Mocha.  I swatched the Matcha on my ChiaoGoo US 4's but haven't laundered it yet.  My US 2 & 3 ChiaoGoo's should arrive tomorrow, so I'll be able to swatch the Matcha on the US 3's and cast on one of the Sockhead Hat's for my kids on the US 2. 

But that order wasn't enough to keep me from stopping back at Walmart tonight to check out the selection of Bernat POP! and Lion Brand Mandala.  Unfortunately, the POP! was the more expensive yarn, but I love how it was working up on Jo's monster, so I picked up ... eek... 5 more cakes.  The Mandala is a finer yarn, not what I was looking for to make monsters out of, so I only got 1 cake of that.  Then I turned around and saw the Red Heart Ombres and couldn't help myself from adding one of each color to my basket.  I was disappointed that they were out of pink or yellows, but I got peach, blue, turquoise, green, and purple. 

Now I can't decide which yarn to use for my Attic24 Granny Stripe blanket.  I was going to use the POP! but I sort of want to keep that for making the monsters until I finish that project.  The Mandala I only have 3 cakes of, and they aren't complimentary colors, so that's out.  That leaves the Ombres.  I have 5 skeins total, and I'm not sure how much yarn an afghan like that will take.  I want it to be maybe a twin sized afghan, enough to cover up with to sleep, not just a throw or lapghan.  But before I start that project, I wanted to work on Jo's monster.  I finished the first leg of the mom and started the first arm.  I'm not a fan of knitting a small number of stitches in the round for 30 rounds, that's for sure.  Tomorrow I'm going to have to go get stuffing.  I was planning to send the pieces to her and have her get stuffing to do it herself, but I am afraid it won't get done, and all the parts needed to be stuffed before they can be sewn on, which means a lot more than just stuffing the body and whip stitching it closed. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Podcast Episode 2 - March 16, 2018

Episode 2

FO - Sockhead Hat for Me!

YAY!  I finished this fine gauge hat in about 72 hours.  I just couldn't put it down because I wanted to wear it so bad.  I cast on with ChiaoGoo 16-inch size US 2.5 needles, and boy did that give me a pretty loose gauge.  I'm too tired to measure right now, but I'm not sure if I just knit it too loose, used too large of a needle, or this yarn is just thinner than I was expecting.  I'm now wondering if I need to rethink my plans for knitting the Easy One on the recommended size 4 needles with fingering yarn, because I certainly don't want a sweater to be see-through like this hat is under lights.  My yarn for the Easy One should be here tomorrow from Knitpicks.  I bought the cheapest Stroll Tonal they had, which was part of the green sale, Matcha.  My ChiaoGoo 32- and 16-inch circs came in the mail this week too.  So I was ready to get to work on that next week, but now I might need to invest serious time into swatching and laundering tests before I actually get going.  I don't need another sweater I can't wear. 

Before I get to the Easy One, I'm going to finish Jo's monsters.  At least the first monster's limbs.  I've never gotten that far before, so it will be a milestone if it actually has arms & legs.  I have the first pocket knit on but not sewn down on the sides yet.  I haven't decided if I'm going to stuff them or send them unstuffed and let her assemble.  I ordered her copies of Rebecca Danger's books, The Big Book of Knitted Monsters and 50 Yards of Fun.  Jo needs to learn to knit before she tries to make the monsters, but she's not really grasping that concept just now.  It's hard for me to try to teach her when she doesn't have access to the internet to watch how-to videos and can only skype with me when her father can set it up for her. 

I spent today knitting and listening to podcasts about knitting.  In addition to The Grocery Girls, The Yarn Hoarder Podcast, Cozy Up with the Stitchin Sisters, Joji and Ladywing Designs, I've begun watching The Sockmatician and Smells Like Yarn.  Ross from Smells Like Yarn actually did a live knit night video tonight that was kinda fun.  I'd seen the Grocery Girls try to do a live podcast one day and had a lot of trouble with it, but couldn't see the comments while watching from my phone, so when Ross went live, I pulled out my laptop so I could see everything. 

One thing that sorta irritated me was when the dishcloths got into the conversation and he had a touch of attitude about Amber (The Yarn Hoarder) making dish cloths.  No, dish cloths are not new.  That isn't the point of Amber talking about them.  She's just doing a personal challenge that her viewers wanted to participate in and they joined in and are knitting dish cloths along with her.  And I think it's cool whenever people are encouraging each other to knit/crochet more, use their stashes, make gifts for their family/friends, etc.  Keep it positive.  A lot of people are going to end the year with 52 dishcloths and a sense of accomplishment and maybe a smaller stash.  Unless they're like me, using it as an excuse to grow the stash.

The Craftsy folks put out their new KAL for Off Our Needles and it's a cotton t-shirt.  Yuck.  After the shawl pattern nightmare, I would have expected them to come up with something a little more universally appealing.  But when you have your KAL hosts both saying they had to hack the pattern to make it to their liking, I'm feeling justified in skipping it altogether.  Plus, the coupon for 50% off still leaves it at $42 with tax & shipping for an XL size.  So, yeah, I'm glad I found Ravelry and when I want to do another knitalong I will probably go with one from the groups I join instead of the commercial ones I started out with.  Craftsy has been downhill after Zadie, which I really enjoyed. 

I'm thinking I might do another podcast tomorrow, or later today actually, since it's 2am already.  I want to show off my finished hat.  Or I might just take some pictures of it in daylight to post and then take a nap.  I have to work 6am-2pm and deal with the truck delivery.  That means I get to scan the boxes and totes as they come off the truck and go into our stock room.  I loved doing it the first time because I'm kinda a natural at it and that impressed the guys I work with and the delivery driver who is a little crazy.  Saturday I have to work 9-5, and then I'm off again on Sunday, so knitting & Nascar are on the agenda.  I think Dan is going to have to get a TV antenna for the living room so that I can watch the races down there and he can watch the tv in the bedroom, because he hates motor sports.  His college roommate liked to make sound effects while watching the races, and he's still traumatized 20 years later. 

Please leave comments if you've found me, and let me know what you're thinking.  I'm starving for feedback.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Knit Monsters

My older daughter has been asking me for knit monsters for about 2 years.  It's the 3 monster set from The Big Book of Knitted Monsters - Leila, Lydia & Lucas.  I've knit them a couple times, or parts of them, anyway.  I never seem to finish them.  This time I've decided I will start & finish the set.  So far, the body of the mommy monster is knit, with 1 of the 2 pockets knit up.  Tomorrow I will knit the other pocket and the arms or legs.  My thumb is sore from working the worsted weight on short-tip size 5 circular interchangeable needles from Knitpicks.  I still need to knit 2 baby monsters, and all the limbs for the 3 monsters.  This is my worsted gauge project for the foreseeable future.

The Chiaogoo 16-inch size 2.5 and 4 needles arrived today.  I left work for lunch so I could open them and cast on the Sockhead Hat by Kelly McClure.  I'm using my Beyond the Clouds yarn from SheepyFibres, Etc on Etsy.  This hat will be mine... I can't get over the amazing yarn - Grey with a variegated rainbow every so often.  This will probably take up my sock-gauge knitting time for the next week or so until it's done. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

First Episode of my Podcast

Well, today I took a leap and recorded my first podcast episode.  I hope you'll take the time to watch it.  Comment.  Help me make the next episode better.  I did it without notes, so editing it took time to put in the titles to fill in stuff I'd forgotten or gotten wrong on the fly.  I especially want to thank Zakiya over at Ladywing Crafts Podcast for encouraging me to just do it.

I did cast on for the monster again with the Bernat Pop yarn when I found my short tip size 5 needles and a short cable from my Knitpicks interchangeables.  Wish me luck!

As soon as I was done editing, my yarn from SheepyFibersEtc on Etsy was delivered.  I am dying to cast on the Sockhead Hats for myself & my daughters, but the US 2.5 needles won't be here till tomorrow.  Sad Trombone to that.  The yarns are fabulous.  Here are the pics, although I don't have good lighting so they're way better in person....
Beyond The Clouds
Graffiti Blast

Unicorn Party

Monday, March 5, 2018

Finally - FO's

I'm so glad that I'm able to say that my Easy Bulky One is the sweater I'm actually wearing today.  I finished it with 2 properly sized sleeves, but never got around to blocking it.  I couldn't resist wearing it today.  The jury is out on the Baby Alpaca/Merino/Nylon yarn... it's not as cozy as I was expecting, as far as softness goes.  But it's nice & airy and not making me overheated.  I'm glad it's done and not staring at me anymore, waiting for the ends to be woven in.  I fell asleep at 6pm last night after watching the Nascar race and slept until Midnight, then was up & working on my Hermione sock until I just couldn't take it anymore, then I decided to weave in the ends on the Easy Bulky One so I could consider it a full FO. 

I also finished the Scania shawl I knit for my older daughter, J.  I need to block the cables, but I'm considering it finished anyway.  The pattern was poorly written, so I'm surprised that Craftsy chose it for their Off Our Needles knitalong.  I had to make index cards with the pattern written out because of the way it was written.  And when I got to the end, I was scratching my head because the pattern made no sense at all.  It turned out that there were errors that had been corrected after I'd purchased the kit, and I had to look up the pattern again online to get clarification on how to finish the darn thing.  I will NOT be making the Scania shawl again, even though I have 2 more kits worth of yarn I purchased to make matching shawls for myself and my younger daughter. 

Another FO is the pair of Blueberry Waffle socks I made with Knitpicks Felici worsted yarn in Hopscotch.  These will go to my younger daughter, C.  She likes mismatched socks, so I went with mismatched stripes on the foot where I ran out of yarn from the first ball and had to start into a 2nd ball. 

In the acquisition list, I purchased a yarnball hand winder, which is really  just a tapered plastic rod with a hole in it to hold the yarn tail.  There are times when I don't feel like winding a cake on my regular ballwinder, and just want to wind a center pull ball from the comfort of my bed or passenger seat in the car, and I'm hoping this doohickey will do the trick.  I used a coupon at Michaels, so if it doesn't work, it's $5.99 down the drain, but I think it will work for my intended purpose.  I also bought 3 new balls of Lily Sugar'n Cream yarn in Playtime, Psychedelic, and Azalea to make more dishcloths for the Yarn Hoarder KAL.  At Joann's I got a Clover Amour crochet hook in size E, and 2 sets of size 1 dpns for socks. 

J decided she wants to learn to crochet so she can make these little crochet amigurumi octopus guys she saw on the Mohu blog.  I needed a smaller crochet hook so that I could try to figure out the pattern and teach her.  She thinks that she just does each step one time and makes the project... We discussed practicing the chain before she tries to crochet into a circle, let alone slip stitch or decrease.

D's socks got ripped back to the beginning of the heel flap and I decided to do an afterthought heel instead.  I put in waste yarn and kept on knitting those.  My Hermione sock #1 is at the heel flap.  My Sour Watermelon sock is still mid-FishKissLipsHeel on sock #1.  I'm having to watch the video of the Twin Stitch at the end of every row, so it's a tedious process at this point.  I'm just excited to be down to just socks at this point.  I'm not sure which shawl I will do next, or if I will do a Boxy in fingering weight with one of the shawl kits - most likely the purples which can become a fade.  Or if I want to use them for one of the CozyUp shawls.  I love watching their podcast.  I also watch The Yarn Hoarder, and LadyBirdDesigns... if you haven't watched them, you should check them out.  Very inspiring. 

I would love to hear from you or be your friend on Ravelry!  myShannanigans

Monday, February 26, 2018

Yarn addiction

Not only do I have a stationery addiction, I also have a fiber addiction.  I'm not sure which is a bigger issue.  Right now I'm all about knitting.  I have at least 6 knitting and 2 crochet projects in the works at the moment.  I've gotten back into watching podcasts from other knitters and am trying to get involved in the Ravelry world.  There just aren't enough hours in the day for all the yarny goodness I want to surround myself with. 

My first project is my birthday present to myself - The Easy Bulky One by Joji Locatelli.  I'm knitting it with Knitpicks Wonderfluff in the color Sweet Pea.  Right now I've got 1 too-narrow sleeve knit on, and I'm working thru the second - big enough, I hope - sleeve.  Assuming the second one fits better, I will frog and redo sleeve 1 to that size.  Then I just have the collar to do, and that project will be done.  I'm kind of sick of the color, so it will be good to have it off the WIP pile.   I have plenty of yarn left, since this wasn't the same weight as the yarn that was called for, I bought the larger of the length/weight measurements, which turned out to be about 5 or 6 balls too much yarn.  I will turn the excess into a baby sized generic blanket or maybe stash it for a hat/mitts/scarf next year... I'm not in the mood to knit an actual pattern with it this year. 

I'm also knitting a pair of socks from Knitpicks Felici Worsted in the Hopscotch colorway and using the Blueberry Waffles pattern for my daughter.  I was originally knitting her a Scania Shawl from the Off Our Needles Craftsy KAL, but then realized that for safety reasons she's not allowed to wear shawls.  So that project is on hold (I only have the final edge mock cables/bind off to do) for now.  I'm on the second sock in the pair and can't wait for that project to be done with as well.  I struggled with sock #2 keeping up with the 2 row repeat for some reason.  She's 15 and won't care that there are some wonky spots, I'm sure. 

I'm on the heel flap of sock #1 in a pair for my boyfriend made out of Lang Jawoll Color.  I'm knitting a vanilla sock with a heel flap using the included reinforcement thread.  This is only the 2nd time I've tried using reinforcement thread, and I'm not really a fan, since it seems to make the sock fabric rigid.  I'm afraid that it's not going to stretch enough to fit D's heel. 

I'm just about to start the heel for my own socks, which are vanilla socks as well, but I think I might try the Fish Lips Kiss heel on them.  They are made out of BMFA Colossal Patch of Sour Watermelon yarn that I got from Simply Sock Yarn Company in the fall to prepare for knitting socks for Christmas gifts.  Then my daughter had a health crisis and my plans went out the window and I was left with an abundance of sock yarn and no energy with which to knit. 

I'm also knitting Gramma's Dishcloth by PJ Allen for Amber @ The Yarn Hoarder's challenge to knit a dishcloth every week of 2018.  I got a late start (mid-February), so I'm only on my 2nd one.  But I have quite a stash of cotton yarn that I am happy to have a purpose for. 

I want to get thru the sweater project so that I can get to the point that I'm only working on socks for a while.  They are more portable and I'm enjoying working on the 9" circular needles I've started collecting.  And I have so much fun sock yarn in my stash, and I want to start knitting stuff with speckles and stellina and socks blanks, and I can't justify buying that stuff until my stash actually fits in my happy room instead of all over the house. 

I updated my Ravelry username to myShannanigans, so please, follow me there if you want. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Moving in with a Deluxe Mr. Darcy from Chic Sparrow

Kara's post, I'm Moving into a Traveler's Notebook! | Boho Berry, really inspired me to research leather covers for my notebooks.  I have purchased fabric covers for composition books (one etsy order was a fiasco that I never actually received, the other I got but wasn't thrilled with the material I chose), but I really liked the idea of a leather cover.  I have vinyl travelers notebook covers I've picked up at Michaels and made myself, but those weren't cutting it for me either.  So, I spent a week or two drooling over the covers at Chic Sparrow and tried to find something comparable but less expensive.  Like tattoos, cheap work isn't good and good work isn't cheap.  There really isn't a substitute I could find for the Pocket Plus size that Chic Sparrow offers.  It will hold 6 Field Notes or Moleskine notebooks.

I knew I wanted the Plus size so that it could hold plenty of notebooks and the Deluxe that has pockets on the inside.  Then the search turned to the styles and colors that were in stock.  I had no patience to wait for colors to come back in stock, so I went with my 3rd choice of color, Martini, in the Deluxe Mr Darcy.  It is close to the color of my current Leuchtturm bullet journal, a nearly lime green.  I got my name embossed on the front because, why not?  And I couldn't just order a pack of Field Notes, or even use the ones I'd already acquired, I had to sign up for the quarterly subscription package to ensure I never run out of notebooks to put into Mr Darcy.

Right now, I'm not sure if I will completely replace my bullet journal in my Leuchtturm for this smaller version.  Going from an A5 down to a little more than an index card is a dramatic downsize.  But right now I have some projects going on that need their own space, and the ability to have 6 individual notebooks on hand and at the ready is appealing.  At the moment, I've got a bullet journal notebook, a Craft Room-slash-Office Remodel notebook, a Postcrossings notebook (international postcard exchange site - with drafts of the postcards I've sent, their tracking numbers and addresses of recipients), and a "friends & family" postcard drafts notebook.  The current set of Field Notes is the Campfire set, so I put the 3 of those, one standard kraft notebook, and 2 Shenandoah notebooks.  I haven't decided what the 2 unused notebooks are going to be for yet, but I'm sure having the notebook with me tomorrow for the first time will give me a good idea of what I need to put in it.  The leather notebook is so precious it even came wrapped in a flannel bag to keep it cozy.  I can't wait to get done with this post so that I can play around with my new toy.

Friday, June 9, 2017

How To Create/Write/Send a (Really Great) Postcard

How To Create/Write/Send a (Really Great) Postcard

I have decided that I'm going to become a prolific postcard writer.  I stumbled upon collections of 100 post cards on various subjects while browsing the B&N website and, subsequently, Amazon.  And, being my hoarder self, I proceeded to buy several sets.  Ok, more than a few.  About 800 or 900 so far.  I also hopped onto the USPS website to buy postage to accomplish the feat of sending out postcards to my kids and friends several times a week.  The author of this article says she once put 19 sentences on one postcard.  That's crazy but also a challenge that got me thinking.  It made me order some blank 5x7 cards for those times when I really do have plenty to say.  I'm making up kits for my children to send cards to me, my parents,  and their cousins.  I think a postcard or letter is so much better than a text with a couple emoji, and I'm hoping they will appreciate getting actual correspondence in the mail instead of junk.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Hobby Addiction

Part of the difficulty of hoarding is that we tend to attract hobbies that require various and different materials.  Someone who plays sports might accumulate sports balls for each sport, but the space that takes up is limited.  Someone who is addicted to many hobbies that are artistic and is a hoarder is like a kiss of death.  I knit, crochet, sew, quilt, journal, read, color, brush letter, glam plan, etc.  I've gotten back into the Zentangle groove.  I purchased 3 new books (one of which I'm not even sure when/where I ordered it from, but it arrived today) on how to do it, and an album to store my finished tiles.  This means I realized I needed new pens because, hey, I might run out or lose one or damage the tip.  Luckily I found my box of cut paper from when I first discovered this art form 3 years ago, but I'm tempted to buy the art tiles that they prescribe in the book I'm working from just because the paper quality is better.  Amazon Prime makes it way too easy to hop online and buy everything in 2 seconds flat.  I'm also getting back into the brush lettering challenge run by RandomOlive on IG.  I use watercolors and a waterbrush and trace on her practice sheets.

The reason that I'm getting back into these 2 hobbies I've dabbled in before is for their calming, meditative properties.  I have been having rapid cycling of manic and depressive episodes lately.  I'm trying to pay attention to them, get proper sleep, and spending time with my headphones on so that I don't get overwhelmed.  D has been away on business, so I've been working with my natural patterns, not distracted by his schedule and habits.