Marram v 2.0

I finished another Marram for my co-worker who wears purple and/or gray nearly every day. Here is the finished result. Pictures taken w/my new camera (clearly I still have some learning to do with this thing).

The top really is where the magic happens with this hat.

I still haven't finished Manda's scarf (bad friend!) and I haven't finished or started anything else. I really need to finish it so I can work on that sock that I left behind before the holidays. Poor thing is still tucked away in a bag, heel half finished, just waiting for me to pick it up again. One day, soon.

Oh, and gift cards apparently aren't working on the joann website right now so still no ball winder. *pout* By the time the gift cards at working I can probably just afford to buy one without the gift card. But I really want to use it for this because there's not really much else I want to buy at joann's and the store here is kind of depressing.


Christmas goodies!

I only got one knitting related gift this year, but it sure was a doozy. Kevin made me a yarn swift! I was so surprised by it and the thought that he actually made it for me it nearly unseated the kitchen aid stand mixer as top present this year. I still need a ball winder (which I plan on ordering if the stupid joann's website will ever take my gift card (so I guess that might be 2 knitting related presents)). I did wind up a ball by hand this morning just to give it a whirl and make sure it works ok. It does! It's a little slow at spinning, but that was probably more winding by hand than anything. Kev was really proud to see his little device in action as he had no idea how it was supposed to work.

Yarr, there be pictures behind this cut!


Kev modeling his Marram

Isn't he a handsome devil?

I'll have to get a more detailed shot of the hat because it really is neat looking. There are two spirals. One from the slipped stitches and one from using the two colors.

Marram round 2, complete!

I started Kev's Marram Friday afternoon (we got out early thanks to the snow) and finished it Sunday evening. Pretty much all I did this weekend was knit and bake cookies non-stop. No mistakes this time around. It's the right size. No problems at all! No pictures yet since I haven't been able to get him out in the sunlight to take a quick picture.

But since that one knit up so quick, I decided to start another one last night and it's going by just as quickly. The ribbing and first 2 repeats of the pattern are done. It's fun and easy to do and the finished hat just looks so dang clever and more difficult than it really is. This one will be purple/gray (the first was gray/gray).

The cookiepalooza that I had all weekend long was fun. I did two batch of peanut butter, one sugar, one chocolate chip and one chocolate christmas tree peppermint batch. Oh, and one batch of lemony snickets last night after replenishing my butter supply. I think my urge to bake has been satisfied and all of the cookies were gone before lunch after bringing them into work. I work with a bunch of pigs. :-p

Manda's scarf is the last holiday knit I have left to do. Fortunately I've got a grace period on it and will probably use it as my Christmas knitting when I go home to see the family.

Hope y'all have a fantastic holiday!


The dishes mittens are done, bitch.

I wish I had some buttons to use as eyes, but unfortunately I didn't have 4 teeny tiny matching buttons. Beads have to do. Now I am redoing Kevin's Marram hat. it's coming along nicely and maybe I'll have it finished by tomorrow (a day too late for this super blizzard we just got last night).


Guilt free knitting

I took my last exam yesterday (I got an A in the class. Yay!) so now I can knit, guilt free, without worrying about homework or assignments or test until January 11th. w00t!

Of course there's still that work thing that gets in the way, but I'll just make due with knitting in the evenings and on weekends like 24/7.

Both mittens are finished. I just need to block them now. I should have plenty of time to do that this weekend seein' as how we're about to get dumped on (they're calling for a foot of snow! In Roanoke! WTF?).

And because my weekend plans consist of baking a buttload of cookies, I'm going to share a recipe for my favorite sugar cookies. I've made this recipe since I was in high school and I've missed it since moving out from home. I had Mom fax me the recipe so I plan on baking up a boatload of these badboys this weekend.

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVAR

Thoroughly cream one cup sugar with,
1/2 cup butter,
1/2 cup vegetable oil,
beat and add one egg,
add 2 cups flour,
1/2 teaspoon baking soda,
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar,
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix well, chill overnight (or for several hours). Roll dough in small balls and roll in sugar. Flatten on cookie sheet (if desired). Bake 10-12 minutes at 350.

They are melt in your mouth delicious. And if you top them off with a bit of powered sugar after they come out? YUMMO.



So this past weekend we had some friends over for a 'beer tasting' party (Kev needed help deciding which beer to enter into the next homebrew competition coming up this weekend). After several (I do mean several) beers our friend Mike just started positively gushing over my knitting. Complimenting my socks, stuffing his fingers into my mittens (that sounds vaguely naughty) and generally just showing off my stuff to everyone. It was nice to hear someone appreciate my knits (now I really do need to get around to making him a hat...after Christmas, first thing!). Kev shrugs and says things are nice, but Mike just went gaga over little details. He was just amazed at how fine the knitting was on my socks, exclaiming 'they're just like store bought!'. Ha! Since I don't have many knitter friends it's not often people compliment the details.

So yeah, it was nice to have a bit of (albeit, drunken) validation.


Mitten 2 is 2/3 of the way done. I've been busy with homework and shopping and decorating and stuff so I haven't gotten to sit down and finish it off. Maybe by tomorrow if I get my exams taken care of tonight.  I've just got about 3-4 inches to go and that won't take long.

Manda's Scarf is slowly coming along. I got about 4-5 inches knitted on it this weekend. This will just require a day or two of hardcore nonstop knitting. After the mitten is done, that is what I will do.

Oh and I started a little tiny cthulhu from Creepy Cute Crochet for my friend Joe. Hey, it's what he asked for for Christmas! Still deciding on if I'm going to deal with the polymer clay eyes, or just stitch little black eyes on? IDK. This is my first amigurumi. It's nice to finally get to stuff something after buying a big bag of polyfill like 2 years ago.:)


One mitten down.

I finished mitten one. Did I mention these things go like, super fast? I started it last night after work, and finished it today after work. I could probably knit two on a weekend day if I didn't have much else going on.

Here are pictures of mitten one. As a side note, I really miss day time. Taking pictures without natural lighting blows.

And just to show you how big of a failure the original mitten is, I put them side by side.

The only thing I'm not completely happy about is the bumpy top. I don't think I like it pointy. I'd rather have a round mitten, but whatever. Blocking should smooth it out a bit.



Using the thicker yarn and going up a size or two really helped things out. The first mitten is working up super quick (I'm already 2/3 of the way through it and that's since getting home from work) and it fits perfectly! For future reference I'll just have to remember to go big when making the Give a Hoot Mittens.

So I really do give a Hoot...

I finished the left mitten last night. Well, mostly finished. Still need to do the thumb but that's on hold right now because the actual mitten is just...small. My hand fits into it, but my fingers have to curl a little and it's tight across my palm. It also just feels kind of flimsy and not very warm. Judging by the comments from others who have made these mittens it's not just me. The pattern just makes really small mittens. I know my Mom's hands are probably smaller than mine, but I'm not sure if they're so small that these mittens will work for her. I thought about blocking it out but again, I'm not sure how much that will help. So for now I'm going to push the pause button on that mitten and cast on again using slightly thicker yarn (yarn form baby hats v 1.0 and 2.0) and larger needles (size 9 since that's the only other larger size dpns that I currently own and am too poor to buy more until tomorrow and gosh darn it, I'm impatient). I'm not confident enough in my knitting math to try adapting the pattern by adding in stitches so I'm hoping this technique works and I get a larger mitten out of it. I'll also probably add in a few extra rows here and there just to make sure I get them long enough.

If that works then I'll either frog the first mitten or perhaps make it a gift for my niece Kaitlyn. (Do 13 year old girls have small hands? They probably do...right?)


I just don't Give a Hoot!

So I decided to make a pair of Give a Hoot mittens for my Mom as a Christmas present. I'm using the Aliki beach Cascade 220 that I posted about way back when and so far, it's been working up really quickly. I'm concerned about the thumb. The instructions wind up leaving me with a super huge gap after separating out the thumb stitches, but I'm going with it and I'll see if I like how it turns out. They work up quickly enough that if I decide I don't like it I could frog it and redo it w/an after thought thumb or something. (I think. Not sure how much that involves changing the pattern.) The owl is super simple and cute. I may just start putting owls on everything I knit, now that I know how easy they are. Owl hats! Owl socks! Owl scarves! The possibilities are endless. (Speaking of owl socks, how cute are these?! They may have to be my first project of the new year...)

Kev's hat is still hanging out in the frog pond. Manda's scarf is coming along slowly but surely. And I'm forcing myself to ignore my socks until the Give a Hoots are finished.

Sorry, no pictures now, but maybe when I finish my first mitten.


An update finally.

So some sad news on the LYS front. Apparently there was smoke damage at the local LYS last week due to a boiler malfunction. This means this shop is closed right now, until repairs can be made. This is a total bummer for them, right in the middle of the holiday season and I can't imagine what that might have done to the yarn in the store. Is it salvageable? Washable? Who knows. Perhaps it could be sold at a discount for people willing to try to get the smoke out themselves. Or maybe they can fix it. I'll be interested to see what they do.

This also means I wasn't able to get my yarn wound up this weekend. That's probably for the best, since having pretty yarn cakes sitting about just tempt me into knitting them when I've already got enough projects going on and presents and requests to make.

So I took pictures of the yarn as is, just to have something to give to you guys. Also a few progress shots since I don't have anything finished right now.

(Manda called this the lemonade yarn. I agree with her.)

Manda so kindly got me this book as a present.

It has luxurious looking knits in it, like this one.

Her boyfriend called it a sexy knitting book (there's a chick modeling a scarf in her undies, he's not far off). The pictures are quiet lovely and the knits look really high end. Definite possibilities for future gifts when my skill sets improve some more.

Speaking of Manda.

I'm currently working on her Christmas present. Since she knows what she's getting and helped pick out the yarn, I'll go ahead and post the picture.

The pattern is fun to knit. I had a false start at first w/holy increases, but once I figured out the trick to invisible increases things started moving along quite well. This should go relatively quickly as far as scarves go, but I do have to keep picking up my socks to work on as the seed stitch gets a bit repetitive.

Speaking of socks...

This photo shows the detail a little better.

I'm currently working the heel of the first sock. When I can actually sit and knit these for awhile they work up pretty quickly and the pattern is easy to memorize. Unfortunately I didn't get as much knitting time as I would have liked this weekend so I don't have much progress to update on.

The holidays are starting to weigh down on me. Exams are coming up. Still loads of homework to do. Not to mention shopping and decorating and family stuff. I probably won't get to knit as many presents as I wanted (which isn't many at all). Kev's hat will probably be late. And the mittens I wanted to do...well see about those. May have to put the socks on hold and start actual present knitting instead. Or maybe just give the socks to somebody. (This isn't the time of year for selfish knitting.)

I need to manage my yarn projects better.



I was two rows away from binding off Kevin's Marram. I decided to try it on. It was way too short. It came to the very top of my ears.


I ripped it up in frustration and it's going to sit in the naughty pile for awhile. Every time I knit a hat I feel like a complete failure. I am just incapable of knitting a hat in a correct size.



Thanksgiving wrap up...

Just a quick post to keep Manda off my back about not posting (it's pub quiz night, no way I'll get around to taking pictures tonight!).

Thanksgiving was a wonderful holiday. Drove the grueling 12 hours to Norwell, MA to spend the holiday with Kevin's family. Even drug my Mom along for the trip. Things went quiet well. No major communication issues, even though Kevin's Grammie got on to his Mom for Not Telling Her Claudia Had An Accent! (Hello? Southwest Virginia?) Ate lots of turkey and pie. Did plenty of shopping.

I made it out to Windsor Button for the first time. (I had to resist the urge to visit Newbury Yarn when I spotted it next to Lush. I don't think the boys would've tolerated it.)  I let Manda pick out some yarn for her Christmas present that I'm knitting and I got myself two little hanks of Lorna's Laces in Clara's Garden and a hank of Malabrigo in a colorway similar to this. I meant to have them wound up into little cakes but forgot so they're currently in their weird little hank forms right now whimpering in the corner begging to be knit. I may take them over to the LYS (with those hanks from knit picks) to have them wound up this weekend. But that means I'll have to buy even more yarn because I'd just feel guilty having them wind yarn that I bought  from some other store! Such is life.

Not much progress has been made on my sock. I actually started knitting a hat on my vacation. I'm working on Marram for Kevin since I haven't knit him anything in ages. It's dark gray and gray and I like the pattern, even if I've f'd it up a bit where the rounds begin. And f'd it up even more on the decreases. But it still looks nice and he'll never know the difference. As long as it covers his ears (which is questionable at this point since we know how I suck at hat sizing) he'll be happy.

So yeah, pictures this weekend. I should have a finished hat and maybe some more yummy yarn!