Sunday, November 4, 2012


Did you know that Tadpole can say "hoot"? Actually, it's more like "hooowa." And, come to think of it, she may actually be saying "owl." Either way, when my favorite toddler needs new mittens, it seems only fitting that it should be this pattern:

That's Horatio and Oren by Barbara Gregory in the Fall 2012 Twist Collective (pattern also available on Rav). I have mixed feelings about this pattern (more on that later) but there's no denying that the finished product is adorable.

Wait, did I say mittens? As in mittens, plural? You mean Tadpole has two hands? Please excuse me, I have some work to do . . .

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Not sure what I was thinking

I'm really not sure why I thought this third section of Color Affection would fly by. Maybe because I love the short rows? Perhaps because I was itching to start Rams and Yowes. Or could it be that I thought the knitting fairy would come and keep plugging away at this piece when I got swamped with work this week?

Regardless of how long this takes to finish, I'm having a blast! I do truly love the short rows. (There are just a few -- ok, several . . . many . . . lots -- more than I had anticipated.)

Please excuse me while I go knit.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

On a roll

Happy 4th, everyone! I'm on a roll with this midweek vacation, thanks in large part to Mr. Tinks and Frogs for letting me carve out some big chunks of "me" time today. I'm actually caught up on blog comments (for all of the comments for which I had or could find an email address for the response). It feels so good to be moving forward with a clean slate and no backlog.

So now I'm going to try to catch up on FO posts, too.  I know there are a few pieces that I finished over the last several months and have yet to talk about on the blog (Catkin springs to mind). But I have absolutely no desire to model wool wraps outside in 100 degree weather so those will just have to wait. For now, I'm going to stick with FOs for which I have pictures hiding on my hard drive.

Today you get my belated birthday present to our favorite five-year-old, which went in the mail a couple of months ago.

Little n is an enthusiastic lover of seals and requested that I knit her one for her birthday this year. Finding a seal pattern is actually quite tough. There are a few in ravelry but nothing was quite what I was looking for. 

My first thought was to modify the loch ness monster pattern that I had knit back in January. I think I started that version twice before giving up on that idea - the body shape just wasn't what I had in mind. I had spent quite a bit of time googling pictures of seals (now that's an interesting set of results in google images) to get a sense of seal anatomy. Ok, maybe I was going a bit overboard on this one but I really like n and her mother, N, and wanted to get it right.

Then I searched some more and found a vintage toy pattern on Etsy that looked closer to what I had in mind. Still not quite what I wanted, I tried to reverse engineer a smaller version of that design. I think I spent two attempts on that tack before giving up.

I finally settled on a ravelry pattern that I had seen in my initial searches: the Showoff Seal (sans ball). I used a heavier yarn - Tosh Chunky (details on my project page) - to make a bigger toy than the pattern called for. I'd really wanted to make something bigger (the seal is only about 7 or 8 inches long) but instead of resizing and trying again, I made a second one.

The last component of the gift was a "seal blanket" made with Miss Babs Sojurn, a cashmere silk yarn (one skein, held double, and worked in a subtle cable pattern with garter edges) that n had picked out at the Michigan Sheep and Wool Festival last year.

French knots for the eyes and whiskers from the Tosh Merino Light that I had slated for my Color Affection completed the piece. I'm pretty pleased with the final result and I hope n is enjoying it, too.

What did I think of the pattern? It was quick and easy (very welcome after I had had so many false starts on this project). I much prefer the flippers from the loch ness monster pattern - they came out looking more polished than the garter stitch version here. But this pattern is certainly a lot less fiddly. The body is knit in the round with a bit of short row shaping and that's it for anything tricky. It would be a great first toy pattern if you're thinking about jumping into this sort of project but are worried about the finishing and other finicky aspects of amigurumi knits.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

No sheep yet

I told myself that I wouldn't cast on for Rams and Yowes until I had finished Color Affection. The short row section is so much fun that I don't regret that decision in the slightest. Yet. 

So while I plow through many more rows of garter stripes, here's a little distraction for all of us as we're waiting to play with the shetland yarn:

This is 216 yards of (oh shoot, I forgot to check the wpi again - let's call it roughly light worsted) navajo-plied BFL silk dyed in a gradient dye by Friends in Fiber. The fiber was a delightful surprise gift from blogger friend Rachel a few months ago. This was such a fun fiber to spin! BFL/silk is a glorious combination - soft with a lovely sheen, and it drafts like a dream. The color shifts from the light lime into something closer to avocado and finally into emerald. Such lovely greens!

What to do with them? Right now I'm content with fondling and petting the skein but eventually I think it'll be a cowl with some sort of simple texture to play off the color changes. Is anyone else yearning for fall weather already?

Monday, June 25, 2012


Blogging can lead to dangerous things . . . such as an inability to stick to a stash diet. A few weeks ago I had mentioned a certain blanket pattern. Within hours of that post, my mother and I were emailing back and forth, egging each other on to do our own private KAL. Then I discovered that there was a kit. The next thing I knew, I got an email saying that a package had been dispatched from Shetland. (There's something much more romantic about a package that has been dispatched than one that has merely been shipped, don't you think?)

All nine shades of natural J&S shetland yarns - perfect for a July knit, right. (Thank goodness we have central air!)

But first, I have some short rows and garter stripes to finish. This third section of Color Affection is why I love Veera Valimaki's work.

On a side note, I'm close to acknowledging that I'm just not going to be able to catch up on blog comments, but not quite. I'm still holding out hope. We'll see where I am at the end of the week.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

In case you hadn't seen it . . .

The USOC has sent Ravelry a cease and desist letter, asking it to take down the Ravelympics. The Ravelry thread discussion starts here.

I'm speechless (actually, I have all sorts of thoughts running through my head - a lot of them reminding me that I try very hard to keep my work and knitting lives separate (and that I'm no expert in intellectual property law) - but nothing that I'm ready to share). Time to get back to work . . .

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What do I do with this?

I've finished my latest spinning project a couple of weeks ago and gave it a bath last weekend. It's lovely, really lovely. The dye just glows on this particular fiber and I can tell that the future knitted fabric will have great stitch definition and drape.

So why the hesitation?

I have 340 yards of roughly dk-weight (yes, I know I really should start thinking of this in wpi) 2-ply Wensleydale. Sheen, drape, and stitch definition are all well-known qualities of Wensleydale fibers but did you notice what descriptor was missing? That's right - soft. This is not yarn for next-to-the-skin wear.

So it'll probably become some sort of accessory. Right now I'm thinking socks - the sort of nice, maybe cabled, boot socks worn over sock liners so I wouldn't have to worry about the scratchy bits. An iPad case has also come to mind but that doesn't seem quite right. Thoughts?

Regardless of what the finished product turns out to be, this was a really fun fiber to spin. 

Elizabeth gave me a gentle nudge about a year ago when she suggested that I really should try this fiber again. I'd spun up a braid of Fleece Artist Wenselydale/Teeswater (in green, of course) several years ago and had mixed feelings about the experience. The spinning itself was a breeze but I discovered that I couldn't fix any mistakes while I was going. My attempts to tease and stretch out thick slubs in the singles turned into a wadded mess - an unpleasant contrast to the smooth and sleek "untouched" singles.

When I started this project (a 5 ounce bump of Wensleydale top dyed by Chris of Briar Rose, who I just discovered has a new lace yarn in my favorite shade of green, but I digress), I was leery of trying to fix mistakes. It's actually kind of freeing to tell yourself that you'll take whatever yarn comes along and not worry too much about the little imperfections since they all even out in the end. But if you are a bit of a perfectionist like me, ignoring what should be fixable mistakes is tough to do. So I tried fixing a thick spot (pinching the singles above and below the problem section, untwisting the fibers, and gently tugging (re-drafting) the fibers to achieve the desired thickness) and it worked! It looks like my hang-up with Wensleydale was an issue with the fiber preparation of the first top I tried, not with the fiber itself. 

I'm absolutely thrilled to discover this since Wensleydale takes dye beautifully and its long staple length makes it a quick and easy fiber to spin. Now if only I could figure out what to do with it!

(Shoot, remember that green lace yarn I linked to above? I can't seem to get it out of my head. There's a particular Anne Hanson giant lace shawl that I've been mooning over for years that I think would look really lovely in this particular shade of green. The two skeins that Chris has in stock would be perfect for it . . . )

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Random Thursday

This was going to be a Tadpole Tuesday post but then something came up at work and suddenly now it is Thursday evening. How did that happen?

Since I have had all sorts of random knitting/blog ideas percolating in my head over the last week, rather than try to organize them into something coherent (or probably the several somethings that it would take to do that), I thought I'd do today's post in random bullets. There will be (Tadpole!) pictures at the end, I promise.

  • I really need to figure out balance. That's a whole blog post (or series of blog posts) by itself but I need to figure out some way to keep up blogging with my unpredictable schedule. When I'm really busy at work, I tend to get all sorts of great ideas popping into my head throughout the day but barely have time to jot them down, never mind actually implement them or write a blog post about it. And when things slow down, I'm recovering from the busy parts and just want to sit and knit and haven't figured out how to motivate myself to sit down and write (especially when I have weeks' worth of ideas backed up and don't know where to start).
    • This includes responding to comments. My apologies to everyone who left comments on my last post. I truly enjoyed reading all of them and I hope to write individual replies soon.
  • Blankets. I know I just finished two big blanket projects and I really want to make more. This is the one I saw today that made me want to head home early and start knitting. And, of course, there is this one by the same designer. I'm going to stop here or I'll never get around to knitting this evening.
  • I'd really like to be working on a bigger project right now. I just have a couple of small things (mostly socks) on the needles and I'm itching for something more substantial.
  • I don't really want to plan (or swatch) for something right now. I just want to knit it! (Yes, I know that's an unproductive approach to take.)
  • So I've been knitting toddler things since they're small and don't really need swatching (as long as I overestimate how big the piece will be, it'll fit at some point).
  • I've started and nearly finished two pieces but both have serious issues. 
  • The vest that I worked up over the weekend (no picture yet - the sun had gone down too far by the time I thought of taking one this evening) has a neck opening that doesn't fit over Tadpole's head. I need to unpick the shoulder seams and re-do the fronts. And maybe add a placket in the back to be on the safe side.
  • The little sweater that I started a couple of weeks ago, a modified Summer Days, has all sorts of issues:
    • I ran out of yarn. I have enough to do the neck band but not the button bands. I don't think. I suppose I could just run an applied i-cord edging around the fronts and neck. Or I could frog some of the bottom ribbing to get more yarn.
    • But the sleeves are just a bit too puffy for my taste. So I'm not sure how much effort I want to spend saving this one or if I should just frog the whole thing and make something new. that's where I'm leaning right now.

What do you think? (And yes, she's modeling the sweater over her PJs.)

Monday, May 21, 2012

FO: Girasole

This has been a good week for me in terms of turning WIPs in my knitting basket into FOs. First, there was the hap blanket that I made for tadpole and finished a week ago. And this past weekend I finished up Girasole, which I had started while on vacation in Texas last December.

Five months is actually a pretty respectable WIP time for a piece like this. Sometime last week I realized that the end was in sight on this project. Between a day of watching training webinars for work and some extra time at home thanks to the NATO summit this past weekend, I was able to finish up the last repeat of the lace charts and work the border. For the record, that's a really long border.

Pattern: Girasole by Jared Flood
Yarn: 1 skein of Briar Rose Legend (this was a 1400 yard skein - I'm pretty sure Legend is now available only in 700 yard skeins)
Needles: assorted size 6 circular needles
Mods: I didn't change the pattern at all (unusual for me, I know) but I did use magic loop for the center of the blanket as opposed to the DPNs suggested by the pattern.

In terms of knitting experience, this was a really fun knit. The different lace patterns were all interesting to work and never went on so long that I got tired of any particular design. Ok, the last rows are really, really long but the pattern repeats themselves were pretty short. And the border itself was enjoyable to knit (a very important attribute when I probably spent 6-8 hours on the knitted on border alone).

It's funny, I really expected that I would have more to say about this one. I spent five months working pretty steadily on this blanket (if you define "pretty steadily" as picking it up at least once a week, or thereabouts). It's a lovely finished product. The hand painted yarn was a great fit for this lace - the color changes don't overshadow the stitches at all. And tadpole likes it, too.

So what's my problem? I think my shoulders still carry the knots from blocking the blanket (I pinned each and every point on the edging). Plus, I didn't make the blanket into a perfect circle (yes, I know I'm being picky on this one). And I think secretly wished that blocking would turn the yarn into a woolen-spun heather. Like this.

But I love seeing the blanket thrown casually over the arm of the couch, waiting for someone to curl up underneath it. Or two someones. Perhaps even three.

Is it an example of the perfect blanket? No. But it is a blanket that will be used and loved for that. Function trumps form here. And the form is pretty good, too.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

That's a lot of garter stitch

This project had been on the needles for a while but I finally finished it and gave it to Tadpole as a mother's day gift (hobbit style) last weekend. A quick check of my ravelry notes revealed that I cast on for this blanket in October of last year. I know I worked on this one for a while but I didn't realize quite how long!

It's a little tough to see in these photos (since I opted to unpin the blanket and get it off the island before breakfast and completely forgot to snap a blocking shot) but this is a square hap blanket.

Yarn: 3 skeins of Knitting Notions Classic Merino Lace in ironstone and 1 skein of Knitting Notions Classic Merino Lace in thyme. I used just about every yard of the yarn. I was so close on the darker blue/green, in fact, that I had to frog the bind-off halfway through the second side when I realized that I didn't have enough yardage left to complete the edging. In other words, the light piping along the edge was not planned.
Needles: a 32" circular needle for the entire thing, including the i-cord bind-off.
Time to knit: seven months, off and on.
Pattern: . . . does "winging it" count?

Like many of you, I love looking through the BrooklynTweed patterns and I particularly liked the hap blanket design that Jared wrote up over a year ago. Gudrun and Ysolda have published similar patterns.  I found an outline of the basic design in one of my knitting books and decided that I'd try to whip up a working pattern myself (at the very least, the exercise would keep my from caving and buying some Shelter for the project).

Here's the bare bones version (assuming four skeins of yarn, two for the center square and two for the border): Cast on one stitch and, working in garter stitch, *k1f&b, knit to the end of the row, repeating from * until you run out of yarn in the first skein. Join the second skein and *k2tog, knit to the end of the row, repeating from * until you have one stitch left (and presumably are almost out of yarn). Bind off that last stitch. Then pick up and knit along the edges of the garter stitch square you just made, using a ratio of 3 stitches for every 2 garter ridges (in other words: k1f&b in the first garter ridge and k1 in the second, and repeat all the way around).

Now is the one tricky part: figure out what lace pattern you want to use for the border. I used Old Shale, but anything will work. Then calculate the number of stitches you will need for the lace pattern and corner stitches (per side, to make things easy). Subtract from that figure the number of stitches you have on any particular side to determine how many stitches you will need to increase in order to work the lace. Then work a few rows in garter stitch or some other filler pattern and work the necessary increases into those rows. And if you realize (like I did) that you didn't drink enough coffee to count or add correctly when you did that initial calculation, you can always fudge things at the corners on the first few lace rows and it all works out.

Work the lace pattern until you are nearly out of yarn (don't forget to save enough to cast off!) and then bind off using a 2-stitch i-cord.

I made this blanket so that tadpole would have something light to use at night now that spring is here and the nights are getting warmer. That's all well and good in theory, but how did it work out in practice?

Let's compare the new blanket with her current favorite: the Bear Claw:

Getting all dreamy-eyed - she loves this blanket.

Seriously, she really loves this blanket.

What? What's this new thing?

No, really, give me back my Bear Claw!

Here, you take it.

It only took one day and now the new blanket is a big hit. So much so that we can't leave it out during play time since all she wants to do is snuggle with it. Score one for mom on the knitting front.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Back in the saddle

I have had good intentions - very good intentions, even - of writing a blog post for the past month. My internal monologue would go something like this: "I'd really like to write a blog post tonight . . . [a couple/few/several hours of post-baby-bedtime work later] Wow - it's really late! I just want to knit a bit/ crawl into bed." On the plus side, I've actually gotten a fair amount of knitting done when I eschew blogging for knitting in front of netflix or hulu (and I'm definitely meeting my hours requirement at work).

I've also been spinning! And that's the sneak peak that I wanted to show you tonight.

Back in January, Jacey and I did a really fun swap (more on that later when I'm less tired and can actually find the pictures). We each threw in a little extra gift for the other and my surprise from her was a lovely little 2oz braid of Polwarth top. We all enjoyed it!

Look mom- fiber!

Slowly, in stolen moments here and there (and with plenty of "help" from R, who LOVES to play on - and I do mean on - the wheel), it became this:

Actually, the singles are now plied and the skein is sitting on my desk waiting for a bath. Hopefully I can make that happen sometime this week!

Switching gears for a moment here (and then I've really got to get to bed): I've been thinking about what to do with the blog. I love blogging - writing the posts, engaging in follow-up conversations through the comments, and following all of your blogs in return. But with the schedule I've been working for the past  nearly two months, that's not very easy to do (as you can see from my lack of posts). So I'm starting to explore quicker, shorter formats.

I've recently signed up for Instagram and I'm starting to post some knitting pics - and random ones, too - under the username tinksandfrogs. I'm trying to remember to share the knitting ones via twitter. And, when I have a bit more time, I'll set it up to post to the blog, too.

Oh, and I found a fabulous new app for the iPad that makes my scribbles and design ideas look really quite nifty (the sketches, that is).

I still have lots to share, less time to do it in, and some creative work-arounds that are still in the planning stages. Thanks for hanging on this long - stay tuned for more!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A lot

I was having lunch with a friend the other day when she paused for a minute and said: "wow, you have a lot on your plate right now." I could feel a look of panic - that deer in the headlights expression we all know - come across my face as I smiled and replied, "yes, I know." Work has been especially busy this month - in a good way, but overwhelming nonetheless. And it helped me take my mind off some overwhelming things on the personal front, too.

My father died three and a half weeks ago. He had been ill with dementia for a long time, and the man I knew as my father ceased to exist years ago. But my father died, and that hit me harder than I had expected.

I have spent the last three and a half weeks debating how I wanted to talk about this on the blog, if at all. 

On the day he died, before the reality of his death fully hit me, I thought about writing up one of the FO posts that are long overdue. But pretending that nothing had happened felt inappropriate. Because something fundamental had shifted in my world, even though life continued like normal for everyone else.

I've thought about trying to write about what I've been feeling. How I've felt numb, how I haven't wanted to read testimonials that other people have written about my father because the emotions that they brought up have been too raw. How I felt like an interloper at the celebration of his life because much of the focus there was on a part of his life that happened before I was even born. But this is incredibly personal and not something I necessarily want to broadcast for everyone to see.

I've thought about not blogging at all. Just stopping and not writing any more because I don't know quite what to say. My world shifted. Yours didn't. How do I address and acknowledge that?

I'll try this:

My father died. 

There's so much more to it than those three little words but they'll do for now. 

Let me show you one of my favorite projects: a stranded colorwork sweater that I designed and knit up as a gift for my father when I was still in college.

I still have all of the leftover yarn from this project (Brown Sheep Nature Spun Fingering - there's quite a bit of it) and I'm going to design and knit some sort of jumper or dress for tadpole. There's no way I'd be able to have it finished in time for her birthday in two weeks so she'll get her inauguration into the grand Tinks and Frogs tradition of receiving the promise of a handknit as her gift. Somehow I don't think this will work too well once she's old enough to understand the concepts of birthdays and presents so I'd better take advantage while I still can.

Where do we go from here?

I have four FOs to show you - Catkin, Stripe Study, Millwater (a lovely infinity scarf), and another pair of my favorite Gentlemen's Shooting Stockings with Fluted Pattern. Mr. Tinks and Frogs has a promised sweater design that I haven't talked about yet. I've made progress on Girasole. I'm organizing the stash and there will be some yarn giveaways.

So expect some random posts as I try to catch up and move forward. I haven't felt up to commenting on blogs for the past month but I'm getting there. I wasn't even reading them for a while (it felt like cheating to read where I normally comment when I knew I wasn't in a place where I could write anything in return) but I've taken that up again in the past week and I'm almost caught up.

It's a process, right?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tadpole Tuesday: more Nessie

That's right - I've actually finished something in 2012!

Pattern: Loch Ness Monster by Hansi Singh (ravelry link)
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in Azul Profundo (less than half a skein, I'd guess) for the back, tail, and flippers. Tosh Merino Light in Moorland (held double) for the belly. Assorted pink leftovers for the innards, er, stuffing.
Needles: size 4 47" addi lace circular - magic loop for all of the fiddly bits
Mods: I worked french knots for the eyes (this tutorial was great)

I suppose this tummy shot is like the inside-out view of a stranded color work piece - it's what keeps the knitter honest. Nessie is worked in a single piece from tail tip to nose. Then you pick up and knit stitches along one side of the body, work a bunch of short rows, and graft those stitches to the other side of the body. That pick up and knit step is where your technique needs to be spot on, otherwise things start to look a bit wonky.

I didn't pay close attention to the directions for the edge stitches when I started knitting this project and ended up working a basic slipped stitch selvedge rather than the garter stitch selvedge in the pattern. When I knit this again (yes, I said "when" not "if"), I'll be sure to work the garter selvedge.

I will definitely be knitting more toys. The next one will likely be a seal, since my favorite almost-five-year-old has requested one for her upcoming birthday.

Since I'm browsing ravelry for pattern ideas, I thought I'd share a list of fun toys I'll want to come back to later:

Big Snowy Owl
Deadliest Crab
Garden Snail
Peabey the Polar Bear
Praying Mantis
Tree Frog

I ran a quick search for seal patterns on ravelry and wasn't thrilled with the options there. But I think I can use them as guides for morphing Nessie into a seal. That will be exciting And I'd better take good notes!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tadpole Tuesday: I think I'm hooked

On toys, that is. 

This has been a pretty quick knit so far (aka, I've had a fair amount of knitting time between the Patriots' game and all of the training videos I watched over the long weekend) and really clever! I just don't think in three dimensions like that and I'm really impressed with the designer. Excellent use of short rows!

A couple of quick thoughts about knitted toys:

  • You need really good finishing skills - this is not a beginner project
  • It's great for using up scraps - this one didn't even use up half a skein
  • You can stuff it with leftovers - that's what the pink yarn is for
And yes, it amuses me to no end that my loch ness monster has realistic looking innards.

I'll need to make a second one for Tadpole!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tadpole Thursday: Gifts for Babies

Rachel and I have been debating the best sort of project to knit as a baby gift. I lean towards garments - they're quick, I already own plenty of patterns and books with cute designs, and (big one here) they're often straightforward reading knits. Those of you who've been reading here for a while know that I love to knit while I read.

Rachel leans towards toys because the patterns are often clever, toys can be used for a much longer time than most baby garments (it takes longer to outgrow them), and you don't have to figure out what size will fit the recipient by the time he or she receives the gift.

She's been slowly but surely convincing me to try knitting a toy.

The adorable Elijah that she made for Tadpole certainly helps!

I think I'm ready to bite the bullet. I've signed up for a swap in one of my ravelry groups and I'm super excited to try a loch ness monster for my swap partner.

I have a gift knit to finish up first and then off I go!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Not ambitious at all

I have a bad habit of setting unrealistic goals for myself. I honestly can't remember the last time I actually managed to do everything on my weekend to-do list but I'm pretty sure I was still in school. When Tadpole came along I found that two items over two days was pretty much the limit of what I could accomplish during the first few months. That was an adjustment, to say the least!

But I like lists and dreaming up things that I want to do, so here are my (crafting) goals for 2012:

1. Be more centered.

Actually, this is my big goal on all fronts this year. Between having a baby and starting a huge new job (in addition to "parent"), I've often felt like I could never quite get my feet under me. So you can see why I'm going back to making lists.

2. Organize the stash.

I have a lot of really nice yarn in my stash that I'm looking forward to using. I also have some that I probably will never use. I doubt I have time to work with everything I want to so that means the other stuff really needs to go. And I can't easily work through the stash if I don't know what's there in the first place.

3. Knit with stash/don't buy new yarn.

I know I said this last year but I really mean it this time (here's hoping you don't read this sentence again in 2013). This is how bad my guilt over the stash has gotten - I was happy when I went to buy a Sundara holiday bag and the last green one was sold out by the time I got to the checkout.

I don't think I could make it a whole year without buying yarn so I'd better set out some (limited!) exceptions to the stash diet.

(a) purchases at sheep & wool festivals or similar events are ok.

(b) gifts of yarn may be excepted. Whether Mr. Thinks and Frogs can give the gift is TBD.

(c) special souvenir purchases while on vacation may be allowed.

4. Spin more.

I loved the Tour de Fleece but haven't spun much since then. Right now I'm working on spinning for a swap with Jacey do I'm at least off to a good start.

5. Quilt more: finish the quilt and make at least one other quilted item.

What quilt? I know, I've been working on it for so long I sometimes forger about it. But I'd really like to finish it. And try some other patterns!

The set-up for quilting (or sewing) always seems to take a really long time. Knitting is much better suited to fill a ten minute chunk of time - I can knit for all ten! With working on the quilt, I feel like I spend right minutes setting up and then only have two left to make any actual progress. And that doesn't count when I have to iron the fabric first!

But I also like how (relatively) little time it takes to make a big quilting FO. Plus, I'd like to be more proficient at using my sewing machine.

Would you believe I worked on the quilt last weekend? I'm two strips away from finishing the third block of four. Progress!

I think that's it. No links or pics this time since I'm on my phone (just handed off the baby to see if my better half can have more success with a crib transfer) and I've really got to go get some sleep.

Replies to comments on the previous post are coming, I promise.

Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to what 2012 has in store.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tadpole Tuesday: napping knits

I really should have titled this post "nighttime when Tadpole doesn't want to go back in her crib and will only sleep on my shoulder knits" but "napping knits" has a nicer ring to it. We're back in a phase where sleep is a bit rough, to say the least, and she'll happily snooze on one of us but protests when we try to get her back into the crib.

Tonight is one of several nights recently where I've had grand knitting ambitions and instead ended up snuggling with a baby instead. Not that I mind, the snuggles are lovely, but I really wanted to knit!

Remember these days?

Those were lovely - baby snuggles AND knitting. I think it's time to bring that back.

I've even thought of the perfect project - plain socks. I wore holes in four different pairs over the last month or so and I realized that while fancy socks are more fun to knit, I tend to always pull the plain ones out of the drawer. Since I need to replenish my sock supply, plain socks will be perfect for knitting in the dark.

The trick is going to be figuring out how to store the project so that it's easy to access while I'm sitting in the rocking chair but not so easy that Tadpole can get to it during the day. Suggestions?

When I was thinking about what to post today, I immediately jumped to my one true "napping knit" of late - the new project I started last week while sitting in a parked car waiting for Tadpole to wake up from her nap. But I still haven't taken the pictures of Girasole off my camera and I think you'll understand when I say that it'll have to wait for later. If I can manage a successful crib transfer in a minute, I just want to go knit!