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Posts Tagged ‘Yarn’


Once upon a time, in a land far, far away {like Washington state; the opposite side of the country from where I actually live} an old lady went to visit her hunky muffin {don’t tell him I called him that!} who was working far away. This was not the first time the old lady had gone to visit, as she was lonely without the man she conned into marrying her over 20 years ago…….

When the old lady goes to visit, she takes 3 necessities with her: her magic slippers, her magic portal she lovingly named Kindle Fire, and her magic makers and accessories. Although, to be fair, this time she was traveling light, and dragged her man hither and yon until she found what she had in mind.

Ok, no, really, she found the magic threads first, and then her plan was borne.

Whatever.

Anyhow. The old lady worked day and night; night and day, until lo, the fruits of her labor were realized. Thrilled beyond measure, she did the unthinkable.

She posted a selfie onto Facebook. 😆 😆

Poked and prodded by he-who-shall-remain-nameless {you know who you are! 😉 } to smile, the old lady posted several such “selfies,” much to the utter chagrin of her eldest girl child.

“This day,” she declared, “I am ruined! My mother hath posted the selfie, and lo, I am much a ruined! My life is over! Wahhhhhhh!!!!! “ she wailed.

 

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True story, that. 😆

I had flown out to visit Hunny, determined to travel light. And then we went to Walmart. I forget what we were even looking for, but if you know Hunny, it has to be to the pain of death before he’ll go in that place. Somehow, I managed to get him to go in. And then I found the only other thing outside of chickens {and maybe ducks and guineas} that sets my heart all a fluttering and raises my heart rate; quickening in anticipation-YARN!!!!!!!

I am a total yarnie. Hopelessly addicted. My stash is all over the place; some unpacked in the totes; some still packed and somewhere upstairs. I just stole one of my youngest daughter’s organization cubes last week. I moved it into my bedroom and filled it with my working yarn- projects I have lined up right now. I was tired of the piles of bags, so this is much easier.  yarn2

But I digress.

Anyhow, we were in Walmart, and I found the reflective yarn I had been looking for but was unable to find! I seriously squeeeeed!

yarn1

What on earth would I need with reflective yarn? Well, winter was coming. That means running in the cold. And that means a need for warm running gear, like hats and arm warmers and things.  So, I got my yarn, found my patterns {yes, the frustrated hunt for circular patterns again}, and got to work.

The first thing I did was make my standard ear warmer. Toasty; cute; super easy.  There are lots of times when you want your ears to stay warm but it’s not cold enough for a hat. The bonus is that, like a hat, the ear warmer also keeps the sweat out of your eyes. earwarmer1

Next, I knew it was time for arm warmers. When I run, I like to layer, so that as I get hot, I can take the layers off as I need to. Again, my biggest issue was finding a circular pattern. You’d think it would be no big deal, but sheesh! Frustrating!

I did finally manage to find what I was looking for. I did not want a thumbed arm warmer pattern. I like to easily be able to slip my thumbs out once I start getting warm, and having the knit thumb would be just too much. The slouchable knitted arm warmers were just the ticket, and pretty easy to make.

arm3

arm2

If memory serves, I went for the hat next. Oh, nope, it was the cowl. I found a spiral cowl that I really liked. I am not 100% sure this is the pattern, but it’s the only spiral cowl I have saved, so I assume it is.  One thing to note is that it’s not unusual for me to tweak a pattern. In this case, I had left my interchangeable circular set at home, so I was using what I had on hand, as opposed to what the pattern called for. And then I made it length I wanted it to be.cowl

Another easy project. I packed it in my saddle bag on the last fall ride, and I’ll tell you, it saved my butt. Had it not been for the cowl, I would have spent the entire ride shivering.

Finally, it was time to make the hat. By this time, I had gotten home and knew I’d need one sooner than later. My Leisure Arts Hats & More book came in handy again. This was the Reversible Cable Duo hat. Toasty!

hat10

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I’ll spare you the selfie. You’re welcome. 😀

I will, however, try once again to ruin my daughter’s life by putting pictures of her in her Halloween costume, “Mother Running Down the Road in the Morning,” here for all of y’all to see. You’re welcome. 😀

set2

set

While I adore the reflective yarn, bear in mind those reflective fibers are not what I would call soft. There’s a whole line of reflective colors to choose from, but I kept it simple and mixed some non-reflective Day Glo yarn, even though they were different weights. It’s very cool stuff!

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Too many choices. In my world, I am very clearly Kobayashi Maru option 3 girl.  Give me two choices, and I’m going to find another one I like better (and that’s without cheating).  This is one of the reasons certain tests, like the Meyer-Briggs  (not to be confused with Briggs and Stratton engines :lol:) personality test drive me bonkers.  I rarely see things in black and white, although I do have strong feelings on what is right and what is wrong. There are usually too many variables/factors to take into consideration before making a decision.

But I digress.  😆  Today’s dilemma in my small little world revolves around books yet again. Nearly every day, I get freebies via Ereader News Today.  That means I am always reading something. 

Two nights ago, I started a mystery.  Yesterday, I got my Blogging For Books selection. Today there are titles that I’ve downloaded that look interesting.  One has a topic that if I was not already reading another book, I would start to read right away, even before the publisher title.

But I feel obligated to finish the one I’m already reading, which is good, before moving on to anything else.  See my issue?  😀

Maybe I’ll just watch chickens instead.  😆

Nah, I think I’ll finish the one I’ve started and move on to the hard copy next.  The weekend is right around the corner, and I can read the one new one without interruption – in theory, at least.

Having trouble deciding which book to read is one of those rare dilemmas that I don’t know I could have too much of.  Kind of like yarn- can’t have too much!  🙂

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Is the canning!  Oh canning, how I have missed you!

Seriously, during the school year, who has time (ok, I’ll admit to canning on the weekends, but during the week?!)?  I have come to the realization that I am entirely too busy most of the time. I love not having to worry about being on time for this or that, even though it doesn’t change what time I get up in the morning.  I am solidly looking forward to summer.

One difference this time around is my canning buddies.  There are three of us at this point; two are completely new to canning this week.  Now another friend of all of ours is interested as well, and that’s great!  All of our kids can hang out together (and with the fourth, that will be 9 kids) while we can.  Another perk is that they are inclined to books and yarn like I am, too.  The conversation is never-ending, and I’m not even the one doing all the talking!!  😆

Wednesday afternoon, we went over to K’s house.  S came to observe, and pitched right in.  The first 44 lbs of pears netted K 36 pints and 2 quarts less whatever was eaten before the picture. 

Thursday afternoon, everyone came here.  We got S’s carrots going first, since they needed to pressure cook.  S ended up with 18 pints of carrots, since that’s what I can fit in my canner/pressure cooker at one time.

K brought her canner, which is the same one I have, and we started in on my pears.  I confess, we took a yarn detour before the canning, so we started later than we probably intended to.  😀  I ended up with 15 quarts and 15 pints,  and about 4 pears left over.  Of course, the kids were in and out eating them as they had on Wednesday. 

What’s on deck next?  Chickens. 

Yep.  For real.  😆  We’re going to be planting the garden this weekend, but first, hunny and I are going to look at chickens, and perhaps give one a try.  We’re also going to firm our plans for building into the garage and greatly expanding the pantry.  Either way we decide to go, I will end up with a huge, honkin’ pantry, which will completely solve my “don’t have enough room for my jars” issue – at least until I fill it.  😉

Food-wise, I think the next items on my list to can are going to be beans of all varieties (pinto, navy, northern, etc) and then stock.  I’m completely out of all stock, but I have bones in the freezer, so once the other girls get their stashes up, we’ll have to make a day of it.  Or maybe they can bring their yarn and I’ll can.  Either way, it’s great fun and great company!

Canning.  Give it a try!  You may be surprised at how addictive it is!  There’s nothing better than seeing all your jars lined up with *your* food in them, knowing how the food was processed and what the ingredients are.  It’s right up there with books and yarn!  😆

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Well, those are mostly done.  I have ties to make and attach to the hat, and then I’ll be able to ship the package off.

Neither turned out quite the way I hoped, but as y’all know, I have pretty low standards.  😆  If I were to use this pattern again with this yarn, I would definitely use considerably smaller needles.  The upside is that she’ll be able to use this blanket the rest of her life, since it should come close to fitting a full size bed. 

I would also make the ruffled edge about 1/2 the width if I used it at all. In addition, I wasn’t real happy with that color, and wished that the darker pink would have been an option, which is not.  I admit, I got fatigued not with making the ruffle, but with measuring it, since my gauge was off. That  resulted in me making the ruffle shorter than it really needed to be (and I don’t need to tell you what that means, lol, because you already know :D) mostly because I had already used 4 1/2 skeins of yarn (at 5 ozs each) and I was ready to be done.  Yes, you read that right- that was 4 1/2 skeins on *just* the ruffle!

I didn’t follow the directions on the hat brim, which gave me an entirely different looking hat.  Since it’s still cute, I didn’t froggy it (as in, “rip it, rip it”) and start all over.  I used needles that were *way* smaller than the pattern called for, because I used boucle/chunky yarn, and was really glad I did.  Before I was completely finished, I was questioning if that was the right call or not, since the hat  looked like it was going to be really quite small.  As it turned out, by the time I was done, it was long enough and should work just fine on a toddler head.  I still need straps, though, so that it can be worn on a slightly smaller head and not fly off.

The hat was attempt #3.  The first hat was huge, but I’m going to try to shrink it so Mama can have a matching hat.  Attempt #2 (pattern #2) I started and ripped out the first round, because my fixed circular needle cable was just too long.  I have since remedied that; see my Dilemma post.  Once those come, I will probably try that hat again, because it’s a really cute pattern.  Anyhow.

Final hat (pattern #3) was the same set as the blanket.  What I liked about both patterns was that they both had a crochet edge, although the crochet on the blanket was before the ruffled edge. I haven’t done anything before that combined the two, but found it delightful (as in, “Yes!  I still remember how!” 😆 ) to mix it up.  I have to confess that I still find crocheting to be easier, and it really was like sliding into a comfortable pair of slippers. 

I hope to someday in this lifetime to get to a point where I feel as accomplished as I do with crocheting, but I am awfully doubtful, considering how much knitting stuff I still don’t know how to do.  I have to remind myself that I spent 15 years getting to the point I’m at with crochet, and I’m still a newbie with knitting. Even though it’s been about 2 years, I haven’t done anywhere near the same amount of projects with knitting as I had done with crocheting by the same point and time.  It is amazing how having children (and homeschooling them) makes a huge dent in the time for crafty stuff.   I am looking forward to getting back to the sock making!

My apologies in advance for the poor quality of the pictures.  My energy is low today, and since I’m gearing up for 44 lbs of pears on Wednesday, I’m trying to ration myself (well, really it’s 88 lbs, since I’ll be canning with a friend and she also has the same 44 lbs- I’m sure it all works out in the end, lol).

                                                                                                                       

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Yes, it’s a full-fledged dilemma.  Oh the drama!!  Which knitting needles to buy?  😆

I was cruising along doing fine yesterday; I got the blanket put together and finished, so it was on to the hat.  You may recall that the first hat I made for the new niece turned out to be huge, even though initially it was to gauge (I think it’s because my yarn was not baby sport weight, which I can’t actually find here).  Anyhow, new pattern for chunky yarn using circular needles, and off I went.

I did one round and ripped it out.  Why?  My cable was too long. I’m not smart enough yet to convert a circular pattern to a straight pattern, so this led me to the logical realization that perhaps it’s time to invest in an interchangeable circular needle kit. 

My concern, after researching, is that once I get the kit, the cables will still be too long to do small hats.  Since I don’t know if I can find a smaller interchangeable cable for the kit I’m thinking about getting, I think I’m going to have to measure the cable on my fixed circular and make sure that if I need to get a different size that’s not included in the kit, that I order it at the same time if I can.

I’ve spent a good many hours this morning searching for interchangeable needle kits.  I saw one kit at Hobby Lobby, which was priced around $75, if I recall.  I wanted to see if I could do better online, and have managed to find the same kit more reasonably priced.  I have read the reviews and that’s a mixed bag – some love the needles; others hate them.  I figure at this point, I am not too terribly picky so it might be worth the investment.  It might not be, but at least I’ll learn whether or not an interchangeable system is up my alley or not.

But oooooooo, I did find one set of dpns (double pointed needles) that I think I’ll love from Knit Picks in the Harmony Wood.  My next dilemma is which length to get?  I measured my dpns, and they are all the longer ones, coming in around 7 inches from tip to tip.  When I’m making socks, I’m finding they are full, probably because I’m only using 4.  Since these come in sets of 6, I could use them for 4 or 5 needle patterns, which is great!  Does that mean that there are fewer stitches on each needle, thus meaning I could get away with a shorter needle (and get a lower price on the set)?  That’s my next thing to reasearch, it seems.  😆

I guess the next step is to compare prices for the kit I’ve settled on; the Boye Needlemaster 200.  So far, I’ve narrowed it down to Amazon or Overstock.com, but my searching has just begun.  Now that I know what I’m looking for, the chase is on for something that won’t cost an arm and a leg!

If you are experienced with these kinds of items, I would love to have your input!

Update: I found and bought this set new on eBay, and saved about $60 compared to buying it locally.  Even at the least expensive place online, I still saved $24 by using eBay.  

*Disclaimer: I have no financial interest or stake in eBay except I generally check there to get great deals! (DH is chuckling, because he has the account and his history shows totally girly things, like dishes,  too.  😆 )

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Do you live to shop?  Do you get ansty when you haven’t shopped in a while?  Do you suffer withdrawals if you don’t get your shopping fix? Do you get an adrenaline high when you score a great sale?

Ya, *not* me!  😆  I despise shopping.  Really.  I particularly despise shopping when I’m in a pinch and have to get something fast – like a range.

If you have an above-average sized family, chances are you good that you rely on your oven for many meals during the week. One of the things I do is to cook a little bigger, which often leaves leftovers.  We are pretty good about eating leftovers most of the time, and it’s nice to have a hot lunch during the week.

Monday night, we discovered that the oven wasn’t working. This normally wouldn’t bother me too much, except that this particular range is only a few years old.  And we were hungry. 

In desperation, we used the oven in the RV, which is rarely used while on vacation. Why?  Because it’s too small! Well, it’s too small for a large-ish family, when it comes to baking dinner dishes that are required to feed everyone at one time. Regardless, since we were having meatloaf and baked potatoes and missing the oldest (who was eating at Bible study), we thought we could shove it all in the little oven, and we weren’t disappointed.

Tuesday, we took apart the range apart and got into the control panel.  (This is when having a husband who is an engineer and has all those electrical tools comes in handy.)  He tested everything, and determined that the problem was in the motherboard/brains and that it probably was not cost-effective to fix.

And you know what that means.  Shopping.  🙄   Shopping for something you really kind of have to have, and in a hurry.

Now, you might think that in a smaller town, it would be pretty easy.  Not so fast.  We have Sears and Home Depot and some other miscellaneous appliance sellers (who sell other things, too)……………….. and that’s it.  By default, this means comparison shopping online, at those company websites.

I used to not find that problematic.  Maybe it’s because we’re having solar flares, but my computer on high-speed cable internet has been running like a boat anchor (and I’m sure I need to defrag), and it takes a looooooooooonnnnnnggggggg time for pages to load. This means I now dread even shopping online.  Did I mention that I am not a patient person?  Particularly when it comes to waiting on websites?  😉

You get the point.  Click on something to see detail and wait wait wait. Click to go back and wait wait wait.   Click to try to filter by option and wait wait wait.  *sigh*

Once I found something, I decided it was a good idea to go to the store to see if it had an item in that finish.  I also went to the other store to see what they had in stock and on closeout, because sometimes you can find a steal.  Tuesday was not that day.

In the second store, I saw a dishwasher with the one finish and decided I hated it. I tell you, I spent another 2 hours in the store, using the computer to shop their site online.  How twisted is that?!  In the end, I was able to make a choice and decided to order in the store, so that the nice new, young salesboy could get a commission. (—–> sucker  :lol:)

Despite my rushing out and spending hours online and in-store shopping, when I ordered, of course, the item was backordered. That means that it’s not going to be here for another 3 weeks! And, even though it will be delivered to the store on a Friday, they want to charge me $10 to deliver it on a Saturday (which negates the “free delivery”, imo), which I am too cheap to do.

So, I wait until the following Monday.  At least they will haul the old one away for free. And we’re going back to gas.

Some people thrive on shopping.  Sometimes I wish I could enjoy it more. In many regards, it seems like a total waste and sending money up in smoke, since most things in my life are utilitarian and serve a purpose, before they wear out and have to be replaced. 

I’m fatigued from shopping. Tuesday it was the range; Wednesday and Thursday it was tv and internet shopping, and Thursday and Friday it’s been shopping for the next vacation site. *That,* however, is a whole ‘nother post, because vacation shopping (which for us includes parks/campgrounds) is incredibly labor intensive when going to a new destination.  Blerg.

I don’t have an inner shopaholic, no matter how much I try -except for maybe yarn and books.  Speaking of yarn, the yarn I ended up ordering online came yesterday, which I admit, does give me a thrill (you know, because of my yarn “sickness”).  😆  The store still hasn’t called, but I’m ok now that I can get my fix!

Huh.  Maybe I do have a little shopaholic in me after all!  😆

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I have a confession to make.  I did something today that I have been trying very hard NOT to do for a considerable amount of time.  I can only hope that my transgression today won’t unravel all the good I’ve done while working on this problem for lo these many years. *sigh*

 <whisper> I bought yarn. (pause) Yarn that isn’t involved in a working project. </whisper>

Can you see me dancing with delight? 😆

As you may know, I am in the midst of making baby things for a new niece.  While I bought all the yarn they had in the main color I’m using, I have since run out. Since the yarn is the Hobby Lobby brand, there is no where else to get it.  And, even if I could, the only other store in my town that sells yarn is Wal-Mart.  You can see my limitations.

Two weeks ago, slightly before I ran out of yarn, I went to my local Hobby Lobby to get more.  They were still out.  I filled out the form to special order it, and they were supposed to have it on the following Thursday. They never got any in.  I confirmed that my order on this regularly stocked item was still in the system, and was assured that surely, they would get the yarn the following week.

Yesterday was the day the yarn was supposed to arrive.  They said they would call me one way or another.  Another Thursday passed; another day of silence. Today I went back to the store to see if it had arrived.

It had not. 😥

In my desperation, upon arriving home from my weekly shopping, I went online and ordered more yarn. I am annoyed.  Not only was I charged tax (because we have a local store) but I was also charged shipping.

I emailed customer service to express my displeasure.  Surely, if I can order the yarn online, why can’t the local store get a shipment? And WHY should *I* have to pay for shipping when I ordered it through the store and it didn’t arrive?  Clearly, there is a lack of logic with regard to this situation.

But, this is not the transgression yarn of which I speak. 😀

Since my baby-things-making has stalled, I shifted gears back to the troubled sock. I am pleased to report that while being very large (I used much larger needles on my first practice sock so I could more easily see what I was supposed to be doing) and not necessarily “pretty” in some spots, it actually looks mostly like a sock.  I am starting on the second sock and will try to shrink them to a useable size. 

I have to say that I ♥♥♥ self-striping yarn. I picked up some more smaller sized double-pointed needles (dpns), a thin book on sock making for beginners, and a few small skeins of sock yarn for the next socks I plan to tackle. I am planning on sock making for the forseeable future.

This batch of yarn, too, is not the yarn of my transgression. Indeed, that yarn came at the next stop; my local Wal-Mart.

Since being completely remodeled a few months ago, the craft section has gotten considerably smaller.  I was happy that they didn’t get totally rid of the fabric and yarn, though.  And, they have added beading and jewelry making supplies, which is great, considering I have supplies for that as well. I haven’t gotten into that craft yet, though, since I’m knitting.  I also promised my hunny that when I was done with the baby stuff, I would finish his “lap blanket” (which will be a full-sized blanket at the very least, if not a queen size).  I cannot, in clear conscience, move on to jewelry making until I get the blanket done.

In a total moment of weakness and while seriously crunched for time (because I spent over an hour in Hobby Lobby looking through pattern books), I sped back to the craft section.  And lo and behold, they had nice sock yarn skeins for a buck.  Yes, that’s right – 2.47 ozs of bliss for $1.

In solid colors!

Given that I had just come from Hobby Lobby, which didn’t have *any* solid colored sock yarn, and given that I wear socks with pants, mostly in the non-sweltering months here, I tend to primarily wear solid colored socks.  While I appreciate and am excited to wear the striped socks that will eventually be made, there is something very utilitarian feeling about having the opportunity to make socks that will be worn perhaps more frequently (than striped).

It was the combination that got me, truly.  Finding the elusive solid colored sock yarn for $1 – well, I can’t even describe the shivers that overcame me as I stood there in sheer delight.

Now I have another stash of something under my bed. And, unlike stashes of the past, I really feel like this yarn will get used sooner than later.  Socks, while more challenging at this point, seem to be more portable and easier to take places than other, larger projects. I can work on them and not get hot (like making a blanket), and there seem to be infinite patterns to help avoiding boredom. 

BUT. This motion in reverse has me considering another step in the backwards direction: magazines.  😆  I have years and years of crochet magazines, but not knitting.  Since knitting is my new endeavor, I wonder if I would enjoy a knitting magazine like I did with my crochet magazines.

This, in turn, leads me to think about an electronic subscription, but I’m not sure if it would be as enjoyable.  I enjoy seeing the glossy pictures and the easily being able to flip through the pattern.  Would I miss that experience? Even as I write, that “bad” part of my brain is telling me to give the print issue a try first, and then move onto digital, if it seems like that would work better.

Someone talk me down! 😆 Ah, well. 

You know, even if you go in reverse sometimes, every now and then you can still end up where you want to. I’m feeling optimistic that this is what’s happening here.  I’ll keep you posted!

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