March 2012 Wrap-Up

Whew.  It’s been quite a day for posts.  Are you still with me, kittens?  Just one more and then I promise to be quiet for a bit.  You all know what the end of the month means….

Yardage Totals 2012:


January: 817 yds
February: 782 yds
March: 1350 yds
Year to date: 2949 yds or 1.68 miles


Yup, yardage tally-ing time!

I did really well this month, much better than I had expected to do.  It’s been quite some time since I’ve had a month where I knit more than 1,000 yards worth of yarn.  With the weather already heating up–really, what is up with June/July in March?!–I’m afraid this will not happen again anytime soon.  But who knows?  Maybe I’ll surprise myself.

2012 Stashdown: Q1

Yes, it’s really that time again: Q1 of 2012 Stashdown is complete.  So let’s see how I did.

2012 Stashdown Q1:
Yardage In: 1,620
Yardage Out: 7,365
Net Stash Change: -5,745
Ratio (yds out/in): 4.55

I was green, kittens!  Really really green.  What a great start for the year.  I’m hoping to keep up the momentum and slowly chip away at my stash while still enjoying some new yarns here and there.  I’m not sure I’ll be quite *this* green though, since I had a lot of unexpected destashing happen this quarter.  Items I’ve had sitting on my Ravelry trade/sell tab for ages were suddenly inquired about and are now all gone.
Anywho!  I’m trying something a bit different this year since I’ve been wanting to see a bigger picture of my stash reduction efforts that I started in 2010.  I plan to update this image every quarter so I can compare how things have gone.  (I’m still hoping to knock out that blanket yardage from 2011’s Q1.  Oh my, can you imagine my numbers the quarter that happens?!) 

End of March Catch Up

Kittens, things got busy here at Chez Knitpicky, and it’s going to continue to be that way into the summer.  I will hopefully adjust and get back to blogging more regularly again so I do not have to do these “catch up” posts.  And as fair warning, being the last day of March and the end of Q1, you will be seeing more posts from me today.  I’m catching up on everything it would seem.

Truth be told, there’s been a lot of knitting going on here, but not so much finishing.  This post will not be too FO heavy compared to the previous ones; it’s the amount of time it took me to blog these that bothers me.

Pattern: Charade by Sandra Park
Needles: US size 2 (2.75mm)
Yarn: Sunshine Yarns Luxury Sock- Pumpkin Chai

Finally, a pair of socks for 2012!  It’s a shame they are not for me, but my mother seems to be appreciative of them.  And really, who can feel bad about that? ♥

I was sorely tempted to knit them a bit longer and keep them for myself.  At least I have some of the yarn left over that I can play with.  With my affinity for anklets, I could probably just eek out a pair… definitely one with a contrast heel and toe.

I’ve knit this pattern before, and I have to say that I like it much better in a less variegated colorway.  Instead of knitting the toe as-written, I decided to change it up to a more commonly used one.  I didn’t really use the pattern for anything except the decorative stitch.  I used a website for the math needed to turn heels and just did my own thing.  I really do love this pattern and the look of these socks: there will be more pairs in my future.

This was my first time working with Sunshine yarns, and it will certainly not be my last.  I bought the yarn through a destash and was not disappointed with what I received.  The yarn was most remarkable.  The colorway was beautiful (but changed a lot depending on what form it was in, more on that a bit later), the yarn was soft, it did not tangle or give me any trouble going from the skein to the cake, and there was not a single defect in the skein. No broken plies.  No breaks that were rejoined with a knot.  No white spots.  No slubby bits at all.  Not one. Sunshine just popped up next to Goth Socks on my list of Indie Dyers who DO IT RITE and can have all of my money.  If you’ve been thinking about giving Sunshine a try, I would recommend it based on this first experience.

The colorway was a bit tricky and mischevious, though.  If you look at my picture of the two socks, you may notice they appear to be two completely different colors.  This is because they are.  The first sock knit up much lighter than the second.

In the skein, this is what the yarn looked like:

It was very golden with hints of spicey oranges and browns.  Once it was in the cake, it took up a decidedly more brown with highlights of gold look.  Then the first sock (the back sock in the FO picture) was a mostly wheat color and the second was more of the warm spice browns.  I found it rather fun, but I can see how it would be a possible annoyance if one needs perfectly matching twin socks.

Anywho, if you’re in the market for it, by all means try this yarn. 🙂

The second project I’m going to share with you today was a spur of the moment fun one.  On 01 March, The Boy bit into an apple and complained that it made his tooth hurt.  As a mother, of course I had to go check it out and my suspicions were confirmed: he had his first loose tooth.  I decided he had to have a tooth pillow and after searching through images on Pinterest, I chose do to this….

Pattern: Tooth Fairy Pillow by Christy Causey for Knit Picks
Needles: US size 6
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease

I think it turned out pretty well, though I could have stuffed the legs a bit more.  This pattern was really easy to follow and I did for the most part.  Instead of knitting a square for the pocket on the back and sewing it down, I chose to pick up stitches from the body, knit as tall as I wanted the pocket, do an applied i-cord bind off, and then seam down the two loose sides.  I think it gave the pocket a nice neat appearance and make it easier to find the pocket opening thanks to the structure.  I also prettied up the front with some felt and embroidered embellishments.

The Boy was really pleased with the pillow and a few days later, he was able to put it to use.  The Girl decided to reach into his mouth while they were wrestling, and she literally ripped his tooth out.  Yep, she’s dainty and demure, that one.

How about you, kittens?  Have you been getting much done during this strangely warm and wet late winter/early spring?

WIP-it Wednesday

The lab coat cardigan; my own design. It’s a bottom-up, seamed piece. Not my usual, but I couldn’t get my provisional cast-on to behave and not seriously wonk up my gauge. It’s about 1/3 of the way done? I’ve worked out the shaping for the fronts and the pocket so hopefully the left side will go more quickly than the right did. I plan to pick up stitches for the sleeves from the shoulders and knit them top-down. ♥

January’s FOs

I suppose that before March fully slips by us–and I have to more seriously focus on our move–I should catch-up on January’s FOs, yes? I spent much of January test knitting toys for my friend Rachel, who now has a fast-filling page of designs on Ravelry. I was quite honored to be asked to test knit for her, and I was very happy with the resulting toys. (And as you know, kittens, I am not a big fan of knitting toys. That is a testament to how much I like her. ;D )

Pattern: Trio of Owls by Rachel Gallagher-Miller
Needles: US size 8
Yarn: Knit Picks Simply Cotton Worsted, Lily Sugar ‘n Cream, and Cotton Fleece
This pattern is so cute and the variety available in it with the three designs is great! The owls were designed to be a blank canvas upon which you could place color work, cables, really anything your heart could desire. Her directions are well-written and the resulting toys are wonderful. Through these, I’ve gained an appreciation for wool felt embellishments. I’ve also learned that while cotton is great care-wise, I’m not so sure I’m as in love with it for toys. It results in heavy–though sturdy!–toys that are unforgiving of any unevenness at that gauge. It’s also hard on the hands to knit cotton that tight for long periods of time. In the future, I think I’ll be stocking up on superwash wools and blends for toy making.

Next up is another knit I did for Rachel….

Pattern: Rylan’s Monkey by Rachel Gallagher-Miller
Needles: US size 8
Yarn: Knit Picks Simply Cotton Worsted
A knit super hero monkey for The Boy. (I believe it was Susan who guessed what it was during a WIP-it Wednesday post.) He was so excited to have something on needles that was for him and in colors he had chosen. Like the last pattern, this one is clearly written and easy to customize; I have some ambitious plans involving this pattern. I plan to make them after the move and they may be a bit late for their intended recipient…I’m pretty sure she knows who she is.
I hate to sound like an advertisement, but I can not seem to urge you enough to go check out her toy patterns if you have gifts to knit for little people…or bigger ones that love toys. She even has a free Lorax pattern up with truffula trees! I mean seriously. Are you still here? Go have a look!
Ahem.
Anywho, those took me most of the way through the month of January. On the last day of the month, I started a gift for a friend of mine, who is also 30 this year. I thought she deserved something cute and customized for her. 😉

Pattern: I heavily modified Bear & Pot of Honey
Hook: F
Yarn: Hobby Lobby I Love this Cotton!

Yes. This is what the crocheted taco was all about! That was something I improvised; there is no pattern for it. I only really used the bear pattern as a jump off point and to get a feel for how to shape the bear. I ended up changing many things about the body and limbs; I think the head and ears were the only part I crocheted as-written. It was an unremarkable pattern either way. That isn’t meant as a negative remark; it just didn’t have anything noticeably wrong with it, but it was pretty sparse instruction-wise. Maybe I’m too used to knit patterns and having more descriptive information given in them?

I think that’s a good place to end this post; I may as well keep it toy themed, and I can save my other FO for another time.