Sunday, April 10, 2016

We won the House Cup!

So exciting, we won the House Cup two terms in a row! Whoo hoo!!!

Soar, Ravenclaw!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Still pathetic at blogging!

So it's been two months since I last posted. I really am pathetic at blogging, I'm afraid. Winter 2016 Term is almost over in the House Cup, and I can't believe it but have finished both my 13 hat Mission and large Morticia OWL projects. 

I still have that pile of WIPs to cull through, and I'm not sure when I'll be doing that. I've cast on a new pair of CookieA socks, Pointelle, in pink:

I haven't made anything pink for myself except Professor Umbridge's pink cat scarf, so I'm liking these. Unfortunately, I've started them at the same time as spinning a new braid of Rambouillet in Rowenon, dyed by a fellow Ravenclaw, so I'm torn between wanting to knit and wanting to spin. 

I may have also started a fishie sock yarn throw today (not calling it a blanket!), for which I need a miniskein swap or two to help feed it. 

I'm seriously considering an SoS Term next, as a Student on Sabbatical. With Real Life home and work challenges, I'm not sure how knittingly productive I will be. I think I need a break from knitting to deadline and striving for class minimums, and miss the knitting for the relaxing pleasure of it. I'll miss being on Tower staff, having just returned; they're a great bunch of folks of whom I am very fond. But I need the mental break, or I may end up having a breakdown myself. 

I'm also afraid I've damaged my right shoulder, between daily work mousing and evening and weekend crafting; its really gotten crunchy again and I should have the Dr take a look at it. It was a prior Dr who did X-rays of it and that's how my osteopenia was caught early, so that really was years ago. I suppose joints get rougher with age, but the right shoulder is way worse than the left. Will have to look into chondroitin supplements and the like. 

My, I'm sounding quite whiny today! Sorry about that. We've had a nice week at home for spring break, I took off from work to be with the kiddos. Really needed a breather from work, and I guess I'm getting grumpy knowing its back to the grind on Monday. 

So, happy things -- I'm using one of the new sock yarn skeins I bought on sale from Knit Picks for the new socks, and getting back to the relaxing and meditative joy of spinning on my wheel. We are finally healthy, after several weeks of stomach ailments going around. DS has 35 hours completed of the required 50 on his driver's permit. Both DDs are doing better on their respective meds, when taken regularly. And a disappointing winter guard season is over for DH in a week. 

We still have our challenges, but are getting through one day at a time. And Spring is on the way, even though we just had a few inches of snow last night - that's two barrages of snow during spring break!

Happy Saturday :)

Monday, January 18, 2016

WIPs - 2015 and older

I was inspired by our Aerie blog editor-in-chief greenegirl's blog, to list out my WIPs from 2015 (and before). I'm afraid there are a fair few, but here goes:

Active WIPs:

Begun 2015:

*Vivid Wedding Afghan for J&C - begun 6/11/15, knit this for my cousin's wedding (Dec 2015). I'm adding an antique lace border to it that I think highlights the petals of the vivid square center work, and will finish before their first wedding anniversary this Dec 2016 :)

Begun 2014:

*Sock Yarn Throw - begun 9/1/14, don't we all have one of these? Mine started as hexipuffs, which I swiftly fell out of love with after knitting the fifth one. It's more of an afterthought, to use up the last dregs of yummy sock yarn we can't bear to throw away. I'll use it to turn in a quick class if need be, and I really need more miniskeins (hundreds!) to make it nice and colorful. It's more a sock yarn scarf at the moment, but I have dreams that in a few years, it'll be a nice throw for the living room.

Hibernating: These are the projects I've put aside to work on others, that I can't bear to frog (yet), and plan/hope to get back to someday:

*Vintage Reindeer Sweater for DH - begun 2/12/12, our kiddos "commissioned" me to knit this for DH so he'd have one to match all of ours, but he really doesn't want one (so he says)

*Puff Daddy cushion for living room - begun 7/11/14, really do want to finish this and not buy one in a store for $100+, but it tires my arms very quickly with several strands held together

*Amy Farrah Fowler granny square afghan - begun 7/17/14, about 30% completed, but the squares are coming out way larger than in The Big Bang Theory TV show, so I'm a bit discouraged. A fellow Ravenclaw knows one of the executive producers, and told her about my afghan and got full blanket shots from her so I can make it as true to the original as possible - she then told the cast about it, so I can't give up on it :) Crocheting on it too much hurts my shoulder, so I need to pace myself

*attic24 Cosy Stripe blanket for living room - begun 9/2/15, you can never have too many cosy blankets in our house when it gets cold in the winter, and I have the yarn on hand. Using the "Harmony colors" instead of the Fall palette.  Ditto crochet hurts my shoulder

*Mermaid lap blanket 2 for DD2- started 10/2015 as a Christmas gift, she says she still wants it, ditto crochet hurts my shoulder

Woodland Hills snuggle up - begun 10/29/10 for DH. I started this when he complained that everyone had a Snuggie but him (they don't fit him well), when we all had and used Snuggies for about five minutes. I should probably frog it and reclaim the yarn; each pattern "row" takes forever.
TARDIS stuffed plush WIP - begun 10/27/11. All panels are knit, just the duplicate st needs to be done, and I didn't like the way it was coming out.
HP Squares Blanket - 12 squares knit, should do 4 more and seam together
Knit paper chain
32 st Advent Calendar Scarf 2013
49 st Advent Calendar Scarf 2013
No-fuss shade-loving shawl
GeekALong blanket 2014 - Triforce Square
Catbug ami
Lamp cosies for the office
Toothless hat for DD1's friend
Lord of the Rings ami - begun 2/2009, these are my oldest WIPs, sad to say. The bodies are crocheted and stuffed, and they live on a dusty bookshelf in the basement until I get around to adding their hair and clothes. The felt clothes patterns weren't working for my scale/gauge, so they've been suffering, cold and neglected. I really should take care of these poor gents.

Really too many WIPs to have to deal with, and they weigh me down and give me the guilts. I think I need to frog all those not marked with "*" and move on. I can reuse most of the yarn for Knit A Square hats, squares, and handwarmers.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Mermaid Tail finished!

Finished the mermaid tail lap blanket for eldest daughter on Jan 1. She loves it!

Am I ready to get back to work on DD2's now?

Not really, no. But I'm setting my goal to finish hers before December. Maybe it will be a birthday present then. :)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Morticia started

My OWL proposal was approved, and I've begun work on Morticia. Very exciting!

Here she is, set up section and first chart A repeat completed:

The beads slow things down, of course, and it grows exponentially, but it will be worth it. 

Most of the shawls I've knit for myself are blue, so knitting a red one is a big change for me. I will just need to track progress and work on it consistently, so that I finish on time. At the start, they go quickly, but the last third takes forever, and the picot bind off has you crocheting long chain points which are beaded, adding on about 3,000 sts, so that will be a huge challenge as well. 

Challenge accepted! :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Just Keep Swatching....

This winter break seems to be flying by all too quickly. We've been having a low-key, relaxing time together, without too many emotional outbursts, and for that I'm grateful. 

I'm currently swatching for my OWL proposal for Astronomy, a lace Morticia shawl in Madelinetosh Tosh laceweight yarn in Tart colorway, with size 8/0 dark plum iris beads. I'll add an extra two pattern repeats to make it larger and hopefully OWL-worthy. 

I do love the magic of blocking, it never ceases to amaze. 

Freshly bound-off swatch:

(Love how it matches my crafting chair)

Ready for its warm water Soak bath, approx. six inches tall and two inches wide 16 sts across):

On the blocking mat:

Next day after blocking - lovely!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Tail progress

30" long so far, getting there!

Crocodile stitch the right way

I'm not sure if I misread the pattern directions or messed up not turning when I was supposed to, but I've decided to cut the yarn, turn the tail and work the dc v sts from the wrong side, turn it again to work the scales as I saw on YouTube, so the right side of the tail is the backside of the scales. This way I don't have to secure them down. 

There will be three distinct changes in the scales themselves, but I don't think it will harm the overall aesthetic of the magical piece. :)

I will frog DD2's tail to work the crocodile sts the correct way -- that's a post for another day. 

Detention Jan 2016

I'm taking a slight break from the mermaid tail, and working on Kari's puppy pullover sweater, so it will be close to finished for Detention come January 1. 

I'm knitting long sleeves for the front legs, as she's a Rat Terrier, with short hair. She doesn't like being cold in the winter, and must be sitting on my lap or along my left thigh if I'm sitting anywhere. And it's best if she's under a blankie. Case in point: 

I love her to death, but it gets annoying at times. She will sit on the couch across from me, staring me down, until I call her over to join me on my chair. 

Hence the new wool sweater with long sleeves. Because short-haired pups suffer in the winter, poor dears. She just might need matching leg warmers for her back legs, too. ;)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fixing Crocodile stitch mermaid tail lap blanket

I'm crocheting the mermaid tail lap blanket for DD1. The scales should be worked so the back side is the right side, so they would curl under. As written, the front side of the dcs is the right side, so the scales are curling up. To fix this, I'm working the sc at the bottom of the scale as a fpsc around the v st posts of the scale in the row below. 

Posting pics so I don't forget how I did this. 

Worked 5 dc as the first half of the scale:

Hook is under the v st:

It can be a little tricky to work the loop and pull through, but fpsc worked:

Finished the 5 dc for the second half of the scale.

And here we see the last five rows of scales have been secured in this manner.