Happy New Year and First FO of the year

Yes, I’ve completed my belated Christmas prezzie for a friend. It’s the only knitted gift I made this year. I’m busy waiting (oxymoron – remember Jumbo Shrimp?) for it to dry after it’s luxury first soaking! Then wrapping and presenting. I have no doubt my friend will like it. I want one for myself now. Perhaps a different colorway – just because.

My ravelry page for the project has over 600 hits now! I’m sure many of you were curious as to how it knit up. I loved the color changes. I didn’t like the lace weight but dealt with it and persevered the cramped hands (at times) for the final wonderful product. It was worth finishing.

Now, on to finish a few very important projects that have been too long on the needles. I’m focusing on wraps and sweaters this winter. The Winter Olympics are not far off. I hope to have at least two of the four or five completed by the time the torch is extinguished. It’s a goal at least. ♥

After that (probably during – I’m incurable), I plan to cast on several socks I want to do as well as other small quick projects. Oh, and there is the felting that I still haven’t done for some booties, bags, moebius bowl, and a small purse. Maybe 2010 will be the year to finish what I’ve left undone. Sure would feel good! I think I’ve created my first resolution. . . let’s see if this time I can keep it!

Good luck with all of your own projects – whether knitted or not! But, don’t tie yourself up in knots if you don’t cross the finish line on them all! Just enjoy what you’re doing.

~antsinthepantsAnne

Ack!

Bill the Cat

Does anyone remember Bill the Cat? It’s an old cartoon strip. I will not restrain myself from saying his favorite expletive: ACK! but I refuse to develop hairballs. heeeee Also, you cannot knit cathair, I said so.

This holiday season has been great. I mean that in the stress-free sense. I’ve allowed unimportant missives to go by the wayside. Yes, they are ‘important’ but I’m making a different scale this year and focusing on family and my sanity. No extranious gifts (sorry for those who loved my pear chutney), although every one of you is SO deserving!

Christmas cards and annual letter have not yet been started.

No rushed knitted gifts either. I have one that I’ll beg off a gift exchange for after Christmas and when she’s back in town. She’ll understand and probably be glad she has some extra time too!

Garfield

Twister, the sister

Nope, I’ve hunkered down to take care of my one misfortunate cat (bladderstones), equally love the crazy one, and to spend what time I have: early each morning before busstops, chauffering home after school sports/activities, and listening whenever – as best as I can with my kiddos.

Friday night date night has been established and has not gone the slow route (yet) to boredom. We’ve tried the movies, but you don’t really talk, bars are fine if it’s a last resort, mall walking is fine if you haven’t already done too much recently, but we keep steady (24 years and counting).

I think if I did this effort with my knitting, I’d be a rockstar. yeah right. Well, maybe the Knitting Harlot, or Anne Hanson . . . . make that a double yeah right.

So, the best idea I’ve had for my blog (here) is to photo the state of affairs of my knitting books. No matter that I’ve got 10 times worth of patterns and info on my desktop computer. Since I’ve been reorganizing, I know exactly where everything is! Alas, still not House Beautiful, but at least sorted and ready for the beauty when I am.

Santa came early, don't tell!

So, if you’re stuck in a rut, take some comfort that there is hope and you can get there one step at a time.

You can say, “ACK!” if you wish.

Just take that time to smell the roses and get your priorities taken care of first. It’s so important during the holidays. ♥

What We CAN do

Yes, I know Thanksgiving is over but the spirit of giving of ourselves should never stop.

Case in point is the wonderful slideshow link following. . . My friend Sue is the owner of Lovely Yarns in Hampden in Baltimore City. She’s had the shop for several years and it’s a wonderful place to visit, sit & knit, or just hang out. Her clientele and friends decided to knit 500 hats and give them away! The recipient is a local school each year. Here’s the slide show: http://www.flickr.com/photos/500hatproject/show/

I did not participate – Just had to share and brag up my friend! Last year, I did knit several infant hats for Save the Children’s “Knit One Save One” campaign. It was fast, easy, used up stash, and very fulfilling.   http://www.savethechildren.org/newsroom/2009/caps-KOSO.html

teeny beenies for newborns around the world

Thinking about doing something can give you warm fuzzies, but actually doing it, gives them to someone else! ♥

Knit on dudes & dudettes! ~antsinthepantsAnne™

Peek-a-boo Progress

Here’s where I am on my Texas Toasty Drops sweater. . . .

 

 

 

It’s such a nice feel. No wonder I have no trouble picking it up. I’m on the increase/decrease shaping now. Drops is not the easiest to understand but I’m figuring it out. They write like the old patterns and one needs to be constantly aware of where in the pattern a button hole must be placed, or how many inches / centimeters have been knit. Keeps me on my toes!

~antsinthepantsAnne™

A Rare Day in Multi-tasking Land

Yesterday eclipsed my largest daily amount of progress on knitted projects. I don’t count my stitches or rows or number of do-overs / tinking. But, after seeing a Facebook status from a knitting/dying friend asking what everyone’s average stitch count per day is, I sat back and thought, “Hey! Yesterday I did more than ever before !” Timely. 😉

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Infinity Peacocks Moebius Wrap

On my own pattern in the Large size that I’ve planned to finish by Turkey day, I completed the 2nd of three sections. I’m on the home stretch. It’s over 500 stitches per row in a moebius loop (never ending!!). Per my previous post, you’ll note that the other yarn I’d been knitting was not magic, and was not inspiring, and was just NOT. I’m flying through and you can see my progress on my ravelry.com project page. I’m 34me there, and here’s the link: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/34Me/infinity-peacocks-moebius-wrap-2

Recently too, within the past two weeks, I helped another knitter friend destash (yes, I was enabled) so she could pay a kitteh vet bill. We’ve become very close online – some may feel that’s weird, but we chat quite a bit and yes, we’ve become good friends. One day, we WILL meet IRL (in real life).

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colorway: flan

I ‘rescued’ 1500 yards of Texas Toasty in Flan from her. Luscious and so soft. She even sent me cardigan patterns! I had searched too while waiting for USPS to deliver the goods and found a great Drops pattern that I’d decided I liked best, even after review of the freebies sent. I’ll reserve one of those – or two – for later.

When the yarny goodness arrived, I’d set it aside thinking it would one day be a great cardigan; much like many other stash items in my SABLE. That’s on the verge of three lifetimes at present.

I’d also wound two of the three skeins. Still swiftless, I just sit cross legged and hand wind. I love the feel and having the drape of the skein on my knees is just like a warm hug. The entire process is very cathartic.

Last night, while watching Sci-Fi channel (I’m a maven but cannot let my hands be idle), I knit away on my IPMW. Dinner break and kiddo pick-ups were minor but necessary interruptions but I got a rhythm. And it was good.

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I got guage!

The Flan balls were in my line of sight, and I began to wonder if I should. . . . . I found the circular needles in the correct size, and knitted a guage swatch. I made guage the first try! I’m saving it for perpetuity . . . or at least until I need that bit for seaming. . . It may be close!  Not deterred by the 12 or so projects still on needles (yes, really), I pulled a new ball and started casting on the 264 stitches to start the ribbing. One d0-over later and the correct amount of yarn tail, I had success and began the K2P2 ribs.

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Future Cardigan in Flan

I probably knit 5000 stitches in all yesterday, and not one was wasted or rushed or disliked. It was all about the great balancing act of remaining active and interested! I love this craft. ♥

Today however is a new day and many other things on my plate. Here’s hoping you get as  much or more done on your list so your knitting time gets into your schedule too!

~antsinthepantsAnne™

I’m IN

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Noveau Intarsia Baby Cap

At least, according to the email I received from Annie Modesitt, I am ‘IN’ her new 1000 Fabulous Hats book! It’s being compiled to be published as we speak. I entered several pillbox style knitted baby/kiddo caps that I”d knitted over the years.

The one here is brand spankin’ new and I designed it ‘specially for this. Because I could. 😉

It’s unblocked and a rushed photo session to meed the summer deadline, but it’s still a fine cotton hat.

I’m getting the pattern written up and kinks out of it so you can make it too. It will be my second for sale here and on Ravelry.com so stay tuned. I’m excited!!!

Any suggestions on a pattern price? I was thinking $4 or $5 as a download, but would love to hear some input. Hey, it’s only my second pattern for sale, and other than my own research on other patterns for sale, those of you who may be interested could help me out! Comments welcomed.

~Anne

Out With The Old In With The New

There comes a time when one must regear. The mojo really kicks in and the same old same old is just not good enough. I’ve had it. I mean, The time came! Maybe it was due to daylight savings time and giving me that extra hour? Hmmm. Just thought of that one. . . . but I really think it had more to do with finally getting an exhaust fan installed in our only bathroom. 😉

 Anyway. Non-sequetors aside . . . My master bedroom has needed storage AND completion since we moved in 17.7 years ago. The carpet and paint were new then. They are not now. The arrangement changed once from the bed on one wall to another. This time, I’ve wrapped my head around how it really would work best, and the bed will now be on a different wall altogether.

I guess working, raising kids, tending home and hearth, and working, raising kids, laundry, working, raising kids . . . . . didn’t give me much time to consider the Interior Design of my personal abode. AND this was once my profession!!! A sad state of affairs for one so young. heeeee. Oh, did I mention dimentia from raising kids? . . . .

I’m debating showing you any of the sorted (sordid) mess, but maybe just the great amount of paper recycling I’ve amassed for next Tuesday’s pick up!! Yikes. I feel like the hermit who stacked WSJ’s up to the ceiling in all rooms. Nope, just kid papers, PTA stuff, Church stuff, magazines, and old mail I thought I’d get back to. . . . nothing important. Thus the mega amount of grocery sacks!!

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mucho recyclo

The before pics of the room may be forthcoming later — but only after I’ve finished. It’s just too embarassing! The paper goes to the back porch tonight to make room in our kitchen. We’ve gotta eat!

Also (now for the knitting portion), I’ve disembarked (removed from the needles but not yet frogged) one of my knitting projects that had been languishing on an extrodinarily long set of circular needles for an extrodinarily LONG amount of time. It’s in an extra large ziplock now awaiting sentancing.

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methinks . . . no more acrylic . . .

I thought I liked the colors. It IS in my personal pattern and has been a necessary project so I can test-fit another size for addendum to my loyal (so far) fans. I just kept getting snagged — on the partial acrylic fiber made-into-chain-stitch yarn doubled-with-a-boucle. . . . it seemed like an adventure I’d wanted to take on. The color IS good and would be a nice casual blue-jean match. The darn thing just wasn’t working for me. It took me 10 months to figure this out! I guess I am a natural fibers snob. Hmmmph

Nibble Nibble

Nibble Nibble

What if, I thought just yesterday, I made it in WOLLEMEISE???? For any of you who have not heard of this covetous fiber, you can just forget I said anything. . . . more for me on the next sneak up! But what a difference!! I’ve whipped through about an inch of over 500 stitches – about 8 rows, just today. I’m in love. I may finish tomorrow! My cat loves it too – the wool fiend, Twister, aptly named for her tail; but l like that her fetish is twists of wool too.

Wollmeise IPMW

Gettin down wit da wollemeise

I’m using ‘Pillars of Fire’ as my choice of colorway. I had one skein and it will be just enough for my size Large pattern. For those of you wondering out there in ‘When is she ever going to post erratta or addendums’ land, I’ve added 48 MCO (moebius cast on stitches) which means a total of 96 in moebius land. I’ve also been writing on post-its with some minor clarifications and notes. I think the pattern is pretty sound as is, but tweaks will probably be added.

Posted I will keep you (channeling Yoda) with my bedroom and IPMW (that’s my pattern for sale up there and the co-actor of this performance) progress. I think they will both snowball and I’ll be into paint buckets and onto new needles by Turkey Day! I’ll probably be into more mischief too. There’s just no telling and one needs to use up ALL the mojo quickly just in case it decides to go to the Caymans without notice.

Now on to dinner and warming up some New England Clam Chowder! Knit on dudes and dudettes and cancel that mojo’s passport!!!  Calling the hubster now for a pick up of my fave libation. . . .

Fave libation

Easy on the eyes & stomach!

~ants(back)inthepantsAnne™