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Beanie Bag October 2015

This was the first Beanie Bag that JBW did. It came in a zippered pouch approx the size of a pencil pouch. The pouch itself is sewn from a rough cotton. Similar to a tote bag, but much more supple. The zipper is a bit rough to open and close and the teeth on it are rather rough.

The first Beanie Bag
The first Beanie Bag
The Card
The Card

Inside there were 4 samples of yarn. The card inside listed the yarn companies for each of the samples, but no indication of which sample was from which company. Also included on the card was a pattern for a knit cuff or a crochet wristlet.

Here is everything that came in the October bag.
Here is everything that came in the October bag.

In addition to the samples, there was also a small envelope containing 2 stitch markers, 3 mother of pearl buttons, and a small sticker.

Those buttons are as beautiful and delicate as they look.
Those buttons are as beautiful and delicate as they look.

In fairness, while I was not overwhelmed, I did not feel like I was slighted in any way. Honestly my two biggest complaints for this bag were the zipper and the not knowing which sample corresponded to which brand. I figured the first month or so they would be finding their footing and the bags could only go up from here!

As you’ll see in the next few posts, I was right and I’m really glad I stuck with them through the first few bags. Have a great weekend everyone!

The Next Generation

It has often saddened me that, up to this point, neither of my boys have been interested in learning to knit. I keep offering, never pushing, just letting them know it’s an option. Fingers are crossed that eventually one of them takes me up on the offer!

In the meantime, I have taught a friend to knit. She’s currently working on her third project, a blanket. She’s coming along swimmingly and I can’t wait to see her fabulous project! 😀

Today I have the wonderful kids of one of my oldest and best friends with me. The older of the two is interested in blogging. What better way for her to see what goes into a blog post than to write one about her and her brother’s visit!

These two are no strangers to my knitting. For Tori I’ve knit her a blue hat and a stripey hat, both of which look lovely on her! For her baby brother I’ve knit a newborn hat and his Blankie (aka TT).  As if having more small people to knit for isn’t an awesome gift (which it is. The smaller the object the faster it goes, you know!) now I know that in just a few years I *will* get to pass on my skills to Tori. And I couldn’t be happier than if it were one of my boys.

Knitting, sewing, crocheting, cross stitch, these are all skills that have been passed down from one generation to the next. Getting to take part in the passing down of knowledge is one of the best things in life, to me.

What about you, wonderful friends? Who’ve you passed your knowledge on to? How did it make you feel? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you next week!

When Is A Fix Not A Fix?

I was happily knitting away on my hat when I stopped to admire my handiwork. I noticed a small mistake. The kind that probably only myself would notice. I kept on knitting but when I came back around I saw it again and it aggravated me even more.

I’ve dropped down and fixed minor mistakes before, so I didn’t think anything of it. I just dropped down and “fixed” it. You’ll notice I put fix in quotation marks. That’s because I went from minor mistake to glaringly obvious screw up.

Lesson learned for today? Don’t drop down to fix something unless you’re willing to rip out and reknit everything up until that point. Bonus lesson: If it’s a minor mistake, just live with it. Nobody but you will ever notice it and it helps make your item one of a kind.

Now, if anyone needs me, I’ll be over here tinking. Forever.

No Knitting Today

Sorry this post was so late today, but I have done no knitting (and couldn’t really think of what else to write about) today. I did do a bit of cleaning, but mostly I spent today sewing.

I know this isn’t a sewing blog, but I also know that us knitters usually do not limit ourselves to one craft only. I’m participating in another swap right now and decided to make a box bag for my person. So I followed this blog post and made two. One for my giftee and one for me. Mine was the guinea pig to make sure that theirs was perfect.

And while it might not be perfect, I’m pretty damned happy with it. I’m really pleased with both bags and proud of myself for stretching my sewing muscles a bit. This is the most intricate thing I’ve sewn in the past 15 years, easily. Since I know you want to see it, here is both a side view, and a top view.

bag end bag

I promise that tomorrow will be more knitting content. My wurm is moving along and I think I’ve just about gotten myself ready to knit the second face hugger!

Time Outs

Anyone who has kids, has been a kid, or has spent time around kids knows that time outs are an effective way to let everyone calm down and reassess the current situation. It gives you a breather and allows you to look at things from a new perspective.

Sometimes projects need to go in time out. When would a project need a time out? Maybe the pattern isn’t making sense right now.  Are you bored with the project in general? Perhaps you keep screwing up the same section over and over again. It could be the cat ate part of the yarn and you have to rip back to nearly the beginning of the shawl that you were halfway done with and you just can’t bear the thought of trying to pick up 300+ stitches right now.  Just for a few general examples.

I’ve had to put a few things into time out. So far every project I’ve had to put into time out I’ve been able to come back to and complete. Sometimes, though, the time out shows you that really the yarn needs to be made into something different or that you really don’t care for that pattern. That’s ok, too! Frogging can be very therapeutic and when you’re done you’ve got yarn to play with!

So far the longest time out a project has had was a combined 7 months (that was the Shawl of DOOOOOOM! for anyone who is curious), but I did have one other that was in time out for 4 months. What’s the longest you’ve had a project in time out for? Let me know in the comments!

The One That Got Away

I was browsing through hat patterns on Ravelry last night before bed, looking for my next hat. The first picture it shows me is the one that got away and like Ahab I must chase this particular white whale…luckily I’m not likely to die knitting a hat. This is a good omen to begin with! ^_~

I first tried knitting Wurm a few months after learning to knit. In retrospect this was a terrible idea as I hadn’t learned the skills needed to knit this hat, and the pattern doesn’t lend itself to easily learning things like picking up and knitting stitches. Of course, attempting it in acrylic was my second mistake. One that I won’t make again!

One of the things I love most on Rav is the “Stash” function. I have every yarn I own, along with pictures and number of skeins, listed which makes it super easy when I’m looking at patterns to find out if I have yarn to make the pattern that I want, or if it’s an excuse to buy yarn.

I when I hit Loopy Groupie status at The Loopy Ewe a few years ago, I got a skein of beautiful purple yarn. In a fabulous coincidence it’s the exact weight I need to knit this, and I might even have enough for a pair of mitts or boot toppers to go with it! 😀

Isn't it GORGEOUS?!
Isn’t it GORGEOUS?!

This is my carrot for me. Once I finish this gorgeous shawl (which is very nearly done at this point. Only 11 rows, bind off, and blocking to go) I will give myself permission to cast on this hat for me. I’m confident that round 2 will go MUCH better.

Planning

I decided last night to take the boys for a walk this morning to the Dunkin Donuts down the street from our house. I figured it would be fun to walk down, have breakfast, and walk back. Exercise! Donuts! Bonding!

For real
I swear this is a totally legit representation of outside my house right now.

Yeah, about that. See, it’s roughly 8,000° out and 3,000% humidity. That’s due to the fact that it’s summer in Florida. However, donuts are donuts, so we set out at about 10:15 this morning. Had I done some planning (putting on sunscreen, grabbing the stroller for tiny man) things wouldn’t have been so bad. On the plus side we did have delicious donuts for breakfast, I know that this will be an EXCELLENT place to stop for a donut/coffee and some knitting once the littlest starts VPK in the fall, and we had a wonderful good Samaritan give us a ride most of the way home on his golf cart.

Planning is just as important in knitting, although it tends to be easier. Estimating how much yarn you need, making sure the correct size needles are free, and printing out the pattern don’t seem like much work, but they’re the sort of thing that can make a project go smoothly vs running around in a panic because you have 3/4 of the project done and no more yarn.

Now that I’ve done my exercise for the day I’m going to sit and knit in the quiet A/C and not go outside again. I’ve had my fill of outside for the day! Lol.