Monthly Archives: January 2014

Sleepless in Seattle

Monica: Sorry for the trite post title but I really have been sleepless. I’m in Seattle for a few days taking a class for work. I’m very happy to be here but I have been stuck in Central time mode and have not been able to adjust to the 2 hour time difference. I’ve been really tired by 9 pm and fall asleep instantly. The worst thing about this trip is that I’ve been getting up at 3 am and am  starving when I wake up but nothing is open until 6 so I try to go back to sleep but I end up napping and waking up every 15 minutes. Until I get out of bed at 4 and then I’m really groggy. I know you’re wondering why this is happening since I’m in Vegas frequently and they are also on Pacific time there. I think it’s because I have to stick to a schedule when I’m here whereas when I’m in Vegas I’m on vacation so I’m not feeling the pressure to be anywhere and can sleep in if I want.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to see many sights. Mostly because I’m pretty tired when I’m done with my class and just want to hang out in my room and knit and watch tv and decompress. This is the exciting view from my hotel room.

Do you see the pine trees in the far distance?

Yesterday I went to visit an old family friend and his family whom I haven’t seen in at least 10 years. I was a bridesmaid at their wedding. Before I went to see them I picked up a gift.
They are beautiful cupcakes from Trophy. I didn’t eat any as I knew I would be stopping there again today because I’m meeting Rebecca there.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a yarn shop in the same building as the cupcake shop.  I had been going on and on to my friends all last week about not visiting any yarn shops while I’m here mostly because I have SO MUCH YARN. And I thought I would stick to my guns but I didn’t.


I tried to restrain myself and stuck to one pattern and one skein of yarn.  Self-control is always challenging for me. Anyway I’m glad I’m here because I got to avoid round 2 of the horrible cold weather in Chicago and I got a very nice small taste of Seattle. I can’t wait to come back when I’m here for vacation and I will have more time to explore.

My WIPS Sweater Queue

Lynette:    I commented on Dee’s post yesterday about the upcoming Ravellenics and what project I may be knitting. Originally, I had decided I wanted to tackle a sweater during the two weeks. And it’s totally doable except I already have three (3) sweaters on the needles.  I could join the the Ravellenics WIPS Dancing event and finish up an existing sweater. However, I’ve decided to knit about 8-10 cowls instead. That’s another blog post entirely.

Back to my sweaters that have been patiently waiting in line to be completed since late last fall.

First up is Beatnik. This was originally going to be my 2013 “I’m not going to Rhinebeck” sweater, but I opted to start and finished Levenwick (project page link) instead.  Funny, how my mind/hands work.

modeling levenwick2 modeling levenwick

Pattern:  Levenwick by Gundrun Johnston
Yarn:  Queensland Kathmandu DK

For the Beatnik sweater, I got frustrated with not being able to see the stitches since the yarn is so dark. I eventually bought an Ott Light and knitting will commence soon.

Next up is the Chunky Cardigan. I started this KAL with my friend, Pam.  I wanted an oversized cardigan I could snuggle in.  I took a break to work on a gift for my son who is in the Navy (another post).   I decided I’m taking this as my knitting project during next weekend’s knitting retreat.   My equation: Big needles + big yarn + 2 days of knitting = LOTS OF PROGRESS.

Lastly, I’m currently working on the Backbone sweater. I love the vintage look of it…the collar and sleeves, and of course, the backbone cabling down the back. I just separated the sleeves so I’m hoping it’ll basically knit itself the rest of the way.

Here’s hoping my next post will be a finished sweater project.  Happy knitting and stay warm!

The Gauntlet

Dee: Ugh!  Decisions, decisions…I have flip flopped over my Ravellenic’s project of choice so many times that I might just have to pull my project name out of a hand knit hat!  Lately I’ve seriously considered knitting a vest but after reading reviews of the pattern I was considering I am now undecided on that one.  Some leg warmers would be ultimately comforting and useful in this Arctic Vortex winter of ours but I can’t settle on a pattern or style.  I want to knit something I will wear as soon as it’s finished to celebrate the medal I will earn.  So, as I continue the search for the perfect project for my entry I have been looking over the many knitting books I’ve checked out.  As I read through the descriptions I felt as if a “gauntlet” has been thrown in my direction via the book Warm Mittens and Socks.   I stumbled upon Kalli’s Mittens in all their beautiful white and Delft Blue glory.

2014-01-19 09.03.15

So why the gauntlet?  Well, the description says that these are not for the beginning knitter but rather a project for an avid knitter.  I am an avid knitter and mitts knit on 000 needles may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I heard my name being called out.  I won’t knit these for the Ravellenics since I lack proper yarn for the project…even though I do have the needles, and know how to use them….no surprise there.

I did finish my first project of 2014.  My husband requested a warm knit hat after being caught out in the worst part of this winter’s Arctic Vortex so I knit up the Classic Watch Cap from Hats On!  my favorite hat book ever!

Stay warm and knit on!  Well except my coastal dwelling girlfriends who need to stay cool!

Gifting Hats

Lynette:   Happy New Year everyone!  With a new year comes new resolutions or goals.  Dee wrote a great post about recommitting to knitting more this year.  One of my goals is that I’ve decided I’m going to re-commit to blogging more this year. Since we started the new blog, I probably have less than a dozen posts.  It’s time to change that.

Over the last few weeks, I knitted a few hats for my co-workers who live in Richmond, VA. When they go on vacation, they send me the nicest gifts…coffee. Yum!  Virginia winters aren’t nearly as harsh as the ones here in Chicago, but it still gets cold there.  Before the holidays, I tried asking each person about their favorite colors and get a sense of what they would like. Hopefully, these gifts will show my appreciation. Here’s what I came up with.

purple moon

Pattern: Moon by Kim Hargreaves  
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice

I’ve had this pattern in my queue for a few years and it was fun to finally knit. As I worked on it, and especially after I modeled it, I decided I have to knit another one for me. Actually, that goes for all the hats.


Pattern:  Chunkeanie by Woolly Wormhead  
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice

When Miles was home on leave, I asked him to model for me. He didn’t want to because it wasn’t his style. Well, Mom trumped style, and this is the look I got for it. LOL!  From what I’ve seen with Woolly Wormhead patterns, they are so well-written.  I’ll definitely be knitting more hats from this designer.

ribbed beanie

Pattern: Ribbed Beanie by Woolly Wormhead 
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice

This was more of Miles’ style, and I wish I’d finished it before he left last week.

ruched beret

Pattern: Ruched Beret by Susan B. Anderson  
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice

This hat was fun to knit also. I’ve never knit a hat starting at the crown. The “ruching” or pleating was very a simple process, but looks really nice. However, when I finished the hat, I found it to be too big.  I ripped the ribbing and went down two needle sizes.  I decided I’m not going to gift this hat and will keep it for myself.  So I’ll be knitting another hat this week.

I hope everyone has a great week, and commit or recommit to your goals.

More Time For Knitting!

Dee:  2014 will be the year where I fit more creativity into my life.  I looked back on the knitting I completed this past year and I was disappointed in the lack of finished items, especially the items knit specifically for me.  I did craft more than I had been so that took away knitting time and I am good with that.  But still I feel the need to sprinkle more creativity into my day so I plan to change things, if only for this year.  As far as gifting goes, I really can’t give a gift if I haven’t made it…it sickens me.  Can you say issues?  Yes, I have issues!

The Ravellenic Games are right around the corner.  The knitting commences on Friday, February 7th at the opening ceremonies and needs to be completed by the closing ceremonies on Sunday, February 23rd.   I need to make some choices before I tag my entry/entries.

First entry idea is Noro’s Slip Stitch Cowl.  I will be using yarn only from the stash so my options are limited to the colorways on hand.  What are you thoughts on these three possible color combinations?  Let’s call them 1,2, & 3.

Noro Kureyon Color Options

Noro Kureyon Color Options

My second entry option is the Flower Patrol Shawl knit with some of the Beaverslide Yarn I bought this summer.  I plan to knit this project along with my friend Kathryn so she’d have to begin this one with me.

My third option is any project from my eleven page queue on Ravelry.  Yikes!  Is eleven pages or 316 items considered too long of a queue?  The list seems to keep growing.

I am currently working on the Classic Watch Cap for my husband.  It’ll be done before the games begin.  Happy knitting!  Maybe I should change that to…Happy handiwork!


Happy New Year Hats

Monica: I hope you all have had a nice start to your new year. I’ve already had enough excitement and bad news for the year so I hope this is it. You probably heard all about the severe freezing frigid cold temperatures that have hit Chicago. I was supposed to fly back to Chicago on Sunday but my flight was canceled so I had to stay in Vegas. Woe is me, I know. I’m here until tomorrow but in preparation for the weather I made a bunch of hats. Here is Chiberia Hat #1.

Pattern: Muckle Toque by Mary Jane Mucklestone
Yarn: Knit One, Crochet Too Parfait Solids in sky blue, bright red and light purple.

I tried to model the hat but it’s hard to get a picture of myself wearing it. I guess I don’t have enough selfie practice. I love this hat. The 7″ ribbing means the band is double-thick and will feel toasty when I have to wear it tomorrow.

Chiberia Hat #2

Pattern: Hay Fever Hat by Jocelyn Tunney
Yarn: Knit One, Crochet Too Parfait Solids in goldenrod and adobe

I decided to try the sideways hat shot.

The band on this hat is double-thick because it’s folded up. I actually read the pattern reviews on Ravelry and everyone said the hat was too small so I knit the largest size. I made the ribbing 88 stitches and because I’m a loose knitter the rest of the hat fit fine. I did knit 2 additional repeats to make the top of the hat longer.

Chiberia Hat #3

Pattern: Tayberry Hat by Cirilia Rose
Yarn: Knit One, Crochet Too Parfait Solids in light purple and bright red.

This one didn’t call for a thick band so I picked up some stitches around the bottom and knit a plain stockinette band that I sewed onto the inside of the hat.

The hat is square at the top so it requires some smooshing and tweaking at the top to make it look not so ridiculous on me. But I really like it and I love the interesting stitch pattern.

Another poorly modeled shot of me wearing the hat.

The yarn I used is discontinued and has been in the stash a long long long time. I won the yarn from a yarn shop contest and I think it had a 10-year anniversary coming up. What is amusing is that I knit the hats in the same colors that the patterns used. I hardly ever do that but once I figured out that I had the colors on hand I just had to do it.