Sunday, September 19, 2010

That took longer than expected

I am done with Tim's present! I still need to weave in the ends but at least the knitting is done. I knit almost half of it this evening. I'm surprised it took me so long to get going. I'm blame that time of the month and some rotten PMS. Now I think I'm really going to get cooking on the presents.

So the list stands as such:
Natalie - done
Tim - done
And maybe Lucid and Leann's baby. So 10 presents with a tentative 11th. And 96 days until Christmas! That means with the 9 1/2 days per gift. Somehow I've lost time. Oh wait. 2 are already done. Duh. (Shush I've been tired lately and it's kind of late here). 8 presents left. 12 days per gift. Yay! I simply must go out and buy some more materials. I would've done it sooner, but I've been having a mini-money crisis.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I finally finished Natalie's scarf! The feeling of relief is enormous, especially considering I orginally cast on for it back in March! I'm even a day ahead of schedule when it comes to the rest of the Christmas knitting! Tomorrow I start Tim's present, and some time this coming week I'm going shopping to get more materials for the others.

I told JR his is getting saved for last because he's the most understanding if his consists of a big wrapped up box of yarn that I then have to take back right away so I can finish knitting.

9 presents to go, 105 days until Christmas, aproximately 11 days per gift. I can do this. I'm hoping to pick up some speed on Patty's and the kids' presents and get those all done in less than their alloted time.

Ironically with all this attention going to other people's presents, I kind of forgot that my birthday in October will be the first to be celebrated. I'm thinking I'm going to squeeze in knitting my Cloud Bolero on the side so I can have a present too!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

And the Countdown begins!

Today is September 1st, so there are, including today, 116 days until Christmas. I finished the two November birthday presents, so that just leaves 10 (maybe 11 if I knit for Siddhartha instead of buying him books, still undecided) presents to knit. That means I have 11-ish days to devote per present.

Yesterday I got a head-start on Natalie's scarf. I had 85 rows of it already knit, but I'd lost my stitch count and had already spent a lot of time trying to fix the problem with no success. Then I made a radical decision. I ripped out the whole thing. I decided that by that point the scarf had soooo much negative energy about it, it would be better to start over. When I had started the things my stitches were so tight it was hard to knit, I was having trouble keeping track of the pattern, and it was just an arduous process. I began to resent the scarf and resent the fact that I had to keep knitting because it was supposed to be a gift. It was supposed to be a Christmas present last year. Then it was supposed to be a birthday gift to Natalie in March. Now it's been reassigned to this Christmas.

So I took the plunge, ripped out my 85 hateful rows, and started over. In one day, not only did I re-knit those 85 rows, but I also knit 25 rows beyond that. Over 100 rows on this scarf in 1 day, a feat that previously would've taken months. My stitches are much looser and easier to work with, and now I'm actually enjoying the pattern. It's a completely different scarf.

I also blocked Lianne's hat. It's a little smaller than I anticipated, less beret-like when actually on, but still way cute. I think she's going to like it, and I think the colors will look beautiful against her dark hair. I'm so envious of her hair. Actually I think overall she's just absolutely gorgeous and she and Lucid and even Siddhartha make such an aesthetic family. Ooh, there we go, maybe I'll make Siddhartha a baby hat. That will be fast, easy, still cute, and unlike regular baby clothes he won't outgrow it by next week. I must investigate baby hat patterns.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An Adventure in Blocking

Lianne hat is finished! I finished it off yesterday to the amazement of a friend who didn't know that I knitted and wasn't very familiar with the craft. Now comes the blocking. It was sitting in a pot of hot water on the kitchen counter, but I'm sure the water has cooled by now. The next step will be to roll out the water, and stretch the thing over a dinner plate. I've never actually blocked anything, never knitted anything that needed it, so this is kind of an exciting adventure.

Now that the birthday presents are done, I can really start in on Christmas gifts. Just in time too. My first endeavor shall be Natalie's Branching Out scarf. It's already on the needles, but the last time I was working on it, my stitch count had gotten off and I still have yet to figure out why. So today I'm going to be doing a little tinking trying to get my stitch count right, and then I'll be able to continue knitting.

I'm a little overwhelmed by how much knitting I have to do, but I figure if I just take it step by step, I'll be ok. I have approximately 10 days per project if I want to make it by Christmas, not to mention I need to get out and go yarn shopping. I have Mom's yarn, and Tim's yarn, and half of Lucid's yarn, and half of the kid's yarn, so I can get knitting on those projects. Actually Lucid's present is even going to have some pattern designing to do, but it's simple, just charting some shapes.

Ok, I should go stretch that hat over a dinner plate.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

1 Down, 11 to go

Yay! I finished one of the twelve presents. It's Patty's birthday present, the one that was 75% done anyway, the Berry Lacey Scarf that I renamed Ivy Scarf since I did it in a rich green. Tonight I cast on Lianne's present and hopefully I'll have that done before September 1st when my official Christmas Countdown begins. That makes 6 days to knit her present (more like 5 days and part of this evening). I think I can do it. It's a beret hat, which I've never attempted, with some lacework on the top of it (always a bit tricky), but still, I've got optomism. And a whole weekend of working in the closet answering phones.

I've been reading The Knitting Goddess by Deborah Bergman. It's a pretty cool book. The actual instructions and patterns are aimed more at beginners, but are still interesting enough for more advanced knitters. Right now I'm enjoying the stories of all the "knitting goddesses", especially since I'm a fan of mythology in any form. Since knitting is such a good meditation act for me, it's fun to read about Grandmother Spider and other divine fiber artists. Haven't yet found a pattern in the book that calls to me to make it, but that's ok, it's giving me ideas all the same.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

116 Days

Give or take a little.

That's right, starting September first, it will be 116 days until Christmas. And if one has 12 knitted presents to complete (that's right, 12) That means a little less than 10 days per project. And that's not even counting my poor Cloud Bolero I haven't even started.

So here's the scoop.

I went away to San Diego like I mentioned in my last entry, and here's the shocking part, I didn't take ANY knitting! That turned out to be just as well because Comic Con so filled up all my time and attention that I probably would've left my needles in my suitcase anyway.

Then I came back from San Diego and life turned into an endless routine of wake up, go to work, lounge around in PJ's or spend time with JR when not working, rinse and repeat.

But then somewhere in there, things started changing. To give the short, pedestrian version of the story, two good friends from the past came back into my life and have been having a big influence on my life, I started channeling on a regular basis, I went to a certain beach and partook in certain psychadelics and learned an infinite amount about myself and life. And now my daily routine includes knitting as part of my meditation every morning and/or evening.

So now that the "crazies" of life have been tamed a little and I'm actually knitting on a regular basis, I figured it's finally time to get back to working on Christmas presents.

Except now I have 12 presents to make! In all fairness, 2 of the 12 are actually birthday presents, and one is 75% done already, which is good because both birthdays are in November, so I need to have them done before Christmas.

So the revised list of recipients stands as such:
Lianne (She and Lucid are the two friends that recently came back into my life)
Patty's two kids

I have all the gifts figured out, I just need to ask Lucid if he still wants the very specific mitts he asked me for like 2 years ago, otherwise I've got a standby pattern for him. Both Patty and Lianne are the Novemeber bithdays, but I have Patty's gift nearly done, and I'm picking up yarn for Lianne's today after work. If I can get both done before September first, then I'll buy myself more time for the Christmas knitting.

And if that wasn't enough, I still want to knit my Cloud Bolero before the weather turns too cold to wear it. As hot as it's been lately, that shouldn't be a problem, but I still want to get on it, because the yarn is starting to call my name across the room to get my attention.

AND THEN, to add even more excitment, I've finally started coming up with ideas for the small Etsy business I've always wanted selling hand knits, or "magic garments" as Judy said I should make. I was pondering what sort of "magic garments" would carry enough appeal that people would actually buy them, and I decided that I'll just make things I would like to own (like I have a design for an alter cloth knocking around my head). And since handknits can be kind of expensive when you total up the cost of materials and labor, I decided that if I can't reasonably price a finished item, then I can sell the pattern instead. I plan to work on coming up with ideas and plans and gauge swatches as a sort of breather activity from all the Christmas knitting, and then hopefully by the new year (or sooner if Christmas knittin goes well) I'll be ready to really launch into business.

You know what, it just occured to me that Lucid and Lianne have a baby. Siddhartha is only 2 (or maybe it's 3) months old, so he'll barely be big enough to use knitted objects, but he's still a person too. Hmm, maybe I'll give him books for his future library, that's a traditional baby gift in our family and it's what Patty's yougest is getting next week for her birthday. Or maybe I can find a really awesome (and easy) blaket pattern. Or something. Maybe I'll just make it easy on myself and give him books.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Twice the lace, twice the fun

So, did I not just get done saying I find lace tedious, and I find scarves tedious, and therefore I find lace scarves doubley tedious?

So of course, I cast on another lacy scarf. In my defense, I know from experience that this particular pattern (Berry Lacy) goes quickly because it's nothing more than lots of dropped yarn overs and garter stitch in between.

The reason for maddly beginning another lace scarf is because I found out that knitting with wire sucks if you have uncooperative wire. So unless I want to buy some wire for a single project, then fuss with it scratching up my needles as I go, the knitted wire jewelry for Patty's presnt was not going to be a fun option. Maybe I'll take another stab at it later, but I decided a lovely lacy scarf would be just as good, and a whole lot softer. And also something a bit more matching her style. She doesn't wear a lot of jewelry as far as I can tell, but everyone likes to wear soft things. And a scarf of merino = definitely soft.

So this one has a 20 row pattern repeat, so it looks like this scarf plus my other scarf means 30 rows of lace knitting every day. Actually since Berry Lacy knits up so fast, I'm hoping to have it done in just a few days. Then I can wrap it, stash it under my bed, and not have to think about it until it's time to give it away.

Next thing to cast on, Tim's present, on DPN's! I don't really like DPN's, but what can you do? He's my best friend and this is something I know he wants (but still can't disclose because as remote as the chances are that he'll discover this blog, there's still a chance.) And eventually I need to go shopping for more yarn for the other presents.

AND THEN there's my bolero with my magical blue alpaca that I still haven't cast on for again. I really really want to finish a project for myself since I've been doing so much gift knitting. Not to mention this project has a deadline too, sort of. See, I'm going to see Phantom of the Opera with my boyfriend sometime in September, and I know exactly what I'm going to wear and I want to include the bolero in my outfit.

Ah well. Just 10 rows at a time. Or 30 now as it would be.

Did I mention I'm going away to San Diego in 11 days for a week and therefore need to pack traveling knitting? Life just keeps getting more and more exciting.

Friday, July 9, 2010

10 Rows Every Day

Just the other day, I realized, "Oh crap, it's July already." The reason that is an "oh crap" moment is because knitters and crafters who prefer to make presents for people rather than buy them, know that July is when you have to start thinking . . . Christmas.

So I counted up and realized I have 8 Christmas gifts to make. There's JR, Tim, Patty, both my parents, Natalie, and because I don't want them left out because they're really starting to like me now, Patty's two kids. Then I also realized that Patty's birthday is in November. I had thought I'd finished up the birthday presents because everyone else's birthday come so much earlier in the year. And to be fair, I went on my birthday knitting spree back in March when things still could've changed dramatically in Tim and Patty's relationship, and why knit a birthday present when she might not be around to receive it. Ok, I had a good inkling the relationship would last, but still, best not count your chickens and all.

So the gift knitting continues!
For Natalie - Branching Out scarf
For JR - Sweater? (question mark because I found a beautiful pattern, but I'm not 100% sold on it. And for the record, I don't believe in the sweater curse. Ok, I do believe it happens, but it won't happen to me because even if he broke up with me, it wouldn't be because of the sweater, and I know he'd still wear it and think nice things about me.)
For my dad - golf club covers, duh!
For my mom - ugh. Not sure. Either a big mesh shopping bag, or a stylish beret.
For Tim - hehe, he might discover this so I won't say except it's something he requested ages ago.
For Patty - I haven't decided which present to give her for her birthday and which for Christmas, but I will be making her a knit purse and knitted wire jewelry.
For the kids - they will be getting identical tulip shaped drawstring bags with some sweet goodies inside. Thought it best to keep it simple and identical so there's no jealousy issues and yet I can still give them something nice.

It's only July and I'm slightly panicky about the amount of knitting that is. But I've been working on Natalie's Branching Out scarf, and it gave me an idea. Because I think scarves are tedious, and I think lace is tedious, I can only do a little at a time. Branching Out is a 10 row repeating pattern, so I promised myself I only had to do 10 rows a day. So far it's working. Actually I might even get in 20 rows today, since I already did 10 this morning and I think I might take it to work and do 10 more there. So in the meantime, I'll just get my other projects sorted out, get the materials, and begin chipping away at them 10 rows at a time.

I once sat down for a Leverage marathon (love that show!) and brought 4 projects to the couch with me. I did a little section on each, then moved on to the next one, rotating through them while watching the telly. It worked great, it kept me from getting bored with any one project, and I got loads of progress done on each. Seems like I'll have to line up some movie/knitting nights, no?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fresh Start, Fresh Blog

Welcome to my new knitting blog. My old one was quite dusty and un-used, and since one of my new personal resolutions is to write more, it seemed time to re-launch my knitting blog. Granted, I am not one of those prolific bloggers, especially when it comes to my knitting, so in the beginning I expect to update maybe once a week, possibly more if I'm working on big projects (or lots of them). This blog is connected to my Ravelry profile, so if you're a member there you can look me up under RogueButterfly. I may or may not be moving my old posts over here, that's yet to be decided.

My newest project is to totally overhaul my Ravelry profile. Today I just added pictures to most of my projects (before everything was woefully boring white boxes), and I plan to continue going through everything else and updating with new information. I also have a new goal to complete everything I have currently on the needles. This includes one dishcloth (plus maybe a second of the same pattern and yarn) and two scarves. I want all three of these projects done before I start too many new projects, but I'm thinking I'll do them in stages, a little at a time on each one so that I don't get bored with them before they're finished.

I do have one new project I'd like to start right away though - a little bolero sweater in this gorgeous dark blue alpaca. I've already started and ripped it out once because I made a mistake (at one point a stitch marker fell off and I could figure out where it belonged so my stitch count got off). The story behind this sweater is kind of long, but interesting. My very good friend Judy was giving me a reading of my natal chart as well as telling me things that my spirit brother wanted me to know, and the topic of knitting came up. Long story short, knitting is a good channaling/alpha brain wave activity for me, especially with natural fibers, and the spirit guides said the alpaca blend I like so much is on their approved list. So after the reading I went to look at yarn on a whim. In the alpaca, there was this gorgeous midnight blue color that I fell in love with instantly. There were only 3 skiens so I bought all 3. When I got home, I got on Ravelry to find the perfect pattern. I knew I wanted a shawl or small blanket or something that I could wrap around my shoulders and snuggle up in. Then I took a look at a pattern I had put into my queue some time ago that just called out to me. It's an elegant little bolero sweater with a single button or ribbon closure (called the Cloud Bolero, I'd link it, but if you aren't a Ravelry member you wouldn't be able to see it). So I looked closer at the pattern. It uses a yarn very similar to the alpaca I bought, my size require just over 2 skeins, and I already had the right needle size in my very small collection. It was fate. I don't even mind having to start over because I'd like to pay proper attention to this one and try to knit some good intentions and good juju into it. So that's what is in store for the near future. Long term I'm thinking about actually designing patterns and creating pieces to sell, not for any big profit but just for fun.