Early New Year’s Yarn Resolutions

When you want to make a resolution that will stick, turn to your trusted hobbies…like yarn!

It’s that time of year, when the magic of the season is winding down. With one big hooplah left, my thoughts have turned toward the new year and the much-hated resolution time.  I have written about the futility of this practice before, especially when it comes to life-changing practices. It’s great to review your life and make tweeks here and there, but expecting to lose those extra 10, 20, 30 pounds or write the Great American Novel may be a stretch.  For me, those aren’t the kind of decisions made during New Year’s.  What’s your process, if anything?

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!

So I’m making a resolution that I should be able to stick with. For January, I am going to wallow in yarn indulgence and make nothing but socks. I have drawers full of fingering weight yarn that are stuffed. I have nowhere else to put the fluffy, gooey wonderfulness, so I’m going to do what nature intended, damnit!

Having said that, my first two sock projects are being made with worsted and bulky yarn, in that order!

As for sock building technique, I am so married to the concept of cuff down, I don’t know if I’ll honestly ever try toe-up. I know, there are those of you in Yarnlandia that are die-hard toe-up fans and you’re huge advocates, and that’s ok. I just don’t like the increasing part of it – I’m a decrease kinda gal. My focus, instead, will be stranding or the fair isle technique when possible. I have seen some beautiful works of art intricately worked into a pair of socks, and that is my ultimate goal. To get there, I just need to keep practicing, because apparently, I’m not a natural – but that’s never stopped me from doing something I want to do!

As for my online graphics business, I’m still waiting for the “surge” – ! If you’re old enough to know what I’m talking about, bless you! LOL! And I do appreciate any of you sharing the link. It’s the digital version of “word of mouth”!

This shop is for those of you who don’t like Etsy! I know there are a few of you out there. 😉 https://inktale.com/nittinninja

For those of you who prefer Etsy, or just don’t care! Remember, if you’re not into the product concept, please share it so someone who would like it can view it! https://www.etsy.com/shop/NittinNinja

I also plan to do it this year – I promise! I’m finally going to make a temperature blanket for 2020. Tomorrow, I’m going to battle the post-Christmas crowds and make my way down to Joann’s in Roseville – ugh! – and get my yarns.

These are my temp ranges and colors. Didn’t want to get too complicated on either. I’ve seen some charts that break down the temp by five degrees and have 16 different color variations. I will be using the crochet moss stitch and starting on January 1st. Wish me luck!

So there you have it; some resolutions that will be easy to obtain! Yay! What do you have lined up for the next year?

Of Yarn Crawls, Craft Shows, Re-Imagining, And A Snowy Thanksgiving

Here we are, staring Christmas in the face, and I am, yet again, in the middle of the busy craft season. I started building up my inventory in August, but I think it looks woefully small…again. I should have started in June, but I don’t feel like spending the better part of the year, and my life, making stuff for sale. I like wearing the stuff I make *pout*.

Adopting our newest family member from the shelter!
My new baby and a sweater I knit

Conversely, no one is putting a gun to my head and forcing me to do this. I feel that selling my goods is a way to not feel like a freeloader in my house. Along with my writing gig at Outlaw Soaps that I mentioned a few posts back, I realize that, yes, I am contributing, but it doesn’t feel like enough.

In the spirit of that thought, I decided to up my game with my graphics. Rather than keep them in the limited world of Cafe Press, Zazzle, etc., I have re-imagined my Nittin’ Ninja brand. I now have shops on Etsy, Inktale, and Bonanza platforms. Still working on loading graphics – did not realize how much time it would take! However, if you’re interested, click on those links! If this isn’t your cup of tea, do me a solid and share the goodness, please! This is a very limited niche market, and I’m just trying to spread the word at this point. Thank you guys!

On to other stuff!

After many years of reading about yarn crawls and wondering what they were like, our area LYS finally got it together. Of the 11 participating shops, I made it to only three before I ran out of money!

Map of Sierra Nevada 1st Annual Yarn Crawl
Those three pins look sooo lonely!

As you can see, I will have to pace myself. I had actually planned to hit up at least 6, but there were other events going, such as the Colfax Railroad Days event that happens every year.

While there, I purchased some fiber art from really cool people.

Beautiful mandala work from Bohemian Designs by Silvermoon Regalia (artist not pictured. She had to go take care of her children while her mother and husband manned the shop!)
Local folks having a laugh

Those both pics are from October, and a lot of the merch has been sold and replaced with new stuff – yay!

Taking a break from shoveling a track for the tires on our slanted driveway!
The view from the other side…

And this was Thanksgiving. Three hours of scraping and fighting to get the Subaru up the driveway – but I freakin’ did it! And I still managed to gain weight!?

What’s everyone else up to these days?

Weekend

When two middle-aged women find wooden blocks at a crafts store.

Hey, my knittahs and crafters! Don’t you love this time of year? Yea, it’s still hot, it’s still summer, but August is to the knitting and crafting world like Friday is to the weekend. The anticipation of cool weather means you’ll be able to follow your passion full-goose bozo style!

Southwest Salad at Noodles
Of course we had to eat before exerting so much energy, searching for yarn!

Yesterday, my friend Donna and I went to Joann’s Crafts and Fabric and had a little fun there. I need to remember that not everyone is on the same energy or interest level as myself when it comes to yarn or knitting. There was a class going on, and I just ran right up and said Hey what’s everyone doing? and I screwed up someone’s stitch count.  She didn’t look too pleased; in fact, she looked kind of pissed. I backed off immediately, then laughed when Donna said, We’re gonna get kicked out!  To further that concept, we happened upon some wooden letters that spelled out the word PENTS.  So, you know what I had to do – I switched out the letter T with the letter I.  We giggled like teenagers, snapped a pic, then quickly walked away.  Yeah, it’s fun to be our age!

Being juvenile at Joann's!
tee-hee
Yarn I hope to transform into great art.
Yea, the veritable mountain of yarn I purchased

Part of my seasonal frenzy includes me rewriting an easy pattern for a rolled brim hat.  While annotating my “improvements”, I’ve discovered that I really like to use the continental style of knitting. After 33 years spent using the throwing method, suddenly, I’m switching hands!  Does that mean I’m going to be using the continental style for everything? Or does it mean I’m just working so heavily on the fair Isle technique that it’s starting to feel more comfortable? Either way I’m embracing it and just going with the flow.

Rewriting pattern for Rolled Brim Beanie while making it.  Love the stripes!

Last year, I had written a lot of patterns that I was going to publish; This year, I will endeavor to get all of them out. It happens! In the meantime, I still must edit my Kitchener stitch video. Damn! Does it seem like I have of a lot of pending projects going on?  I’m always so amazed by crafters who have young children and manage to put out patterns, blog posts, and video tutorials on a regular basis.  In particular, I’m thinking of the ladies behind Whistle and Ivy and Repeat Crafter Me; they have little children and they their output is pretty spectacular.  Oh, I know there are many more working moms out there, but those two came to immediately.  They must have very supportive husbands!

On that note, I’ll end this entry.  See you in the funny pages.

A Cheater Post

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, eyeglasses and closeup
In all the excitement of the travel and what-not, I forgot to mention here that I finally finished the Zweig sweater!

So, it begins. With the crafts season coming up in October, I’ve got to roll! I wanted to post something, so I did a video. Enjoy!

World Wide Knit In Public Day: Fail!

What happens when I die-hard yarner doesn’t participate in World Wide Knit in Public Day?

I had every intention of knitting in public on June 8, 2019, even if it was just in the damned park by myself. I didn’t realize until it was too ate that I had scheduled the Colfax Stitch ‘n Bitch for a roadtrip to Truckee on that exact day. When I did find out what I’d done, I put public knitting on the itinerary.

That didn’t pan out; however, I did my part for the yarn industry by purchasing my first organic linen yarn and pattern by Quince & Company. The shop? Atelier in Truckee, California, a great place with art supplies and books in the front and yarn in the back.

All in all, I don’t feel too bad for not knitting publicly. I do it twice a week at the local Starbucks so I feel like I do my yarnly duty all the time. Besides, this was fun also. We’re now trying to figure out another venue for our next road trip, perhaps next month?

What did you do for World Wide Knit in Public Day?

Curses and Blessings

In and out of consciousness – don’t ask why I was taking pics at a time like this!

On New Year’s Eve, a night traditionally reserved for revelry, reflection and resolutions, I sat in the emergency room, feeling utterly helpless, watching my daughter slowly lose consciousness while struggling to breathe.  Puzzled because she wasn’t running a fever, the nurses ran a battery of tests on her after asking a slew of questions to which we (I) responded “no”.  Their initial assessment was a massive infection, but blood work wasn’t backing that up.  They were just about to check for a pulmonary embolism when I mentioned her weight loss.

If, dear reader, you remember a post from a year back, I mentioned that I was losing weight, which I have, and all that entailed.  My daughter took the opportunity to lose weight with me.  She lost weight by cutting back on her sugars, carbs and portions and seemed to be doing fine, except the last month or so, she was looking too skinny.  Everyone was asking if she was eating enough and she assured all and sundry she was – multiple times.  In fact, her answers were getting harsh and snippy because she was starting to feel badgered.  As part of her dietary effort, she’d increased her water intake some time back, so no one was alarmed by the gallon of water, sometimes more, she was drinking every day.  If I had written all these signs on paper and looked at it, I would have insisted she see a doctor.  As it was, and happens so often when you’re too close to a situation, we had no idea.

Wonderful ICU nurses
Some relief found here…

I’m sure most of you have guessed by now the diagnosis the nurses and doctors came up with: diabetic ketoacidosis as a result of uncontrolled diabetes.  Type I or II is yet to be determined. For her sake, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Type II because I’ve heard it’s more easy to control.  What really freaked me out was the how?  Diabetes doesn’t run in our family.  It doesn’t fit in with the information I’ve received all my life.  This was totally unexpected.  I thought it was possibly asthma exacerbated by allergies or a collapsed lung, but diabetes?

Several days have passed since I first started this post.  She was released Friday, whereupon we proceeded to a restaurant that we knew would have acceptable food, and the onerous maintenance and forethought that is part and parcel of her condition kicked in.  I’ve been on diets before, and I actually worked at Jenny Craig in the mid ’90s, so I understand portion control and exchanges, but instead of being focused on caloric intake, she has to carefully monitor her sugar levels and understand the relationship between carbs and metabolism.  Since she’s my daughter, she already knew about this because her mother is a quasi hypochondriac wannabe nurse/doctor who was raised by a medical transcriptionist who listened to doctors dictating patients’ case histories all day long.  *pauses, takes a deep breath*  In other words, I know just enough to be dangerous.    

Life goes on, but for my daughter, it almost didn’t.  Do I have a new appreciation for her? for life in general?  I would like to think so.

How was your New Year’s?

Adieu, adieu, parting is such sweet sorrow – NOT!

As I pack up my minivan for the last show of the season, I am loathe to admit that, yes, I am glad that it’s over, and yes, I’ll be doing it again!  I went all out this year, purchasing a canopy, lights to illuminate my wares for night time shows, a cool pink chair that has a lot of gee-gaws, including a fold out side area for my lunch, electronics, etc.  I am pleased to say that my endeavors were able to cover the costs of the purchases I felt necessary, even though the money earned managed to disappear in the general household fund.  How does that happen?

Anyway, with all this industriousness, I was able to write up a few of my own patterns and will be sharing them as soon as I can.  The first one I have is very popular and doesn’t stay around long.

 

California Little Quail Messy Bun Hat

California Little Quail Messy Bun Hat

I named this hat after the California Quail because it’s little curved crest reminded me of the bobble stitches on the hat.

This pattern is worked in rounds with joins.  When joining, sl st to the first st, and work first st in the new round in this spot.  Here is a link for the method.  It reduces the gaps when joining, giving the finished work a much neater look.

Abbreviations:

Yo = yarn over

Ch = chain

St(s) = stitch(es)

BLO = back loops only

Sc = single crochet

Dc = double crochet

Tr = treble crochet

FPSC = work single crochet in the post of the stitch directly below from the front

FPDC = work double crochet in the post of the stitch directly  below from the front

Materials:

1 skein worsted weight yarn

Crochet hook size I or 5.5 mm

Definitions:

Bobble stitch: work tr EXCEPT leave the last two loops on hook; yo twice, and repeat, leaving three loops on hook; yo twice, and repeat.  There should be four loops on hook; yo, draw through all the loops.

With I hook (5.5 mm), ch 20, join with sl st to first ch to make a circle.

Round 1:  ch 1, 24 sc into the circle.  Ensure the sts are lined up so as not to twist them; join

Round 2:  ch 2, dc in each st = 24 dc

Round 3:  ch 2, *2 dc in first st, dc in next st* around, join = 36 dc

Round 4:  ch2, *2 dc in first st, dc in next 3 sts* around, join = 45 dc

Round 5:  ch 2, *2dc in first st, dc in next 5 sts* around, dc in last 2 sts, join =  53 dc

Round 6:  ch 1, FPSC around, sl st to first sc, then sl st to first st in back row

Round 7:  Working in the back round of sts, ch 2, *work 2 dc in first st, dc in next 6 sts* around, dc in last 3 sts (the last st will be half hidden because of the unusual join at the beginning of the round – don’t despair, it’s there!), join = 61 sts

Round 8:  ch1, sc in BLO around, inc. 3 sts evenly, join =  64 sts

Round 9:  ch 3,*Bobble stitch, 3 sc* around, join with chain on top of first bobble cluster

Round 10:  ch 2 , dc in same st as the join, dc around, join

Round 11:  ch 2, FPDC around, join

Round 12:  ch 1, FPSC around, sl st to first sc, then sl st to first st in back row

Round 13:   Working in the back round of sts, ch 2, dc around, join

Round 14:  ch 1, FPSC around, sl st to first sc, then sl st to first st in back row

Round 15:  Working in the back round of sts, ch 1, sc around, join

Round 16:  repeat round 9

Round 17:  repeat round 10

Round 18:  repeat round 11

Round 19:  repeat round 12

Round 20:  Working in the back round of sts, ch 1, sc in BLO around, join

Round 21:  ch 2, dc in BLO around, join and end off.

Optional earflap extension variation:

Row 1:  Using last round as reference, DO NOT CUT YARN.  ch 2, turn, hdc 30 BLO.  Check at this point for position and comfort; if you need to go further, add a few sts at a time, if less, remove a few sts at a time.  If more length is needed, repeat the row as you see fit.  If you like what you see, follow next step.

Finishing:  sl st into next st, turn, sl st across the row plus one.  End off.  This should round out the squared edges and give the hat a less “home made” look!

Work in any ends, tuck your hair up and enjoy!

Goofing around