Heliopath KAL & a case of the FUMBLES

Ya! Week two already in the Heliopath KAL with @socalmeaghan over at the Unapologetic Knitter and things are finally getting set to start the pattern with prep done! I have to say I had a tough first week on this considering it is something I’ve been looking forward to knitting for a long long time. I had a gnarly cold that made knitting just not happen for several nights (gotta love those 12 hour sleep sessions). Then anytime I did pick up my needles to knit the cable/lace swatch I would just flub it. EVERY DAMN TIME. Without doubt, on the third or fourth rows I would get all confused and biff it. I ended up casting on, restarting, and ripping it out more than half a dozen times easy. Finally I realized that I was just not gonna be able to follow the chart as it was written in the pattern. This happens to me sometimes, I have to work it out before the pattern ‘makes sense.’ Once I get it though, it’s easy as pie. So I just did what I had to do and re-wrote the pattern without a ‘key’ and just in straight “K”, “P”, “K2”, “P2”, “YO” – this made it so I could just go through it. I’m sure watching Bones Brigade and then 80’s Skate Videos the entire time while trying to do this did not help for my concentration, but hey! that’s my style. Now I can look at either chart and knit it with ease, but DANG that knitter’s block and the fumbles really had me shook for a minute.

the swatch finally done. with one drop stitch panel. and one handwritten pattern translation. oy!
sometimes my helpers make knitting hard.

I know this craft is hard. It’s easy to forget the days of struggling with the basics, especially for some of us knitters that are more advanced and are able to often work on advanced patterns. This pattern is not difficult, but sometimes you just have to look at it in a different light. I think any knitter can agree with that. Sometimes you really do have to just take a deep breath, put the needles down, step back, and re-evaluate. Especially if you have invested so much in fiber and the pattern itself. The simple mistakes are what ruin a project. The accidental drops, the inverted rows, reading a WS/RS backwards. We all make mistakes and most often our projects are not entirely 100% mistake-free, but understanding to step back and look at it in a different way is what makes us stronger as knitters and crafters. I’m happy I struggled so hard with this swatch, because now the basic pattern is pretty worked in my head. The frustration finally lead to the break through of understanding the idea and the set-up. Don’t ask me why I made it so hard for myself, maybe it was the cold, maybe it was because I’m on a time-line with it, or maybe it was my major lifelong crush on Tony Hawk, but by golly I figured it out.

gonna look sick.

Moving forward this week we will just cast on for the ribbing and knit that. Not too bad and the perfect little mental rest before the cable/lace pattern picks up. Overall, this pattern is great so far. I love that it’s one large piece and knitting all those swatches really put the process and understanding of the drop stitch during the BO/decrease into perspective for me.

Where there struggles for anyone KAL? How did the gauging/swatching go?

Onward to week 2 of the Heliopath Adventure!!

XXX
GFK

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Fair Isle Goat Pillow DONE

Well, it’s done. It only took total 10-11 hours which is not that bad considering it was my first real Fair Isle project. I’m really pleased that I did NOT try this as the glove. I think it would have turned into a AMF knitting project (angry mofo), if I had tried DPNs with my first time Fair Isle. Anyways, there’s a few mistakes – it happens. I really dig this as a pillow and will be doing more pillow/tapestry designs in the future. I will however go a step further and knit in the round next time. All my mistakes were on the purl side (WS) so being able to see the knit side the entire time would aid in banishing those little flubs.

Finished pillow front being 'blocked' it's acrylic so it's not like that did anything.
Finished pillow front being ‘blocked’ it’s acrylic so it’s not like that did anything.
added some 'french knots' to cover up a missed black perrie. oops.
added some ‘french knots’ to cover up a missed black perrie. oops.
i really like the split in the goat.
i really like the split in the goat.
finished pillow. pug mildly impressed.
finished pillow. pug mildly impressed.
shhh mom, just shut your mouth.
shhh mom, just shut your mouth.
new sweater blaster - embroidered 'B" for the baby boris.
new sweater blaster – embroidered ‘B” for the baby boris.
one half of hall and oates. this is what i do on saturday nights people.
one half of hall and oates. this is what i do on saturday nights people.

Adventures in Fair Isle

Before the holidays, we had a secret santa at my work. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a Mastering Colored Knitting book for my gift. I still in fact have no idea who gave this book to me! They won’t fess up, but when I finish my more intricate pattern I’ll send an email thanking/inquiring again. Anyways, I’ve been just practicing a few little projects and I love it. Just like most knitting techniques, I’m mad I didn’t learn this sooner. SO FUN.

Just a simple one peeries for practice.
Just a simple one peeries for practice.
First heart project on modified sweater (no cable obviously) for Boris.
First heart project on modified sweater (no cable obviously) for Boris.
Baby B likes his sweater.
Baby B likes his sweater.
Gloves have inspired a pillow 'flat/larger' project.
Gloves have inspired a pillow ‘flat/larger’ project.
Slowed down by headache/cat kisses.
Slowed down by headache/cat kisses.
Almost done. Still have 15 rows to go - adding inverted cross to top right design panel. Red to left crisscross pattern as french knots too.
Almost done. Still have 15 rows to go – adding inverted cross to top right design panel. Red to left crisscross pattern as french knots too. I’m hoping some of the gathering goes away with blocking/pressing. Damn you tension.
Valentines Cards? Can I Fair Isle this?
Valentines Cards? Can I Fair Isle this?
This is for a child. I'm thinking it would look awesome as vest. (no one wants to knit sleeves - especially for my ape like arms)
This is for a child. I’m thinking it would look awesome as vest. (no one wants to knit sleeves – especially for my ape like arms)

Your Stereotypical Fall Praising.

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We have had our first few days of fall-esque weather here in Chicago and I love it.  Fall is my absolute favorite time of year.  The holidays, the cinnamon smells, and of course the CRAFTS! make it really entertaining and fun for me.  I also love the wardrobe change and all the knits that come out.  Here are the things I’m wearing/doing/loving this fall! (That photo above is from last Fall in Denver and possibly the best photo I’ve ever taken of Leopold.)
My Fall Style
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All Saints Char Boyfriend Sweater
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I really have been in love with Black Salt’s clothing too especially this dress:
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Pumpkin Spice Coffee  – from An Edible Mosaic ; because I don’t eat sugar anymore or dairy.
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Harry Potter Knitting – Yes, I bought this.  Yes, I will make it all.

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Off Limit Architectural Tour – Usually off limits areas are open to the public.  I’m really excited about this now that I’m discovering Chicago fully.
Margaret Cho! I have tickets to see her in October and I cannot wait!  I just love her and her comedy and I just love her (did I say that already?)  BECAUSE I LOVE HER. Check out if she’s coming to your city here.
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Then, Lois will be in town for Design Harvest.  “This one of a kind fest features Chicago’s best local furniture and home accessory makers, vintage and antique collectors, and local retailers of home design.”  I’m pretty excited I’m sure there will be some great finds here.

Opening the Vaults Wonders of the World’s Fair!  I feel like I should shout this when I say it like an old timey announcer.  This should be very interesting as this fair shaped so much of modern day Chicago.
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Fall is FUN!

Crafter-Blood

I am from a line of crafty and meticulous women.  My blood is made from a mix of glitter, thread clippings, and creativity.  I am of crafter-blood.

In all seriousness I am so lucky to have both my grandmothers as examples of how creative someone can be.  My mom is a talented seamstress and knitter herself, so growing up was filled with art, projects, crafts, and unique gifts.  I don’t know what I would do with myself if I wasn’t a crafter.  How do people live without a craft project?  What do they do?  Here are some photos of the few of uncounted crafts from those with crafter-blood that I am a descendant of.

Vladimir wrapped in an Afgan from prior to 1950!

Quilt my Grandmother Joyce Fern made for me in 1997.

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Quilt my Grandma Joyce Fern gave to me last summer. (My FAV)

Seed Stich on a cowl that then became a cat teepee.

Rasta Hat

Vladimir in the perfect sweater (adjustments made for his long body).

The first animal sweater I made. Love the yarn I used.

I generally have an animal trying to sit on my lap at all times.

An angel my Grandma Carolyn Mary made prior to 1950.

Cricut Paper Crafts I also do.

Harry Potter Onsies I made.

Sewing 101. Learning my new/old machine that belonged to Carolyn Mary.

Cat bed I made – They love it. Obviously.

The Winter of Craft

This winter I really let my inner-knitter out.  (Like I let her out and let her run around the front yard waving knitting needles).  It all started with a really funny ‘cute’ pet knit project book. 

Pet Projects

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Oh it looks so adorable.  Make this ‘firework-muffeling” hat for your pug – GET SUCKED IN. 

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A cat consumed by knitting.

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A special keekee teepee complete with pink garland for extra fun!

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The bean bag – his favorite thing I’ve ever knitted.

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This was the seed stitch for the teepee and initially it was going to be a cowl for me, but I have too many cowls and not enough teepees.

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My favorite sweater I made for him – it took 7 other sweaters to finally knit it to his exact shape and size.  He hates it and will only wear it if it’s below 15 degrees F outside.

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Leopold in his total armor.  This project gave me the idea to make a knitted knights costume for him for halloween.  

So those were a few of my projects – I also knitted many cowls, some cute smaller ‘for fun’ or pattern learning swatches.  I’m thinking of getting a cache of cowls, scarves, and hats together for the upcoming fall/winter to sell or donate.  Perhaps people would be interested in that?