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Hanks and Skanks

My awesome husband and I jokingly refer to skeins of yarn as “skanks.”  We talk about them in terms of how “skanky” a yarn may or may not be.  It’s been the backdrop of much silliness and such.  We’re dorks like that.

This past weekend, the aforementioned awesome hubby bought me an early birthday gift: a yarn winder.  I was absolutely delighted.  I spent Saturday night winding approximately 4000 yards of yarn.  Some of it was in a tangled heap that, without the winder, was going to be tossed out.  Some of it started out as projects that were doomed to failure, then left to sit (and get tangled with other yarns).  Some of it was new.  Almost all of it is wool.  Much of it is leftovers of other projects, and now I must find a pattern I like enough to let me incorporate the many colors together.  I’m thinking a stripey vest or such.

Some of it is new sock yarn, destined to become a brilliant pair of black merino socks for my hubby.  It’s squishy and beautiful and if it knits up as well as it feels like it can, it may become my go-to sock yarn.  (It’s ShiBuiKnits Sock Yarn in charcoal, for those of you who may be curious about these things.)  I also wound a gorgeous cake of Malabrigo sock yarn in “Stonechat” for myself, and can’t wait to get it on the needles.

Anyway, all the talk of yarn had hubby wondering the difference between hanks and skeins.  I told him that skanks have already been balled.

Thus endeth the potty humor for the moment.

Beyond Simple Scarf

Beyond Simple Scarf

Download this pattern as PDF

Materials:
Approximately 220 yards worsted weight yarn (240-ish with fringe)
Size K crochet hook

Ch 142.
Row 1: DC in 4th ch from hook and each across. Ch 3, turn.
Row 2: DC in each st across, including top of beg ch 3. Ch 3, turn.
Row 3-9: Repeat Row 2.

Edging: Ch 1, sc around piece, working 3 sc into each corner. Join to beg sc, finish off, weave in ends. Add fringe if desired.

Preschool Activities for Everyone!

This sweet, amazing woman blogs about activities for you and your preschooler! She always has great, fun-filled learning activities that I’ve certainly enjoyed doing with my son. Her name is Allie, and her blog is No Time for Flash Cards. Check her out, and have some fun with your kidlets!

Simplicity Socks

Simplicity Socks

Download this pattern in pdf

Materials:
Approximately 400-450 yards fingering weight yarn
Size 1 double-point needles, set of 4
Size 2 double-point needles, set of 4
Sewing needle of some sort (I’m using a dull-point tapestry/embroidery needle that my sock yarn fits through)

Super Simple Socks (I suggest making at least 2):

Cuff:
With smaller DPNs, cast on 64 stitches over 3 needles (20-24-20). Work K2-P2 ribbing for 1.5″ to 2″, depending on your preference.

Leg:
Switching to larger DPNs, work in stockinette stitch until entire piece measures 7-8″.

Heel:
Transfer your stitches to have a total of 32 stitches on each of 2 needles. Turn your work so the wrong side (purl side) is facing you.
1: Purl across.
2: *Sl 1 st purl-wise, k1* across.
3: Sl 1 st purl-wise, p across.
Repeat rows 2-3 for a total of 28 rows.

Turning the heel:
1: Sl 1 st purl-wise, k 17, k2tog, k1.
2: Sl 1, p 5, p2tog, p1.
3: Sl 1, k 6, k2tog, k1.
4: Sl 1, p 7, p2tog, p1.
5: Sl 1, k 8, k2tog, k1.
6: Sl 1, p 9, p2tog, p1.
Continue in this manner, working one additional stitch before decreasing, until all stitches have been worked.  You will have 18 sts remaining.  End with knitting across all sts.

Gusset:
Pick up 16 sts across side of heel.  Knit 32 stitches from leg.  Pick up 16 sts across other side of heel.  Knit 9 stitches from first needle, and transfer remaining 9 sts to next needle.  (25 sts on needle 1 – 32 sts on needle 2 – 25 sts on needle 3).
1:  Needle 1: Knit across to last 3 sts; k2tog, k1.  Needle 2: Knit across.  Needle 3: Knit 1, ssk, knit across.
2:  Knit all stitches.
Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until a total of 64 stitches remain (16-32-16).

Foot:
Knit evenly until you have worked 5.25″ from picked-up stitches at gusset.

Toe:
1:  Needle 1: Knit to last 3 sts, ssk, k1.  Needle 2: K1, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, ssk, k1.  Needle 3: K1, k2tog, k across.
2:  Knit all stitches.
Repeat these two rounds until a total of 16 stitches remain (4-8-4).  Knit 4 stitches from needle 1 onto needle 3.  Graft stitches together.

Up and up!

And then we go up!

We leave Thursday night.  Someone want to come pack for me???  Or clean my house so it’s nice and spotless when we come home at the end of the month?

JR is feeling better.  Of course, now that I’ve declared that he’s going to have stuff coming out of every orifice and will spew green stuff like Reagan on The Exorcist.  Leave it to me to tempt fate like that.

I rearranged the living room & bedroom yesterday.  It was simple (and I didn’t overdo it, so calm down) but made a huge impact on the feel of the rooms.  The tv doesn’t feel like the centerpiece of the living room anymore, which makes me happy.  JR’s toys are more prominent, and laid out so much more orderly, and as a result have seen more playtime than they usually do.  He’s even putting them away as he’s done with them, for the most part, which is so much more than he was doing before.  I’m hoping that displaying them more prominently, thereby showing them more respect, inspires him to treat them the same way.  I also moved most of the plastic stuff so that his educational, natural, & wooden toys are seeing the most action.  I think I’ll be slowly transforming our home into a Montessori-style prepared environment for him, as best I can before Milla comes.

I really should be doing more laundry & getting started on packing, but I’m sitting here trying to brainstorm what to make the ladies for our craft swap.  I’m doing a holiday craft swap in Texas with the wives of my husband’s old friends, and I’ve just run out of time to get anything knit or crocheted for them, so I’m drawing a blank.  Think think think.  Maybe channeling Pooh Bear will help me out.  Maybe not.

I had a ton of stuff that I was supposed to get done, craft-wise, before leaving AK, but I just have to suck it up and admit that it’s not getting done.  I’m sorry.  Kalli, Trinity, Karo, Jen — I’m sorry.  I hope you forgive me.

I’m running out of time to get stuff done for MIlla too.  I’m almost 30 weeks along(!!!) and seriously need to get cranking on stuff for her before she gets here.  This pregnancy is going so quickly!

Ok, I need to do the dishes & make lunch.

Finally

I finally got some crafts done.  I got really ambitious a little while back, and signed up for all manner of crafty things that needed to get done at about the same time.  Now, normally, I would have been able to get them all done in about a 2 week time span, which was what I was looking at.  Then I got sick, then my dog was a little shit, then I got sick again, then one thing after another happened… so on and so forth.  The crafts went unfinished.

I finally got a lot of them done and packaged tonight.  I have one box going to my friend Kiza (a pair of wool longies and a pair of baby legwarmers), one box going to my friend Brianna (two pair of longies and two hats), and a craft swap to my friend Laura.  I’m especially relieved about the craft swap — I was supposed to mail on/by the 10th, and that date came and went.  I went to mail it the following Friday, and while I went in to the store, my damn dog ate it since I had left it in the cab of the truck and she eats everything, the stupid mutt.  I was devastated (and more than a little mad at the dog) because it was a one-of-a-kind.  So I had to start over from scratch with new materials, new ideas, etc.  Well, it’s finally done, and going in the mail tomorrow.

I started a lime green hat for my friend Kalli.  The yarn is really squishy, and this will probably be the last time I ever work with it.  I’m hoping to have it done within a couple of days, so long as my hands cooperate.  I’m making it for her in exchange for this great box of colorful fabric she sent me, and since I received the box a little while back, I feel really bad that she doesn’t have her hat yet.  Soon, Kalli, soon.

I got the Christmas gifts done for my brothers-in-law and their kids.  I’ve started on the gifts for my sisters-in-law, though I’m still drawing a blank on my parents-in-law.  We’re going to TX in a couple of weeks, so I need to churn something out fairly quickly.  I need to ask Jenn also if we’re still doing a round robin winter solstice/Christmas gift swap… hm.

I also need to make a doll for my friend Trinity’s daughter, Annalie, though I really don’t know if I’m going to knock that out and get it to Germany before Christmas.  I’m hoping.  And there’s stuff I’m supposed to make for my other Germanita, Karo, but that too may have to wait until after Christmas.  I’m hoping I can get things done fairly soon though.

Then there are all the things I want to make for myself, for John, for JR, and of course for Milla since it really won’t be long before she’s here.

Anyway, first things first, I need to finish the laundry.

NaNoWriMo, Revisited

I might not be able to do it after all.

I was getting really excited about trying to write a novel in a month. Really excited.

Granted, I had zero plotlines or characters in my head, but I was sure they’d come to me. It was going to be refreshing delving back into the literary world, or at least entertaining the idea.

But looking at my ever-growing list of things that need to be crafted (for Loin Cloth and as gifts) before Christmas, I don’t think I can do it.

*sigh*

Maybe I’ll write a poem or short story instead.

Loin Cloth Update

I’ve added some stuff to my Etsy as of late. You should check it out.

http://loincloth.etsy.com/

Etsy
Buy Handmade
loincloth
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