Most of the time I tend not to knit the super popular sweater patterns that make their way in to the online knitting communities.  They either don’t go high enough in size to fit my more than ample body or I don’t find them attractive.  Shawls, hats and whatnot are usually fair game, but even with those I don’t always follow the crowd.  Clapotis?  Started several, never finished a single one.  Monkey?  Love socks and Cookie’s patterns, but I suffer from second sock syndrome (not finishing the pair for the uninitiated).  I’ve made a couple pairs of Fetching and an over large Calorimetry.

But sweaters for myself are usually not on my plate.  I’m an odd knitter.  If I leave a project sitting too long I will never pick it up and finish it.  Too long could be a week, or several years.  Some of you might remember when I was making Mr. Greenjeans.  I made it to just under the arms and then it sat.  For weeks.  I kept thinking I would go ahead and just finish it, but I kept thinking “Should I put the cables in or not?” and “Will I really ever wear this as I’ve knit it?”  I was in love with the pattern but not with the modifications I’d made.

I’d heard a lot about the Central Park Hoodie.  I think pretty much anyone who is involved with online knitting communities has heard about it at some point, at least in passing.  I’d not given it much thought because the pattern didn’t go up to my size, and my math skills are lacking when it comes to re-sizing garments.  But when I heard that they’d republished the pattern to include sizes up to a 60 inch bust I decided to take a better look at it.  I love this hoodie.  As I’ve already mentioned a million times, I love cables, and to me, this sweater screams “Hey!  Wear me on the weekends while you bum around town and get coffee and shop!”

And so, my frugal (some say cheap) self bought my very first singular pattern last week.  Most of the time I knit from free patterns online or from patterns in books or magazines I’ve bought.  I’m wondering if I’ll be more compelled to finish this pattern since I paid for it?  I’m hoping so because I really love this sweater and even though I won’t be able to wear it with the weather heating up, I’d love to finish one and love it so much that I make another before it’s cool enough to wear them.  The even cooler thing is that there are so many varying sizes that I could make one for practically every woman (and a couple of men) that I know.

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Okay, here’s a slightly more involved post.For some reason I’ve fixated on starting a bedroom set first. I think it began by wanting a knit a teensy tiny afghan and went from there. I started a cabled coverlet on size 000 needles but I just couldn’t fiddle with those tiny things on the yarn I was using. I switched over to a size 1 steel crochet hook and some fingering weight angora I recycled.

mini angora afghan

I used this pattern which I think is a take on the crazy stitch? I liked the way it looked so much that I started a full sized afghan in the same pattern. I figured that in the mini world this would be a super bulky afghan. It’s 1:12 scale for a queen sized bed, right around 5.5″ x 6.5″. Since I don’t have a mini bed yet I kind of had to guess that it will fit. It’s soooffffft!

The afghan was the very first thing I worked on and it was so much fun that the mini bug bit me and I worked on mini stuff the rest of the weekend. I did the doily next, but you’ve seen a picture of that, so we’ll move on.

mini shirts

I made some tiny little folded shirts next. They can’t be unfolded or worn, they’re just visual. The striped shirt I made first and I LOVE how it turned out! There’s even a minuscule tag! I used size 11 (I think) seed beads for the buttons. The black and white shirt is a pocketed pullover and the pink sweater is a swatch from the pink angora I used for the afghan that I didn’t unravel. I’m thinking about using these in a pulled out dresser drawer or maybe a little leather suitcase.

My mind followed the clothing idea and I of course needed some little hangers to add to a closet!

mini hangers

It’s 26 gauge wire. I’m still learning so much about scale that I’m not sure that it’s really “accurate” but I like the way they turned out.

Until I can get some true mini supplies I’m playing strictly with what I’ve got around the house. I made a vanity tray with some perfume bottles –

mini vanity

The tray is some random thing I had in my button tin. I think it was an electrical piece of some sort. It’s just under 1 ¼” and I filled it with blue and gold colored gel glue (Elmer’s 3-D glue is awesome!) I gave it a little swirl before it dried and I really like how it turned out. The perfume bottles are random beads. They’re not as wonky as they look, I just haven’t affixed them to the tray yet and they kept tipping over. I was actually getting a little frustrated because I had to cut my nails back REALLY short because they were torn up from crafting and I’m not used to not having my nails to pick things up!

mini braided rug

Finally, last night I made a little faux braided rug.  I used embroidery floss in white, light pink and bright pink and just kind of fudged an oval out of it.  It tried curling because it was such a tight gauge so I used stiffener and pinned it down to dry.  I think I pushed the pins in a little too tightly though because I can see the indents.  I may have to wash it and redo it if I can’t pull up the nap with a pin to my approval.

I think that’s it on the mini front for now.  I’ve got a billion other ideas and I’ve spent hours surfing mini sites for projects and information.  I’m so happy I’m finally getting around to doing something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid!  I never had the opportunity to have a doll house before and it’s always something I’ve wanted.  I founda site with step by step instructions to build a house and I think I may look at that as a first house until I can save up for a kit.  I found some pretty good deals on ebay but I’m not sure I want to get in to buying a bunch of pre-made stuff just yet.  We just switched over to a visa debit card so I think I could get in to a lot of trouble on ebay!

This pictures within this post finally put my flickr account over the 200 free picture limit lol!  I guess I post more than I thought I did!  I’ll still be able to use it, but it won’t show my most recent pictures on flickr itself I guess.

I’m still trying to decide what to work on now that I’m finished with the afghan.  There’s several things I have planned and a few things already in the works.  I’m about halfway through Orno Abaci, I need to finish my dad’s hat (which I’ve run out of steam on and DO NOT want to finish!), a pair of gloves for the guy that my mother in law takes care of, Bombshell for myself (which I’m not sure if I want to finish).  I don’t want to work on any of them though.  I have a house dress pattern I wanted to try out for my mother in law but I just keep dragging my feet.  Ugh.

I managed to get my kitchen cleaned this morning and a steak marinating for dinner.  Paul went to rent Cars since we’ve never seen it and we’ve been on a kids’ movie kick.  We watched Ratatouille the other night and it was so cute!

I’m still working on unravelling the sweaters from week before last.  I’ve given up on the body of the light blue one because it’s just too felted to pull apart.  I got good yarn out of the sleeves though and it was a decent amount.  I’ll felt the body more and cut it up to make a purse or something.  The light pink sweater has a nylon thread running with the yarn and it’s stretching at a different rate than the yarn and breaking and ugh!  I’ll use that for something else as well.  It just goes to show that even after recycling tons of sweaters that I can run in to a not so great one every once in awhile.

I’m off to find something to work on, start dinner and let the dog in.

That’s what I keep hearing.  It’s been raining all night and we’ve got three leakes in the roof right now!  One in my *gasp* craft room, one in the living room, and one in the doorway of our bedroom.  I tarred the roof a couple of summers ago and filled all the places that looked damaged, but I obviously missed a place or two!  Frustrating.  Beyond it being damaging though, I love the rain and wish that we’d get rain every day.  I’m living in the wrong part of the country for that though!

Over the weekend I got a lot of knitting done, though not all on what I would have liked.  The hat I made for my dad for Christmas was too short, so I had to go get more wool and I started the Marsan Watchcap.  It’s a simple enough hat in a twisted rib, but I love the decreases for the crown.  It looks really nifty.  I’m about a quarter of the way through that.

I also started this weeks dishcloth knitalong.  It’s just a simple feather and fan dishcloth, but I decided to go a step further and make a dishtowel to go with it.  I love the idea of hand-knit dishtowels, but this is the first one I’ve made.  I’m about done with it, and then I can actually start on the knitalong part lol.

I worked until the wee hours of Saturday morning on my sweater and made a decent amount of progress.  I’m doing Bombshell from Big Girl Knits and it’s a top-down raglan.  I got to the join and I’m working in the round toward the bust now.  It’s a teensy reminder of why I hate knitting for myself…it feels like I’m making very little progress even when I knit on it for hours!  I’m heading towards 300 stitches around right now and have another 100 or so to go before I start making the bust shaping.  Sigh.  If I finish it though it’ll be a gorgeous sweater.  I just hope I can find a skirt or flattering pair of pants to wear with it so my hard work won’t be in vain!

I’ve decided that I’m going to start posting a few tutorials.  If I can get my camera rigged up on it’s tripod in a flattering position (with enough light!) I’ll do a couple of videos.  Simple stuff like how to do mattress stitch on stockinette, grafting, stuff like that.  When I get a chance to find a good sweater to recycle I’ll post about how to do that too.  It’s just that I started thinking about it and once upon a time I’d go looking for tutorials and find links and then boom, dead link.  If I make tutorials there’s one more out there that people can find.  Makes me feel like I’m doing a little to give back.  Either that, or I’m bored lol.

My mother in law told me to give her a call this morning when I got up.  I mentioned to her that I wanted to start making some light weight hoodies to wear around the house and now she’s got her motor revving.  She wants to go to Walmart this morning and pick up some fabric and set her kitchen up as a sweatshop impromptu sewing room.  I guess I’ll pour myself a fresh cup of coffee and ring her up.  Chances are she won’t want to go out because of the weather, but if she does, I’ll be gone for most of the day.

Okay, so I don’t have any form of ADD that I know of, but that’s how I’m feeling right now.  I keep starting new projects and putting them down to start other new projects.  It’s insane!

January’s MagKnits was promptly put up on January first, so I had to start Orno Abaci.  It’s a cushy scarf knit in rib, on the bias, using a fibonacci sequence.  Then I decided that I’d start a sweater because I found the four balls of cream wool I’d reclaimed from that sweater I talked about awhile ago.  I’m not entirely sure I’ll have enough, but we’ll see.  I’ve started and stopped a few crocheted shawls because I really want a new shawl, but I’m floundering.  My friend Hammie  showed me a blanket she crocheted for a friends new baby and it made my hook hand get all twitchy.  I kind of miss crocheting and I need to do it more.  I found an absolutely gorgeous pattern for an afghan that looks like a quilt and Hammie and I have decided to work on it together when I can afford to pick up new yarn.  It’s called Prairie Star and I love it!

So, no finished projects (not even little ones!) and I don’t forsee any for a little while.  It’s a little sad lol!  I need to gather my thoughts and my patterns and get organized.  I’m not doing so well on that at the moment.

I’ve been feeling really listless the past few days.  I had a stomach ache from hell yesterday and didn’t realize it was from the highly acidic oranges I’ve been eating until my husband mentioned it.  Won’t be having any more of those!

I’m not working on any specific projects right now.  I started Oblique from Knitty but I need full concentration for it.  There’s five panels of different stitches on the back so I have to really pay attention.  Not really happening right now.  I started a scrappy afghan, just long strips of stockinette in random colors from my stash, broken up by a few rows of black in between.  It’s a good project for watching tv or surfing the net.  The Corazon mittens for my mother in law are still at the halfway mark.  I’ve heard of second-sock-syndrome, but mittens?  I guess it still applies.  The Transformers Toque for Paul has been languishing for a couple of days.  Oh, which reminds me…

Paul and I went to the Salvation Army on Friday.  We like to go in there to browse from time to time because it’s one of the biggest thrift stores in our area and there’s always neat little kitschy things there.  I found two 16 inch circulars for $1.25.  Why am I so thrilled?  Because around here you don’t find circulars that small unless you pay a pretty price at The Spinster.  I found them in size 2 and 3, which are what I like using the most for hats so that made me very happy.  I also found a Gap wool sweater in white/cream for $2.00 and there’s now about a pound or so of yarn sitting in cakes, waiting to be dyed.  I also found a copy of the Nanny Diaries, which I’ve been wanting to read but not pay full price for.  I’m about halfway through it and it’s pretty good!

Since I’m just jumping from topic to topic, I’ll keep going.  Well, sort of… I learned about recycling (or reclaiming) sweaters a couple of years ago.  There’s a lot of amazing fibers out there, but unless you’ve got a large budget it’s not always practical or affordable to spend $200 on enough yarn for a sweater.  I’d heard about recycling sweater yarn on a forum and decided to use my google-foo to find out more.  This is a good site to explain how to do it.  I like to stick to mainly worsted weight sweaters, single color, the larger the better.  The Gap sweater I found was the perfect recycling project because of a few things. 

1.  100% Lambswool

2.  No serged seams.

3.  Worsted weight

4.  A color I liked/was dyeable

5.  Single color

It was a raglan, so I got four large balls with no breaks.  Good seams make unravelling SO easy.  Just start on the end where the seam would have been finished in the factory, snip the crochet-looking chain and if you’re lucky you can “unzip” it all the way down with no breaks.  Once you have your pieces seperated, unravel the bind-off edge and just start pulling.  I use my ball winder and once the entire piece is wound, I pull the end out and re-ball it.  I do this because when I first ball it straight from the sweater piece it can be pretty tight.  You don’t want to leave your yarn in such a stressed state because it can pull it out of shape and cause gauge problems later on.

One of these days I’d like to make my own tutorial with lots of pictures.  I kind of want to do it now, but I know I’d get halfway through all the pictures and give up.  I’m that discombobulated.  Yucky.

I’m just going to go play around on Ravelry, drink my nut toffee coffee and hope that I’ve waved this fog away enough to get some housecleaning done later this morning.