Monkeys and more

My Monkey socks are finished!

IMG_9007

IMG_9010

IMG_9008
They took way too long! I do better when socks are KALs and therefore have deadlines!
Having finished the socks, I finally had (my own) permission to start a secret project which will reach the recipient late, due to its late start!!

IMG_9011
For the super secret project, I casted on 396 stitches. I hope. It took quite a while, and while I knitted the first few rows, I quickly realized that a 24 inch circular needle isn’t enough to accommodate these stitches. Time to upgrade!

Quilts

Today when I dropped off the quilt squares that I zigzagged for the Wee Boy’s school auction, I noticed that there were still several bags of squares to be done. So I took another bag home. This is my favorite.

IMG_8975
You see, most kids used one or two triangles or circles, but this kid went all out! What a fun quilt square!

Of course, that set me on a good course to continue on the Wee Boy’s quilt, and I managed to sew all the squares into strips this evening.

IMG_8977
As you can probably tell, they haven’t been pressed yet, so of course they’ll look nicer later. But I think it’s turning out cute, or, as he says, “cool.”

Cool quilt

I did some volunteer sewing today, zigzagging appliqués onto the Wee Boy’s class quilt.

IMG_8947
Having the sewing machine out, it was an easy transition to start sewing up the Wee Boy’s quilt, which has been cut and ready for a while now.

At first I was overwhelmed by the big pile of fabric…

big pile of fabric.

big pile of fabric.

Then I realized that most of it was leftover fabric and only a small portion is the quilt top. Ha!

Hahaha, just kidding!

Hahaha, just kidding!

I pinned all the blocks into strips, and sewed up 2 1/2 strips before calling it quits.

IMG_8950

 
I hope I can keep my momentum up with this!

Double blogging

I’m still plugging away at my Monkey socks, and they’re going well, but the progress isn’t anything special to photograph.

Yesterday I didn’t post because I was pretty worn out!  The kids and I went up to Petaluma to take a nice hike (or bike ride, for the Wee Boy) with our friend.  It was really, really lovely!  We stayed on the paved trail at the Helen Putnam Regional Park: http://parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov/Get_Outdoors/Parks/Helen_Putnam_Regional_Park.aspx

It’s really pretty, and the hiking can get your heart working but not so much that you’ll hurt yourself.  And the views of the rolling hills are beautiful.  I’m looking forward to trying out some of the dirt trails as well.

The littlest trooper.

The littlest trooper.

The fish pond was definitely the highlight of the outing!

The fish pond was definitely the highlight of the outing!

"dipping toes" means different things for different people....

“dipping toes” means different things for different people….

In other news, I’ve written a blog post for my knitting group in which I recap my friend’s and my excursion to Stitches West.  You’ve read my side, but my friend’s knitterati encounter is pretty special, I’d say!

https://purljamsf.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/stitches-west-recap/

Monkey socks

Hooray, I’m past the heels and gussets on my Monkey socks! They’re going so fast now that the pattern is only on the top of the socks!

IMG_8891

The soft striping on the soles makes me wish I’d done them completely in stockinette, but oh, well. I’ve put too much time into these to frog now!! The main goal with this yarn was to NOT have it go back to the stash exchange for the 3rd? 4th? time. It was more than ready to get made into something!!

IMG_8892

Stitches West 2015

A fellow knitter and I drove down to Santa Clara today to attend Stitches West. I spent the first few hours helping out in the Mother Bear Project booth.

IMG_8835

IMG_8834

IMG_8836

IMG_8844
I helped out with selling kits and patterns, and telling people what the Mother Bear Project is all about. It was so fun to meet other bear knitters, and get other knitters/crocheters excited about making bears!
After that, my friend and I had lunch and browsed the marketplace. Some of my faves:

IMG_8847

IMG_8848

IMG_8850

IMG_8854

IMG_8856

IMG_8860

IMG_8864
Incredibly, I only purchased two rovings and a shawl pin. I have so much more self control than I used to!!! Oh, the Malabrigo roving was a freebie at the Malabrigo booth, lucky me!!!

IMG_8867

Decluttering

Have you heard of the KonMari method of tidying/de cluttering? Apparently the book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, is on the NY Times best sellers list. It’s supposed to be an excellent method for getting rid of things that don’t “spark joy,” and you’re left with fewer things, but things you really love and are easier to keep under control. http://tidyingup.com/

I haven’t been able to have a good declutter at each part of my home, but the areas that have been tidied are very pleased. My bookshelves are sparser, my bathroom is neat and devoid of unnecessary products, my dresser and closet are roomier and left with things I really love, and I actually feel liberated and less frustrated with fewer belongings.  So tonight I tackled my knitting magazines. The magazines are kind of hard because they’re so colorful and pretty, and the articles describe interesting techniques or even sheep, and maaaaybe I’ll knit that sweater/shawl/hat someday! But I gave it a serious try tonight and ended up taking these out for donation: IMG_8829 I kept this small file box, which mostly contains spinning magazines. Maybe they’ll be gone on the next round, but for now they still spark joy and I want them. IMG_8830 I think it’s pretty good progress! Now I just need to find a place where I can donate them!

PS Tomorrow I’m heading to Stitches West!  http://www.knittinguniverse.com/West  I’m volunteering at the Mother Bear Project booth, http://www.motherbearproject.org/ then roaming and possibly  definitely shopping a bit.

Two new bears!

My bear knitting has been sluggish lately. It’s good for knitting in public, or when I just need a project in case I can sneak in a row here or there. So these two were knitted in spare moments and constitute my first two of fifteen bears I plan to knit this year for the Mother Bear Project.

IMG_8796
Hmm, my last one was J (Jason for my husband), I think these will be Kathy (for my mom), and Marissa (for me!).

This n that on a Tuesday

At knit night I started with two turned heels on my Monkey socks: IMG_8789 And left with the gussets picked up and ready for decreasing. It was a short knit night for me, as my husband had to attend our co-op preschool’s mandatory monthly business meeting. Ah! My latest handspun is dry! IMG_8791 After washing it mellowed it somewhat, but is still twistier than I normally spin. Was it the fiber, or me? At any rate, it’s pretty and I have a small cardigan in mind for it.   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sassymetrical

In double blogging news, I’ve written a new post for my knitting group. If you’re interested, click away! https://purljamsf.wordpress.com/