Boo boo birdy

You know what little kids are great at? Bashing their head and knees (and elbows and faces and fingers and toes) on stuff.

And do you know what helps make tired, irrational, sometimes legitimately injured kids feel better nice and fast? Ice packs. They’re like magic. I used to think my mother had lost her mind when she would give my nephew an ice pack nearly every time he got hurt. Then I received my own head-bashing machine toddler.

Thing is, ice packs can be a bit of a pain in the butt. They make really cute ones for kid, but then you’re supposed to wrap them up in a towel since they shouldn’t go directly on the skin. Kids don’t understand this…they want the cute. So, a while back I found a really adorable thing called a Boo Boo Buddy. This one was a Hello Kitty and it’s plush on one side, satin on the other & has a pocket for the ice pack. Kiddo LOVES her “cold kitty.”

Unfortunately, “cold kitty” is sometimes dirty or wet or hidden in the deep recesses of a toy bin. So, I made a second ‘buddy’ or Birdy, in this case.

A couple of my Nerd Wars peeps asked me if I had a pattern, but since I just improvised and didn’t bother to write it down I had nothing to give them. Looks like I need to make another and write down what I did this time.

Mmmm….pie

I have a confession to make. I have never used a chart to knit anything. I’ve only ever followed written patterns and charts have made me very nervous.

This week I decided to get over that fear. Well, not really decided so much as didn’t have a choice since I wanted to make a pie and the pattern I wanted to use didn’t have a written option for the “lattice” top. But I did it! And it was actually not hard at all.

You’d think I would have learned this by now. Everything I’ve been nervous about doing when it comes to knitting isn’t nearly as difficult as I think it will be. Maybe I should apply this to my desire to learn how to crochet as well.

Pie anyone?

Oh and as an added bonus, I added some berry scented oil to the poly-fill so that it actually smells like a fruit pie too. Yes, I am that much of a geek. Why do you ask?

And yes, this project is tied to my Nerd Wars tournament. It is inspired by Twin Peaks’ Agent Dale Cooper and his love of a good cherry pie.

I have achieved a sock!

I did it! I made a sock! My very first one. And, considering that the pattern was part of a tutorial and had none of the finer points about sizing to a specific foot, it doesn’t fit too badly.

Until last week, I’d never really felt confident enough in my knitting skills to attempt making socks. Now after completing Silver’s Sock Class, I feel like kicking myself for not having tried earlier. As I was walking through the steps I found myself wondering when it was going to get complicated, but it never did.

And about that tutorial…

As I said, I used Silver’s Sock Class. The steps were INSANELY simple and easy to follow. Photos are included to demonstrate each technique along the way. A novice knitter who has never knit in the round on double-pointed needles (DPNs) should feel very comfortable using this tutorial to learn how to make a sock. (Interestingly enough, there were times that I needed to go back and review the instructions several times before realizing it was telling me to do something I’ve done a thousand times before – for example the author doesn’t use shorthand for stitches in the tutorial so a ssk (slip-slip-knit) was written in longform and I didn’t know what she meant at first.)

Seriously, I would recommend this tutorial to any knitter wanting to learn how to make socks – or even one who needs a photo tutorial on how to knit in the round with DPNs, as the first section of the tutorial tackles this topic completely.

As for me, I am now going to go back and use the tutorial again to make a second sock. With any luck I’ll be able to get the stripes of the self-striping yarn I foolishly chose to use for my first socks to come close to lining up.

Playing dress up

After a little rest for my weary wrist (yay for occasionally resurfacing carpal tunnel) and a trip to San Francisco, I managed to get back to my Nerd Wars projects and finish up the last 2 projects I planned to do for the month.

First I finished up my Abby Kadabby accessories.  The little girl loves to put on accessories and she LOVES Sesame Street.  So, I made Abby pigtails & a wand for her to play with.

Then I completed a set of legwarmers…also to be used by the little girl.  They are green & white striped to look like the stockings that “Nanny” wore on Muppet Babies.  I went with the legwarmers because it’s starting to get colder around here and my girl is potty training (mostly code for enjoying not wearing pants A LOT).

The Abby accessories answer the “Costume” challenge.  A challenge to create a costume or costume accessory inspired by our respective nerdery.  The Nanny legwarmers are for the “Colortastic” challenge.  This one you need to create an item utilizing 2 or more distinct colors and they can’t be from a single yarn (like a self-striping or variegated).

Now that these 2 challenges are done, I’m going to spend a few weeks working on my dissertation/grandmother’s Christmas gift.  I figure I’ll probably only do 1, maybe 2 challenges in November so that I can spend the bulk of my knitting time on that shawl.  I really do want to get it done in time.

I promise I’ll write about something other than Nerd Wars soon…I do have other things I think about, I swear.

Apparently I’m “counting challenged”

In a fit of post-Nerd Wars ambition, I decided that I would tackle my first official lace shawl project.  I looked & looked until I found a pattern that I liked, but that didn’t seem monumentally over-challenging and that would work with the Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Twilight that I already have a bunch of.  And I found a pattern that I think fits those criteria nicely.

Leaf & Acorn Lace Shawl*

From what I can gather on Ravelry, there used to be a Leave & Acorn Lace Shawl pattern specifically for worsted weight yarn but it’s been discontinued.  Instead the pattern link takes you to another very similar pattern that is for a certain yarn on the pattern provider’s site (as they are also a yarn-seller).  The yarn seems to be a much lower weight, as I figured out pretty early on in my first attempt at knitting the pattern.

Yes, I said first attempt.

I’ve been knitting this shawl since September 1st and I’m only on about row 30. (Actually I’m on row 33, but I screwed up – again – and I have to work backwards.)

First I started using only slightly larger needles than were suggested on the pattern – but much smaller than suggested for the yarn weight.  The shawl looked more like a small scarf and you couldn’t really differentiate the lace pattern at all.  So I ripped back to the beginning and started over.

Then I got to about row 15 and something just went horribly wrong.  Stitches were dropped and lost and I don’t even know how to explain how badly messed up it was.  So I started over again.

Now I’m on my third attempt and, again, things are just wrong.  However, as I said, I’m about 30 rows in…I was nearly 40, so there’s no way I’m starting over again unless I have absolutely no choice.  I know that I dropped at least one stitch and I thought I fixed it, but then I counted the # of stitches in my row and I had 4 less than I needed.  I worked one row backwards and it was still wrong.  So, I went back another row…still wrong.  You can guess where this is going.

Now I’m going back to at least row 30 and hoping that I can start moving forward again tonight.

This shawl may mean the end of me.

Well, probably not…but I may have to jump to something simpler for a week just so that I don’t get too annoyed with myself.

 

*You have to register/sign in to view the pattern, but it’s free to do so and it doesn’t appear you need to buy anything.