Ravellenics 2018

Guys, you don't know how many times I've tried to write this post.

Which, honestly, I guess is to be expected when you have a newborn and a toddler. I just lost a version of this post that included a well thought out analogy to the laws of motion that would have made my Newton professor proud (I took a deep-dive study of Newton as an elective in college. Why? For moments like this of course), and now I just don't have the energy to pull that off again. Vanya's going to be up at any moment, Pasha is refusing his nap (again), and I have socks to show you!

Because I have said newborn and toddler I was not expecting to be able to participate in Ravellenics this year (for the uninitiated, the Ravellenics is a knitting "competition" in which the knitter sets a personal goal that they will work for the duration of the Olympics. For Ravellenics 2016 I knit this sweater). But then I realized that I was stuck in a recliner during my own recovery because Vanya would not let me put him down. So I pulled out a bag of sock yarn, a few pairs of needles, and decided to see how many socks I could knit.

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The answer? 4 adult socks (and 2 toddler socks).

One of the single socks is actually the second of a pair that was intended for a Christmas present. Obviously I failed majorly in getting these sent off for Christmas, but fortunately I have friends who understand. 

Back in November I received two gorgeous skeins of Stranded Dyeworks as part of #getyouryarnwishesgranted (thanks Amy!). Both are one of a kind colorways, and I instantly knew that the purple needed to be socks for a specific person. This was my first time working with Stranded and I'm already stalking her updates because I "need" more!

For the pattern I chose Vintage Fairy Lights by Helen Stewart. I don't normally knit socks this tall, but I wanted to knit to pattern because I love the look of the long ribbing paired with the fairy lights pattern. My only complaint is a personal preference -- I don't like when patterns are written line by line rather than saying "repeat the previous row x times." But I do know how to count, so it was only a minor inconvenience.

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You would think that after knitting all of these socks I would be ready to knit something else, but nope. I'm still knitting socks. I guess I'm going to need a bigger sock drawer!


Well, it happened.

When last we spoke I was hugely pregnant, massively uncomfortable, and just starting to admit that the pain in my hands was in fact pregnancy-induced carpel tunnel. But then at the beginning of the month all of that changed.


Meet Vanya. Who was so excited to get into his knitwear he arrived a week early.

Sweater:  Newborn Vertebrae   Hat:  Barley Light   Pompom:  Fffabuknits   Socks:  Baby Mitten Socks   Yarn: Yarn vs Zombies,  Cascade Heritage Sock

Sweater: Newborn Vertebrae

Hat: Barley Light

Pompom: Fffabuknits

Socks: Baby Mitten Socks

Yarn: Yarn vs Zombies, Cascade Heritage Sock

In a twist that can only come from my life, I was actually knitting this hat when I went into labor. Well, I'd been in labor for a while, but when I kept deciding to cut my cast-on yarn, leaving me with no working yarn, I figured it was time to start paying more attention. So the full outfit was not ready until after we were already home. I had planned on finishing it up in the hospital, but things went so smoothly that they discharged us after 24 hours. For those who know Pasha's birth story you know that things were the complete opposite of smooth, with me confined to a bed for the better part of a day and Pasha stuck back in the Special Care Unit off and on for almost a week. So my baseline for knitting time was way way off, but if less knitting time means more time with my little dude then that's just fine by me.

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Fortunately I had already knit a different outfit for him to wear home.

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Remember this one? It did turn out to be a little big, but not nearly as much as I feared. Despite being born a week early, Vanya weighed the same as Pasha at birth, but was longer, so the socks especially fit quite nicely. But really, at this point who truly cares about the knitwear? We have a beautiful boy who just so happens to have some truly stylish wardrobe options.

And a big brother who's rather fond of him as well.

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Milo for Christmas

This week I have spent a lot of time going through Pasha's clothes and pulling out things for Stormy to wear.

This includes finding all of the knitwear I made for him that I am hoping to get more wear out of and therefore justify the pitiful amount of knitting I have done specifically for this kid. Because I kept all knitted items together, I rediscovered this year's holiday sweater which I managed to put on him for pictures, clean, and then forget about. Because that's how my brain works right now.

One of my favorite items I knit before Pasha was born was his Milo vest.


I knit it out of Leading Men Fiber Arts Dramaturg DK, and it has held up so well that when they released their Winter Wonderland colorway I knew I needed to knit him another. I knit the eighteen month size and used the braided cable option. I love the way this cable chart works up and the look of the various pops of color in the cable versus stockinette versus garter stitch. And yes I know, it's hard to see the details in these photos. I'd apologize, but it's basically impossible to get a toddler to hold still when there are puddles about.

It turns out that vests really are perfect sweaters for our North Carolina holiday season. These pictures were taken at my parent's house when we were there the weekend before Christmas. It was 50+ degrees out and rainy most of the time. Luckily when the power went out for a few hours (squirrels, man, they're a killer), the skies had cleared enough for puddle jumping. Wearing a vest meant that Pasha stayed warm while he played but I didn't have to worry about sleeves ending up in the mud. 

I imagine I will knit several more of these in the future as the boys grow up. There's a chance I'll try to use a different yarn, but the Dramaturg has held up so well to washing that I might just have to make one in every color.

Treading On

You might have heard that we had a bit of winter weather here on the East Coast.

They're calling it a "bomb cyclone", and if you weren't hit by it you are probably tired of hearing people discuss the record temperatures, snow fall, and all around gross winter weather. We were fortunate enough (or not depending on your perspective) that all we saw in our area was a light dusting. Schools closed, people's pipes froze, but we did not have hurricane-style snow like they did in other parts of the storm's path. In general, we just had a nice holiday. The best part was that the little bit of snow we did have was actual snow.

Now, if you are from anywhere that sees regular snow fall you are probably rolling your eyes, but I have to make this clarification. I've lived my entire life in NC and the majority of winter precipitation we get is freezing rain and ice. When we get snow it's almost always over a thick layer of ice, which is why we close down and stay home. Snow is awesome. Ice? It's a broken ankle and overturn vehicle waiting to happen. BUT! This time our little bit of snow at our house was entirely snow. No ice! If we'd had a real accumulation I'd probably still be playing in it. As it was we got to take Pasha outside and let him really play in the snow rather than carefully carry him out and place him in the yard.

I honestly did not think that we were going to get anything because I had just finished knitting myself a new hat the night before. 

For Christmas Chris and Paul got me one of Home Row Fiber Co's portable yarn bowls and filled it with a skein of Spun Right Round Worsted (Clairvoyant) and a faux fur pompom. As soon as I finished my final FO of 2017 (the Half Moon Oracle, which I will eventually block, I swear) I wound up the yarn and cast on my first project of 2018.

I had intended to knit the Shannon Cook's Tread in some Happy-Go-Lucky HGL Worsted to match the Onward Shawl I knit last year, but when I started looking for a worsted hat pattern I could not get it out of my head. Honestly, it was easy enough that I might just knit a second.

The pattern calls for US 8s for the ribbing, but I could not find mine so I knit it with US 7s instead. It fits perfectly (I knit a size medium). I've noticed that when I knit ribbing on my hats they tend to be a little looser than I intend. I'm not sure if this is because I knit ribbing looser in general or if it is an unintended consequence of hats always being too tight when I was a kid. I like to think I've grown in to my big head, but I always have it in the back of my mind that my head is too big for hat patterns.

Overall I give this five stars and I really want to go back and buy more pompoms to make all the hats. The combo of the fun speckles and the more subdued pink makes me really happy. Now if I could just get myself to knit on the things I'm supposed to be working on.

Taking Stock

So here we are, 2018.

Among other things, this is the year I become the mother of two. In just a few short weeks. For all practical purposes I am the mother of two already. I have to feed both kids, deal with them waking me up during the night, and they both enjoy the occasional kick to the ribs. I went to my doctor's appointment and the number one thing he told me to do was slow down, which fits nicely into my theme of "savor" for the year, but does nothing to truly calm the stress level of being nearly 9 months pregnant while chasing a toddler.

One of the things I am doing to try to get a handle on my stress level is take stock of my WIPs. I've frogged a few things that have languished for far too long, and I unearthed a few that I had forgotten about.

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This is my All Points South, which you have never seen because right after I cast it on I got distracted by the Half Moon Oracle. Fortunately that was my last FO of 2017 and I am hoping to get it blocked this week. I was thinking about casting on another shawl but now I think that will just have to wait because this has recaptured my interest.

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And then there's my Big Sister, which I desperately want but for some reason stopped knitting back in October. It's so cold and none of my clothes fit anymore, so I feel really motivated to work on it again.

I'm also slowly gathering yarn to wind for projects to have at the ready for when Stormy gets here. I got so much knitting done when Pasha was an infant because we went through a time when he'd only sleep while being held. I know every baby is different, but I am going to be prepared this time if it happens again. Starting with these lovelies I got for Christmas. 

Tread wip.png

Though, if I'm being honest, I may have already started knitting one. Oops!