Old dog? Here are some new tricks!

UPDATE!!! The fabulous Jessie of Yarntini has added a prize! There will now be TWO winners! See the end of post for contest details! YAY!! And also a sock update. The Fish Lips Kiss Heel ROCKS!

I found my mojo! It’s back! And I’m going to tell you all about it, but it might take awhile as I ramble on and give you lots of links to explore. If you’re the impatient sort, skip to the bottom of the post for a colorful contest! YES! I’ve been wanting to have a contest for so long. I used to do them all the time, remember? Well this one’s a good one. So settle in and enjoy!

As I mentioned in my last post, I was in that post-awesome-project state where even the best potential patterns seem like too much work. I think I was just exhausted from all the work that went into Oshima and needed a little break. But I was also yearning for that can’t put it down excitement and nothing was giving me that spark.

But I found it! And how I found it is kind of an adventure.

By far my favorite social media tool is Instagram. Maybe it’s the photographer in me but I just love posting to IG and also following along on IG. On a daily basis I am bombarded with inspiration from new and old friends. For instance, if it wasn’t for Cauchy sharing all her incredible spinning pictures, I wouldn’t have become infatuated with Lacey at Moonrover. Her fiber and yarns are incredible. They both have me wanting to spin again!

Another HUGE enabler on IG is Susan Anderson! I’m embarrassed to tell you how much money I’ve spent because of Susan’s IG thread. Seriously. Ann and I are always blaming her for our purchases. (“I bought a cross stitch sampler. THANKS Susan Anderson!”) Not too long ago Susan posted about her fabulous stripey socks – 15 Stripe Rainbow Sock Yarn from Fab Funky Fibres! I was like WHAT? Rainbow? Stripes? I AM THERE!

Yeah. So I ordered the yarn. Self-striping sock yarn. Firstly, when’s the last time I knit a sock? (I can actually tell you it was the winter before my second baby was born. I was on a tear of knitting five socks at a time and I finished those five socks then started the mates to those five then left them. They are still on the needles. My baby will be four in June. You do the math.) Secondly, I haven’t knit with a sock yarn other than my beloved STR lightweight in? Forever, maybe? There was an early early Regia Cotton Stripe that I knit my first pair with and a few Koigu pairs, but other than that – all STR all the time!

Stripey sock yarn. What am I going to do with that? Order more! I might have fallen down at Knitterly Things (Twinkle Lights! YES!) and Yarntini (Super-Duper Boogaloo! Under the Sea! Fruitastic!)

Even with all this new yarn coming in, I still didn’t have the sock knitting mojo. The yarn is all gorgeous, to be sure, but also outside my comfort zone. If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a creature of habit. I like the familiarity of a yarn I love and a pattern I love and a method I love. (Hello Monkey Socks! Jaywalkers! Willow Cowls!)

And then I was clicking around some blogs thanks to my favorite Bloglovin’ email I get everyday, and I stumbled upon the Yarn Harlot’s recent post where she answered some questions about knitting socks. She said she mainly knits socks top down (like me) but when the yarn is self-striping or really special or both, she knits them toe up so that she can use all the yarn. My brain went DING DING DING! THIS! I have only attempted one other toe up sock a million years ago and I did NOT enjoy it, but then again, sock architecture has changed drastically in the last five years. Right? I told myself, I AM GOING TO KNIT A SELF STRIPING TOE UP SOCK. And I got (inexplicably – remember creature of habit) really really excited.

I got even more excited when I started clicking around, following short row heel links and stumbled upon the Fish Lips Kiss Heel. The Sock Therapist had me at NO WRAPS! (This was the main problem with my first toe up heel. I couldn’t get the short row heel to work in a way I liked.) For ONE DOLLAR, I downloaded the tutorial for the heel. Next thing I knew I was asking a good friend to trace my foot.

And then I was watching videos on Judy’s Magic Cast On.

Then, in the ultimate of craziness, I was measuring out sock yarn and matching up colors and starting two socks with matchy matchy stripes!


I’ve now knit through all fifteen colors in my Fab Funky Fifteen Colour socks and according to my foot template, I’m ready to start the heel!



I’m so excited. I might knit the other sock up to the same point, or I might just go for it. I have to read through the directions again and watch some videos. But YAY! A new sock and a new way of knitting them! If this heel works the way everyone raves that it does, it could change my whole way of knitting socks. And I’m really excited about breaking out of my old habits and learning something new. I always tell my kids that one of the things I love about knitting is learning how to do new things! And it’s true!

HERE’S A SOCK UPDATE: The Fish Lips Kiss Heel is GREAT! No wraps! No holes! No picking up a million stitches for the gusset!! AND IT FITS LIKE A DREAM!


In the meantime, want to knit your own pair of Fab Funky’s Fifteen Colour Rainbow Socks? Because I have an extra skein to give away. And a box of Color Cards from my own collection. Everyone needs some color on these dark winter days and I’m so happy to share!


And, Jessie of Yarntini has added a skein of her fantastic self-striping yarn in the Boogaloo colorway!!


I will be adding another box of Color Collection cards to her skein! TWO WINNERS!!! YAY!

To win, leave a comment telling me your favorite sock yarn, your favorite sock pattern, your favorite Instagram feed or your favorite knit blog! Please leave only ONE comment per person. I will pick a random number and choose a winner. You have until Wednesday, December 18th at 11:59 EST to leave a comment. I will announce the winner on Thursday. Good luck and thanks for reading! I can’t wait to see what inspires you!

L, C

PS – if you want to follow me on Instagram, a link to my feed is in the sidebar.



Thank you all so much for the lovely comments on Oshima! I so appreciate them. I have such high hopes that I will respond to each and every one of you and then my life starts to overwhelm me, yet again. I’m thinking responding in the comments might help me. Do you like that? I see other bloggers do it all the time. What do you think?

In the meantime, I have lost my knitting mojo. I feel like Oshima just sort of sapped it all out of me. It’s not like I don’t have a million knits that need finishing, or are on the needles, or all swatched and ready to go. But nothing so far has grabbed me with that lovely immediacy of KNIT THIS RIGHT NOW! You know that feeling – the one where all you want to do is knit to distraction? I LOVE that feeling! I want it back. NOW!

In the meantime I’ve picked up an old stalwart, a Willow Cowl I started last year!

It’s STR Mediumweight in Christmas Balls. Very seasonal of me, I know. If I can’t be knitting something I’m beyond in love with, I might as well knit with yarn I love that results in an item I love. I wear my Willow Cowls all the time!

What are you knitting that you absolutely LOVE right now? What are you hoping to knit? Inspire me! 😉

Sweater Weather

Yesterday it turned cold again and I was so happy because I got to wear this!


My new sweater!! It’s Oshima, by Jared Flood and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it pop up on Ravelry. I have been dreaming about a cozy, sweatshirt type pullover with a HUGE cowl neck for a long time. My plan was to pick a really soft yarn and sort of wing the pattern, but when Oshima appeared with it’s gorgeous brioche stitch detailing, I had to make it!



The pattern calls for you to use fingering weight yarn held double and let’s just say there was NO WAY I was going to do that, so I set out to find a nice worsted/heavy worsted yarn to use. I’ve discovered over the many sweaters I’ve knit in the past couple of years that while my knitting doesn’t appear tight, my gauge is always much smaller than the pattern calls for when using specified yarns. I knew that a heavy gauge yarn would most likely work well for me, so I went with Madeleine Tosh Chunky, which is really an aran weight.


I’ve also learned from knitting sweaters that swatching is A MUST. I make big swatches, sometimes multiple swatches, to figure out the best measurements for my sweaters and so far I’ve had pretty good success in having the sweater fit the way I want.


Oshima was a great pattern to knit, but it’s got some sticky spots. The body is knit in the round, as are the sleeves, in mostly stockinette. You also change needle sizes A LOT. I think the pattern calls for something like 5 different needle sizes, which is a bit excessive if you ask me. I swatched with a couple different needle sizes in the stockinette and then moved on to the brioche stitch.


I’ve  never knit brioche before, and even though it adds some time and eats yarn, I fell in love with it! So squishy and soft, like you’re knitting air into each stitch (which I guess you kind of are!) Here’s a fun fact for you: I was able to get the gauge I wanted with size 9 needles when knitting brioche FLAT. To get the same gauge in the round, I had to go down TWO needle sizes to size 7 needles. The pattern makes no mention that there might be such a discrepency, so knit at your own risk!


The pattern really is very nice when it comes down to it, and besides adding length to the body, which I usually do, I didn’t change anything. The increases and decreases within the brioche stitch are really lovely! They twist and turn and just work perfectly!



I’ve heard lots lately about gauge swatches lying and such and even though I had a few moments of panic that the sweater wouldn’t fit the way I’d anticipated, it finished perfectly! I made the 42″ size to get a 39/40″ sweater and that’s just what I got. The pattern calls for 4-5″ of ease and it’s just enough to give you that cozy, sweatshirt feel I wanted!


I love it so much I don’t know how I’m going to take it off! It better stay cold for a long, long time!

imageWearing my new favorite boots, my new favorite jeans and my new favorite sweater!

I used about 8.75 skeins of the Tosh Chunky in the Nassau Blue colorway, the same colorway I used to knit a sweater for my daughter and the same colorway I plan on using for many other knitted goodies. It is a SPECTACULAR colorway! Find the project on Ravelry here.


Your Pick Me Up of the Day!

In need of a little pick me up? Want to feel better about your housekeeping skills? Listen to this: while I was in the shower and my husband was making lunch in the kitchen, my girls got into the styrofoam that packaged the Statue of Liberty souvenirs we bought them yesterday. Can you see where this is going?


Now our carefully cultivated hoarder’s decor is covered in a billion teeny tiny pieces of styrofoam. Oh and some larger pieces as well that my kids are happily crushing into more tiny pieces. I’ve broken my vacuum, which I’ve already taken apart twice to unclog, and the ancient dustbuster is doing yeomen’s work picking up the pieces, but the old broad can only do like ten pieces at a time before she has to rest.

The styrofoam is multiplying and traveling. It’s a freaking blizzard and we’re hunkering down for the winter of our discontent.

Aren’t you glad you’re not me? Don’t you feel better about your own messy house? I bet you’re not spending your Saturday night shoveling styrofoam.

Feel free to thank me later.

L, C

Check. Check. Check 2.

Sibilance. Sibilance.


Raveled here.

To Rhinebeck

It’s been decided! We’ll be there!!! I’m not going to let a little rain or cold keep me away. Even though so many of the friends I look forward to seeing won’t be there, I need the little break. And, believe it or not, I knit a hat for Meli just for the occasion. Not gonna let that opportunity slip by. It may not be a sweater, but hell, it’s something knitted!

But first, I’ll be visiting a Retina Specialist because of a little incident I had yesterday. I was working a lot on the computer, something I haven’t done in a while, and suddenly I had this little spot in my vision that I couldn’t see past. It was like I had stared into a lightbulb or something, but it started getting bigger and then it was all jagged and flashing – think holiday lights on speed – and then bigger and bigger and I swear I was having a stroke. Luckily my mom was helping out with Meli yesterday because I was FREAKED!

And then it was gone.

I think most likely I had an opthalmic migraine. The description on the page I linked to fits the incident exactly. But just to be on the safe side, I’m having it checked out.

Never a dull moment. Hope to see you at the ‘Beck (as G’s taken to referring to it!)

To Rhinebeck, or Not Rhinebeck

That is the question. G says it’s up to me, of course, but he asks do I really want to go if it’s going to be cold AND wet? Cold is one thing – but wet too?

I actually really want to go. I’m not sure why – there’s nothing really I want to buy. Of course, there are many people I want to see so that IS the real reason, but there are lots of people that won’t be there too and is it worth it to drag my husband and baby through those wet barns?

Sure, I could leave them at the hotel and traipse around by myself, but do I want to do that either? I’ve been prepping Meli for SHEEEEEEEEP all week.

What’s the answer here? HELP!


Today is the first day of the rest of your life, or maybe, yesterday was. The end came a few days sooner than I had hoped, but Friday was the last day we nursed. And yesterday (well, now Saturday – I’m just coming back to this post) was the first day we didn’t. It went okay for Meli, as far as I can tell. She woke up and still wanted me and needed me and loved me, even though she was mad at me the night before. I, on the other hand, cried right along with her. I will miss nursing her so much it hurts. (Literally. We’ve been nursing once a day for a couple of weeks now and still my boobs feel full and slightly engorged. I hope that passes quickly. Still hurting and slightly engorged. Now it’s just getting old!)

I’m immensely proud of our nursing relationship and know that our relationship as mother and daughter will always be evolving and that the next period of our loves will be equally rewarding, fulfilling and joyful.

Rinse and repeat. I will get over this. She already has.

On to happier subjects. I’m truly beginning to LOVE our house. It’s quickly becoming a home with all of the frustrations and headaches and sweet details I try hard to remember when I’m pissed about the headaches. For instance, the other day I took a walk with Meli at the park near our house and when we arrived back to our street the ice cream man was here. Nothing says summer and home like the ice cream man. And then, I was putting back the garbage cans and I saw a cardinal sitting on the point of the garage roof. We see cardinals ALL the time. And don’t get me started on the crickets. I can open up the windows (I hadn’t opened up the windows in the apartment for over a year because of all the construction – and even then I don’t think I heard a chirp. Not one chirp) and hear those crickets go to town. Just opening the windows alone is worth the price of admission.

The house is coming together at a snail’s pace. I’ve had a lot of one step up, three miles back moments, but I’m living with it. I had a handyman come out yesterday to address the book problem (i.e. where the hell to put all of them) and I wasn’t really thrilled with his solution, so again, one step up and a giant leap backwards. Evenutally it will all be put away – or if not – we have a nice big attic and lots of storage. Ugh.

We had a block party the other day on our little street and it was a lot of fun hanging with our neighbors and getting to know everyone. The amount of children on our block is staggering and Meli will never have a shortage of playmates. She’s a bit younger than most of the kids, but so far they all love her and are very sweet with her (an abundance of 5 yr olds, it seems.) Makes me love the house even more.

Fingers crossed but it looks like we may have oldsay the partmentay. Don’t want to tempt the fates. It will be such a relief to have that gone.

And I’ve been knitting. I have one repeat and the toe left to do on the first socks of my second batch of monkeys! So maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a picture on this old blog sometime soon. And maybe it will be of knitting. Rhinebeck’s only a MONTH away! Meli’s head is going to explode this year. SHEEP! SHEEP! SHEEP! BAAAAAAAAAAAA!

L, C

The Giggly Girl

Meli’s feeling all better!

Laughing Just to Laugh! from January One on Vimeo.

Today was really the day she was totally back to herself. I’m feeling a whole lot better too and Georgie’s on the mend. Christmas was nice; Meli got to meet some family that she’d never met before – that was her best gift. It was pretty mellow otherwise. Next week is shaping up to be pretty crazy with lots of visits from my mom and dad and sister and the kids. And, then, well…Thursday. I was born on a Thursday.

But back to my girl. She’s really started doing so so much! She pulls up on everything now. Her teeth have busted on through. She loves eating her finger foods and it’s crazy fun to watch her. And that laugh! She’s never been a real laugher until, well, today! Today she just couldn’t stop. I hope it keeps up.

Hope your holidays were lots of fun! Thanks!
L, C

If it’s a boy…

his name shall be PLAXICO. But only because we already have an ELI in the family.


I totally pissed my pants on the play before the final touchdown. And I finished a pair of socks! What a night!