Sunday, May 17, 2015

Knowing when to call it quits...

Today, I killed a WIP. Dead. It wasn't working for me. I tried. I tried valiantly, but in the end, it had to go.

I'm still not sure what was wrong with it. It was a sock pattern I'd knit a couple of times before. I liked the yarn - the color wasn't quite me, but the hand was nice. The first time I ripped back was because I'd realized I'd knit the foot about an inch too short. The second time was because somehow I was on the wrong row after the heel was completed. I studied those socks against each other and could not find the error. I'm still not sure if the problem was with the first or second sock, or simply with the knitter.

In the end, I announced to my husband that I was simply going to throw the whole mess away, and for once, instead of encouraging me to fix it and move on, he agreed that this horse was well beaten and it needed to go. I suggested ripping it all back and gifting the yarn. He said no. The negative energy I'd twisted into that yarn would only torment the next knitter. And so, I yanked out my needles and threw the whole thing away. It was stunningly liberating. The weight lifted from my shoulders instantaneously. Now I'm on to new things.

I need to learn when to call it quits. I think I work a lot of things way past dead. Is that part of being a perfectionist?

Strains of Kenny Rogers now haunt my thoughts... "You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run."

Friday, May 1, 2015

New Pattern Available: Moontrimmer

Fastest way to get anywhere is by broom, but what if you want to fly to the moon?  Simple, grab a Moontrimmer broom and attain previously unimaginable heights and greater successes. Flying higher since 1901.

Finished Measurements and Yarn Requirements will vary based on your yarn & needle selection as well as chosen number of Body Chart repeats. As a general guide I offer the following:

Sizes / Blocked Dimensions:
Small: (7 body chart repeats) 54” wide x 23” deep
Large: (10 body chart repeats) 75” wide x 31” deep

Yarn Requirements:
Small: Approximately 490 yards of fingering weight
Large: Approximately 980 yards of fingering weight

Shown in Fino (color: 419 Brass Button) by Manos del Uruguay (490 yards/448 meters per 100g – fingering weight – 70% Merino, 30% Silk)

Needles: Size 4 (3.5mm) 40-47” circular needles
Note: For cast on and setup, I prefer to work on either short straights or DPN’s.  It provides more control and less clutter, allowing you to establish your setup with more stability.

Supplies: Cable needle, tapestry needle for weaving in ends, and row counter may be helpful.

Gauge: Approximately 24 sts in pattern = 4” (10cm).  Your gauge will vary depending on your yarn and needle choice.

  Ravelry $5.00 USD

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Store, A Brand, An Adventure!

Dye Monkey Yarns Etsy store is officially open! And my Ravelry account has been upgraded to Yarnie status so that my brand is officially recognized by Ravelry.

Come join the adventure!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The BIG Announcement!

I'm very excited to announce my latest adventure...
Dye Monkey Yarns!

I have a new blog specific to my hand painted and dyed yarns over at where I will be announcing all things yarny including new products, Etsy shop updates, yarn sales and clubs, as well as pattern releases that feature my yarns.

Come play with me!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

New Pattern Available: Swift River Cowl

Twisting and turning alongside the equally winding Kancamagus Highway, the Swift River feeds the dense trees whose leaves transform from summer greens to breathtaking shades of yellow and red just as autumn’s temperatures turn crisp.  Pull on the Swift River cowl, hop on your motorcycle and wind your way along the river and through the woods.

Finished Measurement:
This cowl is knit in the round with no seaming.  Directions are given for a 26” circumference cowl with a height of 13”.  This pattern is easily adaptable.  To change circumference you need only cast on more or fewer stitches in multiples of 12.  Changes in height are achieved by working more or fewer vertical repeats of the lace chart.

Yarn Requirements:
Necessary yardage will vary with any sizing customization you choose to execute.
Approximately 380 - 410 yards were required for the 26” circumference/13” tall cowl as instructed.

Shown in Shalimar Yarns, Zoe Sock
(450 yards/100grams, 4 Ply – Fingering, 100% Australian Superwash Merino, color: Sapote).

Recommended Needles:
Size 4 (3.5mm) 32” (80cm) Circular needle or size required to get gauge.

Tapestry needle for weaving in ends.  Cable needle.
Stitch markers and row counter may be helpful.

Approximately 28 sts / 36 rows = 4” (10 cm) in stockinette stitch in the round.

 Ravelry $2.50 USD

Saturday, April 11, 2015

New Pattern Available: Aliqua Duo

Any two competitors can become a team and any two teams can become competitors.  Want to show support for your team but want something with a little more pizzazz than that logo’d cap and scarf? Worked in garter stitch with simple increases and decreases, you could whip this up while watching the game, and end up with something distinct, classy and still full of team spirit.

Finished Measurement:
Measurements will vary depending on how strongly or subtly you block your finished piece.  Approximately 74” x 14.5”

Yarn Requirements:
100 g each of two colors (A & B) Worsted Weight
Shown in Malabrigo Yarn Rios
(210 yards/100grams, 100% merino, colors:
66 Lavanda (A) & 138 Ivy (B)).

Recommended Needles:
Size 8 (5mm) 40” circular or size required to get gauge.  Please note – gauge is flexible, but yardage will vary

Tapestry needle for weaving in ends.

Approximately 18 sts / 23 rows = 4” (10 cm) blocked

 Ravelry $2.50 USD

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

WIP strategy fail

Sometimes things just don't work out, no matter how good our intentions.

I've been working hard to get my WIP pile down. One of the strategies I've been employing is the 15(ish) minutes a day(ish), in which I focus on one WIP for a short period of time to eat away at the task. I've been focusing on completing a second sock for about 2 weeks now. To make this seem more successful, I was NOT comparing my progress against the first sock.

Fail. This "not comparing" so as to be surprised by my progress was not a good strategy.

I discovered my fail during my lunch break at work today. I was knitting along in the sun, feeling very proud of myself that I'd made such progress. I knew I was very close to the end of the leg on this toe up pattern and finally chose to pull out the first sock to compare. I was sure I was going to be finishing a cuff over tomorrow's lunch and celebrating the completion of another beautiful pair of socks. NOPE; not unless I shorten one of my feet by an inch and a half. UGH. I started the heel too soon on my second sock, and the only way to correct it is to rip out the entire leg and heel, back to the foot.

I'm horribly disappointed. So much so that I seriously considered throwing the whole project in the trash. I've also considered simply ripping out both socks and putting the yarn back into my stash.

My husband is very supportive. He says I should just rip back and do it right, which is ultimately the right answer, but I am concerned about how well this yarn will rip back. This yarn is a 80% wool / 20% nylon, but it is incredibly soft... almost feels like it has some cotton content.

I think this project is headed for time out until I find strength enough in my heartache to make a solid decision.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Tax Evasion

I do my own taxes. Every year I buy the software and spend my weekends preparing - piling up receipts, adding totals, gathering W-2's, 1099's, etc. and making notes. Eventually I sit down and plug all the data into the software. Then I walk away. I never submit the taxes first time around. I simply don't trust myself. I take a week or two off from the project and let the numbers and paperwork just sit. Then I go back, well rested with a clear head, and review all of my entries to be sure I didn't make any mistakes. I live in fear of the almighty audit.

I have NO reason to be afraid of being audited. I have every receipt, copy, and form from the past 8 years stored away in marked folders, far in excess of the recommended retention. I don't take any chances and don't guess. If I question anything, I ask questions and research until I'm comfortable I'm compliant. And yet, I'm still nervous. I sort of believe the IRS wants everyone to feel the way I do. The way they word questions and lines on the forms leaves me at a loss. According to a study conducted by the US Department of Education and the National Institute of Literary, 32 million adults in the US can't read - a full 14% of the population, and 21 percent of adults read below a 5th grade level. Someone needs to send a memo to the IRS!  I read quite well, and I still do not understand half of the language on these forms, which is part of why I buy software to spoon-feed me through the process. And even then, the software often takes ambiguity to a new level.

So, this is a knitting blog. WHY?!?! am I talking about taxes?

Ha! Tax evasion, of course.

This is the weekend I'm supposed to be doing my last review before submitting. So far, I've gotten groceries, done laundry, had a haircut, done dishes, taken myself out to lunch, finished a new knitting pattern design, written the pattern for said new design, sent it off for testing, started blocking a shawl, repotted several house plants, taken the winter divider door off the mud room (spring is here afterall), weeded the garden, washed the basket I collect my garden produce in, set up not one, but two crockpots full of porkbutt for shreading, visited my chickens, collected eggs, read, cleaned, updated my annual yardage tracking, updated my Ravelry stash tracking, refilled a soap pump, washed a mirror, gone through old coats and determined what needed to be donated, dusted, and now I'm typing a blog entry. I'm seriously considering baking bacon for the work week and perhaps making a batch of cupcakes. There is also an opportunity to go plant carrot seeds in the garden, and the dog could really use a bath and shave.

No, I haven't reviewed my taxes yet.

Of course, had I simply done the review first thing this morning, it would be done, but look at ALL the things I accomplished by avoiding this one chore.

Now if I simply substituted working on my WIPs for all these chores, and pushed this off for the allowed 10 more days, I might finish my WIPs pile...

Yeehaw! The dryer just buzzed. I've got laundry that must be folded.

Psst, yeah, you read that right... new design coming ;) 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Coupon Code

Psst… coupon code: Spring1540 will get you 40% off any/all of my Ravelry patterns that have a lace stitch. Pass it on! Ends 03/31/15.