Friday, May 31, 2013

Finished Object Friday - Batman Square

I'm Batman!  No not really, I have been working on several super hero squares throughout the past year and I finished another one this weekend.  In the past, I made AquamanGreen Lantern, and Superman.  This is the fourth in the series for a Justice League Blanket.

These squares play into my idea for a Justice League Blanket.  The blanket is made of 6 squares for super heroes, 6 solid color squares and 3 squares to represent The Big Bang Theory.  At this time, I have 3 solid color squares complete and was able to join 3 squares in the design.

The Blanket Design

While, I designed some of the previous squares, this one had an existing chart and so I dove in.  This square was relatively easy.  There were only two colors and I was able to carry the colors on the back for the most of the design. I flubbed around the ears and had to do some quick recalculating to make it all work.


I think this was easier than the Superman square but I needed some time to do other things before I was ready to work on this again.

Check out more Finished Objects at Tami's Amis!

Pattern - Batman Logo Chart
Needles - Size 7/4.5 mm with 24 inch cables
Yarn - Comfort Solids & Heathers, in Primary Yellow, and Liquorice
Duration - 2 days
Size - 60 stitches by 60 stitches
Gauge - 5 stitches per inch

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Superheroes

I have been hard at work this week and weekend.  I was off from work last Friday (and the rest of the weekend) and mostly spent the day doing laundry, reading and knitting.  I got all of my laundry washed and dried but I still have baskets of clothes to fold and hang.  I hate that step.

Since most of my weekend was spent knitting here is my update:

Candy Skein Leftie

Lucky Shawl at Primanti Bros for the Pens/Sens Game 5
The shawl was out and in progress during Wednesday and Friday's games.  As soon as the knitting bag was opened, they scored.  I know it sounds crazy but us superstitious fans must do their part too.

Since I am in hockey withdrawal until Saturday (when the Pens take on the Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals) I decided to save the lucky shawl until the new series starts.  Those are going to be nail biters that will need the lucky shawl.

Juego Sin Fin en el Verano (Endless Juego in Summer)

I did another section of Clue Two of my Juego.  Now that all of the clues are out, the shawl looks really nice completed though I wonder where I will ever wear this shawl.  It's really not to my taste.  Perhaps I will give it away to my grandmother when it's done.

Justice League Filler Squares

Just a Blue Square

Since I was set aside my Leftie until the next series, I decided to work on the filler square that has been in progress since December (oops!).  This was just a plain blue square of 60X60 stitches but they are very important for the Justice League Blanket I have planned.  As of right now, I have the Red, Orange and Blue Squares complete.

Instead of jumping straight into another solid square I started to look at my plans and decided to put some squares together and see how the join would work.

A little bit of progress really motivates you

Once I started to weave in the seams I became really pleased with the result.  This method as shown in the video above does not show the join and it just looks like I switched yarns.  There is a bit of a ridge on the back but I am going to put a back on the blanket to hide all of the yarn tails and seams.

When this was done, I decided to start and ultimately finished another super hero square which I will show on Friday.  Now all that's left of this column is one solid green square.

Anyway, that was my week.  Hope yours is going well.


For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis and Frontier Dreams

<3 Heather

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Beautiful and Bright

I often think of my blog on my way to work on Wednesdays.  As I drive across a bridge, the colors often inspire what I start my post about.  Today, the colors were just so vivid.  The trees are finally at their greenest and the pale blue sky just made the color stand out.  The bright orange of the construction sign contrasted with the blue steel of the bridge and the red car in front of me.

Anyway, these colors are great examples of why I love colorful projects.  I love using the rainbow of colors at my fingertips to make something beautiful and bright.

Candy Skein Leftie

Let's Go Pens!
Well my lucky Leftie got a bit larger this week and the Pittsburgh Penguins advanced to a 2-1 lead over the Ottawa Senators.  I did knit on it during the third game but with a minute left I put it away because I thought we were going to win.  Clearly it needs to be out and in progress during the entire game.

Juicy Hitchhiker

Pretty Pink and Purple Hitchhiker
So I have mentioned this shawl when talking about Tropical Ginger Hitchhiker but I haven't had a chance to get a good picture or much work on it.  Thankfully, I had a lot of time yesterday where I worked on at the Election Polls.  We didn't have a great turn out for our local primary but I had 15 hours where I had to occupy myself and reading and knitting were my favorite options.  I needed something easy that could be picked up and put down and this shawl fits those requirements.  I also worked on a solid Justice League Square as well.

There was a part of me that wanted to finish the other hitchhiker but it is still benched.  Honestly it had better be late June before that thing is worked on again.  (read: Stanley Cup Finals are in the middle of June)

Juego Sin Fin en el Verano (Endless Juego in Summer)

I am working on the Juego Knit-A-Long with SpaceCadetCreations in Celeste base.  The colors are Endless Summer and Burnt Clay.  The Endless Summer was a Yarn Alliance exclusive from last September.  I love the green blue and orange that is weaving it's way around clue one and clue two is starting to grow on me.  I wasn't too keen on the clue at first but seeing the later clues has enabled me to keep working on it.  The burnt clay is really lovely and I just love squishing the ball I wound.

I have kept my swift and yarn winder in my car as well as my Maryland yarn to avoid the temptation to start all the projects but I really need to bring it in soon.  Anyway, I put two large Pens tumblers on the floor and stretched the yarn around it to wind the ball for this project.  It worked fairly well.  I tried it again for Leftie and it was a bit messy (Huge honking knots)!

Anyway, that was my week.  Hope yours is going well.


For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis and Frontier Dreams

<3 Heather

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WIP Wedneday - Hockey Knitting

After watching game 1 last night of the Pens/Senators series, I have calmed down a bit.  The series is still going to hard fought and gritty but I liked the Pens play last night better than anything in the first series against the Islanders.

As I mentioned in my first playoff post, I really got into crochet and knitting during the 2009-2010 season because it was just enough distraction that I could watch the game but not get so invested that the vein in my forehead would pulse.

In all seriousness, it was bound that I would knit because I really liked to crochet but wanted to learn something new, so here we are 4ish years later and I am still working on new and interesting things.  But as any knitter in the Pens Rav Group will tell you, superstition is a very tricky thing.

Tropical Ginger Hitchhiker

Ooo Stripes!

During the first series, I picked up the Hitchhiker.  I had already started it and it's turning out really pretty and the pattern is super easy.  So why switch when one project is close to being done.  I have 32 teeth done and need to get to at least 42.

As the series went on, the Pens play was mediocre but I kept knitting and watching.  During the last game, I got so exasperated  I put my knitting down and picked up my ipad and started to read a book because it could block out the screen.  It wasn't an immediate recovery, but they ended up wining.  When I then thought back to the other games the Pens won, the hitchhiker was no where near my fingers when they played well.  So into the craft bag for you dear shawl.  See you on non- game days.

Candy Skein Leftie

So last night, I picked up the Leftie to knit the last part of the green leaf.  I had worked on it a bit last Thursday but didn't finish the row.  I wanted to finish the row and then I was going to go back to the hitchhiker.  However, when I looked up at the game while my hands worked the stitches I noticed the play on the screen.  These were not the pod penguins that showed up in series 1 these were the guys I knew and loved.  So my hands kept knitting.  I worked on that shawl all night.  Back and forth I went in the grey and the team was very dominant in the offensive zone.

Here is what has been accomplished so far

As they played, I realized I just found my playoff knitting.  But there is some credence to this project.  Tami from CandySkein is a Pens fan and since she dyed the yarn there was definitely good juju on the yarn.  Seriously, these things matter!

I know to those who may not follow the sport, this account seems a little silly but as hockey fans we are very superstitious.

It's only weird if it doesn't work!  (I know it's about football but it still applies here!)

Okay that's better.

#LETSGOPENS  For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis and Frontier Dreams

<3 Heather

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

And the stress just escalated to epic levels....Round 2

I just recovered from the first round and the second round starts tonight...way to give us fans a breather.  I have no idea what to think of with this series because the Pens did not perform the way I had hoped.


Here is a quick series recap:

Image from Islander's Wikipedia Page

Opponent:  New York Islanders
Game 1: NYI 0 - PENS 5
Game 2: NYI 4 - PENS 3
Game 3: PENS 5 - NYI 4 (OT)
Game 4: PENS 4 - NYI 6
Game 5: NYI 0 - PENS 4
Game 6: PENS 4 - NYI 3 (OT)

The series was back and forth.  The Pens were hot and shut down the team in 2 games and did just enough to win in the two over time wins.

The Islanders came out with no expectations and that is the scariest kind of team. Many thought the series would be a sweep but the pesky and talented team came to play and gave the Eastern Conference Leaders a run for their money.

In the 2010 playoffs, the Pens were surprised by a Montreal team that steam rolled the Capitals and trapped the Pens.

In the 2011 playoffs, the Pens made the playoffs despite Malkin out with an MCL injury and Crosby sidelined with concussion symptoms.  My expectations were not high but the team couldn't close out the series and Tampa Bay moved on.

Last season in the 2012 Playoffs, the Flyers just made my blood boil.  They instigated chaos and in return got the Pens away from their game.

In comparisons to the past couple of playoffs these games felt different.  There were flashes of brilliance and then tons of mistakes.  The series was really won in the special teams.  The power play was on point and the penalty kill really kept the games close.  All in all, this series added a few more gray hairs on my head.

My dad got to watch a practice this season.  This is Dad with Matt Nisknanen and Craig Adams

I think the funniest thing that I will remember from the series was during Game 6, I was at home watching the game with my dad.  We were synchronized with our comments during the game (read: swearing at the team)  There were moments at the exact same time the same curse word would leave our mouths.  Then we yelled at the announcer to call the game rather than give us some inane fact that didn't matter the play on the ice.

So as I gear up for the Senators in the next series tonight I am anxious and nervous but I wouldn't want it any other way.


<3 Heather

Sunday, May 12, 2013


One of my favorite things are the wake up sounds during spring.  Before you open your eyes but are conscious  I love the sound of the trees rustling in the breeze, the birds chirping and even the sound of a spring rain. Your ears tell you that the sun is shinning and the sky is blue before you even open up your eyes.  How can you wake up and be grumpy to that?

I can't though it does make me want to curl under the covers and close my eyes and listen for the rest of the morning and make me late for work.  As I walk into work most days in May, I am just struck by the beauty of it all.  The green of the trees and the blue sky.  The bold primary colors that make up our world.  It just makes me smile.

Lilacs from the bush in the back yard of My Dad's house.
But today, I remembered that I didn't get to appreciate spring let alone May last year.  Instead I was working the night shift and would only get a glimpse of the world waking up from winter before I crashed and woke up in the afternoon.  Before I knew it, the weather had warmed up into the heated summer months.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I content and happy.  Today is Mother's Day and it isn't as hard as last year.  I still miss my mom everyday but I know that I am blessed with great people in my life that have been filling the holes losing my mother has created.

My Aunt.

Aunt Suzie
We have grown closer and I wouldn't have been able to get through everything that happened without her.  She and my mom had their differences but they loved each other fiercely   Last year when I worked the night shift I would call her on my way to work to check in and just talk to someone before I spent the night awake answering calls.  I think we have been strong for each other and that has meant so much to me, even when she volunteers me to make funnel cake batter at the church festival :)


Carol is a friend of the family from church and while she has a family of her own, she took us all under her wing.  She and mom were partners in crime when it came to the baskets at the church festival and other things mom wrangled them into.  I know that my mom's passing really affected her but I think taking us in as her own helped all of us.  I would call Carol when I just needed someone to cry too and didn't want to upset my dad.

Aunt Becky and Francy

Aunt Becky was my mom's best friend from childhood.  She is a nurse and a wonderful human being.  Francy is her older sister and together they have been such a huge part of my life.  They watched me when I was a cubby baby when my grandfather passed away.  They always get the most amazing things from birthdays and christmas (even though they are Jewish) and always took to on great adventures.  I have fond memories of antiqueing and going to yarn sales to find cool new things for their home.  Aunt Francy spanned my love of science fiction.  Seriously I was watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 when I was like 6.  They are a super special part of my life and I don't know what I would do without them.

Jenn, Samie, Sarah, Lucy and Becky

Really my friends are wonderful.  While not mothers, they were more than capable of filling the void of friendship that I lost with my mom.  I told my mom pretty much everything.  She was my sounding board when I needed advise or when I needed advise to give my friends.  In turn, my friends are the glue that keep me together sometimes.  Thinking about what they mean to me makes me tear up but that's just how it is.

All of you who read the blog, are friends with me on Ravelry and have come into my life in this past year and a half.

I wanted to take a minute to thank you as well.  You have no idea what your kind words and comments have meant.  I have taken your advise about how to remember my mom.  I started periodically journaling things that are going on in letters to my mom.  I have taken comfort in your thoughts and prayers for me.  I wish there was a better way to say this but thank you.  If I could sky write it or post it on a billboard I would but I wanted you to know how much it all means to me.

Honestly,  there are so many people who have been there for me who helped to fill those gaps and to you I say Thank you.

<3 Heather

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

WIP Wednesday - WIP-ogamy

Hello everyone, I hope the week has been treating you well.  I think the yarn fumes in my head have finally disapated and now the little devil on my shoulder are starting to tell me to cast on all the things.

Cast on all the Things!  From
with inspiration from Hyperbole and a Half

So instead of casting on all the things, I am practicing a little WIP-ogamy.  Yes that's right, I am using restraint and trying to get some of the projects that have been on the books for awhile done.
Call it spring cleaning, call it lazy but I just want to get this stuff done and show everyone the wonderful things I have made.

But it's hard!  Really hard!  Did you see my post on Tuesday?  All of that pretty yarn that is just calling to be wound and cast on.  Thankfully, I left my swift and ball winder in the car from a yarn winding party with Samie from NotYourGramsAfghan.

So while tempted, I haven't brought the equipment in to wind the yarn and my laziness is my only saving grace.

Now on to what I working on.

Tropical Ginger Hitchhiker

Oh it's so stripy and shiny!
So this has been the main project as of late.  It's super easy to keep track of where I am going because the pattern is a 4 row repeat and I can count the stripes!  I have 30 teeth done so far.  I am supposed to stop at 42 but I don't see that happening.  I am just going to knit until I run out of yarn!

Look at all of the teeth!

Overall, I got so many compliments on this while I worked on it at Maryland Sheep and Wool.  It's so simple but is so stunning at the same time.  I do have another Hitchhiker in the works as well.  It's a solid colored shawl using SpaceCadetCreations yarn in the Estelle base.  It's a lovely Rosey Pink Color called Juicey but alas I don't have a picture yet.

Candy Skein Leftie

Isn't it lovely?
Every new leaf becomes my favorite.  I am so happy to knit this shawl but it hasn't gotten as much attention as it should have.  Since the Hitchhiker is so easy, I just keep working on that.

Such pretty colors!

Anyway, since my last update, I have 2 more leaves done and another ready to start.

Hue Shift Afghan

I don't have a picture but I did complete a new square with the peach color to start a new row.  I am trying to challenge myself to get 3 squares done a week.  We will see how that goes.

So that's about it.  I can't guarantee that I won't start something this weekend but I am going to try and get these done first.

Well that's it for this week.    For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis and Frontier Dreams

<3 Heather

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Maryland Sheep and Wool 2013

Hello all, I have been having a great week so far but really I think it's the left over yarn fumes from this weekend.

This past weekend, I was at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.  This was my first year there and I had a blast.  I traveled with Samie from NotYourGramsAfghan and our friend Alyse from our knit night.  We are all about the same age and had a blast on the drive to and from Maryland listening to music and talking.  Seriously, I cannot not listen to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' Can't Hold Us without giggling.  I put my hands up every time they mentioned it in the car, even though I was driving.  Try not to smile or bounce your head while listening to these guys.

So I know what you're thinking...get to the yarn!  Okay okay, be prepared for picture overload.

Ooo the coveted bag!

So let me show you what's inside of the bag.

Look at all of the pretty yarn!
So I have plans for all of this.  I got 2 Color Affection kits from Miss Babs.  One is for a traditional Color Affection and the other is for Happy Street.  I also got the show colorway.

For Color Affection
For Happy Street

Show Color - Maryland 2013

DragonFly Fibers - Silver Fox
As for the rest of the yarn, most of the colors are neutrals to make stripey shawls with my stash.  I have plans for Cameo, Zeypher Cove, Cladonia, Mormorio, Twice Born, and Merging Ripples.

Cephalopod Yarns - Oleander Nymph

FiberOptic Yarns - Au Natural

Cephalopod Yarns - Pandorus Sphinx Caterpillar

I did however get yarn for Sundry.  I got 2 skeins of Bugga! from The Verdant Gryphon for that pattern.

Bugga! - Experimental Love Child

Bugga! - Longhorned Beetle

 I did get some lovely colors from Into the Whirled Yarn.  Seriously love the colors and the names are right up my speed.  I will impulse buy yarn based on the name.  Check these out.

Bigger on the Inside

Thursday, May 2, 2013

2013 - February thru April Recap

Well, I was so busy that posting here went on the back burner but I did manage to get some things done during this time.  I finished my Trillian shawl, I went to a hockey game, and started some other shawls.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

And the stress just escalated to epic levels....

Do you feel it?  Do you feel the palpitation and excitement in the city? There is a buzz and excitement that surrounds the city and pulses to it's own beat.

I have mentioned there are times of the year that are best for a sport fan.  While March Madness is a crazy time with so much basketball it makes your head spin and the Super Bowl is a great party, the NHL Playoffs are a completely different animal.

Seriously, every single time I think about the Penguins today, I have shivered in anticipation.  I am just a big ball of nerves and I am not even playing.  Yesterday started 2 months of non stop hockey.  While this condensed season has been non-stop these games are for the cup and that changes everything

Image from Wikipedia

I can't describe this feeling.  It's amazing and wonderful, and nerve wracking and heartbreaking.  I this is reason I started to knit because I needed a mild distraction so my blood pressure wouldn't spike while watching the games.

Me watching the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals

Seriously I can lose my mind while watching a game to intensely.  But I wouldn't have it any other way.  I hope to keep everyone updated on the games as well as my knitting.  I honestly have had a bit of a hiatus from knitting lately and haven't made much progress.

Video is from John Via ThePensBlog

So as we begin our game tonight, keep my sanity in mind.  #LETSGOPENS

<3 Heather