User Error!

So, I’ve had a pretty busy spring, lots of traveling between lots of places, but I knew so I thought I’d be super organized and pre-write my posts and then schedule them to post at the regular time…. except something went haywire and they didn’t post and they aren’t showing as drafts or deleted on the WordPress app…. 

I’ll work on getting the Knitter’s Almanac posts recreated and then do a big PhD round up written for the end of the month.  Then we’ll get back on track for June.

Thanks for understanding ❤


PhD Update – February

Well, I’m doing the cha-cha!

One step forward, two steps back!

First, the step forward — I finished my pine cone ornaments!  Or rather, I finished applying the cut and folded papers to three of the remaining balls and decided the final two were in fact snowballs, not pine cones, and declared myself finished!  I’ve even put them away in the Christmas decoration box so they are ready to go next Christmas when we put up the tree!

Now, the steps back — My dear friend Ethmay sent me this adorable barn owl scissor keep and needle case kit.  And, while I was waiting for Lance’s hockey game to start a few weeks ago I popped in to the Len’s Mill Store near the arena and found this sushi wallet kit.  For $2.99!  It includes all the yarn and the zipper too!  I am kicking myself for not picking up more kits, they are packaged up in little sushi take out boxes and would make lovely little gifts, either for crafters (the kit includes both knit and crochet instructions) or made up for muggles.  I haven’t started making either of them yet, but only because I have a bunch of rapidly approaching deadlines, but you can be sure I’ve been reading over the instructions and cannot wait to get started!

My top 5 knitting websites

  1. YouTube
  2. – I’m a visual learner when it comes to knitting. I find if I can see how something is done I have a better chance of being able to figure it out myself. I don’t have a favourite YouTuber, although there are many good ones, I typically search for the technique that is causing me troubles and watch two or three videos until it clicks in my brain.

  3. KnittingHelp
  4. – KnittingHelp is actually the website I learned how to knit from. The tutorials were so helpful when I was first starting out. Most techniques have a video for both English and Continental style, which is so helpful when I can only find the other style on YouTube!

  5. Knitty
  6. – I love Knitty! I don’t read the articles as often as I should, but everytime I do they are solid gold. I have kitchener stitch memorized now, but everytime I do it I *have* to pull up the Techniques with Theresa article just in case I forget how halfway through!

  7. Craftsy
  8. – While I am not a fan of the other aspects of their site, I love the on-line classes Craftsy offers.  The classes are offered in several different types of crafts.  I have several knitting, sewing and cooking classes, and have my eye on a photography class I’d like to take.  They offer a couple of free knitting classes if you want to check the style before paying for a class.

  9. Ravelry
  10. – I check Ravelry more times in a day than I should admit to! It is such a great resource in so many ways, the pattern and yarn databases, the sense of community in the different forums, the project and stash databases… there are so many wonderful aspects of Ravelry!

The Month Ahead: February 2017

The January thaw always tricks me.  In my mind I’m always thinking, “Wow, that winter was a lot easier than I thought it would be!  Now to just coast on to spring!”  And then of course, the thaw ends, winter returns (because it hadn’t really left yet) and I’m left sobbing at my winter at all that (2 cm?  Just over 1?  Really not that much) snow that happened over night.


February 2 – Useful Knitting Web Sites
February 9 – PhDs Update
February 16 – Knitter’s Almanac: February
February 23 – another cooking post I’m not quite sure about yet (thinking either bread or croissants? – if you want to read about either one of these put a comment down below)

On My Nightstand

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas on CraftLit
The Cat Came Back (Cool for Cats Book 2) on the CraftLit Premium feed
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

I finished and completely loved The Martian by Andy Weir! Mark Watney is so sarcastic and snark, ugh! I love him. I also read Diary of an AssCan: A Mark Watney Short Story, which was posted on the WHSmith web site. It’s just a little quick read that takes place before the book. If you think you want to read The Martian maybe give it a quick read, or if you really like it give it a peak, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to find it. I also listened to Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly written and read by Anthony Bourdain. I like Anthony Bourdain, whenever I see him on tv I think I should try and remember to watch his show. The book was an interesting look in to a world I have only a vague understanding of, I mean, I know how to cook well enough that Lance and I don’t starve and have a couple of knock-out dishes I can pull off when we have guests for dinner but I only lasted one afternoon working at a restaurant in high school!

On My Needles

– still chugging along on the secret project I can’t talk about. I should be able to talk soon so bare with me!

I’m done my swatch-hat for January of the Knitter’s Almanac. I decided to make it short with a pom-pom but now I’m not liking how the pom-pom (too wimpy? not as full as I wanted?) turned out so I’m debating between making another pom-pom and really bulking it up or making the hat long. Or both… It’s done in that it’s off the needles but I’m not finished with it yet.

I have decided, however, not to knit the sweater out of that yarn. The yarn is fine to knit with, I still *love* the colours, but I’m spoiled and I think it’s too scratch for me, for a sweater. It’s fine to knit with, and the hat will get a lot of wear but, I think I would find the scratchiness too much for long wear at my wrists. Which is why we do swatches and test in the first place. So, not a success in that “Yay, I found the yarn for my sweater!” but in the gaining knowledge, improving skills kind of way… so still yay!

S & P’s the way for me!

What a week!  Things are starting to settle in to a rhythm and Lance’s appointments with the sports medicine doctor have gone well so far.  They take a lot out of him, so we’re trying to take things as easy as possible.

As a special treat for him while he recovers we had barbecued steak over the weekend.  We’re normally big fans of barbecue sauce, but we were inspired to try a new method from an episode of Letterkenny of all places!

The basic plan is you take a steak (we used a t-bone), rub it with salt and pepper, grill at 450F for 2 minutes a side, flipping twice for “the good grill marks”.  Of course, on the show Wayne uses saltier language to describe the process, but I’m sure you get the gist.

It turned out really well.  I was a little cautious because I tend to prefer my steak a little bit closer to the medium side of medium rare but I ate the filet section from the photo above and it was perfect.  I can definitely see us trying this method again in the future!

The Knitter’s Almanac

If you haven’t read the Knitter’s Almanac, I highly recommend it.  In January, EZ writes about making a sweater, and gauge.

I know I’m supposed to do gauge swatches, and a lot of the time I do.  I understand how they are useful for sizing and calculating yarn requirements, learning new stitches and, yada, yada, yada…. I do them, but grudgingly.  So when EZ suggested making a hat as a gauge swatch for a sweater my ears perked up.  I never know what to do with my swatches after I’ve taken the row/stitch counts from them.  Sometimes I keep them, sometimes I frog them and reuse that yarn to cast on the project, a lot of times I lose them, so to have something useful to show for my efforts when all is said and done sounds so good to me!
I’ve been thinking about knitting a sweater.  I’ve been thinking of knitting a specific sweater.

You see, my barn coat* is wearing out.  It’s ok, I paid $5 for it 4 years ago so I got my moneys worth and more out of it, but it is my favourite coat.  So I have been on the lookout for a replacement.  And I think I’ve found one.

The Sami Sweater by Sue Flanders and Janine Kosel from Norwegian Handknits: Heirloom Designs from Vesterheim Museum has been on my radar for longer than I can remember.  I love the style of it, and I totally have a soft spot for hoodies.

Then, when we were killing time before Lance’s hockey game a few weeks back I found some beautiful lopi yarn, in neon pink and highlighter yellow, on sale!  My mind was racing, how awesome would that sweater be, in the pink and yellow (with a milder third colour and a neutral main colour), but modified to have a zipper up the front (I could learn how to do steek!), so I cast on a hat!

I used the same motif as the edge of the sweater to practise colourwork and things were going well.  I’m trying to decide if I want to make the hat slouchy or if I want to make a giant pom-pom for the top.  What do you think?

* note for city people: a barn coat is like a work coat, mine is (pink) flannel and looks like a flannel shirt over a hoodie sweatshirt.  I could probably count on my fingers the number of times I actually wore it in a barn.

The Pink Bucket of PhDs

My name is Audrey, and I am a chronic project-starter.  It has been less than an hour since I started my most recent poject.

But, I have a system!  She said, completely aware of how she is rationalizing, and totally sounds like a compulsive gambler. I have two baskets, a small wicker one which has my current WIP (work in progress), my standard tools, whatever book I’m reading right now, that sort of stuff, in it.  And a large pink plastic basket (bucket?  Thing?  Not sure), that sits in the front room, with all my PhDs (projects half done) in it.  Some projects are in there because I needed to give them a time-out so I could wrap my head around a technique, some because they weren’t the right type of project for the time (ahem, lace at Lance’s sport-ball games), some because they have a million-zillion little pieces and I can only do so many at a time, and some just because something New!Shiny! caught my eye.  Or I just didn’t feel like doing that type of craft at the time, which is a problem I’m sure other multi-craftual people also have… (right?)

Normally, I’ve been pretty good about keeping my projects corralled but the bucket is starting to get over-full, and there are some projects that have been languishing for longer than I really care to admit.  I’m ok with projects going in to and out of (and sometimes back to) the bucket, but I really want to be net decreasing the number of projects I have in progress.  I’m going to do a monthly inventory, making special notes on what gets added to the bucket (and why) and what gets removed from the bucket (and why – hopefully most will be because I finished them, not because I frogged them!)

Ready?  Let’s get down to it.

As of January I have:

  1. A latch hooked bear that just needs to be assembled – originally bought to make for my cousin’s baby.  The baby is now almost a decade old.
  2.  6 Canadian pennies (2 – 1982, 2 – 2003, 2 – 2006) to represent the years Lance and I were born, met and were married.  I really had no idea what I wanted to make with these but when Canada decided to get rid of the penny I thought I should hang on to these years to make something.  I just don’t what what that something is…
  3. My Millefleurs muff – I am an awful crocheter, so I am very slow and avoid it when I can… and once the crochet is done I need to sew all the little flowers on!
  4. My Tiered Jasmine shawl – I got about 10 rows in, and then needed the needles for another project… and promptly forgot about this one.
  5. My Evenstar – this is a gorgeous shawl, lovely yarn, wonderful pattern… I just can’t get my act together to knit it!
  6. A cross-stitch horse picture – I don’t even remember when I got this project to be honest.  I used to love cross-stitch but I haven’t done any for ages.
  7. Cute little pine cone ornaments – I found these on Pinterest and thought they would be really cute.  Got the paper cut, a lot of it even folded, then ran out of time.  And again, promptly forgot about them. 

So, that’s a lot… it’s actually more than I thought there was.  And if I’m being honest, I’m sure there’s more that’s been tucked away, set down, moved when company was coming over, and all eventually forgot about.

Time to buckle down I guess!  I know I’ll always have projects in various states of not-quite-done-yet, but I’m going to aim for a net reduction… or at least enough that it doesn’t look like the basket is going to topple over at any moment!

Lance’s socks – a plain, no-nonsense, manly kind of sock

They’re finally done!

Lance’s socks are off the needles and on his feet!

Like a lot of guys, Lance is a little shy when it comes to wearing colours so it’s a pretty big deal that this sock which has not only a solid (Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM) in colour 1510) for the cuffs/heels/toes but a variegated (See Jayne Knit Superwash Merino and Nylon Sock in Feral Child) for the main body!  I really liked working with both of these yarns and look forward to working with them again.  I’m almost sad I have some knitting obligations so I can’t just cast on another pair of vanilla socks for me with the other See Jayne Knit I have in my stash!  Ah well, it’ll just be that much sweeter when I can get to them!

Lance is pretty particular about how he likes his socks so I’m going to write down my method here so I can find it when I’m casting on for his next pair of socks. I knit the toes on three double pointed needles, switching to four needles when the toe increases are completed.  He has thick ankles, and does not like things tight around them so the leg is wider than the foot.



(Using contrast colour, knit in stocking stitch) – using Judy Becker’s Magic Cast On, cast on 16 sts on each needle (for 32 sts total)
Kfb on the first and second last stitch on each needle on every round until there are 24 sts on each needle (48 total).
Next, round 1 – kfb on the first and second last stitch on each needle, round 2 – knit around.
Repeat these two rounds until 36 stitches on each needle (72 total).
Knit three rounds even.


Switch to main colour and knit in stocking stitch for length of foot less 4 inches (for Lance this is just shy of 8 inches)


Round 1: kfb, knit until 38 sts remain, kfb, k until start of round
Round 2: k around
Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until increased 16 sts on each side (32 increases, 104 sts total)

Turn the Heel:

set up – knit 21 stitches, then switch to contrast colour, the heel is worked on the 26 centre stitches and is knit flat until the leg.
Row 1 (RS) – k until 1 sole stitch remains, w&t
Row 2 (WS) – p until 1 sole stitch remains, w&t
Row 3 (RS) – k to last stitch on sole with no wrap, w&t
Row 4 (WS) – p to last stitch on sole with no wrap, w&t
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until 14 stitches left between the wrapped stitches, ending with a WS row

Pick up the Wraps:

Row 1 (RS) – k sole stitches picking up wraps and knit together with the stitch, the last stitch is knit together with the gusset stitch through the back loop, turn
Row 2 (WS) – slip 1 purlwise, p sole stitches, picking up wraps and purling together with the stitch, the last stitch is purled together with the gusset stitch through the back loop, turn.

Heel Flap:

Row 1 (RS) – slip 1 knitwise wyib, k across to 2nd last stitch, k together with gusset stitch through the back loop, turn
Row 2 (WS) – slip 1 purlwise wyif, purl to 2nd last stitch, p together with gusset, turn.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until 82 stitches remain.


Change back to main colour and knit stocking stitch in the round until 5 inches from edge of heel.
Knit 1 round in contrast colour


Knit round in 1×1 rib for 1 inch.
Bind off using yo method.
Weave in ends, wash, bask in praise, etc.

January 2017 – the month ahead

Happy New Year!

We made it!  2016 felt like such a slog! May 2017 be full of much more brightness and light!


January 5Lance’s socks – a plain, no-nonsense, manly kind of sock
January 12The Pink Bucket of PhDs – an attempt at accountability and finishing things I start
January 19Knitter’s Almanac: January
January 26 – S & P’s the way for me

On My Nightstand

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas on CraftLit
The Cat Came Back (Cool for Cats Book 2) on the CraftLit Premium feed
The Martian by Andy Weir on Audible
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander 😉

I finished re-reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling, I love re-reading these books!  I plan to re-read the rest of the series over the course of the year.   I’ve also finished Middlemarch by George Eliot and How I Killed Pluto… by Mike Brown.  I enjoyed the books, they were both very interesting but I don’t see much re-readability in either of them.

On My Needles

Lance’s socks and a super-secret, year in the making thing I hope to be able to talk about soon!

I always have to re-engineer Lance’s socks because I never write the modifications I make down.  His socks are a combination of a few different patterns I have, with customizations for his specific needs.

In December I also knit Project Peace and I thoroughly enjoyed the process.  I like how this project made me consciously carve some time out of my day to work on it.