Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Knitting Again!

Hey all y'all! I've missed you! Yesterday I checked off a major box on my to-do-list, which is a load off everyone's mind. That means we can breathe for a second and I can update the blog. :) Then it's back to the grindstone. :P

I've been knitting, but it's all been so slow-moving, there hasn't been much to share! I think I do still have a pile of FOs to show you from way back in December and maybe beyond, but I promise they will appear soon!

I've been finishing lots of WIPs from years past. It feels amazing to finish the things, but working on them has been nothing short of torture. This is mostly because I'm also trying to be monogamous(ish) with the projects and they are almost all stockinette sleeves. Ugh!


This week marked the end of endless fingering weight stockinette sleeves and the beginning of some worsted lace ones. The difference is magical! I can't believe how fast this sleeve is working up! If you have an amazing memory, you might recall that I frogged these sleeves about a year and a half ago in the interest of a well-fitting sweater. That sweater should be realized as soon as this weekend (you know, 6 years too late...)!

Friday, I'll reveal either a newly finished minty sweater or a finished-a-couple-weeks-ago flannel dress. Or both! The sun has decided that staying up later than 5:30 is the cool thing to do, which I really appreciate. :)

What are you guys working on? Are you snowed/iced in? I've enjoyed many knitters' Instagram photos of snowed-in knits. I'm hoping for a snow day tomorrow myself, but it will take more than 6-9 inches to get the university to throw in the towel.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

My Go-To Sweater

I've been so busy trying to keep all of my resolutions this year that I haven't had time for any of the blog resolutions! It has me fuming, really. I'm working my butt off and I'm still behind on everything. :P I owe you some knitting FOs, my sewn dress(!), a video tutorial of German short-rows on short-row sleeve caps (we have to wait until the next short-row-sleeved sweater, but it won't be long! And the sun will exist by then!), and more teasers about the up-coming not-so-hard-to-figure-out special event in May.

So in the interest of curing my angst and not disappearing completely off your blog feed, I'm posting a midnight post with pictures you've probably seen before. They are weird ones too. Sorry about that. :S

This is prompted by a blog post from Karen Templer of Fringe Association. She wanted to know earlier this week what knit her readers couldn't live without. It was a particularly timely post because that very same day I was wearing a sweater I never thought I'd wear much. I didn't particularly like knitting it because the wool was super unpleasant and the sweater pattern isn't especially drool-worthy, just functional and clean. I'm a bit of a knitting show-off sometimes, if you haven't noticed. I need some pizzazz!


Yet I wear it all the time. I often stand in my closet and think, "I want to wear a hand-knitted sweater. Which one?" And it wins probably 80% of the time. It isn't fussy. Some sweaters I'm always tugging or fluffing the collar or adjusting the sleeves but this one just...fits.


As terrible as the wool was to knit with, it's absolutely comfortable to wear even without an under layer (it's too hot for a layer). It is scratchy, but not uncomfortably so. I am not particularly sensitive to scratchy wool, though. Except when knitting with it, I guess.

Here's the original post with the Ravelry project page linked if you want yarn and pattern info, though the pattern is heavily modified, if memory serves.

What is your go-to sweater? Did you know it would be your wardrobe staple or did it just happen to grow on you?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Schedules Bringin' Me Down

School started yesterday. Trying to figure out a new schedule to accommodate all my resolutions for the year has been a bit stressful, but I'm on the right track. I think I just need to hit the point where I have a million fewer things to do and then it'll be smooth sailing! My goal for that day is Friday. Wish me luck....

Last week I was away and too busy with my family to remember to post anything. I can totally show you what I was working on, though. My grandma was helping me sew! I'm starting with the most complicated pattern ever, but between the two of us, we figured out most of it and got my pieces all cut out. I just need to tend to some knitting before I dive in. I'm hoping this weekend will be a sewing weekend.


I've enjoyed the process so far. It's like a puzzle that I only theoretically know how to put together. It's very philosophical, the more I think about it. And describes most everything I know. I can tell you how to do things, but that doesn't mean I've ever done it before. Like entrelac or those Beekeeper hexipuffs: I've never done it, but someone explained it to me once, so I get it. I could do it. I think. Right?


Weirdly, it's figuring out how to transfer important marks from the pattern pieces that's holding me up. Fabric pen? Pins? just sew through the pattern pieces? That and deciding whether I trust my machine to baste. Those are dumb things to hold me back, but I get hung up on the small stuff all the time. In any case, I hope to have an update or an upset to share with you next week.

What do you think: knowing how to do something and having done that thing...the same thing? Should we maybe all try those things we think we know how to do just to make sure?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy New Year!

I know it was a week ago, but still..I'm hoping it's a great year for you. :)

This is where I would normally do a year-in-review type of post, but last year wasn't really my proudest as a knitter. Something weird happened last summer and, despite my May KAL, I doubled my WIPs and the number hasn't diminished much even now. This year it'll all change. I turned 29 yesterday and I'm looking to shape up in many ways this year, get myself in order before I turn 30. There are lots of things I need to check off the list this year, so here are my resolutions (knitting first, then personal):

Finish the WIPs!
Become a monogamous knitter again (a little cheating might be allowed)
Continue stashing-down
Get rid of the knits I never use

Get into a religious blogging habit
Extend the blog to either a podcast or YouTube account
More knits and more bunnies on Instagram (tie it to the blog better)
Work before play (a.k.a. take care of business, as John says: T.C.o.B.)
Get in shape (run/work-out)

This is going to be a big year. I know it in some sense, but feel it in other ways. I want to step up my game to reflect the bigness I feel. I hope I can rise to the occasion. :/

I've been off to an awesome start this year as far as the knits go. I've completed four projects (all monogamously knit) since the first and I should have a two-year-old (and two-year-old's) blanket finished by Monday. The momentum I've built just in those small victories really has me amped up to finish things and finish them quickly. I do want to start some new things, after all. :)

Only a skein and a half left now!
Monogamous knitting will help me manage all the other hobbies I've picked up and juggled poorly in the last few years: blogging, the dolls, sewing, photography, and (most importantly) school. I'll need the extra time to organize a big surprise John and I spontaneously decided to schedule in May. :)

I can't wait to continue sharing the making with you all this year and to share the rest of my big year with you all! Thank you all so much for your continued support over the last and previous years. It really means the world to me. I hope any enhancements I plan make for the blog will make Bunnies and Bettas a really great place to visit moving forward!

Here's to the new year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Sun Came Out

Hello friends! Long time no blog! I've written a few posts, but it's been so dark and cloudy, I haven't been able to take any pictures to go with them. :P It's like we live in Mordor over here! I've seen the sun twice in the last three weeks! Christmas was one of those days, so that was a nice gift.

I hope you all had a fabulous holiday, whichever ones you observed. Ours was quiet and relaxed. I'm still knitting Christmas presents like a little elf, though. I have a lot left and a deadline that's creeping up fast (nope, it wasn't Christmas!).


Today and yesterday, I conquered the monumental task of moving my yarn stash around. John's been on a shelf-building kick, which wrapped up with new yarn shelves for me. Yay! I don't have as much unused yarn as I thought I did. I have a ton of partial skeins, but those are living somewhere else for now. :S


I like the idea of getting up and plucking the yarn I want from the shelf instead of having to recall my weird organizational system (and the exceptions to it) and digging through boxes and tubs of yarn. I'm hoping to continue my destashing in the coming year. This will help me keep track of it. Though I'll have to find a new use for some of the shelves when I begin to run low on yarn (HA!).


I'm sure (I hope) after the gift-knitting season you are all diving into selfish knits! What are you working on to keep you warm in this burst of cold weather?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sweater Stacking

Hello, dear readers! I hope my American friends had a fabulous Thanksgiving last week and that my international friends had a great week!

The lack of sunlight is hindering my blogging a bit because I'm not typically home when the sun is available for photos. :P I have been knitting and working on various things, though.

My in-progress knits have been unceremoniously dumped in wretched a pile next to the futon since this summer. It was really starting to wear on me, so I thought I'd do something about it. My first thought was to neatly fold the projects and stack them so that the least finished were on the bottom and the closest to finished were on top. That way, I can glance to my left, think, "Hey, this sweater just needs a neckband," and pick it up to finish it.


Turns out it works! As I was stacking the projects (sweaters, mostly), I thought those very thoughts and I finished a couple of them. I have a large order of Christmas knits, all the same item, so I know I'm going to be glancing longingly at this carefully arranged stack and wanting to knit on anything but those items from time to time. :) I'm hoping that desperation for anything else will result in lots of finished sweaters! It's ridiculous to have so many so close to being done. It's cold, dammit! Let's wear these things already!

I've had a bit of wrist pain as of late, so I've refrained from knitting, even though I don't think it is knitting-relating. It's feeling much better, so I'm going to do some housework now and then cast on a Christmas present for one of my brothers to knit when my Wednesday tv shows come on. :)

Are you making holiday gifts this year? What do you watch while you holiday-craft? If you are interested in some good company and some good holiday movie recommendations (some are wholly unrelated to any holiday, but still fabulous), pop on by the Christmas Movie KAL thread in the Very Shannon group and join us!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Different Stitches

I've been doing some sewing!  I started with a couple bags a while ago and a pouch or two before that, so I thought I'd jump right in to designing and sewing a doll dress. Best idea...? Eh....

Actually, it might have been!


I modeled it after this Cabbages & Roses dress because I figure if I can get it right in doll size maybe I'll be able to make one for myself some day instead of having to shell out $440. :S The goofy puckers in the front there are the only part that didn't come out quite right. I should have notched a corner or something. The most amazing thing is that it fits her.

It suits her. I was afraid it would look a bit...home-ec-y or something. The length helps


The next logical step, then, is to sew something for me! I've had the Washi Dress pattern for a while, but the fabric I bought is really nice and I don't want to mess it up, so I bought a Japanese sewing book and some sale Jo-Ann's Fabric flannel shirting to make an adorable, loose-fitting "practice" dress.


Admittedly, a Japanese sewing book probably isn't the best way to practice because the instructions are rather minimal (I've failed spectacularly at Japanese sewing patterns before), but I've read through them a few times and I think I've got them figured out. I have no idea how I'm going to sew top stitches 1/16" from the edge of the fabric without the machine eating it, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. :)

Right now I'm stuck at the washing the fabric and the tracing the pattern pieces stages. I'm not even close to cutting out the pieces yet! Sewing's hard, guys. So much prep. All you have to do to prep for knitting is wind a ball of yarn. :P Don't be looking for a finished dress soon is all I'm saying.

What are you guys working on? Any big crafting plans for this lazy Thanksgiving week?

Constance posted her Blog Hop post and it's fantastic, so go check it out! I suggest you follow her on Instagram or tumblr if you want to watch her work unfold. It's really beautiful. Eliza said she'd try to do a Blog Hop post too, so keep your eyes peeled!