Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: Year in Review

A look back at 2012.

There were FOs:

1. Business Casual socks, 2. Crosswired Hufflepuff socks, 3. BMP space invaders hand knit socks, 4. Brattleboro hat, 5. Duffers, 6. Little Oak baby cardigan, 7. baby mittens, 8. baby hat, 9. Rustling leaves beret, 10. St. Michel knit socks, 11. Miette cardigan, 12. IMG_5389, 13. Jaywalker handknit socks, 14. Juneberry Triangle handknit shawl, 15. Wildflower handknit cardigan sweater, 16. Norie handknit hat, 17. IMG_5179, 18. IMG_5145, 19. IMG_5135, 20. IMG_5103, 21. IMG_4885, 22. IMG_487623. Not available24. Not available

22 of them, by my count, including 3 adult sweaters. Not bad, particularly considering my 1st trimester coma! (And it should include at least 1 more adult sweater if I am successful with WIP in the New Year Project #3!)

There were also designs and patterns:


5 this year, and more to come next!

This was also my "bloggiest" year, with over 100 posts!

And what about last year's "knitsolutions"?

I most certainly did not knit 12 pair of socks this year. I came in at half that, which is still something of an accomplishment, I think (it's 12 socks, if not 12 pair!).

And I did knit the Wildflower Cardigan, which may be my most favorite project to date:

Wildflower handknit cardigan sweater

(Thankfully, it makes an excellent maternity sweater.)

Aside from those projects, I promised to knit from stash and learn to spin.

I did get a tentative handle on my spindle; I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I can turn a wad of fiber into a strand, so that's a start.

As for stash knitting . . . well, I did some of that, but not nearly enough.

(Interested in helping me whittle down the stash? Everything here is for sale!)

I've also managed to grow a baby; I guess we'll see how he turned out in a few weeks.

Tune in tomorrow to see what crazy promises I'll make for 2013. 

And Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Under the Knitter's Christmas Tree

I have it on good authority that Santa was impressed by my behavior this year (of course!). Just look at the lovely packages he left under the tree for me:


I was so excited to find a set of ChiaoGoo interchangeable needles--I know they were hard to come by, so Santa must've worked overtime to find them. He also included some lovely yarn, and a copy of The Principles of Knitting. And a Namaste Bitty Bag to carry it all in!

And mom and dad got some good advice from Santa, and gave me a Jordana Paige Crafter's Tool Butler!


Will it help me be more organized in 2013? Let's hope so.

And then we have the exciting-yet scary-present:


A new challenge for 2013 (along with learning to use my spinning wheel. And, oh, having a baby.)

I  didn't let all these goodies distract me from WIPing in the New Year, though. I've finished project #2:


So in less than a week, I've increased my sock wardrobe by 2 pair. Not too shabby.

Friday, December 28, 2012

WIP in the New Year: Project 1

I'm pleased to announce that, so far, WIP in the New Year is a huge success. I've already finished Project #1, my Glam Hufflesocks!




Crosswired Hufflepuff socks

The pattern used is Crosswired, by Wendy Gaal, and as you can see, I opted to reverse the colors on the 2nd sock. I also used Stroll Glimmer for the black yarn, so they have a bit of shine.

If I'm being honest, there wasn't really that much to do--I'd already turned the heel on the 2nd sock. It probably took more time to figure out where I'd left off than to actually finish. Which makes me wonder why I abandoned them in the first place.

Nevertheless, they are done, and I've already moved on to Projects 2 and 3: Business Casual socks by Tanis Lavallee, and the long-awaited Dahlia Cardigan. The socks are nearly complete, but the cardigan needs a lot of work.

Are you WIPing in the New Year? How's it going?

Monday, December 24, 2012

On WIPing in the New Year

(I just tried to blog from my iPad, and it totally didn't work. Given that Apple and Google hate each other, I don't know why I thought it would.)

Dad's Christmas socks: blocking!

BMP space invaders hand knit socks

They're, uh, a bit big.

But the important thing is, they're finished.

And with that, my Christmas knitting is done.

Well, sorta.

I did start those mittens for CP, and they're not done, but, you know, I live with him. He can get his mittens whenever.

While it's tempting to cast on something new after weeks of furious Christmas knitting, I've decided instead to WIP in the New Year. December 25 - January 1, I'll be working on finishing up some WIPs, specifically 2 pair of languishing socks, my Dahlia Cardigan, and my Rocky Coast Cardigan, which still needs new sleeves. Plus, sock darning! Updates to follow.

Won't you join me to WIP in the New Year?

To all those who celebrate, a very MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and stockings full of yarn.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday Sampler: Round the Virtual Neighborhood

You've knit your fingers to the bone, it's 3 days 'til Christmas, and you still don't have gifts for everyone? Take a break from knitting (no, really!) and pop into the kitchen. Here are some last minute gift ideas that come out of the oven, not off your needles:

 Nutella Booze Balls. Coat with whatever you have on hand!

Samoas Bark. SAMOAS!

Know a baker or bread lover? Sourdough starter
(That link even includes the cute labels.)

Cranberry jam! Easy to make with a bag of cranberries. 
Or jam and can berries you froze over the summer.

Homemade mulling spices.Yum.

Homemade caramels! I made these as office gifts this year.

Now, how to wrap them all up?

 Martha Stewart has some great ideas and templates, of course.

And check out these amazing FREE gift tags, labels and other printables from LollyChops!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesdays with Dory, Christmas Edition


This is the last Tuesday with Me before Christmas, so I want to take this opportunity to wish all those who celebrate a very Merry Christmas. Also, look how cute I am under the tree!

(Kristen: Also note how spoiled she is, with a blanket under the tree, just for sleeping on.)

And, in keeping with my usual helpful attitude, let me suggest a few places that you can still order gifts from in time for Christmas!

Knit Picks is offering FREE 2 day shipping on orders of $75+, through 12/20, 9am PST. They also offer e-gift cards, which can be emailed directly to the recipient.

If you're on the East Coast, you can still order from WEBS until 12/19, 3pm EST.

Jimmy Bean's Wool also offers e-gift certificates!

Wandering Wool is still shipping for Christmas through 12/20, 3pm EST

And everyone's favorite, The Loopy Ewe, offers email-able and print-able gift certificates as well.

Don't forget, Kristen's new Hard Candy Christmas ornaments would make a great gift for someone whose Christmas tree needs a handknit touch! The pattern is FREE, and you just need scrap fingering weight yarn and some stuffing to make them!

Have a purrrrrrrrfect Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pattern Debut: Hard Candy Christmas ornaments

If your Christmas tree needs a handknit touch this holiday season, you're in luck:


These darling little candies knit up quickly, using leftover sock yarn, and they're easy to customize: bigger, smaller, striped, plain, round or square, plenty of options to liven up your holiday decor.


You could also use them to pretty-up your gift wrap or personalize holiday cards. Attach them to plain stockings to dress them up. Wear them as earrings.

Just kidding on that last one. Please don't.


A set of these ornaments would make a lovely gift for friends and family, and with ten days to go until Christmas, you have time!

Go ahead and download the pattern now!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Theoretical Thursdays: the final push

You know it's less than 2 weeks until Christmas when I have not 1 but 2 WIPs sitting on my desk at work:


(It's not like I can even work on them here; I'm hoping wishful thinking will be enough to complete them.)

So what's hiding in these bags?

In bag #1, we have my sister's mittens, Glenna C.'s Podster Gloves. These are flip-top fingerless mitts (which I've simplified even further by eliminating the individual fingers), with a flip-top thumb for smartphone use. I've reached the point where I pick up stitches for the flip-top on mitten #1, so these need a lot of work yet.


In bag # 2 we find dad's Space Invaders socks, aka, BMP from Knitty. When I went to order yarn for this project, Knit Picks was out of Stroll Sock in the colors I wanted, to I bumped it up to Stroll Sport. In traditional fashion, though, I didn't bother reworking the math for the socks, I'm just kinda winging it. I cast on 78sts, rather than 92, and worked from there. I'm also not bothering with the duplicate stitch "shooter" on the top of each foot, either. Too much work.
I've nearly completed sock 1.


It gets worse though. 

TODAY I ordered yarn for a final Christmas project. CP really needs mittens, I've decided, and somehow, in my entire stash, I couldn't find a suitable amount of worsted weight yarn. I either have enough for a sweater, or scraps. Nothing in between. So, I ordered a couple of skeins of WOTA Tweed from KP--and nothing else! My entire order was $10, including shipping! It's a Christmas miracle.

In other, completely unrelated news, I've started a new project. I really hate when a blog I love about X suddenly becomes a blog about Y. So in the interest of not turning Learner's Per-knit into a blog about childbirth, dirty diapers and teething, I've started a whole new blog. It's called There's No D#$% Stork, and you can find it right over here. It's very much a work in progress, but I expect to write about all the not-so-glamorous moments of pregnancy, childbirth and learning what to do with a baby. 

All knitting and design work will stay right here at Learner's Per-knit, where it belongs.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesdays with Dory

I don't know how I got here . . .

Dear Dory,

I spent a lot of time putting up my holiday decorations, but my cat seems determined to take them down. What can I do??

Aggravated in Akron

Dear Aggravated,

It seems like you might be new to this whole kitteh thing. Kittehs are firm believers in the old adage "What goes up, must come down." And we like to help.

But if you're determined to have nice holiday decorations, I might have a few tips for you.

First, you can try giving your kitteh a few bits and baubles to play with. If she already has a bow to bat around, she's much less likely to go stealing them off the gifts. Until she loses it, at least. 

Be sure to put sturdier ornaments on the lowest part of the Christmas tree, so when kitteh inevitably pulls them off, they won't break. And just skip the tinsel. We'll always turn it into a snack.

Try to make your kitteh associate scary noises with the decorations. If she goes near the tree to make mischief, start up the vacuum. 

Household decorations, like nutcrackers or Santa statues, may not need tape to stay in place on their own, but you could add a few pieces to discourage kittehs from playing with them. If they don't move right away when we take a swing at them, we'll probably get bored. We also hate getting tape stuck to our paws.
Or, distract your kitteh with egg nog. It's the best!

Happy holidays! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

On Winning!

The big winner of the Columbia Inn mittens pattern + yarn is  . . .


Please send me an email at mediaperuana at, so I can get your contact info and get your prize out!

Thanks so much to EVERYONE who entered the contest; as always, your support is much appreciated!

And I have a little treat in the works, a free holiday ornament pattern, which will be available later this week! Keep an eye out!

(And in case anyone was wondering, no, the raccoon has not come back. Nelly is very sad.)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

On wildlife

Warning: this post has almost nothing to do with knitting. Except at the end, where I remind you about the pattern giveaway I'm running.

This is Nelly.


While she spends 90% of her life sleeping, she occasionally suffers from brief bouts of Being Awake.

Poor thing.

And after she's eaten half her weight in kibble, she still needs to entertain herself until she can fall asleep again. 

She spends quite a bit of time at our back door, AKA, the Kitteh TV. It's a big sliding glass door, with a clear view of:

feisty leaves blowing by
confused bugs flinging themselves against the glass

She especially loves the bugs, as they'll spend hours buzzing around the door, trying to find a way in, while she bats at them, claws at them, bites at them, and generally does them absolutely no harm whatsoever, because they're separated by glass.

Last night, Nelly was making quite a racket at the door, jumping, pawing, and meowing. At first I assumed she was chasing a moth, but then I remembered that it's December, and, praise Jebus, the bugs are FINALLY gone for the season. So perhaps a rabbit or chipmunk had wandered close to the house. I got up to investigate.

I found Nelly sitting a couple feet from the door, staring way up at the top. Certainly not a rabbit. Maybe it was a moth.

(Or possibly nothing. Nelly has a very active imagination. She's one of those cats that stares at ABSOLUTELY NOTHING down a dark hallway while you're home alone, just to scare the crap out of you.)

It was dark out, and I figured turning on the light would scare away whatever it was.

So I got closer to the door.

And closer.

I was inches from the door, and I saw . . . something.

What is that? It looks like a . . . shadow? But there are no trees close to the house to cast shadows on that part of the door. And it keeps moving, bobbing up and down . . . what is it??

Ok, wait, something is coming into focus . . .

It's . . .

It's . . .


I was eye-to-eye with a raccoon, who had climbed to the top of the outside screen, and was bobbing his head up and down as I squinted my eyes, and tilted my head, trying to figure out what he was.

He didn't seem particularly bothered to find me all up in his business. I, on the other hand, was just so startled to find myself in a staring contest with a raccoon, I jumped back and shrieked, scaring him off.

I sure hope he comes back tonight.

I think Nelly misses him.

And speaking of missing things, don't miss out on the chance to win a copy of my newest pattern, the Columbia Inn Mittens, and the yarn to knit them! This giveaway ends Saturday!

Monday, December 3, 2012

On holiday giving

After spending the morning spreading the word about the Columbia Inn Mittens (oh, hey, now available on Craftsy too!), I spent Saturday afternoon at a party that was all about me and bichito: the baby shower!


It was wonderful to be able to catch up with family and friends, and bichito will be one spoiled baby, he got clothes and toys galore. One of my awesome friends even crocheted him a Harry Potter blanket--which is a great relief to me, because I was planning to try to knit one, but was overwhelmed by the very idea.

The somewhat amazing and horrifying part, though, is how much we still need to get!

For example, apparently having your baby sleep in a dresser drawer is frowned upon. So, I guess we'll have to get a bassinet.

Me and my two most eager babysitters: my sister and my goddaughter, who is somehow 19-years-old.

We have just 10 weeks to go, so I guess we'd better start shopping!


With all of the holiday excitement, baby excitement, etc., it's easy to forget that just a few short weeks ago, millions of families were affected by Hurricane Sandy, and many are still recovering. We've heard about the crazy lines to gas up cars, the flooding, and the lack of power. One of the stories I found most heartbreaking was about people's pets. Many people were separated from their pets during the storm, others can't return to their homes and need to find shelter for their pets while they bounce around houses. 

Our 2 little monsters are a part of our family. I don't know what I would do if we lost them.

The ASPCA has been working in the areas most affected by the hurricane to reunite pets and owners, and to set up temporary shelters for pets whose owners have lost their homes. It seems like a small thing, but imagine how relieved your would feel, knowing your pet is safe and sound.

This holiday season, December 1 - January 1, I'll be donating 25% of pattern sales to the ASPCA. I think they're doing amazing work, and hope they'll continue to provide hurricane victims with peace of mind, protecting their furry friends.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pattern Debut: Columbia Inn Mittens

It's pattern time!

The Columbia Inn in Pine Tree, Vermont is a fictional ski lodge that plays host to one of my favorite holiday movies: White Christmas. The curtain going up on the Christmas Eve production honoring General Waverly marks the start of the holiday season for my family, as we watch this classic every Thanksgiving night. 

The Columbia Inn Mittens, which I can just picture the busybody housekeeper, Emma, knitting on during a quiet moment, feature a picot edge and decorative snowflake cuff, an excellent opportunity to get your feet wet with a little colorwork. The body of the mitten is worked in plain stockinette, so they knit up quickly—perfect for holiday knitting, or to squeeze into your busy knitting schedule as a gift for yourself. 

Yarn: Knit Picks Palette, 1 ball each in White, Marine Heather and Camel Heather; or 3 shades of fingering weight yarn, approximately 200 yards of main color, fewer than 50 yards each of contrast colors A and B.

The yarn requirements for the contrast colors are minimal; this is a great project for using up scrap yarn! 

Needles: sizes US 2 and 3 DPNs, or size needed to obtain gauge. (You may want to cast on over larger needles; I find it makes it easier to work the picot edge.)

Gauge: 8st/in in stockinette.

Skills needed: Increasing, decreasing, knitting in the round. Experience with stranded knitting might come in handy, or you can just jump in! 

The Columbia Inn mittens are available now for only $3.99. 

And what about the giveaway I promised?

Don't worry, I didn't forget! 

I'll be giving away a copy of the pattern, as well as 3 ball of Knit Picks Palette (1 each white, marine heather, and camel heather) to one lucky winner, so you can knit your own mittens!

To enter, just leave a comment on this post.

And as promised, you can earn additional entries by helping me spread the word about the Columbia Inn Mittens. Share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter and make sure I know about it--the easiest way to do this is to tag me in your Tweet (@MediaPeruana) or link to MediaPeruana Designs in your Facebook post--and you'll earn an extra entry in the drawing.

The contest will close at midnight, Saturday, December 8, and I'll draw the winner the next day. The lucky winner will have his/her prize in hand with enough time to whip up a pair of mittens as a Christmas gift, or give the whole package away as a gift to a fellow knitter!