Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Long Spice Route

I finished up my first Knit-Up-Some-Wollmeise project!!  The Spice Route scarf, which a number of people chimed in to like, was knit up out of Amazonas. My research partner Lisa suggested that color and I think it turned out quite nicely.


The finished scarf is about 6' long by 10" wide? Ish? I didn't measure carefully but it's 7 blocking mats and a smidge.


The blocking isn't as exciting, but the close ups give you a better sense.

Dropping all of the stitches at the end was fun.  Wollmeise isn't a particularly sticky yarn, certainly moreso than anything with silk or tencel but I'd get 10-15 stitches dropping at a pull, so it widened out quickly.

I've got about 200 yards left from the skein, those 150g put ups are very generous, and I'm thinking about matching mitts to go with this scarf. Somewhere around here I printed a pattern, but I'm not sure where it went.

How long do you think it was after I walked away from blocking the scarf that certain little furry people went and sat on it? 5 seconds? 10?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Underestimating, but done.

It's a good thing when you over estimate how much yarn a project will need, for while leftovers do build it, a half an extra ball is far more welcome than running out on the bindoff. But when a baby blanket you thought would take 20 skeins only takes 13 and you're in the middle of Stash Dash 2015, you might be slightly less thrilled.

That said, I am very pleased that P's baby blanket was finished in the wee hours of Sunday morning, her baby shower of course having been midday on Sunday.


The pattern is the Log Cabin Baby Blanket from the first Mason Dixon book (which I really must buy one of these days).  The colors were Flamingo, Peony, Pomegranate and Blackberry.  Pomegranate seems to be everyone's favorite color, it's a wonderful jewel-tone.  The yarn is Knit Picks Comfy, which I do like for baby things. Super soft cotton/acrylic and goes through the washer wonderfully, though it did floof a lot in the dryer.


It was washed, dried, and wrapped quickly before certain furry felines could come and see what was up.  It ended up taking 1,342 yards, 12.32 skeins-- granted that's assuming all of them were 50 grams and I found a couple that were 52-53, so your yardage may vary. I also only did about 40 ridges on Block 10 (the purple/pink that the top) rather than 54, mostly because I was running out of time and steam.

And that knocks another 20% of my Stash Dash out of the way, though it isn't the near 40% I'd hoped for if I'm aiming for 5K.  But this does mean I feel a little less guilty about not shooting for 10K, I do have to have a smidgen of sanity left by the end of summer.

I hope P's baby gets a lot of use rolling around and playing on it.  We're looking forward to meeting her in about 6 more weeks.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Around and Around

Would you believe I only ended up bringing 2 knitting projects for the weekend? After I posted last I decided that I didn't really believe that my luggage would make my connections and in the interest  of having the dress I wanted to wear to my Saturday presentation and other such things, I opted to only bring what would fit in a carry on bag that I usually prefer for overnight trips.

My roommate C told me when she arrived she was concerned that she couldn't find the rest of my luggage.

But that means limiting my knitting and so I went with the giant gray shawl that I started at Amy's suggestion and a skein of Dream in Color Starry in the Tea Party colorway (wonderfully rich dark browns) that I'll start on a Gingko Biloba shawl as time permits.

Conferences of course being what they are, there's been less time to knit than planned but I'm most of the way through the 2nd skein on the project. I also wound another skein on the plane. I really need to get my skein winder set up at home again.  I like winding by hand but not this much.

This morning I moved the project to a 40" needle. It was doing okay on the 24" circular but I was noticing it start to get a bit tight and as I had some quiet time here in my room, it seemed like a good time to make the transition. You can see how the spiral is developing.

The pattern is the Vortex Shawl and it's very easily memorized, only a two row repeat. At the rate I'm going, which isn't very fast in reality, I think I'll be on skein 4 of 5 by the time I get home late Tuesday.

I have been rather disappointed with the put ups of the yarn. I'm using Louet Gems, which is a base I've liked for a long time. This batch is over five years old--but every single skein has at least one if not multiple places where one or both plies have been felted together and at least one knot. These are small skeins-- 285 yards and so it's annoying to know I'm going to have to have far more than the ten ends that I planned to need to weave in.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

On the Verge

I have become convinced that I can knit 3 large shawls, finish a pair of socks, and knock out a hat in 5 days.

Can you tell I'm about to travel?

I'm headed out to San Francisco on Friday, the Philosopher remains behind at Chez Hedgehog with the felines. And while I'm woefully underprepared in the packing, getting a manicure, and most of the other things I need to arrange before flying out, I do have travel snacks and apparently now I have some idea what knitting I'm taking.

I realized last night that I'd not started planning my travel knitting--probably because I've had more travel than usual and thus the anticipation of being away doesn't have the novelty it usually does. But here will be two long days of flying (I have a 40 minute connection in LAX, who wants to bet Chicago weather doesn't let me get through that?).  And a conference to attend in the middle, though there I will be running about being Madame Chairwoman and trying to pin down an errant research partner. I know better than to truly believe that will give me much knitting time.

I can hope though, can't I?  My roommate C won't mind if I need her bed Monday night to block one of the two newly finished shawls (the other one blocking on my bed of course), right?

I say all of this as my travel knitting presently looks like this:

Yup, all still in skein format, haven't even wound it yet--though I'm nearly done with one of the little grey skeins.  

I also have my bin of needles in by my desk, that's the other challenge of the evening, figuring out what needles I need for which project and saying very loud prayers that the four patterns I've picked (yes, four) don't all actually need the same needles.  I'd at least like some variety on this trip.

What do you think, two shawls for the flight out?  Oh, and the sock that is still bouncing around my purse?

P.S. I have finished a hat and the Wollmeise scarf that I've been puttering away on, also some super sekrit knitting, but that all has to be blocked before it's ready for prime time.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

What Baby Blanket?

I'm being shamed by the baby blanket. The deadline (her baby shower) is fast approaching. Am I plugging away at it? Am I valiantly charging through skein after skein? Or am I ignoring the miles of garter stitch and sneaking around with a skein of Hat Box from Mrs. Crosby?

Yup, I'm not surprised really at me either. Part of it is, of course, the unwieldiness of the baby blanket. It's big, I'm working with two colors right now and that's not something I like wrangling on the train. Other knitters' yardage may vary but for busy rush hour commutes, I do generally prefer something smaller. Knitting the striped shawl last month got kind of silly, and that wasn't changing colors on each row, as I'm doing presently on Block 9.

And I was really charmed with the hem on the hat that I knit for TLE Academy slipped stitches project. The whole frais pattern was simple yet interesting and I really wanted to see how it would handle multicolor yarn. While there is clearly method to the pattern, it varies enough that I think it should break up any an all pooling. Mrs. C --shown here in the Toucan colorway--doesn't seem like it'd be too prone to pooling but this should break all of that up.

Once I finish this hat (cast on two days ago and I'm through the brim and an inch into the body, I love how fast hats go) my intention is to try the pattern with a skein of BMFA Lightweight in the Room Without a Roof colorway.

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Of course, I really must finish the baby blanket before I get too much more on the needles. (Pay no attention to the other new project sitting by the bed.)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sock Show Thursday: Rows Stack Up

Slowly, steadily, if one keeps hauling a sock project around and knitting a few rows here and there, a sock appears.


The color is totally off in that picture, here's a better one of the correct color that I showed you previously:


I finished the first sock on Saturday at the eye doctor where to my surprise my prescription hasn't changed! So I just ordered contacts, which should be in sometime during the next week. The Philosopher finds it odd that I still wear hard lenses, but I've gotten used to them and now soft contacts just seem strange to me. They can rip and get grit embedded in them so much more easily. Bleah.

Anyway, knitting. The sock continues apace. I'm not making them sized for me, though intended recipient isn't determined yet. They'll probably go with their neon green siblings through a blue rinse before being appropriately homed.  I've started on sock 2 but not made a huge amount of progress.  Too many other things rolling along. But if the second follows the pattern of the first...

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Memory Yarn

Some yarn is purchased with a project in mind, other yarn is about the destination where you got it.

I never showed you the yarn I bought in Florida, did I?

Philosopher and I found the one yarn store fairly close to Chez Philosoparents, which is called Raging Wool.  It's a little hard to find, the sign outside--as memory serves--just said "Yarn."  It was a nice shop and I rummaged around for a while. They carried the yarns of Rhichard Devrieze, who used to work for Koigu-- and you can tell. The colors feel very familiar and of course are lovely.

I ended up with some Frolicking Feet yarn from Done Roving.


and also a Zauberball that the Philosopher requested as a triangle eventually for him. I'm on a triangle break.

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Then a couple of weeks ago I went with my goddaughter and her parents up to Wisconsin for a celebration of the Norwegian Constitution Day.  Amongst the beautiful quilt display and incredibly squeaky curds, we found a store that specialized in felted objects. They had some beautiful spinning wheels and a small rack of handspun.


I'm planning on a small cowl/neckwarmer thingy, but we'll see what happens to it once I get back to it. For now it's decorating the stash beautifully and reminding me of a fun weekend.