Sunday, July 16, 2017

For an Unexpected Journey

Isn't knitting always a bit of an adventure?

While I've never read the Lord of the Rings (I know, I know...turn in my library card now) and I only made it through the Hobbit in middle school (who else remembers that really weird movie Miss 7thGradeHonorsEnglishTeacher made us watch)...I have watched the Middle Earth movies several times and I really do hope to get to New Zealand one of these days to see the beauty in person.

So when Jessalu announced a special pre-order of LOTR map bags, I hastened to the queue.

And now I can venture off on my travels, always having a map and a knitting project!  As usual, Jessalu has made a lovely box bag. 


This will be a suitable size for a sock project, though probably nothing larger than that. Although typing that reminds me that I promised the Philosopher a baby hat for some friends.  I should really go dig out appropriate colored leftovers (i.e. anything not obnoxiously pink or blue, not sure what flavor baby they are having) and make something in the newborn, 3 month, and six month sizes to get them through the first winter. 

First though, I will have to retrieve the bag from a small gray feline.... 





Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer Knitting, Sweaty and Hot...

Summer humidity has arrived in full force, at least for the next few days. This morning when I left the house it was overcast but still sunny-- during my commute (90 minutes/~15 miles) we came through a heavy downpour but then just into dense humid heat. And at lunch it was sunny and sticky.

Air conditioning will help with knitting; I was winding yarn last night
(Western Sky Knits in the Teal Giraffe Colorway)

and honestly it was just too hot to do that. I got it finished but didn't have enough oomph to continue on and cast it on. Maybe this weekend. 

And my big accomplishment, I don't have a public photo of.  The Philosopher asked for a hat/scarf combination. The original plan was with ears but this version I went with "functional for all winter" rather than "quirky and only works for two months of the year" 2 full skeins of BMFA Gaea Worsted. in one of the Raven Clan colorways. It's heavy. And should be very useful when the temperatures are about 80 degrees less than they are today.  Pictures eventually, probably next winter. He's already sneaked off with the finished object. 

I have, however, finished a sock! 


This is not a finished sock, but it's the sock seeing Hillary Clinton at the closing keynote for ALA. (Thanks Tod for holding the sock) This sock also went to the Indy 500; House on the Rock in Wisconsin; IASSIST in Kansas and it's been through several really interesting meetings at work. 


Now, generally speaking I don't get Second Sock Syndrome. Socks are automatic enough for me that I finish one, cast on the next and everything is fine. Otherwise I would not be half way through Pairs 78 and 79 (with at least two more pair at home floating around a third finished). 

Today...I have SSS. I really don't want to knit another sock. I liked the yarn, it's been interesting to haul around and I don't want to do Sock 2. Sock 1 had all of the adventures and now it's just a slog. I'm not traveling in the next month or so, which doesn't help.  I apparently knit Sock 1 too slowly.

I'll get it done. I like these and after the damage of last year I want a couple of new pairs in rotation this fall. That cuff right now feels ridiculously long though. 




Monday, June 19, 2017

It's a Celebratory Kind of Shawl

The Birthday Yarns shawl is off the needles!! It still needs a block, mostly I'm waiting on that because I am pretty sure the purple will bleed a bit and the white won't be as perfectly white anymore, but it's done!



Saturday was a "watch several hours of NCIS:LA" kind of day after running errands and being Reviewer 2 on a paper (I have so many opinions when I'm reading other people's work).  I was determined to get this finished up.  


I made a modification.  After the third lace panel, one is supposed to only continue with the Main Color --which in this version is the multi-colored yarn from AudioGirl.  I wanted to use up all of the yarn that I'd been gifted, so I continued the stripes that were written earlier in the pattern. When I ran out of purple yarn (DIC Smooshy in Dark Amethyst), I then knit a few more rows just in the multi-colored yarn (Knitted Wit Victory in Market Flowers).  I bound off using Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind off and had less than 6 feet of yarn left!


The shawl has been set aside for now, it's on to other projects for Stash Dash. And my Loopy Academy Junior Year Completion Prize is on it's way!


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Remember I Used to Knit Socks

I went digging through Ravelry to see when last I had completed a pair of socks. It seemed like it had been a while.  That recollection was correct. I haven't finished a pair of socks since last August. Considering that for a couple of years there it was a 12-18 pair a year, this has been a major downshift. A couple of things have driven that: Loopy Academy, a perception that everyone I regularly make socks for is probably set for a bit [Philosopher, AudioGirl, Incredibly Patient Mother, Me], Baby Knitting. I'd blame Christmas knitting but I don't remember if I ended up getting any holiday knitting projects done other than a scarf for AudioGirl.

AudioGirl came over and tried on all of the socks that were done but unclaimed and she took home three or four pair I think. And helped me size a couple pair that I'd knit optimistically. Someone will wear them kind of thing. If they're too small for me they go over here; if they're too big for her, they go over there.

Theoretically, I continue to knit socks. There are three pair of socks currently in project bags, but none of them are through the first sock yet.


This is some KnitPicks yarn that I bought to round out an order of needles, and it's become my travel socks for the summer. I cast them on for Dark Lord Day in May and then they went is Lawrence KS for a conerence and Indianapolis for the Indy500. Most recently, I worked on them at the House on the Rock in Wisconsin. We don't have too many other major adventures planned but I'm relatively sure these will last the summer. 


Meanwhile this sock leg has been sitting mournfully on my desk since at least October. Sometimes during yet another conference call or committee meeting, I'll get through a round. Usually though my brain is too active or I'm scrawling yet another to do list. The yarn is Rhichard Devrieze Peppino. It's really lovely,  but I remember why I burned through all of my KPPPM (very similar if not the same base) and then *stopped* knitting it for years. I swear this yarn takes forever to knit up. That 5-10 stitches doesn't equal a row probably also does not help. 

The third pair was started at some point unremembered. I know the yarn went with me to Arkansas in April, but beyond that I have no idea. The yarn is KnitPicks Stroll in the BigTop colorway. I bought it last September. For whatever reason it is not in my stash and I'm not adding it now. Apparently it's part of the I-need-all-the-rainbow-yarn binge I was on (might still be on? Not sure). 



Also, yes I see the ladders in the wool where I change needles; No, I'm not especially worried. Two washes and those disappear.

There are two other pair of socks floating around here. One which may be ripped out, another which I need to make a decision on if I'm going to actually finish them because of reasons.  

But they would all help with the StashDash counts and they are already underway. So maybe. If I can just get them all onto DPNs rather than 9" circulars (much recommended for the race track, but still not my favorite method). 

And then I just need to sort out which of my friends where a 7/7.5 shoe.... 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Summer's Bright Colors

It's 92 degrees out this evening and there's not much sign of it cooling down anytime soon. The Philosopher is re-seasoning the cast iron and I keep thinking it's a lovely evening for knitting. Obviously the heat is getting to us. 

But StashDash is here and, having my knitting time to call my own again post the sprint that is always the end of Academy (Yes, I passed the full year this time! Fall is going to seem so easy!), I've hopped back into a project that has been languishing: the Nostalgia Shawl. I'd sorted out the yarn last October as I was tossing the stash. 


One skein is Knitted Wit Victory Sock Yarn in the Marketplace Flowers colorway, which AudioGirl brought me from Seattle for my birthday. The other is Dream in Color Smooshy in the Dark Amethyst colorway from Sibling the Elder--also a present. The two definitely worked together, with the purple being highlighted against the colorful pops and the color pops being just a touch toned down. 

The Nostalgia Shawl is a crescent-shaped shawl that is made up of rows of alternating stripes and then short-row lace. I'm being lazy and following the written directions, it's just been easier than trying to count on the chart as I've hauled this back and forth. 

I'm nearly through the final section of stripes and then I have one more lace repeat and then a border to go. And a number of ends to weave in. I haven't washed the DIC so I don't know if it will bleed. I doubt the white will stay quite as brilliant as it is now no matter what.  

It's a riotous blur of color in the middle lace section and the border will be as well. And it's likely to be ~700 yards used up, a nice addition to my StashDash total. I was thinking that this summer may be more focused on works in progress, of which I have the better part of 5K that could pretty easily be completed. But there are also at least two baby projects that need to be knit.  Should get on those sooner rather than later! 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Through the Final Sprint....Waiting the Judging; On to StashDash!

Yesterday was the final day for Loopy Academy for the spring and as per my usual, it was down to the last few hours. Fortunately I only had small details to wrap and hopefully, hopefully... everything will be approved. 2 of the 6 projects are pending on The Loopy Ewe website.


First up was another pair of gloves. I used the same pattern (Knotty Gloves) as I did in the fall with some modifications. I used size 1 (2.25mm) needles rather than 1.5(2.5mm) needles. I skipped the cables, but I did ribbing all the way up including the fingers. The only part of the gloves that are stockinette are the thumb increases. I could have built out the ribbing there but I wasn't feeling quite that ambitious. These fit much better than the pair I did in the fall as well, I really do prefer a lot of ribbing on accessories.

The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts in the Socks that Rock Lightweight in the Valkyrie colorway. It's lovely yarn as always but this skein bled significantly. My hands looked like I'd been rummaging around in a coal bin every time I worked on the gloves.


And then last night at a local Mexican restaurant, waiting for Viva, I wrapped up my toys. The bartender very politely did *not* comment on the fact that I was sewing on wings while drinking my cider. I'm sure she noticed though.

Meet the owlettes! I knit three just to be sure that I used enough yarn to meet the 250 yardage requirement. In retrospect two would probably have been sufficient. And they are 2 color :) Yay.  The are pretty adorable. The pattern is Dreamy Owl. It's fiddly, more than anything. I like the end result though and these already have a planned home.

The one benefit to wrapping up this late is that these also count for Stash Dash! So I'm at least 500m (will be weighing and photographing to make sure yardage...) into the summer. I have several in progress projects that need to be charged through next so I am hoping for a solid 3K summer, maybe even a 5K if things ever slow down.

Next fall someone remind me NOT to knit another 900 yard shawl, will you?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

At least one... [Dragon Mitts Complete!]

I finished Spring Semester for Loopy Academy Junior Year! Assuming they accept my final photo (yes, I'm checking probably more often than necessary), I have completed buttons, beads, and now colorwork.


The dragon mitts are done! These needed only the ribbing on the thumbs completed, so that was about an hour of knitting while watching TheKnitGirllls. And at least three people have already expressed some extremely interested eyebrows at these, so I might need to make another pair or two. 

Wendy Johnson wrote a lovely pattern and this is a very straightforward knit, particularly for novice colorworkers. You do need to be able to follow a chart and I need to get better at locking my floats but overall... 

These were knit out of Loopy Ewe Solids (still on clearance sale, might have to go get some more). I used the gray as the main color and definitely used more of that skein than the purple contrast for the dragons. I was a bit concerned that I wouldn't hit the 250 yard mark, but these came in at 275 yards by weight (53 grams). I knit them on size 3 (3.25 mm) needles, which is a size I don't use much. I thought it might be too loose but overall it worked nicely. These fit me a little bit loosely and a little too tight on the Philosopher. 


Right now they are set aside for blocking and other attendant things later; I'm traveling this week and not leaving things out for felines to love upon. 

Now I'm attempting to slam through the rest of my fall semester makeup. I am hoping to get most of an owl done today and then, which would mean I only have to take the gloves with me for evening/plane knitting at the conference.  

Gypsy is pretending that she is invisible when she sneaks past me into the hallway of our apartment building.