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. 




Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Number 2 and Number 3 Are Done

I have not one but TWO projects for you today. And I'm halfway through my Loopy Academy six projects (fall junior make up and spring junior).  Of course, even though I've finished three projects I'm currently done with neither semester. But I have two episodes of the KnitGirllls to watch tonight and so there's hope.

First up, the shawl that went to Maryland is completed! This is Isen and I knit most of it during my epic trip out to Baltimore and to see Sibling-the-Younger.


The yarn is Wollmeise DK in the Feldmaus and it took very nearly all of two skeins. I have a little bit left, which will be set aside in a ziplock in case there are any repairs needed in the future. I used Miyuki Beads in the Dark Smoky Amethyst color and I only needed 3 beads total out of the second tube. Glad I had the second tube but really, only 3?  This was for the beaded pattern requirement for Loopy Spring Junior Semester.



As you can imagine, this is a heavy shawl. Each skein is supposed to be 7.1 oz plus the bead weight. It's an odd shade of brown, with hints of purple that show under the sunlight. Overall I enjoyed the beading work, though it certainly makes commuting and knitting impossible. Very much a sit at home (or in a conference, webinar, etc) kind of project. 


The pattern is beautifully written, the charts were easy to follow. It's been languishing for about six weeks waiting for me to have time to finish two more beaded rows in the last 8. Overall it went very quickly though for a nearly 900 yard shawl. And yes, that makes 2 800+ yard shawls I've knit since February 1. 


Gypsy wonders why I keep trying to take a photo of her in a shawl. 

Actually finished a week or two ago was this cowl! This is also for Spring Semester and it meets the buttonholes and buttons project prompt.  


The pattern is the Gothic Lace Cowl by tincanknits, whose straightforward patterns make new techniques entirely manageable. My only complaint and this is a small one, is that a specific size of button isn't called for and while I followed suggestions on the pattern page, I really should have probably purchased a slightly larger set of buttons. 


Still, as you can hopefully see, there are buttons and buttonholes. Nine of them, as memory serves. The buttons were an Etsy find and whomever is gifted this cowl will get the extra 2-3, as buttons do tend to get lost over time.  

The yarn is two skeins of Malabrigo Worsted and I had to alternate as TLE didn't have two skeins of the same colorway in stock. That's always a possibility with Malabrigo, particularly the brighter colors, but it slowed me down a bit and that was a little frustrating. Still, it's done, it's pink and purple, it's photographing a little bit lighter than it actually is... and it's off the needles. 

That makes 3. Right now I have 2 thumbs to finish on the dragon mitts (spring, stranded colorwork), one owlette and a bunch of wings (fall, toy), and one pair of gloves -- I'm ready to start the thumbs on both and then work up the hands (fall, gloves). It's a lot yet to do in the next 15 days and ideally I'd like the majority of that done before I leave for Kansas next week. 

Then I can start working on a nice big project for Stash Dash 2017.... 



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Proof Positive: Industrial Revolution

I've had my eye on the pattern Industrial Revolution for a while and it served nicely for my spring redo of bobbles.  Certainly a better choice that what I did on my first attempt at a bobble project, which is a shawl that I just not one of my favorites

I decided to knit this up in Loopy Solids in the Malachite colorway.


It's a steampunk pattern, designed to look like gears and makes a lovely small shawl. I used about 3.5 skeins.  As you can see, it has quite a number of small bobbles and, while I can't say they are a technique I enjoy, I can get through them without too much blue language.  It does invoke spokes and gears though, with many yarn overs.  


The border is worked sideways, with the stitches increasing up and down.  I blocked it gently here, if I were being more exact, I would have pinned each point more distinctly. I'm not sure I have quite that many pins in the house though. 


All in all, I'm pleased with how it turned out.  Gypsy had to add a paw or two of approval and so now I may never get gray cat hair out of it. 


One officially down, five more academy projects this semester to go!