Saturday, November 7, 2015

From the Kitchen Corner

I am waiting on the tea kettle. This is a frequent occurrence at my house as I prefer a kettle on the stove over other water warming methods. The microwave or an electric kettle/water cooker would be faster but I like my purple kettle.

When I was in graduate school, waiting on the tea kettle was my dish washing time. Living in a house with four other girls and no dishwasher, there were always dishes. And in the five minutes or so of waiting for the water to warm, I could empty the dish drainer and refill it. It was part of my morning routine.

Now, the morning routine starts with feed the cats, turn on the kettle, and then continue getting ready for work. But sometimes in the evening or weekends the kettle is still dishes or loading/unloading dishwasher time.

It also works nicely as rubbing the cat's belly time. Gypsy likes to sprawl on the kitchen rug that I knit a couple of years ago and be adored.  The time for the kettle to boil is a good amount of cat adoration, though I am sure she would argue that all home time is cat time.

Not quite Prurock's coffee spoons, but a nice way to measure time.

Do you prefer a kettle?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sock Show Thursday: Color Issues

I've started a new pair of socks!

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That yarn color isn't right. I've fussed with it for a while but I really should be trying to take it in natural light and or with my light box.

Here's the yarn pic I took before winding, that's better
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But hey, meet the sock... umm..cuff

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Yeah, I know, I'm not very far along and that picture is much darker. The stripe is intentional! You can see that gray/green/black in the ball at the top and it is matched by the pops of yellow and periodic surprise orange.

It's almost like my high school colors if they had let us have some hints of interesting.  (Blue and Gold, ask me about our migraine inducing senior t-shirts sometime)

I cast these on earlier this week and have managed to have a couple of free minutes to work on them in phone meetings.

The yarn is Dragonfly Fibers Dragon Sock in the Van Gogh Sunflower's Colorway.

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And it's very pretty and I wish I could work on it more. Maybe on the commute home.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

11th Month or Hour

It's November and probably the official start of the panicking about the holidays season. Various retailers would have me believe said panicking should start in September and generally for knitters, panicking for next year starts somewhere between December 26-January 1. Presently though, there is belief is there that all deadlines can be met and those piles of knitwear planned for accomplishment in the next seven weeks (six really, one must plan to mail things too) will be completed. Also the sixteen other project that have been laying around waiting for my attention for the past couple of months.

It's not a heavy knitting year at Chez Hedgehog. I have 2 Loopy Academy projects to finish--one of which will probably double as a Christmas gift; a couple of baby presents to be thinking about; some requests that need to be skeined up and started.

Still, I need to be knitting a fair deal faster than I have been for the rest of the year if I'm going to make deadlines.  Which means less playing of Farm Heroes Saga on the train to and from work and more knitting from a chart and relistening to Terry Pratchett books for the umpteenth time.

I probably should go pull at least some yarn out and see what it is I'm planning to knit up. This weekend I've been browsing through patterns for gloves/mittens/mitts and that's been horrendous for the queue. I'll make EVERYONE I have ever met fingerless gloves, right? Uh huh, sure I will.  At least one pair will be out of sport weight or DK yarn, there's just not time otherwise.

Of course, it doesn't help to have a clingy gray lapcat every time I sit down with my knitting. She's a particular barrier, no one really wants to neglect the little cat with her big green hopeful eyes but at the same time, when she's sitting on the needles things get a little challenging.  Might work better if I would go and knit on the couch or bed, where it's easier for her to be a sidecat rather than a lapcat. We used to be good at that, she and I.  Watched a lot of TV in Wisconsin that way.  Hopefully a few knitting marathons will set us on the right path again.

What are you knitting for Christmas this year?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

"Fall Break"

I'm having a couple of days off this week.* Yesterday was day 1 and it was lovely. Slept in a little, ran a number of errands around home, and finally wound up the yarn for Project 2 of Sophomore Fall Loopy Academy while watching the Great British Bake Off.  BrineyD got me fully sucked in. Don't tell me how the season presently on Netflix ends!

It also means I am getting back to the project that I'm stunt-knitting. That requires sitting in front of my computer, moving the chart up one line at a time. It is shadow/illusion knitting and I'm very glad to have Franklin Habit's recent post over at Skacel to help me understand. I am enjoying the technique, though I wish the chart had stitch counts marked on it so I could make it a smidge more mindless.  But I'm making do for this project and if I do another one, I might do a PDF modifier.

The weather has finally begun to feel like October, now that it is nearly November.
 If you look mid picture there, one of our squirrels was going back and forth today, stripping off leaves and heading, I think, for a pine tree at the corner of Chez Hedgehog. Hopefully that will make a nice little nest. But as you can see, the major tree outside our windows is still 80% green.

I was at Loyola campus the other day and caught this pretty grouping of trees. I love how on one end it's red and then gradients back to green.  

Hoping that the next few days, in addition to a boatload of writing, cleaning, cooking, reorganizing, going to Salvation Army-ing, etc etc that a pile of knitting can get done as well. That's the plan anyway.  

*Health Science programs don't have a fall break afaik, but I can pretend that's what this is, even though everyone else is still at school, right?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sock Show Thursday: 1

I finally finished the first sock of this pair!  Almost a month from start to finish.... where has my sock mojo gone? Are these the needles of a woman who turned out 12 pair+ each of the past two years?

Another sock has begun, but I'm not very far. I am hoping to get this one done before the end of the year, which would make 4 pair of socks total.  I know....I expect AudioGirl to show up any minute and start cracking a sock knitting whip. (And not just because she asked for socks for Christmas)

The yarn is okay but a little thin for my taste.  I doubt I'd buy it again for socks, though perhaps for another project. I don't think I like it enough that I'd be willing to go down to size 0 (2.0 mm) needles for it.  That takes a test of patience.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

But the Yarn is Discontinued!!

I'm back working on my Gingko Biloba shawl.  I took it with me to visit BrineyDeep and surprisingly made progress. I am still shocked how knitting on a project turns into progress on the knitted object. Uses up yarn and everything.


This yarn has been sitting in my stash for quite a while. Ravelry says I uploaded it October 2009 and the yarn pictures are on the carpet from the La Crosse apartment, so that sounds about right. And in the stash it has sat. A couple of times I considered selling it or sending it on to a new home, but I really do like the color (Tea Party) and it seemed a project would eventually come.

It is not a fast project. Each petal is 30 rows and while none of them are that long, keeping track of short rows requires more brain power than my usual socks and I have to haul around a copy of the pattern.

Each petal is taking about an hour.  It might go faster if I would stop also trying to do other things while knitting but I don't think it would be all that much. This will be 1300 yards, or the equivalent of nearly 4 pair of socks. I'm only knitting on size 4 (3.5mm) needles. And if a pair of socks usually takes me around 20 hours, that puts me at around 80 hours on this project. That math is kind of disheartening. I prefer to think about the fact that last time I reached in the project bag (Stitched by Jessalu --the Hedgehog Tea bag), the center-pull ball was feeling decidedly squishy.

And then I went to update something on Ravelry and clicked over to the DIC Starry page. The yarn is discontinued. For a second my brain froze and then ran through 25 scenarios all of which involved me buying cases of Starry from kindly knitters who had Trade/Sell marked on what was left in their stash.

Fortunately, I exhaled and remembered that I am beyond out of room in the stash, that it's taken me 6 years to come up with a project I wanted to knit this yarn into, and that I have another 60 hours at least on this shawl to spend with the yarn I have. Also, I have one more skein in another colorway.

I think that was very restrained of me, don't you?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fall Pantone

I'm told that the color for the fall is Marsala, which is a rich dark red. I approve of this, it's a color I look good in and such it is that I'm scanning clothing sales hoping to add judiciously to the wardrobe before they bring some odd spring color upon us next year that makes me look either like a small child or that I have no color sense. "Rich earthy neutrals" (says Pantone)--Yes please.

Of course, I'm also preparing for Winter, a season well worth the capital letter. My first Loopy Academy Project for the fall helped with that.


The pattern is Adama and it it knit out of two skeins of Steamer Trunk (by Mrs. Crosby, of course)


Normally, it's meant to be worn more like a very small shoulder cape, but I liked the idea of pulling it up as a hood. It is long enough that it would still tuck under my coat.

The goal for this project was texture and this pattern has lots of it.

And I think it will provide a very nice pop of color with my cream winter coat.


Marshmallow time is almost upon us.

Now if I could just get those other two projects rolling....