Thursday, October 28, 2010

Where I Am a Bad Blogger and Did Not Take Pictures...

I'm a regular WendyKnit's reader--I'm a Lucy the Cat fangirl...

So when Wendy posted about Shanti's mom collecting hats for a navy ship, I thought that sounded like a brilliant idea. Because, you know, I don't have any holiday knitting or requests or anything like that and I'm not on any deadlines or timelines or such.....

I did, however, have a conference to attend last weekend. So I rummaged about the apartment and found some black superwash wool. Most of the sailors on the ship, I assume, will be of the male persuasion and the men I know like black and possibly gray. Really just black though. I grabbed the pattern Wendy suggested too and cast on...

And by the morning of the Saturday conference (KidLitcon 2010 in Minneapolis, covered over at Hedgehog Librarian), I had most of a 2x2 rib hat done. Finished it during the first full session after the keynote and spent most of the rest of that session winding the rest of the black wool into a center pull ball.  This had the result of one of the other attendees asking me about how to do that.  Knitting lesson on the fly!  And then I cast on the second hat...

I was paying close attention and taking notes throughout the day but I was also knitting. A few people commented but most seemed comfortable accepting that I needed something to do with my hands. By the last session I was casting off.  Not bad--hat and a half and a conference all in one day!

When I got home, I emailed Lynne and got her address and was just about ready to pack things up when I realized I had another hat that was nearly done! My second Sock Head Hat needed only the decrease rounds and it would be done and it really didn't have a home yet or someone who had claimed it. So I wrapped that up last night and it went into the bag this morning as well.

I wrote notes to include with the hats and things went into a priority envelope this morning and out with the library postage. And after I sealed things up I realized I didn't take pictures...

So...picture two black 2x2 rib watchcaps.  And a sockhead hat out of the last yarn I got from Miss Violet that is a longer version of this picture:

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It turned out pretty well and hopefully will keep someone warm and snuggly.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pack the Yarn Stash....I'm Moving to Chicago

That's right! I've decided I can no longer live this far from Loopy, Lorna's Laces, and Stitches Midwest.

I've taken a new job at the University of Illinois in Chicago. I'll be at the Health Sciences Library doing all of my librarian things. I can't wait! I'm so excited!

I have to PACK.

The good news is that the stash, by and large, lives in plastic bins. Packing it involves making sure all the lids are on.  That being said, I have a 1 bedroom apartment with den that needs to be gone through, weeded, pruned, and boxed. Did I mention I haven't got an apartment yet? Working on that.

Much to do, not much time to do it in (new job starts 12/1) and lots to figure out....

But there will continue to be wool!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lipstick Red...

The Clapotis is done! I just need to block it and weave in the ends.

Of course, this is what happens whenever I try to block anything at Chez Hedgehog. Well, anything that I'm hoping to block on the floor.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Okay...so This is Stash

One of the things I love about Webs is their discount program. Spend $60 and get a 20% discount. This meant when I was placing my recent Cascade order, that it was cheaper if I purchased more yarn than I needed.

So what does a girl in need of extra yarn to round things out and get that discount do? Head straight for the Malabrigo bin, that's what.

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Malabrigo Sock yarn in Cote d'Azure never goes wrong does it? 450 yards is enough to make a lovely small shawl or lacy scarf or warm hat or or or....

And while I was down at Kathryn's (Ewetopia Fiber Shop) I had to have a rummage through her handdyed.  I know you've heard me rave about it before but she has good bases and I appreciate her eye for color combination.  Not everything she creates appeals to me, but neither does everything from the Wollmeise.

So anyway, this time I grabbed a skein of her 100% Merino Sportweight in the Water Lily colorway.

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Some of the blues are a bit more teal/green than the camera captured. It's bright and cheerful, a little brighter than usual for me even. And squishy as always.

I also found some new interesting fingering weight which really is sock yarn but I doubt will ever be socks off of my needles.

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Lang Yarns Tosca Light in a blueberry colorway. It's another progressive colorway, shifting through blues, purples, and teals. (Show of hands, who isn't surprised about this colorway following me home.)

And yes...obligatory cat in the shot.  She was really most excited about the brown paper bag that I brought home everything from EFS in.  Yarn we have every day but paper bags...those are a special treat.  

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Does It Count As Stash

If you have a project already planned for it?

While I have added a smidge of new things to the stash, most of my recent purchases have been targeted towards Christmas or other requested gifts. 

I have a stealth project that has to be done by Friday, the yarn arrived yesterday.  Fortunately, it's small.  But the Brunette and My-Friend-the-Lawyer have both put in a request for gloves. The Brunette would like flip top mitten types for texting (he needs a flip thumb too) and MFTL would like all fingers but no tips--again for texting. And since the Brunette is married and has a husband prone to abscond with handknits (not that I'm complaining)--I need to make two pair. I just found some black fingering weight in the stash that I don't think is on my Ravelry page. Might make some watch caps to go with all of these mitts. So here's the yarn (minus black) for those mitts and not-very-secret-project. It's all Cascade 220 Superwash. 

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The other thing I'm working on is a mass of City Shawls. These have a planned destination but at least one I still needed yarn for. (Of course I needed different yarn).

So a trip to Ewetopia Fiber Shop was in order and to fill the need I grabbed 3 skeins of Berroco Peruvia Quick.  It's delicious, a wonderfully squishy 100% Peruvian Highland Wool in a deep blue with hints of purple underneath.Can't wait to get it going...

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Now then, I just need to round up some super glue to repair my size 15 circulars...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Raffle Drawing Winners

Thanks to everyone who notified me that they had donated to various relief organizations! Your donations are greatly appreciated and I'm sure will go to good use.

Also a big thank you to Carin and Susan Pandorf for their donations.  

I'll be contacting the winners individually but here's what the Random Number Generator gave me:

The Sockhead Hat out of BMFA is going to Dain. 
The Green Bugga Yarn is going to Helena.
The Handspun by Carin is going to Sarah.
The pattern collection by Susan Pandorf is going to Celeste.

If one of those is your name, please check your email or Rav mail, however you contacted me.

And again, thank you!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Processing Along...

I make no effort to hide that I'm a process knitter, nor that I mostly knit because I need something to do with my hands. Other than an occasional "what are you working on now?" for my friends it's just par for the course. My co-Kiwanians (Tuesday lunch group) actually find it more disturbing if I don't break out the knitting. 

Computer knitting of late, thought it should be the blue/green mitts, has been a one row handspun scarf (Yarn Harlot pattern) out of some Wool-Ease Thick and Quick that's been taking up space in the den/library/stash area/storage/computer space portion of the apartment. I started it in August's heat (as memory serves) and the weekend's 85F highs seemed oh so appropriate for finishing it, as I did yesterday. That took about 1.25 skeins of yarn and of course, what is a scarf without matching hat.

I grabbed my friend Tina's Sugar Twist Hat pattern, which I have been meaning to make for a while, and cast on. I remembered something thing as I worked: I don't like using DPNs with super bulky wool.  Note to self: invest in size 10, size 10.5, and size 11 16" needles (also, why doesn't the US have a 7.00 mm needle?).  But the good news is that the pattern is less than 40 rows and then you're done! Hat!

Only, I don't need another hat and scarf. I have several lovely hats and several scarves. Aaaaaand it doesn't really fit on the gift list for the excess of holiday knitting that I really should be working on right now. Fortunately, I mentioned this dilemma to the Incredibly-Patient-Mother and she offered to take them off my hands.  Which is good because the "random project" basket is getting full.

I keep casting on and knitting projects without any particular direction other than that I feel like knitting them.  A second Sock Head hat because one is never enough? A green/purple shawl? Fingerless gloves in a shade of red I don't wear? I grasp that it's never bad to have a stash of knitted gifts in reserve but some of these are a little eclectic. 

Fortunately, of the 5 hours I spent knitting today (approximate but it was at least 1 disc of Big Bang Theory Season 3 plus extras, 1 disc of Ranger's Apprentice Book 7, and some other time in between) , I did spend a large chunk of time working on the red Clapotis.  It's come out of the Project Chair for BBT Season 3 and I'm happy to report that by the time I got through all the extras (and The Beatles' Hard Day's Night at wee hours of Sunday morning), I had reached the decrease rounds. I have Season 1 of CSI-Miami to tackle now, which really should see me through two or three shawls.

Not tonight though, wired as I am, my hands are starting to ache a bit.Though I have to say the super bulky green/taupe afghan that I started last year for instant knitting gratification and no planned recipient is starting to look like fun to pick up again...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Off the Needles: Young Woman at Conference....

One cannot, positively cannot, sit through conference sessions without something in one's hands. At least, I cannot. To prevent distraction and mental wandering off to where I might write a really strange short story that somehow involves the panel presenters, I took a small shawl project with me to the ALA Annual Conference in DC.

Everyone there saw it, I was constantly knitting across various events, in bars, while wandering the aisles, on the grand staircase. I even got to the lace before I got home. Only then I got home...and as travel projects are wont, apparently, the shawl became neglected. I needed to concentrate on it just enough that I couldn't take it to most meetings, Kiwanis luncheons, etc etc.  And certainly I've had plenty of tv knitting time, but meh...

Finally, with Don and Charlie Eppes (Season 4--I have two episodes left to watch), I finished it. 

Unblocked:
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Blocking:
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Yarn: Wollmeise Okzident We're Different
Pattern: Old Man of Storr
Needles: Size 5 (xx mm)
Modifications: I'm not sure I did all of the repeats on the lace, I just did repeats until ran out of yarn.  I had a large grape sized ball of yarn left--enough for perhaps one more row but not two, which is what I would have needed. Perfect spacing. I think the pattern calls for you to increase on every single row-but that'd give you two extra stitches every time so I only did 4 stitches of increase on right side rows and none on wrong side.  Seemed okay. 

This was my first Wollmeise project. I like the yarn. It's a touch splitty but it's comfortable to work with and still tough. The colors are truly stunning.  I liked the pattern and would like to make it again, it works very well with a variegated yarn.  I have some other single skeins of sock yarn that might like to become this shawl. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fundraiser Update

Thank you so much to everyone who has dropped by, dropped me an email, etc and donated to the Humanitarian Relief for Pakistan!!

Along with the prizes I've put up

Susan Pandorf has offered an entire set of the Lord of the Rings patterns she is working on! This is huge people! Susan turns out all kinds of gorgeous lace.

and

Carin from Round the Twist is sending me handspun. It's been on her last couple of episodes so do check it out if you've not seen it yet.

Make sure you get your donations in and reported to me so I'm not feeling inclined to keep the handspun for ME.  Ten days left. :)

Knitting Polygamy...

Lots going on at Chez Hedgehog insofar as the knitting needles are concerned.

On my recent trip to New York to deliver the fall colored baby blanket to NY Nephew, I needed a new knitting project.  Never mind all the ones currently roaming about the apartment, car, purses, etc.--I wanted something that would last the entire week and where I could knock out a huge chunk.

Enter Cascade 220 in the dark red shade. I'm working on a Clapotis as a gift.  It's a wonderfully rich shade of lipstick red, not one I'd wear but hopefully the recipient will! I plowed right through skein one and most of skein two.

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And then I came home and the Clapotis has been relegated to the knitting chair in the living room.  Reminder--this is not where I sit to knit, this is where all current knitting projects are piled while I'm not working on them.  Knitting Time Out if you will.

I picked up Sockhead Hat 2 again when I got home and after a few meals with other people, progress is happening. It's slow going though, mostly this lives in my purse or at work. I've had one too many days at work where I had no knitting with me. That's just wrong. I have another department meeting on Thursday so I'll be getting some quality needle time there.

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I've started my Christmas knitting pile. This year there are many things in the pile but since I've been so pleased with the City Shawl by Stephanie Japel, I thought I'd make them as gifts.  And I was good--I went through the stash and pulled out yarn rather than placing an enormous order with KnitPicks or TLE or Webs. Trust me...I looked and had things in my cart.  I've started with pink wool/silk blend I picked up at the Herrschners Warehouse sale two years ago.  This picture is when I got through skein one. Now I'm through skein two.  It's worsted held doubled on 15s (10mm) and that goes quickly. The yarn is deliciously squishy.

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The 2x2 arm warmers are boring me to tears.  Still, they continue as computer knitting, as does a 1 row scarf (Yarn Harlot pattern) out of Wool-Ease Bulky.  And the Pool Cookies scarf is in the back seat of the car being ignored.  

I'm thinking perhaps this weekend would be a good weekend to pull out the giant afghan that needs worked upon and getting a big chunk done on that. It's not slated as a Christmas gift or anything but it'd use up a lot of yarn and clear out more space in the official "Knitting Basket."

We won't talk about a couple of project baskets I might have purchased on Etsy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tea Three: the Final Shipment from the Unique Sheep

I'm delinquent enough in writing this up that everyone else should be fine...hopefully I'm spoiling this for now one.

The third shipment in the Yarn and Tea Club arrived from the lovely ladies at the Unique Sheep.  Ending on a lighter note, we moved into Green Tea world....

Gypsy was very interested in the package when it arrived.

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As well she should be, inside was delicious tea (best tea of the club IMO), fragrant soap and beautiful yarn!

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The yarn is the Sushi Sock base: merino, bamboo, and nylon. I haven't decided how it's speaking to me as yet--it's kind of the wrong color for me right now. I'm thinking about fall and warmth and winter and immersing myself in jewel tones and warmth. This skein is going in the stash to marinate for a bit and I'll come back to it next March when I need to recall that yes, spring will come and life will renew.  It's an "it's almost Easter" colorway to me.

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Overall, I was very pleased with the Club and would absolutely recommend joining one of theirs in the future if you're looking to expand your club receivings or looking to join one for the first time. This was a first for me.  I'm not jumping into another one just at the moment because the stash is just slightly out of control. Only slightly.  Don't look in that corner, or over there.  Really. There's always been yarn there.  Promise...