Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Muppet Redux and Planning Time

Would you believe me if I said I hadn't knit on a sock in four days? Or that I might even try to make it an entire week?

I finally dug out that second skein of Schaefer Nichole in the Janis Joplin colorway. It's been wound for a while with the intention of becoming skinny scarf. And I'm about 15" along.  And I still think it looks like ground up muppets.

I manage to find a stitch count that isn't pooling, though I think part of that is the dye job helping. The sequence is Orange, Teal, Purple, Pink, Purple, Teal.  With the orange doubly long and the pink only appearing as a short blip, it breaks it up nicely.  The hand on the base is really nice and I am enjoying the knitting. It does make me a little sad that this yarn is discontinued.  Also I may have contacted one of the people selling her skein of the yarn in a different colorway on Ravelry to see about buying it. Ya know, as you do...

The pattern is the Yarn Harlot's One Row Handspun Scarf  and it's going pretty well. I have to catch myself from switching back into ribbing now and again but considering my usual zoning out while knitting, it hasn't been horrible.

This was a requested project, by one of those few people in my life who are allowed to do such things. That'll go in the gift bin for the upcoming holidays.

My immediate family all have birthdays in the last two months of the year and then we have Christmas and about a half a dozen babies due soon, so if I'm going to get any holiday knitting done I need to start thinking about it now.  Especially with all of the work deadlines currently hovering and getting in the way of my knitting time.

Are you planning any holiday knitting this year?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lost in Shades of Purple

I pulled out the last two skeins of yarn I've purchased and noticed a very clear theme: saturated purples.  What with purple being my favorite color and all (the Philosopher's too, interestingly) and since I also occasionally knit things for people who cheer on Northwestern, the presence of purple yarn in my stash comes as little surprise.

The first skein I bought on my birthday, as part of dragging the Philsopher up to Wisconsino on a road trip. We'd gone to AeppelTroewe, which is a winery/cidery and sampled everything they had to offer. Sadly, we missed the mead this year. We're hoping to go back earlier next year.  Then it was into Artistic Fibers in Burlington.

It was an interesting shop, with a nice selection of Rowan and some Icelandic yarns I'd never heard of. I wasn't especially thrilled with the local stuff: too pricey and mostly alpaca.  I have plenty of alpaca sitting in the stash that I can't figure out what to do with. It doesn't bounce like wool and it sheds. But it's so very soft...

Anyway, I ended up with a skein from Zitron:

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It's a nice red purple with white. I think it will need to be something of the cowl persuasion, though I'll want to find something really simple that won't interfere with the colors.  Lace will never show with this.

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I don't like especially how Zitron had their skeins prepped

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I ended up taking it out and twisting it as more usually expect my skeins to appear these days. It seems like it might tangle more flat.

Then, after a long week of conferencing recently, I found myself downtown at the end of the day and stuck my nose into Loopy Yarns. It's Chicago's 2 story yarn store.  I don't get in very often and of late, the stock seems to be trending very specifically to the really  big yarn companies: Berroco and Cascade. I always feel odd buying Cascade Heritage when I know there are so many other interesting indie sock wool dyers to buy from.  There was one smaller dyer I kept coming back to though and that was Baah!

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The colors almost do it justice. It really has a vibrant glow that is just slightly ultra violet--which is nearly impossible to capture on my little point and shoot.

I picked this up after finishing up OAmy's last pair of socks and really being struck with the vibrant purple that was showing up in the KPPPM. Of course, I'm not sure I'll want an entire pair of socks out of this shade but it will be something to consider mixing with a darker color or some such.

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And as you can see, Gypsy approves.


She and Pye have been very put upon as I won't let them chew on my knitting of late.  Not that they were ever allowed to chew on my knitting but apparently as it grows cold again I need to remind them that it's still not acceptable.

Hmm, maybe these pairs would make interesting hand warmers. My office has turned into a popsicle of late. It's something to consider...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

One Yard at at Time

Knitting is one of those things that I try very hard not to feel guilty about. There seem tobe plenty of opportunities where I could.  For example:

  • Most of the time, I knit plain ribbed socks. I'm working on the 56th pair I've knit since I started and all but about 2 pair were 1x1 or 2x2 ribbed socks. That seems pretty dull. 
  • I have a lot of stash that's been sitting for a long time. 
  • I have several projects that have been sitting for a really long time
  • I don't knit "hard enough" projects
  • I don't also spin/weave/crochet/etc--though I have a sewing machine that I keep meaning to dust off and hem something. 
  • I have little desire to write and publish patterns or start my own dying operation
And yet, for each of those, I have thoughts that pull me back around. 
  • The Incredibly-Patient-Mother and the Philosopher and AudioGirl don't mind plain socks. They would rather not worry about lace holes that let in cold or wear into bigger holes. The Philosopher would like his wool socks to all be bright yarn; the IPM has two or three pair in plain black. The feet I polled to don't seem to have a preference beyond warm and fits pretty well. 
  • I do have some old stash. Even purging as much as I did moving from Wisconsin. The stuff accumulates. But I hear the Yarn Harlot in my head "I have stash older than you" and realize that, as long as it's not taking up the entire living room, I'm okay with yarn that comes with memories even before I knit it up. 
  • Those older projects are a minor guilt source. But I have to look at them also as something that makes me hopeful. I believe I will finish them.  It might be a few years from now but the intention is there. Now if I could just find a three week train trip that I need to take...
  • Some of my friends and Sibling-the-Elder knit stunning lace. They enjoy a knitting challenge. Me? Well, AudioGirl likes to gripe about how many squares I knit. I'm a process knitter through and through, it's something to do with my hands.  Occasionally I have learned new techniques and taken a rare class and I've enjoyed that, but with most of my knitting happening in public, usually in public transit situations, I'm okay with dull much of the time. 
  • I can become polycraftual any time I want. Or at least as soon as I get a little more yarn used up. 
  • I can appreciate other people's spinning and dying and give them my money for their skills. It is okay to enjoy the talents of others rather than always needing to do it myself. 
Anyway, this philosophical meandering is to say that I haven't finished the baby blanket or the sweater; I've turned the heel on Sock 1 of Pair 13 for 2013; the stash keeps asking to be rearranged; and I'm trying to give myself permission to just enjoy my wool.  

One yard at a time. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sock Show Thursday: A Dozen Done

I finished Sock 2 of Pair 12. I've finished my dozen pair for the year. And it seems to have barely made a dent in the stash at all. Of course, that's only 12 skeins of yarn used up and I have slightly more than a few dozen more to go.  Casting off the toe on this sock also means I currently have no socks in progress. I owe you pictures of the two pair I finished at a conference a week and change ago.

These are the PhilosoNine Socks, knit out of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Medium Weight Socks that Rock in a Fire colorway from one of Tina's Rare Gems tonal sales. It's got a base of reds, going from a dark rich red to a very very bright red and then a stripe of purple/yellow going through it.

Overall very pretty. I was going out on a limb a bit with the reds, it and yellow are the colors least represented in my stash. But there's still that purple lingering and the Philosopher is a fan of the bright colors.

The ends aren't woven in yet. But it still is okay to serve as a stocking cap for my deskhedgehog.

I'm hoping the Philosopher will wear them this weekend. We're driving over to Ohio where his brother is doing a hospital residency so I can meet sibling/parents. Now that I've finished these socks, I'll need to reload the knitting bags so I have something for the trip. 

A Brief Distraction From Squares

If I wave new yarn under my nose, it might take off the feeling of "yet another square?" right? I complain but actually the square...