Friday, May 30, 2014

Indecisive

I reached that point today in a meeting. You know the one, where you look down, realize you've nearly finished a sock and you're in a public place and so can't take your shoe off to try on said sock to find out how much further you need to knit? That one.

Four months ago I began the Emergency Work Socks and now, here, I'm... done. Well, almost, I still have a toe to finish but that's practically done. It's done enough that I am going to have to take the skein of yarn I was planning to leave here with me this evening because I'm not headed straight home and so I'll need it for knitting. I guess I'll bring it back with me on Monday, it will depend on how much I charge through this evening.

Of course, that assumes that this stays a sock. Currently I'm thinking about swinging past Loopy Yarns on my way to a party and grabbing a size 5 circular and some stitch markers (and I just bought stitch markers too, they're, of course, at home) and casting on a triangle for the Philosopher. This gray yarn has some lovely hints of purple in it and I can already see it being a slog for socks...

I know, I'm fickle.

Fortunately, it's just yarn.

Oh, if you've not tried it yet (hat tip to Franklin Habit), you can discover what number Ravelry member you are! Details are available here: http://www.rose-kim.com/2014/05/whats-your-number.html

I'm number 6222 and it's been nearly 7 years since I joined. I still very clearly remember the anticipation of waiting to get in off of the wait list.  So exciting and they've really built a wonderfully useful company.  I use it every day.




Saturday, May 24, 2014

It's all blues to me

Yesterday officially started the 2014 Stash Dash and while I'd hoped to get something bound off on the first day, I got sidetracked by a surprise visit from the Brunette. He and I spent the afternoon enjoying the sunshine and the fried plantains at 90 Miles Cuban Cafe in my old neighborhood. The food there is always so amazing.

Such it was that I couldn't get back to my knitting until today, but I finished two projects to make up for it.

First up, the Philosoleven Socks.  It's planned, currently, that this will be his last pair of socks for a while. He's much more interested in triangles right now.  I still need to get a picture of the 2nd triangle, I put it through the wash with a new pair of jeans and the colors have muted nicely, but it's also fuzzed out a little.

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These were done on 1.5 (2.5mm) needles and were April/May socks. They've been languishing in wait of a final toe but now they're off to the sock drawer in anticipation of next winter.  His very full sock drawer, I might add. This puts me back on track for twelve pair of socks in 2014, making a fifth completed pair. The Emergency Work Socks are home and I've got one more pair just started, so I should make that pretty easily.

Gypsy helped provide today's cat fur. She had an exciting week with getting her teeth cleaned on Thursday. That was a first for both of us and the Philosopher and I are hoping to find some cat treats that will help it mean that it's not a regular thing. She was really loopy when she came home from the vet and has been a velcro cat ever since. I think she was really worried when I left her there.

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Currently she's sitting behind me on the couch complaining that I have not yet provided dinner, because it is not yet 5 p.m. At least, not in my time zone.

That used up about 3/4ths of a skein of BMFA Mediumweight, so around 285 yards.  I just checked my Knitmeter (see widget on the blog homepage if you're reading elsewhere) and I've nearly knit 4K of yarn so far this year.  Plenty still to go, though....

Second was another Sockhead Hat that's been around the house for a few months. Ray's friend C was openly coveting his blue hat over the winter and as I still had a half skein of Malabrigo sitting around, I cast it on very passively.  It got worked on here and there and today I did the decreases and cast off.  It was done on size 2 (2.75mm) needles and is headed for the gift bin.

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Pye is just out of frame on those, but trust me, she's around and nosy. The few hours Gypsy was at the vet were the first time she's been alone in the house without her and she was very determined to keep me in sight at all times.

Now to see about sweater sleeves...

Monday, May 19, 2014

Countdown to 5K

I've been plowing through projects but not finishing anything, saving it all up for the 5K kick off that starts on Friday with the KnitGirllls.  Currently I have waiting...
  • sweater with no sleeves (the body is bound off!)
  • a pair of socks missing about an inch of foot and the toe of Sock 2
  • I'm almost through the leg of Sock 2 on the Emergency Work Socks
  • I started a pair of fingerless gloves and am getting close to making Thumb 1
  • I need to start the decreases on a hat
  • Cotton waiting for me to make more washcloths

And that doesn't include the stuff actually languishing--mitts and an afghan leap to mind.  

The other thing I'm working on though, slogging through really, is this color change scarf.  This is the one I re-started about a month ago: Upstairs in the Candy Shop (Rav link: http://ravel.me/PhireAngel/u1).
Today I started the fourth section of color. There are a total of nine sections, so I might get to halfway if I work on it a lot tonight. You can see the redder rows there by the needle. I'm onto 3 plies of red and 1 ply of pink now. 



It's coming but I'm not dreadfully excited about it. Maybe the brown will help?  I had bought the yarn with a very specific friend in mind but at this point I'm not sure if it's still her taste and we haven't really been close in five years... I know the pink isn't my taste, too pale. 




And if I can get slogged mostly through by Friday, which seems actually a possibility, I could spend the weekend really getting things finished and have made quite a dent in the 5K.  












I keep looking at my stash and hoping I can get it down a little. I do love all of the yarn, but it's hitting obligation point.  I was eyeballing sweater patterns again and thinking maybe I should go ahead and cast on another sweater. I have been very carefully *not* buying anything from the Webs Anniversary Sale because of all of the sweater quantities floating around the stash.  If I could get some of that turned into actual things I could wear next winter, that would be no bad thing...and then I could buy more! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Keep Going or Wait?

Summer seems to have leapt upon us, with the temperatures in the high 70s and an abundance of humidity. Many of the trees still seem a little confused, starting to bud out but not yet covered with leaves. Yesterday, the Philosopher and I ventured up to the Botanic Garden and found crab apple trees not yet blooming.  The tulips are about done, though. Caught with a lack of knitting pictures, I'll give you some floral ones instead.

The last remaining pod/vodcast that I regularly attend is TheKnitGirllls.  It's like having a knitting group in my home, only I don't have to run the vacuum and apologize for cat hair.  One of the hosts, Laura, is a teacher and has the summer off, so she does a 5K Stash Dash over the three months that she has slightly fewer obligations (I say slightly because we all know that one never has no obligations).  I think this is the fourth year of it.  The goal is simple: try between x date and y date, to knit up 5K worth of yarn. In 2011, I see I made it through about 3K.

One of the ways this is fun is that it's totally "cheater friendly."  Their description, truly. You can finish up a project and count the entire project--there just has to be knitting done on the project--weaving in ends alone doesn't count.  And here comes my conundrum.  I have several projects around the apartment that are more than halfway done and could probably be finished in the next two weeks before Stash Dash begins, but I keep looking at them and going, well, if I wait a couple of weeks they'll count. The justifications keep piling up: I don't have any current deadline knitting, it's gotten rather warm out, I need to figure out some other patterns I want to knit.  All of those sorts of things.

Such, different projects are languishing and others are getting rotation time to get them close to finished. Saturday evening I finally split the sleeves for the sweater and started down the body. This morning's commute was all knitting and then I had 3 hours of listening-meetings, I'm now about 8 inches down from the underarm. I'd optimistically grabbed an extra skein this morning of sweater wool on my way out of the door, now I'm glad that I did: I'm going to need to tie it early into the train ride home. This will mean that when I get home I can put it on waste yarn, try it on, and figure out how much longer I'd like it to be before I start ribbing at the bottom.  Yes, I probably should have worked on the Emergency Work Socks, the second of which has a scant 5 rows done. Oh well...

The most recent pair of socks are sitting at home, waiting for a final toe. The pink-red-brown scarf? Unloved up in a bin.

I did finish the next Philosopher's Scarf and it's even been washed. (Un)fortunately it didn't end up bleeding, so our next plan is to run it through with a new pair of jeans [I found new jeans that fit and ordered 3 pair!] to muddy the colors a little.  The reds are great but that robin's egg blue...

The sweater will hit a stopping point probably with the sleeves--those are somewhat fiddly and I'd rather not be wrangling size 8 (5mm) dpns on the train.  I know I could magic loop them but I probably won't.  I think I need to start on another Philosopher scarf, as oddly I've managed to not have any other yarn wound dedicated for socks.  It's all for scarves. Of course, I'm also considering going through the entire stash tonight, pulling out the remaining 10-15 skeins of "these will be socks", and winding them. It's silly, I know I still have that much to go and yet I caught myself in a slight panic over at BMFA, debating how many colors I could buy because obviously I was low on skeins to make into socks.  At best, at my very fastest, I'll run out sometime next year, but not having all the skeins wound and set aside makes me twitchy.

I also want to sort out yarn for a couple of new winter hats (left mine in a cab, of course), another pair of fingerless mitts (lost them), a complete matching set of hat/mittens/scarf that I've been planning for a couple of years.  And there's some surprise knitting that I really should get to....

I don't think I'll have any trouble coming up with 5K of inspiration.  Now if I can just get to 5K of completion, there might even be a small dent in the stash!








Saturday, May 3, 2014

Saturday Sock Wash and Shiny Newness

It's hard to get laundry done during the week. I usually don't get home until after 7 p.m., often closer to 8, and my energy for sorting clothes, running the washer, running the dryer, folding clothes, etc on top of dinner and whatever work I brought home is pretty low. Weekends can turn into a marathon then of running to the dry cleaner, running lots of loads of laundry, folding, ironing etc.

Today isn't too bad but I do have a load of socks on the drying rack. I keep telling myself that we're past wool sock season, or we should be, it's May. Then my feet are cold and I go looking for another pair. Socks at Chez Hedgehog go through the washer on gentle cycle with cold water. Everything is knit out of superwash and so far this has worked out well. The Philosopher's sock drawer went in today too and, seeing them all hanging up, it's cool to see many of the socks that I've knit in the past couple of years.

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I know, truly glamourous aren't they? Here, let me try for a slightly  more arty shot.

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A lot of Blue Moon Fiber Arts up there, plus the socks I knit in Egypt and Hawaii, the really bright blue socks from earlier this year, lots of memories and a whole lot of work from my needles.  It's nice to see it all together sometimes, so get a sense of just how many pair I've knit.

And I have a new project to show you! (Sweater, what sweater? It stalled when I needed to the sleeves to waste yarn, it'll be back.)

This is the second of the Philosopher Triangles.  The first one, Flannel, Brass and Steam, that I told you about before, has been worn regularly and gotten a whole lot of comments/compliments.  One of the advantages of having the knitwear where someone can see it rather than on feet, I suppose.  Anyway, good knitwear wearing behavior gets rewarded and I pulled out another skein.

I'm using Stephen West's Westlake pattern. It seemed inevitable that I'd pull a SW pattern at some point, he writes a lot of small uni-sex shawl/scarf patterns, and this one looked like it would break up the colors of a Blue Moon Fiber Arts skein well.

The yarn is from the March purchase, this is the Metaphysical Angst colorway.  The Philosopher tells me it looks like fire. The red is bleeding onto the wooden needles and my hands just a bit, so washing the first time will be interesting.  If it tones down the blue a little though, I think that will be okay.

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I'm working on the second section and I've got 6 more rows to go.

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Unfortunately, unlike the Brass and Steam pattern, while this is fairly memorizable, it's only so in chunks, at least for me.  I will need to consult the pattern at the end of each chunk and that's going to slow me down. It's also complicated enough that it's not good public knitting.

Today's cat fur courtesy of Pyewacket. Both she and Gypsy went to the vet this week for a check up and shots and are brimming with health, though Gypsy's returning for a teeth cleaning in 3 weeks. That should be loads of fun.

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I did want to point out the stitch markers that I'm using though. AudioGirl got them for me a year or two ago and I've not had the chance to use them before. They're too bit to put on a sock and nice enough that I was worried about losing them if I took them on a small project where I was tossing it around a lot. It has just the right number for the pattern though (5) and they've worked really well.  Sadly, I have no idea who made them.

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Now I just need to track down the sweater and get cranking on it again so I don't lose too much momentum.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sock Show Thursday: Non-Emergently We Go Along

I brought "spare" yarn and needles into work as something of a joke with myself. Work is busy and many of my meetings are not knitting-friendly/appropriate and usually my hands need to be busy on the keyboard. But I set the skein on the desk anyway and three months have ticked by and dang if I don't have a sock. Well, most of one, I need to finish the toe.

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Granted, I'd not be this far along if the Emergency Work sock hadn't gone home with me one evening due to lack of purse knitting and impending social activities during which I'm much happier if I'm knitting, but it's not bad progress when you add up the webinars and phone meetings.

I did wind and bring in skein 2, so it's ready to hand when I finish the first sock entirely.  I've decided that these are going into my sock drawer, which after last winter is looking heavily used.  Nothing developed holes--the benefit of having as many pairs as I have made myself--but I don't expect to be that fortunate again and I'd rather be prepared when the snow descends again. Of course, that may yet be this spring...

My goal for 2014 was another 12 pair of socks.  Currently I've finished 4 pair
Bah Bah Bright Sheep
Philosoten
Night Sky
Strawberry Banana

and have this pair and the Philoseleven well underway. So I'm on track, slightly ahead. We'll see how the momentum keeps up over the summer...

An Eclipse Coming At You

I'd told you I ordered the "Total Eclipse of the Sun" from BMFA, but I didn't yet have a chance to share how beautifully i...