Saturday, November 29, 2014

Overwhelming Optimism.

The Philosopher was out of the house for a bit, which gave me the space to sort a few of the yarn/knitting bins. This is a fairly regular task, involving putting away all of the needles that have piled up here and there, figured out what is currently in the project bags, etc.

This time, I dug a little more deeply than I usually would in a quick clean up. I pulled out projects that have been sitting in the stash for, oh, at least 5 years. There are a couple of pair of mitts like that.  I also located a sock that only needed one dropped stitch sorted out before they could go in the drawer.

Currently, the back of the couch looks like this.

Flush from success of getting that pair of socks sorted out, I immediately became convinced that I could finish all of these projects (9) and the 3-4 others that you don't see because they are in a bin because I ran out of project bags, as well as the rest of the holiday knitting that I keep vaguely remembering that I need to do. 

And I could do all of that before work on Monday at the latest.  Never mind that those bags involve three pair of socks, a scarf that requires a lot of attention to knit, a hat that I haven't actually cast on yet, and a belt project that has been going on for several years.  Nor does it include the non-visible pile of finished items that need ends woven in. Very minor details, all that.

I did pull out the Warm Water Socks. I finished these over two years ago, wore them once, and set them aside to fix. Tonight, I finally unpicked the toes (thankfully, I'd never woven in the ends--for once a little slacking paid off) and ripped back to where I was ready to pick up the gusset. And as I started decreasing the gusset again I thought "this will be super quick and then I can work on something else this evening."  I said this about socks knit on size 1 needes (2.25 mm). That I'd just ripped back--on both--to the heel. Yes, I just have the foot left to knit on both socks but that's not going to just fall off the needles.

So I've put them in a bag and added them to the back of the couch and now I think I'll cast on that hat, as it's due soon for Loopy Academy.

I didn't think I'd sprinkled anything other than cinnamon and nutmeg into this evening's eggnog, but I'm starting to be suspicious...

Friday, November 21, 2014

One for you, one for you, one for me.

Recently, a cowl pattern came out at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, which is a wonderful site looking at romance novels. A couple of friends strongly hinted (okay, maybe not so much hinted as clearly wished) and the next thing I knew I was mucking around WEBS trying to decide what colors they'd like.

I ended up with three skeins of Malabrigo Rasta, yarn that I have thought is beautiful but couldn't find a pattern for prior to this that would make something really reasonable out of one skein.  One quick order later, a couple hours of knitting for each one and I had three cowls. But the friends hadn't been told about said yarn purchases, so I had to wait to show the cowls off. Now that the mail has been delivered, I can share some pictures.

The pattern is very straight forward and uses up any extra super-bulky that you've had lying around the stash in a big hurry.

For D I picked out a luscious red. She likes red.

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As you can see this can be worn just around the neck or pulled up over the head. It snugs up nicely under a coat or will make a good outer layer over a tighter fitting hat on those extra cold days we're already headed towards.

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For C, I chose a skein that was just beautiful to me.  Hopefully it will be a good accent against her winter coat(s). [Hopefully this winter she'll only need to wear one coat at a time. After last winter, Midwesterners are a little skittish.]


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And for me blues and purple. Mine is a picture just after completion, I've been wearing it and haven't had inclination to pop it back in the light box but I'll try to get a better picture soon. It's the Sheri (883) colorway if you're looking for it.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sock Show Thursday: Fresh and Minty

I've almost finished pair 11 for 2014. I've been chugging along at nearly a full pair ahead of schedule all year and yet here I am in late (gah!) November and I'm still finishing up the second sock on pair 11.  Of course, I've been doing a lot of other knitting on the go: a cowl, a scarf, etc, but still, you'd think the socks would just knit themselves at this point.

Fortunately, a couple of evenings out with friends, one to see Gail Carriger in Chicago and one to eat delicious Japanese noodles and I'm nearly done.


Yes, Parasol Protectorate readers, I got to see Gail Carriger on the final stop of her current book tour--Book 3 of the YA series that she's currently writing. Friend C suggested it and I trudged over after work, carrying my beat up copy of Soulless.  It'd be more abused, but it's actually my second copy. I'm still not sure who has my first copy.


Gail did an hour of Q&A, rather than a traditional reading, and it was lots of fun. It wasn't a huge group but we got to have a nice chat with her and send her off (hopefully peacefully) back to the Pacific Northwest, home to her own bed.  She's just as funny and lovely as you'd imagine from her books.

The socks, when worked on, are coming right along. They are toothpaste minty.  This is my usual pattern done in Sophie's Toes Merino Sock, that I picked up last spring at YarnCon. I'm not quite through all the yarn I bought from her, this is 2 of the 3 skeins. The third is on the needles but not any progress made recently, so nothing to show you there.

With these winding down, I need to wind more stash. Despite my not knitting socks very fast of late, I have seemed to work through all of the "this is for socks" yarn that I usually carry around with me.  Of course, mittens are calling my name with the cold temperatures, so we'll have to see.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wait time washcloths

Whenever a computer is slow at work while I'm trying to work with a student, I always joke that "they promised us computers would make our lives faster."  We've all been there, waiting for something to load that seems to be taking forever.  In my head sometimes I'll make the little whirring modem noises from my high school days and yes, I know even that was a miracle of speed and such.  Still, as I'm griping at my phone that it can't do six things at once and has really started slowing down recently, making mapping really inconvenient when I am on the fly, grrrr....

Anyway, when I'm at home and waiting on the computer to load something, I keep a washcloth on the needles. Earlier this year I set out to use up all of the rest of the bulky weight cotton that I bought a couple of years back and I know lots of people who like a handknit washcloth.

So far I've made it through one entire skein in Charcoal:


And honestly I have no idea how many washcloths I've made.  I started giving them away already, usually in batches of three, so at least six or so have gone to a new home.  I think I have 9 or 10 more around here still, so figure 15 or so per pound of cotton?


I'm knitting all sorts of patterns as the mood strikes. Mostly I've been knitting small log cabin washcloths, though also I tried a half linen stitch and did some moss and garter stitch. It's not going especially quickly, I started in April with the intent of busting through 3-4 pounds of cotton and I'm only just through the first pound six months later, but it's getting it used and eventually the incredibly patient mother will get her stash reloaded and a few other friends who've made washcloth noises will get some too.


Perhaps I might even use some here at Chez Hedgehog. That'd be novel, now wouldn't it? Odd that I only have one around here for me.

And in the interim, the time waiting on the computer rebooting is being put to good use.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Little New Stash

While waiting for the Philosopher the other evening before a show at the House Theater, I moseyed down the block and into Nina. The proprieter always has such lovely things and it was a nice way to while away the time. She was helping a new knitter find some super bulky yarn to create a bulky fast scarf and I was trying to remember what obligation knitting I had for this year.

Then, of course, I got waylaid by the sale bin.

Remember the Rorschach Socks? I found more of that yarn.

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Isn't the raspberry lovely?

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Or, you know, if lime is more your style. Yes, they're really that bright. And by bright I mean neon.  I assume they'll just be socks at some point in the next year, I don't have any particular plans as yet but I'm not sure I know anyone who wants that level of bright nearer to their faces that over the toes.

I do really like the base though, which is Zitron Wolkenspiel.  I should probably check to see if they have anything in slightly less bright shades.

I also picked up a skein of Berroco Vintage. It's knit-a-dog-sweater-season and fluffy pup needs a new shrug, I'm told.

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The yarn is a little more purple than this but again, my usual trouble with the camera eye and ultraviolet.

This is the only yarn that gets to stay out, the Zitron skeins are both headed to the stash to marinate.  Perhaps I'll dig them out again in March when it's grey...

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...