Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I Swear There was Knitting Progress Here Somewhere

I know I've made knitting progress in the past couple of weeks. I've cast on and finished 4 projects, finished a sock, and cast on two other projects and yet I have very few pictures. Something is not aligned here.

Part of it is gift knitting, not even Christmas, just general gift knitting, and because of where all this blog posts, I can't post pictures until the recipient receives their mail or I have lunch with them. One project is purple/blue on black yarn and that's going to require my best lighting efforts, which in turn requires being home/lucid/and with some time. Time has been short this October. So let's see what I do have for you.

Most recently I started the cowl that I'm knitting for Loopy Academy. The requirements for the project were a:

"Cowl in a multi-colored (defined as 2 or more distinct colors in the same skein) or self-striping Fingering weight colorway" that uses at least 175 yards.

I decided on the Wandering Wildflower pattern by Lara Smoot. I chose it because it called for size 3 needles, of which I have many. Not, perhaps, my best way of choosing a pattern but after digging through many pages of cowls, it was the one that appealed most to me and it did look as though it would do nicely for a multi-colored yarn.



The yarn is Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock yarn. It's very pretty, a light blue/teal with purple and brown and some gray/green hints in there as well. I have a sneaking suspicion that the LabMouse (new coworker) might try to abscond with it when I'm not looking. She doesn't knit herself but it does look like it'd match a lot of her favorite clothes.



As you can see, I'm not very far along. The pattern is sweeping sections of short rows and then yarnover rounds. What you see is maybe 3.5 hours of knitting? It's going to be a longer project. In another 2-3 hours of knitting I have to move the stitch markers and that should just be interesting. We'll see how it goes. [What is it with me and this super intense purple these days? This is the 3rd or 4th project this year with it.] 

Oh, hey look I found another picture. I made another One Row Handspun (that's the name of the pattern, I haven't taken up spinning yet) scarf.  It was a nice quick snack food knit but scarves inevitably get a little dull around the 5' mark.  Also a little unwieldy.



Anyway, as soon as I get the ends woven in I need to block it and wrap it up. This recipient does not, I don't believe, read this blog.

More pictures when I find a few spare brain cells...

Monday, October 13, 2014

To California and Back Again: in Socks.

The Philosopher and I are just back from a California wedding. This of course required travel knitting, debating if there was time to go wool shopping, and the perennial debate about the numbers of pairs of shoes that I needed to pack for a short weekend away including a trip up to wine country. 

Shoe count ended up landing at 4 pair and yarn shopping didn't happen. We might have had enough time on Saturday to drive up to the next town from our hotel to the nearest yarn store but we opted for other activities. I've had a lot of yarn arriving at Chez Hedgehog recently, so perhaps this is no bad thing (it's mostly for Christmas knitting).  

My first project was finishing up the Cold Beach socks. I hadn't wanted to bring them, truth be told. I was bored with them. It is tiny yarn on size zero needles (2.0 mm) and the leg of sock two took forever but I had finally reached the flap for the heel and that's where travel knitting began once we'd checked in at the airport. 




I wanted to leave these socks at home and start something new, who wanted boring on a beautiful trip? But realistically, if I had let these linger I knew I would only resent them more and it was just time to put my head down and work thru them. So not only did I pack them, but they were my plane knitting for the flight out.  

We had dinner with one of the Philosopher's friends in San Francisco, having navigated the Bart and the bus system up to his place from our near-the-airport-hotel. And while we were chatting after the meal, I finished sock 2.  




Sock Details
Pair 10 2014
Rav Details: Cold Beach Socks 
68 stitches on 2.0 mm needles
Manos del Uruguay Alegría Yarn in the Atlantico Colorway

The next morning, we drove into San Francisco proper. Usually I drive but this time the Philosopher drove and I couldn't have been more grateful. I'll tackle most driving challenges but the grade on the hills was so steep that I was scared just being in the passenger seat. Both of us found the "come up to the top of a super steep hill and then stop and then go, praying that you didn't miss seeing anyone" alarming.  He drove, I knit. 


Sock Details
Pair 11 2014
Rav Details: Toothpaste Socks
60 stitches on 2.25 mm needles
Sophie's Toes Merino Sock in the Whale Watch Colorway

This is being fondly called the Toothpaste Socks.  My colors are all off--phone camera plus hotel lighting, but it looks like shades you'd find in toothpaste--minty not-real greens and blue. I'm always amazed how different needles feel when I make the change. Though only .25 mm thicker than the needles I'd used for the Cold Beach Socks, these seemed far bigger and the socks going much faster. 

After lunch, we rounded up another friend driving up to the wedding with us and went to the Golden Gate Park.  



We went to the Japanese Tea Garden, of course, for tea and a wander about. San Francisco was having a lot of fog that day so it was overcast and cool, perfect tea weather. 

After a brief stop in at an art opening (we're so posh), it was off to Windsor, CA.  Again the Philosopher drove, and I navigated. We had the obligatory In-And-Out Burgers for dinner and met up with friends at the hotel. 

Saturday morning brought sunshine and a few hours to spare before the wedding. After a very excellent brunch, we stopped in here to try some local beer:


How can you not stop at the Jaded Toad?  I had knitting suspended from my belt loops all weekend, so knitting progress, while not fast, was ongoing. 
We could have stayed all afternoon here in the sunshine of their beer garden, but we wanted to also visit Old Redwood Brewery, a local microbrewery, and stop in for a wine tasting at another local place. 

Then we were back to the hotel for a dash through showers and onto a shuttle bus for the wedding. I didn't remember to take any pictures there, but we were at a lovely winery that's a fair drive away. 
Sunday, we drove back, dropped our two friends at their different destinations and then made our way to the airport. I got stopped at security (Is there anything sharp in your bag? There are knitting needles in that green pouch. Ah, that's what he saw. Okay, have a great flight.) and then armed with my socks and the audiobook of Wizard of Earthsea, we were headed homeward.  I knit for several hours and by the time we landed I'd tucked things away because I'd reached "need to check for toe" point and it was just too squashed on the plane for that. Four hour flights are hard on the body and it was about 2 hours after landing that we finally got into our apartment. 



Today I'm home with very clingy cats and not knitting on socks at all, despite the chill outside. As I mentioned earlier though, Christmas yarn has been arriving and holiday knitting is definitely upon me.  There will be much to come soon!.