Saturday, December 31, 2016

I still have 7 hours...

But I'm already done and my pictures for Loopy Academy Junior Year, Semester 1 are posted and I'm officially done with those three projects! They add to the pile of "well, now what do I do with these?"

So what did I end up with?

First done was the Bobbles project. This ended up with far more drama than I would have liked, due to my inability to read the pattern I was planning on using.


A second choice seen here was Arroyo, which, if you look at the pattern, does not have bobbles.  After I'd tried a couple of bobbly patterns, I opted for a pattern I liked and added a row of subtle bobbles. Yes, I know, I just said "subtle bobbles" 


But they are relatively subtle--see the grey blobs? Sorta? Okay, I'll zoom in. 


1 row of gray blobs. I'm not really sold on the whole scarf but it turned out less annoying than I expected, so, yay. 


You've just seen the gloves, so I won't spend much time there. This was less painful than the first set I made, I think mostly because these were in fingering weight. If I redid the pattern, I'd leave the palm in ribbing up, or at maybe the back of the hand. There ends up being extra fabric in the hand and I find it a little irritating. Overall though they fit decently and I'll probably end up wearing them this winter yet. 

Finally, winning the cuteness prize is my stuffed balloon elephant. 


This is a series of increases/decreases to create tubes and then you can either follow directions or--if you're me, just twist it around until it mostly resembles what you're going for shape wise. 


Each project was ~250-350 yards, so not really more than an average pair of socks, but each required being at home for the majority of them, which took more time than I'd have liked. 

Not sure what spring semester will bring but hopefully it will be something slightly more commute friendly. (And ideally I'll pass this semester very quickly) 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Counts are Piling Up

In my annual race to the deadlines, I'm still not done, but the count in the finished pile is growing rapidly.

My Loopy Academy finish, which last week seemed rather optimistic, is quickly becoming manageable. Two of the three projects are done: the toy and the bobble project. And I've cast on the second glove. Which makes it sound like it's humming right along. In reality, I have one whole row completed and there are many hours ahead of me, but at least the first 40 rows or so are just 2x2 ribbing and that I can do in near stupor. This will be followed then by 40 rows of rather intricate cables, a reasonably mindless thumb and palm and then...more fingers.

(Proof of glove 1)

It's not going horribly. I think it helps that I just finished the incredibly fiddly elephant toy, but the work is certainly not fast and I can't imagine trying to knit gloves for recipients whose hands are not immediately available to me at all times. 

So there will be a parade of finished objects in the next couple of days, assuming I can get another 10 or so hours of knitting in before the 31st. The idea of having to knit *another* pair of gloves, on an external deadline is not one I think I can bear at the moment. 

Gypsy has decided that, as I am home, I must be supervised at all times. She's following me from room to room, sprawls next to me or on top of me or my knitting or whatever she can. I remind her that there is another human in the house who could serve as a foot warmer, ear rubber, chin massager etc but she is having none of it. I think she assigned Pyewacket to Philosopher supervision instead. 

Wish me luck, I'm still in glove purgatory... 

Monday, December 26, 2016

One Thing Done

I did not make all of my holiday deadlines. Fortunately, gifts are received graciously even if I'm running a little late to the post office.

Christmas Eve I was able to deliver personally to AudioGirl.

While out shopping earlier this fall, she'd mentioned wanting a skinny, asymmetrical scarf. Add to that a box of mini-skeins from Sophie's Toes that she's been commenting on since I bought it and a plan emerged.

196 rows later and...




One assymetrical scarf! 


The scarf is reversible, with alternating rows that keep it from locking too far into a front side/back side. And I was able to use up almost every single row of yarn that came in the 6 pack. 


The progression went from a bright yellow with orange and green dots that I'd probably never pick up on it's own all the way to her Flannel colorway, which I have knit up for the Philosopher's favorite triangle. 


There are very sharp contrasts between sections, even with me trying to alternate rows at the beginning/end--these are miniskeins of six of her other colorways that progress nicely, it's definitely not a gradient where you're slowly progressing through colors. 


But overall I was pleased with it. It got a light block, which sadly did not remove all of the cat hair, and is now probably being sniffed by AudioGirl's suspicious feline. And everywhere I look on Ravelry, now I see asymmetrical sock yarn scarves... 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Morning Count

Because it's December and I, as I have said, fail annually at remembering that this part of the year shows up regularly, getting ready in the morning has a new component: the yarn projects for the day.*

I'm never at my best first thing in the morning. I can go from dead asleep to brightly chipper on the phone in under a minute but if you want sustained thought, that takes whole lot more time and usually either coffee or tea. Adding in project evaluation takes extra brain cells and I'm impressed that so far I've not managed to walk out of the house without, say, my phone. We'll see what kind of shape I'm in by the end of next week.


The reason for these extra neurons firing is an attempt to review the day ahead and determine what knitting time is available and what kind of knitting time that is. The Yarn Harlot is much better than I am--she can approximate how long something will take to knit and also better knows what kind of knitting she'll be able to do at a given event. She spreadsheets. I know I shouldn't take a lace chart to a dark bar but beyond that hope springs eternal.

Based on what knitting time I can think of, I usually need at least two projects. And so something gets stuffed into a bag (the ones from Gretel and Sibling-the-Elder are on overtime, they are my two biggest bags) and off I go. The utterly mindless is reserved for when I need to be listening to something/someone; the needs thought/review gets shuffled to the commute, a few minutes sanity midday; or waiting for people.

Progress is going slowly. I cannot stand and drink wine and knit all at the same time, I can manage any two but throw in the third and I'm thwarted. And then I've had wine... so traveling home I'm sleepy and that doesn't make the best knitting time either. Ah well, a few more midnight candles burning...



*Yes, I know I should be doing all of this the night before when I'm getting ready for bed. Ideal Me would do that, but Ideal Me wouldn't have left me in this bind, would she?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Done and Dusted

I finally got to make a special knitting delivery today!

When I found out my friends E&P were expecting twins, I was very excited. E and I have been friends long enough that if you ask, neither of us can entirely figure out how we met. At some point she was just on speed dial and we've been through many a professional organization mini-crisis together.

Twins often show up a little early and this pair was no exception. And while I'd gotten to meet them, I just now finally finished all the edging and end-weaving, etc, and so when I went over to babysit for a couple of hours, I brought along their blankets.


I made two Mason Dixon Moderne Log Cabin baby blankets.  The yarn for both was Plymouth Encore, which is 75% acrylic, 25% merino and very washable. It also comes in many colors.  E had said black was totally fine and she didn't want pink but beyond that she didn't have any particular color preferences. Blanket One was Black, Dark Burgundy, Medium Gray, and Charcoal. 



Blanket Two, in addition to the Black, was more of a study in Heathers. The colors included Emerald Heather, Light Gray Heather, and Gray Heather.  And you can see I changed up my color orders so the black wasn't in the same place at the same time. 



I modified the pattern; I always do a bit (this is the 3rd/4th of these).  I didn't do the color work at the bottom or sides, instead just doing straight long rectangles.  I'm also not sure what the correct border is supposed to be --I always just work from the PDF on Ravelry which doesn't tell you what it is. 


So instead I do a 3 stitch applied I-cord edging. For these I did it in the non-gray color for each blanket.  

I don't have much yarn left from either set of colors. The Philosopher had suggested that I use the black as the border but I didn't have enough and I liked the idea of a little bit of color around the edge. But if they go through the wash a few times and need any minor touch ups, I have the leftovers stashed away.  

Now they are ready for wash and dry with their baby detergent of choice and tummy time has a whole new set of blankets for drooling upon! 

(Also, now I get to blog about most of my knitting again! E noticed that she hadn't seen these on the blog.) 



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Maybe It Will Work for Easter

Earlier this fall I bought yarn for making my Loopy Academy projects. I had patterns and plans but alas, am a Hedgehog of the Occasional Inability to Read the Pattern Properly Until Several Months later. *sigh*

And so I refactored, grabbed new patterns, and faced my yarn choices. 

Two skeins from that shipment have to be set aside for gifts, so I'm left with my original yarn choices and a curious wondering about what I was possibly thinking in September.


I bought lavender wool. I don't particularly care for lavender-- I don't wear the color; I'm not a big fan of the scent. More for those of you who do like it, truly. Why did I buy lavender wool? If you run into September Hedgehog, ask her. 

And the project needs to be at least 250 yards and include bobbles, which means I need to use both skeins. 

I also don't like bobbles. Sibling-the-Elder has done some fantastic work with lace and nupps. I adore what she is capable of and my coworkers keep threatening to permanently borrow the shawls she has made me. But bobbles in worsted weight and with me knitting just look like clunky blobs dangling off an otherwise reasonably satisfactory knitting project.

Each semester, Loopy Academy brings me a project with a skill set I don't really have and while I can say, ah yes, I've now done it, the result turns back into yarn or goes immediately into the gift bin.  In doing a quick count on Ravelry just now, of the 12 projects completed so far 4 were gifted/are in the gift bin; 3 were frogged; and I've kept 5. Of the three for this semester, I have a feeling I'll keep 1. It depends if there is any hope that the gloves will fit someone else.

I've restarted the bobble project a couple of times now. And I've just decided to rip out what I have so far and start again. My first effort was a pattern that I found online and while yes, it would have been doable, six inches in I found it so hideous that I refused to take pictures of it. Not the pattern's fault, though the designer wasn't the clearest and I wouldn't buy anything from her again. But lavender feather and fan lace topped with chunky bobbles wasn't doing anyone any good.

So now I've tracked down a crescent scarf pattern that I will modify to add a row of small bobbles. And if I run out of yarn, I'll bind off early and it will be a shallow crescent. Hopefully this is the last time, as I go to cast on again. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

It Always Comes Down to December

Every year, I think I will do better. Every year, I don't. You'd think I'd learn and either would do better or would at least know my own tendency to put things off.

Fall knitting has been taken up by large projects that you've not seen, due to my wanting to get them finished and off to recipients before I showed pictures. The last ends are finally woven in and the delivery date for them set. Then...photos and proof that I haven't been a total slacker.

I'm now trying desperately to catch up on my Loopy Academy Junior Year Fall Semester Projects. I could easily have knocked these out months ago but instead here I am frantically trying to catch up. It didn't help that when I went to work on one project I realized that I'd not bought enough yarn. Some refactoring and new patterns later and I'll be okay, if annoyed.

Getting attention this weekend was Loopy Project: Make a Toy. I've not gotten much into toys, for all that I have the Rebecca Danger Monster book (AudioGirl, is that still at your house?). The Philosopher tracked down an unusual pattern for me though: Balloon Tying Stuff Animals http://www.skacelknitting.com/s.nl/it.A/id.7256/.f

I, of course, am tackling the Elephant, albeit with a bit of help. It's fiddly, mostly because I tend to knit all of my circular stuff inside out. It's slowing me down to have to knit it this way, because you stuff as you go. Also six stitches on four circulars is a disaster waiting to happen if you are me.

I'm working on one of the legs, with another leg and then the ears up next. Then it's back to knitting purgatory as I continue the fingers of gloves. AudioGirl reminded me that I really don't like knitting mittens and yes, it's very true. And there are a couple other finished projects and a start of  a pair of socks that I took to Moana last night (excellent movie, by the by!)

Christmas Knitting and Loopy Academy Deadlines are upon me. I'll get through but December is going to require a lot of extra knitting focus. Good luck to the other knitters facing these deadlines!


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Knitting Adjacent

I've been searching for a knitting metaphor for the world over the past days since the US election. Not so much for you, for myself. Knitting focuses me when I am troubled, gives me tangible progress when information work feels horrendously intangible, and has the added side benefit of connecting me to a large community of people who share my hobby--if not all of my opinions (e.g. DPNs vs. Magic Looping for socks. I'm #TeamDPN).

Knitting is often made up of big projects. Long projects. Anyone who has ever undertaken a large shawl, the second sock at that tiny gauge, or a full size afghan knows the slog, the haul, the do-I-really-have-that-much-more-yarn-to-go feeling.

That is what is keeping me going right now. Following the election and facing tumultuous and scary time ahead, I'm grasping on to all the knitting metaphors I can find. This may be simplistic but it gives me a little bit of reassurance.

I can do big things. And each big thing is made up of many thousands of small things. I cannot do much knitting most days -- I've been too tired, too overwhelmed, and still working on the train. But it's rare that at least one stitch doesn't get done. This is then my approach to the larger project of trying to deal with a world where the word of the year is "post-truth."

I will be trying to document my single-stitch actions, privately. This isn't about seeking accolades, it's about knowing for myself that I have made those stitches and to remind myself of each activity so I can repeat some of them.

We have much work to do. We have many people to advocate for and defend.

And I have pointy needles.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Unpacking the Stash

I'm going through the stash. Some friendly neighborhood clothes moths paid a visit to a couple pair of handknit socks that had been left out over the summer and I want to salad toss everything, vacuum, and make sure that further damage isn't afoot.*

Usually I try to go through the stash a couple of times a year. It's good to sort out yarn that I am no longer interested in, remember what I have, get back in touch with my yarn and spark a ridiculous amount of creative inspiration. I knew it had been a while but apparently full yarn-amnesia has set in. As I opened up bins I kept commenting "what's that? I don't remember buying that." Ravelry helps but I'm finding things that aren't in Ravelry, which means they snuck in here without even that documentation.

Somewhere around mid-July I was staring at the stash on it's many shelves in the living room and all I could think was that perhaps I should just clear it all out. Try again with some new yarn if something particularly inspired me but stop carrying around stash. That this thought occurred was slightly troubling, but also a sign of how overwhelmed I was feeling about the rest of life. It also suggested a need to go through and lighten.

Currently I am going through a Use-the-Yarn-You-Own phase. I get these a lot, most often after I've tossed the stash, so that seems perfectly normal and appropriate. As I handle, vacuum, examine, and re-sort the stash ideas trickle in. That would make a nice hat; these two skeins would make a nice shawl.


I am, of course, trying to finish up some gift knitting and then there's Loopy Academy for the Junior Year Fall Semester and Christmas knitting. So my plans are likely to be slightly delayed as I try and get through all of that. But making sure that knitting is a commute priority (the various games I play on my phone will have to take a pause) should help. And the cool weather outside is inspiring as well. 

Have you tossed your stash lately? 



*Handknit socks; afoot. Yes, I crack me up too.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Delights at Every Turn

It was recently a birthday at Chez Hedgehog. One of the quieter years for me: AudioGirl and I met up for a mutual birthday meal; the Philosopher and I went to a very nice dinner on the actual day; and then the Incredibly Patient Mother came up last weekend and we ate and drank our way around Chicago: Dim Sum down in Chinatown followed by my first trip to our Cider Pub--Northman! The past year has been challenging in terms of work, personal goals, some health things, etc. and I wasn't up for any kind of big celebration. Time with my boyfriend, mother, and one of my longest friends was exactly what I needed. 

And there have been a few lovely additions to the knitting accouterments from my birthday...


Apparently if one has a sibling who knits and loves hedgehogs, you find her this. It's a lovely felted knitting bag from Sibling-the-Younger and has an aborable little cat pin. I've already got plans to haul it around and see how many comments I get on it! I think he picked it up at Maryland Sheep and Wool-- but it's definitely from Frabjous Fibers. 

Tucked inside were a novel set of knitting needles. I think they are porcupine quills?

I have absolutely no idea what I'll make with them, they appear to be a size 8 or 9 US and very flexible. These might need to be stay-at-home needles, I'd worry about losing one while traveling or sitting on them accidentally on the train. (That happens more than I'd like to admit, no puncture wounds yet but I do have a current tetanus shot!) 

Fortunately, Sibling-the-Elder sent along some knitting books from which I can extract some patterns. She got me Amy Herzog's newest: You Can Knit That; Modern Baby Knits; and the Knowledgeable Knitter. Scheming will abound with my stash. 

And AudioGirl knows me too well. We met up for dinner at Knit1, a yarn store in Chicago that I'd not made it to yet. I'll definitely go back though, they were lovely and the selection was delicious.  As I picked up my X-teenth skein of rainbow yarn, she interjected that perhaps I should peek at part of my birthday gift before pulling out my credit card: 


Isn't it fabulous? It's Knitted Wit yarn that she picked up on her travels. It's gloriously bright and is certain to knit up super quickly as I go "Oh, look, it'll be green in five more stitches." I've already started going through the Ravelry queue. 

And finally, I was on a delivery mission for my friend Catherine and she also sent me this lovely little magnet! 



I feel amazingly understood, loved, and known by my friends and family. I appreciate it more than I can say! 



Tuesday, August 30, 2016

For All the Miles

Before work today a man came to pick up my Pontiac. He was running late (weather/traffic/people can't drive); I was already exhausted from a new spate of insomnia; and a very full day of work lay ahead.  As he backed up the flatbed, I took off the license plate and made sure I had pulled out my last registration card. I signed over the title and --oh right--you need the keys. 

And he said "Great, I'll load it, you get to work, I'm sorry for being so late."

Suddenly I didn't want to go. My car was leaving me and I was just going to go to work like a normal day? 

I bought the car in 2004 as I was headed into my final semester of graduate school. My first car had finally given up the ghost and I needed to drive both for school and all over Long Island for work. I'd done research online, found a car I  wanted, arranged with the Incredibly Patient Mother to go make a purchase, arrived at the dealer at the beginning of the day and... neither the car nor the SalesDude I'd been emailing with were there. The manager of the dealership listened to the description of the car and immediately knew that the car wasn't on the lot. SalesDude was "coming in later that day" and they didn't have anything else really they could show me but if I wanted to wait 2-3 hours, they could get the car there (from the other side of Indianapolis). I remember looking at my mother briefly, back at the sales manager, and announcing "That's not acceptable." And so we left.  I'm still curious as to what kind of conversation SalesDude came into when he finally bothered to show up for work and a nearly guaranteed sale had already walked off the lot. 

Several other dealerships later (all of which seemed to be vying for a Worst Customer Service award), I walked onto another used dealer lot and flatly stated my requirements. Budget, car age/ approximate mileage, sedan, not a Dodge Neon, and not red.* The dealer was unfazed and presented me with the Pontiac for a test drive. Twenty-four hours, a new set of brakes, and a co-signed car loan later and I was on the road back to New York. I remember calling a couple of friends to keep me company/sane while I made my way across Pennsylvania. 


It was the second Grand Am in my group of friends: the Blonde had the Pumpkin and I now had the Gecko. We were the most identifiable cars in any parking lot. 

I only did the drive to NY once. When I moved to Chicago the first time, I drove the Gecko to New Jersey and got a truck hitch. But we made the run between LaCrosse and Chicago almost monthly for three years. It only refused to start once due to the cold--and frankly, no one should have been outside that day. 

Of late I've been less confident driving it. It needs new brakes, again, and a lot of other work that was beyond what I could do with it. My mechanic had stronger words about it. So I started car hunting and, happily, made a very easy acquisition.*** Of course, this meant the Gecko was no longer needed even for Target runs. 

A coworker also recently got a new car and pointed me towards a church that has a vehicle ministry--doing repairs, repurposing homing or breaking down donated cars, teaching car repair. They would come and take the Gecko and--if possible--give it a little more life and a new home. 

And so my car was driven onto a flatbed and it's unlikely I'll see it again.  The level of grief I'm experiencing for an inanimate object seems oddly high, but I spent a lot of hours in that car and 95% of the time it just turned on and took me wherever I needed to go. I owned it for 12 years and it was something of a physical extension. With Pontiac now out of business, it's unlikely I'll ever be able to own one again.  




Now it's off on an adventure without me and I will miss my bright green car. Such it is I bid adieu to my Gecko. Thanks for all of the miles. 



*I have a strong dislike of red cars
**Thank you again to the IPM, not sure how else they expect early 20s adults to get car loans.
***It's far easier to get a car loan in my 30s

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Stitches Midwest: Plans for Fall Socks

The Incredibly Patient Mother and I went to Stitches Midwest! Her visit was timed fortuitously and I haven't been to a yarn festival since AudioGirl and I went to YarnCon, obviously I was suffering for a lack of new wool in my life.

My first target was Dragonfly Fibers, to show them the shawl, which was very well received. You know dyers know their product line well when they handle a shawl and announce "Ah, Pixie, but where did you get an all black skein?...[Pause as I say Ravelry] Oh...the Shades of Truth kit, right..." They liked it and I hope that means black skeins might be part of their regular run in the future.

From there the IPM and I stalked Franklin Habit for a few minutes. My dear friend who travels so much that with my calendar and his, I can only hope that we'll end up in California or North Carolina at the same time one of these days while he teaches at a yarn shop and I'm giving another presentation on data policy.


I, of course, had an ulterior motive of getting my coloring book signed. For those of you who've gotten a copy, have you found the hedgehog? 

From there the IPM and I strolled through the booths, eyeing some unusual Japanese yarn, noting that speckles are all the rage, *not* going into that booth or that one. [Yes, there are stories, there are always stories. But best told in person with a bubbly beverage.]

My first pass I came away with nothing and felt rather disheartened. Did I truly just own too much yarn?  Had my yarn joy been too dampened by our first errand of the morning [the DMV]? But the IPM wisely suggested a reverse pass through the booths and I found a few delightful things on second glance. 

The lady at Threads and Ewe, up from Texas, was so welcoming. I could have chatted with her the rest of the day and she had some lovely indie dyers that were new to me. 


I picked up a skein of Round Table Yarn in the Camelot base, which is MCN and feels absolutely delicious. The colorway is Agravain and I have a feeling a couple of knitters I know are madly clicking over to see what other colors there are. There was a really great orange too....

Three Irish Girls' booth was mobbed on my first pass through and when we got back the pickings were a little on the slender side. They had a few more tubs with them, some reserves for the afternoon and Sunday, but it didn't look like they would be taking much home.  TIG dyes on purchase so it was lovely to have some instant gratification to go with their beautiful colorways. 



The purple in this is more ultraviolet than it's showing up in the pictures. Adorn Luxe in the Blackberry Cobbler colorway.  It will tone down a bit upon knitting but it's such a lovely skein.


And I grabbed their last skein of Rocket Man, the pair to Space Oddity which is 3/5 of a Flax Light that I'm presently ignoring.  So apparently I'm not over my rainbow streak yet.  

Finally, it was back to Dragonfly Fibers. I'm not sure if I'll get this knit up before Yarn Con, which is when I'm likely to see them again next, but I have hope. 




There's so much color in this skein and that vibrant yellow that I've come to associate with them. No one else seems to be using that shade to such great effect! 

I titled this post plan for fall socks because I got home and, as I reviewed the haul with the Philosopher, I realized that I will probably turn at least three pair into socks. The Camelot will be more flexible but I have the delight in the other three skeins in their present form. I'm not sure I want to see their crazy pooling on some other project. Socks is a good compromise for me. 

Of course, this doesn't sort out my Christmas knitting plans, which had been the goal. Ahh well, there's always next week's Loopy Ewe update, right? 





Friday, July 22, 2016

The Shawl is Done

I finished the giant black shawl!! Well, mostly black.




The 1900 yards have been bound off and I had a few yards leftover. Based on the weight, it's a little over that count, the skeins each had an extra yard or two but the wee leftovers on my desk are very wee. Certainly not enough to have done another round, but long enough that I wasn't worried about playing yarn chicken once I was 2/3rds of the way through the bindoff.




The shawl is Nuvem by Martina Behm. The yarn is Dragonfly Fibers Pixie in the Shaggy Dog and Firecracker colorways.



That's a full size bed that it's lying across This shawl is massive. And doesn't photograph well indoors. I'm not sure I have the right lights for the lightbox set up this would need. 


I have not blocked it yet and I'm not sure how much I will block it, though after all the places it has been a wash won't go amiss. (Also, I'm not sure where I have room to block it. We're sorting things in the dining room right now so my usual floor space is not available.) 

The Philosopher asked if I liked it once I as done and honestly, I don't know. It's not what I had planned/expected. The colored yarn came out far more muted than I anticipated. Also, the fourth skein didn't really get a chance to shine as it's such a thin part and then the ruffle. 

Overall though, it's a cosy piece. Very much a toss around the shoulders and go to run Saturday morning errands in early October or pile on top of my coat in January because it will be super high but not thick. It may also become a live-in-my-office shawl, if I can keep a couple of coworkers from sneaking off with it. (Similar color sense abounds in my department). 

This does put me over 3km for Stash Dash and I'm still hopeful of 5km. And I get to wear this to Stitches Midwest and show the DragonFly Fiber dyers the results! 


Saturday, July 16, 2016

How Much Can You Knit at a Conference?

I'm just finished with a lovely two day regional conference. Friends at UChicago organized and hosted the meeting and it was a wide variety of speakers and attendees. I heard from a wide swath of people from different libraries and roles within their libraries all working on interesting projects. I have notes on several things I want to ask people about at my library and I need to post my own slides, several people said they wanted to follow up with me about them.

This meant, of course, that I needed a new knitting project. Everything else at Chez Hedgehog is still at the "in the throes of being complete."  [The giant black shawl bindoff continues.] So on my way out the door on Thursday, I grabbed a skein that had gone with to Florida and back without getting more than a cursory look and the bag of "needles to knit FlaxLight" which I now apparently carry all over the place.

First order of business was to wind up the yarn while we were having welcome half-hour breakfast.


The yarn is Three Irish Girls' Adorn Sock in the Space Oddity Colorway. I bought it earlier this year and despite having spent the last two months sighing deeply over the black with rainbow yarn that is nearly a giant shawl, this held strong appeal. The neon factor help a lot. 


By the end of day 1 (Thursday), I had just put the sleeves on waste yarn and started the body of the sweater. Several people asked about the construction and TinCanKnits' beautiful sketches that accompany the pattern made it very easy.  I notice that in that picture the green isn't photographing very well. It's a popcorn knit--you keep thinking "just through the next rainbow, oh look, pink, orange, yellow, blue..." and around and around. Glancing down was always a surprise.



Day 2 saw a couple of inches work on the body. So apparently, about 35% of a baby sweater in two days. I wish everything went that fast and also that I regularly had that much knitting time. StashDash would be far more productive. Which would probably mean I would buy more yarn because of how fast I believe I can use it up. 

For now I will go figure out how long it takes to get this bindoff ruffle done... 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

By Weight

The shawl continues. Have I knit on anything else of late? There was a bit of a sprint working on one of the gray socks last week during a long meeting but other than that, shawl, shawl, shawl.

Everyone on various social media has been kind at the repetitive pictures of black yarn with speckles. The yarn is well loved and I've the impression that there's a cheering section of knitters waiting for me to finish it up.  This has been supplemented by a new site: I finally broke down and joined Instagram. I'm @hedgielib over there as well as on Twitter, if you're looking for me. I'm still getting aspects figured out. Hopefully I can set defaults to regularly post to Facebook--it'll be easier.

Joining came from a combination of frustration and prodding. Frustration because several knitters I know post there (e.g. the Yarn Harlot) and Instagram doesn't believe in RSS feeds and the 3rd party ones kept breaking. Prodding because AudioGirl pointed out that it would be all cats and knitting. She's not wrong, that's the plan. Too many pictures of cats, mostly Gypsy because she is better at posing, and whatever yarn is in my lap.

Where were we? Right, shawl.

I finished my rounds, weighed the shawl, and did the very long row to start the ruffle. Doubling every stitch, a standard in ruffling, takes a particularly long time and due to the method, the next row seemed excruciatingly long.

It's gotten better since then. And I've found that each row takes 10 grams, which is handy in helping me figure out how much more I have left.


The 68 grams picture is from yesterday and I just took the 48 grams. So, 20 grams in 24 hours and I did make a lasagna today, so it wasn't all knitting. My arm is definitely feeling it though and I expect progress in the next couple of days won't be as fast. 

But still, I have 2 rows left and the bind off. That's all. Part of me wants to go curl up and see if I can get through just one more row tonight before collapsing but I know that would mean soreness tomorrow and a knitting injury at this point is not worth it. This isn't a race and I'm not on a deadline other than Stash Dash--which is a full month away still. 

Within the week though I'm hoping to on to other things. Non black things. (Well, maybe non-black, more on that later though) 

Also, I'm out of sock projects that I can take with me on the train and to things. Everything is at a toe right now. That could be a problem. I should fix that before bedtime. 



Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Math Motivation

Over the weekend I weighed the skein/knit another row/weighed the skein. If my math is to be trusted, I have three more rows to knit before I start the ruffle.

Suddenly I'm all excited and focused again on plowing through this giant shawl. Even though I have nearly an entire skein of yarn still to knit. Even though the ruffle is going to be miles of stockinette. Even though I'm still not sure how much yarn I should leave for the bind off -- though at least with that I'm relatively sure that ~3x weight of 1 round of ruffle should do it.



Hope knits onward...

Saturday, July 2, 2016

To Florida and Back Again

The Philosopher and I went to Florida for a week. He does most of the driving when we're in Florida--it's his home state--and this time he did all of it, which afforded me some serious extra knitting time. I packed four works in progress and a spare skein of yarn and that was absolutely the correct amount to take.

(Pauses to mention the cat who is determined to sit on the mouse, the keyboard, me, everything today. Gypsy has been velcro-cat since we got home and refuses to let me out of her sight while I'm in the apartment.)


On the plane ride down I worked on the Firework shawl.  Skein 3, while much brighter, was starting to stretch out forever and I knew I wouldn't be able to haul it all of the places that we were going to go.  But that was WIP #1. 

WIP #2 had a deadline.  My committee Vice-Chair had a baby in April and I wanted to usher him into his Chair year appropriately. Also, baby sweaters :) 
(Photo by Mike, used with permission)

I realized after we got back that I'd forgotten to take a picture of the final finished sweater, so this is from my VC. The sweater is Flax Light, knit out of a skein of BMFA lightweight in the Frozen Valley colorway that was specially dyed for The Loopy Ewe earlier this year.  I can't believe it just sat waiting for me to finish a sleeve since April.  But it's done and off to Baby N, who should be just the right size for it when it starts to get cooler this fall.  I immediately wanted to cast on another one this pattern, it's a great use for sock yarn when you're a touch burned out on socks. It says I'd need 400 yards--but it looks like I used closer to 350. Not sure if I could make it all the way through the next size up, would probably need to plan for different yarn for the ribbing. 

Project #3 was a pair of socks that has been languishing since January. I reached some point on sock 2 and just stopped. Probably so I could work on Loopy Academy Spring. The LA deadlines tend to send many other htings by the wayside but it does set me up nicely for stash dash and a bit for Christmas.  



I worked on these on the drive from Ft. Lauderdale to Orlando (we were staying with the Philosoparents first, then off to conference).  And you can see the travel centipedes came with us. 


In fairly short order they were done. These two projects bring me up to 1304 meters for Stash Dash 2016 so far. Right now the 3K seems like it's th most achievable goal for me. Which I'm a little disappointed by. I though I would really get through 5-7K this summer easily. Granted, I have another pair of socks that only needs a toe, one that needs a foot on Sock 2 and I have nearly 2K in the shawl but still... It's July and I'm not at 3K. 

WIP #4, not pictured here, is the Indy500 Socks. They were worked on.  The only thing I didn't end up using was the spare skein. And it's a good thing as there was a knitting needle emergency and my size 5 needles had to go live in someone else's room for the duration of the conference. (How many people do *you* know at a conference can loan you at least 3 sizes of knitting needle, circulars and DPNS, scissors, and a darning needle?)

By the end of the conference I was done with Skein 3 and in the Fort Lauderdale airport I wound Skein 4. 


I joined the skein on the plane and got a row or two in. At this point, each row is taking the better part of an hour it seems. I haven't been timing it because that will just make me sad. But the move to the ruffle, my yarn scale tells me, should be in about 20 grams, if I'm going by Martina's numbers.  


 So now I have to attempt to fight off the cat long enough to get a row or two done. She's SO very put upon.

Begrudgingly Entrelac'd

My Loopy Academy Senior Year Entrelac project has been completed. I did enough to complete the yardage and bound off.  It's a 5&#...