Thursday, October 19, 2017

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 it turned out! 

Tina and the lovely personages  in the dye barn were flooded with orders, apparently I'm not the only one looking for a way to commemorate, in wool, such a spectacular event.  Considering that at most I will probably only see 2 or 3 of these in my lifetime, I felt a little extra stash enhancement was in order.


It looks a muted on the screen, imagine the colors dialed up even more than you can see here.  The yellows are almost neon and the orange flecks are very rich.  This is Socks that Rock Lightweight base, which seems to have become my default purchase. It used to be Mediumweight and someday I wouldn't mind getting some more of that in my stash (when I whittle 1-5 more square inches that are not entirely squashed with wool). 


I also really splurged. This is the gradient pack for that same colorway. Enclosed are 6 150-yard skeins of 100% Merino. It's not STR though-- it's Featherlight, which is a very soft singly ply yarn. I rarely knit with single ply -- the last project I did was the giant black shawl last year, which has since become my office shawl. I'm a little nervous about knitting this up. But the colors are so gorgeous and with 900 yards, I'll be able to find some shawl that speaks to me. Assuming, of course, that I can keep AudioGirl from absconding with it.  






Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Spoils of WI Sheep: Part 2


And this delightful pile is the rest of my WI Sheep spoils from the Walk and Knit competition. The generosity of the vendors cannot be overstated -- I'll be working on different skeins for quite a while. 

Starting across the top is a skein of A Hundred Ravens Iachos in the "Into Darkness" colorway.  This is a lovely 2 ply and while it came with a sock pattern, it's not one that appeals to me. I'd much rather have this as a close-to-face accessory.  The project bag in the Top right is also from them. 

The Bottom Left shows stamped buttons and a lovely little stitch-marker/tea bag/ring dish from Jenny Blasen Pottery.  I took a look at her Etsy shop and she has some very lovely tumblers and cups if you like good heavy coffee cups. 

And finally, the Bottom Right is yarn from Sophie's Toes, which as I've said before is sadly no more. This is Emily's take on the Farmer's Market and will of course be all the more precious in that I cannot purchase any more except perhaps through a destash. While I know dyers come and go, it's sad to have lost two different dyers in the past 18 months both of whose work I really enjoyed and who I regularly got to see in person. 

These lovelies are all added to the Stash and hopefully I can find plans for them soon.  We shall see... 


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Spoils of WI Sheep: Part 1



I've let the prizes from Wisconsin Sheep and Wool sit -- which does nothing to mark the generosity of the various vendors who donated them. Also I need to get them into Ravelry so I've not forgot from whence they came.  (Always a challenge at Chez Hedgehog-- when TLE started magicking my purchases into my stash, it was a brilliant day!)

So here's part 1, with a second part coming in a couple of days.  Top Left and Bottom Right are the front and back of a felted bag from Spry Whimsy.  It's fairly thin but should hold a single skein project. It's delightfully bright.  I'm pretty sure I've been to their store once even! If it's the one I'm remembering, it was lovely and full of charming things to purchase. 

The Top Right is Hidden Valley Yarn, 200 hundred yards of Coopworth.  It's very squishy and a nice worsted weight. I have a couple of ideas for it that might even tie into Christmas knitting this year -- if only I can come out from beneath the immediate weight of Loopy Academy projects.

Finally--that Bottom Left is KnitCircus! This is their Greatest of Ease base in the Over the Rainbow colorway. I would be lying if I said I wasn't always drawn to their booth, but I've never had the right project in mind and didn't just want the yarn to linger.  This demands work soon and I am already scouring through my Ravelry queue for something appropriate.  The rainbow obsession continues!

These were all prizes for the Walk and Knit competition and I've only shown you half and only what I brought home! More to come!


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Lessons Proceeding

Loopy Academy is occasionally stressful. I tend to overdo on my projects, going for things that are shiny rather than just what meets requirements. But heavens, at least it's not this other online course that I'm presently attempting, which is supposed to be introducing best practices in designing for online courses to educators. In this week's module, we got completely incorrect information about copyright law. I'm an academic librarian by career and training and I've done research and multiple papers on this topic. I am not a copyright lawyer by any stretch but seriously? Bah.

I'll take stress about wool any day. Okay, fine, that's most days and most stressors. I'm sure you understand my general point.


Meet my third project. This is "knitting from a chart" and I chose the Vitamarie pattern by Franklin Habit.  I've just started my third repeat of Chart B. Everything is very clear and a repeat seems like it is taking about 90 minutes? I didn't get through quite a full repeat during a 1 hour Knitgirllls episode. I'll have to test with Midsomer Murders.

The yarn is Loopy Solids, which continues to be serviceable. TLE still has a lot of it in the discounted pile, though I wish I'd bought more black before they sold out in this old base. And I probably need to go over and just buy the rest of what they have in a couple of other colors. Because you know, I have room for that.

And it's lace and that's a rather late at night photo on the plaid couch so not my best. But it's started and coming along. I finished the pink scarf I showed you last week, so I'm trying to focus on my Academy projects. That will probably last until later today, when I need to go to the dentist. She doesn't mind if I knit while we're waiting for the pain killers to kick in but she will probably draw the line at charts.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Academy Begins

Fall Semester for Loopy Academy is underway.  I've managed to choose three projects that require close care and attention.

Ampersand Exclamation Point Pound Sign F2 Key Asterisk End Parentheses

Ah well, it is supposed to be about learning, isn't it?


First is the entrelac project. I went back and forth on needle size, which pattern to use, etc. But finally it's underway. I've completed one repeat and I think I generally understand what I'm doing. It'll be endless short rows and it will be rubbish to try and do this on the commute. It's a good thing BMFA is gorgeous yarn. 


The asymmetric project on the other hand is lovely and I wish I had more energy to work on it. I really do like Wollmeise. I've been committing to at least two rows at bedtime, which a couple of times has turned into four rows but generally not more. Other knitting is happening around Chez Hedgehog but this has been living by the bed. It has *some* capacity to travel. It'll need it. 

Just barely cast on and not yet photographed is the chart shawl. I can safely say Franklin Habit has some of the largest and clearest charts I've ever encountered. 

Now all I need is time. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

#ShePersisted

I am awash with deadlines .Everything at work seems to be happening five minutes, maybe three, before it's due, or I'm a week late and opening with an apology and request for understanding. My only hope is that nearly everyone I encounter seems to be in the same boat. Drawing on one of my research partners, we now open our working calls with "This is my reality this week..." and avoid the three minutes of prelude joint apologies. 

Thus it's particularly important to have a knitting project that is just a touch mindless and yet pretty enough to evoke the spare comment and keep me motivated. 

Meet the Noel pattern in BMFA #shepersisted 


Isn't it bright and crazy and lovely?  I adore it. 

The pattern is a triangular shawl, an irregular pattern with a picot edging that I'm finding I enjoy. 


The color is of course an homage to Elizabeth Warren, the Senator for whom I have great respect. The doesn't hurt either.  Although, someone did point out that it would be just a touch more amusing if the colorway was #sheeppersisted But I'll take the original.



It's knitting up very quickly, aided by a run through Agatha Christie's first Poirot book in my headphones. I decided I should give it one more try before the movie this fall. I had forgotten how utterly annoying I find Poirot. He's so smug and condescending. Although, in his defense, in the first book at least Christie is poking gentle fun at the narrator -- who is wholly convinced of his own detecting prowess. If my library has the second book I might give it a go. I need something to tide me over until next month's Audible credit brings another Miss Fisher book. 


Gypsy continues to help with my photo shoots. Such a thoughtful cat. (A thoughtful cat who broke one of my light bulbs. I have new ones now and no one has glass in their toes.)



Saturday, September 16, 2017

Wee Sheep, WI Sheep

The fancy sheep were unimpressed with us, but we were impressed with them! Last weekend the Philosopher and I drove up to Wisconsin for WI Sheep and Wool Festival or Wee Sheep--as I tend to pronounce it.  It required some serious Philosopher leveraging on a Saturday morning and it's a good thing sheep are as adorable as they are...


We also found my friend KB! She and her Ravenclaw Ravelry HPKCHC pals were attending in full force but she joined me for a rummage through the sheep barns and through the all of the shopping. She's shown here wearing a sweater made out of her own handspun. Yes, I'm terribly amazed by her all the time. She was also working on fair isle color-changing mittens. When she gets done and gets a blog post up, I'll try to remember to link.


We were very responsible knitting shoppers together, managing to talk each other out of yarn that we probably didn't really need, even as glorious as it was. Our color tastes are complementary but different enough that when I would squeal over something, she was a bit more refined, with the appropriate caveats for purple and green. The Philosopher was generally non-judgmental. He vetoed a couple of almost selections and reminded me that yes, I really do have that many skeins of rainbow yarn that I might need to get to first.  But what's the fun in that? Here's what I did buy: 


First up was Blackberry Ridge Wollen Mill.  This is two skeins of their Colorflow base, Autumn Rag colorway.  It's about a pound altogether and around a worsted weight. It's like oatmeal in a skein, warm and nubby. I want to make a really dense warm shawl. I'm thinking maybe a Kay's Tess D'Ubervilles Shawl again. I wear my purple one all the time.
Next was my dearest Ewetopia Fiber Shop. Oh I've missed seeing Kathryn the past couple of years and her yarns are just exactly as excellent as I remember. This is her Kickapoo Sock and while it's not photographing perfect, I think you can see the hints of purple and blue. That's gone into the stash to marinate for a bit. (We realized that I have Ewetopia yarn that is nearly a decade old; I really must get around to using that up)


I also had to grab a skein of this Ridge Sport yarn. This comes with history. While I was living in La Crosse, Ewetopia had it's first "their farm" wool. I bought a skein in an aqua shade and made a pair of socks. It's one of my earlier pairs and I've worn them to felt. I adore those socks. So finding some of her Ewetopia farm grown, Ewetopia mill spun, Ewetopia owner dyed in aqua ? Sign me up.  These will be a quick add to the sock drawer and I can't wait! 



My final purchase came late in the day. I was dismayed to learn that a regular favorite dyer of mine, Emily of Sophie's Toes, is shutting down her work. She does delightful color blends including the Philosopher's favorite triangle. Her booth had been pretty well cleared out, but I found this lovely autumnal skein.  The green isn't my usual, but I know a couple of people it will appeal to and so in the goodness of time. 

After KB headed home, it was time for me to compete in the Walk and Knit contest! My writing partner's ex-neighbor (I know, stay with me) had put together a team. I was, she promised her teammates, a ringer. We hustled and stitched our way through, trying to not knock anyone else over or drop stitches. There were a total of 8 teams competing. I'm told that somewhere, there's video. Thank heavens for a self-history of walking/knitting log cabin afghan squares. 

Then we queued to hear the winners. Imagine our delight-- WE WON! We were the second fastest time but apparently had knit the most? It was a combination of stitches, errors, and speed.  I'm not entirely sure how they calculated it, but we were utterly delighted. See our wining team picture here!*

We got a treasure trove of prizes. It was amazing generosity from the vendors and I was deeply touched. I'll share those separately so you can see all of the cool and shiny things (and keep in mind, my teammates took home lots of other cool things too!). I hear we might have to compete next year again. 

All in all, an excellently sheepy day. 


*Yes, he knit that stunning brioche shawl and he was starting a second one. It's even more phenomenal in person. Everyone was enchanted with it. 











Friday, September 8, 2017

Loopy Academy: Senior Year, Fall Semester.

Here we go!!

Tomorrow, I'm off to Wisconsin Sheep and Wool. Where I will be buying yarn. Which is why today I am showing you new yarn that just arrived. So, about the problem of my stash never getting smaller and me being totally confused as to why this is the case.

Pay no attention to the BMFA Packaging behind the couches.


Here's what was in the Box of Fun and what you'll be seeing too much of over the next four months. I keep telling myself that I can totally knock all of these out in a couple of weeks. My optimism seems unending. 

We have three project assignments this fall term: entrelac, charts, and asymmetrical. I was pretty delighted with these choices -- they are broader than a couple of the past terms have been. 


This BMFA heavyweight in the Hush colorway seems like it will be perfect for entrelac. That's not one of my favorite textures, but at least the colorway is cheerful and if I get done and hate it, wouldn't be a wool I minded knitting again.  I've knit entrelac once or twice, though I'm not sure I've ever gotten through a full project. 


Next up is Loopy Solids in Evergreen. Yes, that's five skeins but they are half skeins. Promise. It's only 2.5 "real" skeins of fingering weight. And no, that's not the same color as what I knit the Steampunk shawl out of last spring. I talked myself into a Franklin Habit pattern I've been meaning to knit for a while. He has beautiful and clear charts and this will nicely meet the requirements for a pattern with a chart.  


Finally, I went looking for an excuse to buy/knit some Wollmeise in the colorway Brombeere [Blackberry]. With any number of beautiful asymmetric patterns available on Ravelry, I'm sure one will pop out as fitting for this skein.  Asymmetric patterns haven't really been my thing, other than the one I knit for AudioGirl last Christmas, so the question remains of who I know that might wear this color.  

I'm off to set up the ball winder.  Between this and Christmas knitting and a few other planned things for fall, it's going to be quite a long wind! 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Into the Fall We Go Again

One of these days my brain won't default to Stephen Sondheim when I'm trying to think of blog post titles. Obviously this isn't that day.

The Incredibly-Patient-Mother was up for a visit this weekend and then I got to meet the family of a long-standing internet friend. We had the usual conversation of "now, how do I know you again?" which seems more and more frequent in adult life. And he pointed out gleefully that I was knitting.


A current project you've not yet seen, a new triangle for the Philosopher. It's based on the Fibonacci sequence and I'm fairly close to finished. The yarn may look familiar, it's the 3rd time I've knit it up and so help me, the last time. It's Dizzy Blonde in one of her original colorways. First it was a hat, then a different scarf, now it's this one. 

I was feeling a little guilty recently that I've not been reading as much as I would like to or am used to. A lot of this is due to the constant consumption of text throughout the workday--although arguably much of that isn't reading. If I'm doing a literature search I'm processing words, titles, search strings etc I am seeing and accepting or rejecting text -- but ask me in three days and it's likely that the content will be entirely out of my head. It's usually not mine so it isn't important that I hold on to it. 

Then I started counting the new books I've listened to over the past few months and I began to feel a bit better. I've listened to 9 new books from Audible in the past 6 months, several more from the library, and I've read a few books in print or on my various devices. So I'm probably in the neighborhood of 15-20 new books so far this year, plus rereads/listens. It made me feel surprisingly better.  I've been feeling like a bad reader who was disengaged. And I don't hesitate to point out that an ability to shotgun Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries has been most useful (to the point that I'm out of backlogged Audible credits and seriously considering buying a few extra). 

It's not what I was reading when I lived in La Crosse, but the job and my reading has changed. What I have energy for of late has changed. And the audiobooks give me a little more time to clean, knit, or at least get from point A to point B.  Several times recently as I've been listening, I've sat down for a few minutes and tried to pick up a book to read simultaneously. It takes a minute for me to realize why I cannot listen to an audiobook and read another text.  All the better to grab my knitting, right? 

My Loopy Academy assignment comes on Friday, I've no idea what Sherry has planned for fall but when it comes out, that plus Christmas knitting is getting sorted *this weekend.* I am optimistic that I could perhaps get a lead on things. In theory. Perhaps. 

And now that I have to decide which murder mystery to consume on the way home, the e-print one I just checked out or the Audible one I'm most of the way through (but it's a re-read). Decisions, decisions. 



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

You Should Too...

Deciding the title for this post, I was rummaging around in my head for phrases and kept returning to "You come too."  It was a phrase from a poem, I knew that and fortunately, the internet tells me the source: Robert Frost's The Pasture.  https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44270/the-pasture

I've never been a big fan of Frost, but long time readers will know I am a huge fan of Blue Moon Fiber Arts. So when this image scrolled by, I was immediately enchanted. Tina came up with "A Total Eclipse of the Sun" --a colorway for the forthcoming eclipse?

Me? Well, I'm apparently nothing more than a very susceptible lemming. It's coming in STR lightweight and I think I've already picked out a pattern for it.




















And for those who are more gradiently/miniskeined inclined, that's available too. I can think of two or three patterns that'd work nicely with too...


I don't know if Tina will mention this on her blog but I have giant hope that maybe my order will get here before the eclipse so I can be that horribly annoying knitter who is knitting her eclipse yarn during the eclipse.  


(Caveat: I am not paid by BMFA, just regularly impressed by Tina's color sense and the phenomenal products they put out. Some of the best customer service in the business.) 

(Also, yes, the other title option was "Turn around, bright eyes...")

Friday, August 4, 2017

A Bunny in Schaumburg

I drove out to Schaumburg last night for Stitches Midwest for the opening keynote: the ever charming Franklin Habit. I'd not realized one could sign up just to attend the keynotes and so haven't in the past. But this popped up and I was delighted to go.  I'm not going to the conference this weekend; the Philosopher and I have Plans for WI Sheep and Wool in September...


Franklin spoke about the creative life and the weird little twitch fiber artists/teachers/designers get when someone gushes about how lovely it is when someone says "but you get to play with yarn ALL DAY." I know that twitch--librarians have it too anytime someone tells me how lovely it is that I work in a quiet space where I just get to read.

As always, it was lovely to see him speak. He has wonderful dry humor and his talks are very well considered.

(Here he's asking how many of us have ever just wanted to STOP knitting for a while)


The travel sock went with me, it's the first major event for Sock 2...everything else I believe has just been work or commute knitting. I'm finally through the heel -- just a gusset and a foot and toe to go! That just a couple of years ago I was turning out at least a pair of month makes me despair.  


Apparently I looked too aloof; no one would sit next to me and my socks and cocktail, despite the packed room. Here you see witness of both in my pre-lecture bathroom selfie. 


I've also started a new shawl and finished two baby hats and finished another hat for AudioGirl. Hmm, I must needs catch up this weekend. 

More soonest... 









Sunday, July 23, 2017

Another Flax Light...

I've adopted another pattern as "thing I make 15-20 of"  The groan you heard was AudioGirl, who usually sees these coming but then has to spend 2-3 years prying me out of my very comfortable knitting rut. Sorry, dearest...I'm squarely in this rut for a bit.

I bought this yarn a few years ago at Loopy Yarns (before it changed owners). At the time, I had the intent of making a matched set: hat, gloves, scarf for myself. And then I sat and stared at the yarn for several years. Eventually I decided that this was not the plan for this yarn but then what does one do with perfectly acceptable stash.

Apparently one knits a sweater out of it.


This is as close as I can get to the correct color and it's from a train ride home recently. I was still on the raglan increases at that point I think. 


Today, after two episodes of the KnitGirllls last night and one of Vera, I've managed to cast off the body. For those trying to guess at measurements, this is the 4-6 year size. I've got several little people in my life who should be around that size this winter and I have a feeling bright teal will probably look better on one of them than it will on me. 

I've picked up the first sleeve in an attempt to not get completely sidetracked as I did with the Flax Light that I knit last summer. Started last summer anyway. I got the body done and then promptly didn't do anything with it and it's been in the bottom of the WIP basket for a solid year + now, which is a pity because it's black with rainbows. Fortunately, friends keep having babies so I can get it finished once I'm done with this teal one and then it'll be off to a new home. I just have to figure out what size exactly I was knitting (guess who didn't write it down!!!)

The one odd thing is that the pattern calls for 750 yards. I'm not going to go through nearly that much wool. At current progress, it'll be closer to 500 yards.  My measurements all seem to be fine, and while it has plenty of drape it doesn't seem to be too loose a gauge. Not sure why I'm using so much less wool. The sleeves won't take *that* much.... 


Sunday, July 16, 2017

For an Unexpected Journey

Isn't knitting always a bit of an adventure?

While I've never read the Lord of the Rings (I know, I know...turn in my library card now) and I only made it through the Hobbit in middle school (who else remembers that really weird movie Miss 7thGradeHonorsEnglishTeacher made us watch)...I have watched the Middle Earth movies several times and I really do hope to get to New Zealand one of these days to see the beauty in person.

So when Jessalu announced a special pre-order of LOTR map bags, I hastened to the queue.

And now I can venture off on my travels, always having a map and a knitting project!  As usual, Jessalu has made a lovely box bag. 


This will be a suitable size for a sock project, though probably nothing larger than that. Although typing that reminds me that I promised the Philosopher a baby hat for some friends.  I should really go dig out appropriate colored leftovers (i.e. anything not obnoxiously pink or blue, not sure what flavor baby they are having) and make something in the newborn, 3 month, and six month sizes to get them through the first winter. 

First though, I will have to retrieve the bag from a small gray feline.... 





Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer Knitting, Sweaty and Hot...

Summer humidity has arrived in full force, at least for the next few days. This morning when I left the house it was overcast but still sunny-- during my commute (90 minutes/~15 miles) we came through a heavy downpour but then just into dense humid heat. And at lunch it was sunny and sticky.

Air conditioning will help with knitting; I was winding yarn last night
(Western Sky Knits in the Teal Giraffe Colorway)

and honestly it was just too hot to do that. I got it finished but didn't have enough oomph to continue on and cast it on. Maybe this weekend. 

And my big accomplishment, I don't have a public photo of.  The Philosopher asked for a hat/scarf combination. The original plan was with ears but this version I went with "functional for all winter" rather than "quirky and only works for two months of the year" 2 full skeins of BMFA Gaea Worsted. in one of the Raven Clan colorways. It's heavy. And should be very useful when the temperatures are about 80 degrees less than they are today.  Pictures eventually, probably next winter. He's already sneaked off with the finished object. 

I have, however, finished a sock! 


This is not a finished sock, but it's the sock seeing Hillary Clinton at the closing keynote for ALA. (Thanks Tod for holding the sock) This sock also went to the Indy 500; House on the Rock in Wisconsin; IASSIST in Kansas and it's been through several really interesting meetings at work. 


Now, generally speaking I don't get Second Sock Syndrome. Socks are automatic enough for me that I finish one, cast on the next and everything is fine. Otherwise I would not be half way through Pairs 78 and 79 (with at least two more pair at home floating around a third finished). 

Today...I have SSS. I really don't want to knit another sock. I liked the yarn, it's been interesting to haul around and I don't want to do Sock 2. Sock 1 had all of the adventures and now it's just a slog. I'm not traveling in the next month or so, which doesn't help.  I apparently knit Sock 1 too slowly.

I'll get it done. I like these and after the damage of last year I want a couple of new pairs in rotation this fall. That cuff right now feels ridiculously long though. 




Monday, June 19, 2017

It's a Celebratory Kind of Shawl

The Birthday Yarns shawl is off the needles!! It still needs a block, mostly I'm waiting on that because I am pretty sure the purple will bleed a bit and the white won't be as perfectly white anymore, but it's done!



Saturday was a "watch several hours of NCIS:LA" kind of day after running errands and being Reviewer 2 on a paper (I have so many opinions when I'm reading other people's work).  I was determined to get this finished up.  


I made a modification.  After the third lace panel, one is supposed to only continue with the Main Color --which in this version is the multi-colored yarn from AudioGirl.  I wanted to use up all of the yarn that I'd been gifted, so I continued the stripes that were written earlier in the pattern. When I ran out of purple yarn (DIC Smooshy in Dark Amethyst), I then knit a few more rows just in the multi-colored yarn (Knitted Wit Victory in Market Flowers).  I bound off using Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind off and had less than 6 feet of yarn left!


The shawl has been set aside for now, it's on to other projects for Stash Dash. And my Loopy Academy Junior Year Completion Prize is on it's way!


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Remember I Used to Knit Socks

I went digging through Ravelry to see when last I had completed a pair of socks. It seemed like it had been a while.  That recollection was correct. I haven't finished a pair of socks since last August. Considering that for a couple of years there it was a 12-18 pair a year, this has been a major downshift. A couple of things have driven that: Loopy Academy, a perception that everyone I regularly make socks for is probably set for a bit [Philosopher, AudioGirl, Incredibly Patient Mother, Me], Baby Knitting. I'd blame Christmas knitting but I don't remember if I ended up getting any holiday knitting projects done other than a scarf for AudioGirl.

AudioGirl came over and tried on all of the socks that were done but unclaimed and she took home three or four pair I think. And helped me size a couple pair that I'd knit optimistically. Someone will wear them kind of thing. If they're too small for me they go over here; if they're too big for her, they go over there.

Theoretically, I continue to knit socks. There are three pair of socks currently in project bags, but none of them are through the first sock yet.


This is some KnitPicks yarn that I bought to round out an order of needles, and it's become my travel socks for the summer. I cast them on for Dark Lord Day in May and then they went is Lawrence KS for a conerence and Indianapolis for the Indy500. Most recently, I worked on them at the House on the Rock in Wisconsin. We don't have too many other major adventures planned but I'm relatively sure these will last the summer. 


Meanwhile this sock leg has been sitting mournfully on my desk since at least October. Sometimes during yet another conference call or committee meeting, I'll get through a round. Usually though my brain is too active or I'm scrawling yet another to do list. The yarn is Rhichard Devrieze Peppino. It's really lovely,  but I remember why I burned through all of my KPPPM (very similar if not the same base) and then *stopped* knitting it for years. I swear this yarn takes forever to knit up. That 5-10 stitches doesn't equal a row probably also does not help. 

The third pair was started at some point unremembered. I know the yarn went with me to Arkansas in April, but beyond that I have no idea. The yarn is KnitPicks Stroll in the BigTop colorway. I bought it last September. For whatever reason it is not in my stash and I'm not adding it now. Apparently it's part of the I-need-all-the-rainbow-yarn binge I was on (might still be on? Not sure). 



Also, yes I see the ladders in the wool where I change needles; No, I'm not especially worried. Two washes and those disappear.

There are two other pair of socks floating around here. One which may be ripped out, another which I need to make a decision on if I'm going to actually finish them because of reasons.  

But they would all help with the StashDash counts and they are already underway. So maybe. If I can just get them all onto DPNs rather than 9" circulars (much recommended for the race track, but still not my favorite method). 

And then I just need to sort out which of my friends where a 7/7.5 shoe.... 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Summer's Bright Colors

It's 92 degrees out this evening and there's not much sign of it cooling down anytime soon. The Philosopher is re-seasoning the cast iron and I keep thinking it's a lovely evening for knitting. Obviously the heat is getting to us. 

But StashDash is here and, having my knitting time to call my own again post the sprint that is always the end of Academy (Yes, I passed the full year this time! Fall is going to seem so easy!), I've hopped back into a project that has been languishing: the Nostalgia Shawl. I'd sorted out the yarn last October as I was tossing the stash. 


One skein is Knitted Wit Victory Sock Yarn in the Marketplace Flowers colorway, which AudioGirl brought me from Seattle for my birthday. The other is Dream in Color Smooshy in the Dark Amethyst colorway from Sibling the Elder--also a present. The two definitely worked together, with the purple being highlighted against the colorful pops and the color pops being just a touch toned down. 

The Nostalgia Shawl is a crescent-shaped shawl that is made up of rows of alternating stripes and then short-row lace. I'm being lazy and following the written directions, it's just been easier than trying to count on the chart as I've hauled this back and forth. 

I'm nearly through the final section of stripes and then I have one more lace repeat and then a border to go. And a number of ends to weave in. I haven't washed the DIC so I don't know if it will bleed. I doubt the white will stay quite as brilliant as it is now no matter what.  

It's a riotous blur of color in the middle lace section and the border will be as well. And it's likely to be ~700 yards used up, a nice addition to my StashDash total. I was thinking that this summer may be more focused on works in progress, of which I have the better part of 5K that could pretty easily be completed. But there are also at least two baby projects that need to be knit.  Should get on those sooner rather than later! 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Through the Final Sprint....Waiting the Judging; On to StashDash!

Yesterday was the final day for Loopy Academy for the spring and as per my usual, it was down to the last few hours. Fortunately I only had small details to wrap and hopefully, hopefully... everything will be approved. 2 of the 6 projects are pending on The Loopy Ewe website.


First up was another pair of gloves. I used the same pattern (Knotty Gloves) as I did in the fall with some modifications. I used size 1 (2.25mm) needles rather than 1.5(2.5mm) needles. I skipped the cables, but I did ribbing all the way up including the fingers. The only part of the gloves that are stockinette are the thumb increases. I could have built out the ribbing there but I wasn't feeling quite that ambitious. These fit much better than the pair I did in the fall as well, I really do prefer a lot of ribbing on accessories.

The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts in the Socks that Rock Lightweight in the Valkyrie colorway. It's lovely yarn as always but this skein bled significantly. My hands looked like I'd been rummaging around in a coal bin every time I worked on the gloves.


And then last night at a local Mexican restaurant, waiting for Viva, I wrapped up my toys. The bartender very politely did *not* comment on the fact that I was sewing on wings while drinking my cider. I'm sure she noticed though.

Meet the owlettes! I knit three just to be sure that I used enough yarn to meet the 250 yardage requirement. In retrospect two would probably have been sufficient. And they are 2 color :) Yay.  The are pretty adorable. The pattern is Dreamy Owl. It's fiddly, more than anything. I like the end result though and these already have a planned home.

The one benefit to wrapping up this late is that these also count for Stash Dash! So I'm at least 500m (will be weighing and photographing to make sure yardage...) into the summer. I have several in progress projects that need to be charged through next so I am hoping for a solid 3K summer, maybe even a 5K if things ever slow down.

Next fall someone remind me NOT to knit another 900 yard shawl, will you?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

At least one... [Dragon Mitts Complete!]

I finished Spring Semester for Loopy Academy Junior Year! Assuming they accept my final photo (yes, I'm checking probably more often than necessary), I have completed buttons, beads, and now colorwork.


The dragon mitts are done! These needed only the ribbing on the thumbs completed, so that was about an hour of knitting while watching TheKnitGirllls. And at least three people have already expressed some extremely interested eyebrows at these, so I might need to make another pair or two. 

Wendy Johnson wrote a lovely pattern and this is a very straightforward knit, particularly for novice colorworkers. You do need to be able to follow a chart and I need to get better at locking my floats but overall... 

These were knit out of Loopy Ewe Solids (still on clearance sale, might have to go get some more). I used the gray as the main color and definitely used more of that skein than the purple contrast for the dragons. I was a bit concerned that I wouldn't hit the 250 yard mark, but these came in at 275 yards by weight (53 grams). I knit them on size 3 (3.25 mm) needles, which is a size I don't use much. I thought it might be too loose but overall it worked nicely. These fit me a little bit loosely and a little too tight on the Philosopher. 


Right now they are set aside for blocking and other attendant things later; I'm traveling this week and not leaving things out for felines to love upon. 

Now I'm attempting to slam through the rest of my fall semester makeup. I am hoping to get most of an owl done today and then, which would mean I only have to take the gloves with me for evening/plane knitting at the conference.  

Gypsy is pretending that she is invisible when she sneaks past me into the hallway of our apartment building. 




Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Number 2 and Number 3 Are Done

I have not one but TWO projects for you today. And I'm halfway through my Loopy Academy six projects (fall junior make up and spring junior).  Of course, even though I've finished three projects I'm currently done with neither semester. But I have two episodes of the KnitGirllls to watch tonight and so there's hope.

First up, the shawl that went to Maryland is completed! This is Isen and I knit most of it during my epic trip out to Baltimore and to see Sibling-the-Younger.


The yarn is Wollmeise DK in the Feldmaus and it took very nearly all of two skeins. I have a little bit left, which will be set aside in a ziplock in case there are any repairs needed in the future. I used Miyuki Beads in the Dark Smoky Amethyst color and I only needed 3 beads total out of the second tube. Glad I had the second tube but really, only 3?  This was for the beaded pattern requirement for Loopy Spring Junior Semester.



As you can imagine, this is a heavy shawl. Each skein is supposed to be 7.1 oz plus the bead weight. It's an odd shade of brown, with hints of purple that show under the sunlight. Overall I enjoyed the beading work, though it certainly makes commuting and knitting impossible. Very much a sit at home (or in a conference, webinar, etc) kind of project. 


The pattern is beautifully written, the charts were easy to follow. It's been languishing for about six weeks waiting for me to have time to finish two more beaded rows in the last 8. Overall it went very quickly though for a nearly 900 yard shawl. And yes, that makes 2 800+ yard shawls I've knit since February 1. 


Gypsy wonders why I keep trying to take a photo of her in a shawl. 

Actually finished a week or two ago was this cowl! This is also for Spring Semester and it meets the buttonholes and buttons project prompt.  


The pattern is the Gothic Lace Cowl by tincanknits, whose straightforward patterns make new techniques entirely manageable. My only complaint and this is a small one, is that a specific size of button isn't called for and while I followed suggestions on the pattern page, I really should have probably purchased a slightly larger set of buttons. 


Still, as you can hopefully see, there are buttons and buttonholes. Nine of them, as memory serves. The buttons were an Etsy find and whomever is gifted this cowl will get the extra 2-3, as buttons do tend to get lost over time.  

The yarn is two skeins of Malabrigo Worsted and I had to alternate as TLE didn't have two skeins of the same colorway in stock. That's always a possibility with Malabrigo, particularly the brighter colors, but it slowed me down a bit and that was a little frustrating. Still, it's done, it's pink and purple, it's photographing a little bit lighter than it actually is... and it's off the needles. 

That makes 3. Right now I have 2 thumbs to finish on the dragon mitts (spring, stranded colorwork), one owlette and a bunch of wings (fall, toy), and one pair of gloves -- I'm ready to start the thumbs on both and then work up the hands (fall, gloves). It's a lot yet to do in the next 15 days and ideally I'd like the majority of that done before I leave for Kansas next week. 

Then I can start working on a nice big project for Stash Dash 2017.... 



An Eclipse Coming At You

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