Friday, January 4, 2019

Imaginary Points

I don't know why it never occurred to me that there would be robust Discworld community on Ravelry, but it hadn't until recently when Ravelry pointed to it as part of the announcement of the loss of a beloved designer.  Suddenly I find myself in the Librarian's Guild. 

I'm always amused watching Lala of The Knit Girllls videocast and BrineyDeep competing for imaginary points on the internet -- in the HP Knit and Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. But HP has never been my series so I felt no particular draw to participate.

Obviously, on the other hand, I have deep brand loyalty to The Loopy Ewe and I can be dragged into most things that Sherri and team suggest. So, as you've seen, I'm currently plugging away trying to get to 300 points so I can be a "Knight of the Loopy Table" ... for which I'll get: a pin and some extra points for their shop.

Here's Sock #1 for 2019 and it's charging right along. I had forgot how fast socks, even on size 0 (2.0mm) needles go when one consistently works on them during the commute (or waiting for the extremely overloaded inbox to load). I've just started on the heel flap. The yarn is Rhichard Devrieze, former dyer for Koigu.  This yarn by him is named Delightfully Decadent. I think it looks like I'm making Mardi Gras socks. Either way, the purple glows in the sunlight. 

And in addition, I am now apparently competing for points for the Ankh-Morpork Knitting Guild - Guild Wars. It looks pretty laid back-- continue knitting -- see if I can fit things into one of their prompts -- get points for the Librarians. Celebrate with banana bread?    

My goal for the 150 points I still need to get during the Spring Semester for TLE KotLT is to use entirely stash. At 10 points per 200 yards of completed projects, that means I'll need to knit somewhere around 3000 yards before the end of April. In qualifying projects that are at least 200 yards each. Also pretty much all of my TLE stash is fingering weight. Hmmmmmmm.... 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Making a new list

And so 2018 has ended! Another knitting year behind me, a number of projects I hadn't anticipated are now done.  Last year saw me wrapping up Loopy Academy, making 3 Faucett scarves, only 4 pair of socks, and a fair number of small people (baby to small child) projects.  Oh, and a giant afghan and the big yellow shawl. Overall, it was 27 projects, 10 of which were bound off in December. 

My knitmeter reset but I did get a picture yesterday. That's 8.7 miles of knitting, quite a lot of it in fingering weight. 

I only sprinted on year-ending one small project (not yet available on this blog because I post this places where the recipient will read it and she doesn't know about it yet). I wanted to get the extra points for Knights of the Loopy Table so that I could start the spring term at the halfway to knighthood mark.  I should at least make squire this way!

I have set myself a goal for 2019 on Ravelry -- they have a "challenge tab" -- and that's 20 projects. I apparently also set myself a goal of 25 for 2018 and who knows when I thought that was going to get accomplished.

Over the first cup of coffee of the year, I drafted a few things I'd like to make this year. There are a couple of babies amongst families and friends who might need an anchoring sweater or blanket, a couple of skeins that should be socks for those whose sock drawers might be starting to get a bit worn out, and of course finishing Knights of the Loopy Table. The latter will be much easier now that I know all -- or at least most -- of my Loopy Ewe yarns are tagged "theloopyewe" in Ravelry. Not surprisingly, most of my Wollmeise is in that stash.

That quick draft was 17 projects and doesn't include some ideas I've had rattling around or the upcoming Franklin KAL that's happening in February.  So... Knitting 2019. Off to an ambitious start...

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Off Deadline, A Red Flower, and Hats

My hands are confused -- I'm not frantically stress knitting my way to the holiday.  Apologies family if you were hoping for a last minute surprise knitted gift, it's not happening this year.

My last planned obligation knitting for the year was a shawl/baby blanket/nursing cover/whatever for my coworker. She also knits, so she laughed when my first response to her alerting me of her pregnancy was "thank you for the extra knitting time notification."  Her project went into the queue though it took a little longer than I had expected -- they always do.

In this photo, it is blocking the morning of her baby shower. I had to borrow another colleague's fan so it was bone dry by that department meeting. What last minute work?  The pattern is the Dogwood Shawl. I modified it a little--I didn't do all of the second chart, instead I did a heavy garter square border, about 18 rows of garter. I then did an applied i-cord bindoff, which I think adds a nice extra weight to the edge of a piece like this. 

It adds weight, eats yarn, and also is not speedy. But I'm re-watching the Great British Bakeoff (the older seasons, I'm a Mel/Sue/Mary Purist) and that's wonderfully entertaining. Having sprinted through them initially, it's nice to revisit and try to remember who goes out which round and which disaster happened what week.  

Free from those knitting obligations and, enabled by one very willing friend, I somehow ended up with two skeins of Manos del Uruguay Franca.  

No idea how that happened. One minute I'm standing by the bulky yarns at fibre space and the next I have would skeins, size 15 needles, and I'm quoting Sondheim with one of the staff.  

That then turned into two new hats! Which I have been wearing around the house despite it not being really cold enough to need them. 

Life is short, extra warm ears is a good thing. 

Now I'm working on some non-deadline knitting. It's oddly calming. I'm not sure when last I wasn't frantically finishing up 18 end of year/ Loopy Academy / holiday knitting gifts.  Maybe next year I could even plan ahead some knitting... 

The mind boggles. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

More...Yellow and a Return to Purple

I'm starting to be a bit worried about me. I bought more yellow yarn. Yes, it was to round out an order of purple yarn and yes, it's Hedgehog Fibre who I've been meaning to acquire some for a while now. But it's odd. Someone check my stash temperature? Who is this woman purchasing and knitting all this yellow wool?

What should be my last Loopy Ewe order of the year was a skein of Hedgehog Fibres Sock. It's a lot more muted than I expected --the wildcard colorway. Bright with sprinkles certainly but not the dayglo yellow I was anticipating from what was on their site. It's pretty -- we'll see how it knits up.  It's a thin yarn, definitely going to require small needles. 

Here's the other yarn from the package, from my year end Loopy Points, a skein of Wollmeise Blend in the Sundig and Verrucht colorway.  The blend is 20% cashmere and a sport weight skein that is 546 yards, I should be able to make something stunning out of that. The dark purple and black are gorgeous.  

So I'm probably not too far out of my usual colorways. And the HF is closer to my rainbow issues than outside of them also, so there's that... Interesting though this color swing. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Sunshine on a Baby Day

BrineyDeep had her little girl a few weeks ago. New babies whose mothers do things like spin and knit their own sweaters are likely to be swaddled in some pretty decent wool, so this was a challenge. Fortunately, mothers who knit also tend to appreciate knitted things that they didn't have to navigate the cables on during those first few sleepless weeks.

Meet Lemon Britannia, complete with a shunning feline who has clearly never been petted ever. The pattern is Britannia by the brilliant minds of Tin Can Knits. It's sized available up to an adult and, as per their usual, is written very clearly. 

That does not mean I executed it clearly -- I had to rip back about four hours worth of work when I realized that I was doing what was, at best, a non-reproducible interpretation of the middle cable and there are a couple of placements of knit stitches vs. yarn overs that look... interesting. 

But on a baby as adorable as W, it's unlikely that lace work will be examined too closely.  

The yarn is BMFA Socks that Rock, Heavyweight in the Saffron Surprise colorway. It's wonderfully bright and yellow and just right for a cheerful wee sweater. 

Sweater and remnants (in case she grows out of her sleeves too fast) went to live with BrineyDeep last weekend.  It's a little big yet, but there's much winter still to come and then her big brother's sweaters will be waiting.  

Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Completion of the Ribbing

I finished the giant goldenrod hood/scarf!! It was delivered last week to it's wearer, seen below, my friend Viva. She put it on and was *promptly* warm.

Pattern: Hooded Wrap by Sabrina Judge
Yarn: (discontinued) Worthy in Ochroid by Blue Moon Fiber Arts, 4 skeins

Cashmere and silk will do that.  It's stunning on her, as expected and is about to be well loved and worn. I'm hoping she took it to DC to be fabulous at a meeting there, it'll be just the correct layering piece. 

Ultimately it ended up about 6 feet long, with the scarf ends past knee length on me (she's taller).  

The pattern was extremely simple and straight forward and only required a couple of ends to be woven in. It's perfect for alpaca, silk, cashmere and/or another hollow light yarn. I wouldn't want to do this in a worsted-spun yarn or a heavy wool.  And a Malabrigo single would felt by the time you were done with the knitting up. 

This was also my first entry for The Knights of the Loopy Table, Sherri and team's next ongoing shop-related knitting event. As this is well over 1000 yards (probably in the 1700 range all told) I get the highest number of points for using stash. So that's 50 points towards my knithood knighthood.  I need 300 total if I'm to achieve the highest amount and I'm nearly there for another 100 points this month -- more on that later . 

Oddly enough, yellow seems to be a theme this year--this wasn't the only yellow yarn floating about.... 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Hot Water

To the consternation of Sibling-the-Elder, I steadfastly cling to my tea kettle. This is a stove top model that was a gift (Sibling-the-Younger I believe?) while I was living in La Crosse and has been exceptionally functional for 10+ years.  It's purple, as it should be.

 Tea kettles for me are a measure of time, a product of my grad school days when I lived in a house with four other young women. In the morning, I would get up, do my other prep to leave for the day and then turn on the kettle to make my Nalgene of hot tea.* I then would turn around and wash dishes until the kettle boiled. This was 5-7 minutes? I've never really timed it. But it got a sink load of dishes done or at least well underway.  There were always dishes to be done. 

This has then evolved into tea-kettle time every morning. Now I'm not washing the dishes everyday --thank you dishwashing machine -- but the first chore after feeding the cats is to turn on the tea kettle as the morning starts. Other times of the day I still use it as a chore timer, usually still for dishes or unloading the dishwasher. I can unload, reload, and wipe the counters usually in the time needed.  Now I have a hot drink and a tidier kitchen. Bonus.

And then last week, for the second time ever -- and first time while I had the kettle on-- Gypsy jumped onto the stove.  She's fine, the Philosopher and I were both in the kitchen at the time, I immediately grabbed her and set her on the floor. But along one entire side of her was a streak of gray fur that had been singed ever so slightly. 

Further, I have a nasty habit of disliking the whistle on the tea kettle so I don't use it all the time. Which meant that when we were out with friends, Rafael drove me back home briefly between dinner and movie to verify that yes--I had shut off the kettle before we left. 

So for the first time I find myself seriously contemplating an electric kettle. I have one at work, everyone in my office suite does and they're all different. Come by anytime and we can make you a cup of tea, hot chocolate, and I might even have instant coffee.  But home has been traditional.  It'd be faster to have a water cooker but the safety aspect is what is appealing to me the most.  Probably glass; the one at work is plastic and I do occasionally notice the extra flavor. 

If you have an electric kettle you love, send me a link? My morning coffee, afternoon hot water (yes, plain), and evening final cuppa appreciate suggestions. And do convince me that I'm not betraying my beloved purple tea kettle.

*Yes, I use a Nalgene, yes it's a BPA free one, they last about 2-3 years before being replaced and that's with boiling water in them every day.

Imaginary Points

I don't know why  it never occurred to me that there would be robust Discworld community on Ravelry, but it hadn't until recently wh...