Wednesday, November 7, 2018

It Will Be Yellow

The major knitting project of Fall 2018 continues to be this hood/cowl for Viva. It's gone with me to New Jersey, New York, Iowa, a Chicago conference, and back and forth to work quite a few times. 

It also went with me to her house to help pass out Halloween candy, much to the confusion of a few small trick-or-treaters who couldn't quite tell whether or not *I* had the candy.  Considering I was in my hedgehog kigirumi, I realized I should have worn an apron. I could have at least pretended then to be Mrs. Tiggywinkle. Ah well, there's always next year.  

This project isn't particularly difficult in terms of actual knitting skills. But a non-especially-smart hedgehog didn't read other people's project notes on Ravelry before undertaking and apparently also didn't think through the math on this.  

The project is about 1800 yards of fingering weight yarn. An average pair of adult size socks, for me, is 300-350 yards.And that's mostly 1x1 ribbing because I like my socks to stay up and knitting ribbing doesn't bother me.  

Which is a good thing as this project is entirely 1x1 ribbing. For 1800 yards. Which is approximately the equivalent of six pairs of socks. Suddenly my complete belief that I could whip this out in 30 days or so seems perhaps not my most well considered?  

I finished the hood part (1.5 skeins ish) and I'm currently most of the way down one leg of the scarf part. I have another full skein to work through and then I need to decide how much longer the scarf legs will be, so that I can make them approximately the same length and use up as much of this delicious yarn as possible. 

What's struck me is how everyone, anywhere I take this, has commented on the color. It's an arresting and rich shade of dark yellow and Viva is going to look stunning in it. Just the pop she'll need on a cold winter morning. 

Assuming, of course, yours truly can get back to the knitting needles here quickly and through another few hundred yards.  

Friday, October 12, 2018


A couple of years ago I went to one of the most joyous weddings I think I've ever attended. Two committed young women, supportive family and friends, and excellent food! The venue was fun, the dj was excellent, and everyone was so delighted. The Philosopher performed the wedding, so I had a couple of extra obligations that day in the minding category but even that all went quite smoothly.

Then they announced that they were expecting and not just one, but two babies! And as one of them knits, it seemed only appropriate that I get some baby sweaters on the needles for these two winter babies.

I've been meaning to knit a Baby Vertebrae for a while and here was a perfect opportunity. Designed as an open cardigan, the goal is to make it need slightly less washing when the baby spits up yet again all over their front, or to warm their back while they lay on a grownup for some skin-to-skin bonding time.

They turned out pretty adorably and I hope they'll be well washed, worn, used to wipe messy hands and faces, and outgrown fairly quickly. This was the 0-3 month size. With twins, I'm hoping that might carry them thru to April and the weather warming up just a bit. 

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Such Ideas, Very Wool

I always come into the fall semester believing that there will be time and joy and meetings I can knit thru. Then kicks in the reality of teaching students who are *very* hands on. I don't resent that at all, that's my job and I really enjoy engaged students. But it does mean at the end of the day I sit on the train, staring blankly out the windows, rather than actually knitting.

But while I'm getting thru a lot of set-in-the-early-20th-century-may-or-may-not-have-also-been-written-then British Murder Mysteries (Daisy Dalrymple, Maisie Dobbs, Miss Seeton, Miss Fisher, Detective Lavender, etc), I'm also having IDEAS. And PLANS.

In a brief moment between classes and consults the other day, I grabbed a notepad and wrote out a few projects that I want to make with yarn I already own or, um, may have recently purchased. Eight projects poured out. And most of these already have recipients in mind.  There's that yarn that I bought in Montreal, the yarn I was given by a friend, the yarn that was a supplemental purchase when I was working on something for AudioGirl. I want to knit all of it, right now. 

Some new BMFA found it's way here a while back. Korppi in Gaea. The Philosopher asked for a modification to his scarf/hat and that's going to need Gaea to do it properly. But I wasn't just going to get one skein, now was I? Not when there's a hat for me to also be knitting... 

And I'm working on a few baby projects because those need to get finished as well -- they are due here in the next few months! 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Embracing a Color of Fall

Being out of Loopy Academy Homework has left a strange deadline hole in my life that SEVERAL pregnant friends are attempting to fill. Yes, I see you all. You and your impending bundles of joy and diapers. 

But their new Knights of the Loopy Table gives me a little extra motivation for a project just begun -- it has a points-for-using-stash option!

My friend Viva is a handknit appreciator. I knit her twins (now nearly 2...where does time go) afghans. Those weren't done on baby day 1 but in the first 3-4 months and are well-loved and used. Is there greater praise to a knitter than it's been loved to shreds? So during a long text chat one night we were talking about her interest in a new hood/scarf for winter and me, trying to distract myself from yet another black square, I started sending her patterns. 

Oooh, there's one that might work. And then she was off to The Loopy Ewe site, rummaging around for what caught her fancy. 

She decided on Blue Moon Fiber Arts' Worthy Fingering, which is discontinued, in the Ochroid colorway. There were four skeins left. Just enough. We arranged wool purchase and now I have this loveliness to work with. 

It doesn't photograph under bad dark lighting and at weird angles well. I can't imagine why not. I'll have to get the light box out and try to remember the techniques Franklin Habit taught me. Trust me when I say there is a lot of depth of color to this yarn. 

It's also some of the softest yarn I've ever touched. Cashmere and silk. This is going to be Extra Super Drapy and also lofty and  also warm. Color and warmth, just what the Chicago winter needs. 

The first section is knit in two parts, requiring a little more wrangling than is super easy on the train but I'm about halfway through that and once that's managed, it'll be pretty smooth sailing.  

And also I have to get some baby knits done. In another row. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Warm and Snuggly and Finished

Okay, so there might be a few ends to be woven in still... maybe, but the blanket is DONE. I could put it on the bed and sleep under it except for the fact that it has been in the mid-90s in Chicago and the air conditioner is doing everything possible to keep up.


3.5 months and 29 skeins of wool later... the Philosopher and I have a new blanket. It's huge and it's heavy. It's also superwash, so unlike it's predecessor (sadly destroyed by moths), I can toss it in both washer and dryer and keep the cat fur to a minimum. 

The squares have been hauled all over the US and Canada these last couple of months, so a wash will be in order as soon as those last couple of ends have been woven in. 

I'm also planning an i-cord border, but that will require a few more hours and possibly a television series marathon. I have the Mrs.Bradley mysteries and a disc of NCIS LA to catch up on as soon as fall semester teaching lets up enough for me to breathe.  

The blanket was crocheted together using remnants of the light and dark gray and purple. I'll do the border in black -- I have one full skein left and remnants. If that isn't quite enough, it's black yarn, I can get more. 

So many people were curious about this project and it was perfect for summer. Fall is going to be all sorts of new and exciting projects, and heaven knows I'm not sad to be done with the black squares, but I am going to miss how easy this was. 

Fortunately, there are always more socks to be knit. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

AudioGirl Birthday and Square Assemblage

Among some of my closest knitting friends, AudioGirl and BrineyDeep, I'm not sure I would say there is a lot of agreement of things they both choose to knit. AudioGirl loves asymmetrical things and post-apocalyptic. BrineyDeep goes more traditional patterns, uses a lot of gradients, and has handspun wool for her own sweater. 

There is one designer they agree upon though: Ysolda Teague. Particularly her Gretel hat. To the point that upon seeing this hat, they both, separately and individually, exclaimed "Wait, I know that pattern, that's Gretel isn't it!" 

picture of a yellow cabled handknit hat

Why yes, yes it is. That's the super slouchy version in BMFA Gaea in Saffron Surprise. It's a dense, rich wonderful yellow and an exceptionally squishy yarn. And as AudioGirl had requested a beret for the coldest of Chicago winter days...I set to work. This will be a lovely bit of sunshine next February. 

There were some modifications. After finishing it to pattern, it became obvious that the brim was far too loose. Now, I know you can't rip ribbing upwards, so didn't pick out the cast on, but it did take longer than I'd like to admit to snip and rip down most of the ribbing. I decreased then both needle size (5s to 4s) and p2tog'd a row so I was down to a k2p1. That served much better.  

And also (drum roll) THE SQUARES ARE DONE.  That's right, with 2 weeks to spare on Stash Dash 2018 I've managed to at least finish the squares and I merely need to assemble them and weave in all the ends. 

Merely she says. Hahahahahahaha.  50% of the squares have 4 ends, 50% have 2 ends. It's not horrible but it certainly won't be "quick"  

The Philosopher and I agreed on a pattern layout (see Instagram or FB for the options --I'm @hedgielib on Instagram) and I'm crocheting squares together. Which, of course, means more ends. It's not taking as much yarn as I had expected though so that should put me in good shape for potential border plans. I-cord eats yarn quickly.  

And soon I have some stunning yarn to show you. Courtesy of a friend who is also on a yellow kick... 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Reds and Pinks

Squares continue at Chez Hedgehog. I finished Square 36 the other evening. Although, right at the moment I can't remember where I put it. It's around the house somewhere. I remember winding up the extra wool. So six more to go. All black, which should just be dreadfully exciting. 

In the interim, the stash, as always, is growing. I assume if I took up weaving it might start going down at a rate faster than knitting but I am hesitant to buy a small loom.  I feel like that would be down a rabbit hole of "well, but weaving uses so much yarn so fast!" and then suddenly I'd have even more yarn. It's my same worry about spinning.  

Also when Tina sends out a note about her Rare Gems, I am weak. I did hold out long enough that only Earth was available. We're all water babies, aren't we? The blues and greens always go first. But this lovely burgundy and green came to live with me.  

It is STR lightweight and I have no idea what I'll make with it. Maybe one of the many needed baby sweaters, or something like that. 

I also had to round out an order to WEBS and what better way than a skein of Mrs. Crosby? 

Scarlet Ibis in the Hat Box weight. It might not be a bad blend with the skein above, maybe I could knit it held double and get through both skeins all at once? Or at least do some kind of stripes? 

And the cats continue to do well. Gypsy is seen here roundly ignoring Finnbar the Roomba. She's gotten much better at that, seeming to have figured out that Finn can't climb. So if she's on the couch or in her window basket, she's safe. 

Pye on the other hand was photographed later after Finnbar had returned to his dock. She is occasionally willing to sprint through the living room while he's running but generally she prefers sitting just outside the current room being vacuumed.  

It Will Be Yellow

The major knitting project of Fall 2018 continues to be t his hood/cowl for Viva. It's gone with me to New Jersey, New York, Iowa, a Chi...