Sunday, June 20, 2010

Stalling in Rotation

Two of my umm six on-the-needles projects are progressing. The other four are totally stalled out.

Project 1: Green/Brown afghan 
Status: Totally stalled
Reason: Bulky weight wool, 85 degrees outside, nope, not touching this one.

Project 2: Scarf for Library Fundraiser
Status: Stalled
Reason: It's "work"

Project 3: Another Earwarmer Headband
Status: Stalled
Reason: Oooh shiny other projects hogging all of the attention

Project 4: Multnomah Shawl
Status: Stalled
Reason: made the mistake of setting it down to work on something else, now can't get enthused even though it's gorgeous yarn by Dizzy Blonde Studios

Project 4: Rainbow Shawl
Status: Would be done but....

I was on row 19 of Chart B, which is the final row before the bind off.  That's right--I was less than a 1.5 rows from having a finished object. And then I decided that I really had enough yarn to rip back and add another repeat of Chart A. I pulled the needles out, took a deep breath and ripped.

I have a lot more experience than I used to ripping back projects. Working with kids for two years gives you masses of opportunities to pick up knitting, see the error, rip back and  require restart. A number of my kids will quite happily tell you that I'm quite evil in this sense, not hesitating to undo to all the work they've just done in the name of making it look correct. Still, I somehow ended up duplicating Row 7/8 on the 3rd repeat of Chart A. I'm calling it a stylistic choice and moving on, personally.

June 19 017

June 19 015

I'm ready to start row 10 on Chart B again, so I really only lost about two days of knitting.  I'm doing much better at chart reading through. I'm a written directions girl but at some point I flipped over to the not-very-complicated chart for this one. That's good, considering that I'm going to be tackling some of Wendy Johnson's shawlettes soon and she doesn't provide written directions. 

Project 5: Baby Blanket
Status: Almost stalled, worked on it some today

One of my best friends is just into her third trimester for her first baby. And she has one of the two infants I'm planning on knitting for this year. I approached this with the knowledge that a) babies are messy, b) washing machines are a must c) the baby is being born in the heat of late August. That means no wool.

Following Carin's example, I grabbed fall colors from Knit Picks Comfy Worsted Weight: October, Sweet Potato, Fedora, and Jalapeno. I'm on Chunk 7, and I think I'm going to do an applied I-cord border rather than what they call for. It'll be light enough not to melt the baby but warm enough to last through til November or so.... I need to make something for the about-to-be-new-mom too. 

June 19 008

I'm going to conference this week, and of course needed some tote bags to take with (so I'm less tempted to pick up all the little disposable bags the vendors have. I'll be carrying the following:

June 19 009

Hope everyone at conference has a sense of humor.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Poll on Potential "Giveaway"

One of the wonderful horrors coming out of the Gulf spill are the animal images.

M asked me why we're not seeing fundraising efforts for the animal rescue down there. My response was that BP should be paying for the rescue and clean up and I think that feeling is pretty pervasive and that's why we're not seeing people having raffles like we have for other major natural disasters. Then I stumbled across an ad/story/fill in the blank I saw it on the interwebs: National Wildlife Foundation is raising money for animal rescue directly related to the oil spill.

I have a tweet in to a guy at the National Wildlife Foundation, asking what the difference is between them that they are fundraising while the International Bird Rescue Research Center is stating on their site that BP is funding them, though they are happy to take monies for other bird rescue things...

So here's my question to you: If I were to put up a small (think single skein of sock yarn) shawl, with names thrown in the bucket for a donation to the NWF...would you be interested? I do, of course, hope to be getting some kind of answer from NWF, though I'm kinda skeptical on that.

I pulled out yarn for four different shawls last night--I have to have something to knit on at a conference next week and I'd rather not be chasing DPNs up and down the aisles. I get enough strange looks as is.

Anywho, please vote....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We're Going on a Field Trip

I led a kids knitting group at my library for a couple of years, teaching, cajoling, introducing...doing all those things a leader gets to do.

And one of my favorite things was to take kids with me when I went yarn shopping. I take them to my favorite yarn store in Viroqua, Ewetopia Fiber Shop. It's packed with wooly goodness, hand-dyed yarn by the owner, hand-spun from local spinners, locally grown yarn, plus all sorts of novelties, a loom, wheels, *sigh*....

My car only seats four besides me, so space is limited, but my kids parents have been remarkably cool about letting me abscond with their children for an afternoon/evening, returning them hopped up on wool fumes and Girl Scout cookies, raving about the joys of Merino.

This upcoming trip are three of my older girls. They've been to one of the other local shops several times, so it won't be too much of shock, but it's still a wonderfully warm and fun environment. The owner is celebrating World Wide Knit in Public Day so, weather permitting, we can sit outside, knit in public, and enjoy the ambiance. And possibly buy some yarn.

Saturday should be fun!  

Monday, June 14, 2010

Warm Ears...

One of the clearest signs of fall at the library is me moving into my favorite knitted headband. Made from slightly less than a single skein of Karabella Aurora 8, it's a huge part of my fall and winter wardrobe. There's something to be said for keeping your head warm.

Which is probably why my mom requested one. These knit up fairly quickly and are invaluable on days one doesn't feel like having hat hair.

Pattern: Hugs and Kisses with Love Headband from by Nancy Bowron from 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders

Modifications: I do the hugs and kisses cables, but not the hearts and I make it a little narrower than called for.  I prefer just the ribbing in the back for snugness. From looking at Ravelry, it looks like a lot of us leave the hearts out.

I don't have anybody local that carries Karabella Aurora 8 so one of the trips down to Ewetopia Fiber Shop I asked Kathryn for something of equal "sproing." Thank heavens she understood what I meant. Berroco Merino DK and Berroco Inca were the alternate suggestions and I'm pleased with both.


I need to make a few more of these is a variety of colors...fall is coming!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Emerging Rainbows...

In what can only be described as a cruel twist of fate from Mother Nature, following an exquisitely sunny and hot May, June temperatures have gone back down and we've had enough rain that I'm beginning to wonder if I didn't relocate to Seattle without noticing.

Gypsy, aside from one escape trip off the balcony, has been working on her sunbeams and snoozing.  I finished up her scrap blanket, from which she monitors my computer usage.  It's done in the Log Cabin Style, starting with ten stitches in the middle, twenty rows per panel, turning counter clockwise I think?  It's very haphazard as it is the leftovers from the full bedspread size log cabin I made last year.  I didn't put any rhyme/pattern to the colors, just grabbed whatever came next out of the bag. It's double thickness--total of 8 squares that I crocheted together.  It's all wool--some super wash, some not.  I'll have to hand wash it--should I ever try to brave washing it...

IMG_4022Beware the things you say you'll do...they come back to haunt you.  My library is having a fundraiser for new lights or windows at one of the branches in the fall. It's a silent auction and in some particular fit of brilliance I said I'd donate something handmade. One of the local knitting groups is working on an afghan that will be part of this.

Fortunately (as I'd totally forgotten) the branch manager sent me a note to remind me what I'd committed to and giving me a due date of late August. Glad she did that in June!! I went rummaging through the stash.  I pulled out a stash of Zen Garden yarn that I got from the Sonny and Shear closeout sale and a dig through the pattern folders at Chez Hedgehog turned up the Falling Water (pdf link) pattern. I got out the swift (the ball winder has a permanent home on my kitchen table) and cast on. 

The pattern is pretty straight forward and I think it'll turn out nicely. It is deadline knitting but not secret knitting, which is a good thing.  I only got one repeat in before setting it down for another project but once I get the pattern memorized it should go pretty quickly.  I've got the first season of Numbers to help with that.

As I had the swift out, it seemed a shame to only be winding one skein of yarn.  So wasteful, right? And then I recalled the yarn I got in my first shipment from the Unique Sheep Sip and Stitch club.  It's the Green Sheep base and the colorway is called Persephone.  I was pleased with myself because I managed to put the skeins in the correct 1-4 order before I realized that they come numbered.  *Oops*

IMG_4159Notice the small gray cat sneaking into the frame. She was intrigued by the tea that was included.  It's from Goddess Teas by Dani. There's something in it that doesn't quite agree with me--so the rest of the loose tea will go to another tea aficionado who will enjoy it.

One of the other patterns I was considering for the September silent auction was the Traveling Woman Shawl. I've seen a number of others and Sheri at the Loopy Ewe has raved about the pattern. I have enough yarn to do one slightly bigger than the pattern is written (though to be safe, I'm not pushing it too much, I only have 440 yards). 

I cast on and whipped through the increases and two repeats of the first chart.  I'm down to the last 20 rows.

It's lovely and the yarn is perfect for summer knitting--light on the hands, and I don't have to worry about it felting.

Of course, those aren't the only knitting projects going on around here...but that's another post.  

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, ...