Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cleaning Out the Chair....

When new yarn comes home to Chez Hedgehog it goes into one of my Ektorp Tullsta (in tan). Since I was getting rather tired of not having either chair to sit in, that meant I needed to a) do the ironing and b) take pictures of the yarn I've bought recently.

A recent field trip to Viroqua and Ewetopia Fiber Shop was mostly about needles, but I grabbed some yarn as well. Tucked back by Kathryn's handdyed was some Alpaca with a Twist Socrates.


(click to make bigger)

It's soft and pretty and I got enough to tackle a decent sized shawl as desired.  Yes, I know, I'm in a shawl phase and I'm the woman who doesn't really wear shawls beyond a giant blue Clapotis. I'll either learn or have excellent Christmas gifts.

IMG_4446TurtleGirl76, whose gorgeous marmalades light up my every Tuesday, showed us all the way towards Alpha B Yarns on Etsy. Being my usual sheepy self, I followed our shepherdess of bright colors and ooh, pretty, and grabbed a couple of skeins of Blue BFF B Sock in Karashu 

I love the info cards attached to the skeins:

I haven't knit it yet but I'm thrilled with the yarn. It's soft and squishy and such a wonderfully vibrant blue!

And finally (for this post)...I may have done a big purchase at Webs. It was on sale, impulse, umm...yah, I don't really have any good excuses other than I'd best go print out a couple of those shawl patterns.The yarn is all Arucania--8 skeins are of the Multi and 3 are a semi-solid that I'm planning to turn into the WendyKnit's current KAL.  That would of course mean I have to stop working on bulky weight shawls... but that's all details. 

I finished the purple/green shawl and the orange city shawl. One's blocking, one's waiting on ends to be woven in. Pics soon. :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Too Many Projects!!

I keep casting on more and more projects, to the detriment of my queue and my living room.  Let's see where I'm at with current projects.

  1. Mere's Baby Blanket: Through the washer and dryer, need to weave in the ends. 
  2. Fingerless Blue/Green Mitts: Casting off first one...moved to Kiwanis knitting
  3. Pink Shawl: Done, blocked, need to weave in two ends and send it off to be raffled.
  4. Purple/Green Yvaine: Down to the garter stitch border. 2-3 more rows and then bind off. It pools funny in the seed stitch sections. I'm not sure who will love it but it'll be done. 
  5. Old Man of Storr Shawlette out of Wollmeise: Shamefully neglected.  
So with all of this happening plus two neglected afghans on the needles and one neglected afghan that just needs the ends woven in and ironing and vaccuuming and 1000 other chores awaiting me....

I cast on a new project.  It's the City Shawl by Stephanie Japel.  I am making it out of Louet Gems Worsted in Citrus. I kept coming back to the pattern as a wonderful stash buster and, as one only needs 300 yards of bulky or 600 yards of worsted weight doubled-- I was off!! 

It knits up wonderfully fast on size 15 needles, I'm 72 rows in and ready for the second section of garter lace. It would be my Kiwanis knitting but I'm using metal straights and there is no way to make straight, size 15, metal needles quiet. So it's becoming a home only project but considering an hour or two leads to massive amounts of satisfaction, it will end very soon. I'm thinking about rounding up more worsted weight and making a few more of these. I could knock out most of my Christmas gifts inside of a few weeks!! 

I actually have about 700 yards, so I plan to add a couple extra rows of garter stitch on to the end. Dreadfully exciting I know, right?  K2tog, YO, K2tog, YO.

I'm out of TV to watch at the moment (waiting on Taxi, Season One (more Judd Hirsch); Numb3rs, Season Four; The Closer, Season Four; Leverage, Season One; Castle, Season Two; Bones, Season Five; and Northern Exposure, Season One (more Rob Morrow).  That will remedy itself pretty soon though and I have those 1000 chores awaiting me. Speaking of which, I need to get back to things. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hoping to Find Violets

Violets are my favorite flower.  I love seeing their delicate heads peeping out of the grass in the spring. Though never around for long, they're so beautiful.  And while you can pick them--it's really best if you don't.  Just enjoy them and use them as a wonderful excuse to not mow the lawn just yet....

So it will come as no huge surprise that I bought yarn that reminded me of violets. Yarn Love in the Juliet base in the Garden View colorway. 


I wound this yarn a while ago, possibly even in January  before I went to Egypt.  Not before then--so let's just say Egypt for the unofficial record.  It looked like a full orchard of violets in the grass then. And when it didn't get knit up in Egypt it went into various rotations of "I'll make this" wherein mostly it languished in one of my knitting baskets, praying that Gypsy wouldn't take note.

When I finished the Pink Shawl (I almost wrote "of doom" but we had the Orange Socks of Doom already and I think that's enough doom projects for one year), I ignored the 14 other projects that needed to be done and went scavenging for another skein that I could put on the needles to make another Yvaine.  It's a super simple pattern: stripe stockinette with seed stitch, increasing 4 stitches every right side row, alternate as you will, when you start running low on yarn, add a garter border, bind off.  Which makes it perfect Sunday-I-have-a-serious-headache-stop-whining-cat-pattern. 

So far it looks like it's going to pool in all sorts of blotchy ways.  We'll see how it goes--right now it's also I-can't-hold-the-size-1-half-toothpicks purse/TV knitting. 
Garden View Shawl

And in case you wondered--this is a pretty regular scene at Chez Hedgehog

Presenting the belly for worship

Belly rubs accepted. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hedgehog Bag

I got a wonderful surprise from a friend the other day---a handmade Hedgehog bag made specifically for me!

Hedgehog Bag

It's wonderful--with a great ribbon strap and two big pockets inside. I took it with me on my weekend trip to Chicago and used it instead of my purse.  It was great. I stuffed wallet, camera, knitting and make up in and was off.

Hedgehog Bag

Punk rock hedgehogs!!

Hedgehog Bag

It was a wonderful treat upon receiving and I continue to get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Thank you G so much!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Other Felines and Fingerless Gloves

ChickenI got to hang out with a new cat a couple of weekends past, an 18 year old calico named Chicken. She's an incredibly sweet and pretty sharp lady, perfectly happy in her role of beta cat if Dinah would just let her be. She suffered the indignity of getting her claws trimmed and adores being brushed.  I sent a Furminator to the feline ladies as a thank you for use of the couch and I'm told Chicken is a huge fan, though Dinah isn't sure about it yet. I'm guessing AudioGirl will be greatly appreciating the amount of cat fur that she won't have to sweep up or deal with in hairball form.

Dinah got shaved for the summer though, so that may be part of the issue. This is several weeks grow out.

Shorn Dinah I also ripped out the sock I'd started. The last pair of socks I knit on size 1s, I did over 52 stitches on DPNs.  I can't imagine my gauge will be so different that I'll need 60 stitches on the same size needles on a 9" circular. So I called my sister from a parking lot and asked her to look up the number of stitches I would need to cast on for a favorite fingerless glove pattern--which is 48. I figured I could pretty much make it up from there.  And since this pattern calls for a 50g skein of sock yarn, I'd have enough to make two pairs. 

It's probably a bit of a stretch to do this on 9" needles, but I cast on a 2x2 rib and so far it's going pretty well.

Sunday's Work on Fingerless Gloves I knitted on them while watching The Emperor's New Clothes at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. A grandmother was sitting next to me, torn between disapproval and curiosity. She seemed to seriously disapprove of the fact I was on my own (family show), that I was wearing shorts, that I'd been seated next to her, and that I was under seventy. She desperately wanted to be curious about my knitting and did ask what I had on the needles. She then got to add the disapproval of fingerless gloves to her list. I got pursed lips and an "oh" but she kept an eye on me the entire time.
Here's where I am after the weekend and a few rows since I've been home:

Not bad all in all, another couple of inches and I'll add in a thumb.

The yarn is shiny and soft. I'm not totally in love with the colors, though it does remind me of new spring grass and a beautiful sky all rolled up into one.  These will, I think, go into the gift box though.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Humidity and the Hedgehog....

If you were guessing by knitting alone, I'm not sure you'd peg this month for August. Heaven knows my hands are full of wool and I just keep chugging away with the needles.

First though, a brief note about philodendron. My mother apparently grows the heartiest strain of these on the planet, which she was so good to share with AudioGirl and me when I moved to La Crosse.  AudioGirl's is presently living atop an 11' built in china cabinet and it has a long leafy strand that quite nearly reaches the floor. I do not envy her watering duties.

I offered a friend a cutting of mine the other day.  First I had to disentangle them--I have two pots that appear to be two different types. The one which became the cutting is bushy, has 2-3" leaves, and wraps all over the place. The other version has stems that are easily thicker than my thumb and leaves bigger than my hands.  I hacked off one piece to show you--and to try and give the skinnier pieces a chance.

IMG_4348This strand is about 8' long. And I have piano player hands--I play a ninth comfortably and can reach a tenth without too much effort, though not usually mid-piece.

IMG_4349But cuttings were taken and potted and hopefully they will survive in her office. If not--she's getting one of the completely unkillable spider plants.  These things have survived smoky apartments, moving across multiple state lines, and Gypsy. 

Anyway, onwards to knitting.  I still haven't finished weaving in the ends of the baby blanket.  Which, considering the Blonde is due on Tuesday, might need to get done very soon.  *sigh*....I hate weaving in ends. But I do have Season 3 of Numb3rs to get through and no excuses.

Here it is pre-wash/pre-ends woven in. It's going through the washer/dryer before it heads east.

Baby Blanket

Pattern: Modern Baby Blanket from Mason Dixon Knitting
Modifications: Added a few extra panels, changed edging to applied I-cord, didn't do the entrelac panels
Yarn: Knitpicks Comfy Sport in Fedora, October, Sweet Potato and Jalepeno, less than 13 skeins (some partials in that)

I'm in a 5K stashdown for the year--of course, that would mean I use stash rather than buying new yarn, but I'm counting all the knitting I'm doing in KnitMeter to at least see how much I do make it through. I was keeping ballbands and made it through several pounds of yarn over the last couple of years.  Currently I'm over 4100 yards for the year, which is over 2 miles. I need to get through a lot more before the end of the year but hey--I have more projects going...

How Do You Pack a Cat?

Apparently, in a shoebox.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

That Shawl...

So, at some point I agreed to knit something for a fundraiser. I found out later that the fundraiser had two objectives, not just one, and while the second has nothing wrong with it per se (establishing a scholarship), it's not what was presented to me when the request for knitted donation was originally made. It's not something I could back out of graciously, so I dug through my stash for some yarn.

I came up with a skein of Zen Yarn Garden in the Tencelicious base, Mango colorway.


I went through a few patterns and picked out the Falling Water Scarf. Cast on.....and immediately got bored with it. It wasn't going to be wide enough, in my opinion, even with blocking, and I wasn't sure how long I'd get it to be if I made it another repeat or two wider. I only had one skein.


So it was back to the drawing board. Ultimately I landed on Yvaine.  It's my second Feministy pattern this year and it's pretty straight forward. I turned on Season 3 of The Closer (thank you Kyra Sedgwick and co) and churned through it. One season and several podcasts later--it's done but for weaving in the two ends.

I set it to rinse in some Soak and came back a few minutes later to find that it was bleeding all over my bathroom sink.  *sigh*....And yes, I've since gotten to bleach said sink twice--the water got darker than that in next ten minutes I left it rinsing.

Rinsing Pink Shawl

Pink Shawl

And yes, there's an error on the right side--I dropped a stitch. I picked it back up and it's not really noticeable unless one is taking a bright picture when it's all stretched out. As the look this fall is reversing scarves around the neck (which I don't get at all), shouldn't be an issue once I take the pins out.

What ultimately it's meant is that I'm going to be a lot more hesitant about participating in fundraisers. I love giving people knitted gifts. It's a huge joy for me to wrap family in the work of my hands. I like helping with fundraisers. I'm generally quite happy to knit a hat or scarf or something to go into a pot, and last year I offered either the yarn or the yarn made into something for a fundraiser. The winner ultimately took the yarn but the offer was made.  If I'm asked again by the person running this one, I will be saying no, because I don't like the multi-mission that was sprung on me. And if I'm asked to participate in any others....I know a few more questions to ask before I say yes.  

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, ...