Saturday, May 30, 2015

Loopy Academy Semester 2: Off the Needles, Off to the Gift Bin

Done done done!!  I finally finished and uploaded my Loopy Academy Semester 2 Freshman Year projects. With 24 hours to spare even.  Forgive the mediocre photos, Chez Hedgehog is a mess due to projects and I just wanted to get things done, photographed, and posted.


First up, my striped project was the ruffle alligator shawl.  (The Ravelry links are all to public pages if you want to click through). Product of a lot of short rows and moving stitch markers, this ended up taking 3.6 skeins of the dark blue and 3.9 of the light blue.  I used Cascade 220 Superwash Sport. It's a lovely shawl, densely squishy, and entirely not my taste. I tried it on and the Philosopher agreed with me. So, it's off to the gift bin while it tries to sort out it's destiny.  This also was the overambitious project--1006 yards where I needed 175.  I really should know better.


Next up, slipped stitches and this light hat.  I find that I forget how quickly hats can go, even this one which required me to pay attention to what I was doing. Of course, it also went much faster once I stopped trying to knit it on dpns and found a 16" circular.  Far less shoving of stitches and worrying about dropped ones. The yarn is silk and alpaca, both light but oven like.  And the hem turned out better than I expected.  This one is cute and I think will stay with me. I lose hats far too quickly to only have one or two in the hat bin.  I would knit this pattern again.


Finally, the felted wine carrier. At very best I am ambivalent; really though I just don't like it. I disliked knitting on large needles with worsted weight wool, which clinked around noisily and were loose enough that I didn't feel I could take the project out of the house. I don't particularly care for the felted fabric. It's still taller than I'd like but it's at correct width, so I'm hesitant to run it through the washer again. But I can say I've tried it and am happy not to again, so I suppose that's soemething, maybe. Also destined for the gift bin, though I'm not sure I know many people who take wine with them who will also remember to take their felted wine carrier back and forth. Hmmm, perhaps a white elephant party gift...

Oh, final yardage, as these count for Stash Dash:

1) Shawl: 920 meters
2) Hat: 166 meters
3) Wine Carrier:  162 meters
Current Total: 1248 meters; ~25% !!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Stash Dash: Something of a Plan

Stash Dash 2015 finally kicked off on Friday and I started sprinting to finish my Loopy Ewe Academy Spring Semester Freshman projects. I got two done over the weekend! Hooray! More pictures and details on those soon, they just need a bath, block and photos.

Finishing those puts me at a solid start of around 1200 yards towards what I'm hoping will be an easy 5K (5469 yards). Obviously I don't expect to get through that same amount every weekend, although if I did I'd have a much smaller stash and/or would need to buy yarn more frequently.  Monday I knit some but mostly gave my hands a rest; I noticed some strain after churning through all of the garter stitch to finish up the shawl on Sunday.

I was trying to sort out projects to develop a general plan for the summer so hopefully August 14 won't sneak up on me. I'm not quite to the level of "I have a spreadsheet and need to knit x number of yards per week" that a few people are doing but it's good to get a general sense of what is coming, right?

Projects Remaining: (~4290 to go...)
  1. The Loopy Ewe Academy Felted Wine Carrier ~200 yards
  2. Log Cabin Baby Blanket ~1700 yards
  3. Superheroine Socks ~300 yards
  4. MaytheFourth Socks ~300 yards
  5. Amazonas Spice Scarf ~400 yards
  6. Catkin Shawl ~750 yards
  7. Bookshelf Lineup Scarf ~350 yards
  8. Logwood Shawl ~400 yards [not yet cast on] 
Finished Projects: (~1180)

  1. The Loopy Ewe Academy Slipped Stitches Hat ~180 yards
  2. The Loopy Ewe Academy Stripes Shawl ~1000 yards

Of all of those, only one isn't cast on yet, which suggests that perhaps I have a few too many projects on the needles lying about Chez Hedgehog, doesn't it? And that doesn't include travel knitting, I'm headed out of state three times in June, twice on airplanes and the latter flight will be full days of travel back and forth to San Francisco. That by itself should be a pair of socks that aren't yet started.  

Starting from a position of strength is no bad thing. I finished that list up there and for a split second thought "hey, maybe I should try to do the 10K." I just managed to keep myself from falling on the floor laughing as that doesn't take into account anything else in my to do list this summer, which is long and robust. The Catkin has been lingering far too long and I need to figure out what parts of it I can do on the train.  Trying to only work on it at home is obviously not going to cut it. Depending on how the rest of June goes, it might turn into airline travel work.  

My only concern at the moment is pending projects 3-8 are all fingering weight yarn. I might need to toss in a couple of worsted weight hats or mittens, just to keep variety in my hands going. Otherwise, things should hopefully churn right thru!  

Happy Dashing!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

To the Wire: Loopy Academy Semester 2 Progress

I almost put progress in scare quotes, though those are ridiculously overused, but I do have actual progress to discuss, so it's not an untruth.

The end of semester 2 for Loopy Academy Freshman year is fast upon us, only another 2 weeks remaining.  Many people are long done and have submitted their projects already, I'm going to be in the final round of uploaders, trying to get things in under the wire. That's for 3 reasons: (1) I greatly underestimated how long my shawl would take; (2) I have been avoiding the felting and slipped stitches projects because I don't really care about either of them; and (3) knitting for some reason doesn't get done when I set things aside and wander off for a couple of months.

Yes, it's true, I'm not especially enthused about my felting project or my slipped stitches project. I don't like felted projects and it was an extra blow to see on Ravelry that my original plan: the French Press felted slippers, didn't use up the required amount of yarn. I know people who adore felted things but I am not one of them so I've been finding all sorts of excuses to work on socks or other projects instead.

Finally today I've cast on a wine bottle cozy. It'll use up the yarn, go quickly, felt downstairs in the washer (don't worry, I'll use a pillow case) and then be a hostess gift or some such.

The shawl is finally churning along nice (see: actually needed to knit on it).  On Friday on my commute home I cast off the body. Now I just need to spend another hour weaving in ends before I pick up and start on the ruffle. Time to review the Yarn Harlot's tutorial on "pick up and knit" (as opposed to just pick up)  I've got a full skein left in each color--more of the darker blue-- but I figure if I just use those up I'll be even on each side and if I run out during bind off, I'm covered.  I'm considering binding off the ruffle in the opposite color. Maybe. We'll see.  The ruffle is going to take a while though so that will have to be commute knitting this week.

I don't have much of an excuse as to why I haven't been working on the slipped stitches project. Ennui probably. I ended up choosing a hat and it will be lovely and most likely will dash off to the gift bin. I love the color--an icy aqua--but I just haven't been able to get excited about it. I'm hoping that casting on will help. It's unlikely to hurt things.

I'm taking the summer off, not doing Camp Loopy so I can just focus on Stash Dash (which starts next Friday!!) and getting older projects done rather than just more new projects. Then maybe this fall for Sophomore Year I'll stick to just the yardage Sheri and TLE is requiring rather than trying to do a giant project (1000 yards when I only needed 175?).  Perhaps.

And now I have an annoyed gray feline who would like me to realize that her dinner is 12 minutes late and this is an abomination unto Nuggan.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sock Show Thursday: Distracted by Shiny

I was churning away at the Superhero socks and then I hit that point on the foot where I'm not sure if I'm ready to start the toe or not. It's never a good point, because inevitably I'm out or planning to be out and I can't measure or sit down and try them on or whatever.

And that's where I was last Friday on my way out of the door to a symposium, which is why I grabbed another skein of wound sock wool, more size 1 (2.25 mm needles) and started yet another pair of socks. It's only Pair 4 for 2012, technically I'm way way behind if I'm still shooting for 12 pair this year.


This is the other skein of Zitron Wolkenspiel that I picked up at Nina a while back. I've added another 10 rows or so to the leg since taking this picture but really, will it look that much vastly more interesting until I get to the heel?

At least it's churning along. It's not getting much love now that the conference I cast it on for is over. Too many other things to try and get finished up before the end of the month.

I realized though that I hadn't shown you the first two pair that I finished this year.

Pair 1: for all of the Northwestern games this fall that I wander around the tailgates for.


Pair 2: These need to be overdyed. Too bright, even for me.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Spoils of YarnCon

The Philosopher is home in Florida and I'm told that at least one friend there has put in a very hard plea for a pair of socks. I really need to start a wish list, I've got several things that are in the must-be-done sooner rather than later pile but I've not been planning well. With Stash Dash coming up in just a couple of weeks, some forward thinking would not go entirely amiss.

Especially as I've managed to buy more yarn. We had YarnCon in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, it's a great local festival and I got to track down a Twitter knitting buddy. I don't think I'll ever stop being entertained by being able to walk up to someone, say "Hi, I'm *insert handle here*" and pick up with a total in-person stranger where we've left off online the day before.

I only had a couple of hours at YarnCon, the Brunette was in town and he trumps even good yarn. Still, lovelies can be acquired hastily.

I had to, of course, swing by the Sophie's Toes booth. I really only get to see the dyer, Emily Parsons, at YarnCon and I've been doing pretty well at knitting up all of what I purchase between years. I think I have one skein left from previous purchases and it's been cast on, just neglected.


This time I went for one of her six packs, which has 87 yards of each color. She had a lovely shawl hung up in similar colors to this, starting with the darkest and going out to the light--which I thought was an eye-catching choice.


It's fingering weight, but with about 525 yards total, I should be able to make something fairly substantial.

In terms of booths I can never make it past, Fleur de Fiber is also right up there. I just love her Acadian base, it knits up into such excellent well wearing socks. I know some knitters don't like 100% merino socks but I haven't run into too many problems as yet. Now, that said, I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to have to move "regular" fingering weight yarn down to size 0 (2.0mm) dpns from 1.0 (2.25mm) but I'm hoping not just yet. When that happens, KPPPM will have to move to size 00 and then where will I be?

Oh, right, knitting Fleur de Fiber. I got two skeins:


The Jimi colorway and


The Puppet Bike colorway--named for a street performer in the Andersonville neighborhood. She also had a more pastel/baby version of this but I liked the exuberance of this color better.


You'll note everyone's favorite gray tabby wasn't about to let me take photos unsupervised today.

When I mentioned to Shannon Okey from Cooperative Press that I was looking for a couple of new shawl pins, she hauled me over to Balwen's booth.


Just think, I'll always have an inch measure with me.  And I think using cuff links as the pin itself is great! I've not had a chance to try on many shawls yet, I was wearing one of the heavier lace shawls Sibling-the-Elder made me a few years ago and I was a little concerned about it catching but on more garter type shawls....

Finally, I got into The Grinning Gargoyle's booth. This was not easy, it was packed everytime I went past and I only managed to be in a nearly-empty booth for about 30 seconds before other people tromped in after me and we all had to huddle up.

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But for shades like that, can you blame us? I don't knit red all that often and I've no idea what this will be, but it's pretty. And it's MCN, so probably need to do something more of the scarf variety than socks.  Though cashmere on feet is never a bad thing.

None of these have plans yet, so if anyone who knows they are likely to get knitted things for the usual holidays wants to speak up... Otherwise they'll be in the bin until inspiration sparks.

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...