Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Socks on a Train

I am trying to adapt to a new phone, which doesn't have a physical keyboard and thought trying to blog on the screen might be a good way to see how my typing would be.

I already miss physical keys but the speed isn't too bad so far. I expect that I will get used to it.

Over the course of the year I have been surprised to find how little I wanted to knit socks. The past two years, knocking out a dozen pairs was fairly straightforward. This year, mid spring, I just stopped. There has been a lot of knotting, without doubt, but it has been shawls and socks and other things.

One concern I have noted in the back of my head is that my guage is changing. When I started knitting socks everything was on size two needles. Granted, the guage on those is a little loose, but I could crank through them like no one's business.

Then was 1.5ss and 1 (2.5 and 2.25 mm) respectively. My size 0 (2.0mm) were reserved for koigu kpppm. But of late I have noticed that my size one needles feel big....

I bought my first pair of 00 needles recently. I am kind of afraid to use them.

So instead I have some 0s and the Frolicking Feet yarn I bought in Florida last year.

I am not making great progress but work is again underway. I think my coworkers are relieved. Yes she is knitting, yes it is a sock. Things are more correct in the world.

At least until I get back to my Loopy Academy projects. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Missing + Sophomore

Somewhere, on Sunday, I misplaced a bag of knitting. It was a pair of socks started recently out of the BMFA that I'd just gotten. I was only an inch or so into the ribbing, but the yarn, needles, and project bag have all disappeared. I checked with the friends I saw that day and can't seem to locate it. Currently my best guess is that I set the knitting bag on top of the car, walked away from it, and someone grabbed it. It was a cute bag.

The good news is that my Loopy Academy Sophomore Fall Semester yarn showed up.  Fall projects include: cables, textured, and a pillow.  I restrained myself and did not go for one of the large textured shawls beckoning from my queue.  This fall is busy enough without my needing to make myself entirely crazy with knitting deadlines. Besides, that's what Christmas is for.


A quick snap on the desktop.

The brown Cascade 220 superwash will become the pillow project; the Loopy Solids is for a pattern in the just released Knitty Deep Fall Issue, and the Mrs. Crosby will be for a cowl. I really love the Satchel Bag base from Mrs. Crosby. It feels so wonderfully decadent. I am *almost* looking forward to winter because I'll get to wear the mittens I made out of it last fall.

Nothing is due until December 31, so I've some time. But I am looking forward to starting these sooner rather than later. Or at least as soon as I get more socks on the needles, what with that current pair missing...

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Haul from Stitches Midwest

The Philosopher and I did make it over to Stitches Midwest, mostly because he wanted to go to IKEA and it's around the corner. Granted, we forgot to get the shelf which was one of the primary reasons for going and oddly, neither of us were hungry which meant no meatballs but I suppose we need more reasons to go back again.

This round at Stitches Midwest was mostly grabbing a few things from vendors I already know and like. I found it interesting how much more I saw in semi-solids and also in muted colors. My purchase won't reflect that at all but it did appear to be a trend. Mini-skeins are also ridiculously popular.  That always makes me laugh because the Unique Sheep has been doing miniskein gradients for many years.

Anyway, I ended up with yarn from some familiar dyers.

First up was Dragonfly Fibers, whose vibrant colors I continue to be fascinated with.



I love that pop of bright orange, it'll be so interesting when it's knit up. "Just to one more orange pop" I can already hear myself saying. The colorway is African Daisy.

Next I was thrilled to find that they're still dying the colorway that I grabbed to make the stoplight hat that survived last winter. It's been renamed "Chief Black Hawk"



My one new vendor this year was Knitting Notions


This was purchased with some gift knitting in mind, though I'm not sure if I'll get to it this fall. It's a richer, darker blue than I could get it to photograph.  More of a primary blue than you see here.

Of course, I had to make a stop in Lisa Souza's booth and see her and her husband. And this skein should look familiar.


That'd be the same colorway that I knit up in June for Andromeda.  I was hoping to find it on one of her other bases--but as we chatted she pointed out that a lot of people aren't looking for potential pooling issues with their sweaters. I generally agree with that, so I'll send her a special order at some point for a couple of skeins of worsted or DK.

I also stopped in the Verdant Gryphon's booth. I only have one skein left of my original Sanguine Gryphon haul from years back. The pair behind that split into Verdant and Cephalopod Yarns--the latter of whom sadly stopped dying last summer. The Verdant Gryphon continues to have the lovely colors I fell in love with.


And that's all. As I said, it was a short trip.  I always drool over new and shiny yarns but I have so much here at home and it's hard to justify all the new sock yarn when I'm not knitting it or another sweater quantity when I haven't started a new sweater in well over a year.  Also, my yarn is still busting out of it's bins (a little more so now) and all that Wollmeise is still giving me dirty looks.

So these need to get assigned but otherwise I need to dive back into the stash and dig out the beautiful things I have here.

And not just buy more BMFA....

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Smarter than the Directions

In the midst of Stash Dash, as I was contemplating a marathon project to get me through to my end yardage, I pulled out some Dream in Color Starry that has been marinating for a while. I bought this yarn with a gift certificate from the Incredibly Patient Mother a few years ago when I was on a sparkly kick and have been trying to sort out what I'd made it into since then.

A rummage through the queue on Ravelry produced the Gingko Biloba Shawl.  Skein 1 of 3 was handwound up (no, I still haven't worked things out around Chez Hedgehog so I can set up my swift again) and I had a plan for success.

Only, that's a fingering weight shawl and by the time I was casting on it was July 30. This did not bode well for completing over a km of knitting before the end of Stash Dash. Add to that the usual fall craziness as the semester has started, the students are back [I work in medical education, they never really leave but it's a fraction slower in the summer], and you can understand why I went for the bulky weight cotton weighing down my stash.

Of course, this means that is not a trick I can pull next summer... Things to remember next April.

But I did get a few repeats into the shawl before I abandoned it for crochet.


As I was starting it, I read through the pattern, read through it again, looked at the pictures, tried to figure out the schematics, read through the pattern again and got dreadfully confused.

Where, I kept asking, were the increase rounds. It seemed pretty obvious that I would start at the top center and work my way out and there would be increases to make the rows bigger and that just wasn't lining up with what I was seeing on the pattern.


Finally, I opened a message on Ravelry to email the designer and ask her what I was missing. At the last minute, I decided to go through the finished items one more time and there, I saw it.

A few repeats already completed. Clear indicating that I would work the shawl from side to side.  Which is why there was a left side and a right side.

I didn't end up emailing the designer, I'm sure she's glad. My notes on Ravlery for the project will include "this pattern is knit from the right side edge to the center lengthwise, not top down as the not very bright hedgehogs among us thought."

The shawl has been hauled around since Stash Dash but not worked on. It requires just a bit of attention to a pattern and my knitting has, as is often the case, needed to be as on automatic pilot as I can get it.  But I want the finished object, so I need to get back to it. One little repeat at  a time...

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, ...