Thursday, October 29, 2015

"Fall Break"

I'm having a couple of days off this week.* Yesterday was day 1 and it was lovely. Slept in a little, ran a number of errands around home, and finally wound up the yarn for Project 2 of Sophomore Fall Loopy Academy while watching the Great British Bake Off.  BrineyD got me fully sucked in. Don't tell me how the season presently on Netflix ends!

It also means I am getting back to the project that I'm stunt-knitting. That requires sitting in front of my computer, moving the chart up one line at a time. It is shadow/illusion knitting and I'm very glad to have Franklin Habit's recent post over at Skacel to help me understand. I am enjoying the technique, though I wish the chart had stitch counts marked on it so I could make it a smidge more mindless.  But I'm making do for this project and if I do another one, I might do a PDF modifier.

The weather has finally begun to feel like October, now that it is nearly November.
 If you look mid picture there, one of our squirrels was going back and forth today, stripping off leaves and heading, I think, for a pine tree at the corner of Chez Hedgehog. Hopefully that will make a nice little nest. But as you can see, the major tree outside our windows is still 80% green.

I was at Loyola campus the other day and caught this pretty grouping of trees. I love how on one end it's red and then gradients back to green.  

Hoping that the next few days, in addition to a boatload of writing, cleaning, cooking, reorganizing, going to Salvation Army-ing, etc etc that a pile of knitting can get done as well. That's the plan anyway.  

*Health Science programs don't have a fall break afaik, but I can pretend that's what this is, even though everyone else is still at school, right?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sock Show Thursday: 1

I finally finished the first sock of this pair!  Almost a month from start to finish.... where has my sock mojo gone? Are these the needles of a woman who turned out 12 pair+ each of the past two years?

Another sock has begun, but I'm not very far. I am hoping to get this one done before the end of the year, which would make 4 pair of socks total.  I know....I expect AudioGirl to show up any minute and start cracking a sock knitting whip. (And not just because she asked for socks for Christmas)

The yarn is okay but a little thin for my taste.  I doubt I'd buy it again for socks, though perhaps for another project. I don't think I like it enough that I'd be willing to go down to size 0 (2.0 mm) needles for it.  That takes a test of patience.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

But the Yarn is Discontinued!!

I'm back working on my Gingko Biloba shawl.  I took it with me to visit BrineyDeep and surprisingly made progress. I am still shocked how knitting on a project turns into progress on the knitted object. Uses up yarn and everything.


This yarn has been sitting in my stash for quite a while. Ravelry says I uploaded it October 2009 and the yarn pictures are on the carpet from the La Crosse apartment, so that sounds about right. And in the stash it has sat. A couple of times I considered selling it or sending it on to a new home, but I really do like the color (Tea Party) and it seemed a project would eventually come.

It is not a fast project. Each petal is 30 rows and while none of them are that long, keeping track of short rows requires more brain power than my usual socks and I have to haul around a copy of the pattern.

Each petal is taking about an hour.  It might go faster if I would stop also trying to do other things while knitting but I don't think it would be all that much. This will be 1300 yards, or the equivalent of nearly 4 pair of socks. I'm only knitting on size 4 (3.5mm) needles. And if a pair of socks usually takes me around 20 hours, that puts me at around 80 hours on this project. That math is kind of disheartening. I prefer to think about the fact that last time I reached in the project bag (Stitched by Jessalu --the Hedgehog Tea bag), the center-pull ball was feeling decidedly squishy.

And then I went to update something on Ravelry and clicked over to the DIC Starry page. The yarn is discontinued. For a second my brain froze and then ran through 25 scenarios all of which involved me buying cases of Starry from kindly knitters who had Trade/Sell marked on what was left in their stash.

Fortunately, I exhaled and remembered that I am beyond out of room in the stash, that it's taken me 6 years to come up with a project I wanted to knit this yarn into, and that I have another 60 hours at least on this shawl to spend with the yarn I have. Also, I have one more skein in another colorway.

I think that was very restrained of me, don't you?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fall Pantone

I'm told that the color for the fall is Marsala, which is a rich dark red. I approve of this, it's a color I look good in and such it is that I'm scanning clothing sales hoping to add judiciously to the wardrobe before they bring some odd spring color upon us next year that makes me look either like a small child or that I have no color sense. "Rich earthy neutrals" (says Pantone)--Yes please.

Of course, I'm also preparing for Winter, a season well worth the capital letter. My first Loopy Academy Project for the fall helped with that.


The pattern is Adama and it it knit out of two skeins of Steamer Trunk (by Mrs. Crosby, of course)


Normally, it's meant to be worn more like a very small shoulder cape, but I liked the idea of pulling it up as a hood. It is long enough that it would still tuck under my coat.

The goal for this project was texture and this pattern has lots of it.

And I think it will provide a very nice pop of color with my cream winter coat.


Marshmallow time is almost upon us.

Now if I could just get those other two projects rolling....

Monday, October 12, 2015

From Mrs. C

I've regaled to you before my love of Mrs. Crosby Yarns and I've another project that I finished recently (real knitting content) from her worsted base. But what I didn't mention is I won one of her monthly contests for finished objects!*

The frais hat that I knit earlier this year won in August. 


And as my reward I received an equivalent amount of yarn.  So I emailed and mentioned a few colors I liked and asked her to choose between.  Shortly thereafter, this lovely Hat Box in Peacock arrived.


I absolutely love it.


Along with being the HatBox sportweight base, which is a fantastic Merino/Silk/Cashmere that is ridiculously squishy, the colors gleam richly.

I've no idea what I'll make from it. I have several knitterly friends whose "oooh pretty" radar just went up, so finding a home for a finished project won't be a challenge.  Probably not socks, with the silk and cashmere this should be up by the face. It's machine wash cold, so that expands my options of who might get it as well.

In the interim, it makes a lovely piece of art at Chez Hedgehog.

Thank you Mrs. Crosby. 

*Please note, she's redoing the contest settings/rules/etc right now and has promised a new version soon but as of this date you can't enter. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Name Change?

Perhaps for October I should just change the name of the blog to Hedgehog Buys Yarn. Because there's not a lot of knitting happening at Chez Hedgehog.

Part of it is because of my new devices. Not having to worry about the battery dying between work and home means I'm working more on the train. That is a mixed blessing--I arrive to work email already gone through and two or three things started or addressed or something, but that means I'm reading and knitting less. I expect that to swing back around as the novelty of newness wears off (or maybe if my email stops exploding every day).

This doesn't count as "new" yarn...not really. It was yarn I intended to buy at Stitches Midwest, but the dyer hadn't brought any of that colorway along and so I had to order it later.


From Jennifer at Holiday yarns.  This is the Fathom colorway on her DK base, which is 100% merino. It came out very differently from the FlockSock base, which was more muted. (I made socks out of that, see here). I'm not entirely sure what it will be as yet. I had something in mind in August but I didn't write it down and so whatever thought that was has long disappeared. Even thoughts that get written down these days are struggling to keep up it seems.

And that box I mentioned from The Loopy Ewe showed up. So, um, yeah, more yarn coming as soon as I get pictures taken.

Knitting content again someday.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Prudent Shopping

A friend asked for some help with a gift and, as this then involved buying yarn from The Loopy Ewe and a prudent hedgehog does not pay for shipping when she can use the money to buy yarn instead....

First up was some sock yarn from Hedgehog Fibers, which I've been meaning to acquire for ages. The dyer has lovely things and obviously an affinity for hedgehogs. It was meant to be.


As AudioGirl pointed out, I'm buying everything in this strange dark rainbow with hot pink or purple palette of late. Not sure what has spawned that but I had to resist more when we were at Sifu.  It's not exactly a reach from my beloved jewel tones but it does have those interesting pops of grey and rust.


I'm entranced by all the colors though and I think it will be a lovely pair of socks.

Also, because it's football season and we still have more home games tailgates to attend, I grabbed some purple to match the team Philosopher and crew cheer for. I promise it's a bright cheery and redder purple that it may appear. On one computer screen it looks just a little bluer than it should, on the screen where I'm composing it looks downright grape colored.


This yarn has no specific purpose yet. I've a couple of ideas in mind and several people who I am sure would be interested but as yet I haven't committed.  As I said before, I still have Christmas knitting to worry about. But a good stash should be prepared for any eventuality. *sage nod*

Friday, October 2, 2015

In Theory, In Practice

In theory, I have not bought all that much yarn this year.  I've only been to a couple of festivals and didn't break the bank there. I've been resisting the "leftover" Wollmeise still sitting at the Loopy Ewe website this past week (in case anyone wanted to get me a late birthday present...). And I've been knitting and crocheting from stash. The grocery bags are a testament to that.

In practice, the bins are still bursting at the lids and I have a pile of wool sitting on my desk that's currently taking up the spot that Gypsy thinks rightfully belongs to her.  I'd best tell you about some of it it so I can attempt to put it away and give her room to stretch out, otherwise she'll sit half on the keyboard and mouse again and I'll never get anything else done.

AudioGirl and I went out the day before my birthday and where should we meet up but at Sifu. It's such a lovely welcoming shop and on the day we were there the sky was grey and it had rained on and off all day. Coming in to colors bursting from the shelves and the embracing wools everywhere was wonderful.

I ended up with 2 things:


This is 3 skeins of bulky weight yarn from Potluck Yarn. It says Potluck Bulky 6 pack so I think originally there were 6. These were in the sale bin and they're purple so how could I refuse? Also, the thicker weights in my stash seem few and far between these days and bulky weight is good for the battered knitter ego in times of "do I really have to move my sock knitting to 00 needles?"*

AudioGirl also found the Mochi Mochi kits and while I could resist most of the offerings, I fell weak in the face of tiny hedgehogs.


It does say Hedgehog in the blog title...


Everything except needles and a tapestry needle are included and it will make 3 hedgehogs. I'm tempted to do it on the morning commute just to see who finally works up the nerve to ask me what on earth I'm doing.

There's more to show you but that should at least make a Gypsy-sized dent on the desk. In theory....

*I still haven't tested this yet. I don't have any KPPPM or Rhichard Devrieve (same base) --which was my automatic use-size-0 yarn., might have some coming though.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sock Show Thursday: Cuff Progress

The socks have been riding around with me but not getting a whole lot of progress--I've been reading a couple of books and had a couple of days off where sock knitting wasn't happening because that's anytime knitting.

Still, I'm further along.


I'm not sure what I expected when I started these, but it wasn't stripes.  The heel and gusset should certainly be all sorts of splotchy and that probably means these are destined for my sock drawer.  Yes, I know I could put in an afterthought heel and take the opportunity to learn something new. I'm doing new on another project, these are just going to have to pool.

I'm amazed it's the first of October already. Two and a half knitting months until Christmas and the holiday knitting hasn't even begun. There's a vague plan, kinda, but nothing on wool. But the dark is coming so much earlier in the evening and I noticed this week when the alarm went off I'm not waking in the light as I was. It's time to take the light box to work--I've tried unsuccessfully using it at home as I'm not one for early rise and light and at night seems counter intuitive for attempting to go to bed. In theory at work I can turn it on while I'm wrangling my inbox. My plants will probably like it as well.

At least the change in light and temperature is a good harbinger of sweater and wool sock season...

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, ...