Sunday, May 15, 2016

When You Cannot Finish the Hat...

"Finishing the hat--how you have to finish the hat.
How you watch the rest of the world from a window while you finish the hat.
Mapping out a sky . . . what you feel like, planning a sky . . .
What you feel when voice that come through the window go, until they distance and die
Until there's nothing but sky."
-- Sondheim, Sunday in the Park with George

Only, I cannot finish the hat. I'm waiting on Stash Dash.

The pile of not-yet-finished things is getting higher over here. It doesn't help that I have abandoned almost everything that I was working on for my Firework shawl. The newest socks that are underway? They've been left at work so I don't need to keep hauling them back and forth. The two other pairs that could use some work before Stash Dash so I could have a comfortable lead? Wasting away in their project bags.

I did manage to work a bit on the shawl that I'm making for Loopy Academy. Only, it was to realize that I will probably want to add an extra 8-16 rows depending on how much yarn I have left, which will mean that rather than 8 rows and a bind off left, which is where I presently should be, I'm back into wondering how far along I'll end up going.  It is likely that time rather than wool is going to determine the final size of the shawl--which will be helped if I stop knitting black stockinette.

I'm also starting to get edgy about the black yarn. I love black, I wear it almost everyday. A pair of black pants and a jewel toned top and you have about 90% of my wardrobe. But it's not unrelieved black knitting...

This is one of the problems with knitting something where you are going to use every single yard of the skein. There won't be leftovers--which is great--but that also means that rather than just knitting up those 300 or so yards needed, you are making the whole 475 yards in each skein. I take pictures of the increasing squishiness of the solid black skein to prove to myself that there has been progress. 

As all this black is simultaneously making all the colored yarns in my stash that much more appealing, I downloaded the current spreadsheet from Ravelry to try and get a sense of just how much wool is taking up space around Chez Hedgehog. The answer, which is fairly accurate (within 5K or so) 80 kilometers. 80,000 meters of wool. So when I was ruminating that I might shoot for 7K over the summer for Stash Dash, I was thinking about somewhere in the neighborhood of 10% of my stash. Which frankly isn't very much.

And doesn't include the yarn on the way for an upcoming baby present.

Part of me is presently screaming "you need to go Cold Sheep already!" so I can divest myself of some of the yarn. And part of me is eyeing a yarn sale...I wonder if carpenters get a similar sense of guilt.

Anyway, I'm trying to get projects to the edge for Stash Dash 2016. I'd love to have a K or two done in the first week.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Black and Amorphous

I've got a new project started! My Nuvem (named Firework in Ravelry) is underway. 

(casting on while flying South)

I cast on while I was headed down to Atlanta last week. I have to applaud Judy's Magic Cast On, other than that I screwed up my first attempt by not leaving myself a long enough tail, it is wonderfully simple and does indeed disappear into the fabric of the shawl. 

You'll notice I have a pure black skein here. There was a slight change in plans. Originally, I had grabbed three skeins of Dragonfly Fibers in the Firecracker Colorway, Pixie Base and one skein of a teal that--under the YarnCon lights--looked similar enough to make a good ruffle. Under natural light this was not the case. 

And from what I can tell, Dragonfly Fibers doesn't regularly dye an all black skein of Pixie. Fortunately, they did do one for a kit and someone on Ravelry was willing to sell me hers. I decided to go with all black in the middle and then fan out the colors. Everyone who has seen the yarn thinks the pops of teal are lovely and at least one person has already tried to lay claim to the finished garment. 

I'm hoping that by mid-July when I expect to finish it, it will be warm enough in Chicago to deter some of the grabby fingers. 

While it is 98% mindless knitting, working in black means I need good light and do have to notice every other row whether I'm doing increases or plain and so while this is fabulous TV/commute/listening to a webinar knitting, it's not going to be the only thing I can work on. I'm going to a 6 hour play in about two weeks and a part of me is wondering if I could get a raglan sweater started and through the armholes before then. 

I spent a blissful and restful weekend at M's and Sunday afternoon languished on the chaise, read Agatha Christie, and worked on my knitting. I had anticipations of being able to finish multiple skeins of yarn while in Atlanta and also the socks that I took along with me. 

(on the flight home)

As you can see that didn't happen. But progress has been made and it's going into rotation for commute knitting. Certainly I should be able to get through a large dent before Stash Dash starts. If I can finish it for Stash Dash, it'd be 1500 yards all by itself, a sizable contribution towards any level of completion.  

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, ...