Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Lessons Proceeding

Loopy Academy is occasionally stressful. I tend to overdo on my projects, going for things that are shiny rather than just what meets requirements. But heavens, at least it's not this other online course that I'm presently attempting, which is supposed to be introducing best practices in designing for online courses to educators. In this week's module, we got completely incorrect information about copyright law. I'm an academic librarian by career and training and I've done research and multiple papers on this topic. I am not a copyright lawyer by any stretch but seriously? Bah.

I'll take stress about wool any day. Okay, fine, that's most days and most stressors. I'm sure you understand my general point.

Meet my third project. This is "knitting from a chart" and I chose the Vitamarie pattern by Franklin Habit.  I've just started my third repeat of Chart B. Everything is very clear and a repeat seems like it is taking about 90 minutes? I didn't get through quite a full repeat during a 1 hour Knitgirllls episode. I'll have to test with Midsomer Murders.

The yarn is Loopy Solids, which continues to be serviceable. TLE still has a lot of it in the discounted pile, though I wish I'd bought more black before they sold out in this old base. And I probably need to go over and just buy the rest of what they have in a couple of other colors. Because you know, I have room for that.

And it's lace and that's a rather late at night photo on the plaid couch so not my best. But it's started and coming along. I finished the pink scarf I showed you last week, so I'm trying to focus on my Academy projects. That will probably last until later today, when I need to go to the dentist. She doesn't mind if I knit while we're waiting for the pain killers to kick in but she will probably draw the line at charts.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Academy Begins

Fall Semester for Loopy Academy is underway.  I've managed to choose three projects that require close care and attention.

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Ah well, it is supposed to be about learning, isn't it?

First is the entrelac project. I went back and forth on needle size, which pattern to use, etc. But finally it's underway. I've completed one repeat and I think I generally understand what I'm doing. It'll be endless short rows and it will be rubbish to try and do this on the commute. It's a good thing BMFA is gorgeous yarn. 

The asymmetric project on the other hand is lovely and I wish I had more energy to work on it. I really do like Wollmeise. I've been committing to at least two rows at bedtime, which a couple of times has turned into four rows but generally not more. Other knitting is happening around Chez Hedgehog but this has been living by the bed. It has *some* capacity to travel. It'll need it. 

Just barely cast on and not yet photographed is the chart shawl. I can safely say Franklin Habit has some of the largest and clearest charts I've ever encountered. 

Now all I need is time. 

Monday, September 18, 2017


I am awash with deadlines .Everything at work seems to be happening five minutes, maybe three, before it's due, or I'm a week late and opening with an apology and request for understanding. My only hope is that nearly everyone I encounter seems to be in the same boat. Drawing on one of my research partners, we now open our working calls with "This is my reality this week..." and avoid the three minutes of prelude joint apologies. 

Thus it's particularly important to have a knitting project that is just a touch mindless and yet pretty enough to evoke the spare comment and keep me motivated. 

Meet the Noel pattern in BMFA #shepersisted 

Isn't it bright and crazy and lovely?  I adore it. 

The pattern is a triangular shawl, an irregular pattern with a picot edging that I'm finding I enjoy. 

The color is of course an homage to Elizabeth Warren, the Senator for whom I have great respect. The doesn't hurt either.  Although, someone did point out that it would be just a touch more amusing if the colorway was #sheeppersisted But I'll take the original.

It's knitting up very quickly, aided by a run through Agatha Christie's first Poirot book in my headphones. I decided I should give it one more try before the movie this fall. I had forgotten how utterly annoying I find Poirot. He's so smug and condescending. Although, in his defense, in the first book at least Christie is poking gentle fun at the narrator -- who is wholly convinced of his own detecting prowess. If my library has the second book I might give it a go. I need something to tide me over until next month's Audible credit brings another Miss Fisher book. 

Gypsy continues to help with my photo shoots. Such a thoughtful cat. (A thoughtful cat who broke one of my light bulbs. I have new ones now and no one has glass in their toes.)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Wee Sheep, WI Sheep

The fancy sheep were unimpressed with us, but we were impressed with them! Last weekend the Philosopher and I drove up to Wisconsin for WI Sheep and Wool Festival or Wee Sheep--as I tend to pronounce it.  It required some serious Philosopher leveraging on a Saturday morning and it's a good thing sheep are as adorable as they are...

We also found my friend KB! She and her Ravenclaw Ravelry HPKCHC pals were attending in full force but she joined me for a rummage through the sheep barns and through the all of the shopping. She's shown here wearing a sweater made out of her own handspun. Yes, I'm terribly amazed by her all the time. She was also working on fair isle color-changing mittens. When she gets done and gets a blog post up, I'll try to remember to link.

We were very responsible knitting shoppers together, managing to talk each other out of yarn that we probably didn't really need, even as glorious as it was. Our color tastes are complementary but different enough that when I would squeal over something, she was a bit more refined, with the appropriate caveats for purple and green. The Philosopher was generally non-judgmental. He vetoed a couple of almost selections and reminded me that yes, I really do have that many skeins of rainbow yarn that I might need to get to first.  But what's the fun in that? Here's what I did buy: 

First up was Blackberry Ridge Wollen Mill.  This is two skeins of their Colorflow base, Autumn Rag colorway.  It's about a pound altogether and around a worsted weight. It's like oatmeal in a skein, warm and nubby. I want to make a really dense warm shawl. I'm thinking maybe a Kay's Tess D'Ubervilles Shawl again. I wear my purple one all the time.
Next was my dearest Ewetopia Fiber Shop. Oh I've missed seeing Kathryn the past couple of years and her yarns are just exactly as excellent as I remember. This is her Kickapoo Sock and while it's not photographing perfect, I think you can see the hints of purple and blue. That's gone into the stash to marinate for a bit. (We realized that I have Ewetopia yarn that is nearly a decade old; I really must get around to using that up)

I also had to grab a skein of this Ridge Sport yarn. This comes with history. While I was living in La Crosse, Ewetopia had it's first "their farm" wool. I bought a skein in an aqua shade and made a pair of socks. It's one of my earlier pairs and I've worn them to felt. I adore those socks. So finding some of her Ewetopia farm grown, Ewetopia mill spun, Ewetopia owner dyed in aqua ? Sign me up.  These will be a quick add to the sock drawer and I can't wait! 

My final purchase came late in the day. I was dismayed to learn that a regular favorite dyer of mine, Emily of Sophie's Toes, is shutting down her work. She does delightful color blends including the Philosopher's favorite triangle. Her booth had been pretty well cleared out, but I found this lovely autumnal skein.  The green isn't my usual, but I know a couple of people it will appeal to and so in the goodness of time. 

After KB headed home, it was time for me to compete in the Walk and Knit contest! My writing partner's ex-neighbor (I know, stay with me) had put together a team. I was, she promised her teammates, a ringer. We hustled and stitched our way through, trying to not knock anyone else over or drop stitches. There were a total of 8 teams competing. I'm told that somewhere, there's video. Thank heavens for a self-history of walking/knitting log cabin afghan squares. 

Then we queued to hear the winners. Imagine our delight-- WE WON! We were the second fastest time but apparently had knit the most? It was a combination of stitches, errors, and speed.  I'm not entirely sure how they calculated it, but we were utterly delighted. See our wining team picture here!*

We got a treasure trove of prizes. It was amazing generosity from the vendors and I was deeply touched. I'll share those separately so you can see all of the cool and shiny things (and keep in mind, my teammates took home lots of other cool things too!). I hear we might have to compete next year again. 

All in all, an excellently sheepy day. 

*Yes, he knit that stunning brioche shawl and he was starting a second one. It's even more phenomenal in person. Everyone was enchanted with it. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Loopy Academy: Senior Year, Fall Semester.

Here we go!!

Tomorrow, I'm off to Wisconsin Sheep and Wool. Where I will be buying yarn. Which is why today I am showing you new yarn that just arrived. So, about the problem of my stash never getting smaller and me being totally confused as to why this is the case.

Pay no attention to the BMFA Packaging behind the couches.

Here's what was in the Box of Fun and what you'll be seeing too much of over the next four months. I keep telling myself that I can totally knock all of these out in a couple of weeks. My optimism seems unending. 

We have three project assignments this fall term: entrelac, charts, and asymmetrical. I was pretty delighted with these choices -- they are broader than a couple of the past terms have been. 

This BMFA heavyweight in the Hush colorway seems like it will be perfect for entrelac. That's not one of my favorite textures, but at least the colorway is cheerful and if I get done and hate it, wouldn't be a wool I minded knitting again.  I've knit entrelac once or twice, though I'm not sure I've ever gotten through a full project. 

Next up is Loopy Solids in Evergreen. Yes, that's five skeins but they are half skeins. Promise. It's only 2.5 "real" skeins of fingering weight. And no, that's not the same color as what I knit the Steampunk shawl out of last spring. I talked myself into a Franklin Habit pattern I've been meaning to knit for a while. He has beautiful and clear charts and this will nicely meet the requirements for a pattern with a chart.  

Finally, I went looking for an excuse to buy/knit some Wollmeise in the colorway Brombeere [Blackberry]. With any number of beautiful asymmetric patterns available on Ravelry, I'm sure one will pop out as fitting for this skein.  Asymmetric patterns haven't really been my thing, other than the one I knit for AudioGirl last Christmas, so the question remains of who I know that might wear this color.  

I'm off to set up the ball winder.  Between this and Christmas knitting and a few other planned things for fall, it's going to be quite a long wind! 

Make Sure You Give Back

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