Start and Finish

7 07 2014

Here’s where we start a lot of things on top of finishing a lot of things.

Started thing 1: A pair of boot socks for Boyfriend. 

Shepherd’s Wool in Christmas Red and Garnet. Have I mentioned how much I hate that red never photographs well? I also took this picture while waiting for the worlds longest and slowest train ever. Boyfriend didn’t approve, but my car was in PARK and I finished three rows in the time it took for the train to finally pass through. I viewed it as a win. 

I started these socks on the 4th while hanging out with boyfriends’ family and got this far by the time lunch and such were done. It’s a 60-stitch sock on size 2 needles. The yarn is a little light, but I’m hopeful that it’ll bloom nicely when washed. I have to finish these by the time we leave for LaCrosse for another family event where we’ll be camping all weekend. Boot socks are necessary for a healthy foot. He only has one pair of socks and will definitely need another pair for the weekend.

Thing Finished 1: Line Break shawl. 

Shelridge Farms SoftTouch Heather Fingering weight in colorway Sand. This is from the Cone and I haven’t weighed it yet for total yardage used.

I cannot wait for the weather to cool off enough for me to wear this shawl. It is so beautiful it hurts a little and it blocked amazingly. I even used blocking wires for this one! It’s so light and airy and it’ll be perfect for the wedding we’re attending in August.  Did I mention that I was so obsessed with this that I finished it in 8 days?

Thing Continued 1: Not-So-Color-Tipped-Scarf

I don’t have an image of this but I was working on it for a while on Friday night. It’s slowly coming along and I’m about 2/3 done with the second skein of Tahki Donegal Tweed I got for my birthday. I’ll get partially through the third skein before finishing it off.

Thing finished 2: The Puerperium Cardigan

Yarn is Handspun Fairy Yarn Mother in colorway BlueBell. It bled like a MOFO when I washed it. Buttons TBD.

I finished this guy on Thursday and he laid in the living room for a good long while to block properly. He’s now sitting on the button box waiting for buttons. I haven’t decided on the color of the buttons yet.

Thing started 2: The Baleshare cardigan

Yarn: Fishermen’s Wool. Size 9 needles.

We got a new KnitScene at the store this past week and I instantly purchased it because there were about 6 sweaters I wanted to knit and will definitely BE knitting these this season. This one struck me immediately and I started figuring out how much yardage I’d need. Boyfriend took my measurements and I fell between the second-to-largest and the largest, so I went with the largest in the thoughts that a bit of ease would make it really cushy and comfy so I set to finding an economical way to get 2500 yards of yarn in my possession.

A trip to Joann Fabrics on Sunday morning and I had five skeins of Fishermen’s Wool and I figured out my gauge. Size 9 needles and I was set. I cast on and started the ribbing pattern and by bedtime, I was half a row away from finishing the ribbing pattern. From now on it’s just the stockinette until it measures a bajillion inches.

I’m short by about 75 yards per the pattern, but I have a great skein of handspun I inherited from Lynn at  knit-night in a deep chocolate brown (just slightly darker than what I’m working with) so I’ll be able to add that to the sleeves and it’ll look intentional. I hope to have this sweater done by the time the season changes and it cools down enough to wear it immediately when it’s done!

Thing continued 2: The Sincere cowl

Sincere Sheep in Vitamin C and Deepest Desire. Size 4 needles. Knits in orange. Purls in purple.

This has been languishing in my stash for I don’t even know how long. I purchased the yarn back in 2012 in Seattle, started the cowl in march or something and have been very slowly working on it since then. Keywords being VERY and SLOWLY.

The skeins are 330 yards each and I’m doing it in the dumbest way possible. GARTERSTITCH. Really? What was I thinking?

So that’s what I’ve been doing lately. Nothing much else to report other than I guess it’s time to start looking for a new contract job. My current one is ending soon, sadly. Such is the life of a contractor!

 





Stash-Buster

2 07 2014

That’s totally what I’ve become this year.

So here’s a recap of the last few weeks:

I went to Stitch n Pitch with the arm warmers and I finished one while bored one evening. It helped that the lap blanket was too gargantuan to feasibly travel with it. When my fingers turned black yet again I  knit a swatch and washed it dilligently in hot, cold and lukewarm water. I was amazed when the little blighter hadn’t bled…at all. Not a single drop of color bled out of the yarn. What the hell?

Yarn is Desert Vista Visu in colorway “Dia Del Los Muertos” but I think it was supposed to be a test batch as the colors aren’t nearly as vibrant as the replacement skein Jenny got. I’m OK with it anyway.

In any case, I’m back to the beginning of the color repeat and am going to start the second tube eventually. And by eventually, I mean not for a while.

I went to a Brewer’s game with a ton of people from my gym and knit a sock from the nosebleed seats. I finished it right as Ryan Braun hit a homerun to help us win the game. It was pretty great.

Yarn is Happy Fuzzy Yarn Superwash Corriedale in colorway “Rain”

The Gemini pullover is done and has been worn once to work but it needs to be put away for a couple months until it’s cool enough to warrant wearing it. The wool and alpaca make it a really tough sell on super hot days.

“Gemini” Tank from Knitty Spring/Summer 2012. Knit in The Fiber Company Acadia in color “Blue Heron”

Finally, I have finished the blanket.

Tosh Chunky in colorway “Oak” and Mission Falls 1828 in Navy Blue.

Final dimensions of this beast is 50X60″ and it’s amazing. I’m almost tempted to keep it and knit something else for the babe, but I’m going to the shower soon and have other things to knit instead.

I’ve also made a vow to never knit with MadelineTosh yarns ever again. This blanket took forever to knit and was, predominantly, knit with yarn that had been made into sweaters, washed at least twice and never blocked properly. The color bled in the water every single time I washed it and it’s so infuriating that, after nearly 10 washes, the yarn is still losing color. A note is definitely going in the bag to put a color catcher in with this blanket whenever it gets washed and dried so the olive green color doesn’t stain everything. What a disappointment. I also have an issue with how it blocks. I gently stretched the blanket to stop it from rippling and to stop the edging from curling, but I don’t think there’s any merit in blocking Tosh yarns because they don’t block. Ever. They never keep their shape even if you let it dry in that shape for DAYS at a time. I believe my stash is Tosh free aside from a skein of sock yarn, but I will never buy Madelinetosh yarns ever again. It’s simply not worth the hassle.

Once the blanket was done, I dove into the stash and went searching for stuff to knit and came up with my large cone of Shelridge Yarns SoftTouch Heathers in colorway Sand. I then rediscovered the Line Break shawl from Veera Valimaki while at the store on Sunday and started knitting. 

I started this little guy on Monday night, got to the 90-ish stitch mark, realized my stitch markers had moved and had to start over. This is about how far I got after a couple innings of the Tuesday baseball game and now I’m about two rows away from finishing the whole damn thing. Each row takes about a half hour to knit and, while I had hopes to finish it last night, the eyelets are just not as big as I thought they’d be so I keep making the executive decision to do ‘one more row’ which ends up being a few more rows, blah blah blah. So I’ll probably never be done with this thing. No I’m kidding, it’s happening tonight.

I’m also working on a puerperium cardigan and a baby sophisticate cardigan for the same baby the blanket is for. I hope to have them done by the shower…we shall see!

So, despite the heat, I’ve gotten a ton done this month. Let’s hope the rest of the season goes that way too!

 

 





Catching Up

10 06 2014

Another month- not a whole lot of knitting to account for.

I’ve been working on some different things. Mostly for other people but I’m finally getting into the knitting for myself.

I’ve finally found the time to start working on a commission I got two weeks ago from one of the amazing ladies at the store. She’s working on a Latte baby jacket, but because of a shoulder injury, can’t knit with the large needles and yarn so she asked me to finish the button band for her. I agreed, and work and life have finally slowed down enough to allow me the time to do it.

I’ve started a Gemini pullover out of The Fiber Company Acadia. It’s a really sweet tank with lace on both shoulders and one side, so it can be worn with the lace to the front or the back. It’s knitting up so fast and I can’t wait to wear it. I got six skeins of the Acadia in the hopes to make a different sweater, but landed on this one, knowing I could make the body a little longer if I wanted to, or I can lengthen the sleeves a bit. We’ll see. So far it just looks like a large mass of teal yarn.

I took a skein of self-striping yarn to Stitch n Pitch this past week and started some fingerless mitts. I got the skein from Jenny after she discovered five knots in the fiber. She emailed the dyer who promptly told her to throw the skein away and wait for the next one to come in the mail. She offered it to me and I gladly took it! The only problem is the colors bleed quite a bit so I’m worried when the time comes to wash the mitts. They might bleed all over the place, but a color catcher should fix that right up. The yarn is Desert Vista in colorway Dia de los Muertos. Even though there’s pink, I don’t mind it. The colors are vibrant and exuberant and will brighten up my fall wardrobe nicely.

Oh and I got a bobble head. Isn’t he cute?!

Things are still plugging away on the lap blanket for a special someone. I won’t go into details since I’m not sure if she reads this blog. All I will say is the Tosh chunky is done and I’m onto the Mission Falls Merino which is accenting the tosh really well.

I’ve been doing a lot of spring cleaning lately and it’s included consolidating and organizing my stash. I’ve managed to make some good headway into my stashbusting endeavor, so my minor purchases of the Acadia and the Michigan yarns haven’t impacted my stash all that much. I came to realize that I haven’t purchased anything more than 20 skeins all year. It’s been 6 months and I’ve only purchased six skeins of Acadia, five of Shepherds wool and a couple skeins of Tosh sport and some Malabrigo Rios. I’ve been doing really well!

Once the lap blanket for someone is done, I’m planning on starting a stash-throw, which will include a lot of wools that I haven’t managed to find a home for but will be able to ferret away into a striped blanket for the back of my couch. This will take me a while, but I know I’m going to love it.

I also want to start an OWLS sweater out of my stashed Cascade Eco. I have two skeins of beautiful blue yarn that have been a blanket already but I tore it out in favor of something else. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the sweater will turn into.

Another thing? I’ve put blogging on my schedule. No more of this once a month crap.





What to Knit…

7 05 2014

>I am leaving for the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games North Central Regional tomorrow with Boyfriend at approximately 5:30 a.m.

>We will be volunteering for the whole weekend.

>I make a habit of forgetting that time exists…especially since I’ll need to be awake at around 4 a.m..

>This feels inhumane.

>At approximately 4 p.m. today, I texted Boyfriend with the almost paniced message

Oh my god what knitting am I going to bring?!

>This doesn’t seem like a tough decision, but because of how indecisive I’ve been lately with my knitting, I’m thinking this decision will be harder to determine than normal.

>I could keep knitting on the blanket for Boyfriends’ Cousin who is having her baby boy in a few months. It’s about 70% through the main color and I have a ton of secondary color to add to it.

>Or I could knit the handspun sweater for the babe.

>Or I could cast on some fingerless mitts from the stash.

>Or I could cast on a sweater from the stash

>Or I could just work on a simple cowl or scarf from the stash.

>Or…or…or…

>So basically I have no clue what I’m going to knit, what pattern to take along or what yarn to use. No. Clue.

>It has to be easy, because I’ll be moving around a lot during the weekend as a volunteer. Boyfriend and I are usually always exhausted during the event, but I still like to have the opportunity to knit something. It’ll help me wind down at the end of the night and of course there’s the 2.5 hours to drive to Chicago!

>I can’t seem to just bring myself to knitting a plain garterstitch scarf or a gaptastic cowl. That would just be annoying.

>I suppose I could knit the socks I’ve been avoiding for the past few weeks… Socks just seem so eh…right now.

I guess I’ll just have to do some stash diving and see what I can find tonight. There will be much ruminating and time on Ravelry tonight.

 





So…that happened

28 04 2014

It’s been months. MONTHS since I last posted.

To say I’ve been busy and stressed out is a very serious understatement.

I got to the point where I was so stressed out at my job that I couldn’t sleep at night. I had gained 20 pounds and I was just so unhappy every single day. I was even pissing off boyfriend because I would do nothing but bitch whenever I came home. So I found a new job… and I left the proposal writing gig. Happily.

This past week I finally got my hormones in order. My skin is clearing up and I’m sure I’m down a few pounds at least. I’m also sleeping through the night! Woo!

This job is not a permanent position– I went back to being a contractor and this job is going to last 6 months. I am totally OK with this fact and it actually makes things easier because I’m done with work and I don’t feel obligated to log on during the weekends while working at the yarn shop; I don’t feel like I’m doing something wrong while I sit down and watch TV instead of writing something. I receive praise regularly from my superiors. It’s completely foreign to me after 10 months of being told I wasn’t good enough every single day.

I also get to knit more. And I’ve been on a finishing spree to the point where I don’t have anything left on the needles and am in need of inspiration.

This season/year of finishing things has been crazy successful and I’ve been working on getting through my stash while saving money for yarn at Wisconsin Sheep and Wool and Stitches Midwest.

Since I last wrote, I finished the chunky sweater only to realize it was enormous. I didn’t start again just out of spite. The yarn (80/20 Acrylic/wool) is actually felting, believe it or not.

 

I finished the antler hat and I love it. I’ve been wearing it constantly whenever I need to wear a hat out of the apartment.

Yarn is Madelinetosh Pashmina in colorway “Kelp” and size 2/4 needles.

The not-so-color-Tipped-Scarf is near the half-way point and I’ve not started it up again. One day, it’ll get picked up and worked on.

Yarn is Tahki Stacy Charles in Natural Colorway. Knitting the “Color Tipped Scarf” from Purl Bee

I finished a pair of socks but realized they were too small for me so they wound up going to Michigan to live with Boyfriends’ mother. The 8-inch cuff just about killed me, but she received them and started wearing them right away. They look great on her.

Toes, Heels and Cuffs are Patons Kroy in colorway Flax. Body is Loops & Threads Luxury sock in ‘ocean’ colorway.

When I got home, I cast on a pair of socks for myself out of Happy Fuzzy Yarn and have been very slowly working on it whenever I feel like knitting something with tiny ass needles and no effort. Or if I need something small. Boyfriends’ socks are still languishing on the chair in the living room. I’m sure he’ll get them for Christmas.

I pulled the sincere sheep cowl from the stash earlier in the season and have finally started knitting it again. I think I’m past the halfway point, but it’s just very slow and monotonous. It’s so gorgeous though…

The Advent mittens and Penny’s santa hat will be finished by the end of the year but I’m not interested in knitting a santa hat in freaking April.

Same goes for the grey Gaptastic that I ripped out and will hopefully be knitting into something else. I’m sure when the season changes into Fall, things will change,  but eh. Right now I’m not interested.

I did also start some new projects since the beginning of the year that didn’t make it on the list.

I finished a Cardigan, but the story behind this one is for another post, later in the week. The draft is being written tonight. I swear. 

I started and finished an Eagle Twist shawl with 2 and a smidge skeins of Tosh Sport in colorway Cosmos. The Eagle Twist is a super simple short-row shawl with a cable down the spine. I was a bit obsessive over it.

This is not the completed shawl. The final product needs to be blocked again because Tosh yarns suck at blocking.

I finished another insanely simple shawl with Malabrigo Rios in colorway VAA this past Friday. I finished in with enough to probably do another row, but the shawl became enormous and just got to the point where it hurt to knit the rows because they were heavy and long. It fits around my neck beautifully, though.

Took this shot while the shawl was taking a bath. It blocked beautifully and it’s so soft and squooshy.

I finished two hats for Boyfriend to choose from for Blue Beanie Day. The first one I cast on shortly after buying the Shepherd’s Wool yarn in Michigan in February but petered out on it by the time I got to the crown. I finished the crown and wove in the ends on Monday during knit night and cast on the Malabrigo Worsted that same night. I knit it whenever I wasn’t with Boyfriend but we spent a lot more time than I thought this past week and it needed to be done by Friday. When we were sitting in the car on our way to Madison for a class, I told him “I’m going to take my knitting out but you aren’t allowed to look at it or guess at what it is” which totally gave it away that it was for him, but he didn’t say anything about it aside from giving me minor amounts of shit during the class while I was knitting. He took  notes and the class was rudimentary at best.

He unwrapped the hats and chose the blue Malabrigo Worsted as I thought he would do. I took the Shepherd’s Wool home the following cold morning.

I haven’t been knitting all that much lately, but I’m always carrying the Sincere Sheep cowl so I can slowly pick away at it. I’m not going to knitting group tonight, sadly, but there will be knitting at home before an early bedtime.

I hope you all forgive me for taking forever to write more. Now that things are calming down in my professional life, I hope to be able to write more and have more time to do knitting. I’m really looking forward to this summer of fun and knitting and crossfitting.





Making Progress

12 02 2014

I am a weak-willed individual with no hope in finishing projects I don’t really care about all that much.

But at least I’m finishing things I need to get done.

I finished the commission and delivered it to the commissioner. Or am I the commissioner and she is the commissionee? What?
Regardless, two gaptastic cowls and one self-ruffling scarf and it’s out of my apartment! I finished both cowls with less than two yards left over for the bind off, they blocked in one night and they’re cute and I’m really proud of the final products, regardless of how tedious it was to complete them.

Murphy’s birthday present is done. This is the most she’s seen of it:

So there. Two things done all within 5 days of my resolution.

And then I fell apart. The chunky sweater is still sitting on the floor with one front panel done up to the shoulder and I’m fully aware of the fact that a small amount of work needs to go into it and it’ll be done, but I feel like I need to lose 5 pounds before starting this one again so my stomach won’t look so enormous when it’s done. This being said– I have NOT seen what I look like in this sweater apart from my reflection in the plastic-covered patio window. I can hear you shaking your head as I write this. Don’t judge me.

I finished Murphy’s present on Sunday night and didn’t knit anything until Monday night at knitting where I forgot my stitch book and/or couldn’t remember the cable pattern for my Madelinetosh Pashmina hat. So I pulled my Tahki Donegal Tweed, the Christmas present from Boyfriends’ parents and cast on for a repeat of Murphy’s present, but this one is for me. I know this project takes about two skeins of Cascade 220 and the yardage is about the same, so I’ll have one last skein to make some mittens.

Come to think of it, I might break into the mittens first and use all the remaining yarn on the scarf.

Anyone else notice how this isn’t on the list to the right? I had to make a concession when I realized I’d been wearing the same cowl every single day on my way out of the apartment. Somehow, all of my knitting is gone and not being used around my neck. I’ve also lost my Malabrigo Rios mittens from the CrossFit Games KAL. I can’t find them anywhere… I’m sure as soon as I finish these mittens they’ll show up. 

So the above picture is how far I got after about two hours at knitting. I then went home and made a mad search for my stitch pattern book so I could find a cable motif for the Pashmina hat. My very third design, all!

I found an Antler cable and it was exactly what I wanted. This little 16 stitch repeat over 6 rows is so stinking easy and I love it. This also gives me a reason to break out my Rosewood cable needles, of which I am obsessed. It is so smooth and versatile and it’s beautiful and I have nothing but good things to say about it. After about 2 more hours, I had 3 cables completed and I was totally ready for bed.

Tuesday night I worked late and didn’t get to my knitting until I was home and finally able to relax. I picked up the pashmina and kept knitting all night until we went to bed at 11 after trying to catch up on the Olympics.

Work has been insanity. I’m so exhausted. So much stuff and so many proposals are going out the door this week, I’m working late, missing Crossfit and drinking an obscene amount of coffee to the point where I almost feel more tired than before. I also have a migraine that’s currently eating away at my brain.

You’ll notice some changes in the list to the right. I realized  I’m putting pipe-dreams of projects on the list, rather than what’s actually on my needles right now. Once the project is actually on my needles, I’ll put it on the list.





Team Get Sh!t Done

31 01 2014

This is the winter that never ends. I am well aware that, living in Wisconsin, we’re going to get some seriously cold weather during the winter season, but this is ridiculous. The beginning of this week gave us another three days of -20 degrees with the wind chill which has forced me to wear two hats, two pairs of mittens, a woolen sweater, knit socks and generally wishing I had some polar bear fur to wrap up in.

I have some goals now that this year is well under-way and I figure sharing them with you all will keep me honest.

1.) Posting at least once a week: I think I’m already off schedule on this one, but the blogs are always on my mind. Whether I’m talking about what I’m starting or, more aptly, what I’m finishing, I want to have 52 posts by the end of the year!

2.) Set up a yarn budget: I’m headed to the bank to get quarters to finally do laundry for the first time in about three weeks and will be setting up a savings account for my yarn only. Every Monday, 10 dollars will get automatically transferred from my checking to my savings and I can only spend money from that account on yarn. This forces me to really prioritize the amount of money I spend on yarn and if that yarn is really imperative. Obviously, there are some emergencies (like the four skeins of Cascade 220 I bought for Murphy’s birthday in two weeks…) that will have to break the rule, but otherwise I will be keeping to it. This will help me immensely when the time comes for Stitches Midwest and Wisconsin Sheep and Wool in August and September.

3.) FINISH THINGS: So far this year I have finished a pair of socks and a hat. I want to finish at least two things per month whether it’s a sweater, a pair of socks, a hat or a cowl. I have the yarn. I will get it knit.

4.) Knit from the stash: I have so much gorgeous yarn that desperately wants to be knit so that’s exactly what I will be doing.

5.) Do some good: I have already gone through the massive stash and filled a garbage bag of yarn and sent off 12 hats for the Knitmore Girls Podcaster Throwdown for Halos of Hope. My hope is to continue spreading the knitting love to other people throughout the year, even if it’s just to donate more yarn to the church.

6.) Start the Master HandKnitter Program: Lots of swatches and reporting. My hope is to start it by summer and have level 1 done by Christmas. One skein of fishermen’s wool from Lion Brand and I’ll be able to get them all done, I think!

 

So. January 31. Here’s my WIPs. This will also have a running tally on the right sidebar to keep me honest.

My number ONE priority: The Commission. Seed stitch is SO BORING. Going to work exclusively on this tonight and this weekend with the hopes of having it done by the end of knit night on Monday. Then I can give it to the lucky girl and I’ll have some yarn money to add to the account.

Murphy’s birthday present: I’m about half done with it, just need to get about 150 yards out of the second skein and then finish it off. It has a deadline of the 15th when we are getting together for her birthday. Shouldn’t take too long.

The Super Bulky hoodie: Knit with Lion Brand Thick & Quick in a gorgeous cream colorway. The body is partly done and I think slowly chipping away at it over the month will allow for a final product while it’s still cold out!

The Worsted Weight Featherweight cardigan: Yes, I know this is a slight oxymoron. Knit with the Sand colorway cone of Shelridge Farms, my hope is to finish this by the end of March. It’ll be a perfect birthday gift to myself.

Socks: Forever I’ll be knitting them. Patons Kroy in colorway “Flax” on the toes, heels and cuffs, Loops and Threads 80-10-10 Wool-Cashmere-Nylon in colors “Crocuses and Oceanic” on size 2 needles. Two at a time, toe up. Houdini-style.

The Sincere Sheep cowl: It’s a gorgeous orange and purple but it’s taking me forever. I switch off every other row to do garterstitch in the round. I have been knitting it since Christmas of 2012. Pretty sure it’ll take me until the end of next year to finish.

Advent Mittens: I got through six last December before other things distracted me. I’ll likely work on these during the summer as they’re quick and portable and won’t make me warm.

Penny’s Santa Hat: It’s currently buried under a mountain of laundry. I just need to figure out the math for the crown. Shouldn’t be too hard.

Dark and Stormy: I really hate the way my leaflet came out in the Tosh Chunky, so I’m going to frog the whole thing, give the yarn a good wash and start it here. This won’t get started until a few months from now, but it’s on my radar.

The Grey Gaptastic: It’s grey Cascade 128 and a skein of Plucky Sport. I got partway through it before I got the commission and now it’s just sitting around doing nothing, waiting to be knit. I’ll finish it when I decide I like seed stitch again.

 

Keep me honest, people. Once a week, my progress will be up! Promise.








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