Finished and almost satisfied

Hooray for getting things finished! I’m now in a weird lull – I have many WIPs that are not calling to me, and other projects I want to start but that requires the effort of gathering all the supplies. Hopefully sharing the latest finished items will get that mojo moving in the right direction!

First off, a new HeartCat amineko (the first one took a walkabout and was lost in the mail). Part of the reason I enjoy making these is how different each one is, even though I follow the same pattern and they are made with a similar intention. When I finished attaching the pieces of this one, I thought he could use a bowtie. And then I couldn’t get that idea out of my head. My gals at knittting agreed, a bowtie was the way to go. I used felt and a touch of white glue, so he’s still very kid safe. Another project for the marathon-of-warmth!

 Next, what would have been a true Ravellenic Sweater success, had I started at the beginning of the Ravellenics, not half a week later. Still, a sweater made in under 2 weeks (sportweight! long sleeves!) is a success for me. The Beach Street Park sweater was a great pattern and I am considering making one for me. I adjusted the pattern a bit due to my gauge, so following a combination of numbers for the XS and M size resulted in a room sweater for the intended person (Zoe of the Good Karma Farm family, on the left), but also fit me with less ease (my selfie is not seamed or blocked, but you get the idea)

And then there were socks! These awesome stripey socks are my February Personal Sock club socks for the Stitch Addiction KAL. I really love them and their eye-searing Peep yellow and Peep pink. I am noticing a few things though – like, they fit and I’ll wear them, but I notice the toes skew a little bit when I wear them (maybe I need to find a toe that better fits my foot?) and do you see the slight rolls on the top of the foot? I think maybe they are slightly too big? My go-to for sock knitting has been US2 / 2.75mm so maybe I need to go down a size? Interesting. I don’t notice it when I’m wearing them (I have them on right now!) but it catches my eye in the photos.

Have you been happy with your FOs lately?

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In Progress

Yarn in snow with Matryoshka dollsI’ve started a new project, a true Ravellenics project to boot, as it needs to be done by the end of February! This cake is a new yarn from Good Karma Farm (3ply, sport-weight) that will be knit into a Beach Street Park sweater. I had some trouble getting the color right in the photo inside, so this picture is from outside in the snow waiting for the school bus, and it’s still off, but the setting is more appropriate. The yarn is gorgeous and soft, more purple-navy than it shows here. The Matryoshka Dolls are part of a magnet set that my parents brought me as a souvenir from when they went to St. Petersburg a few years ago.

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Today is also a #TeamViolet Day – my niece is saying goodbye to the NG tube (yay), but to do that, she has to have a G-tube put it and an additional procedure, so she’s back in the hospital (boo). Lorelai and I went to visit a few weekends ago and had a great time. I’ve got another HeartCat in progress on my hook too.

We’re looking at another storm to dump on us tomorrow – if you’re in the path of it, stay warm!

Warm Fuzzies

We’re finally back to a mostly normal routine. People working where they should, school is in session, and yet I cannot keep track of what day of the week it is.  Figures.  Maybe it is the cold weather. It has been absolutely frigid. Cold fingers don’t knit very fast, but I have been working on a few projects. I only grabbed one of them for the photo today.

 

This is a swatch and ball of yarn made from Malamute fur, specifically, Cody. I was asked by one of my closest friend’s mom if I could knit a sweater with yarn made with Cody’s fur. I love a challenge and thought this was a pretty interesting opportunity. When I was a kid I dreamed of having a Malamute. I love little Jackson to pieces, but he’s the only little dog I would ever have. And he thinks he’s a Great Dane or a Doberman most days, so it all balances out. Anyway, I’m swatching to get an idea of how this yarn will work and it’s not bad! I ripped out my first swatch, so this second swatch is extra fuzzy. I’m also working on a sample scarf for a yarn company. That yarn is a laceweight mohair-silk blend and feels like knitting with dust bunnies. I have about 12 more inches to go on that project.

IMG_6149 I’m very happy to have a yarn bowl to hold this yarn while I work with it. I feel better about it rolling around in the bowl than having it get roughed up in a project bag. Once it gets going though, I’ll have to figure out a new storage method.

This week I’ve been reading and trying out the recipes in the Weelicious cookbook. I have catered to my kids at dinner time for too long. I knew they would eat the typical “kid” food: white rice, plain pasta, chicken nuggets, but that means me making extra meals and I’m tired of it. And it’s ridiculous, they should eat what we eat (which is nothing outrageous). My usual meal rotation was getting boring too.  I’ve already made Rice Cooker Mac-n-Cheese, Chicken Tacquitos with Avocado Lime Sauce, and Banana Bread Cake.  For the most part they have all been winners. The food is good with regular ingredients and comes together fairly quickly.

I’m looking forward to the promised January thaw, even if it will bring some rain. I’ve been clearing out my desk / work / catch-all area that is a perpetual mess / work in progress. I found two projects I forgot about, several other bits and bobs, and in trying to clear it out I’m giving myself permission to rip things out, stop working on others (and turn them into something else), and things are getting done. I’m excited to have the first FOs of 2014 to share on Friday!

Well Begun Is Half Done

(I saw Saving Mr. Banks last week and really enjoyed it. It’s a very sweet movie and makes me want to rewatch Mary Poppins and read the book, which somehow I have never done!).

I intend to get quite a lot done in 2014. Among the usual of read more, continue sample knitting, try new things, etc here are the particulars:

1. Personal Sock Club – details in the next blog post! I’ve pulled from my sock stash yarns I would like to knit into socks, popped them into brown paper bags, and will pull one out at random!

2. Cross-stitch. I have become a collector of patterns from the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery – never got very far on the Woodland Sampler, Spring Sampler or Summer Sampler. I could not resist the Ireland pattern this year and have signed up for Once Upon A Time, the 2014 sampler (fairy tales!).

3. Last year I knit myself a sweater, and I really like it. Now that it’s all finished and I have worn it a few times I’m noticing a few things here and there that keep me from loving it. I want a sweater (or two) that I love.  I should be able to accomplish such a thing.

4. Marathon of Warmth. This is my biggie. I am not a runner (though I think every now and again I would like to be) and I’m not likely to get a marathon under my belt any time soon (I’ll be honest. I hate to sweat.). So, I’m going to try and knit (or crochet) a marathon’s worth of yarn for charity. I’m not doing this by myself. Betsy, aka theatreknitter, is the one who had the idea and I backed her up on it. I’ll share more details and links as I post about it. You could like us on Facebook to start? Our plan is to knit / crochet for assorted charities – first up is HatLoveKnits, we’re each planning to do hats for LGBT homeless teens. I have a few HeartCats lined up for a few special people, there’s always PatPatsHats, and we’ll be sharing other causes too.  Part of this also involves fundraising for the Closer To Free ride to benefit the Smilow Cancer Hospital.

To Rhinebeck!

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The time has come – Rhinebeck is this weekend! I will be there in my new “Rhinebeck Sweater” – I picked up the yarn at last year’s show, and have finished it to wear when I go on Sunday. Proudly presenting my newest FO, Morning Coffee by Kate Oates! The yarn is from Good Karma Farm and I give them two thumbs up. They will be at Rhinebeck, check them out! This is the third sweater I’ve knit in their yarn (but the first for me – Charleston Tea was knit as a sample in the same dyelot, V Neck Down Pullover was knit in a gorgeous green for a gift) and my 30 Day Sweater WIP is in this yarn as well (the When Doves Dye colorway). Safe to say, I am a fan. For a while, I had a mental block about how to do the buttons. The buttonhole row was put in two rows too early, but that is my own “design feature” and has nothing to do with the pattern.  My other design feature is that I chose to not alternate skeins as I worked with them. Also a gamble, but in my previous experience with this yarn, it worked out just fine. Mostly, things were ok here though one skein was obviously lighter – you can see the difference at my left shoulder there. I notice it in the photos, but as it is only on the top, it seems intentional! The original buttons I bought back in the spring just weren’t right so I went looking on etsy. It felt a bit risky to order buttons only, but I am thrilled.  My buttons came from from Wooden Heart Buttons on etsy, specifically Distressed Cornflower / Periwinkle blue. Love them. They are lightweight and match the variegated yarn quite nicely. I separated the yarn into the plies for sewing on the buttons and that worked great!

This week has been a bit rough, I don’t want to go into much here because I would just be vague anyway. We’re dealing with some things and I am very much looking forward to the joy that Rhinebeck / wool fumes bring. I was jumping around outside trying to get a less posed shot and this was the best of the bunch. I was sweating after jumping around – this is a WARM sweater! I will probably have on a bright orange shirt underneath with a sheep on it. I hope you’ll say hi!

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So here’s to Rhinebeck – safe travels! Happy shopping!

Did you happen to see the Rhinebeck Video? It’s fantastic – I’m in it twice – don’t blink around 3:30 and 4:30 and you’ll see me and my local SnB gals!

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Steps forward, steps back

I was so excited last night about my knitting. I have been diligent about working my way through the 30 Day Sweater ebook recipe for a basic long sleeve pullover. I really like how it is broken down into a percentage to work each day. It has been manageable, and that’s impressive if you also note that i have worked on two other projects, finished a third, among the usual day-to-day life distractions as well. This has become my auto-pilot knitting. So, last night, I double checked my measurement, put the sleeves on waste yarn (day 6 done right on time!), put the body on waste yarn, and put the sweater on.

Tah-dah!

Except it’s not so much with a trumpet fanfare, but more of a trombone’s “Whomp-waaaahhh”.  There’s just too much fabric in the front.  If I sit it way back so that fold of fabric in the front goes away, the raglan increases sit at really odd spots on my body. Ugh. I tossed it aside, scoured over my notes for the pattern, and went to bed angry at my sweater. I am positive the mistake is all mine, in that when I cast-on to start working in the round, I cast-on the total number of front stitches instead of just the number of center front stitches. Big difference. This morning I was still fuming. I thought about chucking it, ripping it out, starting a different project entirely. I have also thought about letting it be, but then it’s just another sweater to wear only around the house and the yarn is too nice for this project to be a dumb house sweater right from the get-go. By lunchtime I had decided to rip back and re-do that cast on. The deed is done, and it’s back on the needles. I’m back at Day 3.

It’s only yarn. It’s a plain stockinette sweater, not some heavily patterned cabled lace in mohair. But still, nothing bruises a knitter’s ego so swiftly as having to rip back because you didn’t read the directions properly.  Are you doing the 30 Day sweater challenge? How’s it going?

It Does Not Look Like Much

photo.JPGThis week I dug out my Morning Coffee sweater and was very pleased to see that I had maybe half a sleeve to finish on the body. I took care of that over the weekend. The purple blob on the right side of the photo is the collar (mostly knit while catching up on Breaking Bad). The blue is the beginning of a Windschief hat for me.  The mornings have had a chill to them and I have had this cake of Malabrigo Rios leftovers sitting on my desk since the spring. Time to knit it up! I am incredibly happy to have fiber in my fingers this week. There have been a few personal events where I can do nothing except wait for the next phone call. My yarn is not a cure-all, but it is soothing.

I haven’t been reading much this week. I have a book on hold to pick up tomorrow, and one I’m planning on getting on to the kindle, so next week I should have a bit more to share. On a book related note, have you read Extra Yarn? It’s very sweet. I just found out this week that you can buy prints! I would love to have this one somewhere in my house: