Post-Frogging Success

Yesterday, I had seven WIPs, and today I have seven WIPs, but they aren’t all the same. I frogged that big Warrior Cowl and put the yarn back in the stash for another day. The scrappy cowl went back in its hiding place, since I don’t need to reclaim that yarn. I might frog it later, I might not. And I did cast on a new cowl, as I said I would.

JsOhkjdPSxud7PVRAIbCqA

This is my Woolfolk LUFT and it will grow up to become a generous River Deep, Mountain High cowl. I might just try to use up all the yarn! But strangely enough, this new project didn’t hold my interest like I thought it would. Instead, I was focused on the Zomboni. I know yesterday I wasn’t sure about it, and thought I might frog it, but I wanted to give it one more shot. Apparently that’s all it needed, because I added 11 pattern repeats yesterday!

fullsizeoutput_1f8d

It still might not be my favorite thing to knit, but I’m really liking how it’s coming out. It’s a long, narrow shawl/scarf thing, which is my favorite kind to wear. There are just some patterns that I don’t love knitting (i.e. Fractal Danger) but they’re so pretty and wearable!

To Frog or Not to Frog

There is snow in the forecast, could be up to six inches, which means there is knitting in the forecast for the weekend. To prep for that, I pulled out all my WIPs to see what I’ve got to work with. My current WIP count is seven.

img_3089

My sweater is growing nicely, thanks to some lunch break knitting this week. I can see this being some good movie knitting this weekend. I’ve got my two travel projects at the top there, which I want to work on but I also want to save for travel projects. (The dark purple on the left is the Sockhead cowl and the one on the right is a new sock, pattern TBD.) The bottom is a scrap cowl I started last year as a mindless project for concert knitting, but I’m afraid it looks dumb now. I kind of wish I’d done more of a gradient, striping in new colors. I can’t decide whether to frog or keep.

My Mermaid cowl is that creamy yarn which is barely started and I don’t know that I’ll get to it this weekend. I definitely still want to make the pattern but it requires more concentration, and I haven’t had as much of that the last couple of months. So this one might float along a little longer.

That leaves two projects that I’m unsure about. The top left is my Warrior Cowl with some Cascade Heritage 150. I’ve already used half the yarn and I’m not convinced I’m more than halfway through the pattern. Plus it seems very large. Plus it’s just not thrilling me for some reason that I can’t explain. So I’m pretty sure this one is getting frogged.

And finally, I’ve got a barely-begun Zomboni in that blue/purple/white mix and I’m really on the fence with that one. I cast on almost three months ago, and haven’t felt the urge to work on it, and usually that’s a good sign that it’s not a good fit of yarn and pattern. But then I look at the finished projects and think I’ll probably like it when it’s done, if I just push through. So maybe I need to give it a second chance this weekend and see if I can get into the groove? And if I can’t, then it gets frogged. That seems reasonable, doesn’t it?

But still, none of those are exciting me right now. Pretty sure I’ll need to cast on a new cowl!

Sockhead Cowl

My newest cast-on is a Sockhead Cowl, which I started the night of the band concert. It was the perfect project for mindless knitting that I don’t need to see all the time, and I got to use my Chiaogoo lace needles, which I love. Those pointy tips are just my favorite! But when I pulled out the pink and black Done Roving yarn that I thought I was going to use, I decided it wasn’t quite soft enough for a snug, face-hugging cowl, and instead I pulled out some Malabrigo Sock in Velvet Grape.

It’s still not quite as soft as I was wanting; I’m thinking like cashmere or silk soft, you know? But I’ve loved wearing all my other Malabrigo cowls so this should be fine.

We’re gearing up for another round of snow tomorrow, maybe 3-5 inches, so the weekend should have plenty of knitting time for me!

Review: Andean Sun Alpaca

Does anybody else love alpaca? I’m guessing a few of you do. It’s one of my favorite yarns to use in winter, so when I was offered the chance to review some bulky alpaca from Andean Sun Yarns, I jumped at the chance. It’s available in packs of three in six colors, and I chose medium gray so it would go with almost everything.

img_2998

Honestly, I’d never heard of Andean Sun Yarns, so I had no idea what to expect. But guys. OMG. I’m a convert. If you love super soft alpaca that feels like a warm furry marshmallow (think squishy, not sticky!), then this is your yarn. In the past, I’ve used and loved Plymouth Yarns Grande and Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky. This yarn feels even better. I’m not sure why exactly, but I think the Andean Sun alpaca felt a little denser, a little more substantial, and just a tiny bit fuzzier. Can you see a hint of that marvelous halo??

fullsizeoutput_1f7b

The yarn arrived on a Saturday and I cast on for the Bandana Cowl that same day. I was done by that night, partly because I was lucky enough to have a whole lazy knitting day, but also because I didn’t want to put the yarn down. Each skein is about 50 grams/54 yards each, and I used about two and a half skeins for the cowl. The yarn slid easily from the little skein, there were no knots, and it tinked nicely when I inevitably messed up.

fullsizeoutput_1f79

It felt so good in my hands. Plus, it washed and blocked wonderfully, still super soft and with a lovely relaxed drape. My only caveat is that I want it in more than six colors! And I have to say, I’ve wanted to make the Bandana cowl for SO long, and always put it off because I didn’t want to mess with short rows. Remember, I don’t like short rows. Except they were easy and quick in this pattern with the bulky yarn, and I didn’t mind them at all, and now I adore this cowl!

fullsizeoutput_1f7c

Andean Sun Yarns is a small, independent family business with roots in Peru and the US that’s been around since 2001. As near as I can tell, they don’t stock in yarn stores, which is too bad because if you felt it, you’d probably buy it! But you can get it from their website (and get 25% off for subscribing to their newsletter) or from their Amazon shop (with free shipping).

Thanks so much to Stitchcraft Marketing and Andean Sun Yarns who sent me the three-skein bulky alpaca kit (retail: $31.98) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

Is it bedtime yet?

Here’s the thing: 3:30 in the morning is not a good time to wake up. It’s just not. But for some reason Grace could not be convinced. The husband went down once to try to get her to stop barking, but it didn’t work, so rather than both of us lose sleep, I went down to sleep on the couch. And she was fine with that. She didn’t need to go out, didn’t seem to be hungry. Duncan immediately laid on top of me and went to sleep, Jack laid on the floor next to me and went to sleep, and she went off and did who knows what, but she was quiet and didn’t make a mess. Now, I love my dogs and there is a certain charm to sleeping with one on top of you, but man. I need a new couch if that’s gonna happen again or my back is not going to be happy. Thankfully, this doesn’t seem to be a habit of hers, just something that pops up once in a blue moon.

img_5928

Why?? Why is she like this?

So, I’m a little tired today. But I’ve figured out what my new cast-on needs to be: a Sockhead cowl! We have a band concert tonight and I have no projects that are suitable for in-the-dark easy knitting. You can’t get easier than the Sockhead. Now I just need to pick the yarn! I’m thinking this pink and black Done Roving Frolicking Feet would look pretty awesome.

IMG_2144_medium2

Oh, and something sad: I wore my brand new Hedgehog Fibres Gossip socks yesterday… and they itched me! Not right away, but by the time I got home from work, I needed to get them off my feet. I’ll wash them and see if that helps, but if not, looks like the girl will get a new pair of socks.

I hope you all got more sleep than I did last night!

Cast on and bind off!

After finishing my Wave shawl over the weekend, I did cast on something new last night. And then I finished that something last night! I’d had some leftover Dream in Color Classy hanging around, and I decided they needed to become some fingerless gloves. Thanks to the really long Grammy show, I completed both mitts in about three hours.

img_3073

Pattern is 75 Yard Malabrigo Fingerless Mitts and it’s one of my favorites. You might remember I used it to make some red ones for a coworker recently. Now I just need to figure out who the blue ones are for, because I haven’t a clue so far!

img_3070

And here’s a photo of Jack on the window seat just because he’s cute.

 

FO: Rainbow Wave Shawl

As I’d hoped, I finished another WIP yesterday, my Rainbow Wave. I only had about six rows left but each one had increases and they felt like really long rows! But it’s done and washed and blocked and everything!

fullsizeoutput_1f88

The yarn is Manos del Uruguay Alegria in Locura Fluo and I absolutely adore it and wish I had ten more skeins. I mean, these colors! I am swooning, and I don’t think it’s just because I’m so tired of all the dreary gray around me. No, this is just a swoon-worthy color. Another blogger made a sweater for her young daughter out of this yarn; I think I need one too! (Don’t worry, I wouldn’t wear the shawl with the sweater!)

This was an easy, relaxing knit and I blocked it into an easily wearable crescent shape. The pattern shows it more triangular, but when I laid the wet shawl out, it just seemed to want to be a crescent, so that’s fine. I’m not one to argue with my shawls.

This takes me down to only FOUR WIPs, guys! One is a sweater, one is a big shawl, and the other two are one-skein projects. Now I’m torn between pushing forward on completing WIPs, or casting on something new. I know I need to cast on a new sock because I have to have at least one sock on my needles. But I’m really tempted to cast on a cowl with my new Woolfolk LUFT today, since it’s slick and gray and wet outside, and a warm cozy cowl project sounds perfect. What do you think, cast on or finish more?