What? A new project?

Knitting has not been my focus for the last month or so, sadly, but I did cast on a new shawl a couple of weeks ago. This is a one-skein project, not another huge lace project. I’d wound the yarn months ago, picked out a pattern and put it in a project bag along with the required needles. By the time I stumbled upon it recently, I no longer wanted to knit that pattern, so I had to pick a new one. I found Peacock’s Tail on Lovecrafts and it seems like the perfect fit for this yarn.

The lace pattern in the middle is hard to see but it should block out well. This is a fun pattern, with just the center section requiring brainpower, and even then it’s limited brainpower needed. I’m knitting the medium size of this shawl and crossing my fingers that it’s a wearable size.

So if I haven’t been knitting, what have I been doing? Yep, still packing and painting. Everything that can be boxed has been boxed, and many of them have been carried upstairs. Shelves have been removed from bookcases. Every large furniture item has been cleared off except the TV stand, because we’re still using the TV. We’ll move it all out to the portable storage container over the weekend and then Monday the crew arrives to refinish the floors, hooray! We’ll be staying in a nearby house we own — we’ve rented it out the last few years but are getting it ready to sell, so it’s empty and means we don’t have to pay to stay anywhere else, and there are no issues with having three dogs there. We’ll have a bed, a couch, and a kitchen table and chairs. No other furniture, no WiFi. No Wifi means I’ll be going into the office to work for four days, so that’ll be a big switch. I’m purposely not thinking about having to reverse this packing/moving process, except that I know we need to get the storage container empty over two days next weekend. Bah. And the husband wonders why we haven’t refinished the floors before now!

The silver lining is that this has forced me into getting a few more areas painted. I’ve now painted six rooms and a stairwell since we’ve been in this house, with just the craft room and a tiny bathroom left. We’re still thinking we might sell this house and move in the next year or so, so I’m feeling pretty good about my progress. After this house, I’d really like to get out of the “sweat equity” business and let other people do the hard work!

Oh yeah, and the back of the house is done! We’ve got a couple of guys outside doing some touch up and putting storm windows back up, and a couple others inside doing the interior trim on the new windows. With any luck, the paint crew will be done today. After that, we need a tiny bit of tile repaired in the kitchen and some debris cleaned up in the backyard, and then I think the project will be DONE and we can just enjoy the fruits of the labor.

Happy Thursday, friends.

Sock It To Me Monday: Purple Edition

I might have only one pair of socks on my needles. I’m not sure, because it’s been a little busy and hectic around here, but this is the only one I’m working on anyway. I’ve got all my knitting stuff up in the craft room in preparation for our floors being refinished next week and apparently it’s out of sight, out of mind.

The purple flecked is from Mothy & the Squid and gosh I just love it. I used a bit of solid Cloudborn for a heel just for fun, and I’m doing my favorite modified Vanilla Latte pattern. This is just the best kind of sock knitting for me. But I still want to cast on more socks!

Since we had to pack up all the books and empty the first floor so the floors can be refinished, I decided that was a great time to paint the sitting room. It was the last room on the first floor to be repainted, since I did the others last summer during my painting spree, and the walls were in terrible shape, with lots of nail holes and cracks and tiny dents and dings. Despite protests from the kids, I painted it the same pale gray as the living room. I had two reasons, both very valid. One: I had plenty of the paint left over. Two: we might still sell this house, if we can find something we like better, so I’m sticking with neutral colors for now.

I’ve got some bold curtains picked out to help jazz up the room, and I’ll definitely share another photo once the floors are done and everything is in place. I feel like we’re finally being grownups, with intentionally chosen curtains and area rugs and stuff!

Happy Monday, friends.

Hello? *taps mic* Is this thing on?

It’s been a minute since I’ve been around these parts, hasn’t it? Not sure where my blogging mojo went — maybe I started wondering what the point of it is. I mean, I share my knitting on Instagram and with my knitting groups, is there a good reason to do this too? Anyone? Or maybe that’s my brain picking on me.

Overall I’ve been doing really well the last couple of months, as far as my emotional state goes anyway. I’ve felt a little lighter, happier, able to feel hopeful and optimistic. But the last few days have been rough. Our renovation crew has been back this week and I think I’d forgotten what the stress of that does — having guys in and out, dealing with Jack barking, making sure the husband and I are both happy with the work done, and then also dealing with work and family stuff. Adding to that is that we’ve decided to sell a house we’ve been renting for a few years, so we’ve been dealing with projects to get that property ready to sell. Oh yeah, and since that rental house is empty, we thought we’d use this time to get the floors refinished at our current house, since we can stay at the rental for a few days. No biggie … except for packing up and moving out everything on the first floor! Yesterday I got up to discover that Jack had started on yet another hot spot and that was just the straw that made my brain go kablooie.

So. Bah. Sorry, no shiny happy Bonny today, but I’ll share some good progress, how about that? Jack is fine. He got the fur trimmed and a dose of meds, plus some extra anti-itch meds for potential future use. The back of the house is done and ready for painters, who will come next week. The interior window trim will also be finished by the painters, so they can stain it the right color. The portable storage containers arrive Saturday so we can start loading up the furniture and boxes. The rental house is painted and has a cleaned-up lawn, and the contractor was supposed to be there this week to start the interior painting and odd jobs. With any luck, all the projects will be done and the rental house listed to sell within the next three weeks. I can make it three more weeks!

The funnest progress of all is my sweater project: I finished the body! Turns out fun yarn is the trick to enjoy doing miles of stockinette, at least for me. I’m delighted with the look and the fit and I hope I can speed through the sleeves. I’ll definitely have a new sweater to wear when fall comes around!

The yarn is Manos del Uruguay Alegria in Locura Fluo, and the pattern is Apogean. So far it’s very simple and easy to follow, just how I like it.

Happy Thursday, friends.

FO Friday: Kassiani Shawl

My latest finished object is my purple Kassiani shawl. This was a fast knit, despite its generous size– I cast on June 5 and bound off two days ago, so just about a month for a two-skein lace shawl. But this pattern was so fun, and even though it looks complicated, it’s not really a difficult lace. And it was just the kind of lace I’d been craving, so I found myself knitting on this whenever I had the brainpower to spare.

I used a skein of Lolodidit Everyday Sock in the color Prince, as well as a mystery skein of almost-matching yarn with a sparkle thread. They’re both a rich, deep purple with a hint of black, and it’s really hard to capture the sparkle in photos. But it’s there, I promise! I used the Lolo yarn for the first four sections (including that small cast on/set up section) and then with the big lace section I alternated the Lolo and the sparkle. When I got to the final lace chart, I switched to just the sparkle. Overall I think I used about 750 yards, give or take a bit.

Blocking is the real magic for shawls like this — that’s when they go from okay to magnificent. I’m really proud of this one and can’t wait to wear it out and about. Maybe this is a good reason to work from the office sometimes! This pattern is by Dee O’Keefe, who also designed the Dowland shawl I knit with my Bonny Lass yarn, and I loved knitting both of them. She’s got a few patterns on Create2Thrive but not all of them — most are on Ravelry — so I hope she starts selling in other places before I need to knit another big lace shawl!

Happy Friday, friends!

Sock It To Me Monday: FOs

I was a sock-knitting machine this weekend! The boy had a concert, we had a birthday party for the boy, plus we played a lot of Trivial Pursuit, so I had plenty of time for easy sock knitting, and as a result I was able to finish TWO pairs of socks! The purple pair are for the boy, and I used some of the leftovers for the toes on the shorties.

I took that first photo this morning, since that’s all I had done at the time. But today was Manic Monday at Wimbledon, and I spent much of the day watching all the tennis and by the end of it, I had knitted almost an entire shortie sock. Feels good to get two sock projects done. I think that brings me down to only four active WIPs but I’ve got two ready to cast on. But after spending several days knitting nothing but socks, I’m ready to get back to my purple lace shawl — I only have around 26 rows plus a bind off to do. Hope you all had a good and/or productive weekend too!

Happy Monday, friends.

FO Friday: Getting Warmer

I finished something else that is not a sock: the Getting Warmer cowl! This bulky-weight, mostly garter stitch cowl took me four months — but that’s because of the long hiatus in the middle. I needed something very soothing and easy recently, and this Woolfolk Luft is one of my most favorite yarns. Garter stitch in the round isn’t as simple as flat garter stitch, but it was still mindless enough. I believe it’s a free pattern, though I got it on Ravelry eons ago so I’m not completely sure. I used the same yarn, same color as the original, and made no modifications, and it’s exactly as luscious as I was hoping!

And can I just say, I love that silvery streak in my bangs? I took this picture and was kind of surprised at how much silver I have, but so far I think it’s cool, at least mixed with purple!

The other photo is a new sock, because I only had two on the needles so I guess I needed a third? I don’t know. The yarn is from Mothy & the Squid and I adore it, but I’ll be darned if I can remember the color name for sure.

And I don’t know about you, but we’ve been so busy lately that I’m looking for excuses to be a hermit again! We’ve had birthday parties and appointments and meetings with people about selling our rental property, and it’s just craziness. We have one more party tomorrow (for the boy who is 18 now!!!) and then I think we get a break for a little while. Happy Friday, friends!

Little blue hat

I think it’s safe to say that things are going somewhat back to “normal” and I’m not sure I’m a big fan. Life has just felt really busy lately. I do love getting together with my family again, though the parties have been fast and furious the last couple of months and my socialization muscle is still kind of weak and atrophied. I’m starting to do a little more in-person stuff for work, and it is good to see people again, but working from home was so simple. And our own renovation is still on hold while we wait for windows to be delivered, but we’re getting ready to sell a home we’ve been renting out, so we’re starting to do all the prep for that, painters and lawn care and realtor oh my!

I’m tired, I guess is what I’m saying. I’ve been feeling good the last few weeks, even with the usual dip after a party, but today I’m just … blah. So here’s my latest FO, a quick hat I knit up for a nephew who likes blue.

The yarn is some Koigu fingering from the stash, and the pattern is a 2×2 ribbed tube that I mostly improvised. I looked up the recommended length for a child-size hat and as I knit, I kept thinking, really, it needs to be longer? Isn’t this long enough for his little head? Well. His head is bigger than I realized so this hat will not last him as long as I’d hoped. Still, a winter or two is fine by me, and I’m always happy to knit a hat.

Happy Tuesday, friends.

FO Friday: It’s Socks

Shocker, I know. Seems like that’s all the knitting that goes on around here, socks. These are my rainbow shortie socks made with the color Rainbows Run the World from Desert Vista Dyeworks. Much like Sarah over at Mildly Granola, I wish I’d done a contrast heel, but that also seems like a lot of bother for shortie socks. Instead I will take that knowledge with me when I knit a calf-length pair with this yarn. Also I did a garter stitch heel with these for the first time and they feel so squishy!

Someday I WILL have more to show you that is not socks because I’ve been working on my Kassiani shawl and loving every bit of it. Who knew that massive lace shawls would be happy knitting for me?

Hope you’re all staying cool, if you have the same hot hot hot weather we’re having. I do love summer but I have my limits!

Happy Friday, friends.

Cleaning House

In January of last year, I started keeping track of my yarn usage. Not super scientifically, just how many skeins in and out. I actually did surprisingly well last year, and it came out about even by the end of 2020. This year has not been so successful. I’ve been feeding the stash a little too generously. Like, the last time I went to put new yarn into my stash, I had to rearrange a little bit to make room because my shawl yarn and sock yarn shelves were so full.

At the same time, I read someone’s blog post about wanting to be more thoughtful about stash additions, and some friends were talking about being conscious of how long it takes you to use up yarn, say one skein of fingering. Unless it’s sock yarn, it usually takes a while.

It all came together and made me decide it was time for another yarn destash. I’ve been knitting for over nine years now, and my tastes have changed, but I still have yarn I bought back then. I still have tons of alpaca, because I love to knit with alpaca, but I can’t actually wear alpaca. So why keep it all? Why not clear out some space and send the yarn off to a new home?

I pulled out probably 75 skeins of yarn, all told. Some of it went to a couple of knitting buddies, but the lot in the chair has been listed on Facebook Marketplace and I’d love to find someone who wants to take it off my hands. The second photo is my reduced stash. Before, all but the bottom two shelves were full of yarn, and the top two shelves on the left side were literally full, to the top. It just didn’t feel good anymore. This new stash feels manageable to me, and lets me see the skeins I love, some of which were just getting buried under other things. Now here’s hoping I can keep this up and be more thoughtful about feeding the stash in the future!

How often do you clean out your yarn stash?

Sock It To Me Monday: a FO

I’m back down to three pairs of socks on my needles! Even though I cast on a new sock last week, I managed to finish a lingering WIP over the weekend. I was watching the French Open so I needed mindless knitting, and I thought it was the best opportunity to work on a sock I didn’t love knitting. Lo and behold, I managed to get it done during the women’s final! And that night, I finished sock one of my rainbow socks!

It’s funny how such little things can make a person feel so accomplished! And I love how the striped socks feel on my feet — they’re kind of squishy but the yarn also feels sturdy. They’ll be very good fall socks. And now I can zoom along on my second rainbow sock without any guilt. Have you finished anything that made you feel productive lately?

Happy Monday, friends!