Archive | June 2016

Jack’s Gotcha Day

No knitting photos today: I didn’t make enough progress on anything yesterday. So instead I’ll share some dog photos, because dogs. Yesterday was Jack’s Gotcha day: two years since we adopted him from Wayside Waifs, one of the local animal shelters. He’s been a treat since day one.

He is my baby, my constant companion, my protector. He is absolutely the perfect dog for me. I could add a ton more cute photos but you’ve seen most of them.

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If you’re looking to add a furry friend to your family, PLEASE check your local animals shelters first! You’ll adopt a pet that’s already spayed or neutered, up to date on vaccinations, and assessed for behavioral issues. There are truly amazing animals there, both mixed-breed and full-breed, and they’re all looking for their forever family. Here are a few choices for the KCMO metro area:

When Good Hats Go Bad

I’m failing at choosing colors. If you remember, yesterday I mentioned I was doing a test knit of a hat, and I’d chosen these two colors (they’d be held together throughout).

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They were farther apart in color than I thought when I ordered them, or something, because when I started knitting with them, I didn’t like it. Fortunately I also made a mistake in the pattern so I had a good reason to frog and start over. But with what? I needed two colors closer to each other so the disparity wouldn’t be so striking. Next I tried these two.

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I know, I haven’t knit enough to see it well. But I’ll tell you: it’s just okay. I’m not crazy about it. It would be cute for a little girl, so I might do the child size instead of the adult size. The pattern will be fun, though, as soon as I can get the color situation straightened out!

And I have to thank all of you for the good juju yesterday: the interview went great! I’m optimistic, but trying not to get my hopes *too* high.

KnitPicks Day

My KnitPicks box came on Saturday! Isn’t KnitPicks day always a good day? I think so! Here’s my haul:

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Most of it is for fun shawl knitting, though I haven’t decided on patterns yet. But I got the last bit of green I need to finish my sister’s Marcelle Wrap, and I got the yarn I ordered to make a beanie for my son. I started it that night while playing Cards against Humanity with my siblings, but perhaps not surprisingly, didn’t get too far that night. I have since progressed further but am now thinking that maybe he doesn’t need it for a July birthday and it could be postponed.

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I’m thinking that mostly because there’s a lot of other stuff happening this week. I’ve got my interview today (for which I’m not that nervous because I know I could rock this job), a few errands, plus birthday party prep (ugh so much cleaning and grocery shopping). I’ve got a hat test knit that I want to get going on, and I got the yarn for that in my box too:

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This test knit is for a newer designer who’s got a few patterns on Ravelry under the name Smashleestitches. We found each other on Twitter and one thing led to another and now I’m making a hat from her newest design. I’m kind of loving this test knitting thing. And finally, I still want to get back to my Peek-a-Boo shawl now that I’ve got the contrast color on hand.

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I’m pretty sure I’ll cast on the hat first so I can get the test knit done, and then the shawl will fall next in line. If I get my kids to help with party prep — hey, I have a daughter who can drive! She can go to the grocery store! — that means more knitting time for me. Many hands make light work, right?

All right, off I go! Send some good juju my way!

Seaglass Cowl

That shawl isn’t getting done this weekend. I mean, at the time, it was very plausible because nothing else was happening this weekend. But THEN, on Friday, I got a call requesting an interview!! Hooray! It’s for a really cool company, so I’m pretty excited. Anyway, that meant that today I needed to go shopping for an awesome new outfit, and then tomorrow I have a hair appointment, and there’s just not enough time to finish a shawl, no matter how small it is.

Plus, this happened: IMG_6579

I went to my LYS on Friday to get the contrast color for that shawl, and I did find a lovely teal, but on my way to pay, I noticed a whole table full of Madelintosh. Seriously, a whole table covered in gorgeous MadTosh browns and greens and blues. And this one came home with me and I had to cast on that night and now I have a new cowl, the Seaglass Cowl.

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This is a better representation of the color, so you can see why I couldn’t resist. This is their A.S.A.P. super bulky yarn and it might be my new favorite yarn ever.

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I used Jen Geigley’s Feedback pattern but modified it a bit. I didn’t have 16″ size 17 needles, so I tried 15s and cast on more stitches. I started with 50 but that was too small, so I settled on 60. It’s not as tall as the Feedback but I’m more than happy with it.

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The real question now is whether I’ll keep it, or put it in the gift pile? Hmmm….

Peek-a-Boo Bay Shawl

Yes, I did cast on a new shawl yesterday, a new shawl in gorgeous bright rainbow yarn, and it was absolutely the right decision. I’m in love with it and don’t want to knit anything else right now. I think it’s just the right combination of color and pattern for me.

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The pattern is Peek-a-Boo Bay Shawl, one of the fantastic Free Pattern Friday gifts from Little Church Knits. Yep, same person who did the Marcelle Wrap! I’m using Manos Del Uruguay Alegria for the main color, and I managed to cast on with the right size needle this time. The size 6s are giving it a delightful loose gauge, perfect for this warm-weather shawl. I will need another color for some stripes near the end, but I wanted to knit it for a while to see the colors before I decide. Right now I’m leaning toward the bright yellow-green, though the blue is a close second. This will probably be my weekend project, and the calendar’s pretty empty, so don’t be completely shocked if I have a finished shawl by Monday!

Cotton Lace Scarf

My knitting mojo is hindered. I spend half my day doing job-search stuff, then when I do sit down to knit, my brain won’t stop thinking about it. It’s not fun. It means I can’t knit in silence right now; I have to have the TV on too. It also means my simple projects aren’t the best, because they don’t occupy my brain as much. But I’m still resisting casting on more new projects, so instead I’m forging ahead with my WIPs. The main one is my Secret Beach Scarf in three colors of Cascade Ultra Pima. I made it to the second color yesterday.

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I like the idea behind this photo, but I couldn’t get the needles to lay the way I wanted them to, and it also occurred to me that many of my added treasures are just too small. They’re not proportionate to the size of the main item, the knitting. So I tried again.

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I like this one better: the straighter line of the needle cord, the bigger box lid to help balance the knitting. Plus the white flower in the previous photo reflected too much light no matter where I went. Anyway, the scarf. It’s pretty. I like it. It’s simple to knit. It’s also kind of…boring. Once you get the pattern set, it’s very mindless. And there are times I crave that. But now is not one of those times. Maybe I need to give myself permission to cast on another lovely intricate lace shawl!

My other current WIP is an afghan for my mom, a special request. She picked out the yarn, and my goal is to get it done before the weather cools. I think I’ve got time! I’m using one worsted and one bulky held together with a larger crochet hook, and it’s working up quickly. It’s all peachy/green/tan colors, and while they’re not my favorites, I do think it’s lovely. I’m doing a classic ripple afghan, and I’d like to add a border when it’s done.

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Other than that, I’m just waiting for my phone to ring. I put in a lot of applications over the last two days, and I’m dreading that first call requesting an interview. I mean, obviously I WANT it to happen, but it’s one step closer to having to convince a stranger that I’m a worthy employee, and one step closer to potential rejection. It’s just scary, thats’s all. But it’s all good. Once I get the first one under my belt, I’ll be fine. And until then, maybe I’ll cast on this Peek-a-Boo Bay Shawl by Little Church Knits with this gorgeous rainbow Manos del Uruguay Alegria.

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Finally, I absolutely MUST share a couple of puppy photos. I mean, come ON:

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Cutest puppies ever (in my humble dog-mom opinion). Unfortunately, right now they’re also the shedding-est puppies ever so I have to go sweep up some fur before my allergic Knitting SIL comes over for a playdate!

Felted Yarn Bowls

I added something new to my Etsy shop today: felted yarn bowls! They’re a partnership with my Knitting SIL, who is talented in so many crafty ways, and I think her bowls are so cute they need to be widely available! And right now, if you use the code LOVEMUSIC2016 you can get 25% off! Check them out:

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They’re all available as of this morning, and you can go straight to the listings by clicking this link HERE. I offer free first class shipping within the U.S.

Oy, This Shawl

I have definitely learned the importance of the old knitting adage “Spend money to save money; buy more yarn.” I worked hard on my Marcelle Wrap over the weekend, even had to rip back 12 rows to fix a mistake I made in the lace. (That was over 5200 stitches. It was very sad.) But I made it back to that point and beyond, and I’m midway through the second repeat of the lace chart and it’s looking just LOVELY!

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But do you see that tiny ball of green yarn? That’s all I have left, for nine more rows of green. Um, yeah, that’s not enough. You know what that means, don’t you? I had to go to KnitPicks and order more. And they’re having their summer sale, which means of course approximately 10 more ball of Palette ended up in my card. Who can resist such pretty colors at such awesome prices? Plus, I had to get free shipping, right? So, yeah, this project is on hold. Again. While I wait for more yarn.

What’s that? I should have checked gauge? Well, yeah, I probably should have. But I had to order the yarn before I could do that, didn’t I? So I should have just been smart and ordered an extra ball of each color to begin with. And I should have used the right size needle too. Instead of a 4mm, I’m using a size 4. (Not on purpose. Brain fart.) And my unblocked gauge was only 2 stitches off her blocked gauge, so I foolishly thought I was okay.

I was not.

Well, obviously I’m FINE. But I needed more yarn. So! This is back in timeout. I’ve been asked to do another test knit, which I think is awesome and super fun, but it also uses Palette so I ordered some in that same order and can’t start the test knit until it arrives. And I’m going to make the boy a hat, because in looking through his Amazon wish list I discovered (I almost hate to say it) a knit beanie. Clearly I can’t spend money to buy a hat I could make! Especially not when it’s a good excuse to buy more yarn! That yarn is also coming in my KnitPicks order.

So what to knit?? I needed something to keep my fingers busy! I made two cotton washcloths while at the family Father’s Day lunch, but last night I had a good chunk of knitting time. In my WIPs, I have:

  • gray garter stitch scarf (OMG SO BORING WHAT WAS I THINKING)
  • gradient seed stitch wrap (pretty colors but also pretty boring)
  • bulky cotton blanket (bright colors, soft organic cotton, but a heavy blanket in 90 degrees?)
  • crochet afghan for my mom (I’m not far enough along for it to be overly heavy or hot, but it just wasn’t calling my name)

Time to cast on a new project! Apparently in my yarn stash, it’s last in, first out: I picked three colors of the Ultra Pima I got recently and cast on for the Secret Beach Diagonal scarf. It’s a paid pattern, but you get the pattern for both the scarf and the cowl, so I figure it’s worth it.

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This pleases me, and will definitely keep me knitting happily until my KnitPicks order arrives.

Now, finally, I would like to humbly ask for your opinion. I knit a little clutch, and my Knitting SIL felted it for me, and I think it needs a button closure. I don’t want to do an inside closure because it’s so small already and I want to maximize the useful space. So what do I use to go around the button to close it??

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Oops, that wasn’t really “finally”, sorry. THIS is finally: my daughter is in the school Concert Choir this coming year and they’re planning a trip to Princeton. YAY! But also: time to fundraise, so I’m offering 25% off everything in my Etsy shop, even the sale items, so if you’re interested, take a peek at my shop HERE (this is probably more for my non-knitting readers) and if anything calls your name, use the code LOVEMUSIC25 for 25% off and free U.S. shipping!

Happy Monday, friends, and happy First Day of Summer!

Back to the Lace

Having finished the test knit project, I returned to my sister’s Marcelle Wrap. I’m near the end, at the lace section, and it’s a chart. I know many knitters love charts. I do not. Therefore, I took the time to translate the chart into written directions. Sadly, yesterday when I picked up the project, I realized I hadn’t read it all carefully and my instructions weren’t right. Close, but not quite right. So I adjusted them and forged ahead. It’s going a bit slowly, what with almost 350 stitches in each row, but it’s fun.

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You can just barely see the beginning of the chevron pattern. It doesn’t help that it’s all squished together on the cord, but I can’t help that. Take my word for it, it’s going to be pretty cool. I don’t know how quickly it will get done, because the knitting is taking a backseat to the job search. It’s…an adventure. I’m learning what kinds of jobs intrigue me, and I’m learning that the online application process is lengthy and time-consuming, but I’m also learning that there are a lot of different industries and roles that need strong writing skills, and I’m confident I’ll find something that’s a good match for all involved. It is hard, though. Thankfully I have the support of a good dog, who’s by my side for almost everything, from working out…

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to knitting…

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Wishing you all a happy Friday and a lovely weekend!

Update: Yarn Chicken

Well, I was going to wait until tomorrow, but I finished so quick and thought I’d share the results today: I WON! IMG_6490I weighed the yarn, purled a round, weighed again, and thought I might have to skip a round. Knit a round, weighed again, and thought I might just squeak by. Purled the final round, and then it was time to decide: Jeny’s stretchy bind off or normal bind off? I’m apparently a bit of a daredevil, because I went with Jeny’s, even though it takes more yarn. And I made it through with less than 5 yards to spare! HaHA! Take that, stupid yarn.

Yeah, yeah, I know, if I’d checked gauge first blah blah blah. I get it, I just don’t want to do it. And look, it worked out okay, right?