Archive | November 2016

Save me, knitting

OMG guys, Christmas is coming. I woke up at 5:30 this morning and for some reason it hit me that Christmas is just a little over a month away and I am so far from being ready that it’s not even funny. I haven’t even had the brainpower to start thinking about it. I have no idea what my kids want, let alone what the nieces and nephews want. I don’t even know what *I* want. (That’s not true. I want yarn and time to knit. That would be plenty.) So there’s a ton of shopping to do, plus decorating, and we have A LOT of decorations. I know, they don’t all need to be put out, but I do love having the house decorated. I’m feeling overwhelmed by it today. I think I got spoiled the last few years, when I wasn’t working and I had time/mental energy to put toward this kind of stuff. It’s a little different now. I have to readjust. I think I’ll make a list. Maybe two lists. That always helps.

Let’s try to refocus and think of happier things: I have a FO! I finished my second Color Block Wrap yesterday and wove in the ends this morning and I LOVE it.

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For as big as this is, it is a super fast knit. It took me about a month, and I am not a monogamous knitter. This was mostly lunch break/ kids’ concerts knitting. Here’s the project page if you want details. I’m so glad I went down a needle size; I love the denser drape. This will get a lot of use this winter.

I also have a new cast-on. I had to go to the LYS last weekend to get yarn for an Etsy order, and I knew I was getting some money for a previous custom order, so I splurged on a gorgeous skein of Anzula Cricket in Charcoal. I’ve been wanting a black cowl for myself for a while. It took a bit of searching but I decided on the Saltfleet Cowl pattern, and I’m calling mine the Black Diamond cowl.

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The Anzula is a treat to knit with, that’s for sure. Soft but not limp, not splitty at all, great stitch definition, and there’s enough color variation that it’s not like knitting with black yarn at all. I’m loving this project.

And since I finished my previous mindless knitting project (the Color Block), I pulled out a project that’s been in hibernation for a long time. I got the set of gradient purple yarns (Knit Picks Palette) for Christmas two years ago and cast on Purl Soho’s Gradient Cowl. It’s pretty, but boring, so I work on it for a little while and then tuck it away again. I’m now over halfway through, I’m a faster knitter than I was two years ago, and I have a lot more time for mindless knitting. (Unfortunately that means I have much less time for complicated knitting, but hey, it’s a trade-off. I gotta find the silver lining where I can.) Anyway, I took this with me last night when I went to an author event and made good progress.

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What author, you ask? None other than Rainbow Rowell, super-talented author of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Landline! She’s so fun to listen to; she’s funny and smart and snarky and honest and I just love her. I mean, look how cute she is:

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Oh, and I found other knitters there too! There were two of them sitting right in front of me–I recognized a handknit hat on one, and a handknit shawl on the other. They noticed me knitting during the break, and we chatted a bit, and then during the second half, one of them pulled out her knitting too. I love to encourage knitting in public!

Okay, this was a fun interlude but I’m afraid I must re-enter the scary world of holiday prep. We’re hosting Thanksgiving this year so cleaning must happen today, and I’m definitely not doing it all myself so I’ll be dragging some unhappy helpers into the mix. Wish me luck!

Fairy SnowCap

I finished a hat this morning and it’s so pretty! This was my spur of the moment “I need to make a hat” knitting this weekend, and it fit the bill perfectly.

Pattern: Fairy SnowCap  It was well-written, included lots of tips and instruction and photos. Very little repetition in the lace pattern so it made me think without making my lose my head. Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Jil Eaton Minnow Merino in dark pink. Used every bit of 154 yards, and that was making a slightly smaller pompom than the designer.  img_2318img_2319img_2320img_2321

Now, here’s what I didn’t like: making a hat top-down! You have to start on DPNs, which aren’t my favorite, and this pattern has a lot of YOs and my YOs never ended up at a good spot on my needles so I switched to 9″ circs as soon as I could, but they were metal Addis and way too slick for this yarn/pattern. Once I was able to get to my bamboo 16″ circs, it was okay, but then you run into the bottom edge problem: it needs to be stretchy without being too big. The pattern recommended a sewn Kitchener bindoff, and included a handy phototutorial and everything, but I’m a lazy knitter and I just did Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy bindoff instead. It fits my medium-size head well, maybe loose enough that it would work well on a large head too. So I’m calling this a win, but I probably wouldn’t knit this pattern again. That’s totally me and my preferences, and not the pattern.

I hope you’re all enjoying your weekend as much as I am mine. (It’s wonderfully unscheduled, leaving my lots of crafty time.) I even have plans to go to a LYS today!

I’m still here

Hello. It’s me. I was wondering if after all this time you’d like to meet, to go over everything.

Okay, not everything. I will refrain from making this a completely political post and just say that I am devastated and scared and determined to do what I can to make sure my country remains great. I think everything beyond that has been said, and plus, I just don’t feel like going there here.

So instead, let’s talk about knitting. I have been MIA for a while, I know. The girl has had lots of music stuff going on but last weekend was the highlight: she earned first chair flute in the All-District band! Woo hoo! That means she gets solos in the concert and gets to audition for the All-State band. Fingers crossed for that one. I have been knitting, but can’t share most of what I’ve done lately because it’s a secret Christmas project. I have been working on my alpaca color block wrap and it’s grown quickly; I only have a stripe and a half left.

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It’s deliciously soft and warm, and I can’t wait to put it in my rotation of hand knits. My other current WIP is the Hitchhiker Beyond. It’s going more slowly, but that’s what you get with fingering weight and small needles.

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The color is terrible in this photo, not accurate at all. I’m so sorry. I’ll do better next time.

And here, look at my new tote bag!!

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Pretty cool, eh? Might be my new favorite.

Until next time, whenever that may be, hope you all stay safe and happy!