Pre-Mother’s Day Yarn

The girl and the husband are home from Colorado now. Since they were staying in Fort Collins for a couple of days of vacation (lucky dogs), I made sure to point out that there was a really good yarn store there and remind them that Mother’s Day was coming up. I am pleased to report that the hint was successful and they came home with new yarn! It’s not completely clear why he didn’t save it for Mother’s Day on Sunday, but gift yarn is good any day! (My actual gift is going to see Itzhak Perlman this weekend, so really these are bonus gifts anyway.)

The purple is my favorite to feel, very soft and bouncy. The middle teal skein has a mini-skein for heels and toes, hooray! And the pink? So pretty and bright! Plus they even got me a new pin for my collection. They did very well!

But does this mean I can’t go to the yarn store on Mother’s Day now??

WIP Wednesday

It is Wednesday, right? It feels like it should be Friday but alas, two more days to go. Still, there is some good news here: I finished a project last night! The birthday socks, which are to be gifted on Saturday, only need some ends woven in and then they can be wrapped.

img_3965My goal was “complementary” rather than matching, and I think I succeeded at that. Here’s hoping she’s pleased with them! I especially like the second one (on the right) where I striped the two yarns together before switching to the variegated for the toe. Wish I’d done it on both!

But I don’t just have a FO, I have a new WIP to share too. This one is a selfish knitting project (hooray) with yarn that was a gift from a friend. We’re both knitting the Changing Staircases shawl and I got a good start last night.

img_3966I can tell this is going to be a fun knit! It alternates between simple lace and stockinette, so it’s quick to memorize but switches so often that you don’t get bored.

And the best news of the day: the girl is home for the summer! I’m looking forward to having her around again for a couple of months at least.

Take time to save time

I bet all my knitters know what I’m talking about! This weekend, in between increasingly long shawl rows, I swatched for a sweater. I’ve been wanting a selfish knitting project and the Funky Grandpa cardigan has been hovering in the back of my mind, so I pulled out the Knit Picks Palette and knit a swatch. And since I had to wash it anyway, I washed some socks too!

Before it was washed, I was sure I’d gotten gauge on my first try. I was only half a stitch short, and I figured my swatch would loosen up with washing. Nope. It pulled in tighter instead, so I had 22 stitches per 4 inches instead of 24.5. Figuring out gauge makes my brain hurt, but I was pretty sure I needed to try with a smaller needle, so that’s what I did next, along with snuggling a pup.

Fingers crossed I got gauge this time!

Where’s my mojo?

Excuse me, have you seen my mojo? It went that way? I wonder if I can track it down!

Seriously, my creative juices are non-existent at the moment. I have two WIPs with a deadline so that’s all I’m working on, and I think that’s part of the problem. I have over-extended myself with non-selfish knitting. I’ve been doing a lot of yarn reviews, some gift knitting, some test-knitting, and I think I need a project that’s all about me. I want to choose both the yarn and the pattern, and I want to keep the finished project at the end. Another blogger talked about doing a Mother’s Day cast-on that is purely selfish knitting, and that is a thing I would like to do.

BUT. First, I have to make some progress on my deadline WIPs. I’ve got one birthday sock done and am on the gusset of the second. Thankfully these are Rose City Rollers so they go fast. I tried a new toe this time, a barn toe that’s more rounded, and I like how it looks. I want to try it on one of my socks next.

The niece likes complementary socks better than matching, so I picked two leftover balls and am just kind of making it up as I go along. I’m thinking the foot of the second sock will be striped.

My other deadline WIP is a shawl test for Under the Olive Tree Knits. It’s a beautiful lace pattern and I chose some Araucania Huasco from the stash, so it’s an enjoyable knit. I think my brain is just malfunctioning right now and is often too tired for a trickier pattern that I have to think about.

I’d like to say I’ll make good progress on it today, but that’s doubtful. The husband is out of town, off to fetch the girl home from her first year of college, so I thought “Oh! I’ll let the dogs sleep with me! How sweet that will be!” Well. I have three dogs. And Duncan is not a big fan of sleeping through the night apparently. So I had this 100-pound bear of a dog clambering all over me and licking my face and it was not a restful night. I have learned my lesson and tonight Jack will be the only one allowed upstairs with me because he is a good dog and knows how to behave himself.

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to nap a bit.

Just a hat

Yesterday was Yarn Store Day here in the U.S. and I did not celebrate the traditional way, i.e. by going to a yarn store and buying more yarn. I wanted to, don’t get me wrong! But I’d already bought yarn this month, most recently last weekend at a LYS, so my budget said I didn’t need more. (Budget lied but whatever.) Instead I celebrated in my closest little LYS, my craft room, poking through all my yarn treasures, reminding myself what perfect little pretties I already have. I picked out one gorgeous skein intending to cast on something new and fun just for me. Then I remembered that I wanted to make a baby hat for a pregnant friend. And then the SIL texted about my niece’s birthday in two weeks: she wants to collect donations in stead of gifts. So cool, right?? So cool that I decided I needed to make her a present to go along with our donation to support her generosity. Pretty multicolored skein went back in the stash…for now.

fullsizeoutput_20c2The hat was quick enough to make, using leftover Blue Sky organic cotton from my blanket. It’s KU Jayhawks colors, just FYI. I hope it is, at least. The pattern is Long-Tail Hat and it’s one of my favorite baby hats to make. And yesterday was Grace’s birthday (she’s FIVE now!) so I made her wear it for a brief moment.

fullsizeoutput_20c3She was thrilled, clearly. Anyway, gift #1 is done and now I’m on to some Rose City Rollers for the niece.

Superpower!

No, I haven’t gone to see Endgame yet–I’m waiting until the theaters aren’t going to be ridiculously crowded. But I decided that my superpower (or one of them) is keeping people warm. One of my favorite people at work asked for a shawl, saying that her office is always cold and she’s perpetually freezing. (Yes, she’ll pay me for it, and fairly too.) I ordered the perfect yarn for the perfect pattern, but it’s dyed to order so it’ll take a little while to arrive. In the meantime, I decided she needed some fingerless mitts to at least help keep her hands warm.

Her color preferences are pretty much opposite mine, so I didn’t have a lot of yarn in my stash that seemed right, but I had half a skein of Knit Picks Chroma Fingering in an orange/teal mix that would work well enough. I chose my favorite pattern, the 75 Yard Malabrigo Mitts, with some mods for fingering weight, and cast on Thursday night. It’s such a fast pattern that I bound off the second mitt this morning!

This pattern allows for a lot of thumb/finger movement, especially since I keep the top portion short enough that it doesn’t constrict the fingers. They’re just the perfect tiny mitts for handwarmers! What’s your favorite quick gift pattern?

River Fleet Socks

The pattern for the gorgeous River Fleet Socks is live now! I test knit the pattern for Under the Olive Tree Knits and had no issues. It’s well-written and clear, has tutorials for some of the trickier stuff, and it’s really not as hard as it looks!

To me, it looks like a cable running down the front, but there is no cabling, just increases and decreases, so this would be great for an advanced beginner or intermediate knitter. I’ve got the second sock on the needles and hope to finish soon, especially now that I’ve finished my Delphia shawl!

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The picot bind off took about two and a half hours, but I think it will be worth it. I had to save my end-weaving for another night, so I got that done last night, but blocking will wait for the weekend when I have plenty of time to get all those cute little picots pinned out perfectly!