Yesterday was apparently a productive day for me, now that I’m thinking about it. I finished my Hundred Acre Shawl (stupid thing. It’s blocking & will get its own post later) and I finished my Wonder Woman puzzle (super fun!) and I finished a sock! After I finished the shawl, I pulled out the sock, thinking I was maybe halfway through the leg. Instead, I was delighted to find that I was on the foot and even past the gusset decreases! I’m not sure why I continued the lace down the foot instead of doing plain stockinette, but I stuck with it and I think it was the right choice.
Now I better cast on the second sock right away or it might never happen. Even though this yarn demanded to be lace, I am reminded why I knit vanilla socks over and over: they are my comfort knitting and lace does not fulfill the same needs. Doing this puzzle also reminded me of how calming I find puzzles, and LEGOs, probably for the same reasons: they demand focus and concentration so my brain doesn’t wander too much into my worries, and they do what they’re supposed to and create something pleasing. They’re rather therapeutic, really, which is why I’m going to find another fun puzzle to do very soon. We need as many therapeutic things as we can find these days!
Yesterday was the mother’s birthday. I probably shouldn’t tell you what age it is, but I’m 43 and she had me in her 30s so that’s close enough. Old enough that when I dropped off her birthday donuts, my heart ached that I couldn’t go inside for a long visit, that we had to stay on the porch in the heat and the sun, that I felt like I needed to wear a mask to keep her safe, that I couldn’t give her a hug. But I remind myself that I’m doing this so that maybe she’ll be around for another birthday next year, and by then hopefully we’ll be able to do all the things I missed this year. And we’re having a small socially-distanced family gathering tomorrow, which will be nice. I have a real gift for her but today I also made her this.
Cardinals are her favorite bird. I’ll cut a little bit of string so she can hang him somewhere and he can always be flying. And now that he’s done I’m off to finish my shawl! Happy weekend, friends!
It’s close, but not finished yet. I made it to the final color of my Hundred Acre Wood shawl, and the pink just pulls it all together and makes it perfect!
The “whatever” theme continues with this color: I over-estimated how much blue I had left, so I wasn’t able to do a baby fade with the blue and pink. And since I used more of the previous colors, I have more pink left over than I do rows in the pattern. I’ve added two rows already and plan to add at least two more. I’ve got my scale handy and will keep weighing to make sure I save enough for a picot bind-off, but I definitely want to use as much of the pink as possible.
Also, I need to show off my new pins! Katrinkles is doing a gift with purchase, where you get a free Vote pin with every purchase until November 3rd. I wanted a Vote pin for my Empower People cowl anyway, so this worked out perfectly.
I love them both! And the sheep pin has a magnet on the back, rather than a pin, which I think is a brilliant idea. I think it’s because they were more or less intended as name tags, but I just wanted a wee bonny sheep for myself.
Despite my best efforts to the contrary, apparently I am still a monogamous knitter. I know, I cast on about seventy-five new projects last week, and yet the only one I’ve spent much time with is my Hundred Acre Shawl. I really think it’s because I’m using the mini skeins and just keep wanting to get to the next color. This yarn is from Molly Girl Yarn, and I think the color set is called Jazz.
I just started color four of five and it still seems a bit … mini? I’m really hoping it blocks out to a wearable length. If it does, this is a pretty good pattern for minis, because the small size is marked by percentages. Since I have five skeins, I just marked the rows at 20% increments. But when I got to that first 20%, I still had some color A left, so I did a baby fade with alternating two rows of A and B. That meant I had even more of Color B left at 40%, and so on. Basically, it means that if I want to use as much of the last color (the pink) as possible, I’ll probably be adding in a few extra rows, which will mean guesstimating how many rows I can add without running out of yarn. We’ll see what happens. This shawl is very much a “what the heck” shawl. It’s full of mistakes and shrugs and “eh, it’ll be fine” moments. And I’ll never notice once it’s blocked and around my neck!
Today is National Dog Day. I have a few of those, as you know. Grace was up and barking at 5:10 am, wanting to celebrate early. But despite that, and all the worries and annoyances and messiness they bring, I’m pretty happy to have them in my life.
Happy Wednesday, friends.
Do you go to thrift stores? By which I mostly mean, back when the world was sane, did you go to thrift stores? I did and love them, and every once in a while I find yarn or knitting supplies there. I have found a few pairs of Addi circular needles, which I thought was a huge score. But over the weekend, the Knitting SIL beat me big-time. She and her daughter went to a local thrift store where she found yarn. Not just yarn, but GOOD yarn, like indie dyer yarn. And the prices? OMG, like one or two dollars per skein. It was craziness. I’m pretty sure she bought all the good stuff, and the best part is that I got what she didn’t want!
This is probably close to $130 worth of yarn, and I paid a whopping $5. Can you believe that?? I just love getting a bargain. My SIL did even better, with something like seven or eight skeins of high-end yarn for $15. Part of me wants to cast on some socks with the pink Emma yarn right away, but I know I’ve got a ton of WIPs already, so this will all just go in the stash for now. The cream Malabrigo is sock yarn but I’m pretty sure it will be part of a multi-color shawl at some point.
Also Jack is very spoiled and won’t eat dry kibble by itself anymore, so I bought some canned food and mix a spoonful into the kibble. He’s very happy with mealtimes now!
Happy Tuesday, friends.
What drives your project choices in your knitting, the pattern or the yarn? For me, it’s very much the yarn. More often than not, a yarn from my stash calls my name, and then I have to hunt down the right pattern for it. I think that’s partly why I’m struggling with finding patterns away from Ravelry: they built such a robust search and there’s no equal just yet. I’m working on that though, and building a list of designers I like so I can browse their sites when I have yarn in need of a pattern.
But every once in a while, a pattern jumps out at me first and demands to be made. That happened to me recently when I was digging through Ravelry trying to find a good pattern for mini skeins. (Those are the hardest patterns to find, I think!) I was so excited when I found this, but then I saw it was designed for sport weight, not fingering, and the few people who had modified for fingering weight had some challenges. I tried to forget this pattern but it kept haunting me.
Then I gave in, decided I needed to make it after all, and dug through my stash for sport weight yarn. I don’t have much, and certainly not in similar colors. Knitters, you know what happened, don’t you?
This arrived Friday. I believe this is the first time I’ve fallen in love with a pattern and bought the exact yarn it was designed for. Here’s the Ravelry pattern link, because I can’t find this pattern available anywhere else.
What about you, are you pattern first or yarn first?
So far my weekend has been made up mostly of sewing masks. I have a friend who teaches kindergarten and she asked me if I’d trying making masks with a clear window. Since my family has plenty of masks right now, and I like making them, I thought it could be a fun challenge.
Twenty-two masks later, my friend is happy, and my back is not. I really need to find a better set-up for my sewing machine. As it is now, I’m not sitting straight on but at an angle, and clearly that is not a good thing for long sewing sessions. So now the rest of my Sunday can be knitting time, because I have a good excuse to sit on the couch with a heating pad and a dog or two. Or maybe outside. That’s good too.
Happy Sunday. Hope you have a peaceful day too!
I’ve got nothing clever for a title today, friends. Work is kicking my ass emotionally this week and I’m staying afloat by casting on all the things. Here are my four pretty new projects:
Left to right: Sailing
, Thoughful Cowl
, Manos del Uruguay Alegria sweater swatch, Hundred Acre Wood
I like knitting. Knitting is good. And it is almost Friday, and Fridays are also good, because they are right next to Saturday! Also, we finished season three of The Crown last night and now I need another delightful British show to watch. Any suggestions?
You know how I mentioned that I wanted to cast on something new because I finished my sock project? I kind of took that to the extreme, and now my WIP Wednesday is a little crazy!
Yeah, I wound all that yarn yesterday. It will become one gradient wrap, one half-circle shawl, one sweater gauge swatch, two asymmetrical shawls, and one pair of socks. Eventually. It was super fun though, spending the time winding and then deciding patterns and pulling out the right needles, and putting them all in project bags. My knitting cart is now FULL of projects ready for knitting at a moment’s notice, with so much variety that I should always be able to find something I want to knit. Of course, after all that, I was a little tired and didn’t have much knitting time, so I actually only cast on two of those six projects. But I’m looking forward to starting the rest!
The other big project yesterday was a new grill. Our old grill, which has been around pretty much all 23 years of our married life, wouldn’t light on Sunday. Last night, the husband went and picked up an awesome new grill and spent over two hours assembling it. He hooked it up to the propane tank … and it wouldn’t light. After going out to get a new tank, we discovered the problem all along was a faulty valve on the tank, and not the grill at all! I think the husband thought I would be upset that we spent the money “needlessly”, but honestly, we were so due for an upgrade. And if this means he’ll happily continue to cook dinner more often, I’m all for it!
Happy Wednesday, friends.
Does anyone else lie in bed at night, and think about how they’re going to do better tomorrow? I’m always going to eat better, start exercising again, work on my half-written novel, walk the dog. I’m full of good intent at 10 pm. I just haven’t figured out how to make it last until the morning. If you do, let me know please?
My second sock got done last night. We started watching The Crown on Netflix recently and have become obsessed, so every night I have 2-3 episodes’ worth of good knitting time. Sadly, we’re on the second half of season three so soon I’ll be lost, waiting for the next season. I absolutely loved the first two seasons; season three is good but not quite as enthralling. Anyway, socks are done and now I just need to wear them and wash them.
And the most fun part is: I can work on other projects now! The temptation to cast on something new is great, but I also have another sock on the needles plus my Ripple Bralette that was put on hold. Not to mention the shawl that’s been forgotten for a few weeks. Still … new project! What should it be??
My darling dogs managed to tree a raccoon this morning. The tree is just beyond our fence, so the dumb thing could easily have climbed down and run away, but it sat up there for at least half an hour while my dogs whined and barked and ran around like idiots. It brought back strong memories of Where the Red Fern Grows and made me want to re-read to remember more about raccoon behavior. But then I remembered the end of the book and decided against it. I would have felt sorry for the raccoon, which looked maybe half-grown, except that I have had raccoons nest inside my house and it is a terrible thing, so if my dogs can keep it away from our house, more the better!
Happy Tuesday, friends.