Tag Archive | crafting

Sock It To Me Monday

This is shaping up to be a busy summer! Many of my friends and family are now fully vaccinated, and it feels good to start getting together again, but I do miss my lazy time when the weekends speed by. We have a lot of family birthdays in May, plus it’s a big year for our family: we have three cousins graduating high school! The boy is one of them, and the other two are daughters of my sisters-in-law. This past weekend saw us at a graduation party for a niece, and a graduation ceremony for the boy, my “baby”.

It was a chaotic morning and he wasn’t thrilled with all the fuss of graduation, especially when I forced him to take pictures before we could go home. I’m a little sad after this milestone, but also relieved (he’s smart but did not love school so it was a challenge at times) and excited to see what happens next. And look — the girl came home for the occasion!

While I may not have had a lot of mental energy to put toward knitting, I have had time, so I do have sock progress. I’ve got one scrappy Rose City Roller done with a good start on the second, and I’ve got most of a leg of a purple sock for the boy. I’m using some Cloudborn for him and I really like it — it’s soft and kind of drapey — so I’m glad I’ve got more in my stash for me!

As glad as I am to see (and HUG) people, I’m hoping we don’t go too far — I don’t want to lose lazy weekends completely! Is your life starting to get busier again these days?

Sunday Solitude

I am alone. Literally alone. I’m petsitting for the sister and got here last night and it’s just me and one dog and one cat. And guys? It’s kind of delicious. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love my people and my dogs, but I also love to be alone, and that’s been awfully hard to come by the last year. Even when we’re all in different parts of the house doing our own things, it’s not the same as having the house all to yourself. Do you know what I mean? You can sleep in the middle of the bed, eat what you want, and watch what you want without anyone rolling their eyes when you watch season one of Grey’s Anatomy for the umpteenth time. It’s good, that’s all I’m saying. And the pets have been very welcoming. I’d forgotten the singular pleasure of having a purring cat lie on you.

As you may have guessed, I did spend some time with Meredith and the gang last night, and worked on my Manos Locura Fluo sweater with the pooling problem. I thought I was going to try helical knitting, which would probably work except I realized I’d need to be knitting with at least three strands for that to make a difference. Before I went that route, I decided to keep going as I had been, just alternating two balls without trying to alter gauge. I figured it was worth it to see how it looked before abandoning that option. And I don’t think it’s too bad!

It’s an indoor photo with low light, so it’s not ideal, but you can see that the pooling isn’t so different than the yoke section to be jarring. Before I go any further, though, I’m going to slip the stitches onto waste yarn so I can try it on and make sure the fit is good. What do you think, keep going?

Happy Sunday, friends.

WIP Wednesday

Darn it all, my fun and easy sweater is giving me grief. This is my simple pullover in the crazy-bright Locura Fluo yarn, and I thought I could just knit along and let the colors fall wherever they wanted to. That worked great until I got past the yoke and joined to work the body in the round. Two things happened at the same time: I started a new ball of yarn, and I settled into the body stitch count. I think my stitch count is just the right number to make the yarn start pooling in a stripe-y way, which isn’t how the yoke looks and isn’t what I envisioned.

At first I thought, oh I’ll just disrupt it, and I broke the yarn and rejoined a couple colors later. Duh, of course it fell back into the pooling after the first round. I joined a second ball and started alternating the two, and all that did was alternate the pooling colors. So now I’m fussing with it the whole time, trying to adjust my gauge enough with each row to prevent the pooling. Some rows I intentionally knit tightly, the next I’ll knit more loosely. In other words, it’s not the simple mindless knitting I expected.

Honestly, I wouldn’t even mind pooling (in theory) except that it seems like it would look so much different than the yoke. But maybe I should just give it a whirl, and knit several rows without trying to prevent the pooling and see what happens.

What do you guys think? Embrace the pooling, find a different pattern, what do I do now?

Sock It To Me Monday

Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all my mom friends out there in the US. The best thing about the holiday this year was that I got to spend time with family, in person! Saturday night we were out on my Knitting SIL’s patio, celebrating a niece’s birthday as well as Mother’s Day for my MIL. The boy, who usually works all weekend, had sprained his ankle so he was even able to join us. Last night we were on my brother’s deck along with my sister, mom, and my siblings’ kids. We had pizza and very strong margaritas and much hilarity ensued. It just felt so good to hang out with them again, and this time we got to hug each other because we’re all fully vaccinated! I’m looking forward to being more social this summer, especially on my new big deck.

But here’s the thing: today I am exhausted and I don’t want to talk to anyone. Being social has always taken a lot of energy, but now I’m out of practice and I did it two days in a row. I’m even kind of glad the workmen aren’t here today, as much as I want them to finish the job. Today I’m just going to quietly work and knit and pet dogs.

Speaking of knitting, I have socks to share! I finished my first pair of Desert Vista Dyeworks socks, the Twilight-inspired color named Bella and ZomBody Edward.

I used a ball of leftover blue sock yarn for the heels and I’m happy that I got them to match almost perfectly. I just started the toe a row or two sooner on the second sock, I think. Close enough for me!

With those done, I worked on my striped socks, cast on a purple sock for the boy, and pulled out a ball of brightly striped yarn for a new pair of shortie socks. I just love shorties in the spring! The only problem is that I am running out of space for socks.

Does anyone else have that problem? If you have a brilliant sock-storage solution, let me know!

WIP Wednesday

There are a lot of WIPs at my house lately. The house is the biggest work in progress, still. They’ve gotten a lot done but I’m guessing we still have at least a week of work left, if not more. I’m hoping they finish the deck stairs today, and they’ve started putting up the new clapboard siding.

I’m totally in love with my new deck. It’s 12′ deep and there’s going to be plenty of room for the grill and a table and chairs, and maybe even a lounging chair for napping in the sun, plus three dogs. I’m so glad we decided to splurge on a huge deck, since sitting out back with the dogs is my favorite part of this house. Who knows, maybe we’ll decide to stay here after all!

Of course I’ve got my knitting WIPs too. Even though I have probably six things on my needles, I’m still only working on one or two projects at a time. One is a sock and one is a bigger project. I just finished my Walls wrap, which I’ll share Friday, so right now, these are the two.

I’ve got maybe four or five rows left on the sweater before I get to join in the round. I’m still totally in love with this yarn and I think I’m going to love wearing it. And my Twilight sock is growing nicely and look, I even managed to match the stripes! It totally doesn’t bother me when they don’t match, but it does tickle me when they do.

The last bit of news is that we got the boy a car on Monday! He’d had a 1963 Mercury Comet for a couple of years, but they never really got it running, so he wasn’t able to drive it. With us working from home so much, it was no problem for him to just use one of our cars. But things are starting to open up, I might be going back to work at least part-time this summer, and he’s graduating high school this month. It was time to get him some reliable transportation of his own. We found a nice used car with super low mileage, and though it’s not the cutest car, it’s got space in the back for him to lug around his guitars and amps and other music gear.

He seems thrilled with it and I’m glad we’re in a position to be able to help him with this — though it might have been nice if it hadn’t been at the same time as needing to pay for the renovation, haha!

Happy Wednesday, friends!

A new project!

Today is my knitting anniversary! Eight years ago today, I finished my first knitting project, a mug cozy with a button. My knitting SIL taught me to knit, and this project taught me the knit stitch, decreasing, increasing, and a simple button hole. If I remember right, this was an inexpensive wool/acrylic mix, and I borrowed some bamboo straight needles from my SIL because I didn’t have any yet. That didn’t last long, though!

Knitting and I have been very happy together for the last eight years!

I’m not sure what motivated me, but I cast on a new project this weekend. I’ve been collecting Manos del Uruguay in the color Locura Fluo for a while now, planning to make a super bright, fun sweater. I started the gauge swatch months ago and then it went into hibernation for ages. Happily the gauge swatch, which was my second, gave me the right gauge, so I was able to cast on right away. I want the yarn to be the main focus so I chose a simple pullover called Apogean. I’ll do a long sleeve version but I haven’t decided if I’ll do a solid color, like gray, for the ribbing.

I’m almost to the part when I get to join in the round, and then it will just be lots and lots of colorful stockinette! I think I might enjoy it with this yarn.

Happy Monday, friends!

FO Monday: it’s a thing, I swear

You can decide for yourself what the FO stands for in this case!

I shared my socks on Friday, so I don’t have any to share today. I mean, I did get about three inches of a new sock done but that’s not very interesting, is it? And I have an actual finished object to share. This little cowl kind of flew under the radar. I didn’t post about it too much and it hung around for ages and then after my socks were done, I decided it was time to get this done too.

This is the Gris de lin cowl and I used my single special skein of Malabrigo Mora, which is 100% Mulberry silk, and the color is Sabiduria. I wasn’t good about weighing the yarn as I knit and I wasn’t in the mood to play yarn chicken, so I skipped the last pattern repeat and don’t feel the lack of it at all. It’s the perfect little silky cowl.

In exciting home renovation news: we have painters here today! They have been power washing the exterior to prep for paint and at first I was very excited and now after six+ hours of near-constant noise, my excitement has faded slightly. But as soon as they start painting, I know it’ll come back. No word yet on when the demolition will start on the back of the house, but surely it will be soon, if they’ve begun the painting process? All in due time, I guess. Maybe I’ll have a painting progress photo to share by the end of the week!

Happy Monday, friends.

FO Friday: Socks

After I finished my Water shawl last week, I went back to socks, and that’s been my main focus this week. I finished the first Ewe Turn Dyeworks DK sock and the second Ella Fitzgerald inspired sock — and I have 54 grams of the Ella yarn left over! I’m totally going to make another pair but with purple contrast bits next time.

Before I do that though, I really need to cast on one of my new sock yarns! I fell deep into the Desert Vista Dyeworks website and couldn’t resist the yarns inspired by Twilight, West Side Story, and Wonder Woman. Pretty sure Bella & Edward will be first, and I might even do a Twilight marathon this weekend while I knit them.

Happy Friday, friends.

Sock It To Me Monday

I finished my rainbow shorties late last week, which meant it was time to cast on another sock … even though I still have one sock WIP on my needles. Two sock projects at one time is fine, right? This pair is with new DK yarn that Shannon sent me, part of her new yarn business, Ewe Turn Dyeworks.

The pattern is a simple purl chevron that I got from a book, like an actual book in my knitting library. I’m trying not to use Ravelry and since I have four sock books, I should make good use of them! The DK feels so thick and squishy after doing fingering weight socks but I did have some size issues. Last night I got to the toe and realized the foot seemed larger than usual. It probably would have been okay, but I decided to frog back anyway. I pulled back to the end of the gusset decreases and just did two more decrease rows. Should be a better fit now!

Yesterday Sarah and I tried for one of our outdoor knitting dates, but our excitement about “spring weather” was a little early. Instead of sunny and temps in the 50s, by 1:30 it was only 46, and it was sunny but windy. We survived two hours and even though it wasn’t as long as we’d hoped, it should tide us over until it is actually warm enough!

Hope you had a good weekend too. Happy Monday, friends.

FO Friday: Water Shawl

Oh happy day! It is Friday, it is sunny, and I have a new shawl to show off! This was our Blogville KAL led by Alissa at Headknits. It started on March 1 and even though we have until the end of … um, June, maybe, I finished mine Wednesday and blocked it yesterday. It was greatly helped by two things: I am currently a monogamous knitter, and the boy has been re-watching Doctor Who in the evenings. I’ve seen those enough that I can focus on the pattern and just half-listen to the Doctor. (Tennant is my favorite but Matt Smith is a VERY CLOSE second. And Smith with River and the Ponds is probably the best combo ever.) Without further ado, here is my Water shawl:

I know, it looks nothing like water, being this dark pink color, but it called for two skeins and I had two skeins of this that needed a pattern and I couldn’t justify buying two new skeins just for this. The yarn is from The Periwinkle Sheep. I don’t remember the base name but it’s 100% merino and the color is Fuschia Agate and it’s gorgeous, so rich and vivid. It didn’t lose any color when I blocked it, either!

The pattern is Water by Soft Sweater Knits. Though she has several patterns available on Payhip, Water is only on Ravelry at the moment. There were a few tricky bits in there for me, a couple of instructions that weren’t clear for me, which is why I was so glad this was a KAL and I could ask the other girls what I was supposed to do! The lace sections are lace short rows, which was only tricky the first time around. I did use stitch markers each time I turned, and I definitely recommend lifelines before each lace section. But once I got into the flow of it, I sailed along smoothly! (Hee hee, see what I did there?) Well, until the bind off, which is apparently a knitted on bind off or some such nonsense and took ages but my goodness, it sure is worth it in the end. Look at those little loopy bits!

I used around 600 yards and probably could have gotten another pattern repeat in, but it’s plenty big enough as is, very close to the ideal shawl size for me. It is kind of hard to show the full size of it; I don’t have a great way to display it stretched out.

But the branches of my beautiful magnolia tree seem as good a place as any! Happy Friday, friends.