Tag Archive | crafts

To the Yarn Store?

Oh, you guys are all bad influences…and I love it! So many votes to go to the yarn store, haha! Alas, I did not go to the yarn store, but it wasn’t really a conscious choice on my part. I left the restaurant after lunch with my friend, and there was a loose dog in the parking lot, just barking her fool head off. One woman was trying to catch her, so I grabbed the bag of treats I keep in my car and went to help. My friend had a grumpy baby with her so she couldn’t stay, but let me borrow the leash she keeps in her car. (Side note: I really need to get one of those for my car.) This dog, though, man, she was skittish. She loved the bits of treat I tossed to her, but didn’t want to come close enough for me to touch her at all. I called animal control, but in that city they don’t come out unless the dog is aggressive. The first woman managed to contact a volunteer rescue group, and they said they’d send someone out to help trap, and I said I’d wait until they came.

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So, this is me, sitting in the parking lot, where I stayed for at least 45 minutes, trying to coax her to come to me. Eventually she started to wander off back toward the busy street so I had to circle around and herd her back to the parking lot. We ended up in a big grassy area, and the volunteer showed up to help, armed with hot dogs. The dog loved those but still wouldn’t let either of us get a leash around her neck. After another hour, the dog got full and started walking down the street. The volunteer followed her and found out she lives about a block away from the busy intersection. The owner knew she’d gotten out of her yard, knew she had no collar on, thought she “might be chipped”, and wasn’t worried because “she always comes home.” GAH. I hate some people. I was glad she made it home safely but hate that she might not be so lucky next time. At least the volunteer is aware of it, and said if the dog got loose again, she’d report the owner to animal control. Of course, all that will happen then is the owner will get cited, but it’s a start. It sucks to feel so helpless.

After that, my pants were wet, muddy, and cold, and I had no desire to go anywhere but home. I put on clean, warm pajamas and snuggled up with my own happy, safe dogs and cast on a new project with pretty yarn from my stash.

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This might look familiar: it’s Manos del Uruguay’s color Locura Fluo, which I’m going to use for a sweater. This is one skein of Alegria Grande, which I accidentally ordered instead of Alegria one time. It was the most colorful larger-weight yarn in my stash, so on my needles it went. This the Oats cowl pattern from Tin Can Knits, something really simple to let the yarn be the star of the show.

I’m still slightly tempted to go to a yarn store today, since I’m off work for Presidents’ Day, but I’m also tempted by this gorgeous and fun yarn I found on Instagram: it’s called A Bonny Lass!!! How can I not order that? I think I need to make a big, gorgeous shawl and it needs to have some kind of Celtic cable design on it even though I don’t like making cables. So, we’ll see. I might just stay home with my pajamas and dogs today, or I might venture out. Either way, it’s a pretty happy day!

So that’s the problem!

I made a hat yesterday. Like a whole hat, start to finish. And I enjoyed it and actually wanted to knit, which is different than the last few weeks have been for me. I was trying to figure out why that was, when I’ve been so stuck in my knitting lately, and I realized that I might just be stuck with fingering weight shawls and sweaters. My socks are still a reliable knit for me, and I’ve made two hats with worsted weight, but that Boxy sweater is my nemesis right now, and my Melodia shawl is boring me to tears with all those plain garter stitch rows.

Add that to yesterday’s yearning for a yarn store fix and I think one possible solution is to do some stash-diving today and find a new worsted weight project that excites me, in a pretty yarn I’ve forgotten about. Not to get all philosophical about it, but the rest of my life is challenging and stressful without any easy or quick fixes, so maybe I need the opposite from my knitting at the moment.

Here’s a sneak peek at my newest review project, which is for a new yarn from Manos del Uruguay. It’s a sport weight which apparently is different enough from fingering weight to keep me happy.

img_6886The pattern is the Oleada Cowl and I’m loving these striped chevrons! This is a really addictive pattern; I just want to get to that next color change.

Now, I’m having lunch with a former co-worker today, so the question is: do I go to the yarn store while I’m out? I mean, I legitimately need to buy a pompom!

Knitting “Accessorary”

“Yeah, I said it, accessorary.”

I’ve been a little obsessed with Lizzo this week. If you haven’t listened to her album, you won’t get my reference, but if you don’t mind a lot of cussing, I recommend it. It’s got a heavy vibe of empowerment and self-confidence, and I need as much of that as possible. Plus it’s catchy and fun to sing along with. Anyway, I have zero knitting to share today. All I’ve done this week is about four inches of the second pink sock and I’m not wasting precious image space on that. Instead I’ll show you the gorgeous new mug I got from HaldeCraft.

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It’s a purple sweater mug!! She had a little sale on the cable mugs and bowls and I just had to get myself a purple sweater mug. How could I not? I love it so much. And I love that it came with three packets of tea. We ordered a yellow butter dish from her to give to the girl for Christmas and I was just really impressed with everything, so I was delighted to get to order something else.

And here, I’ll show you one more thing:

6550E27B-6F5C-4077-AB96-E0D24B2E370C_1_201_aI now have a sweater quantity of Manos del Uruguay Alegria in Locura Fluo! Now, lest you think I have fallen off the wagon, this is my belated Christmas yarn that only set me back around $12, so I’m not counting it. I’s going to be bright and colorful and crazy and I think I’ll absolutely love it! But I have to knit it first. I think I’m going to use this pullover pattern, Apogean. Mine will be long-sleeved, not short. I was tempted to make a cardigan, but then I’d have to do an awful lot of purling (because this yarn needs to be stockinette and not garter), and I seem to go marginally faster on sweaters knit in the round than back and forth. In any case, I’m not going to cast on until I finish the Boxy on my needles so it’ll be a while because my knitting mojo is MIA and even when it appears, it doesn’t appear for sweater knitting. Maybe it will make for good TV knitting while I watch the Oscars tomorrow night.

Happy weekend, friends!

WIP Wednesday

It’s socks. It’s always socks. When I’m stressed out, I knit socks, and the last few weeks have been…less than fun, I’ll say. So I’m making socks. I finished a pair and was going to share them for Sock it To Me Monday but I forgot, or rather my motivation was lacking that day. So here’s the pair I finished last weekend:

D56B8092-3F44-4186-8E06-B01D47A2F520For someone who thought she didn’t like orange, I sure love it here, especially paired with the pink. The gray speckled yarn is Yarn Geek’s Super Geek yarn in Boxcar Gallery and I have enough to easily do another pair, especially if I do contrast cuff/toes again, and maybe make the leg a bit shorter. I’m thinking turquoise and lime green accents for the next pair! As soon as those were done, I went back to my older sock WIP and cranked out the rest of the first sock.

C33CC362-94AD-4826-AB80-D064F7F7551EThis is Knit Picks’ Hawthorne Fingering and I love both the kettle dyed color and the feel, a crisp, sturdy yarn perfect for socks. The blue is also Knit Picks but I’m not sure which, maybe Stroll. It feels thinner and softer, but also not as sturdy, so it’ll be interesting to see how the toes and heels perform.

Part of me wants to cast on a new, exciting project, but my mojo just isn’t there right now. The hard conversation I had last week hasn’t been as helpful as I’d hoped, and I’m having to keep pushing myself to have more of them, and I’m tired. My heart is tired. But how can I expect others to advocate for me if I don’t advocate for myself? So I’m pushing. No, I’m persisting! I like that better.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

Happy February!

I made it through the entire month of January without buying yarn! That’s a good feeling! I know it won’t happen in February because I’m going to Colorado to visit the girl this month and I’m sure a yarn store will be in the cards. And to be honest, I did order some yarn last night but that’s different: the MIL ordered yarn for me for Christmas and the package got lost, so she got a refund and gave me the money. I ordered the same yarn she’d ordered but from a different company and it was about $10 more, and I think that’s perfectly acceptable. Once it arrives, I’ll have the sweater quantity I’ve been wanting!

I also got a delayed Christmas present recently, some size 1 SmartStix DPNs! Please excuse the dog hair clinging to…everything.

img_6830They’re my new favorite sock needles. They’re pointier than my wood Clover needles, and they won’t bend over time. And I can measure progress with them, so handy!

Apparently today is some big day in sportsball land and even though I live in the KC Metro area, I am one of the few who will not be watching because I do not like that flavor of sportsball. There’s bound to be something else on TV, right? Happy Sunday, friends.

Knitting Magic!

Okay, I bet many of you knitters out there are aware that there’s a new book out from Tanis Gray called Knitting Magic. It’s been available to pre-order for a couple of months and mine finally arrived yesterday!!!

img_6767Guys, it’s SO GOOD. It is full of amazing patterns, some replicas of things from the movies and some pieces inspired by them, but they’re all fantastic. The photography is gorgeous and there are little movie trivia tidbits scattered throughout and I kind of want to make everything!

I think Hedwig might come first, and then I really want to make one of the Hogwarts cardigans, if I can decide whether to do Gryffindor colors or Ravenclaw. Really, there are a lot of patterns I think I’d actually be able to make and wear — I might even learn duplicate stitch so I can do a Weasley pullover! There are also several patterns that are way beyond my current skill level, like that pullover. But those can be my aspirational patterns when I’m ready to level up in my knitting.

Do you have the book too? What pattern do you want to make first?

Boxy Issues

Yesterday I turned on the tennis and settled in with my Boxy fade sweater. I was ready both to split for the sleeves and to start fading in the last color. I knit across the stitches for the front half and hit a roadblock: I needed one row per color, but there wasn’t an easy way to do that when you’re knitting back and forth with two colors of yarn. It works perfectly when you’re going round and round, but I didn’t even think about how it would have to switch to back & forth later. So, I was in a pickle. Now, I’m sure there are smarter knitters than I who have a good answer, but my answer seems to be working for me: I knit one color across, then I knit the other color across. Then I purl color one across, then purl color two across. Whatever works, right?

My second issue is one of color. When I chose my five colors for this fade, I alternated variegated with solid. The first solid was at the bottom and it’s fine. But then I have the second solid up here, separated by variegated/fades, and it’s just this stripe of lavender. I can’t decide if it stands out a lot because I’m looking for it, or because it’s obvious.

img_6752Maybe it will calm down once I get the rest done. I sure hope so because I am NOT interested in frogging 22 miles of stockinette just to switch the order of the last two colors.

And that’s as far as I got yesterday, because of Issue #3: my elbow. I had a bad case of tendinitis several years ago, and every so often it’ll flare up a bit if I’m not careful. Apparently I’ve been doing a lot of knitting during Duncan’s recovery, and they’re longer stretches of knitting, and now I’ve got this pain in my elbow that says “Hey! Time to take a break!” So instead I caught up on some TV and read a book, like a real book with pages and stuff, and that was nice. I’ll give it a couple more days with limited knitting and all should be fine. Maybe switching to my worsted weight cowl will help too, since I hold the bigger needles more loosely than the smaller ones I use for fingering weight. And really, it will work out all right because I’m getting my purple hair refreshed today, so that’ll be about five hours with little to no knitting time!

Enjoy your Sunday, friends!