I’m wearing new socks today, freshly finished socks! I love that first wearing of new socks, don’t you? These are my Jimmy the Model socks from LolaBean Yarn Co.
I totally meant to use the purple/pink on the heel too, but I forgot on the first sock and I wanted them to match. I’m hoping I can eke out a pair of shortie socks with purple toes.
I was able to get some medicine for Jack this morning, thank goodness. He’s still in the cone and not too happy, but at least he’s not fighting it. I’m grateful for my vet for not making me drag him in again! Tonight, I have to try to get him in the bathtub for a bath. Have I mentioned he’s 85 pounds? Should be interesting!
Also, we’re getting our first snow of the season and I’m strangely happy about it! Maybe it’s because I know I don’t have to drive to work in it, and maybe because I’m eager for the Christmas season.
I’m doing pretty well with my Finish-itis and got my Sailing shawl done and blocked. It’s a little smaller than I expected but still very wearable.
I bought the pattern on Lovecrafts and it was good mindless knitting, lots of soothing garter stitch. And I love the yarn! It’s a merino fingering weight from Orange Jellyfish Dream in a OOAK purple/gray color.
With that done, I’ve turned my attention to the other purple/gray shawl on my needles, although I did cast on for my Christmas socks too. And I’m getting some good knitting time today too. Jack got a hot spot last night (an itchy spot on the skin that dogs then lick/scratch obsessively so it can get infected if it’s not treated quickly), so he’s in the cone of shame today and very unhappy about it. He seems to be happier next to me, so we’re just chilling in the living room. And Duncan is lending his moral support, since he remembers how miserable the cone is.
With any luck, the vet will be able to get us some meds without me having to take him in yet again. He hates the vet so much, and we’ve been having skin issues already lately, so this isn’t a new problem. With any luck, it will heal quickly and we can free him from his miserable cone!
Back in 2017, I fell in love with a book called The Mermaid’s Daughter by Ann Claycomb. It’s about a descendent of the Little Mermaid from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, and it’s unusual and engrossing and I loved it. There was one description of the main character going into the sea and how the colors changed as she went further down, and I needed to make a shawl based on that. So in 2018, I found five colors from Dream in Color that were perfect.
It took a while longer to find a pattern, and when I did, I cast on twice, starting with different colors, but it just wasn’t right. So the yarn waited patiently for another couple of years, before I found the Sea Swell shawl (Rav link) by Westknits in May. And now? Now it’s DONE!
I don’t have a lot to say about this shawl except that it’s massive and it felt like it took forever to knit, much longer than five months. I wish the darkest blue/purple at the edge was more prominent but overall it’s what I wanted. The swells are great, and I think the short rows where two colors fade together are really cool.
I’m really glad I knit this but I’m also really glad it’s done. I’m not sure five-skein shawls are my jam!
This project was SO fun. I LOVED knitting it and I think I finished it in four or five days. Now I want to do more mosaic knitting! I kept going each round just to see how it looked with the lighter yarn peeking through, and the way she designed the “jewels” is so cool.
The pattern is the Dissent Cowl by Carissa Browning and it’s available on LoveCrafts and Ravelry. Though it looks complicated, it’s actually easy enough for adventurous beginners on up. I mentioned before that I talked one of my work knitting friends into trying it too, and after a little hiccup at the beginning, she’s sailing along and loving it. So don’t be scared of it!
I knit this as part of a knit-along run by my favorite LYS, Yarn Social, so of course I got my yarn there. The dark purple is Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio DK in Park Heights, and the lighter speckled one is Primrose Yarn’s Jasper in Milky Way. They were perfect, exactly what I wanted. The Primrose had just enough of the dark purple speckles to blend but still pop. And they were both great to knit with, thick and squishy. The mosaic knitting, since it’s all slipped stitches, makes a really dense fabric. I don’t think the wind will get through this!
Now I just have to decide whether to wear this cowl or my Empower People cowl on voting day!
Good tennis over the weekend meant I had good sock-knitting time, since I needed something low-maintenance. I’m maybe a third of the way through the foot of my first LolaBean Jimmy the Model sock.
I’m a little disappointed in myself, though, because I forgot to use the purple for the heel! I guess this pair will just have contrast cuffs and toes, and I won’t have to worry about running out of purple yarn.
I also blocked two finished projects this weekend, plus all three dogs got baths, which wore me out. Jack loves water and had a great time. Grace and Duncan hated it, so that was more of an adventure. But now they all smell nice and feel so soft and silky. This morning Grace found a frog in our back yard, but fortunately she thought it was weird enough that she didn’t eat it. I nudged it under the fence into the neighbor’s yard and rinsed out her mouth, since some frogs can be toxic to dogs, and she seems to be just fine. These dogs sure keep my on my toes!
The happiest days are when yarn comes! (Just don’t tell Melanie Hamilton.) I got some good mail today from the Periwinkle Sheep. They were donating 50% of their sales to Fair Fight, an organization fighting voter suppression and systemic disenfranchisement based in Georgia. That was a good reason to buy some pretty yarn!
The two skeins are merino single in fuschsia agate, and I’m pretty sure they’ll become a shawl. The highland wool is purple foxglove, and I really don’t know what it’ll be. It’s a little more rustic so I don’t think I’d be able to wear it against my neck or face. Right now it’s there to feed the stash.
I’m hoping to finish my Dissent Cowl this weekend. It’s zooming along and is so fun to knit. I’ve got a good tennis match to watch tomorrow that will allow plenty of knitting time. We recently watched Defending Jacob on Apple TV+. There are eight episodes and we sped through them, loved it all except the ending. It’s based on a book so I might need to read it now!
The Dissent Cowl might be my only WIP until it’s done. Guys, this is so cool! It’s so simple but looks intricate and super fancy.
I didn’t do the cast-on in the pattern, just my usual long-tail cast-on, and it looks fine. The yarns are playing really well together; they’re both smooth and squishy. It’s making a stiff, dense fabric, and I think it’s going to be nice and warm this winter. The stitch marker is from a Wonder Women set. Just seemed appropriate!
The other highlight of my week so far is that I got to attend an author event for a new book! Okay, it was virtual, but still fun. The Strand Bookstore hosted Matt Haig for a chat led by Kristin Hannah, who’s one of my favorite authors. My book group read Haig’s book How to Stop Time recently and I loved it, and he has a new book out now, The Midnight Library, that I’ve ordered and am eagerly anticipating.
It was great to listen to him talk about the book and his writing process and career, but honestly, the best part was hearing him talk so casually and easily about his mental health experiences. It was just part of the conversation, part of why his books are what they are, part of HIM. It wasn’t a big deal, wasn’t a topic all on its own, just a matter-of-fact acknowledgement that yeah, he’s had depression, had anxiety, that he still struggles with some of it sometimes.
It was refreshing, and encouraging. I’d love to see society as a whole get to a point where it’s not considered shameful or embarrassing to be dealing with depression or anxiety. Especially now, with the stress we’re all under. I don’t make a secret of my history with depression. Fun fact: I had my annual checkup yesterday and mental health was the focus of it. I left with homework to call my therapist plus an additional med to help me handle what my current anti-depressant isn’t handling. (I’m kind of okay most of the time, but I’d like to be better than okay. We’re all a WIP, right?) It helps me to hear from other awesome people who are dealing with similar issues. So, yeah, Matt Haig is awesome. Smart and funny and witty and neurotic. And now I need to read all his books.
Do you have any authors you read partly because you like them so much away from their books?
I know, it’s Monday in Blogville which means I’m supposed to be writing about socks, but I can’t do that. A) I have no sock progress to share and B) I want to share today’s upcoming cast-on. My favorite LYS, Yarn Social, is partnering with another LYS to host a Dissent Cowl KAL/CAL. Since I wanted to make the cowl anyway, this seemed perfect! I’d already bought the pattern, but to participate I needed to buy at least one skein from either store. (Haha, “at least one skein”! Like it’s ever just one!)
Saturday found me at the yarn store along with a fellow knitter buddy, a poor soul I convinced to knit along with me. I’m excited about my choices!
I got a new jumbo winder for my birthday, so I used that to wind the yarn last night. The KAL starts today and I’ll be casting on as soon as my work day is done. But of course that’s not all I came home with. They had a new (to me, at least) color of WYS Christmas sock yarn, so that plus the green had to be mine as well.
Oh hey, look at that: there’s a bit of sock in here after all!
Also, this is my 1,000th post on this blog! Who knew I’d be hanging around so long? Happy Monday, friends!
Okay, well, I knew hats were fast but apparently even cabled hats are a pretty quick project. I finished the Hinterland Hat today and heck, it’s cool. Here’s the Rav link if you want to check it out.
I did mess up two of the cables early on, but there was no way I was going to frog back to fix them. And it worked out well because the folded brim hides the worst of it. I’m still not sure I love the cabling process but I do adore finished cables, and it makes it worth it, at least for smaller projects. I don’t know that I’d want to do a cabled sweater yet.
This pattern had two versions and I chose the second version, which had extra little cables between the purl sections. I know, crazy! The yarn is Island Yarn Blackwater in Silver, and it’s a smooth, squishy superwash yarn. There was a bit of splitting with some of the little cables, but otherwise I love it. Maybe the variegation hides the cabling some, but I think subtle is okay for the recipient. Let’s just hope it fits him!
While I was outside taking photos, I had some furry helpers. What could I do but take a few shots of them too?
Pretty soon it will be too cool for me to want to be outside with them very much, so I’m enjoying while I can. Oh, and last night we watched Enola Holmes. It was cute; I enjoyed it. I loved Millie Bobby Brown but somehow Henry Cavill made Sherlock a little too … likeable. I guess I prefer Sherlock as a curmudgeon.
As I keep reminding myself because days mean very little anymore, today is Wednesday, so I will share my brand-new WIP! Finishing my Sonny & Tubbs socks left me with zero socks on my needles, and that is never acceptable. I had to cast on pronto, and I was excited to finally be able to pull out my LolaBean Jimmy the Model set! (If you’re not familiar with Jimmy the Model, look for him and/or LolaBean Yarn Co. on Instagram. Jimmy is her husband. They are delightful together and on their own!)
My son says he keeps glancing over and seeing Jimmy’s face, and it catches him off guard every time. For me, I like to catch a glimpse of a smiling face! The bag was a collaboration with Mrs. Brown’s Bags and it’s fantastic: roomy and very well-made.
I did work on my Sea Swell shawl last night as I watched the shit storm that was supposed to be a presidential debate. I’ll just say I had to refill my wine glass twice, and it took me a while to unwind to go to bed! Here’s hoping any future debates go more smoothly.