Along with socks, I’ve been plugging along on my Apogean sweater, the one with the Manos del Uruguay Locura Fluo. I’m sill in the thick of the long stockinette body, just going round and round. After my last post, I got some suggestions to try helical knitting to help with pooling and that’s been both fun and helpful. Though my first effort at googling helical knitting didn’t lead me down the right path, Kath set me straight and shared a great video about how to do helical knitting with two strands (which she also calls the jogless join) and guys, it’s so cool!
The last inch or so is with the helical knitting, and as you can see, I’m still getting some pooling so I’m not sure it’s made a huge difference, but I love the look so I’m just going to roll with it. I have also discovered the secret to happily knitting a lot of stockinette: really fun yarn. I can’t believe I’ve done this much already and am excited to do more!
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?
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?
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?
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!
Earlier this week I saw a chair advertised at a local vintage market. It wasn’t any ordinary chair — no, this was a deep royal purple velvet chair, complete with matching ottoman. It was gorgeous. I’d very recently decided I would like a chair in my craft room, so this seemed like a sign: this chair should be mine. The market is only open on the first weekend of every month; there’s a whole neighborhood of antique and vintage shops that open for First Fridays. This particular shop opened at 5 pm on Thursday. We got there at 5:45 pm.
You can guess what happened, can’t you? The chair was gone, already sold. Someone must have been there right at 5, waiting to get their grubby little paws on MY chair. In my despair, I wandered back through the shop to another chair that had briefly caught my eye on my first pass. It wasn’t purple, or velvet, and it had no matching ottoman. But it was green, and cute, and it kind of matched a desk chair I already have. Best of all, it was very affordable at only $57. I dithered, because I really wanted a purple chair, but then the boy said we should buy it and once I got a purple chair, he’d take this one. That made it very easy, and now I have the cutest little seating area in my craft room.
Won’t you come and sit with me for a bit? Bring your knitting, I’ll make you tea. I’ll tell you, this room is one reason it’s tempting to stay in this house. Any house I move into from now on must have a separate room just for me, and now I know it must be big enough for yarn, my Twilight shrine, and my little green chair. Do you have a room of your own?
This was a BEAST. I used a set of five 250-yarn skeins, for a total of 1250 yards/300 grams. And of course I didn’t check my gauge first because who does that for a wrap, so mine ended up 138 inches, which is 11 1/2 feet. For comparison, the pattern shows the longest edge to be 114 inches. So I ended up with an extra two feet, whatever.
The pattern is Walls (circus) and it’s simple, alternating garter sections with easy eyelet sections, but doing that over and over for 11 feet does get rather monotonous so I’m delighted to finally have this off my needles. And I’m happy that I used up all of the beautiful gradient set from Neighborhood Fiber Co.
Now I just have to figure out how to comfortably wear this much wrap — or maybe I’ll hang it above the windows in my craft room like a valance!
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!
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.
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!