Tag Archive | handknits

An Answer for Jack

The vet called yesterday and confirmed that yes, Jack has hypothyroidism. It’s been causing lethargy and weight gain mostly, but also some flaky/scaly ears and a few instances of unsteady walking. The gastrointestinal issues that prompted me to take him to the vet aren’t a typical symptom but the vet said she couldn’t rule out the possibility that they were related. He’ll be on a twice-daily pill for the rest of his life, but it’s small and relatively inexpensive. He’s already had two doses and is perking up quite a bit. It makes me feel bad, wondering how long he’s been dealing with this without us noticing. I just thought he was getting lazy as he got older. It’s a relief to have a clear answer, even if it does mean having two dogs with chronic conditions!

The other good news is that I finished a sock yesterday. I’d already finished one green sock from my new sock yarn, but before I started the second I needed to make a quick purple sock. And it really was quick!

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Now I’m back to the green. And when I have one solid green pair and one solid purple pair, I want to do purple with green contrast bits!

Sock It To Me Monday

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary: the husband and I have been married 23 years now! But I have to say, I like celebrating things better when we’re not in the midst of the pandemic. It was too hot and muggy to do anything outside, so we decided to mask up and try visiting an antique mall, one that’s big enough for people to be socially distanced inside. It was … partially successful. There was space, but there were also more people than I expected, and I felt like I was being crowded or rushed whenever they were behind me. There was a sign that masks were required, but we saw a ton of people wearing them under their noses. We saw one woman just wearing a plastic face shield. It wasn’t a relaxing environment for me, and I felt bad being tense and anxious when we were trying to celebrate. I did find something cool, though!

img_8394It’s a yarn swift!! I have an Amish-style swift that the husband made me years ago, but I had to get this one too. As soon as I figure out how to attach it to the table without damaging the wood, I’ll be testing it out. And I’ll be testing it with my new LolaBean sock yarn! (Yes, I realize this is a tenuous connection to Sock It To Me Monday, but I’m rolling with it.)

img_8391My obsessive Instagram habit paid off and I snagged one of the Jimmy the Model sets from LolaBean Yarn Co.! I just love watching their videos, and of course I love the yarn too. I’m trying to resist the urge to cast on. It’s hard.

I don’t know about you, but my weekend went way too fast. Maybe Monday will go fast too?

How do I do this again?

After a three-month furlough, I went back to work this week. Not on-site, still work from home, thank goodness. But, guys, I forgot how to be the job-doing kind of person, and I am tired. Part of it is just catching up from being gone so long and trying to get back in the loop, and part of it is just getting my brain back in shape to add work in with all my other thoughts and worries and anxieties. And of course part of it is because I’m not sleeping well (see first two parts). So, it’s bittersweet but overall I am trying to focus on being grateful I have a job to come back to. And all of that means that this has been the extent of my knitting this week.

img_8323It’s a new sock, because my other sock is lace, and I needed a good, mindless sock. This is for a friend who recently moved away, and it will be her first pair of handknit socks. Maybe I will make her a convert and I can just start mailing her socks, because I am getting overrun with socks in my own sock drawer(s).

Happy Friday, friends! Here’s hoping for a refreshing weekend for all of us!

Friday Progress

Nope, no finished objects for me this week. My monogamous knitting lately has been my Sea Swell Shawl, but it’s annoying me right now. It’s made up of left and right wedges, all done with short rows, and is designed as a fade with either three or five colors. But when you fade in a color on a left wedge (as happens once in the pattern), the new color starts on the wrong side. The other option is to start the new color in the middle of the row, but then when you get back to that part, the working yarn is a few stitches down because of the short row. Argh! This probably makes very little sense, but let me assure you, it bugs me just a little. I got the new color joined and did a few rows and now I’m bored with garter stitch short rows.

805165C5-8FA5-4047-A551-C57EB4F7E3E4_1_201_aSo yesterday I said to heck with monogamy and picked up my newest sock project. This is my Show Me Yarn Bootheel yarn in the Stained Glass Menagerie color, and it was so light and airy that I needed a lace pattern to go with it. I ended up picking the Mercury Socks pattern, which is free on Ravelry.

AD0523AB-4389-4DB8-83BE-D499069710F6_1_201_aIt’s a simple five-row lace pattern, so while I have to keep the pattern handy, it’s not taxing my brain too much. These will be perfect spring socks!

It’s weird, though, because the last two or three weeks, I’ve been doing things other than knitting. I did puzzles for a while, but got burned out on those I think. I’ve been reading a lot, and recently I’ve loved 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand, Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, and Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan. My last read was a stinker so hopefully the next one will get me back on track. I’m thinking Odd One Out by Nic Stone. I’ve also gotten back into LEGOs, which I never would have expected. I loved building the boy’s old Harry Potter LEGO sets a couple of months ago. Something about creating order from all the pieces, and the concentration required, was soothing and satisfying. But the sets he has left are Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, and they don’t call to me. So I ordered the Friends LEGO set, and I did one bag a day, which gave me six days of fun. And it hasn’t abated: I’ve already ordered my next set, a lunar landing module. These are crazy times, friends! Have you taken up any unexpected hobbies lately?

 

FO: Sea Swell Shawl

Today’s project is a KAL I did with Jemma and Under the Olive Tree Knits: her new free pattern, the Stargazer Shawl. She designs a lot of one-skein shawls, which are perfect for my little yarn treasures. At the end of June, I’d pulled out a skein of Andromeda sock yarn in the prettiest pink/purple colors, but wasn’t sure what to do with it, so it sat around until I saw Jemma’s pattern. I’d say the two go together very well!

0F52E8A9-C80B-4454-80F3-BC5BC3714482The pattern is easy to follow, though I have to say it got a bit repetitious for me toward the end. And somehow my gauge is completely different than hers: this is the second project of hers I’ve done where I ran out of yarn quite a bit sooner than she did. Instead of 295 rows, I stopped at 271 rows before doing the garter edging. I probably could have done one more eight-row section, but really didn’t want to play yarn chicken. And I think it still turned out to be a wearable length. Now I know to check my gauge when I knit her patterns … or just have extra yarn on hand, which is more likely!

65E1DD45-92CE-47AD-9B98-3E5283FAC9EFThe yarn is Andromeda sock yarn in the color I Love You Berry Much. It is good yarn with such gorgeous colors. It would have made beautiful socks, but I’m still glad it decided to become a shawl instead.

I’m also glad I got these photos taken early in the morning. It is very hot here so now I can hibernate in the A/C with my knitting for the foreseeable future. Happy Friday, friends.

Sock It To Me Monday

Another pair of Christmas in July socks got finished this weekend. It helped that I only needed to make one sock, the mate to the one knit last December, and it helped that it was all stockinette so I could just knit around and around. Saturday I knit while reading Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid on my iPad — it was super good and I finished it all in one day. Yesterday I knit while watching Alice in Wonderland (the Johnny Depp version). Allergies are kicking my butt at the moment, so familiar movies and easy knitting are my jam.

Look at these socks: they match! Like, the stripes match! And that was pure luck, because I never try to do that. I didn’t even look at the yarn when I was starting the second sock; I just picked up the end and cast on. I’m quite tickled with them. And now they’ll get put away for a few months and I’ll forget about them until around November and be tickled with them all over again.

This means I have zero socks on my needles. I’m working on my emPower People cowl for now, and when that’s done my goal is to finish my Stargazer Shawl, but I don’t know if I can be sock-free that long. We’ll see.

And here’s something happy for Monday: remember the fingerless gloves that I finished in a hurry for the nephew? He seemed delighted with them and I was told the next day that he said “I love my gloves so much and I’m so happy she knitted them for me.” And he wore them to church despite the hot and humid Midwestern summer weather. See what I mean? Totally knitworthy!

FO Friday: Socks

I have two Finished Objects to share today — technically four, actually — because I finished two pairs of socks today!

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One the left are Vanilla Latte socks in Orange Jellyfish Dream yarn, color Intergalactic Planetary. And the right are obviously my Christmas in July socks, also in the Vanilla Latte pattern, with West Yorkshire Spinners’ Fairy Lights. Both pairs are slightly mis-matched in size but not enough to bother me, certainly not right now. But now I’m out of socks to knit and it’s also only July 10 so I cast on the second sock of a pair of Christmas socks I started last December. These are all stockinette so it should be a speedy project.

While knitting, I’ve recently binged Pick of the Litter, Little Voice, and Lenox Hill. And I’ve read and loved The Authenticity Project, Friends & Strangers, and The Two Lives of Lydia Bird. What are you streaming lately that you love?

WIP Wednesday

It is July! And I finished some projects last month! That means I got to cast on two new projects yesterday. They’re both KALs and both should be done by the end of the month. One is a Christmas in July sock KAL that Mildly Granola suggested, and I pulled out my West Yorkshire Spinners yarn in Fairy Lights for that, along with solid red for the cuffs, heels and toes. I’m doing my favorite simple pattern so they can be my mindless fun/travel knitting.

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My other new project is a shawl KAL with Under the Olive Tree Knits. Jem released a free one-skein pattern called Stargazer, and it was perfect for a skein of yarn that I’d pulled out of my stash recently, wanting to knit it. You can find download options on her website.

B547B90E-4827-4694-A346-F1AFE89FED9EMy yarn is Andromeda sock yarn in a fabulous color called I Love You Berry Much and I do love it berry much indeed! The pattern is a fun mix of stockinette and simple lace, and I can tell already it’ll be addictive.

We’ve had a slew of birthdays in our family the last few weeks and have started doing some small social-distanced gatherings. As hard as it is not to hug my nephews and nieces, it’s so nice to get to see my people again. And yesterday was the boy’s birthday: he’s 17 now! How did that happen?? He’ll be a senior this year and it just doesn’t seem possible. He also joined me for a rare live music performance. Our town has always done a community summer band and the girl participates every year. This year they only did one concert, with the musicians spaced six feet apart, and streamed it live on Facebook. Family members were allowed to come, so the boy and I took our chairs and our masks and enjoyed the music in the summer night. I’ve missed live music so much; this was a treat.

I’m not sure what we’ll do when the weather doesn’t allow us to gather outside anymore, but I guess we can cross that bridge when we come to it. Hope you all are enjoying your summer so far!

FO: Lydian Cowl

For my fourth and final FO of June (it felt like more, honestly), today I’ll share my Lydian cowl. This yarn is Delicious Yarns Frosting Worsted in Boysenberry and it’s quite yummy. So soft and squishy, and great drape both before and after blocking. It started out as a different cowl but got frogged halfway through, and it was a bit splitty after that, but I’ll take the blame for that. I still loved knitting with it and I think I’ll love wearing it … when it’s not 90 degrees outside!

B6547D3B-B810-4760-89C5-05A9E54D9844_1_201_aThis was my first time knitting something using charts, rather than written instructions, and it wasn’t terrible. It helped that I didn’t have to memorize too many symbols, and I wasn’t tracking hundreds of stitches.

I love that main panel that almost hints at cables but isn’t, and I love the back that’s lacy but not a boring simple lace. However, I had a heck of a time with this pattern and I don’t know why. I kept getting to the end of the round and being one stitch off, and then I’d have to tink back. It wasn’t the pattern’s fault; it’s not complicated and it was well-written and clear. I think my brain was just struggling with keeping track of so many things going on. Maybe I’m better off sticking with simpler patterns right now!

028B8335-C9B2-4C3C-AB66-C91559CB70C3You can find the pattern on Ravelry here.

The designer is also on Create2Thrive but this pattern isn’t, though maybe it will be added soon. I haven’t done anything with that site yet but I did sign up for an account on LoveCrafts and you can find me as bonnyknits. It’s not bad, but so far it doesn’t quite offer everything I love about Ravelry, so I’m still tinkering and pondering. Have you found any other great fiber community sites?

FO: Olive Pink shawl

Yes, it’s Monday and that’s supposed to be sock day here in Blogville, but weird monogamous knitter me doesn’t have any sock progress to share. I finished my Olive Pink shawl on Saturday morning, blocked it that day, and yesterday took it out for a photo shoot. It was a challenge because it is so BIG.

4B30C783-12CA-4886-821F-C4A75A6725A6This isn’t even the whole thing. From tip to tip, this baby is over eight feet long. I have no idea how that happened, except, you know, gauge. If you don’t count the angled ends, it’s about 70″ long, which is much closer to the pattern’s 73″ length. Also, I used less of Color B and more of Color C than the pattern said I would, and again, no idea. Whatever. That’s kind of what I love about this pattern: it works really well with “whatever”. I made some mistakes? Whatever. I added an extra two rows to that section? Whatever. I did the final border wrong for the first two rows? Whatever. It’s all good!

F380335C-1B98-4D4E-9A7D-013983651758_1_201_aBecause it doesn’t really matter! There are so many patterns and textures and colors that no one knows what it’s “supposed” to look like, and no one is going to look closely to try to find mistakes. And if anyone where to do that, that would be weird and I don’t really care what they think anyway.

This was a fun pattern to knit, at least for the first 75% of it. By section 16, I was getting a little tired of it, but it was fun to use so many colors and stitches. The yarn is SoLo from LoloDidIt and I really like it. It’s 100% and has a little bit of a halo, which was only a problem when I was knitting with two colors and the yarns would get wound around each other and stick together. But it’s super soft, doesn’t bleed, and blocks out beautifully.

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The original pattern was a collaboration between Casapinka and Lolabean Yarn Co. and you can find it here on Ravelry. Note: I do have Classic Ravelry turned on. (Side note: I’d had NuRav on since they switched and it didn’t bother me, though Rav’s reaction, or lack thereof, to all the issues others were having bothered me a lot. This morning I turned on Classic Rav before adding the link here, and it was like a sigh of relief. I hadn’t realized how much I preferred the look of the original!)

With this done, I’m off to finish an almost-complete cowl now. Hope you’re all staying mostly well and happy!