When I started my scrappy blanket, there was this whole idea of “oh I’ll knit a square every day!” HAHA. Yeah, that doesn’t happen. What happens is I do several squares over a few days, then put it back in hibernation until the urge comes back. It came back last week and I got eight new squares added on.
I also wove in those ends plus the ends from the last time I added squares and was too lazy to weave in ends. Just a couple more rows and it might almost cover Duncan!
I currently have three sock projects on my needles, all in various stages, and I really want to get two of them finished. I have one finished purple sock for the boy, and it’s pretty yarn and soft, but also solid dark colors are boring and plus it’s not for me. I have one teal/gray striped sock done, and made it to the heel of the second yesterday, and I like the color combination but I find I prefer self-striping yarn to doing the striping myself and also for some reason I’m just not excited about these socks anymore. I need to just power through these so I can move on to fun socks again.
That last little sock is a new shortie sock that I took with me to the symphony last night and it’s my one fun sock right now. I also learned that I like going to the symphony alone. I just knitted on my sock and enjoyed the music and it was kind of a nice evening!
Even as I noodle along with my simple socks and stockinette sweater, I’ve been itching to cast on a big lace shawl. I may not wear them very often, but I find them so gorgeous, and I realized I don’t have a big purple lace shawl. Yesterday was a shitty day and I needed the distraction, so I found a pattern, pulled yarn from the stash, and cast on for a shawl called Kassiani by Dee O’Keefe. (I can only find the Rav link so I’ll share a photo of it too. It was in my pattern library from a while back.)
Because I tend to buy yarn in single skeins (“It’s so pretty!!”) I didn’t have any matching skeins to pull, but I got pretty close. I had a dark tonal purple called Prince from LoloDidIt, and some time later I’d found a mystery skein in a destash that was the same colors but with a thread of stellina. I swear it could be the same colorway. I’m going to do the top portion of the shawl in Prince and then do the big swoopy lace section in the sparkly purple. I think it might be magical. Like my own personal superhero cape or something. To remind myself that I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!
For a fingering weight hat, this went fast! I cast on Tuesday and finished it last night. It came out a tad bigger than I expected, with a hint of slouch, but I’m hoping that will be okay. They can grow into it, right? It’s superwash yarn so I’m going to send it through the washer and dryer before gifting it. The yarn is Lion Brand Mani-Pedi (I think that’s what it’s called) and I really like the colors. It’s maybe not as as soft as some more expensive yarns, but I’m guessing a wash will help with that too.
We capped off the girl’s visit with an outdoor summer band concert — live music! the girl playing her flute! — and dinner and game night on our deck. It was perfect for burgers and Scrabble. The only thing that could have made it better would be if I had won that game!
And now the girl is gone and we are back to three. Grace might be the saddest of all. She got to sleep with the girl while she was here and now she’s back to sleeping downstairs with the other dogs. That is sad for us too, since she gets lonely and doesn’t let us sleep as late!
By now, I think most of us are aware that June is Pride Month. What I didn’t realize before doing some reading today was that it originated as a way to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. I have many friends and loved ones who have come out as members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and I’m guessing I have more who haven’t. I love them, I’m proud of their strength and courage, and I try my best to be an ally. I have someone in my life who very recently came out, and I decided they needed a rainbow beanie, so that’s my first Pride project this month.
It’s fingering weight on size 3 needles, and I think I cast on something like 128 stitches. It’ll be a simple project, but made with love.
When will I want to start knitting more complicated things again? It feels like all I’m doing is stockinette or ribbing, socks or sweater body. I’m not complaining, because this knitting is fun and soothing, but it is a little weird. I typically have at least one WIP that requires some brainpower. I guess technically I do, because I started a cabled scarf for the girl, but I have zero mojo for that at the moment. I’m starting to think about some other things I want to cast on. I want to knit another big lace shawl, and I want some sport-weight socks, and I have four skeins of DK that need to become a big cozy shawl. I’ve discovered I love wearing huge shawls; my massive Mermaid shawl is my favorite and I wear it around the house all the time. So I definitely need a huge purple shawl. But until I have the appropriate motivation to cast those things on, I will continue to knit socks. I finished some Rose City Rollers from leftovers, and I had to get creative.
Writers have a term, “pantsers”, that they use for people who write without a plan or an outline; they write by the seat of their pants. Apparently when it comes to knitting socks, I am a pantser because I just grabbed a good-sized ball of leftover sock yarn and cast on. In one sense, it didn’t work in my favor because obviously I ran out and had to supplement with the pink. But in another sense, um HELLO these socks are super fun! And I wrote down how much yarn they used so now I can weigh my ball to make sure I have enough next time.
It’s been a busy weekend. We started with the symphony on Friday night and that was magical. It was SO good to hear live music again in over a year. I knew I’d missed it but hadn’t realized exactly how much. Then we had a family birthday party on Saturday, and a family graduation dinner on Sunday, celebrating the three cousins who graduated high school this year. I loved seeing everyone and had a lovely time and now I’m exhausted and looking forward to a lazy day of watching tennis and knitting.
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?