Tag Archive | knitting

FO: Riprap Top

My Riprap top is blocked and dry and I even managed to get a couple of photos! They’re not great photos, mind you, but they’re photos. Voilà!

I used Malabrigo Arroyo, which is superwash, which grows when it’s soaked, so I knit the smallest circumference and extended the length by about four inches. I meant to extend it by two inches but things happen and it’s four and I’m not mad about it at all. As far as yardage goes, I didn’t need the fifth skein I purchased, but I’m glad I got it and mixed it in so the color changes are more subtle. It’s designed to be cropped, which is not the best look for me, and I love the length now. I soaked it in Eucalan, put it through the spin cycle of the washer, and put it in the dryer for five minutes before pinning it out to dry. And the nice thing is that if I decide it’s too oversized, I can just soak it again and dry it for longer!

I had it on for the photos and didn’t want to take it off. I think it’ll be great for late summer/fall with a sleeveless tank underneath, and then in winter with a long-sleeve tee. I kind of want to knit another one now! Maybe in non-superwash worsted weight? That could be interesting!

Happy Monday, friends.

Big Rock Candy Mountain

I have finished my Riprap top! Hooray! It has been washed and blocked and waiting to be shared another day, once I’m able to get decent photos of the completely-finished sweater. And now that it’s done, I’ve moved on to the other bigger project I’ve been obsessed with lately: the Rock Candy Mountain shawl. I came across this on Instagram and immediately began stash-diving. I didn’t want to just make the pattern, I wanted to make THIS shawl, exactly as she did. (I could only find a ravelry link.)

My stash dive yielded five of the seven colors, and Sarah from Mildly Granola generously offered a skein of reddish-orange from her stash. After that, I had superwash wool in gray, pink, and turquoise, and silk in green and purple. The pattern calls for either DK or fingering weight held double, and I had a mixture. The green silk I had was either a heavy fingering or a light DK but I figured it would be okay. I searched destash yarns on Etsy and soon I had a yellow wool fingering to complete the set and I was off to the races!

Everything went swimmingly until I got to the green. It was indeed lighter weight than the previous colors, which visibly affected the gauge. The silk also felt different than the wool, which I’d expected but didn’t think I would mind. I minded. Luckily for me, this was my main travel project when the husband and I went to Omaha, and among my trips to yarn stores I managed to find a good replacement yarn! I bought the same yarn in purple, since experience had already told me I wouldn’t want to use the purple silk I’d pulled from my stash.

Only two colors left and I can’t imagine they’ll take too long. It’s not exactly the stashbuster I’d planned, since I ended up buying three of the seven colors, but it cleared out four skeins and I sure love it. It’s going to be HUGE and squishy and cozy!

Christmas in August, Part Two

My gift hat has been completed and has its pompom. Though I loved the suggestion of a pink faux fur pompom, I remembered I wanted to do these gifts completely from stash, and I didn’t have a fur pom that worked. What I did have was exactly enough yarn left over for one good-sized pompom!

That literally used up all the yarn, and a I had to use a scrap of another yarn to attach it. I’m calling that a big win! It was so satisfying that I moved right on to my next gift knit, a pair of fingerless gloves. I chose a pattern called Felicity Mitts (free on Rav) and some creamy Malabrigo Sock from the stash. The first mitt went so quickly and I was in love, convinced I’d found my new favorite mitt pattern.

I do love it! Look at the dainty lace that will block out so nicely! But now I have a huge case of second-mitt syndrome and am having the hardest time casting on for mitt two. Thank goodness I still have plenty of time before Christmas!

Happy Saturday, friends.

Christmas in August

I am not someone who counts down the days until I can put up my Christmas tree. I’m not eagerly awaiting fall and all things pumpkin spice. I love summer and would much rather be warm than cold. However, I do enjoy knitting for people I like, so I cast on the first Christmas gift of 2022 yesterday.

This will be a waffle beanie in Supernatural Yarns Fairy DK, color Amortentia. I’m pretty sure it will have a pompom, but I’m not sure yet if it will be a matching yarn pom or a coordinating faux fur pom. It partly depends on how much yarn is left! Which would you go for?

After spending so much knitting time on big projects, it’s a treat to knit something as small and quick as a hat. Here’s hoping they appreciate it!

Happy Sunday, friends!

Adventures with Malabrigo

While in Omaha last weekend, I happened upon some Malabrigo Arroyo in Lavanda, which just happens to be what I’m using to make my Riprap, the sweater with the unfortunate color change. I took a chance and bought the skein that looked the lightest, just in case I could use it to balance out the shift. In skein form, it looked lighter but once I wound it, I wasn’t so sure. Was it worth frogging over 4 inches of lace? Eh, what the heck, it’s DK weight and I knew the line would bother me forevermore if I didn’t at least try. So here’s where we’re at now:

As you can see, it’s not a huge difference but it’s enough that I’m glad I did it. At this point, I’m very glad this sweater does not have sleeves, and I’m looking forward to being done soon!

Happy Saturday, friends.

A Weekend in Nebraska

Yesterday was our 25th wedding anniversary and to celebrate we spent a long weekend in Nebraska. Our hotel was in Omaha, which is where we spent Saturday and Sunday. On Monday we drove to Lincoln for a few hours. We went to so many bookstores and record stores and yarn stores, plus several other fun little shops. We got confused with Omaha road signage and had several mostly mediocre meals, with a couple of exceptions (mostly the breakfast places). We turned off notifications and spent the days just enjoying the time together, and I felt very refreshed and relaxed afterward.

Now, I did not take photos of the yarn I bought. I kind of forgot but I’m also kind of embarrassed to show you the extent. I’ll just say, my stash is VERY well-fed this month. I went to four yarn stores. Five if you count the one that had a note on the door that said ‘We will be closed August 8th. We apologize for the inconvenience.’ Okay, fine, things happen, except this is the second time this has happened at this same shop. I won’t try them again. Thankfully there was a fantastic yarn store five minutes away that WAS open and was very happy to sell me lots of yarn!

My favorite yarn store was Wooly Mammoth in Omaha. She dyes yarn herself, lots of gorgeous rich solids and tonals, plus she carries indie dyers like A Whimsical Wood Yarn Co. and Cornbread and Honey. PLUS! She has a HEDGEHOG. Yes, a real live hedgehog, named Hank, and I got to meet him and pet him! He was prickly (shocker, I know). She offered to let me hold him but I was afraid I’d drop him.

Also in Omaha was Imagiknit, and that was a delightful store too. She had Emma’s Yarn plus other indie dyers plus some good bigger names too. It was a charming shop with great variety and fun little extras. I did go to one other store in Omaha but the vibes were off at that one. They had a lot of Koigu, Malabrigo, Madelinetosh, and Noro, and not much else. It was on the second floor of an art gallery, just tucked away on one side. It felt…strange. It felt like someone had decided to jump on the “knitting is trendy” bandwagon without really knowing the community. Anyway, I did find two skeins there but it didn’t inspire me so I didn’t take any photos.

Of course I found other things besides yarn — books mostly. I found fun things that made me laugh. The husband wants to get into leatherwork a little bit so we went to a leather store that smelled delightful and had so much gorgeous leather. I tried to convince him he could make project bags as good as Joji’s but I’m not sure we’re there yet. I’ll keep working on it!

We came home late Monday afternoon and spent our actual anniversary enjoying the peace and quiet at home. We marked the occasion by planting a Japanese maple and a purple hibiscus, and the husband cooked us a delicious dinner. I’m hoping we can do these short getaways more often now that we’re empty nesters — as long as I’ve got the boy to dog-sit for us!

You’d think I would know better

I’m disappointed in myself. Some of you may remember that I’m a big fan of Malabrigo yarns. Love their colors. I KNOW that they don’t do dye lots, that their yarns are kettle dyed in small batches. I KNOW that when you knit a larger object with multiple skeins, you really need to alternate skeins for a balanced color. I know all that and yet this is where I am right now:

Nothing subtle about that switch! I had four skeins of this, bought at three different times, and one skein is obviously quite a bit darker. Now here’s the thing: this sweater is knit in the round from the bottom up and then you split for the front and back and knit those individually back and forth. I did pretty well with the first side — I alternated skeins until the last inch or so of ribbing. One skein ran out and I figured I could get by with just the one color.

The darker color is there, but not quite as strikingly obvious as the other side. The problem is…well, the problem is me. I chose this pattern (the Riprap Top) because I could make it with just four skeins, but as I knit, I realized it was designed to be rather short. Oh, I can add a couple of inches to the length, no problem, I thought. And it probably would have been fine…if I hadn’t also accidentally made the front two inches longer. All of that means I now have one skein of yarn remaining, and it’s the disturbingly dark one. I don’t even know if it will be enough to finish the darned thing. Once I finish the back, all that’s left is ribbing around the armholes and seaming the shoulder closed, so those might not look quite as bad with the stupid dark yarn. I do have a small bit of a partial skein, so one option is to rip back those four inches and reknit, alternating as much as I can to at least ease into the dark and just assume that nobody cares what the back of my sweater looks like.

Another option is to buy another skein and try to color match the lighter skeins, but that defeats the stash-busting purpose a little bit.

The option I have currently chosen is to put it in timeout and work on something else. Before I choose either option for moving forward, I’m going to sort of try it on and see if I even like what it is so far.

So friends, if I have taught you nothing else, I hope I have taught you to alternate your skeins of Malabrigo if you didn’t buy them all at once!

Afterthought: Happy Friday

I logged in today to discover that the post I thought I published Monday was still stuck in draft mode. Oops. I guess I’ve forgotten how to blog. Anyway, I’m learning a new knitting skill this year! I cast on for a Douglas cardigan and the pattern calls for afterthought pockets. Because I’m obsessed with my yarn choices and can’t stop knitting this, I’ve got my waste yarn and lifelines in (look down in the lower right part of the sweater), and I’ve moved on to separating the fronts and back. So far, afterthought pockets are super easy and I don’t know why I’ve avoided afterthought heels on my socks all this time!

Also, that yarn?? Omg. It’s Old Rusted Chair Squish DK in Bijou (purple), Offworld (speckle), and Ridin’ the Storm Out (charcoal) and it’s SO yummy to knit. This week I’ve also had something of an epiphany. I would like to read more, and I would like to not get bored knitting stockinette sweaters. Enter Libby, the library app on my iPad! I can easily and happily read while I knit simple and boring stockinette! This might be a game changer for me. I’ve already read four books this year (one was a re-read but still counts, right?) and have made so much progress on my sweater. I don’t think I’ll finish it before I go back to work next week, but I can get awfully close.

Speaking of next week, this guy will be having surgery on Monday.

Two years ago at this very same time of year, Duncan had to have TPLO surgery to repair a torn CCL in his left leg. Well, he started limping on the right leg on New Year’s Eve, and sure enough, we’re set for a second TPLO. And this time, since I’m in a new job, I can’t exactly just say “Hey I need to work from home for a week!” so we’ll be muddling through somehow. I will be working from home at least two days a week, maybe three, and I’m hoping my first week will be a little light. When he has to be alone, he’ll be contained in a tiny nook of the kitchen, doped up a bit with a mild sedative, and I’ll just have to check on him as often as I can. The boy will be around periodically too, so he’ll be able to help. Last time, I slept on a mattress in the living room with him because I felt bad for him being in a cone and contained so much, but I can’t do that again. I didn’t get nearly enough sleep doing that and I need to be able to function during the day. I’ll still feel bad, but he’ll be fine. It’ll be fine, it’ll all be juuuuust fine. Right? Right. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to visit the liquor store to stock up on essentials.

Happy Friday, friends.

Three months later

Here’s the weird thing: I haven’t really missed blogging, and I think I know why. I was doing a job interview recently and he asked about the blog and the knitting, if it was professional or fun, and I said I started it when I started knitting because I was looking for a community. I wanted to find my people. And, well, now I have. I have my wonderful fabulous knitting friends that I’ve found through this blog, and through those friends, and I have my work knitting friends, and maybe that’s what I needed and now the blog isn’t as critical for me. Of course, there’s also the fact that life and work has been super crazy and stressful the last few months and I haven’t had the time or energy. But I wanted to close out the year with a final FO post, and we’ll see what happens going forward.

But first, yeah, I mentioned job interview — I got a new job! I’m going to be a writer on an internal communications team of a regional bank chain, and I’m so excited. It feels fantastic for my career to become more closely aligned with what I love and what I’m best at. There were a lot of people at my old company that I’m sad to leave, and I’m grateful for all the opportunities I got there, but I’m very ready to move on … as soon as I know for sure I don’t have COVID. Because of course there are people who have symptoms and don’t say anything and don’t stay home, I’ve had a potential exposure and I woke up today with congestion and a headache. So instead of starting my new job on Monday, I’ll be starting the next week. NOT at all how I wanted to start with a new company, but it can’t be helped, and I’m glad they’re taking precautions to avoid future exposures. It also means I’m missing my sister’s wedding on Sunday and that sucks a whole heck of a lot. You can imagine how I’m feeling about that, and you’d probably be right. Better to miss it out of extra caution than infect anyone there. (Which is what everyone should do and if they did then maybe I wouldn’t be missing my sister’s wedding!!)

There’s no possible way I could catch you up on everything that’s happened in the last three months so I’ll just share my most recent finished object, the last one of the year. This is the Paramellowgram by Christine Parker. (That’s the Etsy link but it’s on Rav too.)

Isn’t it fabulous?? I did mess up a little bit, and only did 10 rows of gray on each side instead of 20, so I blocked it out as wide as possible and I think it will work well as a wrap. I’m in love with the colors. I used two sets of the Capitol Rainbow minis from Marianated Yarns, plus a gray from LoloDidIt and a black whose brand I can’t remember.

Happy New Year, friends. Here’s hoping 2022 is a good one.

Knitting from stash

This is a never-ending topic for many of us knitters, isn’t it? “My stash is out of control, I’m going to knit from stash this year, I need to knit down my stash!”And now I’ve said stash so many times it’s lost all meaning and is just a noise. Anyway, for no apparent reason, I’ve been knitting random skeins from stash lately. I pull out a skein that’s calling my name and just go with it. I think I needed some quicker projects to balance out all my fingering weight shawls, so I’ve been working on worsted weight cowls. This one is the Zig Zag Cowl by Imagined Landscapes Designs, which I purchased on Payhip but now I can’t easily find the link. (It’s on Rav too, if you’re so inclined.) I love how it flares out, widening at the bottom, because my neck is always cold. It was a treat to do some lace with bigger yarn and needles, and it knit up so quickly — just 24 hours! And then I got done and realized my yarn was actually DK weight! Oh well, close enough, right?

The yarn is Souvenir DK from Destination Yarn and was a free gift from the yarn store in Eureka Springs, but it’s still a skein out of my stash. Depending on how I like it as I wear it, I might knit another one in a solid yarn to show off the pattern better, and maybe I’ll actually use worsted weight yarn. As soon as this one was done, I pulled out a skein of La Bien Aimee merino and cast on for another cowl, plus I’ve got a worsted weight hat going. And even with all that, I managed to finish a pair of socks today!

This is the Laurell memorial colorway from Hue Loco, such a gorgeous colorway for fall. Even though these aren’t my colors at all, I think this is beautiful yarn and I loved knitting with it … but I’m glad I can go back to my purples and pinks now! First my goal is to finish a pair of gift socks. These are for a non-binary loved one, knit in F*ck Your Binary from Dye Mad Yarns. They have small feet so surely I can get a foot done by the end of the weekend, right? Somehow it’s just so satisfying to cross off one more project before the end of the month.

Happy Saturday, friends.