Tag Archive | test knitting

Disappearing Act

No, YOU ran off and disappeared for a month!!

Okay, yes, it was me. And while I realize most of you probably didn’t notice my lack of posting, I did. I missed writing; I just got caught up in the spring madness of band and choir contest, concerts, finals, junior prom, ACT/SAT, plus work and knitting and reading, oh my! I guess that’s my way of saying life got in the way, and today I’m pushing all that aside to make time for writing again.

Maybe it’s because that I’ve got a little seed of a story that’s trying to get out. I’ve been working on it here and there, and it’s new and exciting and that’s kind of all I’m going to say about it right now. But I think writing leads to more writing, you know? And every time I come back to it, I remember how much I love it. I went and saw Andrew McCarthy recently as he toured for his new YA novel, and he talked about how when he started writing, he had this little epiphany, “OH! There I am!” And that’s me, when I write. Lately I’ve been feeling sort of lost, because I didn’t have the wholly creative life I was living before I went back to work. I’ve been feeling like I’d let got of a big part of myself, and I want to try to get it back. I don’t regret going back to work, really: I love my co-workers and have found some wonderful new friends, and to be honest, the salary is very helpful given our old-house/almost-senior-year-kid life. But I want to try harder to find the balance, to bring back that creative energy that filled my days before. So! Long-winded way to say, I’m back!

First, I have to show off just one photo of my gorgeous girl from her junior prom. Like most prom experiences, the actual event didn’t quite live up to the expectations and there were a couple of hitches, but they looked stunning and had a good time, and that’s good enough, I think.

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I’ve been gone too long to talk about everything I’ve knit in the past month, but my focus has been socks. Yes, I’ve become a sock knitter, I admit it. I have three completed pairs and have figured out how to make a sock that fits the way I like. I joined my first KAL, with Raveler FluffyK (from the blog The Corner of Knit & Tea). My goal is to complete two pairs of socks, and I’m pretty close to finishing the first.

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This is my first foray into socks with a contrast heel/toe/cuff and I’m pretty much in love with it. My only problem is figuring out when to break for the heel to ensure good contrast, but that’ll come in time. And did I mention how much I adore self-striping yarn?? OMG that’s a reason to knit socks right there! It’s just so magical. I knit these at work during lunch, and non-knitters’ eyes get big when they see what the yarn is doing. “But how does it make the stripes??” Magic, my friends. Magic. This yarn is Aurora Fingering Weight from Tumbleweed Yarns and it’s a joy to knit with. Soft but not limp, great stitch definition, and super-saturated colors. Oh yeah, self-striping sock yarn is going to be my new obsession. For fall I’m totally going to make some fingerless gloves too. Anyway, this sock is ready for the heel, so I’ll get that all done this weekend so the foot will be ready for mindless lunch break knitting next week. This pattern is Vanilla Latte and it’s fantastic (assuming you enjoy ribbing).

Speaking of FluffyK, my other main WIP right now is a cowl pattern I’m test-knitting for her. I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to say, but I will say I’m enjoying the knit and so far the lace pattern is turning out beautifully. The pattern calls for around 450-500 yards of DK, and I was so good that I shopped from my stash! I’m using Berroco Fiora in a gray color called Tybee, and I think this will be the perfect spring/fall lightweight cowl.

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I’ll keep you updated and show you the FO as soon as I can, and you can watch her Ravelry design page for release info. The pattern is called Wood Sorrel.

Okay, well, I didn’t really plan this out to be a FluffyK-themed post, but the other thing I wanted to show off is the new yarn I got in April. Yes, she spins yarn too, and because I begged pathetically she’s my friend, she spun a skein especially for me. It was the only skein of yarn I purchased in April, and it was totally worth it.

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Isn’t it stunning?? The colorway is named Sinister Foxy and it’s all wound and ready for me to cast on, as soon as I have the time! If you’re jealous, you can check out her Etsy shop here. She’s also a tech editor and prolific knitter, so she doesn’t have a ton, but it’s all OOAK and beautiful. And heck, while I’m at it: find her on Instagram as fluffykira. She posts lots of pretty things!

This was fun! Thanks for being patient with me, friends. I’ll be back soon, because I do want to share the progress on my Harvest cardigan. But for now, it’s a beautiful morning and I have much housework knitting to do. Happy Saturday!

Linto Creek Cowl

Hi guys! If you remember, a while back I mentioned I was doing a test knit, and the pattern is finally being released! It’s called the Linto Creek Cowl by Andrea Hilton, who writes a fantastic blog called This Knitted Life. She’s got several other gorgeous patterns, so be sure to check out all her patterns on Ravelry. And now, without further ado, here’s my Linto Creek Cowl:

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Here’s the project page on Ravelry if you want technical details.

When Good Hats Go Bad

I’m failing at choosing colors. If you remember, yesterday I mentioned I was doing a test knit of a hat, and I’d chosen these two colors (they’d be held together throughout).

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They were farther apart in color than I thought when I ordered them, or something, because when I started knitting with them, I didn’t like it. Fortunately I also made a mistake in the pattern so I had a good reason to frog and start over. But with what? I needed two colors closer to each other so the disparity wouldn’t be so striking. Next I tried these two.

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I know, I haven’t knit enough to see it well. But I’ll tell you: it’s just okay. I’m not crazy about it. It would be cute for a little girl, so I might do the child size instead of the adult size. The pattern will be fun, though, as soon as I can get the color situation straightened out!

And I have to thank all of you for the good juju yesterday: the interview went great! I’m optimistic, but trying not to get my hopes *too* high.

KnitPicks Day

My KnitPicks box came on Saturday! Isn’t KnitPicks day always a good day? I think so! Here’s my haul:

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Most of it is for fun shawl knitting, though I haven’t decided on patterns yet. But I got the last bit of green I need to finish my sister’s Marcelle Wrap, and I got the yarn I ordered to make a beanie for my son. I started it that night while playing Cards against Humanity with my siblings, but perhaps not surprisingly, didn’t get too far that night. I have since progressed further but am now thinking that maybe he doesn’t need it for a July birthday and it could be postponed.

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I’m thinking that mostly because there’s a lot of other stuff happening this week. I’ve got my interview today (for which I’m not that nervous because I know I could rock this job), a few errands, plus birthday party prep (ugh so much cleaning and grocery shopping). I’ve got a hat test knit that I want to get going on, and I got the yarn for that in my box too:

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This test knit is for a newer designer who’s got a few patterns on Ravelry under the name Smashleestitches. We found each other on Twitter and one thing led to another and now I’m making a hat from her newest design. I’m kind of loving this test knitting thing. And finally, I still want to get back to my Peek-a-Boo shawl now that I’ve got the contrast color on hand.

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I’m pretty sure I’ll cast on the hat first so I can get the test knit done, and then the shawl will fall next in line. If I get my kids to help with party prep — hey, I have a daughter who can drive! She can go to the grocery store! — that means more knitting time for me. Many hands make light work, right?

All right, off I go! Send some good juju my way!

Update: Yarn Chicken

Well, I was going to wait until tomorrow, but I finished so quick and thought I’d share the results today: I WON! IMG_6490I weighed the yarn, purled a round, weighed again, and thought I might have to skip a round. Knit a round, weighed again, and thought I might just squeak by. Purled the final round, and then it was time to decide: Jeny’s stretchy bind off or normal bind off? I’m apparently a bit of a daredevil, because I went with Jeny’s, even though it takes more yarn. And I made it through with less than 5 yards to spare! HaHA! Take that, stupid yarn.

Yeah, yeah, I know, if I’d checked gauge first blah blah blah. I get it, I just don’t want to do it. And look, it worked out okay, right?

Yarn Chicken

I’m playing a game of Yarn Chicken today. I’m *thisclose* to finishing my test knit cowl, and I have four rounds (260 stitches per round) plus the bind off, and this is what’s left of the yarn. IMG_6487That’s a whopping 8 grams. What do you think, will I make it?? Maybe if I knit really fast, I’ll finish before the yarn runs out!

My guess is NO, and I’ll have to leave off a row or two of the border. It’s either that or frog back the last pattern repeat, and I’m not sure I want to do that.

Check back tomorrow to see what happens!

Thrift Store Yarn

I’ve been knitting, I swear I have, but I have nothing to show right now. I’m flying along on the test knit I’m doing for Andrea at This Knitted Life, and I’m loving it, but it’s not time to reveal that one yet. Here’s a sneak peak.

I will say that I found an error in the pattern and I was quite delighted because A, it meant I was doing my job as a test knitter right and B, the strange result I’d been getting wasn’t because I’m a crap knitter (which was what I was sure of for a while). I did have to frog about 15 rows of progress but I wasn’t stressed about it, and ever since I restarted, it’s been smooth sailing and I’m going to love the final product.

So instead of showing you knitting, I’ll show you the yarn I got the other day. I stopped at Savers, a thrift store near my house, on a whim and got all excited because I found a cake platter with a dome to replace the one broken in our move last summer. Then as I shopped more, I got even more excited because I found yarn!! And not just cheap scratchy acrylic, either! I found sock yarn, some Patons, some Deborah Norville Serenity, some Regia Galaxy. They were all jumbled together in plastic bags, and I found two bags with colors I really wanted, so of course I had to buy both. Plus, when you find good yarn for cheap, you just…buy it, right? One bag had some blue/gray that will go to my Knitting SIL, and these are the skeins I wanted.

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They’re so pretty! I don’t make socks, so I don’t really know what they’ll be. My SIL makes these pretty yarn bags with sock yarn, so I might try one of those.

Then I found some glow in the dark yarn, and well…I bought some. No good reason, except I lose my head a bit around cheap yarn. I think it’ll be fun. I might make a couple of cute kid’s scarves with them.

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And that would be fine if that’s all the new yarn I bought. But NOOOOO, of course I had to go to my LYS. “Just to check things out,” I told myself. I just needed to be in a yarn store. Ha. Yeah right. Before I knew it, I had several skeins of clearance yarn in my arms, and then she had the gall to tell me that all the full-priced yarn was 20% off. (They’re closing next month. I know. I’m devastated.) Well, apparently that was all the permission I needed to get some of the Cascade Ultra Pima cotton I’d been drooling over. And because she’s good at her job, she told me about two patterns a lot of her customers have been making with it. Sigh. Yeah. This is what came home with me.

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These will be the Secret Beach Diagonal Scarf and Cowl when I have time to cast on a new project. Yummy yummy colors, I think!

And here’s some of my clearance yarn, more Berroco Luster. I have a special fondness for yarns with a sheen. I’ve got three who skeins of silver…IMG_6456and one skein of a gorgeous deep teal. IMG_6457

Finally, I will share one last bit of exciting news: we have a new licensed driver in our house! The girl learned to parallel park on Sunday (learned it in one day, of course) and I took her for the test yesterday.

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Yep, that’s the excited “I PASSED!!!” grin. She immediately took her brother to the grocery store to buy some cookies, and last night she was able to drive herself to band rehearsal while I stayed home. It was awesome, and terrifying of course, especially since she left her phone at home. She very kindly used someone else’s phone to let me know she’d arrived safely. I’ll still have to drive her around during the day when I need the car, but there will be plenty of times when she can drive herself. And she’s got a job and is saving for a car and once that happens, my chauffeur duties will essentially come to an end! Am I supposed to be sad, nostalgic for all our times together? Maybe I will be…someday. But today is not that day. Not when I’m taking her to band camp at 9, picking her up at 11 to take her to summer school, and then picking her up again at 3. Nope, right now I’m thinking her car can’t come soon enough!

Okay, friends, that’s all the time I have this morning. And all the stories, really. You’re all caught up. Nope, I don’t have a job yet. I’m applying and getting rejected and going back for more. That’s how the game goes, right?