Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Exit 0

Recently a local friend of mine invited those of us in the local knitgroup to start a KAL. It's for a very interesting shawl called Exit 0. There's an official KAL going on in the designer's group, you can find that here. I dithered back and forth for a bit, trying to decide if I wanted to knit it. I decided to go looking in my stash to see if I had the right yarn before I made any decisions about it. 
At first I was thinking gray, purple and red but I didn't find anything that was working just right so I decided on these three.

As you know (if you ever read this blog) I'm in the Gritty Knits Nom-of-the-month club so I have lots of nom sitting around waiting to be knit into lovely things. These are all from this year's clubs and I love them together!

They're Coelacanth, Megalodon and Mockingbird. They looked great together and as the pattern calls for a dark, a medium and a light, I thought these fit the bill nicely. I decided to go for it and purchased the pattern and knit the swatch. The pattern wasn't actually out yet and I got a planning page but it worked for swatching.

I love it in the swatch. The pattern has been released now and the KAL officially started. I just haven't cast on yet. The problem? You cast on over 300 stitches to begin with. I need to sit down somewhere quiet where I can focus and how often does that happen?
Today is also the last day of the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup for September. I have 3 classes turned in so I'm not worried but tomorrow is the official cast on for new projects for October. Maybe I should wait and cast on tomorrow? We'll see. It's not like I plan to knit this whole shawl in October.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Knits of Camp

I had great fun last weekend camping and the best part about camping with knitters is that they understand the need to get lots of knitting time. We had it planned so one of us was in charge of each meal and that meant that until your meal was up, you could just relax and knit. (Unless you had to walk to the bathroom. We did a fair bit of that too.)
I packed my fingerless mitts but I couldn't find them on Friday after we unloaded so I started a pair out of some handspun I brought along. They were quick, easy and came out great.

I'm considering releasing it as a pattern (free) so shout out in the comments if you'd be interested in seeing it.
Here I am knitting in my mitts.

It was cold, we bundled up.
I also knit a monster chunk. He was dubbed George Fredrick IX and started having adventures. He made friends with a dragonfly.

He even took a selfie.

(Photo Credit on this one to my friend Cathy)

He just loves being outdoors.
I got lots of work done on my first Christmas present this year too! My mom's Simple Skyp socks.

I didn't quite finish them camping though, I had to finish the second toe at home last week.

For something different I continued the Skyp pattern down the heel flap. I don't know that I would do that again, but it was a fun experiment. Now the real question is; should I wash them, or keep the fire scent for my mom at Christmas.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Camp Knit-Til-U-Drop

Last night I got home from camping. The best part about this camping trip was the people I went with. My knit group! It wasn't all of us but we managed to have a great time anyway.
We stayed in a camper cabin at a state park. We had electricity but no running water or indoor cooking.

Right away I installed the Camp Knit-Til-U-Drop sign I had made in the window. It was pretty much the theme of the weekend.

We got our gear stowed inside the cabin and then, settled ourselves around the campfire.

It was chilly enough that our hand knits were very welcome.

Hats, shawls, fingerless mitts (so you can keep knitting) and hand knit socks were plentiful!
It didn't stop us from some shenanigans though. Like rolling down the hill.

By Saturday afternoon we had a mascot too.

George Fredrick IX. It was decided he needs to come on all our Knit trips in the future.

He made friends with a huge dragonfly. Hung out on the coffee maker and enjoyed his time at camp too.

Overall it was a great time! There were wonderful friends, great food including gluten free s'mores.

And Make-Your-Own Trail Mix (which I sadly did not take a photo of) and lots of other yummy things.
It was so much fun! While I'm happy to be home where I don't have to walk a quarter of a mile to the bathroom and can flush the toilet and take showers when I feel like it, I already miss Knit Camp.

(Good thing we have plans to go again next year.)
Next time: The knitting I did at camp.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nom got Nommed

I'm really enjoying my time in the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House cup this time around and I love my Ravenclaw group. We have so much fun chatting about everything and nothing in the Common Room of the tower. This time around I'm trying to do more to participate than just turn in my one class. There are lots of other activities too. You can propose an OWL (a project that takes the entire term of 3 months, or so, to complete), you can do a Mission for the Order of the Phoenix (a project that takes about 2 months to complete with definitive start and end-dates) and you can even play Quidditch. 
The first round of Quidditch this term is a little bit different because we have to deal with Umbridge! (I'm just going to apologize right now to anyone not at all familiar with the Harry Potter Universe because this entire post will likely look like gobbledy gook.) Umbridge is acting as High Inquisitor so we need to show that our team should remain going. There's no yardage requirement on this first round though so we took what we know of Umbridge and knit something. I chose; a pink catnip mouse. Pictured with an adorable kitten, how could Umbridge resist!? (She couldn't)
So I present Nom the Catnip Mouse;

My helpful assistant was extremely interested right from the beginning; trying to eat it while it was still on the needles.
Once it was done, one quick sniff and it was deemed tasty and munchable.

She carried it around playing furiously for about 10 minutes.

Then he had a hole. Later that same night, Nom's tail was found on the Kitchen Floor. It's a good thing I wasn't emotionally invested in this knit. I had fun with it and so did Lili and now it's done for.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Mitering is so Ravenclaw

As I mentioned in my last post I signed up for the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup again this term. I since have been sorted into Ravenclaw again. That makes me so happy, I really enjoy that group. As such, I'm trying to get something finished to turn in for Detention (which is a project started before the term begins that you finish in the term) I'm happy to be able to finish a blanket square and since it is "finished" before it is sewn into a blanket, it counts.
I dug out my Mitered Crosses blanket squares and finished up the 4th square.

I really like how this one turned out and it makes me happy because the yarn I was using for the edging ran out and I'm in the next ball for the edges of the cross. That means I'm making some actual progress on it. While it's not a project that has any deadline since it's just for me, I still want to finish it sometimes in the next 10 years or so. (Just joking, I know it won't take that long provided I do a square here and there and they're a decent little brain break between other projects.)
Here is proof that there are actually 3 other squares.

I'm waiting to seam any together because I'm not sure what other colors will be used as I progress. Also, I'm not sure if I will make it bigger or smaller than the pattern calls for and I don't want all the same colored squares together.
I had a bit of a sad over the weekend when I dug out my Cursed Cable Mitts and discovered that the second one was not going as well as planned. I placed the thumb incorrectly and as I was trying to determine if it was bad enough to rip (only two stitches off, I may have been able to live with it. Maybe.) I disovered that I didn't move up in needle size after the ribbing at the hand so I had to rip back to that. At that point, as I was not at home with my knitting bag and additional needles, I ripped it entirely. I will cast on again soon because I would like to have the mitts for camping with my Knitter friends later this month. We'll see if it's actually done that soon.
In the meantime, I did get my lovely Magrathea ready for the edging though.

I knew when I started it would be more of a scarf than a shawl but I'm finding myself wishing I could keep going and make it bigger because it really is lovely. At some point I will probably knit a larger one. In the meantime, it's time for casting on for the HPKCHC! I need to figure out what I'm going to do for classes this term and if I can fit my Christmas knitting into the prompts. It is September already.

Friday, August 29, 2014

No New Knitting

I've been trying so hard to work on my current projects and not start anything new. The Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup (HPKCHC) term starts on the first of September and I signed up to be sorted again. Since I took a couple of terms off, I'm not sure if I will end up as a regular student which is fine. I understand that they are often full and cannot accommodate everyone.
The problem with not starting anything new is that I'm utterly bored with what I'm currently knitting. It isn't terrible knitting, it's lovely.
Handspun socks.
 
These are from the Stripes Kit from Gritty knits Merino of the month and I am loving how they are knitting up but knitting plain socks is plain and I'm not in the place where I love that right now. Plus, I knit a plain old short row heel and I don't love how it turned out. I need to rip back and do a different heel.
The only other thing that's a current project is my Magrathea shawl from Martina Behm's Hitchhiker series. I love it so far. I'm knitting it out of Gritty Knits nom in the colorway Cranberry.

What's better than a Merino/Cashmere/Nylon shawlette? Nothing, it's soft and squishy and wonderful.
I really like it but it's not a pattern I seem to be able to memorize so I have to look at the chart all the time and that means it doesn't work for some kinds of knitting. Even watching TV sometimes it doesn't work because I can't put all my focus on the show I'm watching.
 
It is so lovely (although it does need a good blocking, the edging doesn't look that great yet) and it will be worth it in the end but I just need to sit down and get some work done on it. That's the plan for this weekend. Along with the normal cooking and spending time with the husband of course.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Socks for Surfing, or Something Similar

Spinning has been thin on the ground since the end of the Tour. Mostly I just spin for a few minutes here or there, I think I burned myself out a bit; so I'm taking a break from any set goals with my spinning and instead spending a little more time with my knitting.
I made a deal with a knitting group friend to knit her a pair of socks for some yarn she traded me. I made the agreement at Christmas time and since it's already August, it was high time I got them done.
I chose some nice yarn from the Deborah Norville collection at JoAnn Fabrics and started knitting. I chose to do them toe-up with the Wendy Johnson Slip Stitch Heel, messaging the friend when I needed to know her foot length. The yarn is in the colorway "Surf" and I really think they came out lovely. The Superwash Merino/Bamboo/Nylon blend is just lovely and while it's not my favorite to knit with, it is a nice, sturdy yarn.

The socks have already gone to live in their new home along with my old wheel! This lovely friend is a new spinner and she decided to buy my Ashford Scholar. I had decided to sell it to someone who would love it like I did since I just don't use it any more. My lovely Schacht Matchless does everything I need to do in spinning so the Scholar was sadly neglected. It was a little bittersweet seeing my first wheel leave but I'm so glad it will get loved now!