Friday, May 31, 2013

Lack of Affliction

The trouble with having a bunch of different things on the needles is that I want to work on each of those things. That means very little progress gets made. I did manage to get to the point of starting the 3-color stripes on my Color Affection.

I think it looks wonderful. I love how the colors are playing with each other. I really thought the third color and the second color would blend a lot more than they have.

As you can see though, the third does stand on its own. I love how short the rows are right now too, although they're getting longer, that's the nature of short rows.
I'm definitely enjoying this knit but I'm not planning a second or third Color Affection right now, maybe I haven't actually caught the "Affliction" some others have.
I am definitely afflicted by the weather this week though. I think that's part of my restlessness in my knitting. It's been rainy and gray every day this week with tiny little bits of sunshine here and there. I'm definitely ready for the rain to go away.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Return from the Long Weekend

I didn't get nearly as much knitting done as I would have liked this weekend because I had a terrible migraine on Saturday and Sunday. Thankfully my lovely husband took wonderful care of me (partly by letting me eat too many milk duds. Oops) and I felt much better yesterday. I did manage to spin while not feeling well though, mostly by feel and I finally finished the yarn for my Lala's Simple Shawl. It's Gritty Knits Merino from the Merino of the month club in March of 2012. I have a friend who didn't love her braid so she traded me meaning I had 8 ounces. This is so out of my color comfort zone that I'm not sure what I love so much about it but I do love it. I got about 530 yards of a nice worsted weight and I adore it. I already washed it so it just needs to be wound and cast on but I'm feeling a little guilt from last week's startitis so I haven't actually taken the plunge yet.

I also managed to finish my short socks.

They still feel a little stiff and unyielding so I'm still hoping they will soften with washing because my hands ache just thinking about knitting on them so I'm not sure if I will end up keeping them. They are perfectly nice socks, I just have bad memories so if they don't behave they'll be given away. I love the pattern Pink Chocolate also by Laura Linneman but I did not love the yarn or the knitting of them. I definitely need to knit them again soon in a happier yarn.
I'm also holding off because I bought WendyKnits Summer Mystery Shawl and I'm thinking I would like to knit that as part of the KAL this summer but I seem to get behind on KALs so I'm not sure that I will make the effort. First I need to decide what yarn I would use though. That might be at least one step in the right direction.
I'll have to decide about that later because today is my eighth wedding anniversary and it sorta snuck up on us this year so I'm going to make a nice dinner for us at least.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Long Weekend Progress Report

Things have been a little bit crazy around here this week but some knitting has been happening too so let's check in on some things.
First up, the May Vesper socks. I'm knitting these out of Pansies at the Phipps which is a 4-stripe Vesper I got from someone's destash. I like the yarn but the colors do mess with me a little bit. All together they're a little out of my color comfort zone.
Whoops, that doesn't look like a sock. Sadly the Jaywalker pattern I was knitting was not working out, I had cast on 84 stitches and I'm knitting on size US 1s (2.25mm) which is typical for me with Vesper. I finally got past the heel flap, it took forever, and went to try it on before picking up for the gussets. It would not go over my heel. I had to rip them out and I rewound the yarn. I think I may just knit plain socks with this yarn this time. We'll see, I haven't cast on again yet.
Next, we should check in on the Color Affection.

I have 7 of 12 two-color stripes done but I just have not felt the pull to knit on this. I take it out and knit a row or maybe two and then put it down again. I am making progress but very slow progress. I don't know why it's not appealing to me right now either, I think it's turning out lovely and I really want the finished shawl, I just don't feel like knitting it.
I'm also knitting a pair of short socks that I don't think I've mentioned.

These are the Pink Chocolate socks designed by Laura Linneman. In her Lala's Knits group we're doing a KAL (it's call the Best kept secret KAL). These are short socks with a great pattern that's open and lacy. They should be going super fast but I'm just not loving working on them. It might be a combination of the yarn and the needles, it could be the rougher feel of the yarn (I'm hoping they will soften up when washed) but I just can't quite put my finger on it. I try to make myself work on them a bit here and there so I can just get them done. They'll be nice socks for the summer, I just need to work on them!
A wicked case of Startitis has been roaming my area for awhile now too. I've been strong and I've resisted for a good long time but I couldn't take it anymore and this week I cast on all kinds of new things. I'm not going to mention all of them because some of them may get frogged before they make it any farther but I will mention a couple of things.
First, I am working out the pattern for the Garter Monster shawl. What better way to work it out than to knit it again?

This time I'm using some handspun Gritty Knits Merino from my Merino of the month club. It's mostly orangey-yellow with hints of purple in it like flowers and it's bright and cheerful and a very easy knit. So far, I'm loving it and it's getting a good deal of my knitting attention. Toward the end of the Garter Monster I was so sick of plain old garter stitch rows but just a couple of weeks after I finished it, I found myself craving that simple knitting again.
I'm also knitting this out of a fingering weight rather than a DK (closer to worsted in my opinion) weight yarn so it will be a smaller more shawlette version.
I also couldn't resist swatching for a sweater.

This is some Arucania Nature wool. It's not super soft but I'm loving the colors and it's very nice to work with. I knit a very large swatch last night for the Monday Morning Cardigan and washed it, this yarn did soften up very nicely with washing. The issue now is that it's too big. I need to go down at least one needle size and I'm debating if I should just cast on with the smaller size or swatch again to be sure. Even though it's a bottom-up sweater so it takes some commitment to actually cast on, guess which way I'm leaning?
This weekend is Memorial Day weekend here in the US so I will have a Handsome Husband home for 3 days (unless he decides to work Saturday morning, he hasn't decided for sure yet) I'm hoping that will lead to more knitting (and maybe even spinning time) but I know it will be more cooking and cleaning up from cooking time. It does usually mean Barbecuing and yummy, summery food though, I can live with that trade off.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Finished Objects in the Wild

The trip I had been planning for several months was sadly cancelled so instead I spent some time with my husband and his family. We got to visit with his parents and grandmother and have a very nice time. I also made my husband, who is by no means a photographer, take some finished object photos for me so I could share them here on the blog. I'd like to note here that I don't love photos of myself but I'm working on being less critical of myself so I'm posting them here anyway.
First up, my Garter Monster shawl. I absolutely love this shawl! I wanted something big and cozy to cuddle up with when I'm not feeling great or when it's really cold in the winter and I think I achieved that very well!

It's long enough to wrap around my arms and tie in the back too so I can wear it without thinking about it falling off or slipping into dish water.

It's not tied in any of these photos though, just hanging loose so you can see how big it really is.

I adore it and I'm sad that it's getting a little too warm to wear it any more.
Then my husband tried to make me laugh and I made weird faces at him.

I made up this pattern and I've had a couple of people mention that they'd like to see me release the pattern so they could knit it too so I'm working out what I did and will be releasing the first ever pattern written by me very soon!
Next we went to visit my husband's adorable Grandmother. She's 91 and living in Assisted Living. Here she is with her loving grandson (my Handsome Husband)

Aren't they adorable?
I then made my husband take some photos of me wearing my new Wispy Cardi. I have to say, I had a hard time with these pictures. The shirt I was wearing bunched up funny under the sleeves and at the front but I'm posting them anyway. Again, trying to be less self-critical.

I really do like the sweater a lot and I think it's going to be really nice when the air conditioning somewhere is turned up just a little too high for me. Just a nice light add-on piece for the summer.
It's possible that my trip will be rescheduled but there are no plans for that at the moment so instead, I'll be planning some summer knitting.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Grape Gelati Socks

I've been slowly but surely plugging along on some fiber I've been spinning, trying desperately to get it done. It's not that I didn't like it, I did it's just a mostly solid color and I was sick of looking at it. I wanted finished yarn, not fiber!
Yesterday I finally finished the singles and had 3 lovely bobbins of singles, ready to go.

I'm a rule-breaker and I often don't wait overnight before plying but the first bobbin was started a good long time ago (probably more than a year!) so I did want to wait overnight. It was difficult because I ran out of knitting mojo last night but I managed to wait.
It plied up very nicely though.

You may be able to see the last little bit on the outside of the bobbin got chain-plied when one bobbin ran out.

It's the lighter purpley-pink part in the middle and the darker purple to the right of it. Other than that, it plied up into a very nice yarn. We watched two movies today (since it was my Handsome Hubby's birthday and we were mostly relaxing at home) and it took both movies to get it done.

What really spurred this project on was awhile back but I remember why I started it. I had joined a Spinalong/Knitalong to spin for socks and I procured 6 ounces of BFL to spin into sock yarn. When it was finished, and it felt like it took a really long time! I was really disappointed in my yardage. Less than 400 yards. I decided I could do better and I set out to do it.
I took this lovely fiber marinating in the stash.

I set out to spin a traditional 3-ply sock weight yarn. I think I achieved that very well here. It came out to 480 yards or so and I think it will make just lovely socks.

I really do like the yarn now that it's finished but it did seem like a bit of a marathon to get through. The fiber had been purchased from a destash and was Stitches 'n Rows 4 ounces BFL in Grape Gelati. It's a little bit overplied, which I always tend to do because I like a nice, tight twist, but it should relax a bit with a wash and twack and then it can be knit into some lovely Grape Gelati socks.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Packing a Wisp

Saturday and Sunday was Shepherd's Harvest Festival in Lake Elmo, MN. I ended up riding down with a great group of my knitter friends and we had a blast. It was extremely windy and cold but we spent most of our time inside walking around and looking at what was for sale so it wasn't too bad. Thankfully we were inside when it started to hail too!
I was very conservative on my purchases this year. It helps if you are currently trying to figure out storage solutions for the stash you have at home because it's taking over the office.

Here's the sum total of what I got. Two ounces of 50% Yak/50% Silk to try, a small batt that is approximately one ounce of 50% Cormo/50% Cashmere and two braids of fiber from Cloudlover. (Linked to her Ravelry group since it looks like her web host is currently doing maintenance)

This year from Cloudlover I got 4 ounces of her amazing colorway Decay on Polwarth and 4 ounces of Poison Arrow on Rambouillet. I just love the prep on her Rambouillet, it's a joy to spin and I've been fighting the urge to start one of these since I got home on Saturday.
I sadly did not finish my Wispy Cardi in time to wear it on Saturday so I wore my garter monster shawl. It's done but hasn't been blocked so I haven't wanted to blog it just yet. I sat down last night and finished off the last of the Wispy Cardi though and blocked it too so it is truly finished!

It's still a little bit damp so I haven't modeled it yet but I did try it on several times in progress and once last night (before blocking) so I could check, it fits just like I hoped and I really like it.
It's so light and airy, probably why it's called Wispy right? You can even see my hand through it.

Well, maybe not in the picture but I can assure you in person I could. I think it's going to be the perfect addition to my summer wardrobe, just a light little something when I'm a tiny bit chilly.
I'm going on a car trip this weekend that's taking me out of town. It's going to be a good deal of time in the car, with me as a passenger so I'm starting to plan my projects. I'm going to bring my lovely Russian Spindle and some fiber, I'm not sure what yet. I know I also want several knitting projects. I have my Color Affection begging for attention and my May Vesper socks but other than that, I have no other projects. I'm going to be gone for 4 days and with all that car time, I know I want at least a couple more things in my suitcase. As backups if nothing else. Any ideas? What would you pack?
I'm planning what clothes to bring too and you know my Wispy Cardi will be one of the first things to get packed.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Jaywalking Pansies

I'm cruising along on my Wispy Cardi, I have about 4 inches knit down the back so far. I love it but I'm getting a little niggle in the back of my mind to knit something else. I've managed to ignore my Color Affliction Affection for over a week but I did convince myself that I should cast on my May Vesper sock. I work on it a bit here and there just to have something else to work on.

I've actually broken out of my box and I'm NOT knitting Skew this time, I decided to knit the Jaywalker pattern. I've knit it once before and amazingly still have my notes from the other time I knit it. (Post-it Notes stuck to the pattern are my friend.) I am knitting it on 1s (2.25mm) and I cast on 84 stitches, the zig zag-ing definitely pulls it in and it needs those extra stitches to get over my heel, for a sock on size 1s, I would normally cast on 64 or 72 sts. I decided not to do the ribbing that the pattern calls for, I knit a couple of rounds of garter stitch instead so it could shape to the zig zag pattern as well. The lovely Vesper yarn is a club colorway that I purchased from a destash, it's called Pansies at the Phipps. It definitely reminds me of pansies but I'm not too sure about the orange and the chartreuse. I like it but these may end up being a gift, time will tell.
This picture was really hard to take because, I had an assistant.

She casts funny shadows when she stands in the sunshine and I managed to grab my sock back before there were any teeth marks left on my needles, it wouldn't be the first time. Usually if Kiki decides she needs snuggle time, I have to put the knitting down. For now she's busy napping so I can try to get a few more rows on the Wispy Cardi tonight.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Rib Away, Repeat Until Sick of It

The Hitchhiker is done and blocked and everything. I love it! I even wore it this weekend when I was down at my parents' and it kept my neck lovely and warm while 4-wheeling. Sometimes that wind is just too cold.

I really love how the stripes get shorter too. It was such a fun knit, I really can't wait to knit another one.
Time with family is wonderful but it doesn't make for a whole lot of knitting time. It's really hard to help your two-year old niece ride her bike and knit.
I did manage to finish the second half of the back on my wispy cardi. I sewed up the sleeves and tried it on, it fits great! Then I picked up all the stitches around and started on the ribbing. I'm trying to be very casual about the ribbing because there is a lot of it and I don't want to stress out about it. So far it's working great. I have over an inch of ribbing (the pattern calls for 3 altogether) and it doesn't feel like I've worked on it all that much. I'm hoping this means I won't get too sick of it by the time I'm done.

It really doesn't look like much of anything yet but it's so soft, I'm loving how it feels.

The weather has been chilly again the last couple of days so I'm still hoping to wear this sweater on May 11th at Shepherd's Harvest Festival but I'm not holding my breath. I suppose I'll live if the sun is shining too warmly for me to wear it.
I love how the yarn is knitting up too, the little spots of lighter blue are just lovely. I'm also officially more than a third of the way done because that is the second ball of yarn I'm knitting up now. I pulled from the center on the first ball and found the outside just a tiny bit felted at the end so I'm pulling from the outside on this second ball. It's not my favorite way to do it (I don't love how it tends to roll around then) but I will make it work. It does mean the sweater itself could and probably will felt a little bit so I'm prepared for that.