Tuesday, November 21, 2017

72 Hours-- Ish

We have reached the period of the calendar year where I am deeply in denial of deadlines, full on avoidance, and procrastination. This is a regular occurrence and I seem unable to avoid it. Thus it was the perfect time to go yarn shopping, right? 

I still had that gift certificate from The Knitting Knook from WI Sheep and as it is just north of Milwaukee, I called my friend BrineyDeep and made arrangements for a little light yarn collecting. 

We were so restrained!!  I picked up two absolutely stunning skeins of Malabrigo Caracol, which is a thick and thin, super bulky single with thread ply wrapping. It looks like stained glass. A goal for the upcoming holiday weekend is to set up my light box and get decent pictures. It's absolutely lovely and I'm hoping to get a long cowl out of it that will brighten up the gray winter days ahead. I also finally got a copy of the Opinionated Knitter, which I will hopefully get to peruse over Christmas break. 

Speaking of gray, that was the color of yarn I pulled out of the stash on Wednesday night. Briney's kiddo had outgrown their sweater -- toddlers will do that. I had time and Cascade 220, right?  

I was about 85% done when I got to her house -- working on sleeve 1. Which, arguably isn't too bad for 2.5 days wherein I still had to go to work and do various and sundry other things. This is Flax in the 2-4 year size. It was too big for said toddler, which was the goal. In about 2 months it should be roomy and I'm hoping it won't be outgrown for a 12 month, but we shall see.  I have no doubt it will be stuffed over all manner of other shirts and worn to pieces.  

And Mama has leftovers in case of a quick need to repair or extend the ribbing.  

You'll notice of course I make no mention of my Academy projects. The fingerless mitts for my office? Going swimmingly. The sleeves on another baby sweater that I started Summer 2016 -- SUPER important to finish right now. The entrelac and charted projects? Entirely being avoided. 

It doesn't help that I can't commute with either one. Home knitting time is still somewhat limited and I've long since reached the don't wanna phase of both projects. The yarn is fine for both and Franklin's pattern continues to be clear and should turn out quite interestingly. There's just a lot of whining. 

Maybe over the Thanksgiving weekend I can make a dent. There will be a several hours parade and then the National Dog Show to watch.... 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Unremembered Knitting

I keep having to remind myself, using Ravelry, that I do continue to knit productively and turn out projects at a fairly steady rate. Certainly I forget to tell the blog about things but Ravelry is a decent source of truth.  A quick run thru things that have recently appeared and come off the blocking mats.

The Philosopher's purple triangle was a loss to the moths last year and thus needed replacing. The Loopy Ewe has finally run out of purple, I don't know what I'll do next time. This was the Milkweed pattern. It's well written and very clear and knits up quickly and beautifully. It should get it's debut at a tailgate soon now that the weather has turned cooler. 

I also, for the very last time, reknit this yarn. It's my third time through it. The yarn is the earliest of the Dizzy Blonde studios. I knit a hat; then ripped that out when the Philosopher said he'd really prefer a scarf. That scarf was too long and bulky. And then there were moths and so what had been 1 skein turned into 2 (hat + remnants) turned into about 10. It was an opportunity to try reskeining. I soaked the miniskeins and hung them in the shower with a plastic hanger as weight. They seemed to turn out alright? Either way -- I'm DONE with this yarn. The pattern is the Fibonacci Neckerchief, which, considering my boyfriend seemed incredibly appropriate. 

And I went to a conference in early October where I would need to be able to drop and go. Pull out my standard modifications for the Sockhead hat and we're off! I go down a needle size, down several stitches, and I don't make it very slouchy. I also do a 1x1 ribbing rather than the pattern recommended 2x2. It's my 3rd or 4th time through it, so I've got it down pretty well. 

The yarn is Western Sky Knits in Zombie Garden II and it's  not photographing here as well as I'd like. It's much more charming in person and people regularly commented on liking the yarn.  I think this hat goes in my bin for winter, I do like a bright hat.

Finally,  look SLEEVES! That only took several extra months. This toddler sized Flax Light is done. I've still got a lot of the Cascade Heritage yarns to use up but I was pleased with how this turned out.  

I've got two other projects to show you (see--I am productive, just behind at my storytelling).  Those need their own posts though. Wool is eventually getting used up around Chez Hedgehog. Slowly. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Digging Out

The Philosopher and I went to Trinidad so that I could give a workshop and we could have a holiday. It was fantastic. But the month prior and now the few days after have been a whirlwind of trying to make heads or tails of inboxes, to do lists, etc etc. 

We were going to have a lot of travel time -- four total flights and all of the airport time that goes along with that. The trip home was 19 hours door to door, and that meant a lot of knitting time. I actively did not look up the rules for whether Trinidad would have an issue with wool and went.

You can see my three projects for the trip, although really only two got significant work and only one has much in the way of photos.  This is Awash with Color and I knit it out of Black Cat Fibers Etain in the Jewel of the Nile colorway. 

As soon as I saw this pattern, which has an unusual stitch technique allowing for pulling and stretching in a way that mimics dropped stitches, I knew this skein would be perfect for it. Pattern quickly memorized; it went everywhere. 

In a cab overlooking Port of Spain 

Pool side (without yarn, with adult beverage [not pictured])

From my hotel room 

Back at the pool for sunset 

By the time we were heading home I was becoming disgruntled. I had just spent a week knitting on this shawl on and off and it felt like the skein of yarn was no smaller! Of course I'd also managed to knit nearly 250 yards of another project but come on !  Also, what do you mean carrying it around doesn't actually equal knitting progress. 

And so there was dedicated effort. In the Port of Spain Airport and on our trip to Miami I focused and got a solid six hours of knitting in. I was nearly done when I realized I was not going to have enough to make it through the final rows and cast off and so spent the descent into Miami ripping back three rows, very carefully. 

We sailed through customs (Global Entry -- which also usually affords TSA Precheck-- is worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY. Update your passport and go sign up.) And there in Miami airport I cast off. I had about 15 yards left? 

We're home, but plunged back into the realities of work means I haven't had a chance to block it yet, but it is pretty fantastic. A lovely choice for that beautiful and crazy multi-colored shawl that you just can't turn into socks. And the yarn was lovely to work with -- 20% silk gives it a beautiful sheen in addition to the rich colors.  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

An Eclipse Coming At You

I'd told you I ordered the "Total Eclipse of the Sun" from BMFA, but I didn't yet have a chance to share how beautifully it turned out! 

Tina and the lovely personages  in the dye barn were flooded with orders, apparently I'm not the only one looking for a way to commemorate, in wool, such a spectacular event.  Considering that at most I will probably only see 2 or 3 of these in my lifetime, I felt a little extra stash enhancement was in order.

It looks a muted on the screen, imagine the colors dialed up even more than you can see here.  The yellows are almost neon and the orange flecks are very rich.  This is Socks that Rock Lightweight base, which seems to have become my default purchase. It used to be Mediumweight and someday I wouldn't mind getting some more of that in my stash (when I whittle 1-5 more square inches that are not entirely squashed with wool). 

I also really splurged. This is the gradient pack for that same colorway. Enclosed are 6 150-yard skeins of 100% Merino. It's not STR though-- it's Featherlight, which is a very soft singly ply yarn. I rarely knit with single ply -- the last project I did was the giant black shawl last year, which has since become my office shawl. I'm a little nervous about knitting this up. But the colors are so gorgeous and with 900 yards, I'll be able to find some shawl that speaks to me. Assuming, of course, that I can keep AudioGirl from absconding with it.  

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Spoils of WI Sheep: Part 2

And this delightful pile is the rest of my WI Sheep spoils from the Walk and Knit competition. The generosity of the vendors cannot be overstated -- I'll be working on different skeins for quite a while. 

Starting across the top is a skein of A Hundred Ravens Iachos in the "Into Darkness" colorway.  This is a lovely 2 ply and while it came with a sock pattern, it's not one that appeals to me. I'd much rather have this as a close-to-face accessory.  The project bag in the Top right is also from them. 

The Bottom Left shows stamped buttons and a lovely little stitch-marker/tea bag/ring dish from Jenny Blasen Pottery.  I took a look at her Etsy shop and she has some very lovely tumblers and cups if you like good heavy coffee cups. 

And finally, the Bottom Right is yarn from Sophie's Toes, which as I've said before is sadly no more. This is Emily's take on the Farmer's Market and will of course be all the more precious in that I cannot purchase any more except perhaps through a destash. While I know dyers come and go, it's sad to have lost two different dyers in the past 18 months both of whose work I really enjoyed and who I regularly got to see in person. 

These lovelies are all added to the Stash and hopefully I can find plans for them soon.  We shall see... 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Spoils of WI Sheep: Part 1

I've let the prizes from Wisconsin Sheep and Wool sit -- which does nothing to mark the generosity of the various vendors who donated them. Also I need to get them into Ravelry so I've not forgot from whence they came.  (Always a challenge at Chez Hedgehog-- when TLE started magicking my purchases into my stash, it was a brilliant day!)

So here's part 1, with a second part coming in a couple of days.  Top Left and Bottom Right are the front and back of a felted bag from Spry Whimsy.  It's fairly thin but should hold a single skein project. It's delightfully bright.  I'm pretty sure I've been to their store once even! If it's the one I'm remembering, it was lovely and full of charming things to purchase. 

The Top Right is Hidden Valley Yarn, 200 hundred yards of Coopworth.  It's very squishy and a nice worsted weight. I have a couple of ideas for it that might even tie into Christmas knitting this year -- if only I can come out from beneath the immediate weight of Loopy Academy projects.

Finally--that Bottom Left is KnitCircus! This is their Greatest of Ease base in the Over the Rainbow colorway. I would be lying if I said I wasn't always drawn to their booth, but I've never had the right project in mind and didn't just want the yarn to linger.  This demands work soon and I am already scouring through my Ravelry queue for something appropriate.  The rainbow obsession continues!

These were all prizes for the Walk and Knit competition and I've only shown you half and only what I brought home! More to come!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Lessons Proceeding

Loopy Academy is occasionally stressful. I tend to overdo on my projects, going for things that are shiny rather than just what meets requirements. But heavens, at least it's not this other online course that I'm presently attempting, which is supposed to be introducing best practices in designing for online courses to educators. In this week's module, we got completely incorrect information about copyright law. I'm an academic librarian by career and training and I've done research and multiple papers on this topic. I am not a copyright lawyer by any stretch but seriously? Bah.

I'll take stress about wool any day. Okay, fine, that's most days and most stressors. I'm sure you understand my general point.

Meet my third project. This is "knitting from a chart" and I chose the Vitamarie pattern by Franklin Habit.  I've just started my third repeat of Chart B. Everything is very clear and a repeat seems like it is taking about 90 minutes? I didn't get through quite a full repeat during a 1 hour Knitgirllls episode. I'll have to test with Midsomer Murders.

The yarn is Loopy Solids, which continues to be serviceable. TLE still has a lot of it in the discounted pile, though I wish I'd bought more black before they sold out in this old base. And I probably need to go over and just buy the rest of what they have in a couple of other colors. Because you know, I have room for that.

And it's lace and that's a rather late at night photo on the plaid couch so not my best. But it's started and coming along. I finished the pink scarf I showed you last week, so I'm trying to focus on my Academy projects. That will probably last until later today, when I need to go to the dentist. She doesn't mind if I knit while we're waiting for the pain killers to kick in but she will probably draw the line at charts.

72 Hours-- Ish

We have reached the period of the calendar year where I am deeply in denial of deadlines, full on avoidance, and procrastination. Th...