Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Red Blob

For the last month or so I've been carrying around the same red blob. Lace is like that and seeing actual progress is difficult. I know it's bigger, I know yarn has gone into it because finally I am into the second half of the skein and yet there's an endlessness in the rows ahead.

The pattern is Wendy Johnson (WendyKnits) Estonian Pi. There are A-F charts, the first three of which fly by and then suddenly... the rows are huge. At present, each row is nearly 600 stitches. The pattern rows take between 45-60 minutes, the rest rows are about 25 minutes if I am really focused. 

Currently I have 2.5 repeats of Chart E left, then Chart F and the bind off. If I knit 2 rows every day for the next 2 weeks, I can be finished with it by May 1, which is the arbitrary goal. That'd give me all of May to focus on my final Loopy Academy project. (And I would have knit a 1200-1400 yard lace shawl as one of my final three -- *buffs nails*) 

The Wollmeise laceweight is lovely and is obviously a yarn that will show off stitch definition beautifully and wear like iron.  Whoever ends up with this final product is going to have the same shawl in 5 years and it will look like new no matter how often it gets used as an airplane neck pillow, worn out in the rain, etc.  

In the interim, two pair of socks continue, I need to show you a couple of finished projects, and a small gray cat is determined that all of my lap belongs to her.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

You Would Think...

I've spent two days in an in person conference at work.  There should have been tons of knitting time. There wasn't and instead what down time I had was spent working with a research partner on an impending deadline and editing slides/lecture for class this week.

Summer is going to be so slothful -- no full for-credit courses to be taught. It might actually feel like a holiday.

I did finish my friend's cowl on Sunday. It's amusing how much everyone deeply covets this yarn. The colorway doesn't matter, everyone really loves it.  And rightly so -- it's beautiful and super squishy.  

As soon as she gets back from her work trip she'll have it. Of course,it'll probably be 75 degrees by then, just to mess with my head. At least there is always next winter. 

I'm working down the sleeves on my sweater. The plan is 4 repeats of the XO cable pattern with 4 stitches decreased in the 2nd repeat and 2 stitches decreased in the 4th and then 12 rows of 1x1 ribbing.  And if I write it down here perhaps I'll remember that. 

The lace is neglected. The brioche still yarn.  And it's mid-March. I know Loopy Academy will be a haul to the finish but I do wish Past-Me had chosen slightly easier/shorter projects. An 800 yard shawl and a fingering weight adult size sweater? Riiiiiigt. Uh huh.  

Saturday, March 3, 2018

As Long as It Is Stockinette

I'm getting ready to teach a brand new half-semester course that starts next week and so I haven't had any spare capacity for complicated knitting patterns. This means the Brioche project I should be churning through is just balls of yarn. Fortunately, I did have the foresight to choose a sweater pattern that is mostly stockinette.

On Friday I got through the majority of the body and now I'm moving the yarn back to size 2 needles to do the bottom ribbing.  I have enough yarn I could probably make it a little longer, we'll see how I feel once it's done and I've also knit the sleeves. The Philosopher put in a vote for 3/4 length sleeves, which I think is a good idea. 

Other stockinette on the needles: 

Another sock! And...not the one you saw last time. That one got abandoned and this one went to see Shape of Water, which was okay--not something I feel like I need to see again. Definitely some gratuitous nonsense in it.  I'm working on the gusset of Sock 1; this is BMFA STR Mediumweight in a Rare Gems colorway that's been in the stash forever. I'm using size 1 (2.25 mm) needles and it's knitting up at a much tighter gauge than the last pair I knit on the same needles. So I don't know what's going on there.  

Finally, just to change it up a bit, it's another Faucett cowl! A girlfriend of mine took me up on the offer and had yarn shipped to my house. Now I just need a couple of hours at home and without my to do list yelling loudly at me. This isn't good train knitting. It's Malabrigo Caracol in the Zarzamora colorway and it's a lot more green that this picture suggests. 

The Estonian Pi shawl is also sitting here on my desk nagging me. (Along with a hungry cat -- guess who forgot to feed them dinner yet) Once I get my lectures recorded, then I get to go back to Chart D!  Until then, nothing more complicated than 1x1 ribbing... 

Monday, February 19, 2018

In a Car, On a Plane...

I finished all of the socks and they've gone off to their new homes. It's rather a lot to realize what this represents when I think about the cost of the yarn and the time in each pair. I knit enough pairs of socks that I'm somewhat desensitized to it. But piling all of these up -- multiplying it by 5 at once, it's still something of a surprise. Hopefully they will be able to serve their purposes well, warming and being squishy on feet. The yarn includes (LTR) Grinning Gargoyle, Blue Moon Fiber Arts, KnitPicks, KnitPicks, and Zitron.

So then I started another pair of socks over the weekend, while we made a quick turnaround to Florida. This was my out and about knitting for the weekend.  This is Three Irish Girls Adorn Luxe in the Blackberry Cobbler. It was dark when I grabbed this picture-- the yarn just glows. 

My other travel project was my Loopy Academy Sweater! I am working on my version of the Flax Light and the Philosopher does the driving in Florida, which means I get to do a lot of knitting. . It's first adult size sweater that I've knit in a couple of years, though it's my third Tin Can Knits adult size. The pattern is an old friend by this point, so I've added cables down the sleeves to jazz it up just a bit. 

I tried it on when we got back from the airport and home (and I wasn't buried under cats who were determined to alert me that I Had Been Gone and That Was Not Okay). It fits! And I'm presently at about the bottom of my rib cage. I finished the first skein of three in one of the airports and I've made a dent in the second one. Another 6-7 inches and I should have the body done.  I'm also adding some decreases down the underarm seam locations in order to give it some shape. It's going quickly and I'm enjoying it. 

Remind me of that when I am complaining about the sleeves ad infinitum.  

Hoping this week to get started on my lace project.  There's so much Wollmeise laceweight awaiting me...

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Trying to Stay Focused

Dear Self,

Yes, your new wool showed up. Yes, you're super excited about your Final Semester of Loopy Academy and you have three rather ambitious projects because you're you and you seem to have forgotten how dreadfully over-committed you are with work and professional obligations this spring. 

Okay, fine, it was alright to unbox the yarn. You needed to make sure it was all there and what you asked for. Not that TLE has ever screwed up in the past.  And sure, yesterday at work was pretty stressful so winding yarn for an hour while finishing Conspiracy in Belgravia (which is really good) was an appropriate use of the evening.  

However, you have only finished one of the three pairs of socks you blogged about and it's now February 6. You only have 9 more days and you have essentially 2 socks left to knit. You can't start the projects yet. 

Get out of the needle/tool bin. Stop it. 

That had better not be casting on I hear...


Saturday, February 3, 2018

Clearing the Decks

I have an obligation that means I need to finish three pair of socks before February 15. Someone, probably AudioGirl or Sibling-the-Elder, just snorted half a cup of coffee up their noses.

This is not quite the challenge it appears on first glance, though it certainly isn't something to be sneezed at.

Here are the socks as they currently stand:     

Pair 1 is BMFA STR Mediumweight in a Rare Gems colorway. I'm marching down the foot of Sock 2 and these are on 1.5(2.5 mm) needles, so they are going fairly quickly.  We are headed to a friends home tomorrow to watch the Sportsball Game and I could potentially finish them there. 

Pair 2 is KnitPicks Stroll Handpainted that showed up some time ago because I needed to fill out a needles order and my Ravelry page isn't clear when these were cast on. Again, I'm past the gusset on Sock 2. These, however, are on size 1 (2.25mm) needles. So that will take a little longer.  

And then there is Pair 3 which is presently .... yarn. I have cast on 60 stitches onto size 1 (2.25mm) needles. No stitches have yet been knit. I'm planning to work on these a bit this afternoon in order to get them functionally started and then take them along to this evenings' outing.  As long as I can convince the Philosopher to hold my drink, progress should roll along. (I almost said "quickly" but realistically, nope). 

I also have to finish all of these before I start my Academy homework, the wool for which is showing up on Monday. It is going to be painfully difficult not to just fling myself into Academy with this standing obligation.  

A knitters life is so difficult.

P.S. Dearest AudioGirl. Aren't you glad you issued the edict that my "boring" project needed to be socks a few years ago? Much love.... 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

A Type of Progress

It must count as some kind of progress when you recognize that you aren't pleased with a project after only, say 10-15 hours, and rather than committing another 100 or so, you rip it out, put the yarn in time out, and find something else to expend a couple of precious Sunday afternoon hours upon. 

(Gypsy with the yarn project just before I ripped it all out)

I had started a MKAL by Tania Richter. Because I do not always read directions, I missed that it was an RPG as well as an MKAL, which then required the assistance of a colleague because I have minimal interest in RPGs. We read through all of the initial instructions together and I opted for the colorwork option.  And.... disliked it. I wasn't sold on the charts and after nearly 80 rows was already into the realm of obligation-knitting.  As this was supposed to be fun --it's been terminated.  

I do think I might revisit one or two of the charts for other projects, they're quite lovely. And I have several other patterns by her to knit up. Just not this one.  

(One finished headband!)

As consolation, I went back to the unfinished pile and pulled out this headband, which has been languishing for the better part of the decade. I remember working on it at my last job. I'm much better at cables now and armed with a Phryne Fisher audiobook (Book 17), I cranked out the rest of this. Fortunately, decade-ago me had marked where I was in the pattern and I could make sense of my other pattern modifications.  The pattern is modified from here. I don't do the extra hearts and I do a slightly narrower back, etc etc.

It's very comfortable and I'm making at least one more -- already cast on!

I also went through the WIPs baskets and consolidated/put things away down to where I only have one large basket left rather than two full of projects. That was rather encouraging. Granted, there's a large bag of finished objects that need a good home and a very overflowing stash but those are for another day. Here's what is left: 

(Only a small pile of unfinished objects)

This is missing only the three pair of socks underway (one was in our home office, one in my workbag, and one at my office at work) and the afghan that AudioGirl has long since given up hope on. I promise one day to have the flu and finish it.  

Oh, and here's my first finished object of 2018 out on it's first day: the giant scarf out of the Malabrigo Caracol at the Women's March Chicago.  It's squishy and was a perfect layering piece for the day. And several more people have mentioned that, you know, if 2 skeins of that yarn in their preferred colorway were to show up at my house perhaps... 

(Me and Viva at the March)

The Red Blob

For the last month or so I've been carrying around the same red blob. Lace is like that and seeing actual progress is difficult. I know ...