Tuesday, August 8, 2017

You Should Too...

Deciding the title for this post, I was rummaging around in my head for phrases and kept returning to "You come too."  It was a phrase from a poem, I knew that and fortunately, the internet tells me the source: Robert Frost's The Pasture.  https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44270/the-pasture

I've never been a big fan of Frost, but long time readers will know I am a huge fan of Blue Moon Fiber Arts. So when this image scrolled by, I was immediately enchanted. Tina came up with "A Total Eclipse of the Sun" --a colorway for the forthcoming eclipse?

Me? Well, I'm apparently nothing more than a very susceptible lemming. It's coming in STR lightweight and I think I've already picked out a pattern for it.




















And for those who are more gradiently/miniskeined inclined, that's available too. I can think of two or three patterns that'd work nicely with too...


I don't know if Tina will mention this on her blog but I have giant hope that maybe my order will get here before the eclipse so I can be that horribly annoying knitter who is knitting her eclipse yarn during the eclipse.  


(Caveat: I am not paid by BMFA, just regularly impressed by Tina's color sense and the phenomenal products they put out. Some of the best customer service in the business.) 

(Also, yes, the other title option was "Turn around, bright eyes...")

Friday, August 4, 2017

A Bunny in Schaumburg

I drove out to Schaumburg last night for Stitches Midwest for the opening keynote: the ever charming Franklin Habit. I'd not realized one could sign up just to attend the keynotes and so haven't in the past. But this popped up and I was delighted to go.  I'm not going to the conference this weekend; the Philosopher and I have Plans for WI Sheep and Wool in September...


Franklin spoke about the creative life and the weird little twitch fiber artists/teachers/designers get when someone gushes about how lovely it is when someone says "but you get to play with yarn ALL DAY." I know that twitch--librarians have it too anytime someone tells me how lovely it is that I work in a quiet space where I just get to read.

As always, it was lovely to see him speak. He has wonderful dry humor and his talks are very well considered.

(Here he's asking how many of us have ever just wanted to STOP knitting for a while)


The travel sock went with me, it's the first major event for Sock 2...everything else I believe has just been work or commute knitting. I'm finally through the heel -- just a gusset and a foot and toe to go! That just a couple of years ago I was turning out at least a pair of month makes me despair.  


Apparently I looked too aloof; no one would sit next to me and my socks and cocktail, despite the packed room. Here you see witness of both in my pre-lecture bathroom selfie. 


I've also started a new shawl and finished two baby hats and finished another hat for AudioGirl. Hmm, I must needs catch up this weekend. 

More soonest... 









Sunday, July 23, 2017

Another Flax Light...

I've adopted another pattern as "thing I make 15-20 of"  The groan you heard was AudioGirl, who usually sees these coming but then has to spend 2-3 years prying me out of my very comfortable knitting rut. Sorry, dearest...I'm squarely in this rut for a bit.

I bought this yarn a few years ago at Loopy Yarns (before it changed owners). At the time, I had the intent of making a matched set: hat, gloves, scarf for myself. And then I sat and stared at the yarn for several years. Eventually I decided that this was not the plan for this yarn but then what does one do with perfectly acceptable stash.

Apparently one knits a sweater out of it.


This is as close as I can get to the correct color and it's from a train ride home recently. I was still on the raglan increases at that point I think. 


Today, after two episodes of the KnitGirllls last night and one of Vera, I've managed to cast off the body. For those trying to guess at measurements, this is the 4-6 year size. I've got several little people in my life who should be around that size this winter and I have a feeling bright teal will probably look better on one of them than it will on me. 

I've picked up the first sleeve in an attempt to not get completely sidetracked as I did with the Flax Light that I knit last summer. Started last summer anyway. I got the body done and then promptly didn't do anything with it and it's been in the bottom of the WIP basket for a solid year + now, which is a pity because it's black with rainbows. Fortunately, friends keep having babies so I can get it finished once I'm done with this teal one and then it'll be off to a new home. I just have to figure out what size exactly I was knitting (guess who didn't write it down!!!)

The one odd thing is that the pattern calls for 750 yards. I'm not going to go through nearly that much wool. At current progress, it'll be closer to 500 yards.  My measurements all seem to be fine, and while it has plenty of drape it doesn't seem to be too loose a gauge. Not sure why I'm using so much less wool. The sleeves won't take *that* much.... 


Sunday, July 16, 2017

For an Unexpected Journey

Isn't knitting always a bit of an adventure?

While I've never read the Lord of the Rings (I know, I know...turn in my library card now) and I only made it through the Hobbit in middle school (who else remembers that really weird movie Miss 7thGradeHonorsEnglishTeacher made us watch)...I have watched the Middle Earth movies several times and I really do hope to get to New Zealand one of these days to see the beauty in person.

So when Jessalu announced a special pre-order of LOTR map bags, I hastened to the queue.

And now I can venture off on my travels, always having a map and a knitting project!  As usual, Jessalu has made a lovely box bag. 


This will be a suitable size for a sock project, though probably nothing larger than that. Although typing that reminds me that I promised the Philosopher a baby hat for some friends.  I should really go dig out appropriate colored leftovers (i.e. anything not obnoxiously pink or blue, not sure what flavor baby they are having) and make something in the newborn, 3 month, and six month sizes to get them through the first winter. 

First though, I will have to retrieve the bag from a small gray feline.... 





Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer Knitting, Sweaty and Hot...

Summer humidity has arrived in full force, at least for the next few days. This morning when I left the house it was overcast but still sunny-- during my commute (90 minutes/~15 miles) we came through a heavy downpour but then just into dense humid heat. And at lunch it was sunny and sticky.

Air conditioning will help with knitting; I was winding yarn last night
(Western Sky Knits in the Teal Giraffe Colorway)

and honestly it was just too hot to do that. I got it finished but didn't have enough oomph to continue on and cast it on. Maybe this weekend. 

And my big accomplishment, I don't have a public photo of.  The Philosopher asked for a hat/scarf combination. The original plan was with ears but this version I went with "functional for all winter" rather than "quirky and only works for two months of the year" 2 full skeins of BMFA Gaea Worsted. in one of the Raven Clan colorways. It's heavy. And should be very useful when the temperatures are about 80 degrees less than they are today.  Pictures eventually, probably next winter. He's already sneaked off with the finished object. 

I have, however, finished a sock! 


This is not a finished sock, but it's the sock seeing Hillary Clinton at the closing keynote for ALA. (Thanks Tod for holding the sock) This sock also went to the Indy 500; House on the Rock in Wisconsin; IASSIST in Kansas and it's been through several really interesting meetings at work. 


Now, generally speaking I don't get Second Sock Syndrome. Socks are automatic enough for me that I finish one, cast on the next and everything is fine. Otherwise I would not be half way through Pairs 78 and 79 (with at least two more pair at home floating around a third finished). 

Today...I have SSS. I really don't want to knit another sock. I liked the yarn, it's been interesting to haul around and I don't want to do Sock 2. Sock 1 had all of the adventures and now it's just a slog. I'm not traveling in the next month or so, which doesn't help.  I apparently knit Sock 1 too slowly.

I'll get it done. I like these and after the damage of last year I want a couple of new pairs in rotation this fall. That cuff right now feels ridiculously long though. 




Monday, June 19, 2017

It's a Celebratory Kind of Shawl

The Birthday Yarns shawl is off the needles!! It still needs a block, mostly I'm waiting on that because I am pretty sure the purple will bleed a bit and the white won't be as perfectly white anymore, but it's done!



Saturday was a "watch several hours of NCIS:LA" kind of day after running errands and being Reviewer 2 on a paper (I have so many opinions when I'm reading other people's work).  I was determined to get this finished up.  


I made a modification.  After the third lace panel, one is supposed to only continue with the Main Color --which in this version is the multi-colored yarn from AudioGirl.  I wanted to use up all of the yarn that I'd been gifted, so I continued the stripes that were written earlier in the pattern. When I ran out of purple yarn (DIC Smooshy in Dark Amethyst), I then knit a few more rows just in the multi-colored yarn (Knitted Wit Victory in Market Flowers).  I bound off using Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind off and had less than 6 feet of yarn left!


The shawl has been set aside for now, it's on to other projects for Stash Dash. And my Loopy Academy Junior Year Completion Prize is on it's way!


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Remember I Used to Knit Socks

I went digging through Ravelry to see when last I had completed a pair of socks. It seemed like it had been a while.  That recollection was correct. I haven't finished a pair of socks since last August. Considering that for a couple of years there it was a 12-18 pair a year, this has been a major downshift. A couple of things have driven that: Loopy Academy, a perception that everyone I regularly make socks for is probably set for a bit [Philosopher, AudioGirl, Incredibly Patient Mother, Me], Baby Knitting. I'd blame Christmas knitting but I don't remember if I ended up getting any holiday knitting projects done other than a scarf for AudioGirl.

AudioGirl came over and tried on all of the socks that were done but unclaimed and she took home three or four pair I think. And helped me size a couple pair that I'd knit optimistically. Someone will wear them kind of thing. If they're too small for me they go over here; if they're too big for her, they go over there.

Theoretically, I continue to knit socks. There are three pair of socks currently in project bags, but none of them are through the first sock yet.


This is some KnitPicks yarn that I bought to round out an order of needles, and it's become my travel socks for the summer. I cast them on for Dark Lord Day in May and then they went is Lawrence KS for a conerence and Indianapolis for the Indy500. Most recently, I worked on them at the House on the Rock in Wisconsin. We don't have too many other major adventures planned but I'm relatively sure these will last the summer. 


Meanwhile this sock leg has been sitting mournfully on my desk since at least October. Sometimes during yet another conference call or committee meeting, I'll get through a round. Usually though my brain is too active or I'm scrawling yet another to do list. The yarn is Rhichard Devrieze Peppino. It's really lovely,  but I remember why I burned through all of my KPPPM (very similar if not the same base) and then *stopped* knitting it for years. I swear this yarn takes forever to knit up. That 5-10 stitches doesn't equal a row probably also does not help. 

The third pair was started at some point unremembered. I know the yarn went with me to Arkansas in April, but beyond that I have no idea. The yarn is KnitPicks Stroll in the BigTop colorway. I bought it last September. For whatever reason it is not in my stash and I'm not adding it now. Apparently it's part of the I-need-all-the-rainbow-yarn binge I was on (might still be on? Not sure). 



Also, yes I see the ladders in the wool where I change needles; No, I'm not especially worried. Two washes and those disappear.

There are two other pair of socks floating around here. One which may be ripped out, another which I need to make a decision on if I'm going to actually finish them because of reasons.  

But they would all help with the StashDash counts and they are already underway. So maybe. If I can just get them all onto DPNs rather than 9" circulars (much recommended for the race track, but still not my favorite method). 

And then I just need to sort out which of my friends where a 7/7.5 shoe....