Friday, May 18, 2018

Loopy Academy -- Final Semester Submitted

I can only hope that it's easier for the staff at The Loopy Ewe to grade our Academy homework than it is for me to wrangle Blackboard.  Upload to the correct folder, add a link to my Ravelry page with all the details, have an opinion on what worked or didn't...

My Loopy Academy Spring Semester for Senior Year has been submitted.

This is everything I turned in: lace, brioche, and the sweater that you've already seen. 

The brioche was interesting. I can't say I'm going to jump right into all of the complex brioche patterns I've seen a few friends doing but it's a good technique to have under my belt.  

The lace was a pleasure. I'm grateful to BrineyDeep for having me up to entertain her and the Toddler as that weekend really was a make-point for me. Dedicated time to just be with a friend and crank through rows on the shawl made a huge difference.  

Wendy Johnson, of course, writes beautifully clear patterns and the Estonian Pi shawl was no different.  It ended up being about 5' across, I could probably have blocked it a little more aggressively but there's only so much floor space in my dining room.

A little center detail. 

The whole thing

If you zoom in, you'll also be able to notice that it shows off cat fur excellently.  I'm going to have to go over it with a lint roller before it is gifted.  Yes, it'll be a gift. It's lovely but not something I'll wear.  

The brioche is currently a scarf but I'm considering making it into a cowl. The colors on it just made all of my Northwestern friends just pop up with very alert interest. I have a suspicion there may be some interest on that front in a similar kind of squishy two-color cowl. 

Now to wait for grades. Once the pictures are posted on The Loopy Ewe website, that will mean they are approved. So I'll just check every day or hour or 30 minutes until things are done and then I can cheer that I've completed a full four years of projects!

Almost there... 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sweater and Squares

I think I might have found my theoretical yarn store name -- if I'm only having people knit two things... I'd be okay with that. 

Let's start the parade of finished objects that are blocking and being submitted to Loopy Academy for my final semester, shall we? 

Here is project #1, soaked and blocking in the dining room. This is a Flax Light Sweater out of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight in the Blackbird colorway.  I used about 900 yards, slightly more than 2 skeins.  

Modifications include 3/4 sleeves, lengthening the body, decreases down the body so that it has some waist shaping, and I changed the panel to include XOXO cables.  All in all I'm pretty pleased with it! It fits very nicely and will go with jeans this fall. Of course, I've left it late enough that I won't get wear out of it this spring... 

So it's onto the new projects, right? 

There are now 30 skeins new skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash at Chez Hedgehog (thank you Webs Annual Sale). Well, there are 28.5 new skeins. One has already been used.  The plan for these is to replace the worsted weight log cabin blanket I knit just before leaving La Crosse to move to Chicago. Between my dry cleaner not realizing that blanket wasn't all superwash and the moth issue last summer... time for a new blanket. 

I made E&P's twins the Modern Log Cabin Baby Blankets and really liked how those had turned out with the use of black and grays. So that's the plan again, although this time I'm working on blanket squares. If I've done my math right, 42 blanket squares. [Insert Hitchhiker joke here] I cast on the first square on May 12. 

This is going to be my major Stash Dash project. I can count each square knit after May 25 individually or, if I can complete all of the squares and seam them up, the whole blanket. That is the current goal. Each square takes ~3 hours of knitting time. I have 4 long-ish flights in the next six weeks and I'm already nearly done with Square 2. 

There is nothing quite like a new project to take away the knitting ennui is there... 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Purple Squishiness

I'm most of the way through my third Loopy Academy project: brioche. I'll have to have a giant blocking party with myself then to try and get the shawl pinned all the way out, and the sweater ends woven in, and this last project just off the needles.  

This is the first "real" brioche project I've done, though from what I can tell the Faucett scarf that Franklin Habit translated for Knitty a few years ago is in this same family if it's not actually brioche. Maybe he'll weigh in? I've done Faucett in worsted weight several times and that's always very satisfyingly fast. 

Therefore it seemed reasonable to tackle a 2 color project and what better than to create something that will go nicely at tailgates in the fall for the local home team. Armed with purple and gray, I set off on the Brioche Basix Scarf.  I'm using Cascade 220 and a size 8 needle. Because I'm at the end of the spring semester and I can occasionally force myself to *not* over-commit, I'm not worrying about the traveling stitches. This is just basic two-colors, all the way up. I'm planning to do some seaming at the end and turn it into a cowl. 

By doing this I'm arguably not learning quite as much as I could but I will be ready to tackle it next time, if I ever want to do brioche again. While people definitely ooh and ahh over it and it's very squishy, I'm ambivalent. I think the majority of it is a need to not be doing obligation knitting.  

I do have forthcoming plans for the summer, mostly involving StashDash 2018 with TheKnitGirllls and a giant box that is coming tomorrow.  And the three pair of socks that are unfinished, two shawls, giant shawl I wanted to knit last fall and didn't get around to, fourteen other things that no, really, I want to make.... 

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...

Loopy Academy -- Final Semester Submitted

I can only hope that it's easier for the staff at The Loopy Ewe to grade our Academy homework than it is for me to wrangle Blackboard.  ...