Showing posts from 2011

What With the Goals...

Happy 2012! I hope you got all of your ends woven in from the holiday knitting and the New Year's champagne hasn't stayed around in the form of a bad headache.

So 2011 wasn't very successful on the goal front for me. Having knit up 13km in 2010, I set myself a goal of 20km in 2011. It was extremely optimistic considering the radical life changes in the past year (moved, new job, death in the family, new relationship, new pet--I go way off the charts when it comes to those stress counters). So it probably doesn't come a surprise that I didn't make it. The end of the December saw me make 7km.

The goal was to knit down stash and to clear things out. To some degree I have been working more from stash, certainly I've spent less money this year on yarn than in previous years. However, hitting that one cotton sale meant a huge amount more of stash that came in and adding some from fiber festivals and the occasional Loopy Ewe update has not helped.

I did, however, do…

2011 was the Year of Socks

Considering that two years ago, I was not a sock knitter, it's rather surprising to me that I've knit well over a dozen pair of socks this year. And actually, as I'm counting them  up, I'm realizing that my counts were off and I've knit even more than I thought I had.  

(1) I started off the year with a pair of Footsies, using up the rest of some very luscious Sanguine Gryphon Bugga. 

 (2)Then came the Purple Pond Socks. These, I discovered after wearing a couple of times, have a dropped stitch on the sole. They're sitting in time out until I can get that fixed.

(3) Next was Subtle Stripe Sunday. These socks are wearing like iron. I can't say enough good things about BMFA Medium Weight or my desire to own lots and lots more of it.

(4) The Seafoam socks are rustic socks, made from wool from a farm in Viroqua WI and I wish I had more of it. Once I get through the rest of the Ewetopia Fiber Handdyeds, I'll have to email Kathryn and see if she can send me s…

Challenges of a New Feline

Raising a new feline meant that I would need to adapt another cat to my knitting ways. The majority of the stash is already tucked away in bins that the cats cannot go frolic in, but I've been particularly lucky that Gypsy hasn't shown much interest in wool beyond occasionally wanting to sleep on it and/or chasing yarn while I'm actually working on it. Even that's pretty rare though, she's happy usually to curl up next to me and sleep while I'm knitting. 
Pyewacket, on the other hand, is a nearly four month old kitten who thinks all dangling things must be captured and destroyed.  Having a kitten LAUNCH herself at you and cling to your leg because you made the mistake of retying your sweater belt is a pointy-tipped surprise every time.  
In general though, Pye hasn't paid too much attention to the knitting. There's a lot of it around but most of it is just part of her world.  There seem to be two exceptions:
1) Wool Socks.  Pye really likes wool socks. …

Found the Camera

One of the challenges of knit-blogging is that it's best done with photographs.  While podcasters the world over have an amazing capacity for telling us about a specific yarn, I find that when I'm scrolling through the RSS feeds, I still want to see pictures of finished objects--and that I'm clicking links those podcasters provide to see the ooh-shiny.

I realized about a week ago that I wasn't sure where my trusty little Canon was.  It wasn't in the current knitting pile, on the kitchen table, stashed in my work bag.... Finally, last night, I found it in a knitting bag that was stashed in my office.

I tend to avoid spending too much time in my office in the winter.  The wall that keeps it from being out of doors is at best lightly insulated, so it's always at least 10 degrees colder in there than in the rest of the apartment. When the option is to keep that door shut and keep the heater from running quite so much, I do try to take it, but that means if I've…

Reduced to Bullet Points

Happy After-Thanksgiving!! And for the curious, I have managed to resist the very excellent sales that all of the various yarn companies and stores have been offering. It's very very difficult, let me tell you. 30% of here, free shipping there, and so on and so forth. 
Today is all about bullet points because a) I have no pictures and b) I need to write out lists to get my head on straight.  Deadline Knitting: I agreed to knit a blanket strip for a cousin who is getting married. This is done in bulky wool so it really just requires an evening or two with a few movies or TV shows.  The Philosopher and I have started watching Warehouse 13. That deadline is coming up super fast so that should go on the needles very soon. What I really Should be Knitting: Philosopher's Belt. He's been waiting so patiently. One of the two afghans that are lurking half finished around the living room. I will gain a lot of yarn storage space by finishing them, though I'll have to find somewher…

Feline Update: Cuteness and Cones

My brain power over the past month has been limited pretty much to 2x2 rib, garter, and stockinette. Fortunately, those three things can pretty regularly turn into a pair of socks. Here's the only knitting picture I have for you at the moment.

Monet Socks Size: 8.5 Knitted on: Size 0 needles From: Intentions Yarn, Clarity Thoughts: The yarn was splitty and I was done with these socks long before I actually finished them.

Since that's all the knitting, you'll have to bear with me while I talk about my cats for the next couple hundred words. 
First the good news: I adopted a new kitten! A friend of mine has been on the lookout for me for about six months now, his mother often ends up with stray cats who need a good home and I indicated interest in a female, preferably no more than two years old. When she rounded up a batch of kittens (and the mama), and when those kittens came to Chicago while his mom was out of town, it was an opportunity not to be missed. 
There were four…

Dear Self: Don't Feel Guilty

Of late, everything has been dog piled on and it's showing. I'm stretched thinner and thinner, which sends me off in fits of fury or tears a lot more easily. Every time that I sit down when I'm not actively having to get something done, I'm falling asleep.

As you can imagine, this means there's not been a whole lot of knitting progress at Chez Hedgehog. I keep telling myself that I shouldn't feel guilty about this, that I have a lot going on and it's okay to not kill myself working on a craft project that is supposed to be my relaxing hobby when I'm already tired. It's hard though.

One must occasionally admit unrealistic expectations, or at least temper your expectations when change comes, which it always does and will.

I did sit down the other day and break out the large purple shawl.  I've gotten a couple of podcasts back into it and I have made some progress, I'm finally on the third skein of Lorna's Laces.  The Philosopher claims it&…

Rust and Stone (or Cake) Sweater: Part 1

I got permission to blog about the sweater, so I can show you how things are going!

It's a top down cardigan design, with first sweater tabs cast on and then the back and shoulders and fronts knit from there. It took me a couple of readings through the pattern to really understand what was going on but once I'd done that--things have been going quite smoothly.

That's where I'd gotten to at the end of the first skein of yarn, which is about 150 yards of Plum Cake Elizabeth Bennet Yarn Love merino/silk/bamboo. I'd just gotten past splitting the sleeves onto spare needles (I'd ended up buying way too many size 2 circulars but I suppose eventually I'll be using them all.) and was starting down back shaping and increases in the front.

It was rather gratifying to get the sleeves onto their own needles and get to actually try the sweater on as though it was clothing:

I will of course be making the sleeves but it's a cute cap sleeve right here...

Now I'm …

In the Planning Stages....

News! I finally broke the 5K mark on how much I've knit this year! Considering last year I knit 13K and we're in September and I don't have a lot of Christmas knitting on the needles, I really don't think the 20K this year is going to happen. That makes me a little sad, I really did want to get a lot of stash used up and instead, as is more usual, I added a ton of stash and didn't use much up. But it's my hobby and I'm using yarn that I bought and it's cheaper than many hobbies I could have....

I spent over an hour winding yarn the other evening for projects that should be in the queue in the near future. I also went through some of the stash and pulled out an entire bin of sock yarn that should be wound or pulled from when next I'm needing some socks to knit. That bin is full, so you'll get to see lots more socks.  Also, now that I know approximately how long a couple of other people's feet are, I can just make socks longer if I choose so …

Magic Number 13

I finished two pair of socks over the weekend!!  Huzzah! Now I've officially completed 13 pair this year, and of course there's already another pair on the needles--soon to be 2.

First up, I redid the toe on Sock #2 of the Rainbow Stripe socks, so now they'll fit the recipient's feet. I just need to pop them in the mail to her.

I like how the legs turned out fairly similar--with big pink circles coiling down the leg. The KPPPM is really nice and sturdy and I think will be very long lasting socks. I really must knit some of it up for myself as socks--one of these days.

I also got the toe of Sock #2 on the Basic Black Socks done.  Those were handed over immediately (complete with cat fur) to the Incredibly Patient Mother, who was up visiting. Everyone will have warm feet this winter, darn it! (Well, maybe not so much on the darning, but I'm sure I"ll end up having to learn how.)

No doubt you're wondering if I'll ever get tired of 2x2 rib vanilla socks.…

Pay No Attention to the Project Behind the Curtain

There's lots and lots of knitting happening over here at Chez Hedgehog, but unfortunately I can't share with with you. I'm test knitting the Rust and Stone Cardigan and at the moment I don't have permission to show it to you all. I think once it's done I can blog in detail.

I'm using

It's Yarn Love in the Plum Cake colorway of Elizabeth Bennet that I purchased from Sonny and Shear. My mom had given me a gift certificate and I fell down hard at the idea of yarn named after the heroine of one of my absolute favorite books.

It's an unusual choice for me--it's pale yellow and I don't think I actually own any other yellow clothing. If I do, I've forgotten about it. It's also partially bamboo and silk, which means it's slippery! I've dropped stitches a couple of times to a lot of swearing.

The sweater is going well though, I think. I will be pushing really hard to make the deadline (two weeks away) but I have a trip to NY between now a…

Because You Had a Bad Day...

Earworm for Blog post title.

I had a rough day recently at work. It was extra long at the end of a long week and I kind of limped out of work only to find out that the plans I was expecting for the evening were on a different day (not my fault, the email had the right date listed but then referred later to the following week). I stumbled into Loopy looking for a little pick me up. 
Fortunately, Veronik Avery has my back. Licking my wounds I emerged from the depths of the Loopy Sock/Lace Weight Room bearing enough fingering weight for a sweater.  It's the Boreale in Ruby Wine and it's lovely. I hope I can get to it this fall because it's just perfect for a pretty and very warm sweater.  With the temperatures in the 50s at nights and in the 60s during the days, I'm going to need those very soon. 


I seem to be totally incapable of project monogamy, fortunately that's considered completely acceptable among knitters. No one seems to find it too inappropriate that I bounce from project to project, although they might just be too polite to mention it.

The Big Purple Shawl, also known as what I'll be wearing to Northwestern Football Game Tailgates the instant it gets finished, is coming along nicely.  I have just over a skein left to go. If I actually gave it some serious knitting time, it would, of course, get done much faster. I'm doubtful that this will occur before October and the first homegame is Saturday, but there will certainly be other opportunities.

I have made some progress on the Philosopher's Belt. The challenge with that is needing to crochet yarn, then knit, then wonder if I've made any progress, then crochet yarn, then knit... Even though it's only 9 stitches per row, it seems to be taking forever. AudioGirl suggested running a quick single…

A Slew of Sock Knitting

When I am avoiding other projects, I tend to sneak back to my sock knitting. While this doesn't get a whole lot of bigger knitting done, it does mean that I eventually end up with some socks that will go in the gift box for Christmas.

The Rainbow Stripes look done--but they're not.  I have cast off two toes of socks and for all intents and purposes I have two socks.  However, take a slightly closer look when I lay Sock 1 on top of Sock 2.

Yup--it's about an inch shorter.  I'm not sure how I thought that it would fit the size person it's supposed to be fitting, but it's obviously too small. So I finished the second sock, I'll rip out the toe, and I'll round up a test foot in the right size before these go to their new owner.  New thing with these socks--I've discovered I really like a quick 3 needle bind off for the toe. I decreased down to 8 stitches, whipped through the bind off and tada! I will also be getting feedback about the toe, if the ridge…

Stitches Midwest Market

The Philosopher and I traipsed out to Schaumburg for an afternoon at the Stitches Midwest Marketplace. We wandered up and down the aisles, taking in all the wools and sights.

He was fascinated with Square needles--to the point he ended up getting a set from the Kollage people. Spinning wheels and drop spindlesNeedle felting (but he didn't want to try it)Habu Textiles--especially the stainless steel blend yarns. I was more focused on a couple of dyers I knew, a couple I didn't, and the one booth that had BMFA....
This was my first encounter with Lisa Souza and I hope it won't be my last. I've been hearing about Lisa Souza yarns since I started listening to Lime and Violet but had only seen an example of her yarns in person once at a friend's house.  Now, here I was, faced with an entire booth of gorgeous yarn! How does one possibly choose?  
Well, one could be sneaky and pay attention to the boyfriend who is tagging along and who picks up a skein and mentions that it…