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Showing posts from 2013

Endless Small Blue Circle

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Yesterday was black hole knitting.  The kind where you knit and knit and knit (and ignore ALL the other things you're supposed to be doing) and knit and knit and knit and yet the ribbing on a hat never seems to get past 3.5".  I've really been wanting to start my first pair of socks for 2014 even though we're technically still in the last days of 2013 and the yarn is all caked and the needles are shiny and...

The blue Malabrigo hat I told you about was also still sitting next to my keyboard and apparently I have some ability to shame myself into working on specific projects--at least, I seem to be able to do so in order to avoid other non-knitting related projects. Last night after knitting seemingly forever into the black hole of ribbing, as I crawled into bed with knitting and my tablet, I grabbed the measuring tape again.

4.5"


Where that extra inch of ribbing came from, considering that I'd been measuring regularly, is unclear but I've moved on to the…

New Yarn just before the New Year

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I realized after writing yesterday's post that the yarn that I'm using for Pair 1 of 2014 (now dubbed the BahBah BRIGHT Sheep socks) isn't actually in my stash. I'm kind of surprised by that, I thought I'd stuffed it in there at some point.

This is Baah! La Jolla.  So, discount what I said about how many skeins of sock yarn I have that I intend to turn into socks in the next year or two. Or, at least add 5 to that number to account for the yarn floating around the stash that I haven't realized isn't in Ravelry yet and therefore isn't counted.

On Dec 19, best known as the day my fliptop mitts went missing, I also popped into Nina. The owner has a lovely shop, filled with high end beauty skeins. I always end up in a bit of a yarn daze going in there. She has some work horse yarns, but the majority is the nicer and more boutique yarns.

One dyer that I'd not seen before that she carries is Knitted Wit, out of Portland, Oregon. Most of what Nina had was…

What hasn't been photographed?

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As you  may remember, about six months ago I took a photography class with Franklin Habit. While my photography skills are still too frequently relying on a quick snapshot taken with the camera on my phone while I've moved the keyboard at my desk (or, more frequently and recently, with the webcams I have at work and home), I did have some time to break out the light box and see what I could do today. I have a long way to go but it was fun getting to try things out and not just rely on my usual "is the sun totally fading this out?"

The sun is out today and the sky is painfully clear. After I get this posted I think I'm going to walk over to Starbucks and the dry cleaner just so I get outside today and get some sunlight. It's 42 degrees so I shouldn't even need much in the way of a coat.  On Monday our high will be 7 degrees so I should get out now while I want to.

Today you'll get the projects, tomorrow the new yarn... Yes, there's new yarn at Chez Hed…

And now we plan...

I hope your Christmas was restful and full of joy! The Incredibly-Patient-Mother and both Siblings joined the Philosopher and I at Chez Hedgehog.  We and the felines ate far too much food, watched movies, opened presents, and had pots and pots of tea.

I got a wonderful knitting related gift. The IPM bought me two packs of blocking mats! Each set covers a full 12 square feet of floor.  The giant shawls that I've knit and that Sibling-the-Elder has knit for me can finally be blocked in their glory. [Just as soon as I move everything out of the dining room]

The one knitting related gift I gave on Christmas day there is no picture of. I forgot to take photos of the red socks that I made for the Incredibly Patient Mother. They were from the Dallas yarn purchase of last January and weren't very well aged stash...

While I didn't do a whole lot of holiday knitting, now that the year is winding down and I'm considering the new year ahead, plans are leaping out of my brain. I n…

Sick plus Sock Yarn

I am very grateful for sick days. Not for the part where I feel like garbage or where I'm sneezing so violently that the cats flee the room though Gypsy's adapted now that she's on my lap rather than my chest and I only get an ear twitch.  I'm grateful that I woke up this morning, recognized that between the exhaustion and the congestion and the diseased feeling, and was able to acknowledge that I was probably not going to be any good to anyone in my library.  I could email work and say "Nope, not today. I'll be in and hopefully less infectious tomorrow."  So I did, and then I crawled back under the covers and was fully unconscious before the Philosopher got up to take a shower. 
After sleeping very late and having now added a half dose of sudafed, I'm upright and thinking about moving the cat enough to go get another cup of tea. I might even tackle end weaving on my green sweater. Maybe. I'm not thinking very clearly. I do at least need to run do…

Sock Show Thursday: Maybe Ice Blue Wasn't My Best Choice

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The week has become bitterly cold, though tomorrow promises a high nearly to the freezing point. As yet, we're not quite to double digits Fahrenheit. For the wool I've purchased and the skill of my hands this week, I am grateful.

I've been doing my best impression of a wool wrapped marshmallow with a wool shawl wrapped around my core, then a down coat, at least one scarf (two this morning), wool hat, and my new wool fliptop mittens(which still don't have flip thumbs). Also all of my wool socks have been going into rotation in my snow boots. On Saturday I don't think I have to leave my house and my plans involve washing all of these woolies that have been doing such heavy work this week.

I finally made some decent progress on the Brunette's Cobbler Fliptops. Cobbler as I'm cobbling them together from things I know, things I'm trying, patterns I'm skimming, etc). The main part of both mittens is done and now I need to knit flips and thumbs. He's …

Avoiding all the other stuff I should be doing

We are having our first real snowstorm here in the Chicago area, though real is subjective. We're expected to get only about an inch of snow.  Of course, I had intended to make a run out to IKEA today.  Earlier the Philosopher and I got on the road so at least we'd drive out there in the daylight, if not back, only to find that there had been no particular attention paid yet to the roads in the form of salt trucks.  Everyone was driving very carefully but it was slippery and every intersection saw the Low Traction alarm dinging in the car.  We made it about a mile from home and then decided that we would just turn around.  Cross your fingers that the car got warm enough that tomorrow I get the all clear from my mechanic to take it for emissions testing because seriously, this has gotten beyond stupid.

For those who aren't Illinois local, every two years we have to take our cars for emissions testing to verify that we're not contributing to the local area pollution mor…

All But Thumbs

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It's the day before Thanksgiving and thankfully, I'm pretty sure I don't need to go to the grocery tonight.  There's the season's first quart of eggnog in the refrigerator and the Philosopher and I picked up a turkey and the traditional fixings and some wine, so we should be set.  We're going to be eating turkey leftovers from now until Valentines Day but hey, mid January, thawing out a large chunk of turkey and making chili is going to sound like a brilliant plan.

We have to have a brief moment of loss for the Tweety Bird stretch gloves I've been wearing the past couple of winters in the early-winter/late-winter it's not quite cold enough for my ski gloves periods.  They were your basic black glove except for a small plastic square with really random Tweety designs on them. Unfortunately, yesterday morning, they disappeared. I'm relatively sure I dropped them between getting off my train yesterday and getting to my building but by the time I reali…

Stress Knitting

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Tuesday night I went home and told the Philosopher that I just needed 30 minutes to nap before I tackled the current pile of things to do.

Just 30 minutes, wake me up then and we'll eat.

Curled on the bed, trying to shut my brain off, I noticed I had to forcibly relax my hands, which were tightly fisted. My fingernails aren't that long but I cannot imagine that sleeping with clenched fists was going to do anything particularly good to my palms.

I'd spent the afternoon in a research forum, listening to presentations from fellow faculty and giving two presentations of my own. I've grown weary and a little resentful of the current red sock project and was determined to use the time to get through it. I'm almost to the toe on Sock 2, so I made some significant progress but if my hands were anything to go by, it apparently that hadn't brought my stress level down enough. I worry, a bit, how much more stressed I might have been had I not been repeating those K1P1 s…

Sock Show Thursday: Paucity of Mojo

We're mostly thru the super cold snap that charged into Chicago this week. I'm still wearing my hat but not totally yanked down around my ears with a scarf entirely muffling my face.

Knitting mojo has been really low this week. I took a couple of projects with me to Vegas over last weekend and yes, I knit in the casinos. Gambling doesn't appeal to me (as I told the Incredibly Patient Mother, all I could think was how much yarn I could buy with that money) but I'll hang out and the Philosophers friends and the dealers were all charmed and curious about the current sock.

Mostly, though, we were busy and in the days since we got back little has been done. Our return travel day, Monday, saw our flight three hours delayed due to the rain/ice/weather in the area and after landing at 12:15 a.m., we found an iced car! Hooray. Fortunately one door opened so I could dig out the scraper and the Philosopher, who had slightly warmer clothes on and mittens, could scrape things off whi…

Muppet Redux and Planning Time

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Would you believe me if I said I hadn't knit on a sock in four days? Or that I might even try to make it an entire week?

I finally dug out that second skein of Schaefer Nichole in the Janis Joplin colorway. It's been wound for a while with the intention of becoming skinny scarf. And I'm about 15" along.  And I still think it looks like ground up muppets.


I manage to find a stitch count that isn't pooling, though I think part of that is the dye job helping. The sequence is Orange, Teal, Purple, Pink, Purple, Teal.  With the orange doubly long and the pink only appearing as a short blip, it breaks it up nicely.  The hand on the base is really nice and I am enjoying the knitting. It does make me a little sad that this yarn is discontinued.  Also I may have contacted one of the people selling her skein of the yarn in a different colorway on Ravelry to see about buying it. Ya know, as you do...

The pattern is the Yarn Harlot's One Row Handspun Scarf  and it's …

Lost in Shades of Purple

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I pulled out the last two skeins of yarn I've purchased and noticed a very clear theme: saturated purples.  What with purple being my favorite color and all (the Philosopher's too, interestingly) and since I also occasionally knit things for people who cheer on Northwestern, the presence of purple yarn in my stash comes as little surprise.

The first skein I bought on my birthday, as part of dragging the Philsopher up to Wisconsino on a road trip. We'd gone to AeppelTroewe, which is a winery/cidery and sampled everything they had to offer. Sadly, we missed the mead this year. We're hoping to go back earlier next year.  Then it was into Artistic Fibers in Burlington.

It was an interesting shop, with a nice selection of Rowan and some Icelandic yarns I'd never heard of. I wasn't especially thrilled with the local stuff: too pricey and mostly alpaca.  I have plenty of alpaca sitting in the stash that I can't figure out what to do with. It doesn't bounce lik…

One Yard at at Time

Knitting is one of those things that I try very hard not to feel guilty about. There seem tobe plenty of opportunities where I could.  For example:

Most of the time, I knit plain ribbed socks. I'm working on the 56th pair I've knit since I started and all but about 2 pair were 1x1 or 2x2 ribbed socks. That seems pretty dull. I have a lot of stash that's been sitting for a long time. I have several projects that have been sitting for a really long timeI don't knit "hard enough" projectsI don't also spin/weave/crochet/etc--though I have a sewing machine that I keep meaning to dust off and hem something. I have little desire to write and publish patterns or start my own dying operation And yet, for each of those, I have thoughts that pull me back around.  The Incredibly-Patient-Mother and the Philosopher and AudioGirl don't mind plain socks. They would rather not worry about lace holes that let in cold or wear into bigger holes. The Philosopher would like …

Sock Show Thursday: A Dozen Done

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I finished Sock 2 of Pair 12. I've finished my dozen pair for the year. And it seems to have barely made a dent in the stash at all. Of course, that's only 12 skeins of yarn used up and I have slightly more than a few dozen more to go.  Casting off the toe on this sock also means I currently have no socks in progress. I owe you pictures of the two pair I finished at a conference a week and change ago.

These are the PhilosoNine Socks, knit out of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Medium Weight Socks that Rock in a Fire colorway from one of Tina's Rare Gems tonal sales. It's got a base of reds, going from a dark rich red to a very very bright red and then a stripe of purple/yellow going through it.

Overall very pretty. I was going out on a limb a bit with the reds, it and yellow are the colors least represented in my stash. But there's still that purple lingering and the Philosopher is a fan of the bright colors.

The ends aren't woven in yet. But it still is okay to serve as …

A Few Rows Here, A Few Rows There, It's like a Sunday School Outing

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Bonus points if you know what movie quote I'm mutilating.

There was a big spurt of progress on Monday and Tuesday; I was attending a regional conference--which surprisingly turned out to be more of a national conference than I had expected; and I spent the better part of 12 hours listening to people and charging through a sock.

At the end of that time, I'd turned the heel and was through the gusset of yet another pair of socks for the Philosopher. These are Blue Moon Fiber Arts in Mediumweight Socks that Rock and being knit up on size 1 needles. My only picture is a snapshot I grabbed during the conference on my tablet.


It's a little more red and less orange than that. I'm actually expecting to have those magic words "a bit of free time" this weekend and looking forward to taking better pictures for you. For now, know it's very red, intended to reflect a fire frame of mind (this was one of the Tina's not-perfect skeins). 
I took it with me this mornin…

Sock Show Thursday: Guilty Ends and Muted Rainbows

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There's been a little less sock knitting, between different things at work ramping up, a lot of Hedgehog exhaustion, an entirely unnecessary paucity of Terry Pratchett in my headphones for the commute, and that whole "I'm knitting a sweater" thing.  Fortunately, socks are still the current knitting currency when visiting football tailgates and some train time.

This is pair 11 for 2013, from Lisa Souza in her Sock! base (superwash/nylon) in the Shade Garden colorway. When this yarn arrived I realized that I had bought a skein that matched about 5 other skeins in my stash.  At least I'm consistent right?


The colors are definitely muted and after the BMFA and KPPPM that I've been working with recently, they feel even more so. No eye-searing purples here. And no, OAmy's socks aren't done yet. They're in time out until we get our paper rolling again. She doesn't get those socks until we start sending out the manuscript. 

These are 60 stitches, siz…

September is for Sweaters

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It's raining here in Evanston and the suddenly cooler temperatures make it a perfect sit by the window with tea and knitting kind of Sunday.  Of course, my to do list won't let that happen for too long but at least for a bit.

I frequently get a sweater bug in September. It rarely goes anywhere but in September I look at the stash, realize just how many sweater quantities I own, think about the increasing nights that are going to be cold and dark and where a warm and pretty sweater might make things much better.

In a fit of September Sweater Lust, I plowed through Ravelry, bought and downloaded a pattern, grabbed yarn from the stash and cast on. It's one of the more impulsive things I've done in a while insofar as knitting goes. I'm sure, to those of you who hang in there reading week after week of ribbed sock updates, it's a huge left turn.

Surprising even myself, I even took it with me on the train. That there were large swaths of stockinette to knit certai…

Almost Awake

I've been really really tired of late. Anytime that I'm not actively in "must do x" mode, I've been asleep. There's a weird post-exhaustion thing that's getting me through days and activities; it feels kind of like college again. Down a cup of coffee, pretend that the tired doesn't exist, pull on some kind of reserves that didn't seem to be there half an hour ago when I crawled out of bed, and get through. Unfortunately, this then means a tendency to come home and become a small heap of hedgehog on the couch or bed.  My housekeeping is suffering for it.

I had pretty high ambitions today: move AudioGirl and then some scrubbing at home. We did accomplish the move, but when I arrived home I had a light snack and then a two and a half hour nap. Now I'm eyeballing all the patterns. I finally purchased a shawl pattern I've been planning on starting for weeks.  I also identified a pattern that will be a nice cardigan from yarn that AudioGirl and …

Sock Show Thursday: Quick and Dirty

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OAmy is having a slog of a time through some work stuff, so I'm tossing this up here to hopefully make her smile.

I'm almost done with your socks!!




I apparently have a new threshold with socks: when coworkers start recognizing them and saying "you're still working on those?" I need to get through the socks and move onto a new pair. At least for the at-work rotation.

Either that or just give up and start doing sock puppet impressions in meetings.










One of the two.


Sock Show Thursday: Royal Toes

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When I hit the second toe, approximately, for the PhilosoEight socks, they were abandoned to at-home-knitting and I grabbed a wound skein of KPPPM to tackle the next pair. I knit it up on size 0 (2mm) needles and those are so tiny and the progress made per round feels so infinitesimal.  
And then there was locating the needles, which was doing pre-tea and certainly not fully awake. I was sure I'd left a set on my dresser but couldn't locate those. So I had to go digging in my needle case, pull out the zeros ziplock and drop multiple sets of size 0 needles on the floor. It resembled a game of pick up sticks at 7 a.m. So far, it appears that I only missed one needle when picking up. 
Once I get through this yarn, I'll have 2 more pair worth of KPPPM and 5 skeins to make something larger--it's 875 yards of fingering. Should make a decent sized shawl or light small sweater. 
This is the yarn from Woods Hole/Martha's Vineyard this spring:


I'm amazed that the trip wa…

How Many is Too Many?

Last weekend at a birthday party, the Trombonist asked how many pairs of socks I'd knit and what black hole they all went down that I was always knitting more. A reasonable question, as while we were both attending said party I fidgeted through the better part of half a sock on size 0 (2 mm) needles while almost everyone else was emptying the various coolers of beverages.

I know generally where my socks go: the Philosopher, AudioGirl, the Incredibly-Patient-Mother, and me. Just now I went back through Ravelry and had a quick count of who has gotten socks.

The Philosopher's are easy; I've named all of his Philoso-number. A brilliant naming scheme, right?  But I knew immediately that I'd just cast off Pair 8 for him.  He and AudioGirl are now tied, though she doesn't get her Pair 8 until Christmas; I have to fix the toes.

The IPM is up to 9 pair and I've kept 20 pairs.  That's right, I have almost enough for three weeks worth of fresh hand knit socks every d…

A Little Bit Disappointed

The Knitgirllls Summer Stashdown ended yesterday. I did not make the goal. When I realized over the weekend that it just wasn't going to happen, I was pretty disappointed. Here I'd had over two months! Surely I could get 4K of knitting done. Never mind that I had a major conference to get through; that work has becoming increasingly crazy. I could meet the goal that the school librarian who is off for the summer and is challenging herself to meet had set, right?

Or perhaps not.

What I got completed that I posted to the group are 3 pair of socks and the rug I knit for our kitchen. That was 1800-ish yards.

Not posted is the Blonde's baby blanket and the other two pair of socks. I'm into the foot of Sock 2 for the Philsoeight Socks, you'll see those later this week--and that means that if I sit down this evening and get the toes fixed on AudioGirl's Punk Rock Socks and spend a few commutes making progress this week, I'll have knitted 9 pair of socks before we …

All the way from Ireland

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The Philosopher's friend G recently went on holiday to Ireland. He's seen me knitting quite a lot; he was one of the first to see the Rock/Paper/Scissors bag and to geek out over the equations inside.

I was really touched when he presented me with some yarn from "the least touristy place I could find."  I'm not sure what touristy yarn looks like in Ireland, but this is lovely wool.



100% pure new wool from Kerry Woollen Mills. It's Aran weight, 200g in the Green Fleck colorway.

I have no idea what I'll do with it yet. It's not super soft, but it will be dense and warm.  I'm sure Ravelry will have some options for me. For now, it's just keeping me company.

Scissors cuts paper, Paper covers Rock....

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Yes, I did it. I broke down in the face of a restock.

I really like the early seasons of Big Bang Theory, though I haven't really been watching since about the middle of season 3. I wanted to get the Philosopher watching the early ones and never got back to catching up.  Someday, when I have copious spare time and nothing but knitting and tv shows to catch up on....

One clip I watched over and over was Sheldon reciting "Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock."  I watched it enough times that I can, if asked, do the entire routine almost at speed.



So when Carin (from Round the Twist videocast) pointed out that Jessalu had specially made fabric with the design, I immediately started stalking her website. And finally, my not-very-patient-waiting was rewarded. 

It's a new sock-sized project bag!!  If you look closely, it has the rules layout in very light script under the diagram. 

And inside it has marvelous equations. They're a mix of math, physics, chemistry...

I&#…