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Showing posts from 2015

Year's End

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And this the last day of the year.  I've been trying to think ahead to all of the plans and goals for knitting in 2016, which still seems very far away rather than mere hours. This past year flew past quickly though there are a number of aspects I will not be sorry to leave behind.

Per Ravelry, I finished far fewer projects this year than in years' past.  2014 must have been quite a banner year, 42 projects. Of course, 3 super bulky cowls that knit up in something like 5 minutes each helped with that. This year I finished 24 projects and knit somewhere right around 5 miles of yarn. (Pictures of some Christmas knitting) 

(Deb's hat) 
There's a possibility I'll still finish one more pair of socks today but if not, then they'll be the first project finished in the new year and nothing wrong with starting off with a bang (or a toe).


(Deb's hat)
2016 knitting already has a lot of plans and event knitting-- a couple of babies, a couple of gifts I've had in th…

Loopy Academy Sophomore Fall Semester Finished

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I've just finished uploading my Loopy Academy Sophomore Semester 1 projects. I did a number on my right shoulder cranking through the pair of socks that ended up being project 3 but they are done, off the needles, and in the gift bin for now. (I might reclaim them for myself but right now my sock drawer is full).

Project 2 was the knitted pillow out of Worsted weight yarn. I wasn't anticipating this particular project to be great fun and while the cabled chart was interesting and such, overall, I was less than enthused.



The yarn is Cascade 220 superwash, mixed with a little gray cat fur. (She's fine, she's sitting on my desk mewing at me even though dinner was an hour ago.)



I realized, about halfway through the chart that there was no way I had enough yarn for the original pattern.  You're supposed to knit a long bottom back, then the chart, then more cables for a while, and then a top flap.  And while the pattern clearly said "500 yards" I only had 440. …

Winding Down the Woolly Year

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I'm about 80% done with Christmas knitting. The projects that have to be mailed are done, though not yet in the mail as they should be. The other projects are well underway and if not perfectly finished on 12/25, that's okay. The week after Christmas is an acceptable delivery time for those.  
As I sat here again today, trying to sort out my final Loopy Academy Sophomore 1st Semester project (cables), I found myself thinking that this year hasn't been the most satisfactory for me in terms of knitting. It's been fairly productive--16 projects done so far plus a big pile of grocery bags, and I'm on track to finish another 6 projects over the next couple of weeks (4 of those are >70% done). 

Yarn has been used up at Chez Hedgehog. I haven't been able to get ahead of myself--the overall stash is bigger than it was at the beginning of the year. A chunk of that has been Loopy Academy--6 projects that required non-stash yarn adds up. The cotton marathon of the sum…

From the Kitchen Corner

I am waiting on the tea kettle. This is a frequent occurrence at my house as I prefer a kettle on the stove over other water warming methods. The microwave or an electric kettle/water cooker would be faster but I like my purple kettle. When I was in graduate school, waiting on the tea kettle was my dish washing time. Living in a house with four other girls and no dishwasher, there were always dishes. And in the five minutes or so of waiting for the water to warm, I could empty the dish drainer and refill it. It was part of my morning routine.Now, the morning routine starts with feed the cats, turn on the kettle, and then continue getting ready for work. But sometimes in the evening or weekends the kettle is still dishes or loading/unloading dishwasher time. It also works nicely as rubbing the cat's belly time. Gypsy likes to sprawl on the kitchen rug that I knit a couple of years ago and be adored.  The time for the kettle to boil is a good amount of cat adoration, though I am sur…

Sock Show Thursday: Color Issues

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I've started a new pair of socks!



That yarn color isn't right. I've fussed with it for a while but I really should be trying to take it in natural light and or with my light box.

Here's the yarn pic I took before winding, that's better


But hey, meet the sock... umm..cuff



Yeah, I know, I'm not very far along and that picture is much darker. The stripe is intentional! You can see that gray/green/black in the ball at the top and it is matched by the pops of yellow and periodic surprise orange.

It's almost like my high school colors if they had let us have some hints of interesting.  (Blue and Gold, ask me about our migraine inducing senior t-shirts sometime)

I cast these on earlier this week and have managed to have a couple of free minutes to work on them in phone meetings.

The yarn is Dragonfly Fibers Dragon Sock in the Van Gogh Sunflower's Colorway.



And it's very pretty and I wish I could work on it more. Maybe on the commute home.

11th Month or Hour

It's November and probably the official start of the panicking about the holidays season. Various retailers would have me believe said panicking should start in September and generally for knitters, panicking for next year starts somewhere between December 26-January 1. Presently though, there is belief is there that all deadlines can be met and those piles of knitwear planned for accomplishment in the next seven weeks (six really, one must plan to mail things too) will be completed. Also the sixteen other project that have been laying around waiting for my attention for the past couple of months.

It's not a heavy knitting year at Chez Hedgehog. I have 2 Loopy Academy projects to finish--one of which will probably double as a Christmas gift; a couple of baby presents to be thinking about; some requests that need to be skeined up and started.

Still, I need to be knitting a fair deal faster than I have been for the rest of the year if I'm going to make deadlines.  Which mea…

"Fall Break"

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I'm having a couple of days off this week.* Yesterday was day 1 and it was lovely. Slept in a little, ran a number of errands around home, and finally wound up the yarn for Project 2 of Sophomore Fall Loopy Academy while watching the Great British Bake Off.  BrineyD got me fully sucked in. Don't tell me how the season presently on Netflix ends!

It also means I am getting back to the project that I'm stunt-knitting. That requires sitting in front of my computer, moving the chart up one line at a time. It is shadow/illusion knitting and I'm very glad to have Franklin Habit's recent post over at Skacel to help me understand. I am enjoying the technique, though I wish the chart had stitch counts marked on it so I could make it a smidge more mindless.  But I'm making do for this project and if I do another one, I might do a PDF modifier.

The weather has finally begun to feel like October, now that it is nearly November.
 If you look mid picture there, one of our squ…

Sock Show Thursday: 1

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I finally finished the first sock of this pair!  Almost a month from start to finish.... where has my sock mojo gone? Are these the needles of a woman who turned out 12 pair+ each of the past two years?


Another sock has begun, but I'm not very far. I am hoping to get this one done before the end of the year, which would make 4 pair of socks total.  I know....I expect AudioGirl to show up any minute and start cracking a sock knitting whip. (And not just because she asked for socks for Christmas)

The yarn is okay but a little thin for my taste.  I doubt I'd buy it again for socks, though perhaps for another project. I don't think I like it enough that I'd be willing to go down to size 0 (2.0 mm) needles for it.  That takes a test of patience.







But the Yarn is Discontinued!!

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I'm back working on my Gingko Biloba shawl.  I took it with me to visit BrineyDeep and surprisingly made progress. I am still shocked how knitting on a project turns into progress on the knitted object. Uses up yarn and everything.

Baffling.

This yarn has been sitting in my stash for quite a while. Ravelry says I uploaded it October 2009 and the yarn pictures are on the carpet from the La Crosse apartment, so that sounds about right. And in the stash it has sat. A couple of times I considered selling it or sending it on to a new home, but I really do like the color (Tea Party) and it seemed a project would eventually come.

It is not a fast project. Each petal is 30 rows and while none of them are that long, keeping track of short rows requires more brain power than my usual socks and I have to haul around a copy of the pattern.

Each petal is taking about an hour.  It might go faster if I would stop also trying to do other things while knitting but I don't think it would be all…

Fall Pantone

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I'm told that the color for the fall is Marsala, which is a rich dark red. I approve of this, it's a color I look good in and such it is that I'm scanning clothing sales hoping to add judiciously to the wardrobe before they bring some odd spring color upon us next year that makes me look either like a small child or that I have no color sense. "Rich earthy neutrals" (says Pantone)--Yes please.

Of course, I'm also preparing for Winter, a season well worth the capital letter. My first Loopy Academy Project for the fall helped with that.



The pattern is Adama and it it knit out of two skeins of Steamer Trunk (by Mrs. Crosby, of course)



Normally, it's meant to be worn more like a very small shoulder cape, but I liked the idea of pulling it up as a hood. It is long enough that it would still tuck under my coat.

The goal for this project was texture and this pattern has lots of it.

And I think it will provide a very nice pop of color with my cream winter coat.



From Mrs. C

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I've regaled to you before my love of Mrs. Crosby Yarns and I've another project that I finished recently (real knitting content) from her worsted base. But what I didn't mention is I won one of her monthly contests for finished objects!*

The frais hat that I knit earlier this year won in August. 


And as my reward I received an equivalent amount of yarn.  So I emailed and mentioned a few colors I liked and asked her to choose between.  Shortly thereafter, this lovely Hat Box in Peacock arrived.



I absolutely love it.



Along with being the HatBox sportweight base, which is a fantastic Merino/Silk/Cashmere that is ridiculously squishy, the colors gleam richly.

I've no idea what I'll make from it. I have several knitterly friends whose "oooh pretty" radar just went up, so finding a home for a finished project won't be a challenge.  Probably not socks, with the silk and cashmere this should be up by the face. It's machine wash cold, so that expands my …

Name Change?

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Perhaps for October I should just change the name of the blog to Hedgehog Buys Yarn. Because there's not a lot of knitting happening at Chez Hedgehog.

Part of it is because of my new devices. Not having to worry about the battery dying between work and home means I'm working more on the train. That is a mixed blessing--I arrive to work email already gone through and two or three things started or addressed or something, but that means I'm reading and knitting less. I expect that to swing back around as the novelty of newness wears off (or maybe if my email stops exploding every day).

This doesn't count as "new" yarn...not really. It was yarn I intended to buy at Stitches Midwest, but the dyer hadn't brought any of that colorway along and so I had to order it later.





From Jennifer at Holiday yarns.  This is the Fathom colorway on her DK base, which is 100% merino. It came out very differently from the FlockSock base, which was more muted. (I made socks out …

Prudent Shopping

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A friend asked for some help with a gift and, as this then involved buying yarn from The Loopy Ewe and a prudent hedgehog does not pay for shipping when she can use the money to buy yarn instead....

First up was some sock yarn from Hedgehog Fibers, which I've been meaning to acquire for ages. The dyer has lovely things and obviously an affinity for hedgehogs. It was meant to be.



As AudioGirl pointed out, I'm buying everything in this strange dark rainbow with hot pink or purple palette of late. Not sure what has spawned that but I had to resist more when we were at Sifu.  It's not exactly a reach from my beloved jewel tones but it does have those interesting pops of grey and rust.



I'm entranced by all the colors though and I think it will be a lovely pair of socks.

Also, because it's football season and we still have more home games tailgates to attend, I grabbed some purple to match the team Philosopher and crew cheer for. I promise it's a bright cheery and …

In Theory, In Practice

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In theory, I have not bought all that much yarn this year.  I've only been to a couple of festivals and didn't break the bank there. I've been resisting the "leftover" Wollmeise still sitting at the Loopy Ewe website this past week (in case anyone wanted to get me a late birthday present...). And I've been knitting and crocheting from stash. The grocery bags are a testament to that.

In practice, the bins are still bursting at the lids and I have a pile of wool sitting on my desk that's currently taking up the spot that Gypsy thinks rightfully belongs to her.  I'd best tell you about some of it it so I can attempt to put it away and give her room to stretch out, otherwise she'll sit half on the keyboard and mouse again and I'll never get anything else done.

AudioGirl and I went out the day before my birthday and where should we meet up but at Sifu. It's such a lovely welcoming shop and on the day we were there the sky was grey and it had ra…

Sock Show Thursday: Cuff Progress

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The socks have been riding around with me but not getting a whole lot of progress--I've been reading a couple of books and had a couple of days off where sock knitting wasn't happening because that's anytime knitting.

Still, I'm further along.



I'm not sure what I expected when I started these, but it wasn't stripes.  The heel and gusset should certainly be all sorts of splotchy and that probably means these are destined for my sock drawer.  Yes, I know I could put in an afterthought heel and take the opportunity to learn something new. I'm doing new on another project, these are just going to have to pool.

I'm amazed it's the first of October already. Two and a half knitting months until Christmas and the holiday knitting hasn't even begun. There's a vague plan, kinda, but nothing on wool. But the dark is coming so much earlier in the evening and I noticed this week when the alarm went off I'm not waking in the light as I was. It's …

Socks on a Train

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I am trying to adapt to a new phone, which doesn't have a physical keyboard and thought trying to blog on the screen might be a good way to see how my typing would be.

I already miss physical keys but the speed isn't too bad so far. I expect that I will get used to it.

Over the course of the year I have been surprised to find how little I wanted to knit socks. The past two years, knocking out a dozen pairs was fairly straightforward. This year, mid spring, I just stopped. There has been a lot of knotting, without doubt, but it has been shawls and socks and other things.

One concern I have noted in the back of my head is that my guage is changing. When I started knitting socks everything was on size two needles. Granted, the guage on those is a little loose, but I could crank through them like no one's business.

Then was 1.5ss and 1 (2.5 and 2.25 mm) respectively. My size 0 (2.0mm) were reserved for koigu kpppm. But of late I have noticed that my size one needles feel big..…

Missing + Sophomore

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Somewhere, on Sunday, I misplaced a bag of knitting. It was a pair of socks started recently out of the BMFA that I'd just gotten. I was only an inch or so into the ribbing, but the yarn, needles, and project bag have all disappeared. I checked with the friends I saw that day and can't seem to locate it. Currently my best guess is that I set the knitting bag on top of the car, walked away from it, and someone grabbed it. It was a cute bag.

The good news is that my Loopy Academy Sophomore Fall Semester yarn showed up.  Fall projects include: cables, textured, and a pillow.  I restrained myself and did not go for one of the large textured shawls beckoning from my queue.  This fall is busy enough without my needing to make myself entirely crazy with knitting deadlines. Besides, that's what Christmas is for.



A quick snap on the desktop.

The brown Cascade 220 superwash will become the pillow project; the Loopy Solids is for a pattern in the just released Knitty Deep Fall Issue

The Haul from Stitches Midwest

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The Philosopher and I did make it over to Stitches Midwest, mostly because he wanted to go to IKEA and it's around the corner. Granted, we forgot to get the shelf which was one of the primary reasons for going and oddly, neither of us were hungry which meant no meatballs but I suppose we need more reasons to go back again.

This round at Stitches Midwest was mostly grabbing a few things from vendors I already know and like. I found it interesting how much more I saw in semi-solids and also in muted colors. My purchase won't reflect that at all but it did appear to be a trend. Mini-skeins are also ridiculously popular.  That always makes me laugh because the Unique Sheep has been doing miniskein gradients for many years.

Anyway, I ended up with yarn from some familiar dyers.

First up was Dragonfly Fibers, whose vibrant colors I continue to be fascinated with.





I love that pop of bright orange, it'll be so interesting when it's knit up. "Just to one more orange pop&…

Smarter than the Directions

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In the midst of Stash Dash, as I was contemplating a marathon project to get me through to my end yardage, I pulled out some Dream in Color Starry that has been marinating for a while. I bought this yarn with a gift certificate from the Incredibly Patient Mother a few years ago when I was on a sparkly kick and have been trying to sort out what I'd made it into since then.

A rummage through the queue on Ravelry produced the Gingko Biloba Shawl.  Skein 1 of 3 was handwound up (no, I still haven't worked things out around Chez Hedgehog so I can set up my swift again) and I had a plan for success.

Only, that's a fingering weight shawl and by the time I was casting on it was July 30. This did not bode well for completing over a km of knitting before the end of Stash Dash. Add to that the usual fall craziness as the semester has started, the students are back [I work in medical education, they never really leave but it's a fraction slower in the summer], and you can understa…

Another Blue Moon

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While there is still a fair amount of Blue Moon Fiber Arts in the stash, the opportunity to buy a little more is never one I seem to be able to pass up. Particularly when Tina describes her Rare Gems.

This batch brought me a Fire and Water Rare Gem.  One of these days I probably should try for Earth and Air but for now I've been quiet happy with what she sends.  Perhaps this time the excellent people at BMFA knew I'm starting to have more babies coming in my life, as what was sent looks ready for baby sweaters....
Here's fire

which has some lighter pink shades and a hint of white on the back



And Water has teals and blues.





Part of me just wants to make socks and part of me is going through my queue looking for baby sweaters... which will win, which will win?

To Market

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I continue to crank away at grocery bags.  The last two I've finished have been on the morning commute, so they're sitting in my office.  I need to drag them home and weave in the ends.

I'm working off of 1 lb cones and while it's gratifying to watch the pounds diminish quickly, it's not my preferred way to work. I feel like I spend half of my time pulling yarn off the cone and it's really not convenient for the train. I'm making it work, though.

As I was running out of the ivory yarn, I topped the last ivory bag with green.



Now I've finished 2 more bags in that green and I have a third one that is just ready for the decreases, but I've run out of the cone, so it will be set aside while I work on another color. The final bag will be all of the leftovers, but that's 1.5 lbs of bulky cotton away.  And then I have two more pounds of worsted weight cotton, so I'll be crocheting for a while yet.

A colleague asked about how long a single bag take…

A few FOs

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I've started to recuperate from Stash Dash 2015. I did end up completing the 5K and have done a bit of knitting since then but it's the start of the fall semester and knitting time and energy has been spent on other things.

First up--I finished the shawl!



I ended up with a modified border as I'm not a huge picot fan and I was starting to run low on yarn. When I pinned it out, I was shooting for an 8 pointed star--and then squared out those points a bit.  I'm happy overall with how it turned out, though it's the second shawl I've made this year that isn't really my taste.  Ah well, an occasion or person will arise who loves it, I've no doubt.  I'm glad the yarn--which had been lingering in my stash for YEARS--was used up.

 One more pair of socks done. This is pair 3 for 2015. I think my usual dozen might be a half dozen, assuming a little more sock mojo comes back this fall.



And finally, that last push through grocery bags.



Everyone around here is l…