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Showing posts from 2016

I still have 7 hours...

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But I'm already done and my pictures for Loopy Academy Junior Year, Semester 1 are posted and I'm officially done with those three projects! They add to the pile of "well, now what do I do with these?"

So what did I end up with?

First done was the Bobbles project. This ended up with far more drama than I would have liked, due to my inability to read the pattern I was planning on using.


A second choice seen here was Arroyo, which, if you look at the pattern, does not have bobbles.  After I'd tried a couple of bobbly patterns, I opted for a pattern I liked and added a row of subtle bobbles. Yes, I know, I just said "subtle bobbles" 

But they are relatively subtle--see the grey blobs? Sorta? Okay, I'll zoom in. 

1 row of gray blobs. I'm not really sold on the whole scarf but it turned out less annoying than I expected, so, yay. 

You've just seen the gloves, so I won't spend much time there. This was less painful than the first set I made, I…

The Counts are Piling Up

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In my annual race to the deadlines, I'm still not done, but the count in the finished pile is growing rapidly.

My Loopy Academy finish, which last week seemed rather optimistic, is quickly becoming manageable. Two of the three projects are done: the toy and the bobble project. And I've cast on the second glove. Which makes it sound like it's humming right along. In reality, I have one whole row completed and there are many hours ahead of me, but at least the first 40 rows or so are just 2x2 ribbing and that I can do in near stupor. This will be followed then by 40 rows of rather intricate cables, a reasonably mindless thumb and palm and then...more fingers.

(Proof of glove 1)
It's not going horribly. I think it helps that I just finished the incredibly fiddly elephant toy, but the work is certainly not fast and I can't imagine trying to knit gloves for recipients whose hands are not immediately available to me at all times. 
So there will be a parade of finished ob…

One Thing Done

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I did not make all of my holiday deadlines. Fortunately, gifts are received graciously even if I'm running a little late to the post office.

Christmas Eve I was able to deliver personally to AudioGirl.

While out shopping earlier this fall, she'd mentioned wanting a skinny, asymmetrical scarf. Add to that a box of mini-skeins from Sophie's Toes that she's been commenting on since I bought it and a plan emerged.

196 rows later and...




One assymetrical scarf! 

The scarf is reversible, with alternating rows that keep it from locking too far into a front side/back side. And I was able to use up almost every single row of yarn that came in the 6 pack. 

The progression went from a bright yellow with orange and green dots that I'd probably never pick up on it's own all the way to her Flannel colorway, which I have knit up for the Philosopher's favorite triangle. 

There are very sharp contrasts between sections, even with me trying to alternate rows at the beginning/…

The Morning Count

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Because it's December and I, as I have said, fail annually at remembering that this part of the year shows up regularly, getting ready in the morning has a new component: the yarn projects for the day.*

I'm never at my best first thing in the morning. I can go from dead asleep to brightly chipper on the phone in under a minute but if you want sustained thought, that takes whole lot more time and usually either coffee or tea. Adding in project evaluation takes extra brain cells and I'm impressed that so far I've not managed to walk out of the house without, say, my phone. We'll see what kind of shape I'm in by the end of next week.


The reason for these extra neurons firing is an attempt to review the day ahead and determine what knitting time is available and what kind of knitting time that is. The Yarn Harlot is much better than I am--she can approximate how long something will take to knit and also better knows what kind of knitting she'll be able to do at…

Done and Dusted

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I finally got to make a special knitting delivery today!

When I found out my friends E&P were expecting twins, I was very excited. E and I have been friends long enough that if you ask, neither of us can entirely figure out how we met. At some point she was just on speed dial and we've been through many a professional organization mini-crisis together.

Twins often show up a little early and this pair was no exception. And while I'd gotten to meet them, I just now finally finished all the edging and end-weaving, etc, and so when I went over to babysit for a couple of hours, I brought along their blankets.


I made two Mason Dixon Moderne Log Cabin baby blankets.  The yarn for both was Plymouth Encore, which is 75% acrylic, 25% merino and very washable. It also comes in many colors.  E had said black was totally fine and she didn't want pink but beyond that she didn't have any particular color preferences. Blanket One was Black, Dark Burgundy, Medium Gray, and Charcoal…

Maybe It Will Work for Easter

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Earlier this fall I bought yarn for making my Loopy Academy projects. I had patterns and plans but alas, am a Hedgehog of the Occasional Inability to Read the Pattern Properly Until Several Months later. *sigh*

And so I refactored, grabbed new patterns, and faced my yarn choices. 
Two skeins from that shipment have to be set aside for gifts, so I'm left with my original yarn choices and a curious wondering about what I was possibly thinking in September.

I bought lavender wool. I don't particularly care for lavender-- I don't wear the color; I'm not a big fan of the scent. More for those of you who do like it, truly. Why did I buy lavender wool? If you run into September Hedgehog, ask her. 
And the project needs to be at least 250 yards and include bobbles, which means I need to use both skeins. 
I also don't like bobbles. Sibling-the-Elder has done some fantastic work with lace and nupps. I adore what she is capable of and my coworkers keep threatening to permanen…

It Always Comes Down to December

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Every year, I think I will do better. Every year, I don't. You'd think I'd learn and either would do better or would at least know my own tendency to put things off.

Fall knitting has been taken up by large projects that you've not seen, due to my wanting to get them finished and off to recipients before I showed pictures. The last ends are finally woven in and the delivery date for them set. Then...photos and proof that I haven't been a total slacker.

I'm now trying desperately to catch up on my Loopy Academy Junior Year Fall Semester Projects. I could easily have knocked these out months ago but instead here I am frantically trying to catch up. It didn't help that when I went to work on one project I realized that I'd not bought enough yarn. Some refactoring and new patterns later and I'll be okay, if annoyed.

Getting attention this weekend was Loopy Project: Make a Toy. I've not gotten much into toys, for all that I have the Rebecca Danger Mo…

Knitting Adjacent

I've been searching for a knitting metaphor for the world over the past days since the US election. Not so much for you, for myself. Knitting focuses me when I am troubled, gives me tangible progress when information work feels horrendously intangible, and has the added side benefit of connecting me to a large community of people who share my hobby--if not all of my opinions (e.g. DPNs vs. Magic Looping for socks. I'm #TeamDPN).

Knitting is often made up of big projects. Long projects. Anyone who has ever undertaken a large shawl, the second sock at that tiny gauge, or a full size afghan knows the slog, the haul, the do-I-really-have-that-much-more-yarn-to-go feeling.

That is what is keeping me going right now. Following the election and facing tumultuous and scary time ahead, I'm grasping on to all the knitting metaphors I can find. This may be simplistic but it gives me a little bit of reassurance.

I can do big things. And each big thing is made up of many thousands of s…

Unpacking the Stash

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I'm going through the stash. Some friendly neighborhood clothes moths paid a visit to a couple pair of handknit socks that had been left out over the summer and I want to salad toss everything, vacuum, and make sure that further damage isn't afoot.*

Usually I try to go through the stash a couple of times a year. It's good to sort out yarn that I am no longer interested in, remember what I have, get back in touch with my yarn and spark a ridiculous amount of creative inspiration. I knew it had been a while but apparently full yarn-amnesia has set in. As I opened up bins I kept commenting "what's that? I don't remember buying that." Ravelry helps but I'm finding things that aren't in Ravelry, which means they snuck in here without even that documentation.

Somewhere around mid-July I was staring at the stash on it's many shelves in the living room and all I could think was that perhaps I should just clear it all out. Try again with some new yarn …

Delights at Every Turn

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It was recently a birthday at Chez Hedgehog. One of the quieter years for me: AudioGirl and I met up for a mutual birthday meal; the Philosopher and I went to a very nice dinner on the actual day; and then the Incredibly Patient Mother came up last weekend and we ate and drank our way around Chicago: Dim Sum down in Chinatown followed by my first trip to our Cider Pub--Northman! The past year has been challenging in terms of work, personal goals, some health things, etc. and I wasn't up for any kind of big celebration. Time with my boyfriend, mother, and one of my longest friends was exactly what I needed. 
And there have been a few lovely additions to the knitting accouterments from my birthday...

Apparently if one has a sibling who knits and loves hedgehogs, you find her this. It's a lovely felted knitting bag from Sibling-the-Younger and has an aborable little cat pin. I've already got plans to haul it around and see how many comments I get on it! I think he picked it …

For All the Miles

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Before work today a man came to pick up my Pontiac. He was running late (weather/traffic/people can't drive); I was already exhausted from a new spate of insomnia; and a very full day of work lay ahead.  As he backed up the flatbed, I took off the license plate and made sure I had pulled out my last registration card. I signed over the title and --oh right--you need the keys. 
And he said "Great, I'll load it, you get to work, I'm sorry for being so late."
Suddenly I didn't want to go. My car was leaving me and I was just going to go to work like a normal day? 
I bought the car in 2004 as I was headed into my final semester of graduate school. My first car had finally given up the ghost and I needed to drive both for school and all over Long Island for work. I'd done research online, found a car I  wanted, arranged with the Incredibly Patient Mother to go make a purchase, arrived at the dealer at the beginning of the day and... neither the car nor the Sal…

Stitches Midwest: Plans for Fall Socks

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The Incredibly Patient Mother and I went to Stitches Midwest! Her visit was timed fortuitously and I haven't been to a yarn festival since AudioGirl and I went to YarnCon, obviously I was suffering for a lack of new wool in my life.

My first target was Dragonfly Fibers, to show them the shawl, which was very well received. You know dyers know their product line well when they handle a shawl and announce "Ah, Pixie, but where did you get an all black skein?...[Pause as I say Ravelry] Oh...the Shades of Truth kit, right..." They liked it and I hope that means black skeins might be part of their regular run in the future.

From there the IPM and I stalked Franklin Habit for a few minutes. My dear friend who travels so much that with my calendar and his, I can only hope that we'll end up in California or North Carolina at the same time one of these days while he teaches at a yarn shop and I'm giving another presentation on data policy.


I, of course, had an ulterior mo…

The Shawl is Done

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I finished the giant black shawl!! Well, mostly black.




The 1900 yards have been bound off and I had a few yards leftover. Based on the weight, it's a little over that count, the skeins each had an extra yard or two but the wee leftovers on my desk are very wee. Certainly not enough to have done another round, but long enough that I wasn't worried about playing yarn chicken once I was 2/3rds of the way through the bindoff.




The shawl is Nuvem by Martina Behm. The yarn is Dragonfly Fibers Pixie in the Shaggy Dog and Firecracker colorways.



That's a full size bed that it's lying across This shawl is massive. And doesn't photograph well indoors. I'm not sure I have the right lights for the lightbox set up this would need. 

I have not blocked it yet and I'm not sure how much I will block it, though after all the places it has been a wash won't go amiss. (Also, I'm not sure where I have room to block it. We're sorting things in the dining room right now…

How Much Can You Knit at a Conference?

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I'm just finished with a lovely two day regional conference. Friends at UChicago organized and hosted the meeting and it was a wide variety of speakers and attendees. I heard from a wide swath of people from different libraries and roles within their libraries all working on interesting projects. I have notes on several things I want to ask people about at my library and I need to post my own slides, several people said they wanted to follow up with me about them.

This meant, of course, that I needed a new knitting project. Everything else at Chez Hedgehog is still at the "in the throes of being complete."  [The giant black shawl bindoff continues.] So on my way out the door on Thursday, I grabbed a skein that had gone with to Florida and back without getting more than a cursory look and the bag of "needles to knit FlaxLight" which I now apparently carry all over the place.

First order of business was to wind up the yarn while we were having welcome half-hour b…

By Weight

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The shawl continues. Have I knit on anything else of late? There was a bit of a sprint working on one of the gray socks last week during a long meeting but other than that, shawl, shawl, shawl.

Everyone on various social media has been kind at the repetitive pictures of black yarn with speckles. The yarn is well loved and I've the impression that there's a cheering section of knitters waiting for me to finish it up.  This has been supplemented by a new site: I finally broke down and joined Instagram. I'm @hedgielib over there as well as on Twitter, if you're looking for me. I'm still getting aspects figured out. Hopefully I can set defaults to regularly post to Facebook--it'll be easier.

Joining came from a combination of frustration and prodding. Frustration because several knitters I know post there (e.g. the Yarn Harlot) and Instagram doesn't believe in RSS feeds and the 3rd party ones kept breaking. Prodding because AudioGirl pointed out that it would b…

Math Motivation

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Over the weekend I weighed the skein/knit another row/weighed the skein. If my math is to be trusted, I have three more rows to knit before I start the ruffle.

Suddenly I'm all excited and focused again on plowing through this giant shawl. Even though I have nearly an entire skein of yarn still to knit. Even though the ruffle is going to be miles of stockinette. Even though I'm still not sure how much yarn I should leave for the bind off -- though at least with that I'm relatively sure that ~3x weight of 1 round of ruffle should do it.



Hope knits onward...

To Florida and Back Again

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The Philosopher and I went to Florida for a week. He does most of the driving when we're in Florida--it's his home state--and this time he did all of it, which afforded me some serious extra knitting time. I packed four works in progress and a spare skein of yarn and that was absolutely the correct amount to take.

(Pauses to mention the cat who is determined to sit on the mouse, the keyboard, me, everything today. Gypsy has been velcro-cat since we got home and refuses to let me out of her sight while I'm in the apartment.)


On the plane ride down I worked on the Firework shawl.  Skein 3, while much brighter, was starting to stretch out forever and I knew I wouldn't be able to haul it all of the places that we were going to go.  But that was WIP #1. 
WIP #2 had a deadline.  My committee Vice-Chair had a baby in April and I wanted to usher him into his Chair year appropriately. Also, baby sweaters :)  (Photo by Mike, used with permission)
I realized after we got back that…