Through the leaves

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You never realize how much knitting something takes until you actually get to it. I know that sounds very intuitive, but for some reason I thought that Leaves of Grass would be such a quick knit. That’s how it started anyway, it was fast, quick, fairly straight forward, but now it’s become a beast of knitting. I just didn’t think ahead enough for when it got to the largest stitch count, I thought “Oh it will knit up in no time at all.” At the ending 580 stitches in a lace pattern that is the largest in the whole shawl/blanket, I must have turned off the part of the brain that says “this will take longer then you think.” I was blinded by the knit against, it creates that rush to make you want to knit things super quickly, and you believe you can knit them faster then you actually can. I know that now while I’m trying to churn out the last repeat of Chart D. This will be perfect when it’s done, a night light weight blanket for me, since anything thicker and I would roast in a few seconds.

There was no Tour De Fleece for me this year, for a lot of reasons. It was right before my Portland trip and I would be there in the middle of it. I had a lot of knitting that needed to get done so spinning had to go to the way side. And I’ve been working on fixing an issue that I have with one of my designs that should have been a quick follow what I wrote. Speaking of Portland, here’s the yarn I told you I would take pictures of.

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That’s one of the reasons I’ve been so absent here, the yarn which I bought for it a year ago and started the design on, was discontinued. I was working it in Madelinetosh Tosh Lace in the color way Mineral, which was just perfect for the design. Now that the yarn was discontinued by Madelinetosh I had to find some replacement and fast. I have a model lined up, but she is leaving in September, so it would have to be done before then. I’ve looked at lots of possibilities, commercial yarn, indie dyers, etc, but with no avail. I have finally found a substitute that will hopefully not be discontinued in the next month of so. It shouldn’t since it was just released this year, so here’s hoping.

When things just happen

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I have been back home for a while now and I have not been posting anything. I appologize, my mind is still in Portland right now. The city for me is very captivating, great public transit, ways to feel like you’re out of the city, great food, the list could go on and on. That’s not the point, the point is I’ve been distracted and I should have posted before now.

On the trip I did a little bit of knitting, not as much as I could have but oh well. I did go to my favorite knitting store while there, Knit Purl. Which I was surprisingly very restrained while there, once of my friends asked if I was feeling well… I avoided buying any Tosh, which for me is a feat itself. I was looking at getting some of the Brooklyn Tweed yarns in Long Johns, but they didn’t have enough in loft or shelter for what I wanted. I did get a sweater quantity in artifact. And I picked up a skein from a local dyer, Blissful knits, in a merino cashmere nylon yarn. I’ll have pictures of the yarn to come.

Since I have been back I have knitted on a few things, but one thing did get finished right in time for my addendum deadline. The color affection is done, blocked, and just need some ends woven in. It’s so light and airy, the colors subtle but perfect for me. I’m very pleased with how it turned out, now I just need to actually wear it. Those pictures will happen a little later too.

Finally, I know most know what a knit a long is, but most have not heard of what a knit against is. It’s the same thing as a knit against, but it’s a friendly competition between a group of knitters making the same project. The goal is to finish before everyone else has. This first started with a Romi Hill shawl and since then we have done a few of them (knit againsts and her shawls). Right now there are 3 of us working on the leaves of grass shawl by Mr. Brooklyn Tweed.

I must get back to my knitting, have to try to get ahead.

To travel or to travel

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The first thing I always think about is what knitting am I brining. It’s something that all of us face. I think about it, go through my queue, stash, design ideas, and still I find it difficult to figure out what I want to bring. So many things that I want to bring with me but some if them aren’t conducive to traveling at all. I have shawls I want to knit, but lace or beads probably not a good idea. That sweater that needs just sleeves, yeah you could but you have to bring so many balls of yarn for that. Or what about that design I have been working of or the past year, probably not, you shouldn’t need to think while on vacation like that.

So there enters that age old question for traveling with your knitting, what should I bring? So I went again through the stash and looked and remember that yarn I got a few weeks back, I figured skews would be a good idea since they’re fairly straight forward and they’re quite fast too. Not so fast that it wouldn’t keep me for a few days but not so slow that if they weren’t close to being done when I come back that I wouldn’t pick them up again. So those got cast on and I’m pleased how they’re going.

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I also found a pattern that I wanted to do but just needed to find the right yarn. So in stash I pulled out yarn I bought the last time I was in Portland, so Madelinetosh Merino Light in Terre Verte. It’s becoming an iron maiden, and it’s quiet fun to knit so far.

It’s now day 3 of the trip and I have been doing some knitting, but there’s too much to do and not enough time. I’ll be happy to have a sock and a 1/4 of as shawl.

Tour de Fleece…woops

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Time seems like it’s just flying by these days.  When I think to myself, oh yeah I’ll work on that one thing in a little bit and that little bit turns out to be a few days later, it’s mind boggling.  I’ve been working on a few blog posts, none of them actually got published for one reason or another, so this is a fresh one.  I haven’t said that much about my knitting so I should have a bit to talk about with this post.  Lets get started shall we?

First off the wedding shawl is nearing completion, I have about 1.5 repeats of one chart and the final chart to do, weave in the ends, block, and it’s done.  Then I just have to set up a time to drop it off with it’s new owner, who I think is very excited to see what it’s going to look like.  She saw the yarn and approved of it, but I didn’t show her what it will look like once it’s knit up.  I think it should be a good surprise when she finally sees it.  I’m so close to finishing, yet so far from actually working on it.  I did quite a bit on Friday, but after that I just couldn’t work on it anymore.  That much lace in such a concentrated sitting made me pick up something else that I just recently started.
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The LYS I go to just got in more of some gorgeous yarn from a new company for the store.  The only reason they got this line of yarn from the company is because one of my knitting friends did a special order for some of it, so the owner decided to start carrying it.  It’s pure silk, one of my weaknesses, aren’t you surprised?   But I thought to myself, no I shouldn’t be buying any new yarn, I don’t have yardage to support this.  I knew I wanted it, but decided I couldn’t add it in as an exception.  There was another idea that I had, it was bold and dangerous, but after holding the yarn for a day and having it torture my thoughts Friday night, I bought it Saturday (this is all last week mind you).  The addendum I added to the Social Pressure Experiement (and yes I know I’m using a fancy word) is that I must finish the project within 1 month of the purchase otherwise I would have to give up tripple the amount of yardage purchased.   I could of course subtract yardage earned to help with it once it is out of the “contract” if you will.  But tripple the yardage, I figured that is just enough to make me really think about it.  I bought it, it’s gorgous, it’s Ito Yarns and is called Kinu which is a gorgeous pure silk.  I bought enough to do a third  color affection, but this time I will be keeping this one for me.  I hopefully will be able to actually wear this one.

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Right now I’m waiting near the door waiting for my blocking mats to come in. I had to check to make sure if I needed more of them and after only getting 45% of the shawl to fit on the ones that I do have I knew I needed more. Lets hope it comes soon.

This is only the begining

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Now before you all go insane on me, I will have you know that I have earned this and it has come out of what I have earned.  With that being said lets continue.  And I should also state that I in fact had a blog post that was supposed to go up a few days ago, but it seems that the app ate it when it should have uploaded it, so my appologies.

Somestimes when something is right you just have to do it, I found something that was extremely right. I knew that I wanted it to be mine, but only when I earned it. I kept looking at it, looking, wanting, yearning, but then it sold out and I was relieved. It didn’t really come to mind again until a friend of mine told me that the shop updated and what I wanted was back in stock. I tried to resist as much as I could but the problem with resisting is that sometimes you just can’t resist. It took a few days for me to give in to it, I figured that I had earned it and I had yardage to cover it. Yes I bought one skein of yarn that I had earned by knitting stash yarn. The yarn in question is from White Birch Fiber Arts and is in such a fun and cheerful colorway. The colorway I purchased was Nothing Says Screw You Like a Rainbow, which I have a thing for rainbow yarn. It arrived so quickly I couldn’t believe it, once in my hand it was even better then I expected.

I think I’m starting to have a love affair with this yarn, I just want to knit it all up, but then I want to still admire it in the skein. Sometimes that’s just how it goes, I think that is how my stash actually started, buying lots of yarn I couldn’t knit that fast and keeping it for a rainy day. This one I will hopefully work on soon, so I can actually enjoy it.

Something else that I have to note is that when my LYS gets new yarn they will always let us know, via tweet, facebook, sometimes while we are there. And recently they got Madelintosh in, which is a weakness of mine. I knew when I go to my LYS I would need to be I would need to be extra cautious. I knew what was going to be coming in, new colors which I had already looked at a few days before to see what they were. There was one that I had wanted to get for a while, when I first saw it on their online store I knew that some day I would buy it. When I got in a lot of the yarn was already gone, but I had a skein of the one that I wanted on hold, to see if I would actually buy it. And one advantage of being a lace knitter, who likes silk, is that the silk doesn’t sell as quickly as the other yarns, so you can get what you want. The color I ended up buying because I wanted it for months is called Magic, it’s wild and I love it. This will not count because I’ve wanted it for that long. I did put back a skein of the pure silk in Shire, which I’m kind of regretting right now. When I go back in this week, I will see if the exact skein is still there, if it is I will have to buy it.

Lets fast forward a week later, that exact skein was still there. I bought it and I made the decision that it will not count towords the social pressure experiment because it’s been a long time since I’ve had a yarn make me want it so bad through space and time. This wasn’t an impulse, it was just meant to be…. Both of these skeins are so pretty. I am going to reference you to the pictures that Madelinetosh uses, for I will not get my pictures done in a timely manner. Shire (Photo From Madelinetosh)
Magic (Link and photo from Madelinetosh)

All things that need to be done

There are a lot of things that you realize when you start blogging.  I’ve noticed that despite being able to knit fairly quickly the way that I knit, I don’t get a lot of things done.  If anyone is interested I knit left handed (even though I’m primarily right handed) but I’m not a “traditional” continental knitter.  I throw with my left hand, which kind of sounds counterintuitive, but thats something that I do and it works for me.  I can pick, I can throw right handed, but I choose to knit the way that I do.  What do I mean that I don’t get things done?  Well I mean the time that I’m actually sitting down knitting isn’t as long or as often as I would like.  Most of the time my brain is so exhausted that I generally sit down and just zone out for a little bit and then go to bed.  This is keeping in mind this usually happens when I get home from work, or school, or both.  My hands lay still and I find that it’s kind of odd, but my brain can’t get them to pick up the needles and make anything. 

The same kind of holds true when needing to write the blog entries.  I found that I dont’t like having to sit down at my computer and write the blog.  I like sitting down wherever with a tablet of choice and writting it that way.  However, for the most part I’ve been writting with my small 7″ tablet, I really enjoy it, but the keyboard that I have for it is way too small.  The reason being is because the tablet is smaller, so therefore the keyboard has to be as well.  My 12″ tablet that I use for the most part is what I would prefer to type on but the problem with it is that I don’t want to use the on screen keyboard.  I know #firstworldproblems, but if I’m going to write this blog I’m going to do it the way that makes it easier for me and the way that I prefer.  So I picked up the Logitech Keyboard for it today and I’m using it right now, as you read this (well it will be all written with it, but for me writting it right now it seems like you’re reading along with me as I type.

Ok enough of the tech talk, lets get back to what you all are here for, fiber related crafts.

The spinning wheel has come back again, I find that spinning when the weather is warm is a good way to get something done, and not roast under a lot of yarn. There really is not anything that large on my needles, but I can only imagine. I’m still working on the Spinion project, in my defense I had a long semester and finally when I got time to do other things my brain was fried to a crisp. The singles I’m spinning are very fine too, so this should be a nice light fingering 3-ply yarn when it’s done. Orange isn’t my favorite color, but this one is just beautiful, it makes me want to keep it. But I will not be keeping it since I’m only the spinion, maybe once I earn some fiber I’ll get some for myself in this color.

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Member Number

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Last week at my knitting group someone told us that you could find out what your Ravelry member number was.  We all wanted to find out, but couldn’t since you have to be on the computer to find this information out.  It takes some old video game keystrokes in order to show you it.  So naturally I was curious to see how long I have been using Ravelry and what my number was.  Once I got home, I found out the keystrokes in order to show it.  Once the number appeared I was kind of surprised my number was relatively low.  I’m member number 3013, joining in June 2007.  Then I thought about it, how did I find out about Ravelry so early on?  I think it was because of the the Podcasts I was listening to at the time.  The main one that I believe I heard it on was LimenViolet, which are no longer around.

 

It’s the kind of word of mouth that got Ravelry to where it is now, with its impressive number of members.  I don’t know where I would be in my knitting career without Ravelry.  I wouldn’t have access to the large number of patterns, or be able to publish my own patterns that easily.  There would be no central listing of forms, groups, and a large yarn database.  There would be no research into a yarn to see how it behaves, wears (which made me run towards the washer to throw a swatch into), or how a color looks knitted.  There are so many things that without Ravelry, we wouldn’t have been able to do.  I remember the time without Ravelry and even though it worked and was ok, it’s not something I would go back to willingly.

 

Which reminds me I have to look through my queue to start planning what knitting I want to bring to Portland with me next month.  So many choices…. Portland Gussets might need to come with me, just seems right to me.

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Mind Lapse

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It’s kind of amazing how time can just fly by without you realizing it.  I really thought that my last post was yesterday, until I realized yesterday was thursday.  Time seems to be on a speeding kick with me right now and I’m guessing my brain is now in a more solid state then it was just 2 weeks ago (that was finals week).  But it is still amazing how many times I completely just have a melted mind moment where I just can’t think or process anything for a brief second and then I snap back to reality.  I think those are some side effects of those pesky finals.

Madrona is coming along nicely, just finished chart c and am on chart d, which it seems that these charts are getting easier as I go.  That could just be the fumes from the yarn, I think pure silk can do that to a knitter, or anyone for that matter.  I’m finding that I really do like working with silk, but there are somethings that I don’t like about it.  Now before you go crazy with your double points and other pointy needles, hear me out.  The one thing that I don’t like about silk that I wish it had was more give, in the way that wool has.  I know that is one of the characteristics of silk, that even though it is an animal fiber, it won’t have the same characteristics as other animal fibers.  Regardless I am enjoying knitting with it and the pattern is still engaging.

Right now I have some yarn sitting next to me that is slowly speaking to me, telling me what it wants to be.  It’s one of those designs that you all will see eventually.  I rediscovered it when I pulled out and aired the stash last week.  Which I think that was the most popular entry to date, something about mass quantities of yarn makes knitters excited.  But on that yarn, it’s telling me what it wants to be, which what it is telling me is kind of compelling. This will be one of many designs that I will get done this summer and get out after that.  I’m determined to get these published so that everyone can see what I have had cooking in my mind for months.

While the designs brew in my head I have been doing some spinning.  I pulled out the wheel again, continuing some of my Spinion spinning (it’s the term my knitting group coined, it’s a spinning minion).  I’ll elaborate on that a little bit.  One of the knitters I regularly hang out with, refuses to spin, she said she might be tempted to weave sooner then spinning, but spinning isn’t something she wants to do.  Because of this and because of there being a few spinners in the knitting group, she will catch us while at fiber events while touching fiber.  She’ll say, “that is really pretty, spin that for me and I’ll buy you some fiber.”  The spinions were created then, so this is one that I’m spinning for her and it’s gorgeous.  It’s some BFL from Pigeonroof Studios, in this really fantastic shades of oranges.  I like spinning BFL anyway, so it’s a win win for me too.  I get to spin with lovely fiber and the finished yarn doesn’t end up in my stash.

And I know that posts with pictures are more fun, I’m still working on getting more photos up here.  For now I’ll leave you with a picture of A Verb For Keeping Warm, just a small snapshot of the shop and some of it’s amazing yarns.

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All Stashed Up

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I keep talking about my stash, like it’s some large, invisible entity.  It is quite real and I know that I had a lot of yarn, but I didn’t really know it until I took pictures.  Keep in mind that I only got between 85-95% of all of my yarn in the pictures.  There is still some I didn’t pull out and photograph, but I think that the pictures will speak for themselves.  I put them on my twin bed, which you can see that for the most part you can’t even see the comforter anymore.  The first picture is just random yarns, Tosh, Sundara, Abstract Fibers, and many others.  

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This includes some sweater quantities in Malabrigo, Tosh, Sundara, Cascade.  When I saw this I knew I was in trouble, in this picture there is about 140 skeins of yarn alone.  Then we go to the next picture, which has one of the two large under-bed storage, the one pictured has at least 4 sweater quantities in it.  And then it’s the contents of the Tosh bin, which doesn’t contain all of it.  I am still looking at both pictures in awe.

 

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So approximate total of skeins that were photographed today… 300+ easy.  This is definitely not SABLE quantity here.  However, I am very glad that I started the Social Pressure Experiment.  There is way too much good stuff here that it would be insane to get any more yarn before using some of it.  There are yarns I’ve had for years in the stash, which I’ve never used the yarn before.  I did find some yarn I forgot about, well I knew I had it, but I forgot what the exact colors looked like.  Yes I have photos on Ravelry of some of them and the ones in question, but those were with my phone, once I get my lightbox I will redo them.  

 

That yarn I found might just have a design in mind, I know I talk about designs but you don’t see that many of them.  Trust me I’m working on fixing that.  My plan for the summer is to relax, knit a lot, and get some of the designs ready for everyone.  

 

In sweater news, I finished the left front last night and now I get to start the right front.  Still happy with it and happy with some swatching yarn.  

Swatch it to me real good

Wednesday was the last day of finals, so I am done with the semester. I will have the next 2 months free to knit and do as I please. Yesterday I took to recharge my batteries and get myself ready for the summer ahead. There are some things that I would like to do this summer and places to go see.

I had an entire blog written about a cardigan that I swatched for and just began, but that time has past. I’m working on a lovely caridgan, surprise! Its in Loft, which I am finding I love working with. Its worsted cousin, Shelter, is also a favorite of mine. I’m using the color Sweatshirt and am knitting a pattern out of wool people 7, Ivar. I will not be knitting it as long as shown in the pictures, but besides that I’m knitting it to pattern. I have the back done and part of the left front, hopefully this will be done by July.

Last Friday I took a trip up to A Verb for Keeping Warm, with some of my knitting friends. The shop has the Wool People 7 trunk show on display, so naturally we all wanted to go up there to see it. When we arrived we saw the trunk show, which is lovely (and convinced 3 out of the 4 of us to get yarn for projects from the collection). I kept toying with the idea of making another Grettir in a green scheme, but then I thought about making another pattern that has a lot of cables. I walked around a bit and thought to myself, picking up yarn and putting it down. We breaked for lunch and the other 3 of the group had already made purchases. After that I split off to a camera store, which sells a bag company that I have been looking at for a while now. I ended up getting one.

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If you are wondering it a Ona Bag Bowery, which I got in the smoke color. I took it yesterday to go shooting at one of my favorite local locations. It worked out great, but lets get back on track.

I did not buy anything at a Verb which I am still surprised with myself. However I have decided that I can buy a single skein of swatching yarn, as long as I work on it right away. And only 1 skein on swatching yarn a month.

Back to knitting on the cardigan, and the shawl, and the socks…. now that I have more time… Which I’m still surprised that I have time again.

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