Garter break

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There is a lot of knitting I have a head of me if I want to knit everyone that I want to make before I go on my trip. The pullover is coming along nicely, the back and front are complete.  One side is already done and I’m about a quarter through the second side.  It’s not like it’s difficult knitting, it’s just plain stockinette. I can do that in my sleep (if I could knit in my sleep that would be great), but it’s just something that needs to be done with this sweater.  Once the sides are both done then I’m going to give it a good block, sew up the seams, and then start the sleeves.  I’m guessing it will be another week or so to get it all done.  But of course that depends on the time that I actually have to get it done.  We are beginning finals at the end of this week, so most of my time that I have spare is going to be dedicated to studying.

I did start something new 2 weeks ago, it’s something that I needed to get the right 3 colors for, which I found in the new tosh base.  Madelinetosh Twist Light is the new base that my LYS got in fairly recently.  One day after school I thought about going to the shop to see if it actually came in.  If it didn’t I wasn’t going to mind, because I really didn’t need more yarn.  I got in, saw the boxes sitting there in the back, open, labeled, and ready to buy.  The colors were beautiful, the price was good, and had pretty good yardage.  I thought about buying another sweater quantity for another of the new Men’s Collection from Brooklyn Tweed.  Luckily I was talked down and I’m glad, I’m going to be knitting a lot of sweaters in the coming months. 
I did end up with 5 skeins, in various colors. But there were a group of three and a group of two. Masgot was the pattern for the triple and it’s looking good. 

 
I’m working on it when I want to knit something besides stockinette. Both projects are going wel.  

Miles and Miles

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I’m doing my best to get things worked on so that I can show you here.  Since I don’t have a lot of time to work on things, what I have gotten done is pretty good in my book.  You know that I have been working on the Redford pullover.  Well that is going pretty well actually, I got the back done today, promptly cast on for the front.  You may be thinking wow you are going to be done in no time, wait just a second.  Even though yes I’m through the back and starting the sleeves you may think that’s all thats left.  But you would be wrong, without giving the secret sauce of the pattern, you have to knit 2 side panels as well.  Which means I’m going to have 4 more pieces to knit once the front is done.  And did I mention the gauge?  It’s fingering weight yarn on U.S. size 4 (for me to get the right gauge of about 23 sts for 4 “).  Thats a lot of knitting especially making the 46 (I would have preferred at 44 but oh well, didn’t want to do math).  So there are a lot of stitches, not that I’m not enjoying the knitting, but it does take a bit of time to get to the completed state.

Right now I’m looking at other things that I want to knit when I finish this sweater.  Thew new Men’s Collection from Brooklyn Tweed made me go into a queueing frenzy, I liked pretty much everything from the collection.  So I wanted to knit something out of there, something that is out of Shelter, since I have a sweater quantity in Almanac.  The Denali Pullover caught my attention, with its cables and texture, not to mention the model is very handsome, that’s besides the point.  I think it will be a perfect sweater to have for my trip that’s coming up.  But then again I want to knit the Jackdaw Pullover as well, but that I think would need to be out of the Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Fathom that I have.  I think that will need to be plane/trip knitting.

Ok I bet you’re wondering what is this trip that you speak of?  Well I will be visiting Edinburgh and London this July for 2 weeks, so I thought it would be a good excuse to knit up some of the stash and have sweaters I might actually be able to wear.  I’m still deciding what sweaters I want to bring with me on the trip and the knitting that I want to bring.  But I have 2 months, that should give me enough time to plan and figure that out, right?  I also have to figure out what shops that I want to visit while there.  I know I want to see Loop because I’ve heard so much about it, but are there any others I should see?  If you know of any let me know and I want to get yarn that is local too if I can.

I’m not going alone, my mother is going with me, so I asked her if there was anything that she wanted me to knit for her for the trip.  She said not really, but I knew better.  I figured what could she pack that would be small and keep her warm?  Socks, that’s right socks, I will not be using the sock machine at all for these, they will be by hand.  I have one skein of Casbah sock picked out.  Then I’ll go from there.

Yarn will never leave you

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I know its been some time since I last posted, life again has gotten out of hand but what else is new? School is now starting to wind up and ramp up at the same time. Only 3 weeks left I believe at this time but that also means finals are coming. I sure hope that they aren’t too bad this year.
There is now a running joke at my local knitting group that yarn will never leave you. Which is very true, you don’t have to worry about it not being happy with you, it will happily sit in stash till its time is right. It will never complain about not being able to spend enough time with you (that would be a WIP that complains, not the yarn).  You can always count on it to be there for you, patiently waiting for you. It may call to you every so often, asking you to pick it up and just squish it and feel it’s beautiful fiber. It may just ask you to look at its beautiful colors and remember where you bought it, where you were with, and bring back memories of a good time.

Not only that but it will stay there with you even after its knit up, faithfully by your side or neck or body. It will keep you warm or cool depending on its fiber content. Yarn is just a wonderful thing, something that I’m very glad to have with me. The joke comes from when you’re broken up with as a knitter you will always have yarn because it will never leave you. To spare all of the details I needed some yarn that could be knit into something as a it will never leave you like some have.
At my LYS, we got back in malabrigo about 2 weeks ago and of course I had some sitting in front of me while I was there for knit night. But none of it really spoke to me, yes it was pretty, but not right for what I wanted. The group had told me that if it was going to be a special exception to the social pressure experiment that it should be something amazing. So I put the malabrigo back, but then I saw it, something that I had seen there before and just forgot about. A donegal tweed in this gorgeous red, it made my heart sing as it told me what it wanted to be. I knew then that would be the yarn, I checked quantities and the shop had the exact number I needed. So, pattern at the ready, yarn then purchased I got the new yarn.

I diligently did my swatch that night, after it got blocked, I was right on gauge.  I cast on and knit when I could.  There really isn’t anything amazingly interesting about the pattern but it simple, classic, and will wear really well.  The yarn that I picked mimics the original yarn, even though I would have like to have a sweater quantity in Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Long-johns.  But the Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal is a perfect substitute for me.

Now I’m almost halfway through the back of Redford, which I think will be perfect.  I want to get this done so I will have sweater for a trip that I’m taking this summer.  More on that later.

If you get anything out of this today is that Yarn is always a good investment, because it will never leave you.

Slumped and Spun up…

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There are times when you’re just knitting away, finishing things that you put down a while ago, and you think about what you want to knit on next.  Then you look at your queue, through featured patterns, check your WIP’s again, and nothing registers.  Nothing screams at you that they are next, they need to be worked now, or no amount of stash diving makes you want to work with something right away.  Maybe it’s just me, but I found that I’m in one of those slumps, I mean I’m working on works in progress but there isn’t anything that makes me excited and want to cast on right away.  I’m taking it as a sign, one that is telling me to do something else fiber related.

Lets bring in the spinning wheel, which has been neglected, wishing for someone to treadle it.  It whimpers next to me, so sad that it isn’t loved.  It’s not that it isn’t loved, I just had so much that I wanted to work on before that.  But I’m taking this opportunity to spin again, ironically enough last night when I went to sit down at the wheel I found that I couldn’t find the oil.  I looked everywhere because it needed a good oiling, but none could be found.  I knew that I had to get some more, fortunately one of the LYS’s here does spinning and I knew they would carry the oil I needed.  So I went up today to get it, but what I didn’t know that I would get enabled into some lovelies….

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Greenwood Fibers BFL and Silk in Enchanted (which I’ve wanted for a while and I saw again at my usual LYS last night), Greenwood Fibers Merino Silk in Arcade, and Wonderland Dyeworks Wonder Bundle in Seawater.  I couldn’t resist, so they came home with me.  I shouldn’t have, but the first one I wanted for months, the second was just so much fun, and the third was so stunning that I had to have it in my stash.

Speaking of, if you and I are friends on Ravelry you might have seen I put up a lot of stuff into my stash.  Don’t worry that is not new yarn, that’s all stash yarn that I have had for a while, but I knew I needed to put into my online stash.  I’m past 100 yarn entries, I’m a little scared because that is still not all of it, same with the fiber.  I better get out of the slump, but until then I think spinning and weaving would be good.

Convergent Time Warp

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Just a quick post today, knowing that I have slipped on these.  Last week was a intense week on multiple levels.  I thought a date that a proposal for twist was due on the weekend and it was due on Tuesday.  If that gives you any idea of how nuts it was for me for last week.  There still was time for working on some fiber related goodness, but not a lot.

Lets start with weaving, or the lack thereof.  I am working on a houndstooth scarf out of Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Moonstone and El Grecco, which will be stunning when its done.  However, being a new weaver, I’m getting used to the fabric tension when working patterns.  So I did have to un-weave a bit to get to a tension that I think will work out well when it is finished.  But the back and forth that I had to do a few times made me not want to weave that much, so I put it down for a bit.  But I picked it up again and I think that it’s going fairly well.  Hopefully I will get it done in the next few days.

For knitting I just finished something else, my convergent.  It’s bright, soft, and not to mention BRIGHT, Edison Bulb even though it is subdued in this a little bit, it’s still an intense color.  The icord border is quite nice, a favorite of mine, and adds more intensity when it’s in Edison Bulb. All blocked said and done I wish that I made it with a slightly bigger yarn so that it wasn’t so small. But I still Ike it non the less.

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I’ll be back again, I’m on spring break now, so I’m recharging my batteries, knitting has been happening, kind of.

A new addition

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You may or may not recall that there is an older loom that was purchased years ago that I have been learning on, determining if I liked weaving and wanted to invest in a better loom.  I haven’t really been using that loom that often and I was wondering why that is.  It could be that there are so many things that I want to knit and not to mention design that I didn’t have enough time to do both.  No that wasn’t it, I really like woven fabric a lot, always have, and then I looked at the loom.  I don’t like how it’s constructed, it moves funny when being used and the reed is only a 8 dent.  If I was going to be weaving more I know I want a 10 or 12 dent reed, which would allow me to use more of my stash, because a good chunk of it is fingering weight (yes a good chunk of that is Madelinetosh).

At Stitches I knew the one thing that I was willing to buy, I did my research, but I knew I wanted to see it in person.  When that day arrived I visited the Purlescence booth, but I was not feeling the best at the end and so I asked a few questions, stared at the loom longingly and decided that it would be better for me to think about it.  I decided right then and there that I would go visit their shop (which is pretty close to me and I haven’t been there since 2008…oops).   A few times during the weekend I was thinking about just going back to Stitches and picking one up, but I decided it would be better to go and do it in person. So I took a break from homework and traveled up to the shop.

I always forget how close things actually can be around here, I’m usually driving right past places I would normally go to when I go to work, school, etc. The shop is just getting back together after stitches west and I completely forgot how much amazing stuff they have. Looms, spinning wheels, fiber, yarn, books, tools, everything you could want. And they are amazingly nice, I was talking to them for a while, looking around glad that I am on the social pressure experiment cause I would have come home with more. I ended up getting the 25″ Schact Flip loom, which I’m so far supper happy with. I got it home, got it out of its packaging, and I hadn’t had it for more then 2 hours and it was already warped and ready to go.

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Here is just a teaser of what I worked on.  More details later.

Needles on Fire

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I know I just finished my Samen, it’s finally dry and I just need to clip the ends (which I like to weave in before blocking).  It’s quite spectacular and the recipient (my mother) got to see it and she is very excited about it.  I’m glad that I finished it and I got a bit of yardage for it.   As for more finished object I finished the mystery I started in October and put away because I didn’t want to look at it.  That would be Exploration Station, knit in some bold, bright colors.  Citrus, Maple Leaf, Dahlia, and Norway Spruce were the choices I made when I didn’t know what the design would be like.  Now knowing what it looks like I would have chosen a darker color set.  But it’s done, more yardage earned, and it will be given away to one of two knitters I know.  I did meet Mr West on Friday, who recognized me, not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. But I suppose that I will just have to leave myself wondering.

Another almost finished object is my Ivar Cardigan, all of the pieces are finished, blocked, and just needing to be sewn together.  After that the button band and I have to get some buttons for it.  I was very surprised how quickly the yarn dries, t’s amazing actually, within 3-4 hours it was bone dry, but I do try to get a lot of the water out of it when I’m doing my full wet block.  Soon I will have another completed object, maybe this one will come with me to a trip that I will be taking this summer, which might actually be needed.

Oh and I did quickly cast on one more thing, something that I have wanted to make from this designer for a while but haven’t had the right yarn for.  This time, when I saw that one of the samples was done in Edison Bulb I knew that I had to make it.  I searched the stash to find a color that I could use with Edison Bulb and I pulled out the last skein of Thunderstorm in Merino Light that I have.  I’m looking forward to making this and finally getting to use that bright color.  I am pretty sure that it will burn some retinas, including my own, which I’m guessing why the designer/model is , wearing sunglasses.  The pattern I’m referring to is called Convergent, the designer I have always like the geometric designs and clean lines, so I cast this one on right away.  So far I’m not sure if I like the needle size that I’m using, it’s making a fabric that is a bit looser then I would normally make, however it’s the needle size the designer recommend, and all of my good US 5’s are in use.  So far it’s an easy knit, nothing too complicated, just enough interesting bits that I’m not on full autopilot, but there are points when I can be on autopilot, which is nice.  It’s going slower then I would like but that’s not the fault of the pattern, it’s just the amount of time I’m able to allocate to knitting it.

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Speaking of time, I gotta get back to the school work that I need to get done.

Survived

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Every February Stitches West rolls around and I get excited, wondering what it’s going to be like, what’s going to happen, what I’m going to buy, etc.  I have not missed a Stitches West since my first one in 2006.  This year I got sick a few days before Friday, I remember being sick last year 2-3 weeks before Stitches and was glad that it got out of my system before.  But this year, I rested all the way up to Stitches and the day of I still wasn’t 100% but well enough to go just for a little bit and enjoy.  I did rock my Sari through the market place and got lots of looks, a few people talked to me about it, and I had Galina stop me and talk to me about it.

I got to see everything that I wanted to see, though I did forget to finally say hi to my favorite lace designer (Romi Hill).  But all in all it was a good show, at the end of my short time there I was ready to go.  What did I buy you’re probably wondering, I can say this with great pride, I walked out of Stitches West without buying… anything.  I know that sounds insane, all of that great fiber, all that yarn, and I didn’t buy anything.  I think the fact that I looked through my tosh bin the day prior and that morning I look at the stash and remembered all of the yarn that I bought last year and still haven’t used.  I had to be realistic, there were things that I wanted to buy yes, but it just lost it’s ability to tempt me.  Maybe it was the slight congestion in my head, maybe the DayQuil, but I walked away without anything.  I did talk to one of the Purlescence girls about the Schact Flip Loom, (at the very end of my short time there) and I decided that I would actually visit their shop when Stitches was over.  That would be give me more time to think about the loom, after seeing it in person and making sure my information about it was correct.  Not only that but I didn’t have to bring it home that day, I don’t need it right away, and I should actually see their new shop.  I haven’t been there in a while.  So that will be later this week I’m thinking, maybe Wednesday since I have a short school day that day.

Creature from the blue Tosh Bin

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I’m going to preface this post with I did have another one ready to go, talking about how close I was to finishing Samen which I deemed the Leviathan.  However now that I’ve caught a nasty cold and things are going crazy fast around here I have to get this post up instead.  I’m hoping by Friday I am feeling better.  Lets get onto the real knitting content.

As the title suggests the large project is done.  I’m so happy that the more auto pilot knitting is finally over.  But the final effect is nice, I really am happy with my color choices and how everything played out.  Will I make another one?  That will be for a later decision, I don’t know if I want to make another fingering weight version and the amount of lace yarn that is required I don’t have the right ones for it.  In the future, probably not anytime soon I will have to look for 5 more colors and make another.  However, for now I am glad that this one is done and here is a picture of it blocking.  I’ll have more pictures of it later on.

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Now that that is completed, I am looking at my empty needles, wondering what I should start next.  This might have some kind of lace yarn being cast onto it, not for lace specifically, but something using up some of my lace yarn.  Right now I have 2 different skeins of Lisa Souza Lace weight looking at me, one that is destined for Celestarium and the other for Viajante.  Both require a bit of knitting, one is more auto pilot and the other will need beads and a full print out of the charts.  Because lets face it, I love charts and I love doing them on a tablet, but there is no way I’ll be able to do that one electronically.  I probably could figure something out, but for my sanity I’m going to do good old fashioned paper. Though a new design came along on my friends activity feed and it uses one of my most obnoxiously awesome colors in my tosh bin.  That color is no other then Edison Bulb and I have it in Merino Light.  I think I’m going to have to finish something else so I can cast that one on.

I’m looking forward to Stitches West coming up this week, lots to see.  I have my plan of attack ready to go, what booths I want to see, what I’m going to buy, etc.  This year I’m not going to buy as much as I did last year, that’s for sure.  May seem like famous last words, but I know what I really want to get this year and it’s not yarn or fiber.  It’s a tool, it’s going to be a nice tool, something that I can use again and again, be able to make a lot of things with it, and grow with it.  Have you guessed what I’m talking about?  If not I’ll tell you, it’s a loom, a rigid heddle weaving loom, which I know you all must  be thinking that you already have a loom, which I do, but it’s limited.  The loom that I have now is from ebay, it’s from the ’80s, the heddle that came with it is all that I have.  It’s a 6 dent reed, to my knowledge but I would have to double check.  I prefer knitting with fingering weight yarn and so with that I want to weave with fingering weight yarn. If you’re going to be at Stitches West on Friday in the morning/early afternoon I will be there, wearing Sari.  Please feel free to say hi, I don’t bite.

Diving in

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If you read the last post then you probably have some idea to what this post is about, if you haven’t then let me fill you in a little bit.  I’m on the social pressure experiment, which is a way to help me use my stash before buying anything new.  This is achieved by finishing items and getting yardage (or ounces/grams for fiber) back that I can use on future purchases.  There is a more detail list of rules and regulations, reference this link which details this a bit more.

Well knowing that I recently kind of had to make a future dating of yardage for a project to help pay for the yarn I bought, I had to finish something and use up a bit of yardage.  Well I am working on Ivar still, but it’s not that interesting right now, it’s just plain stockinette sleeve.  Even though it’s great when I don’t have a lot of brain power, but not great when my brain is actually firing on more then one cylinder.  The project that I cast on, isn’t that interested in the knitting portion, but in the colors it makes it a lot more interesting.  This pattern a few of my friends have been knitting them and I have found that I have come quite smitten with the pattern.  I’m not sure what possessed me to pull out the Tosh stash, but I did.  I was pulling color after color, till I found 5 colors that went well together.

That pattern that I choose is called Samen, which requires 5 colors or lace weight or fingering weight yarn held double.  It has a really interesting marbling/mixing of colors that you just have to get right otherwise you might end up with mud.  Unless that’s something that you’re looking for, then go for it.  For me that’s not something that I wanted, so I made sure all 5 colors would be good together.  The colors I chose were Mineral, Envy, Nebula, Fathom, and Thunderstorm, in that order.  So far it’s going really well, which usually things like this are pretty quick in the beginning and then they get longer and longer.  I really do like how things is coming along.  I’m about 2.5 sections away from being done with it which means I get a bit of yardage.

I’m going to have to start thinking about what I’m going to start next.  I’m thinking something that uses a lot of charts, lace yarn, and beads.  But for now, here is a quick shot of the progress.

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