Back on Track

Being behind in a knit against is not a great thing to be.  Getting the High Dessert done in the short amount of time was quite impressive, if I do say so myself.  I was pretty surprised that I was able to do the whole shawl in about two weeks.  In true knitting monogamous fashion I only knit on that until it’s completion, which really helped get it done faster.  Now that it is done I have picked up the 36 Daisies again, I only had three teeth done at the time I put it down.  Now that it is my only knitting concentration, besides having my bulky sweater I have too to give my hands a quick break from the smaller needles.  Or when having little brain power, it’s good to have sitting around.  However my main focus is the 36 Daisies, working to catch up to the other two.  Yes this is the next knit-against, yes we are making the largest size of the shawl, and yes we might be a little crazy.


If you don’t remember what a knit-against is, lets do a quick refresher.  It starts as a knit a long, but you get competitive.  Whenever you see the other people you ask them where they are in the pattern and others start keeping tabs on where everyone is in the pattern as well.  It’s become something of a spectators sport at my LYS, having people watching where all competitors are.  And having people be glad that they are not making what all of us are making.  It’s quite fun and a great way to get some projects done.  But the key to the knit-against is that you knit on a project that is the exact same size, so a level playing ground.  If we did sweaters, everyone would be making different sizes and have to do different shaping.  Same with socks, I would have to make the largest socks because I have big feet while some of the others have tiny feet.  So that is not a level playing ground, which is why we choose shawls/scarves that are just one size, or agree on the size of the shawl.


Since I was behind I had to motor a bit on the edging so that I could start the main large chart.  I finished the edging almost 3 weeks ago and I’m just about to finish the first set of charts.  I really need to motor on this so that I can get this done before stitches west.  I have a few days off which I’m hoping that I can get some more momentum on it.  But I’m going to have to take some breaks, due to knitting fatigue with such small needles and yarn.  So I’m going to alternate a bit between the chunky sweater I’m making and that.  Of course I’ll take some other breaks, give my hands and arms a good break.  Better get back to it.

Mischief Managed 


, , , , , ,

Wednesday was an interesting day for me, not just in knitting but life in general.  I had plans to do a few things outside of the house, but over slept so that didn’t happen.  So I stayed home and did the bind off for the secret project that I have been working on.  Because of that decision someone backed into my car while it was parked in front of the house.  Nothing too major thankfully, but a bit inconvenient.  I’ll be dealing with it more next week, when it goes in for repairs.  But lets not talk about such things, lets talk about that super secret project.  Well it wasn’t a secret to a few people, just the recipient.


A knitting friend of mine that I know at the LYS is retiring and moving back to her home state with her husband.  I knew she would never make anything like a Romi shawl, so I decided that would be my gift to her.  I got the yarn wound by her, since she works at the shop, and she told me that she liked the color.  Unknown to her that the yarn she just wound was for her.  The color is an old but good color called Boxwood.  It was my sneaky test to make sure the color was good.  So then I got to work finding a pattern that I could make with a skein of Madelinetosh Silk Lace.  I landed back on the page for High Desert and thought it would be perfect.  So I cast on in the last month of the semester.  I didn’t work on it for a bit because of the sheer load of all of the end of the semester tasks.  It sat for a little bit until I could work on it again.  But I knew in the back of my mind that I needed to get this done before she left.  Friday this week was her last day at the shop, but I knew she would be around a little longer just in case I couldn’t finish it in time.  So I got to work, every spare second I could muster was working on the shawl.  I of course had to take breaks for my hands and arms would get a bit tired of working on silk lace.  It was finished Wednesday and immediately I blocked it, stretching it to an impressive size.  I only knit the small version just for sake of time and I thought the larger one wouldn’t fit her as well.


It was then wrapped up in a wrapping style I only use for special occasions.  Then I snuck it into the shop on Friday, then sneaked it to her.  It was well received and she was surprised that she didn’t know I was working on it.  I’m very glad that she liked it and she wore it the rest of the day.


Now I can get back to the 36 Daisies, I’m a bit behind on that now, but it was worth it.



New Year, More knitting


, , ,

I know, I know I said that I would be posting more.  Even though I have a lot more time, time has seemed to slip by me really quickly.  The holidays were quite enjoyable for me, seeing family, enjoying time to relax and get some needed sleep, sort of.  That’s a whole different story, I will not get into the details here.  I’ve been doing my best to get some needed R&R, which of course takes into account knitting.  Something that came with this holiday season is me finishing my B.S., something that I’ve been working on for the past 8 years.  This for me is something, since I figured out 2-3 years in that I didn’t like college, but kept going and now I’m glad that I did.  My degree is going to open up a lot of doors, but that’s not what I’m going to be talking about.  As some of you know I’m a photographer and so is my father, which comes with a tradition.  When someone on his side of the family graduates, they get a camera.  Even though I told everyone no gifts, my dad upheld this tradition.  My normal camera for digital photography is a Olympus EM-5, which is fantastic, it came with me to the U.K. and it held it’s own.  I am super happy with mine, so I received the updated EM-5 MKII.  Once I have samples of it’s capabilities I’ll show them.  But lets get to the knitting.


I’m working on more then one project which makes me a little on edge, I really enjoy working on only one project.  I can get things done fairly quickly and have lots of finished objects done really easily.  There is just something about having one dedicated project, something to enjoy from start to finish.  I haven’t had that recently, only with the finish of the Longfellow cardigan, which I have worn.  And I wore it to work, because a coworker saw me working on it and asked when it was done that I bring it in.  Even the non knitters were impressed and wanted to feel the sweater.  I was told that’s my new pick up line, “hey feel my sweater, it’s cashmere.”  Anyways, I have been knitting a little bit on the Tamarack cardigan, I really want this to be done for me to be able to wear it.  But I am working on my mom’s sweater, I haven’t touched that for a while.  I’m working on two other things, one I can’t really talk about just yet.  The other is the next Knit-Against that three of us are working on.  It’s a traditional Orenburg lace shawl, maybe you’ve heard of it, 36 daisies.  It’s quite massive with an accompanying massive 20 page chart.  I started it on December 28th, the official start date, but haven’t picked it up since.  I am trying to get a few things done that are a little time sensitive at this point.

Going with the theme of having more time on my hands, I can actually write up patterns and design more.  I haven’t done very much of that lately because of the limited brain power and creativity, but rest assured a big project I’ve been working on will get some more work done on it.  I’m very excited about this and I hope that everything will be done soon, how soon only time will tell.  But lets not get distracted by that, lets just take a look at what I’ve been knitting.  This picture is a little older, but shows off the knitting fairly well.  I’ll have more pictures of it’s current state soon.


Wait what?


, , , ,

I’m sorry to everyone who reads this, since it’s been over a month since I last posted. This semester has been a Rollercoaster, taking up all of my spare time. But this is my final semester, I am finally graduating college with a degree. Changing majors set me back but in the end I have a major I actually like and will use. So now I am actually done as long as all of my exams go according to plan, I just had my last one today. Now it can move ahead with my life and all of the things that I’ve wanted to do.


Enough of that, lets get down to the knitting.  I had glorious plans on knitting my mother a pullover for Christmas, that probably won’t be happening.  I had so little time and such little brain power that following any kind of chart would have not ended well.  I’m still going to make it for her, it might just be a little late.  I was insane thinking that I could knit it during the last month of the semester, so much had to be done with school.  But never the less, she knows that I had a really rough semester and that I haven’t had a lot of time.  She’s definitely knit worthy.  It was very interesting however, last month when I asked her what she wanted me to knit for her, she wasn’t sure.  She told me that she had a lot of scarves and such, that she wasn’t sure she wanted more.  I asked if she wanted socks or a sweater, which her response was, “oh a sweater is too much work.”  Which then I had to tell her that it definitely wasn’t, especially when making it for her.  I have to knit the smallest size of most adult patterns, for them to fit her.  Lucky knitter that I am, which is a contrast to knitting a sweater for myself.
I did finish my Longfellow Cardigan out of Hand Maiden Casbah in the color Nori.  I am so pleased with it, everything just fits.  Though it is a difficult color to photograph well, so I’m going to try to snag a picture of me wearing it in good lighting.  This was the perfect project for my mind this semester, auto pilot all of the way.  I even have a different yarn to make a second one, but I think this time that one is going to be designated to the knitting machine.  I know, I know, a knitting machine defeats the purpose, or it’s not “real” knitting.  But damn it, if I can make this sweater in 2-3 days instead of 2-3 months, I’m ok with that.  Especially if the sweater is all stockinette stitch, which means perfect machine knitting.  Speaking of machine knitting, the sock machine is going to be pulled out of hibernation and I’m going to bust through some sock yarn stash.  I will probably sell the socks as well, for just a little over what the yarn cost.


Now that sweater is off of the needles its time for a new project.  I have already started it, two sleeves done, and the body is started.  I’ll tease you with this picture.  Hopefully next time will come a little sooner.  I have more free time now.



Just a bit of cashmere makes the medicine go down

How time flies…


Having the My Cryptonite done felt really good, it had taken me a bit longer then it normally would have if I had more time on my hands to knit it.  That’s life however and I did the best I could.  It looks pretty good on, it’s still not cold enough for me to wear it, which here in California it really never gets that cold.  Well at least where I live and for someone who has a cold tolerance of a Canadian, but I digress.  I’m hoping that soon the weather will turn and start to get cooler, instead of going cooler and then deciding to go back into the 70s.  In any case I have a ok picture of me wearing it, I’ll take better ones when I wear it outside.
My new Longfellow Cardigan is coming along smoothly.  I couldn’t get the gauge that was in the pattern, but with a little math I’m knitting the size above the size I would normally wear.  This is my second sweater in a fingering weight yarn and I forgot how long it takes to knit.  It’s not a bad knit by any stretch of the imagination, but on size U.S. 4 and fingering weight yarn, it just takes time.  I’m about halfway to the underarms at this point and I have to resist the urge every so often to pet it.  I’m not big into 100% cashmere yarns, too warm for me, but the little bit in the Casbah does wonders.  The fabric should be perfect for me wearing during the “coldest” months here.  And the color is nice and neutral-ish too.  The back is currently completed, I’m working on one of the fronts right now and I have to say having less stitches makes it go by much faster.  It’s starting to get a little bit “cooler” here, so I can hopefully have it in time for that.

But in the mean time I did get another sweater’s quantity of fingering weight.  Not sure what I’ll make with it, but if I like the longfellow enough I’ll make it again.  I’ll have pictures of the yarn later.

On to the next


, , , , , ,

Well this has been an interesting week or so.  Lots of big assignments and exams due in the same week.  But on a good note I finished My Cryptonite, it’s done, and with minimal yarn chicken.  Well a bit of yarn chicken, ok more then just a bit.  I had to buy another skein of color A and it came in handy.  I should have chosen a yarn that wasn’t a little smaller then the requirement.  Color C started to freak me out enough that I checked my friends stash to see if they had that same color and lot.  She did, but I didn’t need it thankfully, I had plenty of B and C. The decision to cut in between a lot of the big sections meant a lot of ends, lots.  I thankfully wove them in while I went.  I just need to block it soon and get that going.  
I did start my Longfellow cardigan out of Casbah in Nori.  I’m really liking how it is working out so far.  I keep feeling the swatch on my arm, feels so good.  Makes me want this cardigan even more, but it’s going to take time.  Hopefully I’ll have it done next month, but that depends how much time I have to knit.  
Check out the add for the newest design, Spring Iris.  You’ll see it on the patterns page under the featured patterns on the right.  


Finished in time, but not in time


, , , , , , ,

Well being sick does have some advantages I found out.  Being too stick to go anywhere and having to stay at home, I got a lot of knitting done.  I finished all of the knitting for my garment a few hours before my flight last night.  I was so happy with it, it came out better then I invisioned it.  Everything just fell into place, I just had to sew in the ends, and I just didn’t have time to block the rest of it.  But something else happened too, I got sick last Friday night, I was getting better up until the night I was supposed to fly out to New York.  I was feeling way worse then I thought, I decided that I should wait until after dinner to see how I was feeling.  I still didn’t feel good, I had to make a decision.  Go through all of the travel to get there and still feel sick or worse, or cancel the trip and be disappointed.  This was not an easy decision, I had spent the last 4 days siting at home, resting, knitting like a mad man to get ready for the trip.  But in the end, as you can guess it I had to stay home.  I wasn’t feeling good and I knew that traveling would make it worse.  I wish I could have gone, but it’s for the best, I’m still not 100%.  Granted I’m at around 75-85% now, but I don’t think that would have happened with the traveling.  
In any case I’ve been at home, knitting here and there, binge watching Netflix, and working on school assignments.  The design is finished, just need to sew in a few more ends and do a final block.  Then back to the computer to write up the pattern to get it test knitted.  With that off the needles I need to pick up another project in it’s place, maybe a design? Well I think the yarn that I wound up for Rhinebeck will be next.  I chose three projects to bring with me, a cardigan, shawl, and socks.  The socks are nothing new, they’re the same Mind the Gap Socks I was working on in London (no they’re not done yet).  

I chose Longfellow because it’s a simple cardigan that I think will look rather dashing on me.  The yarn is Casbah in the color Nori (seaweed), it’s a black overdyed green color.  I think it’s going to be a good knit for me and maybe I’ll get some good use out of a lightweight sweater here in California.  All the yarn is wound and I’m ready to cast on, I didn’t get the gauge for the pattern, I liked the gauge I got.  So I’m knitting the pattern one size up which will give me the size that I want to knit for myself.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll start, but it just depends how much I can get done on some other things.  

My Cryptonie has grown quite a bit, finally got through the first larger section of color C.  This was going to be another project to bring with me, because I probably would have finished it with all of the traveling that I would have been doing.  Not to mention down time and the ease of the pattern.  But I’m coming close to having it complete.  A bit of advice, if you knit this pattern, weave in your ends as you go.  I decided to cut colors A and B when getting to the big color C sections.  I knit tight and i didn’t think I could carry two yarns up the side and make it look good.  But I’ll be glad to get this one done so I can show it off.  

This yarn was going to be brought as a just in case I finish everything.  I know it’s a crazy thought to have traveled for only 3-4 days and finish everything.  Hear me out, if I finished My Cryptonite and the socks I would only have the cardigan.  This yarn is destined to be my third Sharktooth, since the other two were made for my mother.  Well the first one got claimed by her.  So this will be a sharktooth, once I have the right sized needles available.  
For now I’ll just be here, studying, writing papers, knitting, and wishing I was at Rhinebeck.  Maybe I’ll buy some yarn to make myself feel better.  Sounds like a plan to me.  

The Final Stretch


, , ,

Today is Sunday, which is a day I would normally be at work all day, come home, have a little time to do homework, knit, and relax.  Monday starts my long day at school, which means not a lot of time to do anything before I leave.  But it appears that I have caught the plague that has been going around, which started late Friday night.  Started with a sniffle, which shouldn’t happen since I take allergy medication 365 now (since they can be pretty bad).  But when I get a sniffle on top of that , I know I’m getting sick.  A few other things clue me in, like running way warmer then the warm I usually run (not a fever though), headache, then feeling cold and boom, sick.  My coworkers yesterday said that its good that it’s getting out of the way before I fly, I disagree.  It would have been better that it happened after I came back, or not at all.  What ca you do, you can’t win them all.  What that means though is that I have a full day to do whatever I need to do, granted it’s mainly sitting at home, trying to fend off the sick.  But what that means is that I get to knit today, more then I would have if I had to do my normal Sunday.  
I might have a shot in having my design done and ready before wednesday.  It’s a long shot though, I just started the last piece about an hour ago and it’s making good progress.  But then there is the blocking, ends, seaming, and all of that fun finishing bits that I need to do still.  If I’m diligent today however, I have a good shot of having it done.  I’m really hoping that I can get it done, so then I can swatch and work on something else, travel knitting.  I have that narrowed down at least to a cardigan, shawl, another shawl, another sweater, and a few other ideas.  Maybe even some socks that I’ve wanted to do for a bit, out of some fun hand dyed thicker yarn (not that thick, it’s a sport/DK weight).  But I do have a little time to think about it today, swatch, and get everything packed up.  I have the yarn wound up for the sweater though, some Casbah that I have had in stash for a little bit now.  It’s in the color Nori and I think would make a great light weight cardigan.  
Though I think that crazy thought I had about 2 weeks ago isn’t going to happen.  I wanted to make a super bulky sweater that I’ve wanted to make for a while now, which would be perfect for colder weather.  But even at my knitting speed as it is, with the time remaining I think it would be impossible.  Only with a knitting machine could I actually do it and my flat bed machine isn’t made for super bulky yarns.  Maybe when I return I will thin about casting that on and just have it waiting for the next time I need a big bulky sweater.  

And now a time warp.  It’s Sunday evening and I’m still taking my cold drugs (yes they’re helping, even if it doesn’t seem like much).  I am just over halfway on the last piece I need to make before this project can be called finished.  Lets hope that I can get it done.  Going to knit more and keep binge watching things on Netflix, I’ll post photos when I have the energy to take some.  Well not of this design, not yet, that you all will have to wait and see.  I have to start packing too, yikes.  

Time is still elusive

Well this semester is definitely trying to kill me.  Lets just say that the work load is pretty big.  I have been working my butt off.  
Knitting time has been limited.  I’ve been trying to get some time in the morning to keep my routine going.  That routine if you don’t remember is knitting, which watching some YouTube, and having my morning coffee. Some days I wake up late and then will have to rush out the door, with no knitting done.  I’m still planning on having my design ready for debut for Rhinnebeck, but it’s going to be tight.  Right now my needles are on fire trying to get the last bit done. I’m starting to doubt I’ll be able to finish but I’m going to try. And I should clarify by debut, I’ll be showing off the design, the pattern is not even close to ready to be published. 
Also, I need to consider what my travel knitting is going to be. It all hinges on if I can complete my design. I just wound up my last 2 skeins of yarn today, I fear I might not have enough to finish. But I’m going to see if I can get yarn shipped fast just in case. And well one of my knitting friends and I did a trade for another skein. We will see how this pans out, 4 days until I fly. 

Still can’t read patterns


, , , , ,

I don’t think this will come to a surprise to many of you that I still have issues reading patterns, I think I’ve found out my problem.  When there is a shift in the pattern or I think I know what the pattern says without checking, I have a problem.  Lets talk about the most recent issue I had, which didn’t happen once, but twice.  I’m referring to My Cryptonite, which the pattern is written very well, it’s very clear, just my brain can’t compute.  Lets break it down shall we.

  1.  I knit through the part that repeats itself quite a lot, without any errors, well maybe one, but that was no big deal.
  2. I get to the part when the pattern changes slightly and I think I see it say something like “just keep going with the same pattern”.
  3. I keep going in this manner and about 30 rows in, I look at it and think it’s time to start a new section.
  4. I look at the pattern and curse myself.
  5. I repeated the wrong section for the last chunk after the big repeat section.
  6. Decided to rip it out and to do it correctly.
  7. Today I was knitting along and got to the written number of repeats for the new section
  8. Come to realize I forgot to repeat from the old section too before starting the new section
  9. Have a bit of turmoil of either I rip this out and get it right, because the third time is the charm.
  10. Or who about not, I don’t want to do this part again, it won’t make much difference.  I’ll just fudge it a little to get everything on track again.
  11. Early morning knitting while having school fatigued brain doesn’t help.
  12. The designer saw the picture of her design I was knitting that I posed on my instagram (@tygerknits if you’re interested).

Do I think that I’m going to be able to read patterns in the future?  Probably not.  Do I think I can still write a decent pattern?  Yes.  Do I want to get this knitting done to knit one more thing before next month?  Yes.