Progress, finally

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Last we spoke, there has been knitting. I know I am still quite surprised myself. I’ve been able to fit in more knitting time lately, which has been making me feel better. Does anyone else have that feeling when you are about to go to bed and realize you have not knit at all that day? I’ve had quite a few of those days lately and it has not been an enjoyable feeling. After work I’m normally too tired or have too much other things to do to have the time to knit. With some magic of time management and doing things through the day as I can, I’ve been able to fit in more knitting time. Granted it’s not a lot of extra time but as we all know it adds up.  Slowly but surely, I was able to get through a repeat or two of Rhinelust which is more then halfway now.  I just want to say for the record that this pattern is gorgeous and fun to knit.  If I’m completely honest there is one part of this I do not like doing that much, the twisted stitches.  There are a lot of those in this pattern and yes it does really make this pattern pop.  I am just finished with repeat 8 of 10 total repeats for this section, then after that I will just need to knit a bit of decrease chart and then the ending of the shawl.  I am still just on the first two balls of yarn, even though I got 3 for insurance.  I might be able to get that done really soon and there’s a reason for that.  I have time again, which is something that I have been lacking lately.  I decided a few weeks ago to take some time off of work and today is day one.  I am able to relax and enjoy some time, not to mention get some serious knitting done.  I am already getting ready to knit on the next thing.  Though looking at how the weather is going to be getting much warmer here, I don’t think hand knitting a sweater would be a good idea.  Machine on the other hand would be, even though I have had some issues doing it.  Keep in mind these are me errors and not the poor machine.

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It’s time to talk about what happened a week or two ago.  So I have been making a sweater on the machine at about 8 stitches to the inch, something I would not do by hand.  This yarn was going to be another longfellow, but I decided against it.  I liked the tension of 8 and so I went with it.  I could have done a longfellow on the machine at 8 but more math was not a great idea and then I could do it at 7, but wanted a pullover.  So I am doing a shawl collared pullover.  So I did the math, following a little loosely from the Knitters Book of Sweater patterns, but it only went down to 7 stitches per inch, as any sane knitting would stop there.  But the machine doesn’t care, so I pressed on.  I successfully made the back and blocked it to make sure that everything would be good.  The back blocked beautifully and so I pressed onto the front.  I made a mistake here or there and when I finished the v-neck I pinned it all together and tried it on.  My calculations for the v-neck were off and it would not have fit a collar and strangle me in the process.  So the entire front was re-knit, but I decided after seeing some pictures of sweaters online, to do a more shawl collar.  Those adjustments were made and then I had a nice front and back.  The sleeves were next and I used what I thought would be a good increase rate and did all of the calculations and proceeded to knit both sleeves, one right after the other.  I wanted to get it done quickly so I could wear it before the weather got too warm here, so I blocked everything and seamed the sides, shoulders, and started on one sleeve.  I tried it on after each piece was sewn, the body was good, super happy with that.  Then the sleeve looked good, a little funny, which should have been an indicator that this was where I should stop, but I pressed on.  Once the sleeve was decently attached I tried on the sweater and I got a sinking feeling.  The sleeve looked like I was trying to make a flying sweater, or to fit someone who had a bit of extra (in the not good way) on the upper arm.  I had to stop and stare at it and I showed my mother.  She commented if I was making a sweater for older people and I just looked at her and had to laugh.

What I found out was the increase rate I would have used for hand knit sleeves and what I remembered being a good increase rate was wrong.  At least it was wrong for this sweater, so I had to go back to the math.  I re-calculated the number of stitches and rows I would need and then decided to change from every 3 rows to every 6 rows.  I did the sleeve last night and immediately sewed it up with no blocking.  Low and behold it looks like a proper sleeve.  I might have gotten away with 5 rows for the increases but I think 6 will do just nicely.  So now I just need to rip out the other sleeve, which is unpicked from the body, then re-knit it.  I think that will take me about an hour to do, then a little bit to seam everything.  This will give me some time to think about how I want to make the neck, since the normal ways will not work on this sweater, even though I could do a machine hem neck.  But I don’t want that, I want ribbing with short rows and make this comfy thing.  But I think I have an idea that will work, will just need some more hand work after but I think that this will work just nicely.

 

As for the next project, I am still on the fence.  I might still do a sweater for those nights that it is a little chilly or maybe not.  I might work on something else that is more, heat friendly when you are knitting.  Maybe another scarf or shawl, something not too complicated but still fun.  I have some time to think about that, but for now I need to get Rhinelust done and do this sleeve.  Wish me luck.

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Nothing

That’s what I pretty much have right now, no knitting.  I mean I have been knitting, little by little when I get some time in the morning but there is not a lot of it.  I did bring out the machine that’s an interesting story for later, when the sting of my stupidity wears off again.  I think that’s a reoccurring theme right now, I just don’t have a lot of brain power and I think certain things will be a good idea.  The sweater on the machine is one of them, but I can’t talk about it right now.  I am still not happy with myself after what I did.

I am daydreaming of knitting though, things I want to make so badly, the time I would need to get them done, but don’t have.  Adulting really has set in right now, little time to do anything I want to do and most of the time that I do have has to be devoted to things that I don’t want to do.  Laundry is one of those things, I really don’t like doing that, or cleaning, but they both need to be done.  Something that I think that a lot of people can relate to.  Adulting is not something that is fun, but that is life.  As I fold my laundry or clean, cursing the mess and having to deal with this, I think of knitting.  Enjoying the knitting that I have the time to be able to do and the ones that I will be doing in the future.

The yarn from stitches and the last yarn crawl is calling to me, screaming in fact.  It’s telling me to wind it and knit it right now and the yarn that I did wind already for a sweater is looking at me right now, it’s telling me some dirty things like “I will be so nice to knit, I’m merino hand dyed.”  It gets worse though, “I’m worsted weight and you know I’ll be a quick knit.”  But on top of that, “you know the cold weather is going away, it’s better to finish me now.”  That yarn is such a tease, I really need to put a mussel on it to get it to stop talking sweet nothings and dirty messages to me.

I think I’m going to prep my lunch for tomorrow and then maybe knit for a little bit before bed, that sounds lovely.  More adulating is forecasted for the foreseeable future, I think I’m going to need a lot of wool for this.  But not buying more, I really need to knit what I have.  I think I’m going to have to kick the machines into high gear, lets save that for later.

 

 

Pay Attention

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I am still working on the Rheinlust for a coworker of mine, it is going rather slowly since my knitting time is mainly relegated to the mornings before work or on my days off.  I am about a fifth of the way through the main portion of the pattern and it’s looking great.  Though this morning when I was patterning away I noticied something was off in one of the sections.  The numbers were not lining up and I stared at it for a good minute, then I saw it.  I think I dropped or missed completely a yarn over about 6 rows back.  I decided to just omit the decrease for that row and be right on track, so I pressed on.  After I did that, I looked at the whole thing and could see it, that little bit of non-directional stitches stuck out like a sore thumb.  Being only one cup of coffee in, I had to stop and put it down and consider my options.  So I did what any sane knitter would do that needs coffee, I made another cup and looked at it.  It was fairly obvious, it was mocking me, and I had to think of what to do.  All of the knitting I had done this morning would need to be ripped back, which is not a big deal, but the time would be lost.  Then I should to just keep going and let it bug me and haunt for me for the rest of the time I would be knitting on it, not a great option either.  So now I am at an impasse, either to continue or rip it back.  I don’t like either of these options right now, I think I am going to decide that in a little bit, after the feeling of being an idiot wears off.

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The socks have not changed, since I have not knit on them since the last post, I brought them out to show a friend of mine who knits.  Other then that, it has not seen the light of day, which is sad since these are so cheerful and pretty.  But I will press on and get some good knitting done on the Rhinelust, maybe.  Besides that I have pulled something out again that I have not in an long time, my electronic knitting machine.   I know some of you may think machine knitting is cheating, but a sweater that would take me 2-6 months to knit myself, can be knit on that machine in maybe a total of 8 hours, I’ll take it.  The problem was when I put it away was that some of the needles needed replacing and the automatic knitting and purling piece was not powering anymore.  When my parents talked about sewing, my mom sewed before but hasn’t in many years because of working, and my father was getting interested in it.  Side note, he does a lot of research for her and myself for big items and she asked him to look into a new machine, after she pulled out hers to do some hems for my pants (I’m very short, no pants fit me right out of the store). Her machine is an old Kenmore, she has had longer then I have been alive, so it’s time for it to retire.  Because of them talking about machines, sewing, and discussing maybe them selling things on Etsy, I thought of my knitting machines.  This machine I pulled out just needed some TLC and possibly expensive repairs.  So my father looked at the automatic knit and purl piece (it’s called a Garter Carriage) and found the power supply had failed.  I looked into it and the fuse inside was completely dead, so I needed a new fuse.  The problem is that this machine is from the 1980s and parts like this are not readily available.  So I scoured eBay and found a whole set, just like mine with spare fuse and power supply.  I checked my garter carriage when it arrived and sure enough, it ran like a dream, a loud, fiber filled dream.  Then I got the needles and replaced all broken, bent, and otherwise abused needles (all my fault, I was not very kind to them when I first started using this machine) and then realized one more piece needed to be replaced.  This piece has a lifespan of 2-5 years, depending on use, and mine was completely gone.  This piece, known as a sponge bar has only one job, but it’s important.  It keeps the needles down so they don’t jam or break when using the machine.  So I purchased one (well 2 for good measure) and installed it.

 

With all of that done, it was time to test the machine.  I pulled out some scarp yarn, set up the machine, and started to knit.  That went very smoothly, up until I tried using the older computer and the garter carriage.  It was not reading the pattern at all, it would just go back and forth knitting stockinette.  I was worried that the computer had died and I would have a useless computer and there were no parts for this computer, so I turned to a knitting form on Ravelry.  They gave me advice and told me about this great new company making boards for this machine that connect it to a computer.  It was an option in the even I had no other choices.  I tried some of the tips first and wouldn’t you know it, the machine was happy again.  So I decided to test it with a sweater for myself, the ribbing done by the garter carriage and me watching it with anticipation.  The ribbing went well and the whole back went by in a flash.  It took about 2.5-3 hours to make that one piece, the front the same, (but my math was off so I needed to redo the neck, no big deal).  Thinking about it, I wanted to get the most life out of the electronics as I could, so I bought a new piece for this machine, well used of course.  It’s called a ribber, which does what you think it does, it makes ribbing.  Though it does so much more then that, I can do traveling stitches really easily, cables (with manual manipulation of the cable twists) and a lot more.  Then another piece to make the transferring from that to the main machine easier, which that piece was never used, sealed in the box.  That should be coming tomorrow hopefully and then I can really get going.

 

Oh and I bought yarn yesterday, I know I said multiple times that I did not need anymore yarn, but when I saw this new shop I had to go visit.  That shop is Avenue Yarns and it was much bigger then I thought, granted when I saw it they were closed and it was late at night.  The employees/owner were really nice and they had some unique yarns I have not seen before.  Most of it has a pattern picked out, there’s one skein for a just because it was pretty and spoke to me.

These are two skeins each of Tussah Tweed in TT08 (left) and TT05 (right).

 

Then a skein that just had to come home with me, Hedgehog Fibers Skinny Singles in Vengeance.

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Then I could not resist getting a sweater quantity of Hedgehog Fibers Sock Yarn in Cinder and Purple Reign for a yoke sweater (going to make this one up as I go I think).

 

Then I was close by A Verb for Keeping Warm, so I couldn’t resist not going.  That and they were open until 6pm yesterday, so it worked out just right.  I picked up a sweater quantity of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Barn Owl and Wool Socks.  Trust me I think they will work up quite nicely.

 

Slowly but surely

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I know it has been a while since I last posted here, I think I was just recovering from all of the yarn and knitting I saw at Stitches.  Now that that is done and I think that I am all recovered for the most part, I can talk about knitting here.  I did assimilate all of my purchases into the stash, which was not easy since I am completely out of room, but I made it work.  I finally got the nerve to pull out some good spinning fiber and start working on that on the new spinning wheel.  I will say it is super nice to not have to treadle and I can just watch a movie or do whatever else and not worry about my feet.  That is also a challenge as well, since I am used to slowing down my feet to work out a unhappy section of fiber.  Though I think just hitting the foot petal and resolving it while the new wheel slows down is a good compromise.  I am spinning some Greenwood Fibers, in their sock specific fiber, which I thought would be a good start on this wheel.  I did want to spin some of the stuff I got from stitches, but I thought it to be unwise with a wheel I have not done a lot of spinning on.  So I unbraided the fiber, set up the wheel and started going to town.  I did a decent amount of spinning inn hour to two, which was made easier with the woolee winder.  I am so glad that I decided to include that in the purchase, it makes spinning so far more enjoyable and quicker, not having to move a hook or slider manually.  I bet plying will be even better, but before I can do that I asm going to need to get the lazy kate for the bobbins.  They don’t really work too well on my Lendrum lazy kate, which I found out trying to ply a little of the sample roving the wheel came with.  But that’s not a big deal, I will pick one up when I am closer to plying this yarn.  Besides that, I have not been doing any weaving or other spinning, I do need to finish the stuff on the Lendrum and then I am going to find it a new home.  It’s not that I don’t like that wheel, but it takes up some space and I just don’t use it.  The electric is just more convenient for me to use right now.  Maybe later on I will get another larger wheel, but I think that the Hansen will be perfect for a long time.

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Knitting wise I am still going on my Geek Socks, which are coming out quite nice.  They are a little tight to get on, but I think after blocking they will be just fine.  I am still unsure when I need to stop knitting on the foot and start the toe decreases.  I think I am going to have to put some needles on the stitches for the heel so I can accurately measure.  But I will cross the bridge when I get there, because right now I am not close, but getting there.  I did start something new, which I should not have but this one is a thank you to a coworker who was gracious enough to cover me while I was gone for the 3 days.  It’s some yarn that I did pick up at stitches from Miss Babs in this gorgeous grey, which is just her colors.  I had a pattern for two different weights picked out before I went to the convention.  I did see some nice Sport weight that would have been a good fit for the first pattern, but I was not finding enough or the right color of grey.  So I pressed on and I found it.  Those three skeins of Miss Gabs Woodbury in Escamillo were the perfect color, weight, and fiber composition for my coworker.  Since likes to wear a lot of scarves and the day before I went on my little mini vacation she mention that she wanted to commission me to make her something, maybe even recreate a cowl that she has had for years.  I knew in the back of my mind that I was going to make her a thank you scarf, but didn’t say anything.  When I came back and thanked her again, I showed her a picture of the yarn and the pattern I was making, to which she said it was stunning.  Then I told her its was for her and she was so gracious and offered to pay for the yarn, to which I declined.  So that pattern in question?  Well it’s Rheinlust, another Melanie Berg and it’s a gorgeous scarf/shawl that I have wanted to make.  I even bought the pattern when she was having a promotion on her patterns.  So I knew that this would be the pattern for that yarn, well I knew it was an option when I was getting yarn.  It’s going decently well so far, just needs some concentration and time, which I do not have a lot of the latter.  But it is going along, I hope to get it done before the weather turns again and it would be too hot to wear.  But we will just have to wait and see, I think I’m going to knit a bit more, or maybe spin.  Were will just have to wait and see.

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Stitches, oh my!

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Well today has been so much fun, I can’t remember the last time I went to Stitches.  It’s such an amazing event with great vendors, people, yarn, fiber, you get the idea.  Usually when I decide to go to an event like this, there is some planning that I do.  What I do is if there is a map I either download or print it out and then I will go through all of the vendors and mark on the map where I want to go.  Once I know that, I figure out which booths will be the busiest and go to those first.  Which usually means once I’m inside I’ll bolt to those booths in order to beat the crowds.  Usually this works pretty well, the last time I was at Stitches West I remember there were so many people it did help but not that much.  This time it seemed like there were less people, maybe they all had to work and will be there this weekend, but all I know is that i was able to move around pretty easily.  But with the bolting plan, I met up with two of my knitting friends in line to go in, and then promptly lost them once we got inside.  Oops, but it worked out I suppose, I went on a 2 hour yarn buying spree of sorts and by the end of those two hours I was tired and sore.  I was carrying a lot of yarn and other goodies I decided to call it quit and head home.

 

But what I did buy is pretty great, I stopped by Plucky since I wanted to possibly buy a sweater quantity from them.  I found a beautiful rich blue in a good worsted weight, then I started calculate how much I would need and the cost.  I had a budget and this one sweater would go over 50% of that budget (which I went over anyways, more on that in a little bit).  So I decided to move away from Plucky to a favorite dyer of mine, Miss Babs.  I needed to get some yarn for a thank you scarf for  French coworker, who was gracious enough to cover my work while I took a vacation.  So I went into that booth with a mission, first I looked at the Cashmere and Silk to find a good grey, but did not find one I liked.  Which is ok because I had a few options when it came to scarves.  I found a great grey in fingering but could not find any more of them, so I pressed on.  Then I stumbled upon the color way Escamillo in the Woodbury base, which is a gorgeous Merino Tussah blend.  This grey has a slight purple undertone, which I think my coworker will like (and hopefully bribe others into covering me when I want to go on longer vacations).

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While I was looking for that grey I found a skein of Yummy 2-ply in Zombie games and I knew I had to have it, even though I don’t know what I will make out of it.

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Then I wanted to still get a sweater quantity for a really cozy and versatile sweater that I have been thinking about knitting for a while, so I looked at the Yowza.  I found a color I knew would be perfect, but there were only 2 skeins, but I looked around more and found the third skein I would need (these are huge skeins).  So I picked up some Blue Slate in the Yowza base and it’s this steely blue grey and I think it’s going to be a handsome and cozy sweater.

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I then darted across the way to Canon Hand Dyes and had a nice talk with Aimee (I think that’s how you spell her name, apologies if that is wrong).  Then I started looking at the yarn and the first thing I saw was a skein of the Bruce base which is a Merino, Yak, and nylon blend.  I am a big sucker for a good yak yarn and this is a good one.  The color way for this one is Dracula and it’s stunning, when I was buying the yarn, she said it was one of her favorites and she enjoying dying this one a lot.

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Then I did not stop there, I saw this really vibrant yarn and I knew this would need to be a sock, just for fun.  This one is the Charles base in the colorway Rainbow Bright and it is very bright.

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Then another skein of Charles in the Nevertheless, She Knitted color fell into my hands.

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But I was not done there, oh no I saw sets of 6 colors and knew this was on my list.  So I grabbed more Bruce in natural and a set called 80s dance party and it makes me so happy.  I am really looking forward to knitting this into a Joker and the Thief.

But wait there is still more, I had to stop by RedFish.  I wanted to do a Color Gamp, but I wanted to make one that would be a scarf.  There were so many colors of beautiful 20/2 Silk yarn that I couldn’t choose the 20 colors I would have needed, so I decided to get three colors for different weaving projects and yes they are all that silk.

I think the one on the right, the more teal is going to be for my mom.  Once I get the current weaving off of the loom I am going to do a beautiful plain weave silk scarf with two 12 dent heddles, for a 24 DPI weave.  I felt this woven into cloth and it is everything that I have wanted.  I was kind of stunned, constantly touching the sample and in my own little world of silk ecstasy.

I didn’t just buy yarn I bought some mugs too, from a really talented ceramic artist, Mel Kunihiro who makes stunning ceramics.  I fell in love with the colors and the interesting ways the glaze was put onto the mugs.  I found one I wanted and then decided to buy two more, one for my mom and one for my partner.  They really are stunning and one of a kind, I knew I wanted to support this artist, because his work is stunning.  I wish they had ordering on their website, but they do not.  If you can see them in person I highly recommend it.  And they are very reasonably priced, to be honest I think he should charge more for them.

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I did visit a few booths, but did not pick anything up at them.  I did stop by the Bar Maids and picked up a few things for me and my mother.  I asked if she wanted anything while I was there and she said just one or two things.  I think she will be happy with what I brought.  But my last yarn/fiber booth was Lisa Souza and I always visit her and her husband at this show.  They are so nice, personable, and they have great yarn and fiber.  I knew I didn’t need more of her yarn, even though I love it.  While I was talking to them both I saw a braid of fiber that reminded me of some Redfish that I bought the last time I bought a lot at Stitches.  But this was a gorgeous bit of purples in blue and red dominant purples, on a gorgeous Merino/Tussah base.  Then there were some undyed fiber in the front and when I saw the sign, I had to get some.  It was Merino/Cashmere/Silk and it is as luscious as it sounds.

After that, my arms and legs were getting a little sore, not to mention I was getting hungry and I knew I was over my budget.  My credit union even called me to make sure these purchases were me, I thought they would have known by now, yarn and fiber are normal for me.  So I left around 1:30, tired, enjoyed my time there, but I needed to eat and rest at home.  As an introvert, theres a limit I can reach and I reached it fairly quickly, but I did pretty well.  I think I’ll work more on my new Geek Socks out of Stray Cat.

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Change of plans

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Well this years games are already underway, the knitting ones, I don’t really watch any kinds of sports or athletics. I thought I knew what I was going to be knitting in during this and hopefully done for stitches. Things I think have changed in my mind and I think that I’m going to choose a different project. I know this is crazy to change my mind now, but I think it’s a good call. I have a few UFOs that need some attention and I want to start getting those done or ripped depending on my mood. But there are some other things that need to be done as well, so many decisions. I still have not mustered up the courage to rip back the Anisos yet, I just have not had the time or well mainly time to do it. It’s going to be a lot of manual ball winding in order to get it to the point that it needs to be. Then I had an idea, a slightly crazy, but good idea non the less. I have a design that I put off for a while, that’s about 25-40% completely knit, this is one for a series I am still working on. Well not that much recently, but I am working on that. I think for this years games I am going to be knitting on that and getting the pattern written up and test knit really quickly, or not quickly depending on the testers and if I made mistakes.

Then I stated thinking about it more and it made a lot of sense to be working on these at the same time that I have a simple pattern going as well. I would be able to knit on the simple knitting when I am out and about, on a break at work, or just need something quick and simple to work on. My bandwidth has not been the best lately since I have been working a lot and my spare time is very limited. But I think if I can get this done, maybe not in time for stitches or anything, then I would feel motivated. Motivated to get the other designs started and going and hopefully get this series ready to go sooner. But there was a snag today, I was going to do some photos for the first pattern that I still have not finished writing up (queue up the oops). I chose a location around the backyard that I thought would emulate this pattern well and show it off. So I dressed up for this, got the camera and needed equipment ready and went outside. Then I get to the location in the backyard, well more of side yard and I saw a possum. Not an alive possum, or playing pretend dead possum, but a really dead one. I saw it and stopped, looked at it in the face and knew it was dead, then proceeded to yell “NOPE” and ran back inside. So that did not work as well as I wanted, but I will get those photos soon, come hell or dead possum I suppose in this case. No big set back, I can do some work in the light box and then get the pattern to the testers.

Enough of the stuff I can’t show just yet, lets talk about what I can show.  I just finished this week my first pair of Vanilla is the New Black socks out of Biscotte Yarns in Constantinople.  This yarn does not contain any cashmere or silk or anything exotic, but it feels like it does.  Whatever magic they put into this yarn base of super wash merino and nylon, it’s working for it.  I was about to grab the other skein I have from them and knit another pair, but I decided that I should use some other yarn.  So I grabbed a skein of Stray Cat Yarns in Denim & Dandelions and decided to start a pair of Geek Socks.  This is the pattern I was going to make the other yarn into, but I think the choice for a more vanilla sock was a good idea.

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Aren’t they just beautiful?  I am still so happy with how they turned out and for the most part the stripes all match up.  I don’t know what possessed me to do it, but I did.  The other socks I don’t have any pictures of just yet, but I will soon.

 

On a quick note, I will be attending Stitches West tomorrow Friday, February 23, if you see me don’t be shy and come up and say hello.

Judgement Day

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If you all remember I was faced with a dilemma with my Anisos.  I debated what I wanted to do with it, should I just finish the darn thing, rip it out and start a larger size, or rework the pattern to be top down.  I posted the question on a Facebook knitting group and there were a lot of suggestions.  A lot of people just said to finish it, others said cut the yarn and knit in the black, some said to rip it, others were just not sure.  I thought about finishing it, but then I measured it in the unblocked state, it’s tiny.  It measured 11″ in depth and 26″ in width at the widest point.  I figured that it would block to be ab out 16″ in depth (once the rest of the knitting is done) and about 36″ in width.  Seeing the numbers made me know that I did not want to continue with this size.  So I was left with two options, either re-work the pattern or rip it out.  I think you all know where this is going.

 

The problem with reworking the pattern is not that I can’t do it, I just don’t want to do it.  Especially with some of the instructions making it difficult to reverse engineer the pattern.  Turning a quad central decrease into a increase 4 didn’t sound like fun, nor did redoing all of the shaping up the body of the shawl/scarf.  Not to mention reworking the two charts to make it actually work.  But then I would not have to worry about the picot until I completed the body, which would probably where yarn chicken would come in.  So I didn’t think that would be a fun thing to do, so my last option is the one I am going with.  I am going to rip back the entire thing, until the cast on.  Then I can just add more stitches to the picot cast on and then work the next size up.  I am hoping that this will not come back to bite me.  For now I am going to have to take the needles out and start.  First though I need to start rewinding the ball that is it currently in, into a hand wound ball.  Then I can really just go to town and have my needles, maybe some U.S. #0000 which I have for things like this, and just do it.  I really don’t want to, to be honest, but I think this would be a good project to knit for the upcoming events.  I think I might just be a little insane, unless I cast on and get the charts started, in preparation.  I think that would be fair.  No pictures, I don’t think you all want to see the yarn carnage that is about to happen.

Coming together

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The feeling you get when things are just working out is great, sometimes we forget that feeling when we make mistakes. And trust me I make a lot of my own mistakes, which you should be familiar with by now. Mostly those mistakes is me not reading enough of the pattern or making sure I know how many times you repeat a chart. But with that behind me, for now at least, my knitting has been going well. The socks are right at the toe now, even though I had to rip out a bit to make sure the length was right it was worth it. I just need to knit maybe 2-4 more rounds and then I can start the toe decreases again. Then I need to start the second sock which shouldn’t take too long hopefully. I am really liking how the Vanilla is the New Black socks are knitting, actually pretty quick and fairly interesting.

Anisos has been going, the last bit of the chart is done and I am on the main body repeat. I did not realize the pattern incorporated garter and stockinette sections but now I do. I am really liking how the yarn is knitting in this pattern. I can not talk about how much I like this pattern. I can not stop talking about how much I am enjoying this pattern, I might even make another one. Normally I don’t knit a pattern twice, the rare occasion I will make more then one pattern, usually a few months later I will. This one I think my mom will try to claim, since she liked the pattern when I printed it out a few weeks ago. Maybe I’ll make another, maybe I won’t. We will just have to see. I’m on the main portion of the body, decreasing a bit to get to the top of the shawl. Hopefully I have enough yarn, I hope I don’t have to play yarn chicken. It’s a game I never like playing and 90% of the time I win, the rest of the time I loose, like with the open waters shawl.

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And just when I thought my knitting was going well, there has been a little bit of a snag.  I’m approaching very quickly the end of the shawl.  But I am realizing I have quite a lot of yarn left, about 46g left and 64g knit.  If I can guess yarn amounts, I am not even going to touch the black portion of this yarn.  Now I have to think about what I want to do, I looked at numerous projects made with this yarn and they have a large shawl with only one ball.  I chose the 505 yard version, just to play it safe but I think that I am not going to be happy with it.  I love how this is knitting up and I think it was a good choice for this pattern.  Now I have to wonder if previous me was smart in choosing this size.  Right now I’m weighing my options, on one hand I could just finish this and not think about it too much.  Another option would be to rip out to the cast-on and just go up a size in the pattern.  Then I would need to do all of that knitting again.  Thinking about that I would need to re-wind all of the yarn but retaining the cast on means that I would need to do a full hand wound ball.  I really am not sure what to do at this point.  If I do restart it using the larger size I might run into yarn chicken, which we have just discussed I don’t like playing.  Though looking at those who made the larger size they used 600-720 yards, which is more then this one ball.  On the other hand I use less yarn then the pattern recommends usually and Brooklyn Tweed’s patterns are on the conservative side in regards to yardage, they usually overestimate in my experience.  So right now I am not sure what to do, I think I am going to have to sleep on it.  That and put it out on social media and see what my knitting friends think about my conundrum, since I don’t get to see my knitting group that often anymore. Anyone here have any thoughts?  Does anyone read my ramblings?  Well I think I am going to just knit on the socks, those are at least going well still *knock on wood*.  Though I might have a way to see if I have enough yardage, well at least an estimate, which I just thought of right as I was getting ready to take pictures.  I might be able to calculate the amount of yardage extra based on my gauge that I would need to have in order to complete the larger shawl.  Let me get Excel out (you knew that would happen) and see what I come up with.

 

According to my math, which does not seem right, I would have knit with about 350 yards by the time I am getting to about 2 repeats away from where I am currently, which is almost done.  So that means I should have enough yarn, maybe.  Math is usually not my strong suit, but Excel is.  I am really thinking I should rip this out, I need help.  But let me distract you with a cute little Porg I made in about 1-2 hours this week.

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I am planning on a porg army, that will need to wait until I can figure out my knitting right now.  Send help, good knitting thoughts, and maybe a good stiff drink.

Coming together

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After the last post when I completely had to stare at the wall for a few minutes after the not reading the whole pattern.  Now that I got everything back on track I will say things are going quite well.  I have been working on both the Anisos and Vanilla is the new black socks, both going fairly quickly, which won’t last too much longer.  I am feeling back to normal thankfully, which means I am returning back to work this week, which cuts down on knitting time.  I am very glad I took the slight risk, so far at least, with the gradient yarn I chose for Anisos.  This is coming out quite nicely, I’m just about done with the final chart and the color shifted somewhere between the first and second charts.  It went from the nice bright red to this somewhat crimson shade and hopefully will switch again soon, but I am liking how it looks.  Hopefully when this is done it will at least inspire some people to think that they should use a yarn like this, if not the same.  I will be glad to not have to rely on the digital charts however, since it makes things a little slow having to pull out the tablet every time I want to work on it.  I have no issues with digital pattern when they are more useful, but I do like the ease of use of just paper.  With that said, I should be able to get through the remaining 4 rows on the chart and start the main body of the shawl.  I am hoping that blocking will make it a bit bigger, but looking at it on the needles I think it will be a decent size, even with only 560ish yards.

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The Vanilla is the New Black socks are quite quick, even with my large man feet.  I was able to make the heel “flap” and turn the heel really easily and it adds a bit of length to the foot of the sock, which is a nice bonus.  I zoomed through most of the foot and today I started putting in the first toe.  I measured the sock against the plain knit “Mind the Gap” colorway socks I started making on my trip to London.  The measurement said I was ready for the toe, even though my ruler did not.  I went with the sock and did the toe, which I tried on before I did the final finishing.  I am glad I did because I found that I needed about another inch in order for the sock to fit properly.  So I ripped out the poor toe, put the stitches back on the needle and am going through the foot a little more.  Hopefully these will be done, at least the fist of the pair, tonight or maybe tomorrow.  That will remain to be seen, since I want to get the chart done of Anisos first.

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Which leads to something that is coming up soon, well there are two things upcoming.  The first will be the Ravellenic, which runs the same time as a specific winter event.  I have not decided if I am going to participate this year or not, since I don’t have a lot of time to knit.  However, I think that I am going to challenge myself and make a thick sweater, maybe a pattern I made before, but can’t wear since now the sweater is too big.  Which is not a bad thing, I just need to figure out who it will be going to.  With that said I have a gauge swatch already done, I think you can figure out which yarn I am talking about.  It’s the one I was going to use for the Grandson Cardigan, but my inability to read was the downfall.  I think that will be a nice shawl collared cardigan, but one that I have made before and really liked the finished item.  I need to still rip out the back of the previous cardigan, but that won’t take too long hopefully.  I am currently working on changing my routines in the morning and evening to optimize my time and do a lot more in the same amount of time.  This will mean that I should be able to do more knitting and other things, like working out.  Something that I really need to do, but am not looking forward to doing.  Besides that I do have something planned for this year, when it will be ready I am not sure.  That new project, which is not textile in a tangible form or pattern, will be for later.

 

The other even that is coming up is Stitches West, which I have not gone to in a few years.  The last time that I went was back in 2015 and I did not buy anything at the show, which I verified with the blog post from that day.  The only thing that I purchased was actually later from a local yarn shop that is no longer around, which is a shame.  But this year I am planning on attending, though I am not sure which day or days I will be going.  I am thinking of signing up for a class or something so I can go on Thursday for the main buying and then again on Friday for just some light browsing and fun with all of the knitters.  Though since I am going I have to think about what I want to wear, something knit of course.  If I can finish a few things before then I might have some good candidates for the show.  But I do have to figure out which booths I want to see and things that I might want to purchase first.  I still need to create my plan of yarn attack that I have done every year that I have attended and it has worked out quite well for me.  Time to work more on the final few rows of the chart.

Seriously reading?

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Now I remember what my last post was supposed to be about, which now will be a good Segway into this post.  When I finished the Brickless for my mom, I knew I needed to start a new more interesting knitting project.  So I was going through my queue on Ravelry and I have been pretty good at moving things up and down the queue in order of what I want to knit first.  I wanted to make my self a nice sweater for myself, since I have not made one in a while.  Even though I know my body shape is not where it’s going to be eventually, I knew I needed to knit on one that was quick.  So I pulled out my needles and some yarn that I won and decided to swatch.  I read the gauge on Ravelry and disregarded what the pattern said until I printed it out.  Yes I printed out the pattern, I do like having a nice print pattern on occasion.  That’s besides the point, so I printed out the pattern and was looking at the sizing and I glanced at the gauge in the pattern.  Ravelry said that it was over stockinette, but the pattern said gauge was over the main sweater pattern.  Oops, I was impatient so I cast on the number I needed and went to town.  Halfway through the back I was looking at it and knew that it was going to be too narrow, so I did what any sane knitter would do, I blocked the hell out of it.  I hopped that I could continue with the knitting and not have to worry.  But we all know how these things go, they don’t end very well.  The piece finished blocking and was not the right size, about 2-4 inches too narrow.  So this will need to be frogged, but not forgotten, I will be making that pattern again at some point.  But with just viajante on the needles I needed to start something new.  I have not blocked it yet, that’s something I need to do today.

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Well I did finish viajante, it is very nice, should be very warm and I think that it will look good.  Through I am not sure I can pull this offthe way I think I could.  We will just have to wait and see I think, for now it just needs a good blocking.  But since I have been sick for a few days now, no need to worry the coughing is getting the most of it out of my system now, I needed to knit on something new.  I had something at the top of my queue that I have been wanting to knit on for a while.  This pattern is from the Jared Flood collection, Anisos which is a gorgeous shawl/shawlette that most people have made in a solid color.  I knew what I wanted to make it out of something fun and exciting and when I bought the yarn I knew that was the project for it.  The yarn in question is Apple Tree Knits Plush Fingering Gradient in the colorway Murderous.  This gorgeous shades of red, maroon, and black I think will look very spectacular in that pattern.  So yesterday I started working on it, not knowing that it is constructed from the bottom up.  I read through the pattern, as much as I needed to, to get started.  So I went ahead and did the insanely high numbered picot cast on and got ready to start the chart.  Normally I don’t use markers, but in this case I needed something to keep me making the pattern work.  Then I started and it looked like I had about 100 more stitches then I should have.  I checked the math on the pattern and everything looked good except with my calculations I was still off.  I kept working on the number and looked at the chart again, then I saw that I missed one simple instruction, “repeat chart twice in a row” and I almost lost it.  I started at it, not believing I missed this instruction, redid the excel calculations, yes excel I like it, and guess what the numbers matched.  I was not sure what I was going to do next, continue knitting, swear at myself, stare and the wall and think about not knitting ever again and take up something like reading.  Even though I am apparently not good at reading directions or anything.

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Now that that was done I was able to continue with the knitting, which is quite fun actually.  I had to ditch using the paper pattern and use a digital pattern on my tablet, with a PDF reader.  I’m about halfway through the first of two charts and am liking how this is going so far.  But now that my easy project, yet time sucking, is done now I needed something easy.  So I pulled out a skein of Biscotte yarns and pulled out the Geek socks pattern and started working.  As I watched the beautiful colors started to stripe, I knew that the pattern would not work with this color.  So I had to decide if I was going to just work a plain sock or knit another pattern.  I remembered there is an infamous pattern I have been hearing about, so I looked it up and the number I cast on would work.  The pattern I am talkin about is of course, Vanilla is the New Black socks.  I am almost at the heel and I only started these before bed last night.  I am liking how they are going so far and the yarn is amazing.  It’s just a Merino Nylon blend, but it feels like it has cashmere in it.  If you have not checked out Biscotte Yarns you should.  I think I’m going to bindge watch some Netflix, with knitting, and some good Robitussin and go to town.

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