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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Stash it real good

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There is a lot of things that you have to resist when you are on the social pressure experiment. You have to resist looking at yarn, because there might be one that just says “look at me, you know you want to come closer and pick me up.”  If you can resist looking at them then you are in perfect shape.  You can let it be and not have to be tempted even further, being able to keep going and looking at your stash being satisfied.

But if you can’t resist the calling of the yarn, you get closer and closer to it.  Then you make the mistake of picking it up and feeling it.  Something about it makes it even better, the touch makes it even more intoxicating.  You then get really interested in it, but you know you should put it down and you should get away from it as fast as you can.  But then it says something to you again, “please take me home with you, I don’t want to be left alone again.”  Then you get even more entranced by it, by it’s siren song telling you what it could be turned into.  Socks, sweaters, mittens, hats, shawls, the possibilities become endless.

Here is a part that becomes really hard, whether you are strong and put it down, tuning into the channels of reason and keeping with the experiment.  Or you become weak and buy the yarn and have to either put it against yardage you earned or just have to take the punishment according to the rules.

I was weak, you know that Casbah that I bought in the last post?  Yeah that’s another thing that I found that I fell to again.  4 skeins of it, with some more on the way.  I know what you’re thinking, you should have been good with the social pressure experiment.  I understand that, but I will be future dating a project or two to make sure that it covers it.  On top of that, it’s going to be the next sweater that I work on.  I think it’s going to be a great light weight sweater, especially for a trip that I’m going to be going on later on this year.  And the color looks really good on me, the color being Nori (which is Japanese for seaweed), it’s this black color with undertones of green poking out, just like Nori.

Photo Credit to EatSleepKnit.

I’m going to have to knit really quickly now in order to get the yardage for this project. You’ll get to see something that I cast on recently that will also give me a bit of yardage when it’s done.

For now I’m just going to have to be knitting up a storm while studying like a hurricane.  Lets just see how well that actually works out.

Show off

Now that Sri is all the way done I can pick up some of the other projects that I let fall to the wayside. I want to finish a lot of the projects I started, but for one reason or another put away to do something else. Sweaters, socks, shawls, scarfs, and much more are just sitting there pateintly for the day that I pull them out of their wooly slumber and they get to be a finished object. Its difficult though when you see new yarn that you want so bad, but you know it’s better that you refrain. But the siren song just keeps getting louder and louder, tempting you to be bad against the social pressure experiement and to add more things to be on the needles. I used some of my available yardage I will admit to that (and you will see that soon on a public excel sheet) for some Casbah, which how can you resist the base alone? Cashmere and beautiful colors that just makes your heart sing, makes you desire it more and more until you have to give in. I resisted for as long as I could, but I was goos, I put 2 skeins on hold, thought about it and went in and they were mine. I’m not sure what I want to do, one might become a 2 color brioche something and the other who knows, but they’re pretty.

Right now I’m working on Ivar again, I wanted that done when I was going to be in Portland in July. Not to wear mind you but to have it done so I wouldn’t feel as bad buying another sweater quantity of Brooklyn tweed yarn. In any case I have the body knit, one sleeve done, and just the last sleeve, seams, and the collar and voila. I’ll have another finished object, then I have to decide what to pull out next. I’m thinking the sweater that I have almost a sleeve done, but still needs the other sleeve and the whole body. That would be good to finish, not sure. But I do know there are a few thing stay I need to rip out. I think it’s time to realize that I’m not going to finish them and I found something better for them to be.

So little time, yet so much I want to get done. I think I better get back to it all.  There is so much that I need to get done and with school my time is getting a lot more limited.  But I’m going to do my best getting some knitting time in.

Finish Line

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You know the feeling when you can see the end of something and you try to get there fast?  I’ve been feeling that way with Sari, with each color change I can feel the end coming closer and closer.  I have noticed that I have to keep that in mind due to the fact that the chart for me has gotten a bit too repetitive, but I keep being persistent.  I mean, after all we are in the midsts of a knit against and I have to try to beat the others that I’m “competing” with.  I know one is still about 4 chart repeats ahead of me, but the more that I can knit in a day the better my chances of beating or coming very close are.  It’s times like these that you realize that you may be a competitive person and honestly the whole reason of a knit against isn’t winning or loosing.  However I do admit it is nice to know that you finished before everyone else, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make.  The point is that it get everyone motivated to finish that project, point things out to the others if you’re ahead so they don’t make the same mistakes, learn from their mistakes, and have a group that you get to play a game with.  That game we have come to find is one that when you see those people you ask what chart, repeat, color, etc they are on.  With the first Knit Against it was chart, along with the next few that was the case as well, but with Sari it’s what color are you on, because there are a lot of colors that are used in it.  Which makes it as spectacular as it is.  But something to keep in mind with a Knit Against, its always a project that has a level playing field.  One that doesn’t have sizes, because if we did socks, I would definitely be at a huge disadvantage, same with sweaters, and anything sizing related.  That’s a reason we choose shawls, one size, level playing field, just us yarn, pattern, and the excitement.

The one thing that I don’t want to do with this whole project is sew in the ends. As I said before there are a lot of colors, well you can only guess what that might also mean.  That would mean there are a lot of ends that need to be tamed as well.  That is one of the things that will get me to not finish a project, the ends.  If it looks like a wooly Medusa then it just makes me want to put the project away in a dark place, so I don’t have to look at it.  However there are some projects that I just want it done and to be able to admire and show off my work.  Grettir was one of those projects in which I happily sewed in the ends. I mean there are 16 main colors, 8 warm progression, 8 cold progression colors, with of the color changing, small diamonds, theres a lot of ends. As the knitting came closer and closer to being done, the task of sewing in the ends became more and more evident.

Finaly, kniting was done, the ends took about 1.5-2 hours to sew them all in. All that was left to do was to submerge it in water and block it until it said Uncle. I do block it a little bit poast the point when it says Uncle, but when it says that it’s a good point to stop strehing it. Here are pictures of it before and after blocking, it grew quitea bit and really shows the benefits of blocking.

Before:
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After:
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I’m so glad that it’s done, I will defiently be wearing this to Stitches West next month. I might try to get a picture of me wearing it, maybe.

Back on the Wagon

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The new year has started and people have made their new years resolutions.  I don’t know about you but I feel the same ways that Jasmin from the Knit More Girls Podcast feels, resolutions are easy to break.  I think that I will start with themes for new years resolutions, something that can encompass the whole year and not be limited to one thing or another.  I think for me this year’s theme is going to be self improvement, which can encompass a lot of things.  From when it relates to knitting it can relate to three specific things, this blog, stash, and designs.

I have a bunch of designs that I have teased you all about,  I know I have teased you all a lot about them.  Honestly I have them either n my head, in prototyping, or I have the yarn and just need to start them. I don’t know why I don’t just get them done and out there, I think it’s just because I have to allocate a lot of time to other things that I just don’t get the opportunity to allocate enough time to get them done. Another problem is that due to the large work load that I take on with school and work there isn’t a lot of brain power left to design.  However, that’s no excuse, for this year I’m going to work on getting more designs out there for you all to see and enjoy (hopefully).  Right now I have one that in progress, I might have a test knitter at the ready, and then after that it’s a quick write up, chart, and publish.  Besides that I have a few others that I’m not going to talk about yet.

For the blog here, I know I haven’t been writing as much as I was in the beginning, that is my fault.  Again it comes down to time allocation, if I don’t have time to write then nothing gets written, but at the same time if I have time to write and nothing to write about that’s another concern.  I’m going to try to get as much up here as I can (not every random thought that comes into my head, but sometimes short posts).  I’m working on getting a more portable environment going, along with getting the right camera set up so I can get pictures and everything done much faster.

Finally the stash, what can I say that I haven’t already said about my stash.  Well, I can say that the social pressure experiment did help curve my buying of yarn last year, but I kind of fell off the wagon near the end.  I looked through a large portion of my stash (which only a small part is on Ravelry) and I came to the same conclusion as I did last year, I need to use what I have.  So for this year I will be performing the social pressure experiment again, with similar rules.

  • I can only buy yarn or fiber with accumulated yardage or ounces of projects that I have completed within the year of 2015.
    • There is no yardage or ounces from last year because of the falling off of the wagon
  • For a project to count I must weave in the ends, block, photograph, and post about it for it to count at all
  • I will receive only half of the yardage or ounces that I completed as available “credits” (finish 200 yards, can buy 100 yards)
  • If there is a yarn or fiber that I haven’t spun before, upon completion I will receive 10% more of the completed “credit”.
  • If any yarn or fiber is purchased and there is no “credit” to use then double of the amount (in yardage or ounces) will need to be sold/de-stashed.
    • If there is credit to be used, but there is still a deficit of yardage, then the rule applies for only the deficit
  • Designs must be completed before any new yarn can be purchased, only then the same “credit” rules apply
  • There are no grandfathered events, exemptions (besides buying yarn to complete a project), or any form of justifications.

This is something that I just need to do, the first experiment was very helpful for me, except for the obvious falling off of the wagon.  But this year will be different, this year I will make the change, this year I will knit primarily from stash.

On the Sari front, I’m just zooming through the repeats, changing colors, balls of brightly colored yarn everywhere.  I can’t wait for this to be done and the casual knit against isn’t casual (who was I kidding the “casual” knit against is an oxymoron).  I have to try to finish this before the rest, but one has a bit of a lead on me.  Gotta keep knitting like the wind.

P.S. I have created a FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram page for TygerKnits.  I will let you know when I actually have everything set up and ready for you all to see.

You want to talk about color?

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Now that my brain has had a chance to recharge and get off it’s emergency supply, I’m now able to do more knitting.  Well there are a lot of things that I wanted to do but time was only one of the restraints.  There is something about the ability to have your brain running on more then back up supply that just makes me feel better.  One of the next things that I’m going to start is Sari, you know that kit that I bought from Color Shift Yarn.  I am so excited to start it, but not only that I have a few other things that I will be starting up in the next week or so. I have to check with the other two that bought the kits because we might get started on another knit against, which will not be as competitive, cause we want to enjoy the knitting. There is only one thing that I don’t like is that there was a lot of winding. Lots and lots of it, not that I don’t mind winding yarn, just wanted to start right away, but I knew I had to do my do diligence.

Honestly I am glad that the holidays are coming to a close, even though I love the spending time with family, I don’t tlike the crazier driving, everywehere being super crowded, and the fear of leaving the house for anything. But I will say all in all it was a good holiday, when we focus on what matters, which for me is spending time with family. I did give one knitted gift this year, which went to my mom. You all probably know what it is by now, in case not, it’s the color craving shawl. She saw the one last year I made for myself and she wanted it. I made her one in more of her own color palette.

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The yarn that I used was Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Whiskers, Grey Gardens, and Whiskey Barrel.

Now Sari yarn wound, needles at the ready I cast on, on this epic voyage. This pattern has lace, fair isle, intarsia, and lots of color changes. I’m in the groove of it, the colors make me so happy I just can’t describe. I am hoping to have this done before Stitches West. I will say you do need to get into the swing of things when doing this pattern, but once you get the hang of it, it’s becomes way more manageable. There is just one problem, you should always make sure to grab the right color.

There seems to be a problem with my thining ability lately, regardeless of if I’m in my semester or not.  I found that when I’m in the semester with so many classes and so little time for anything, I have to turn on the reserve power so I can get through the semester.  Unfortunately I think that there is a point when I have to turn that on when it’s getting late and I’m working on a complicated project. You would think that there would be no way to mess up a clearly labeled yarn progression, making sure that you get the right colors when you need them. Well you would be for the most part correct but therer is that problem in which you aren’t fully there at that moment. I thought when I labled all of the yarn for Sari that I was out smarting the knitting fates, but that is not the case.

I finished a repeat of Sari, in which I was ready for the next main color (keep in mind there are 16 or 18 main colors), so I reached into the bag ready to grab the next color, which I made sure I grabbed 2.3 (my numbering system). The next morning I was having my coffee, getting ready to start my day with knitting like I do. I thought to myself that I should probably check to make sure I grabbed everthing correctly, but I thought well I coudln’t have grabbed the wrong colors, so I started my knitting groove. I went to knitting group and was knitting away, enabling someone else into joining knitting the Sari. I told her to make sure to label clearly and looked at my label and realized that I made a mistake, I grabbed the right number, wrong color. I grabbed copper 2.3 instead of burgundy 2.3. So I had to take out the bit that I had done, thankfully I caught before I had gotten too far into the repeat or shawl.

It’s crusing now, I’m hoping to have it done for Stitches West.  Pictures of progress coming soon

From once it came.

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That time of year has finally come and gone and I know I can breath a little easier now that it is done. I’m not talking about the holidays at all, that’s something of a beast that is still going on. No, I’m referring to the beast of a thing that all college students dread and fear, finals. Just saying that word can turn even the mightiest students into babbling, stressed out, caffeine guzzling, sleep deprived shells of their former self. When it’s looming close or actually happening, I feel like I’m running on emergency reserves for power and the back up system for the brain. It is define toy not something that I enjoy or would recommend to people. But now that week is over, Fall semester can be put to rest, and we can focus on other things.

Since my time was limited between working and school I didn’t do a lot of knitting. Which you would kind of expect since time is very limited with all of the classes, homework, studying, group projects, and working at the same time. Which you have to include the normal things that you can’t skip out on as well such as sleep, eating, caffeine (being super important), so something had to give and unfortunately it was the knitting. There is one thing that I have been really working on which is another Color Craving for my mom. She really liked the one that I did last year when all I had was time. I told her that I would be more then happy to make her one, but that she couldn’t have mine. I am knitting it out of stash yarn, some Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Whiskers, Grey Gardens, and Whiskey Barrel. It’s pretty close to being done, just two more rounds and then I’m going to do the same icord treatment that I did before with my original.

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With my new found extra time I am going to be knitting more, which means that I’ll have way more to talk about. I also have a few things planned that I think you all will enjoy seeing. But for now, there isn’t that much to show. But that doesnt mean that there will not be more stuff coming soon.

Wrapping Up

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Everything is going by so quickly here, that happens I suppose when you are as busy as I am. It feels like yesterday was still summer and school was just about to start again. It’s now nearing the end of November and time has slipped away from me. My knitting has had something like that happen to it as well. If you haven’t seen my last post, I was knitting the newest Stephen West mystery and I was starting clue 4 and really looked at my colors against the pictures he posted of his. I really didn’t like how my colors were trying so hard not to look bad together, but they failed. I still haven’t ripped it out yet, but it’s on the list of things that I need to do. It’s going to have a lot of knots in all 4 skeins, but that’s the price I pay for not stopping sooner.

On a happier note, I have been pulling out some of the design yarn. No I don’t have any hints for anyone, but I’m able to get some of my designs up and running again. Currently swatches are all that I have going on some of them, but that’s the start I need to get me putting up more designs. Some of these I can’t wait for you all to see when they’re done. I have models lined up for some of them and the one I’m currently working on swatching, I can’t wait for the final product. I think that it will be quite spectacular, if I do say so myself.

I promised pictures of something that I purchased didn’t I? Sari is such an amazing pattern, ever since I saw it I thought it was beautiful, but when someone at my LYS brought hers in (done in miss babs) I knew I had to make it. But I had to find the right yarn to knit this spectacular design in. I saw on the pattern page that it was made with Color Shift Shift Yarn and I just had to take a look at the yarn. I went over to their Etsy shop and I knew that was the only yarn that I wanted to make Sari out of. Two of my friends at the LYS bought their own custom kits from the shop, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I decided I wanted the colors as it came, red is one of my favorite colors. I placed my order, thought I wouldn’t see it for a little bit, since she does say in the The kit’s description that it will take 6-8 weeks to dye and ship. I don’t know what happened, but about a week after my order I got the confirmation that it was being shipped.

It arrived and what the box contained I thought I was prepared for. The yarn was stunning, beautifully packaged, and the smallest details were thought of. There are no words to describe the beauty that the boxed held, but maybe a picture can help with that.

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You can tell how much the dyer cares about what she does and the talent she has in order to dye colors that are so perfect. The shift from one color bridge to the other, is just about unnoticeable, there is no abrupt jog, just a smooth transition. Each bridge and color progression is labeled to what colors they contain, yardage, etc. There’s even a page that is included with some information from the dyer, care instructions, and all. I have not seen this level of dedication and attention to detail in yarn, it’s incredible. I told the dyer this and that I want to design something with her yarn in the future, I just need to figure out what to do in order to do justice to her yarn.

For now I will be knitting that swatch, with the kit sitting close to me, wanting me to start it. That will have to wait till I’m done with school for the semester, and then a knit against will begin.

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