Read the pattern

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This has been an interesting knitting week for me. We start off with that swatch that lied to me. Well that still hasn’t gotten it’s resolution. I’m still thinking of ripping it out and going with the size I was intending to knit on. But that’s the least of my worries at the moment. It was however the ominous event that led to two other knitting issues. One of them was preventable by myself while the other was the luck of the draw. The socks I test knit, they’re almost done. I have the second sock almost down through the gusset, but there is a blaring problem. I am running out of yarn at an alarming rate and not one that I can just play yarn chicken with. It’s now at that point where I am going to run out and there is no real good solution, except for buying another skein. I don’t feel like dealing with that at this moment and I put it away. It may get me to go to stitches, but I might just order a skein and ask if it’s possible for her to send a skein that is close to what I have. I know it won’t be a perfect match and that’s fine. 

No the really big issue is with my Girasole. You remember that from my trip to the UK, well I brought it back out. I really want it to be done so I can enjoy it and so the needless can be free. Well I found out that I didn’t read the pattern enough and I ended up blowing past something important. But let’s back up first, because I was thinking why is this so small, am I sure I’m doing this right. Is there a repeat this pattern I miss? And I looked at the pattern and realized I did exactly that. I didn’t see the repeat this chart 3 times total. I knit it once and was almost done with the next chart. So I had to make a choice, add more size to the pattern, or just keep going.  I made the decision that I wanted the extra width the repeats would have given me so I decided to go back to the end of the first repeat of that chart. Looking at it I though at first I’ll put in a lifeline 4 rounds below and then just knit the next row. But with how the pattern moves it wasn’t going to happen. So I decided the best solution was to remove the needles, rip out 3 rounds and put the stitches back on as I rip out the final round. Avert your eyes if you are knitting squeamish. 
  

Yes that’s the entire 600ish stitches with no needle. So I did it, everything went smoothly, and now it’s back on track. Halfway through the second repeat of the chart, making slow but steady progress. Let’s hope I can actually bother myself to read the pattern, otherwise this wouldn’t have happened.  Back to knitting. 

When swatches lie

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Swathes are an important part of making garments. You have to ensure that your yarn will meet the gauge of the pattern to make sure that it will fit. Not only that so that you don’t make a sweater that is too large or small. I always try to make a swatch, wash and block it like I would the finished garment. I learned my lesson a while ago when I didn’t wasn’t the swatch and I had a vest dress. It was my own fault and from that point on I went ahead and did my do diligence. Keep in mind for this I did a gauge swatch, I really did. I decided I wanted to make a sweater for myself, modifying the pattern to omit the waist shaping. With plenty of yarn I pulled out needles and swatched. The swath got its bath and blocked, after drying I measured. I was about 1 stitch too many per 4 inches, not a problem. I did my math and calculated that the next size up was going to be just about right. I wanted a 44″ chest and I was going to get about a 45″ chest. So I went ahead and cast on, the ribbing seemed bigger then I thought but decided with the cables it would even out. 

That was not correct in the least. I knew the fabric would grow a little bit getting me to about 18 stitches to 4″. Well the swatch lied to me. I measured what I had unblocked and found the sweater would be about 48-50″, which I checked my measurements and I would most likely swim in it. Granted I love this yarn, I have probably waxed poetically here and to my knitting group about it. But I don’t think I want a sweater that large. So now I have to decide if I am going to block on the needles and see if it changes to be small, doubtful. I’m thinking just ripping out the 4ish inches that I have and go with the correct size I wanted.  But then again what if it’s too small at that point. I guess I won’t really know if the gauge is going to trick me again or not.  I think that’s something to decide maybe tonight when I need to wind more yarn. 
I think I should just knit on something else until I decide what to do with the sweater. But in other news Stitches West is this month and I have not decided if I’m going or not. I haven’t bought yarn since my purchase in December. So almost 2 months again, which is good. I want to get the stash to a reasonable level for me. As for the spin the bin, it hasn’t started really. I haven’t spun for about a week and this is fiber on the wheel that isn’t part of this endeavor. I think I better kick it up into high gear, otherwise I’ll never get through the fiber I want to spin. 

Ta-Da

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Well there’s no more secret test knitting, with no pictures being able to be shared.  That test knit is done, the pattern is live, and I think you might like it.   That test knit would be for the Whiskey and Rye Socks designed by Audry, who is a friend of mine.  We all saw these socks and we all knew that they would be something we wanted to knit.  However, the larger size is too big for most of the knitters around the table, me being one of the very few it would fit there.  So I volunteered to test knit the pattern, but lets clear up one thing.  I have not finished them yet, I know how horrible of me not finishing a pair of socks.  I have my reasons, one of those being I have a lot of things on the needles that need to be worked on.  Which means I spread my time as evenly as I possibly can.  However, don’t fret I do have evidence of my test knit, which I did out of Miss Babs Yummy in Zombie Prom.

 

Aren’t they just awesome? Picture will come soon.   I like how the color plays with itself throughout the design.  I might need to pull out the Zombie Reunion and make another pair.  But only after this pair and a few other things are complete.  I did do some swatching, but that will come a bit later when I’m ready to knit on that.  There’s a bit of math involved because of the gauge the pattern uses and the gauge that I got.  But for now I am working through the Loxley for my friend, which is taking a bit longer then I anticipated.  It’s just a lot of knitting compensating for lots of hair.  I’m going to have her test fit it one more time to make sure my alterations are good and I’ll finish the brim and make the scarf portion.

 

I did start something new, something that from the moment I got the yarn I knew what it was going to be.  The yarn was a gift 2 Christmases ago, Madelinetosh Merino DK in Tart, and it’s a good Tart.  The pattern it’s now becoming is Scrollwork and I have to say it’s going fairly quickly.  I started it Monday evening and am currently done. Finished it Friday, just need to wash and block it now. 
  

I started a new seater, wanted to knit it in a week. Probably not, but maybe 2 weeks??

The tributes

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They knew that their time would come, that they would be put into the running, but didn’t know it would be this soon.  As I dug around the bin, they all stopped speaking, they all just sat there as one by one they were pulled out.  With each selection the rest became a little more relaxed, but still nervous to see if they were going to be pulled next.  One by one the 12 selections were made, each different then the next.  Finally all 12 were chosen, the rest let out a sigh of relief, the 12 knew they were going to have a long road ahead of them.

 

If you don’t recognize that book/movie reference (I read the books first, highly recommended) then that bit of cleverness has been lost on you.  I’m actually talking about the Spin the Bin challenge, which I spoke of last time.  I had to go through the fiber stash bin in order to choose the 12 fibers that I wanted to spin.  If you’re not familiar with Spin the Bin, it was first introduced to me last year or the year prior by one of my knitting friends.  She told me about it then and I thought it was a bit crazy, but now looking at the stash I realized it was brilliant.  You have between Dec 20, 2015-Dec 31, 2016 to spin all the fiber selected, which has to be at least 2 ounces and 12 different bundles.  You can of course do more then that, but for me I knew the 12 would be a challenge.  You also have to take a picture of all of the fiber and post it to the group with all of the selections that you made.  There are some other rules and such, like if you don’t finish, what you have left is going to be sold or given away.  I’m not going to do that personally, but I will be modifying the other option.  You can switch the fiber of one without penalty and after that you have to put back in double.  For me the second part will be the same, but the first will be you may remove or substitute one without penalty.  Since my fiber stash is not that large it wouldn’t hurt me to do either.

 

You must be curious to see what I chose, well not all of this is on Revelry, but here it is.

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It’s just so fluffy!  Alright lets break it down.

  1.  Abstract Fiber Mixed Merino Silk, Colorway: Laurelhurst, 4 ounces
  2. Abstract Fiber Mixed Merino Silk, Colorway: Shady Glade, 4 ounces
  3. Shaky K Fibers, Merino Top, Colorway: Electric Green, 4 Ounces
  4. Malabrigo Nube, Colorway: Solis, 8 Ounces
  5. Pigeonroof Studios Superwash Merino, Colorway: Blackeyed Susan, 4 ounces (Spinion [spinning minion] project)
  6. Lisa Souza Zen Top, Colorway: Flahriduh, 4 Ounces
  7. Sweet Georgia Merino Bamboo Silk, Colorway: Love Letters, 4 Ounces (Club color 2014, most likely going to be gifted)
  8. RedFish Dyeworks MYS, Colorway: Unknown (it’s shades of browns, red/rogance browns, tans), 4 ounces
  9. Miss Babs Merino Tussah, Colorway: Monster Mash, 4 ounces
  10. Miss Babs Merino Bamboo Tussah, Colorway: Shaken not Stirred, 4 ounces
  11. Greenwood FiberWorks Superwash Merino Nylon, Colorway: Earthen Hues, 4 ounces
  12. Greenwood FiberWorks Superwash Merino Nylon, Colorway: Cider House, 4 Ounces

 

And that’s it, that’s all of the fiber that I chose for Spin the Bin.  I think ti’s going to be interesting to see what they all come out to be, that is if I can finish them all.  I’m currently trying to get the fiber that is on my wheel off ASAP so I can get started with this. I’m not going to go in order of the list above, it’s going to be whatever I feel like that time and what I grab.  I’m thinking of starting with the largest amount of fiber, which would be the Malabrigo.  What it’s going to be when it’s yarn I’m not sure.  2 ply or 3 ply, not sure yet, all I know it’s going to be fingering weight, as most of these will be.  In the mean time I better get back to the wheel, I have about an ounce left to spin on that fiber.  It’s also GreenWood FiberWorks, but in a merino silk, in super bright colors.  It’s also super, super thin so I might need to weave it.

 

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Fiber under pressure

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Remember two years ago when I went to Stitches West 2014 I kind of went a little overboard?  If you don’t lets just put it this way, I came to the convention on our light rail system, but couldn’t return home on it.  I mean I could have, but it would have been a real hassle to bring it all back, not to mention the looks I would have received.  Not that I have a problem with the looks, just the idea of lugging all of that yarn and fiber back home didn’t sound fun.  Thankfully a friend of mine took pity on me and took me back home.  Because of that falling down repeatedly I didn’t buy anything last year at stitches.  I’ve finally started knitting through some of the yarn that I bought that year.  Sold one of the skeins of Skinny Bugga, traded the skein of “We are all mad here” Cannon Hand dyes, knit up the other, two skeins of Abstract Super sock are currently in progress for a design, Shalimar Breathless is halfway done on a test knit and two of the Miss baby (Bats***t crazy and zombie prom) are almost finished objects.  The rest is still sitting in stash, needing attention, wanting to be complete, find it’s purpose.  It’s a sound that some people out there may be familiar with.

 

Keeping this in mind, one of the things that I need to cut down on is my spinning stash.  I don’t have nearly the same amount of fiber as I do yarn (I have way more yarn), but there is a key difference between the two.  Weight for weight fiber takes up a lot more room.  So I could have 16 ounces of fiber or 16 ounces of yarn and the yarn would take up a lot less room (mostly).  One of my knitting friends did something last year that I thought was kind of crazy, but now I realize it was kind of brilliant.  It’s called spin the bin and it’s a way in order for you to spin down your fiber stash.  You have to declare minimum of 2 ounces per braid, 12 braids, and they all must be spun by one year.  Dec 20, 2015 – Dec 31, 2016 is the current spin the bin so I am a little bit behind.  I have to go through my fiber stash and see what I want to get to.  I have a rough estimate in my head what I want to spin for this bin.  The only problem is that I like to spin super fine, I’m talking 3 ply light fingering weight yarn, so this may be a challenge for me.  But in essence it’s spinning 4 ounces a month until the end of the year, sounds do-able to me.  We will have to wait to another post to see what fibers I choose.

 

Knitting wise I’ve been working on the Loxley for my friend, it’s going well, but I have to double check that the hood size is going to be good for her.  Other then that, the test knit looks good, feels good, pattern is good, and I told the designer last week that they should release asap.  I’ll let you know what pattern that is, with pictures, once the pattern is public.  Other then that I have been slowly working on that design, it had to be ripped back once before because I couldn’t even follow my own pattern, but don’t worry I’ve fixed that, it’s back on track and making some good progress.  It’s just taking me some time because I want to make sure I get this one right, it’s gone through a lot of revisions to get it to this final version.

 

I think it’s time for me to go through the fiber stash, lets see what all I have…

Creature of Neon Pink

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Sometimes I wonder if I must be some kind of strange two faced knitter. Most of the time I pick good pattern and yarn combinations that just make me happy and get others to ooh and ahh. But then the other part of the time I pick a pattern that maybe isn’t my favorite or I’m just ready to start something new and it fits the bill. Or maybe it’s just the yarn and the color that is chosen for some strange reason that I love by itself. Whatever it is or a combination of those reasons there are those times where I look at the thing that came of my needles and a I wonder, “what made me do this?”  Sometimes I think the desire to use the stash makes me do weird things, I think this is one of them. Looking at it blocking I was wondering what made me do this, then when it was dry I put it on. It actually looks decent on, but I don’t know.
If you couldn’t guess I’m referring to the doodler. It’s finished, done, finito, and I’m not sure if I like it or not. I’m going to bring it to my LYS and get a opinion or 5 about it. I can think of one person there that would probably like it (they know who they are).  I did modify the pattern a little bit, like taking out that cable, which I did not like at all. I made color 3 go up through clue 3 and finally into the icord bind off.  I like the changes more then what written, but still I’m unsure.  I’ll have more detailed notes in my project page at some point. Just in case someone actually wants to make my edits that I did to the pattern. I think the changes worked out fairly well.

Ok, it’s been a few days since it’s been completely done, I brought it into the LYS and got a lot of compliments on it.  Some of those were “that is a bright pink,” but I’ll take the compliment.  I wore it yesterday into work and a few of my coworkers noticed and they were admiring it.  I think that it’s a keeper, though I had an idea for another of his that I have knit that I gave away.  But we will see if I actually do it, since I don’t think I have the right colors in stash.

 

No I didn’t forget about my other knitting, quite the opposite in fact.  The test knit is going stupendously, the knit for a friend is going well (just needs to be checked with her at this point), and my design is unhappy.  Well more that I’m unhappy, rather then it be unhappy with me.  I’m not unhappy with the design, I’m unhappy with myself that I messed up my own instructions.  So I ripped back quite a bit and am right back on track.

4 months, 16 days

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With that title you all must be racking your brains to figure out what that could mean. Stitches West 2016? Nope that’s in February, so only about 2 months away at this time. A vacation? Nope I will be in school again in that time so that wouldn’t be it either. Ok, I will tell you all what that means and it might just shock you.  It kind of shocks me and every knitter that finds out.
That time in the title is how long I went without buying yarn. Yes, 4 months and 16 days since I last bought yarn. No that doesn’t mean I didn’t look at yarn at my LYS, touch it, contemplate it, and almost bought some but stayed strong. I have been looking at yarn, yarn, and more yarn, but nothing got me to break the yarn diet, until the silk. If you didn’t know already I have a big weak point for silk, but we will get to that.  I have silk in my stash and it’s very gorgeous (if you must know it’s Tosh Silk Lace).  Of course I have blends with silk in it, cashmere, and the like, but nothing in the right weight to make something besides lace shawls.

 

Well, my LYS (which is wonderful and I want them to stay around) gets in good stuff as you may or may not know by this point.  There has been a bit of Madelinetosh that I have seen come and go, I held my ground and resisted.  I pulled some of it to the table and enabled others into buying it. I even pulled a shop sample of a kit onto one of my knitting friends, so she could see how perfect it was for her.  For a while I was doing well, until the silk came up.  The shop owner talked to some of us about an idea she had and wanted opinions and color selections.  We gave her our opinions and she came up with a wonderful shop sample.  The 3 Color Cashmere Cowl by Joji Locatelli was the pattern chosen, out of Mora by Malabrigo.  That fingering weight  silk just feels and looks stunning.  After the sample had been up, I looked at it, petted it and the yarn, I tried it on, and walked away.  I knew if I looked at it more I would fall.  Just feeling how wonderful it was around the neck made me want the yarn more and more.  I had to be strong and walk away, keeping note of the colors I chose so that when I was going to buy yarn I would know which ones to get.

 

That was about a month ago, since then I enabled another to get the yarn to make the cowl in the silk, and a few other enabling.  But I had been good, until 2 weeks ago.  The Friday night group chanted for me to buy it, since I had been looking at it for a while at that point.  But I didn’t, I put it back, staying strong to my morals of no new yarn.  Then Wednesday the week of Christmas I pulled the yarn off the shelf and looked at it for a bit, deciding that I was going to buy it.  One of the staff I know said “you should put it on hold.”  I kept trying to buy, but she kept insisting for me to put it on hold.  It took me a minute to realize, but I figured out I was going to have a gift card coming to me.  So I put it on hold, left it there, but it never left my mind.  Finally on Wednesday this week I bought it, this silk has a design swatch (with scrap Tosh) made previously before I bought it, so I know what it’s going to be.  Ok, with this kind of lead up you must want to see the colors that I chose.  Wait no further.

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I’m quite happy with the colors, I think this will be wonderful when it’s done.  But there is one other design that comes before it.

 

Oh right quick note, I had a design on the needles, and I’m happy with it so far.  I have a deadline for it in my head, but that may be a little ambitious, but I’m going to try my best.

Time warp

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How time has been flying lately, I still can’t believe it’s December already. And in a week’s time we will be brining in the new year, 2016 should be an interesting year.  Things are in full bloom around here, the tree has been up for a while now, lights didn’t need stringing (benefit of a already strung tree), and gifts are out.  The fireplace greets you with a push of a button, such a great thing on cool nights.  My last post was some time ago, so lets just go through a bullet point time warp at lightning speed.

  1.  Finals for me are done, I completed them all by Wednesday last week, so that means freedom for I believe 6 glorious weeks.
  2. In that time I think I slept maybe 12 hours in a week.
  3. I still have been wearing some of my knits, today I’m planning what I’ll be wearing to the family dinner.
  4. Christmas knitting has been done for a month or two.
  5. Blocking needed to be done still and I finally did it late last night
  6. That one item is the Viajante made out of Miss Babs Kilimanjaro in the color, Believable.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  7. That is the only thing that I knit for the holidays, because I am not going to knit up a storm for everyone, I wanted to enjoy my knitting time.
  8. Strönd is done, seams, ends, and all.  It is very comfy and  I really like how it turned out, the colors are subtle from a distance.  But when you get closer you see how the yarn just plays with color.
  9. It’s now been over 4 months since I bought yarn.
  10. I almost fell last Friday, to some gorgeous silk I have been petting for weeks.
  11. I almost fell again yesterday to the same yarn, but I was told to put it on hold for a few days so I can really think about it.
  12. I think I’m ready for a drink.

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Time for knits

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As most of you are aware, California is not the coldest place in the world and especially last year fall/winter wasn’t much either. This year we are getting much cooler weather which I’m thoroughly enjoying. I even wear a scarf on occasion when I know it’s going to be chilly. Yes that’s right, I have actually been wearing stuff that I’ve made and it’s been bliss. My coworkers get scarf envy every time they see me wearing anything I’ve made. So fair it’s been my first color craving, my third as well, sari, and masgot. I might even pull out a light sweater or cardigan at some point, but two that I want to wear need buttons still. One I’ve had buttons for a while now (cough, two years, cough) and the other never had buttons waiting for it. I think that will be remedied soon. 
I went though my stash again last week and it surprised me with yarn that I forgot that I had. I went through almost all of it and was like oh I forgot about that and that and oh boy. I had a whole large bin of sweater quantity yarn that is not tosh or any hand dye. And there’s a few of those in sweater quantities too. I think it’s time to get down of my stash up for destash and get it to a home where it will be loved and knit with instead of lingering in my stash. It will be hard to do so, but I just have so much that I just need to. I think I’m going to have to knit a lot more out of the sweater quantities too. I have a lot of good sweater yarn that it’s insane and even a coats worth too. Which sounds insane for California but I’m going to make it and hopefully wear it in a colder climate.  Maybe if I take a quick vacation in January I will go somewhere, where it’s cold enough I could wear something like that.  Or the very least a nice wool sweater.  
As for Strönd, back and first front is done. Completely off the needles and ready for blocking. The second front is on its way, going up to the underarm. I hope I can finish it this week so that I can wash and block and maybe even wear it. I forgot how fast worsted weight sweaters/vests/anything  on a US 8 (5.00mm) goes. Though I will admit the honeymoon fase of the project has worn off and now I just can’t wait for it to be completed.  So then I can cast on the next project, which I have picked out I think.  However there are some other projects that I need to work on first, some that have a self imposed time line.  No, those are not gifts, I only made one thing for a gift and the recipient knows about it already.  

In the interum of finishing Strönd I did cast something on.  Something that is neon, was a mystery, and is again using more of my stash.  I cast on the Doodler, yes I said I wouldn’t, that I wasn’t sure about it.  But I saw a picture of one done and blocked and I liked it more then I thought, though I still might edit the pattern a little bit.  But that is for me to know and you to find out if I decide to go ahead with the edits.  My colors so far are Fog and Fluro Rose, the third I have picked out but I’m waiting to see if I actually want to use that one at the end.

   

Close call

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First and foremost for all of my readers in the United States I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. And to those outside of the US happy Thursday.

You know that I’ve been trying not to buy any new yarn until the beginning of the year. I decided that I needed to keep going past the beginning of the year, now until March. I have so much yarn that I like and want to make something out of. So many ideas, woven, knit, designs, and everything in between. I could probably go a full year without buying any new yarn and still have a decent sized stash.  Though the thought of a whole year without buying any yarn might make me go crazy, but we will see. I almost fell however, last Friday my LYS got in some Madelinetosh Pashmina in one of my favorite colors, tart. And this is a really good rendition of the color, it made me weak in my knees. Which means it was that good, I had to pet it for a few minutes and had to put it back, walk away with my hands up. I was so close to picking up those 2 skeins that I wanted.  I’m going to just let them sit there, maybe Tomorrow I’ll pick them up, maybe I won’t.  I’m hoping to keep from buying yarn as long as possible.
That night I kept thinking about it and up till now I have been thinking about it.  Most would say stop torturing yourself, just put yourself out of your misery and buy it.  I will tell you why I’m not going to buy it, principle, I’m stubborn. When I get an idea in my head I will go for it, in this case not buying yarn until March. But I will say I was so tempted, I could hear it call to me in such a sweet voice.  That and my stash has been telling me to feed it, oh boy I might be inhaling too many yarn fumes.  I will say I will be buying yarn on Friday, but it’s not for me, one of my close friends requested me to knit something for her.  I of course agreed and am going to try to get it on a black Friday discount and it’s not me paying for it.  So this will not count towards buying yarn.
My Strönd is going well, finished the back, now currently working on the first front.   I’m just below the armhole, so I should be able to finish the first front maybe tonight, just depends how much time I get to knit today. I might bring it to Thanksgiving dinner for the few hours that we are there talking and being with family.  Not sure yet.

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Had some afternoon light coming in, which made the colors glow.  My first front, Colors are Stargazing and Mooreland in Tosh DK.

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