Swatches

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Lets start off by saying monogamous knitting has been a great way for me to get through projects that may have been lamenting.  I’m able to get WIPs done that I might not have previously.  No I still have not finished weaving in the ends or blocked the Adonis pullover, it takes me a bit of time to weave in the individual plies of the yarn.  Since it’s a finer weight of yarn, I wanted to make the ends really disappear.  It’s only a 2-ply yarn, but still it takes me a while to get them all woven in.  Maybe I’ll continue to do that this week.  In any case, I did finish the Snare hat out of Plucky Bello Worsted in Strut Your Stuff.  I will say I love this yarn, it feels really nice to work with, creates a nice fabric, but it’s a light worsted, not a standard worsted.  Even still I’m very happy with the end product and the recipient is happy with it as well.  I was told that their friends are jealous that they got something hand knit.  In any case, it’s done and I have pictures to prove it.

 

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Now that it’s done I can work on something else I’ve been looking forward to starting.  Yes this is another design, no I haven’t forgotten about the one that I just finished.  That one is being finalized in the written before it goes out to the test knitters.  Then the coordinating with the model is also happening, so don’t worry you’ll see the pattern soon enough.

 

But the new design is going to take a lot of time and math, it’s out of one of my favorite yarns, but I still need to do my do diligence first.  That means lots of swatches and math to ensure I have the right gauge before I start making the pattern.  What that pattern is going to be you’ll just have to wait and see.  But  for now just know it’s going to be amazing, or at least I hope so.  But since I’m working on a design that needs a lot of math and time spent before making the pattern (which is not my normal design work flow) I needed something to work on while doing this.  I know it’s not sticking with the monogamous knitting, but another designer friend of mine mentioned it might be good to have one while working on the pattern.  So I took her recommendation and weighed out some leftover yarn that I have and cast on for a On the Spice Market.  I’m using 7 colors of Madelinetosh, one that is a full skein and the other left over  from other projects.  I’m liking the colors so far, but still a little unsure of how they’re all working together.  I guess we will wait and see, unless anyone here has any opinions of what they think?

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In any case, I have to do one more swatch before the math all begins and I can start designing and knitting the new design.  In the mean time I’ll be working my spice market while I mull over the math and maybe have to put it down for a bit while I figure out any road bumps.

Still can’t read

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Everyone is going to be so shocked that I still can’t read a pattern. Don’t get me wrong I can read just fine. I can write a pattern just fine, but for he life of me sometimes I just can’t read a pattern. After the design project that I finished I needed something that was a quick knit in the interim between this design and the next. I decided to knit on a hat, nothing too fancy, just something out of worsted weight.  I also needed a gift so I timed everything just right, or as right as I could. I browsed through Ravelry and looked at all of the hats in my queue that met the criteria and found some Brooklyn Tweed patterns. Crag was in that list, was the right style, weight of yarn, complexity.  It just seemed like it was meant to be.

 
So I cast on, but no this is not the I can’t read pattern. For some reason I could read this pattern too well. I saw that the ribbing wasn’t matching up with the stitch pattern, which is how it’s written. I’m not a fan of that kind of thing and some math later I decided I’ll make that hat for me, but adjust the numbers to make it more OCD friendly. Then I did the search again and found another pattern.  I checked the pattern before casting on, yes the ribbing would match up rather well with the main pattern.  I cast on my stitches, dutifully did my 2.5″ of half twisted ribbing (not the most enjoyable thing) and put it on.  It felt a little snug but not bad, I like having a semi snug hat.  So I pressed on and then came a warning sign.  I noticed that my patterning was off, so I checked and the stitch pattern was in multiples of 6.  I had not cast on the right number, so I counted and checked the pattern.  I stared at the page for a bit and had to put my face down onto the table.  This was at knit night mind you, so I was very much surrounded by the right people.  The kinds of people that would feel your pain.  I wasn’t just 2 stitches off, oh no add a 0 to the end of it. 20, yes I was off by 20 stitches.

 

Then came denial, I told myself that I’m not going to rip this hat attempt out again for the 3rd time (2x were for the first pattern, when I thought it was me).  So I pressed on knitting and knitting, thinking blocking would take care of everything.  I was about 0.5″ away from the crown decreases, put the hat on, and I knew I made a mistake.  Yes I know I made the mistake before when I didn’t cast on the right number of stitches.  I mean my deliberate decision to ignore better judgement and rip out 6 days ago.  So that’s exactly what I did, Tuesday I ripped out the hat, rewound the ball, and put it into its bag.  It wasn’t until the next morning that I decided that I should pick it up again, so I cast on and it’s going very smoothly now.  I’m at the same point I was a few days ago, but with the right number of stitches this time.  I might be able to finish it tonight, to get it to block tonight too.  Oh I almost forgot this yarn I’m using, it’s Plucky Bello Worsted, color is Strut Your Stuff.  Photos to come soon. 

 

On a different note, I’m 3/4 of the way done with my final exams.  One more tomorrow and I’ll be done.  I might write up that new pattern that I finished last week, get some of it done at least tonight.  Or maybe not, I’m thinking I just want to sleep.  I wonder if I can knit cables and sleep at the same time.  Wouldn’t that be a great skill…

What day is it?

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I keep loosing track of days, find seems to be speeding by right now. I have been lagging behind here on the blog.  It is hard to talk about knitting that you are working on that isn’t ready to be shown.  What I can say is as follows:

  1.  This is a new design
  2. The yarn is Abstract Fibers
  3. It is a 2 color design
  4. I recently took it off of the needles to block to see if I liked how it was progressing
  5. I’m pretty sure that I do.
  6. I only have a little bit more to go on the knitting.
  7. With that said I have to work on the write up for the pattern
  8. Once those things are done then I can get it test knit.
  9. Then a photoshoot will be happening very soon, location, and model are chosen.  Just coordinate our schedules.
  10. I still have not finished weaving in the ends of Adonis or blocked it.
  11. That’s something for another day.
  12. I have to get back to knitting…
  13. Oh and finals are next week.  One semester remaining.

 

Technical oops

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I put up a post about a week ago, or so I thought. I guess when I hit post and waited for a second it didn’t go up. So now I’m going to have to update you point by point. 
1.  Adonis is finished knitting, finished it. Few days ago.

2. I had to rip out the saddle once because of a line in the pattern that confused me. I don’t think it needs to be there it’s redundant (the instruction not the saddles).

3. That fixed I put in the collar. 

4.  Ripped out the cone of a collar. 

5. Fixed that problem and brought up the front of the neck since it was too low for my taste. 

6.  I’m weaving in ends right now and have been for a few days. 

7. It’s taking me a bit because I’m splitting the yarn into plies and duplicate stitching them in. 

8. This sweater looks fantastic on. 

9. Wish it was cooler so I could wear it. 

10. Next project is in progress and I’m super happy with it so far. 

On a mission

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As a knitter there are times that we know exactly what we want to knit. We know the exact pattern, yarn, needles, gauge, and every little detail that will go into that project.   That yarn for that project may be in stash, or it could arrive one day at your local yarn shop.  When you see it you know exactly what it is going to be and how much you want it.  Or sometimes you just know what something is going to be even without seeing or touching it first.  As a designer I have to look at a yarn, it’s color, texture, and have it go through my mind.  It has to take on a journey from start to finish to know exactly what it’s going to be, look like, feel like, and make me want to start it.

 

I went up to another local yarn shop on Saturday, looking for a yarn I needed for a design, part of a series I’m working on.  I won’t give you any details on what that series is, the yarn I purchased, or anything.  But I will say that I had to make decisions right then and there in the shop, is that amount of yarn going to be enough, is this garment going to have this attribute or not.  Stitch pattern, size, all of that and a myriad of other decisions made within a few minutes.  So I picked up the yarn, brought it home and now it taunts me a little bit.  I’m really surprised that I’m sticking to the whole monogamous knitting so well.  This is the second project that I’m going to cast on, the first, well that’s something I’ll have to make you all wait to find out about.

 

For now heres a picture inside of the shop.  I have to finish my Adonis Pullover, just about half way to the underarms.

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Nearing the end

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We are slowly progressing to the end of March, which it doesn’t feel like the end of March to me.  Honestly it still feels like the first few days of March. As always this year is going by way too fast, which means that in reality everything is going to happen in rapid succession. In any case every morning when I actually get up with my alarm (instead of my body just thinking it suggestion) I have my ritual. Get up, turn on the coffee maker, human functions, make my coffee, open up my knitting bag, pull up YouTube, and knit while having my coffee. It’s something I do every morning, it’s my ritual. It’s something you can sometimes tell when I don’t have time in the morning to do it. 
I’m not sure what that tell tale sign is, but it’s there. I think I’m just more on edge and under caffeinated if I don’t have time for the ritual. It keeps me human, or as human as possible given all of the things I have to do on a daily basis. 

  

Yes that is the Adonis pull over and yes that is also in Fyber Spates Scrumptious sport. I really do like this yarn, soft nice to work with (besides the occasional split stitch). This project will be going over monotonous knitting March and that’s ok. I’m kind of liking this one project at a time thing. I might just continue forward with it. 
Might just be I need more caffeine to come to my senses. Only one way to find out, more coffee. 

Glitch 

I had a small glitch with the monogamous knitting. The loxley that I was making needed another skein and I was going to run out. So I ordered a skein and I called upon my monogamous knitting friend. I needed advice if I was going to stop knitting till it arrived or what else. Fortunately I got the yarn and finished it, but that wasn’t the glitch. I finished the project which was good but then I needed to knit on the next project. It took me some time to figure it out. I decided on the conflagration which I was knitting it out of Miss Babs Yummy in Bats***crazy. Love how it’s looking but I was not happy knitting it. Nothing wrong with the pattern, I just was not wanting to knit on it. So I had to think, either knit on it and not want to, or just stop and frog it. 
I know it’s crazy, 6 repeats in, with about 8 more to go, I should finish it. But I just couldn’t get myself to do it. After much talk around the table at knit night I decided that it’s going back into the WIP bin. It’s also under frogging consideration, I might finish it one day. But it’s not going to be right now, so back to the what am I going to knit phase. I figured another WIP would be a good place to start. I looked through my queue too to see what else I could work on. But I pulled out he Adonis pullover I started a while ago. It’s out of FiberSpates Scrumptious sport and I forgot how much I love this yarn line. Being a merino silk it’s so soft and fun to knit with. The pullover has one sleeve done and the other almost half way. So I picked it up, started knitting, and I’m so much happier. It’s going fairly quick, well as quick as sport weight on US 3s can go. After this sleeve I’m going to get the body started. 

In other news, I am about 80% sure I will be attending Rhineback this year. I still have a few things to iron out before I can be 100% sure. 

Post Stitches

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As many of you may or may not know I made the decision  this year to not go to stitches west. I’ve gone for the past 7 or so years and this year I thought about it. I sat there, thinking long and hard about going. But why did I want to go? To see my favorite vendors, but I didn’t need anymore yarn (it’s always a want, but I’m trying to get my stash down).  Well I could have gone just to see new vendors, but nothing on the list excited me. But of course it could just be to go and be social.  But in a market place where there is temping fibers and yarns all over I think I would have been more concentrated on that. There was no reason for me to go this year, so I didn’t.  I went to a state park instead and did a whole day hike with my dad.  Of course being me and my dad we had our backpacks full of photography gear and headed out.  We spent around 6 hours hiking around, taking photos, just taking in the beauty of the park.

 

There was so much to see, so many photo opportunities.  I’m not sure if I discussed this on here or not but I primarily shoot film.  Which might sound strange in the age of digital technology, but this analog form just gets to me in the right ways.  I could talk and talk about it, writing long love stories of film, but I won’t.  This is a knitting blog after all, but I will share a photo or two from the hike.  These are from my digital camera, I haven’t gotten the film developed yet, still have a few shots left.

 

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And I’m writing this 2/29, the last day of February, which means tomorrow starts Monogamous knitting march.  I know this sounds crazy, but I really want to get through more of my WIPs.  This should help and if it goes well then I think that a few other months will be turning into only one knitting project start to finish.  Since I finished the knitting on Girasole tonight (finally) I have the Loxley for my friend I need to finish.  That’s the project to start off this venture.  After that I haven’t really decided.  I don’t think there’s enough knitting there for the whole month, so chances are I’ll pick something else up.  Either a WIP or something new, just depends on my mood.

Random on a Friday 

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1.  Progress has come to a halt. I haven’t been really working that much on my knitting.

2. I have been trying to work more on the girasole after

3. I’m on the border finally, I thought I would never see it.

4.  It’s 640 sts around, it’s slow progress

5.  I will not be at Stitches this year.  I decided a week ago that I wasn’t going to go, there is nothing that is screaming “buy me!”  I’m going to do something else today, not knitting, but photography related.

6.  I did buy some yarn about 2 weeks ago now, I’m still waiting for it.  Not the dyers fault, the shipping provider is dropping the ball.

7.  I’m already thinking about what I’m going to be knitting next after Girasole.

8.  I have this crazy idea for March, knitting on only one thing until it’s done.  No switching between projects, just powering through a project from start to finish.  Hopefully getting me to finish more projects, maybe I’ll do more spinning too.

9.  Crap I forgot about spin the bin.  I better get to work on that too.

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. 

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