Change of Plans

yarn chicken

The latest shawl, Vee Vee, was nearing completion yesterday.   With half a row plus the bind off to go, a loss seemed imminent.   I wasn’t too worried though.  I had a second ball of the white yarn I could borrow a few yards from.

Then it occurred to me that I could use the whole ball.  It was just stash, not being saved for anything in particular.  Annnnnd, I have wanted to do some more loopy Esjan inspired shawl borders.   Problem solved and enhancements made!  Yay!  I love when a new plan seems like it should have been the original plan all along!  As usual, I was congratulating myself,

Until…

I read the yarn label.  The spare ball of yarn was worsted, not fingering like I was using.  In the fingering weight department I had black.

chroma fingering knit picks black yarn

Not stoked about that.  The color is a bit too harsh, and thrown on the edge like that, it will scream afterthought.   Maybe rip back that last white section and replace it with black and white stripes?  That will provide at least a little consistency.  Okay.  New, new plan not as great but could work.

I surprise myself all the time.  Like, why, seriously, do I have black fingering weight yarn in my stash??  What the heck was I thinking.  Every time I try to use it, after a fit of profanity, it goes back into the stash.  So, perhaps it was just waiting for today!

Except I compared the two yarns and they were definitely not the same?  Bizarre.  After a bit of sleuthing, (aka reading the knitpicks invoice in my email), I decided, I was, in fact, using worsted weight all along.

D’oh!

Suddenly it all made sense.  I was very short on my yardage, which I’m used to because of my loose gauge.  The knitting flew though, I worked through one ball in just a couple days.  I made the usual adjustments to account for what I thought was a typical scenario.

No, turns out, I’d just forgotten what yarn I was actually using.  Dumbass.

So, back to the original new plan!  Two balls of white yarn!  and in a surprise find, half a ball of grey yarn!

knitpicks chroma worstedknitting vee vee shawl knitpicks chroma

I can do the stripey bit! I can do the loopy bit! I can do extra stripey, loopy bits!  The new modified original plan is even better than ever!

garter stripe edge

I even get to play yarn chicken all over again!  I can hardly wait!

Hometown Tourist

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Mom came to visit, her first trip west in a decade, so we did lots of sightseeing.  My version of sightseeing…go for a walk, get something to eat.  That’s pretty much what we did for a week!  There’s lots of places to walk in San Francisco and even more places to eat!

We spent a lot of time in Golden Gate Park.  I love it there!

 

The DeYoung Museum currently has a Summer of Love exhibit for the 50th anniversary.  I’m into rock posters so it was fun to see the genesis of the art form!  And of course, the late 60’s were a great time for crochet!  I think I feel my annual urge to crochet coming on!!  I want that rainbow sweater!

 

After that, we spent a lot of time on the water front.

I never get sick of taking bridge pictures.

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Not even on foggy days!

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We did leave the city a bit too.  Visited Pacifica for the grand opening of my friend’s micro-distillery!  Hand crafted vodka and duck fat french fries!  As if that wasn’t enough, the pier was hopping with crabbers and the beach put on a good show in both the surfing category and the tide pooling category!  Two enthusiastic thumbs up for Pacifica!  (Not that I ever doubted!)

Our other trip out of the city went north.  First stop Dharma Trading in San Rafael.  Mom picked out some new dye colors, some new yarn to dye and some white skirts & dresses for dying!  I can’t wait to see what kind of color schemes this trip inspired!  One of the yarns dyes two-tone!  I guess the plys alternate superwash and non-superwash?  It’s going to be a fun experiment to find out!

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The creativity continued north to Petaluma.  We visited Knitterly in historic downtown Petaluma.  If/when I own a yarn shop, I want it to be like Knitterly.  It’s a beautiful shop with great yarns.  Definitely check it out, if you’re ever in the area!  I brought home a skein of Hedgehog.  How could I resist?

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Then it was off to Mrs. Grossman’s Stickers!  If you were a girl in the 80’s, you probably know all about Mrs. Grossman’s!  Talk about irresistable…those sticker walls!!

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I’ve already realized, I didn’t buy nearly enough cat stickers?!?!  I’ve gotta go back!  Mrs. Grossman’s gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from me as well.  I highly recommend you go there.  It’s amazing!  And, as if that wasn’t enough…

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There was an In & Out Burger around the corner!  Mom’s first! YUM!  The eating didn’t stop there…

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We had east african food, ice cream made with nitrogen, dim sum, sweet potato fries covered with chicken tikka masala, the salsa that beat Bobby Flay in the burrito throwdown…delicious!

And, I still had a few hours for World Wide Knit in Public Day!

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Knitting update coming soon!

Smooth Sailing

professor meow sweater intarsia knitting rocky

Professor Meow has hit the halfway point, according to plan.  I’ve probably just jinxed myself saying that.  So far, so good though.

I could complain about the intarsia, but really…

It looks worse than it really is.

Professor meow sweater intarsia knitting blocking cat sweater

The front is blocking and I’ve cast on the back piece.  I am going to veer off course though.  I can’t leave well enough alone.  It’s only going to be a moment. (fingers crossed)

The back, as written, is plain.  I’m going to add a little intarsia paw print.  I saw it on Ravelry and knew I had to steal the idea.  It’s barely a change at all.  It’s still just 16.5 monochromatic inches of stockinette stitch with no shaping.  I feel good that I’m not going to invoke the law of unintended consequences with this one.

That leaves me with nothing to complain about except purling.  I’m not even worked up about that.  I’ve got the week off work!  Funny how that changes things!  I’m looking forward to a creative & crafty week!

 

WIP Wednesday

The casting on continues with a new shawl!  The photographs aren’t doing it justice.

It’s a classic top down triangle in shape but through a series of short rows, the classic shaping is spiced up a bit!  The sections are more wedge shaped than plain stripes so the design within the shawl triangle is comprised of asymmetric triangles.  It becomes more pronounced as the knitting continues.  I can’t wait to get to that part…I just love asymmetry!

The yarn is knitpicks Chroma Fingering.  The slow fade of the colors is perfect to highlight the pattern, Vee Vee by Mariana Martins.

Hopefully, my excitement for this project continues.  I’ve made it to the cat sweater’s face so it’s kind of hard to tear myself away from that!  More pics to follow!

 

Professor Meow, the First

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Thursday

Just like April showers bring May flowers, a flurry of finishes is always followed by a cast on cornucopia!  First up…Professor Meow!  As you might guess from the name, it’s a cat sweater!

Turns out the phrase ‘cat sweater’ is a bit of a Rorschach test.  Most people have assumed I mean a sweater for a cat.

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Friday

In reality, it’s a sweater with a cat on it.   And it’s another bulky knit so it’s going quickly.

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Saturday

I’m making good progress!

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Sunday

I might even get to the face today!!

FO Saturday. I refuse to be rushed.

ice cream pile

I finished my latest shawl last week.  It’s a bit of sequence knitting that I designed myself.  I LOVE SEQUENCE KNITTING!  I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it.  I really want you to know how awesome it is.  It’s such a simple idea – pick a sequence and repeat it – and yet the possibilities are endless!  Anyone can become a designer with a basic understanding of sequence knitting.

texture

The thing about sequence knitting is amazing reversible textures that look complex but are easy to execute.  My sequence of choice was K5, P5.  With just a few little notes about how to create a shape, a triangle in my case, you’ve got the whole pattern already.

blocking

Of course, I complicated matters by making two asymmetric triangles but taken individually, either half could be a stand alone design.

The first triangle, the green one, I started at the bottom edge on the right side.  I cast on 3 stitches and then worked every row the same:  KFB, (K5, P5) to the end.  If my row ended K5, P1 I just ignored those 4 purls necessary to complete the sequence.  Same thing each time, disregarding the portion of the sequence that was missing.

texture together

To work the second triangle, I picked up stitches along the edge of the first triangle, casting on 6 stitches at the top.  I really wanted to accentuate the asymmetric shaping.

fence

I set my sequence as K5, P5 again but this time the triangle is shaped with decreases instead of increases.   I wanted the top edge to remain straight so I only decreased along the bottom edge.

orangetexture

The result for the orange triangle is a two row repeat, starting from the top edge.

Row 1:  (K5, P5) to end.  Row 2:  K2Tog, (K5, P5) to end.

Last change:  For the second triangle, instead of ignoring unworked portions of my sequence, I carried them to the next row.  If Row 1 ended K5, P2, the next row began, K2Tog, P3, K5, P5…etc.

I know, it sounds complicated, but really, that’s just me doing me.   I like simplicity and complication all at once.  I added lots of little bits to customize it.   All that extra stuff is completely knitter’s choice!  That’s why sequence knitting is great!  Maybe you like lace, your sequences could include yarn overs & k2togs.  It could be a really long repeat, like K5, P1, K3, P2, K2, P1, K1.  If you can remember it, it’s your sequence.

chair

And we haven’t even mentioned the ridiculous color yet.  I dyed the base yarn for this project with my Mom.  It was Halloween.  Maybe I got carried away.  Maybe orange, green and purple yarn is a classic example of variegated clown barf.  So, maybe double stranding it with other orange and green yarn will tone down what could be variegated nightmare?

Hopefully?

selfie

Ultimately, it all works.  I couldn’t be happier with how this knit-on-a-sequence-whim piece turned out.  The yarn, the crazy designing, the sequence knitting, all came together lovely!  I really like it.  I’ll definitely be wearing it lots!

(at least until my cat sweater is done…it’s on the needles!  Stay tuned for an update, it’s gonna be awesome!!)

 

WIP Wednesday Round Up

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Last time we talked about the sweater currently on the needles, it was having some trouble.  Happy to report I fixed the problem and was making good progress.  WAS.

Sadly, I encountered a fatal flaw.  The knitting is perfect.  This problem is a dumbass mistake.  I picked the wrong size to knit.  My size fell between two pattern sizes.  I decided to knit the larger one.  Except, when it comes to bulky yarn, a too big sweater can be a very poor choice.  I have enough bulk of my own.  I don’t need my clothes to add bulk.  And that’s what bulky sweaters do, especially if they’re a size too big.

Ooopps.  To the frog pond we go.

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Factor in the new box of yarn being delivered tomorrow, perfectly timed, just in advance of the three day weekend, containing yarn for the next sweater…this poor sweater had no chance.

I can’t wait!  I’m planning not just one, but TWO new sweaters with this new box of yarn.

Cat Sweaters!

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How am I supposed to resist that?  Especially when my sister agreed to a day of twinning, if I made sweaters for both of us.  I can’t wait!  I’m okay with being a crazy cat lady.  I’ll proudly declare it while knitting my cat sweater.   It’s not like I created the stereotype.  I promise to represent crazy knitting cat ladies everywhere properly!

Of course, I needed a new project in the interim.  I’m always ready to cast on!  This time, in a surprise twist, I cast on a new shawl. (<-not really a surprise)

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The yarn is KnitPicks Chroma Fingering, so it goes without saying, the colors are much better than my late night cell pic represents.  The pattern is Vee Vee by Mariana Martins.  It’s a triangle shawl that uses short rows to created a series of Vs in asymmetric rows.  With the Chroma, I think it’s going to look fabulous!

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Rocky is just glad I’m distracted from cat sweaters at the moment!  He’s trying to avoid the topic entirely!

Happy WIP Wednesday!  Hope you’re equally as excited about your impending weekend!