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Sunset Mercantile, December 11th

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Sunset Holiday Mercantile

Sunday December 11th, one week from today!

Shop FogKnits in Golden Gate Park!

11 am – 4 pm

Hall of Flowers (9th & Lincoln)

This event promises excitement and thrills!  :)  Enjoy shopping for handmade holiday gifts with local artisans.  Refresh yourself with local food trucks and even a local beer garden!  There will be pinball, storytelling, live music and arts & crafts!  Come join the fun and be sure to say hello!  Fellow knitters always welcome!

Click here for full details on the FB Event Page


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Progress, Knitting & Otherwise

In what should not come as a surprise and despite my best efforts to plan, I’m winging my sleeves.  It seems I design with needles in hand.  That’s just how I work.

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Since I’m so averse to planning, perhaps I’ll think of this as collecting data to inform a decision (that just happens to be made on the fly.)

So I colored a few sweater sleeve options to help me visualize.  I’ve been carrying it around asking knitters and non-knitters alike to weigh in.  It’s an interesting personality test.  I don’t know what it means, but I’m sure it’s deep and meaningful anyhow!

Despite loving the mismatched sleeve idea, I don’t think this is the project for it.  I’m going to go for color work in the yoke and don’t want things to be too busy.

I started with my one constant.  The sleeve cast on will be brown.

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Once I got started, a wide brown cuff to match the seed stitch on the bottom of the garment seemed natural.   From there I transitioned to stockinette and I’ve added my first stripe.  I think the next green stripe is approaching, I have yet to decide if it will be wider or stay skinny.  hhhmmm.

I’m being extra careful with these decisions because, starting tomorrow I’m back to being a full time chemist instead of a full time knitter.  My time is about to run very short.  Unlike this time when I got a job, or this time when I got a job, this is a real job.  Full time, with pay and benefits and an 8 am start time!  It’ll be my triumphant return to the chemistry lab.  Oddly enough, absence actually has made my heart grow fonder of the daily lab life so I’m looking forward to getting back to it.  It’s gonna be good.

But, as I’ve said many times, funemployment has been pretty awesome for me.  I’ll miss it and remember it fondly!  For now, I’m going out to enjoy my last day of mid-afternoon shenanigans!!!

 

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Distractions are Distracting.

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I hope you all had a lovely long weekend.  I’m guessing I’m not the only one who had distractions!  0f030c23-6ef4-489d-9f5e-208d50be43de

The beauty of stockinette tubes is their simplicity.  Despite all those weekend distractions, there was still time for stockinette tube knitting.  Three Cheers for Stockinette Tubes!!  My second sock has grown significantly, heel turn #2 is imminent.  I’ll be wearing my own handknit socks in no time!! I can’t wait! and…

…my sweater body has reached completion.  I still haven’t given the sleeves enough thought.  It’s time though.  I’m pleased with my stripes so far but I’m still feeling like the canvas is a bit blank.   I want to do something to spice it up.   Funky asymmetric sleeves?  Fun yoke design?  Certainly not both.  I want to avoid cluttered.  Edit. Edit. Edit.

I’ve been going one step at a time, making little decisions that add up to one sweater.  I’m at the crossroads of cohesiveness now though.  I can’t be so haphazard anymore.  It’s time for proper planning.  I’m getting the colored pencils out.  Wish me luck!

 

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Free Pattern Friday: The Dude Hat

Happy Black Friday?!?

Welcome to my Black Friday Boycott!  I’m not buying things today.  I’m not shopping sales.  I’m not looking for deals.  No…I’m giving stuff away!

It’s Free Pattern Friday!  The Dude Edition.

 

If you’ve always wanted to knit a Dude sweater but don’t have the persistence to finish such a grand undertaking, have I got the hat for you!

The Dude Hat by FogKnits

Bring cult classic, The Big Lebowski to your wardrobe this winter with a super soft hat, inspired by The Dude (El Duderino, if you aren’t into the whole brevity thing) himself. Knit from a super soft baby alpaca, this hat is a reproduction of the sweater worn by The Dude in the film.  (If you haven’t seen it, google will tell you all about it!)

Happy Free Pattern Friday!  I hope you get to enjoy a few quiet moments knitting this weekend, and throughout the holiday season.

If you happen to knit this hat, I’d love to hear about it!  I haven’t put it on Ravelry yet but you can browse my individual project pages here and here.  Pattern feedback is always welcome!


 

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There’s always a but.

Last we spoke, I was pleased with my progress.  I was patting myself on the back for a job well done (despite my lack of clear vision.)  It was all working out.  Everything was falling into place nicely but…

(there’s always a but…)

Somehow, my swatch and my actual knitting were drastically different, to the tune of 20″ of extra fabric in my sweater.  Apparently denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.  I knit a significant portion of the body before acknowledging that it was huge.

My inner process knitter was so excited to be let loose on a whole sweater of stockinette in the round, I just ignored the fact that I could barely keep my stitches on a 40″ needle.

Until about 2 am, when reality came knocking and I frogged the whole thing.  D’oh!

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Oh well.  I cast right back on and got started.  Nothing else has changed, I just made a really big swatch, that’s all!  Today I’m working on my second green stripe.

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I’m not loving it yet but I’m sure I will soon enough.  It’s just so hard to gauge a whole color block from two little rows.  One thing I am certain of…the wind has picked up a chill, this sweater can’t get here soon enough!

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As always, and in spite of the previous flaws, I’m still pleased with it.  You can see my color change here and I’ve done a bit of waist shaping.  I’m not doing any math (I’d mess it up anyhow.), I’m just sort of eyeballing the last marker and deciding it’s time to do a decrease.  Or not.  I think I’m done with those decreases.

In the seed stitch edge you can see a stockinette stripe, that’s to mark the steek placement.  And you can also see evidence of my short row shaping.

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The hem isn’t uneven because it’s hanging crooked.  I’ve intentionally added extra length to the back of the sweater with a series of short rows.  I love it.  It’s a tiny little bit of personalization.  I don’t want a sweater that rides up in the back.  DONE!  I can check that box!

Still haven’t decided about the sleeves though.  I may even be contemplating some colorwork in the yoke, that might be too much though.  Edit. Edit. Edit.  I don’t have to put all the ideas into one garment.   Sometimes I need to remind myself.


 

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A New Sweater

A little less conversation, a little more action.

My new sweater is finally on the needles.

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After considering many options, I did what I always do and failed to make a decision.  It’s one thing to say I want to knit a sweater.  It’s something entirely different to have a pattern and matching yarn in hand and say I want to knit this sweater!  So how did I get stitches on the needle?

I started with the only known variable in this equation…Lopi!  Since my amazing Icelandic adventure, I’ve had a giant stash of Lett Lopi, the traditional Icelandic wool.  I’m a wool person.  I call it rustic (never scratchy).  It’s light weight and warm and it comes in approximately one zillion colors…What’s not to like about that?

Deciding on a color palate was challenging.  So many possibilities.  I made lots of piles, took lots of pictures, did the black and white photo contrast evaluation, lather, rinse, repeat.

Here’s the final decision.

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Mostly.  (I reserve the right to change my mind!)

I couldn’t decide on a traditional Icelandic pattern.  I am going to use the traditional construction method though.  Bottom up, in the round, yoke neck, steeked cardigan.  That still doesn’t get stitches on the needle though.

Gauge swatch.  Easy enough.  A little math later, I had some basic numbers.  It’s still a bit of a blank canvas though.

I really want to do a crazy stripe lopi cardigan but that’s not this one.  This one is going to be more color block than stripe.  It’s still pretty plain though.

It’s gonna be cozy, so how do I up the cozy factor?  Add texture, add length, add a bit of shaping.  I started off with a wide seed stitch band.

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And a beer.  Perfect.

Somehow along the way, I decided short rows needed to happen.  Way off in the future, when I shape the neck but also, here, near the beginning.  It’ll create a bit of extra length in the back and give it a lovely rounded sort of shape.

One at a time, I’m putting all sorts of little details together.

So far, I’m pleased.

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Color change #1 is rapidly approaching.  I really hope I still like it after that!

I’m not worrying about it though.  I’m worrying about the sleeves.  What the heck do I do with them?  One solid color?  Do I match the body?  This is the downfall of bottom up.  The Sleeves need to be ready to go pre-yoke.  I haven’t ruled out the possibility of colorwork in the yoke.  That decision definitely effects the sleeves.  ACK!!  So many more decisions…if only I’d been able to make one single decision (pick a pattern), all this work would be done already.  D’oh!

The allure of my second sock is real, those decisions are all made.  And it’s the weekend, so anything could happen!  Hope you have a good one!  :)


 

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One Sock Down

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My craft fair, this weekend, may not have been financially successful but I did manage to finish my first sock blank sock!  I didn’t make it as tall as a store bought sock.  Yay customization!  That’s what knitting is all about…being the boss and making those big decisions!  HA!

I’m already dreaming of the franken-socks I can make with the leftovers.  I used 31 g of yarn for sock one.  If that trend holds, I could potentially make 3 of these socks.  I’m not really hung up on the concept of a pair.  A trio of socks is nice too :)

But first, I’ve gotta finish #2!  I’ve made it as far as the toe increases.  It’s beautiful and foggy out, I might take my sock to the park for some quality knitting time today!

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A couple more craft fair observations.

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(L to R):  Heisenberg, Cupcake, Green Booger, Tree of Life

These were the most touched hats.  The one that surprises me is the Green Booger.  It wasn’t in a prominent place which could be said for the others.  I guess the texture just drew people in.  Everyone who touched things agreed, it was all soft and lovely.  I got lots of compliments on my craftsmanship.

The tag on the Green Booger says $40.  I don’t think that’s an outrageous price.  The Cupcake Hat is $20.  I did think that one had a good chance of finding a home.

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My two most touched shawls, Southern Skies and a Reyna gone wild.

The Reyna was definitely by design, so a confirmation of my instincts was nice.  Blue & gold were the school colors so I made sure to hang it at the front of the booth, right where you’d want to touch it!   The Southern Skies on the other hand was hung in the middle of the rack nestled in with all the other stuff.  I’m guessing the color drew them in, the softness kept their interest (thank you cashmere!) and it enabled nice conversations about the design being an accurate representation of the southern hemisphere’s night sky.  Everyone liked it, no one wanted to spend $400 on it.   There’s lots of nice things I can’t afford either, so I understand.  At least they stopped to admire it.

I’m happy I can knit things like this for myself though :)  Another big change at the next event…being close to home, I’ll be able to promote my classes !  Can’t afford this?  Let me teach you how to make it yourself!  :) More knitters will make the world a better place.  Guaranteed!