Stash Enhancement

Once again, the stash has grown.  I ventured north out of town last weekend.  2017-09-15_13-44-25_340

North means Knitterly in Petaluma.  It’s a really cute shop and the staff is lovely.

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I stop whenever I can.  I didn’t think I was having a yarn bonanza.  I thought I was making one small stop.

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I bought three skeins of Woolfolk Tynd.  It’s amazing.  It’s soooooooo soft.  And, in all my time hanging around yarn shops, I’ve never used any Woolfolk.  This seemed like a good excuse.

That was it.  Just three skeins.

I honestly thought I was done buying yarn for the weekend.

Until.  I. Remembered. This.

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Really?  Did I plan a trip to Mendocino without realizing it was the same weekend as the county fair which just so happens to include the California Wool Show??  Yes.  Yes, I did.

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As soon as I realized this, I was on my way.  An hour drive out and an hour drive back, left me with two hours of county fair & yarn shopping time before I needed to be back for the wedding.  You know, the reason I went north in the first place.  Not the yarn.  Yarn just happens.  Who am I to say no?

I had time for knitting & curly fries.  Not actually a great combination.  Greasy fingers.  Once I cleaned up, I did manage to find a little bit more yarn I liked at Sincere Sheep.

 

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Indigo & natural dyed gradient on Cormo grown in Wyoming!  And it’s not superwash!  Sign me the heck up!!

Cormo is awesome.  It’s a Corriedale – Merino cross.   We all know the softness of Merino! Corriedale has a long staple length which brings in a sturdy, hardwearing quality.   The result is a soft, springy yarn that wears wells.

That made this, entirely irresistable:

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It’s a kit for the Andrea Mowry shawl, Briochealicious.  It’s a crescent shaped shawl with alternating bands of brioche and garter stitch.  It’s going to be mega squish heaven!  The squish of the brioche compounded by the squish of the yarn!  I can’t wait.

I have to though.  Because there’s this.

An amazing blue & grey colorway from Nerd Girl Yarns called My Internet Friends are Real, from an internet friend, naturally.  It’s even more gorgeous than it looks.  I’m thinking a hat, from Woolly Wormhead, Sumner.  I like the structure of it.

We’ll see…so much knitting.  I need to do some finishing first!  I think cat sweater #2 should be next.  It’s time.  I’m ready to be wearing a cat sweater.   Obviously.  Must. Knit. Faster!


 

WIP Wednesday: Marled Magic

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My Marled Magic Shawl has reached the halfway point!  I’ve finished clues 1 & 2.

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And I love it!  I dunno if it’s the colors or the textures or the construction or the stash busting…

 

But I want to make about six more of these!  I love everything about it!  The construction is so unique.  The marled effect from double stranding is so fun!  Mixing colors and fading stripes are so satisfying!  This is a lot of fun to knit!

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Clue 3 picks up the free edge of the mesh section.  Contrast is recommended.  I think I’m going for purples.

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I’ve still got plenty of stash left!


 

The Swap

It’s been a while, life happens.  Last weekend in particular.  After doing nothing but crafting in August.  September has roared to life!  There were many parties, all with libations but only one with YARN!

My knitting group had a big yarn swap!  We’ve done small white elephant style yarn swaps in the past but frankly, I’ve got enough of my own white elephant yarn.  I don’t need anyone else’s.  And, I knit with a group that is very experienced.  More importantly, they have VERY NICE STASHES!  I wanted a piece of that action.  On the day of our last white elephant swap, I casually suggested we do a bigger, more open swap.

Apparently, they wanted a piece of MY STASH too!  In no time, we had organized ourselves a party.

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Mostly MadTosh Pashmina

This is just a sampling of what I took for swapping.   There comes a time, if it’s been in the stash untouched for years, let someone else have a crack at it!  And, if I’m being honest, I still kept the best stuff for myself.  This was only the stuff I could bare to part with.

I’m pleased to say, I came home with a lot of great stuff!  I’m impressed with what I managed to pry away from them.  I can’t wait to use it all.  So far though, I’m stuck in the chaos of it.

the desk is a mess

There’s a desk under there somewhere, I swear!  So what’s in this pile?  I have spent a fair amount of time putting in piles and then rearranging the piles.  And, taking pictures of piles, of course.

I have put two of the new yarns into my Marled Magic shawl so far.  I started with that skinny purple mohair.  It was hard to ignore that ball in the swap pile, when I had crazy purple brioche on my needles, at that exact moment.

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It was meant to be.

The second yarn is a skein of MadTosh Twist Light, which I’ve never actually used before.  It’s grey and pastel variegated, so it’s perfect to tone down some of the neons I’ve got.  Right now, a highlighter yellow color, up next will be some neon peach!

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Plus, the purple brioche doesn’t seem so blinding anymore! 

I walked away from the swap with not one but TWO skeins of Caterpillar Green striping shawl skeins.  Not my favorite colors but this yarn is fun!  I think the Fade to Black color is going to become a Dotted Rays.  Not sure about the Fade to Yellow, suggestions anyone?

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This beauty…a Koigu dye job on Buffalo Wool Co.’s bison and silk laceweight.  It’s 400 yards, that is something amazing and lightweight.  I almost think I should do lace?!?

And then, there’s this…

The Bill Murray Sweater really needs to happen.  I’ll never match his original dye lot, so rather than try, I’m collecting a mish-mash of white and off white yarns.  It’s going to be a simple vest I think.  It’s very much a work in progress.  Calling it a work is even a stretch.  It’s still mostly an idea but now I’ve got 7 balls of Jojoland Baritone to add to the pile.  It should be the perfect base.  I’ll fill in with my other oddments as it progresses and it’s going to be charming and perfect…eventually. (which just got a little sooner!)

And now, let the weekend begin.  First Stop:  The Knitterly in Petaluma.  It’s Friday, I’m driving by.  I should probably just buy yarn!


 

 

Rules are made to be broken.

Back in the day, when I was doing a lot of yarn bombing, I had two rules:  No Trees and Nothing Politics.  Well, needless to say, given the political strife of late, I’ve relaxed one of those rules.

Last week’s bike rack cozy was my first political yarn bomb.  It went on the bike rack just outside my local watering hole.  This is the same pub that hosts my weekly knitting group.  I’ve yarn bombed this particular corner quite a few times.  Both of these lasted more than a year:

So imagine my surprise when my hot pink political statement was gone in 4 days!

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I wasn’t particularly happy with the lettering.  It’s duplicate stitch turned on it’s side.  It was weird.  It stretched funny.  I don’t mind that it’s no longer on display.

I’m not even that mad it got taken down so quickly.  Knowing I pushed someone’s button enough to see it and then return later with scissors to cut it off, I enjoy that bit.  Especially because I already had another yarn bomb ready to go.

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I tried a lot of different methods for the lettering.  Ultimately I decided on this free hand, skewed back stitch.  I didn’t follow a chart so it went fast.  I just kinda winged it, making sure all my lines had a slant to them.  I did this to keep the letters from falling into the ditch between stitches.  They would get completely lost so this was an attempt to fix that.

Not only did I fix the problem, I improved the situation, if I do say so myself. I really like it.  It’s accidentally punk!  It’s got a bit of edge.  It’s not just cutesy and soft.  It’s an homage to the graffiti ancestors that inspired it.

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So, Random Neighborhood Trump Lover, thanks for cleaning up my trash!  This second one is even better!  Now, lets see how long it lasts.

I have a feeling the third one (let’s face it, there IS going to be a third one.) will be even better because, nevertheless, I persist.


 

FO Friday – Pussy Hat

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My week started with days 5 & 6 of sitting for jury selection.  If you’ve never had to sit through the process, let me tell you, it’s absolutely maddening.  It’s slow, repetitive and inefficient.  The pool stated with ~250 potential jurors.  At the end of day 6 when the jury was finally selected, I was still sitting in the gallery with 7 other lucky SOBs.  I’m happy it’s over.  I’m happy to not be on the jury but I’m an idiot for showing up in the first place.  And then to sit there for six days, only to realize they wouldn’t have known if I was missing.  Aaarrrggghhh!  It’s the cherry on the insult cake that was this week.

I got me a bit worked up.  The Bite Me cross stitch helped with the relaxation process though.  Something about the repetitive stabbing motions…

and I managed to get a bit of knitting done.  I finished my long overdue Pussy Hat.

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The yarn is White Birch Fiber Arts SW Merino, in a worsted weight.  It’s a generous skein so I’ve got yarn left for a second hat.  I think I made this one just a touch too long.  I think square hats should be a bit shorter than a regular hat.  It makes the ‘ears’ pop a bit more.  I wanted to end with a black stripe though.  I might walk on the wild side and end the second hat on a pink stripe?!?

Then again, I may never get to it because I’m loving the Marled Magic so much!  I’ve finished the YO, K2tog mesh section and I’ve moved on to the seed stitch section.

I started off with a kitchen sink colorway.  I just threw all my little scraps into section 1.  Anything that was only going to last for a few rows.

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For the seed stitch section, I’ve moved to a mostly green set of colors.

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As usual, I’m not planning anything, just letting it happen.  It’s happy place knitting and after all the jury duty rage knitting I’m ready for a little happy place action!

And just in time for Labor Day weekend!  My favorite weekend in SF all year long…the place clears out!  The kids all go to burning man!  It’s awesome.  The city is calm and quiet.  And this year, even with temps predicted in the 80’s, it’ll be cool compared the 110’s predicted for the east bay.  Yikes!  That is warm!

If anybody needs me I’ll be in the fog.  Knitting!


 

WestKnits Sunday

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My Dotted Rays with a Speckle Fade is done!  It’s definitely my new favorite thing!

I love the chevron border with it’s high contrast!  The purple yarn is MadTosh EuroSock and it’s parter in striping was a skein of Magpie Fibers MCN.  It’s super soft.  I don’t mind having leftovers from that skein!

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The body is four colors, starting over at the upper right corner, faded together.  Hedgehog Fibers Skinny Single in Boombox!  Western Sky Knits MCN!! and then two skeins of Hedgehog Sock.  I was unimpressed with the Hedgehog Sock.  It was very think and rather splitty.  I can’t imagine knitting actual socks with it.  I’d need quadruple zero needles for that.   No, I think my money is on the Skinny Single in the future.

Like all good shawls though, it’s only exciting until the next one comes off the needles.  With that in mind, I’ve started my next WestKnit.

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I culled at the skinny little scraps and half balls from the stash.  Sometimes I think the only reason I use fresh skeins is to turns them into leftovers.  I really love scrap projects!

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This one is Stephen West’s Spring 2017 MKAL.  I didn’t have time to do it then and I was still bummed about not loving the Building Blocks MKAL in the fall.  This one is called Marled Magic!  Despite kicking off with my least favorite stitch — YO, K2tog mesh, I knew I wanted to knit this shawl when I saw what Stephen did with all those ends on the side.

The tails are all cut at deliberate lengths.  Instead of weaving them all in at the end (nightmare!!) they’ll be braided together down the center of the shawl, into a big tassel off the point.  It’s a clever little treatment.  I can’t wait to try it out.  I’m willing to deal with a tassel for it!

Tomorrow, it’s back to jury duty.  UGH.  At least I’ll have knitting time!


 

 

FO Friday – Jury Duty Sucks

I’ve had jury duty this week.  I started the week thinking I enjoyed the process and I was not opposed to being on a jury.  And then, reality set in.  Four days of being called to the courthouse, four days of zero progress, four days of bullshit from lawyers.

Despite the knitting time provided by constant waiting, I’m still rather hostile.  Especially because it’s not over and I have to return on Monday.  UGH.  Not happy.

Instead of focusing on the bullshit that makes me hostile, I’ll focus on the knitting.  I was able to knit an entire bulky brioche cowl, so there’s that.

This is two balls of the yarn that shall not be named, in two different colorways.  I wish I was knitting with something less squeaky and splitty.  Nicer yarn may have improved my attitude.  I wasn’t sure about security though.  Might as well have it be the yarn from the time out corner get confiscated, if that was necessary.  The good news of the week:  courthouse security doesn’t mind knitting!

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Another bright spot:  the colors really look fantastic in brioche!  I didn’t like either of these colorways individually.  The sum of the parts is certainly greater than the whole, in this case.  I’m pleased.

And it was a great way to interact with my fellow hostages jurors.  After day one, people starting coming to check on progress at each break.  It’s interesting to see relationships developing in the gallery.  Crisis really does bring people together.

The cowl is generously sized so it even pulls down over the shoulders.  This yarn really pains me because it’s not bad to wear…how can the process be so horrible but the garment not?   I actually think this is going to get some wear.

There’s my courtroom selfies.  I was trying to avoid being seen by the bailiffs.  They never stopped me from knitting but they were definitely busting people with phones.

While we’re talking FOs from yarn that shall not be named, I finished this scarf a while back.  It’s a ‘shawl in a ball’ yarn and this is the recommended pattern.  An easy garter stitch boomerang.  Again, not a fan of the yarn but the FO doesn’t necessarily reflect that.  That’s just how good I am.  LOL.

And now, time for work.  I’m really happy to be going to work today.  Perspective is everything!  Happy Friday!