Reality Check.

I was merrily knitting along.  Just minding my own business.  Not complaining about how ridiculous even the most basic intarsia can become.  I was noticing the similarity of my work to this thing from the new Star Wars trailer.

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That’s when it all started.  About 2 inches too late, I thought, Hey…it’s about time to add my sleeve shaping.

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Whooooops!  There’s really no decision to be made here.  My hand was forced.  Ripping back is not optional but required.  It was then I decided, the eyes weren’t right, so might as well rip back and re-do those too.   As 2″ quickly became 4″, a frogging craze hit me.

It’s my birthday next week.  One of those big numbers ending in ‘0’.  Seemed like a good justification for a clean slate.  I decided to go on a mass frogging.  I started the process when I frogged the weird lace bit on this WIP.

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This is the former Jolly Roger shawl.  It’s hundreds of stitches with a motif repeat that has cables and lace.  UGH.  It was not fun.  I haven’t made a decision about what the new shawl will be, but this yarn is too bright to sit in a bag anymore.  It’s still a WIP but it’s a better WIP now.  I may actually pick it up and work on it!

And then, the cuts got deeper.  Full projects frogged.  Well meaning, lovely, mistake free projects ripped out.  Rather than say hours of work gone, I’m thinking about how much better they’ll be as projects I want to work on!  The yarns are all awesome and now they’ve been liberated!  Be Free My Pretties!

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Socks on Size 00 needles were the first to go.  My Mom and I dyed the yarn last year on my birthday.  I love the yarn.  I want the yarn to be something awesome.  Clearly, that’s not going to work if I expect myself to knit socks.  I’m giving up on every becoming a sock knitter.  Size 00 needles are not for me.  NEXT!

 

I really wanted to like knitting this next one…Knitter’s DNA by Martina Behm.  Turns out, I never found the groove.  No fault of the pattern, it just wasn’t doing it for me.  And again, yarn my Mom dyed for me.  I can’t wait to find the perfect pattern for it.  I really love this yarn.

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Indeed, Bossy Stitch Marker, I am getting my shit together.

Last in the frog pile was a tough decision.  A skein of Wollmeise involved in a bit of stacked pooling.

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The plan hasn’t really changed, this color is definitely meant for planned pooling.  I just need a different project.  I’m thinking about a simple stockinette cowl in the round.  I’ll be done with something like that in no time!

And, after all that frogging, I’ve reclaimed a pile of stuff!

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Needles, stitch markers, row counters…oh my!

I’ve left a sizable chunk of knitting still on the needles.  So now, the only problem is fighting the temptation of a mass cast on.  I really want to finish a few of the WIPS that are still on the needles.  They’ve been thoroughly scrutinized at this point.  They’ve made the grade.  I just need to put in the time.   Good thing it’s Friday…

Happy Knitting!

Marled Magic FO

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You’ve seen lots of snippets of this one but here it is, finally, in all of it’s Marled Magic glory!  It’s amazing!  Several people have worn it and much to my surprise, they have all pulled the crazy marled mish mosh off.  It’s not over-whelming or too busy to wear.  It really is Marled MAGIC!

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The yarn is totally chaos.  It’s Unicorn Tails from MadTosh.  It’s Hedgehog Sock and Hedeghog Skinny Singles.  It’s MadTosh Twist.  It’s Westernsky Knits MCN.  It’s some crazy purple mohair.  It’s yarn my Mom dyed.  It’s Lana Grossa Lace Lux.  It’s some Miss Babs scraps.  It’s Superior Cashmere.  It’s Anzula Haiku.   It’s an amazing pool of color.  I have no idea how it works but somehow, it does!

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The braid took a bit of practice, but it was worth the effort!  I love it!

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The tassel is super fun and watching Stephen’s video on how to do to it was super easy (and helpful)!

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I cord bind off.  Even where 4 sections come together, this design was easy to execute neatly.  I really appreciate Stephen’s eye for the details we don’t really see because he gets them right.   The geometry of this thing is amazing and it all comes together easily.

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I’m definitely knitting another one of these.  Single stranded, all blues.  I can’t wait!  It’s super fun knitting.  I highly recommend it!

It’s a new week and I am under my 10 project limit.  I think I only have 8 right now.  New week = new cast on??  We’ll see…maybe I’ll have a new WIP on Wednesday!  :)


 

FO Friday – RIP Tom Petty

Like everyone else, I’m bummed about Tom Petty.  He’s one of the few people who could still put out an entire album worth listening to, on repeat, all day.   Naturally, he’s been in heavy rotation here at the FogKnits’ headquarters this week.

There isn’t much ‘Tom Petty Knitting’ but his songs sure are quotable…

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…and that lends itself to cross stitch, easily.

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I like cassette tapes.  I didn’t really have any particular reason for going with the tape.  Then, I listened to Full Moon Fever.  It was one of the first CDs I ever had.  By which, of course, I mean one of the first CDs my Mom ever had.  In any event, it got listened to constantly.

I nearly forgot about the hidden track.  I loved that when I was a kid.   Tom gave us a moment to stop and consider how convenient CDs were.  No stopping to flip the tape.  Ha ha!  It just cracked me up.  It still does.  The perfect, unexpected surprise in the middle of a CD, which was already a thing wonder.

Hello CD Listeners…

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And an embroidery hoop is round like CD.  That can’t be a coincidence.  I’ve got a tape.  Now, time for a CD.  Yes, it’s a bit wordy but my next idea has been born!

RIP Tom, I hope you like being immortalized in bathroom cross stitch!


 

WIP Wednesday – Hydrogen Shawl

There’s a certain set of people who want you to buy their shit emblazoned with the slogan ‘I knit so I don’t kill people’.   Perhaps you’ve seen it on tote bags and buttons, mugs and t-shirts.  I am absolutely against it.  It’s the kind of hyperbole that is just idiotic.  I’ve never killed anyone and I’m not going to start just because someone took my knitting away.

That said, in these turbulent times, I do look to my knitting for a bit of therapy.  I enjoy the process, the repetition, the quiet state of calm my mind slips into as my hands take over and fabric just appears.

Not just any knitting will do though.  It’s got to be the right knitting.  For me, comfort knitting is simple stitches.  Garter stitch is good.  Stockinette works too.

Of course, not any stockinette will do.  As a reformed process knitter, I look to the final product to be useful and attractive too.  With my latest cast on, I’ve truly hit the comfort knitting jackpot.  (Just in time for the world to go to hell.)

It starts with the yarn.   Caterpillar Green Yarns (former name)/Gauge Dye Works (current name) Self Striping yarn in in the Concrete and Tulips colorway.

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It’s a self striping yarn where the stripes are not the same length.  They call this ‘shawl stripes’ because it’s dyed so you’ve got short stripes at the beginning of the skein.  As your project progresses the stripes get progressively longer.  The end result is a striped shawl with evenly spaced stripes throughout.   It seems complicated because it takes a lot of words to describe.  The pictures really say it all.

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I’m absolutely loving this.  It’s so amazing.  Those stripes are perfect and yet they are also one continuous piece of yarn!  This project will have exactly 2 ends to weave.  The icing on my comfort knitting cake.

And of course, it’s highly portable.  All the best knitting is.

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The real news here:  I am knitting exactly the same thing as everyone else who’s used this yarn.  The stripes work with any top down shawl pattern.  You could even work bottom up, if you wanted.  For me though, I chose the most common pattern, The Hydrogen Shawl.

 

It’s the pattern written for this yarn by the dyer.  I’ve got two more skeins, in different colors.  I’ll definitely try more adventurous designs with those but for now, it’s a lovely, soft (it’s an MCN!), soothing escape from reality.

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aaahhhhhhhhh.

Just looking at it and thinking about my next chance to pick it up releases a nice warm dose of endorphins!

Mission Accomplished!

Happy Hump Day!

 

Random Goings On

Bill Murray has a ‘band’.

The tour is coming to San Francisco.  I bought tickets.  The Bill Murray Sweater officially has a deadline.  December 8th.  Time to get on it.

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I think it’s really going to be more of a vest?!?


That said, instead of working on that particular project, I’m cast on with this:

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I attempted to trade my Fade to Yellow skein for a Concrete & Tulips skein — aka the rainbow and grey colorway.  It didn’t quite go down that way though.  One enterprising Raveler talked me into trading her a skein of Miss Babs’ Yowza.  It was a color I really wanted but…I wanted this more!

It’s can’t wait!  It’s a self striping yarn but instead of consistent lengths of each color, the colors get progressively longer.  Instead of a big fat stripe of red at the top and little tiny stripe of blue at the bottom, the stripes will all be the same height.  It’s definitely a minor detail to the untrained eye but knitters have been geeking out over it for a while.  This yarn was quite hard to get for a minute there.

I’m sure stripe magic will take over and it’ll be done in a jiffy!


Of course, the only reason I’m allowed to cast on anything at all, Marled Magic is almost completely finished.  Just a bit of end weaving left.  The braid & the tassel turned out just right.  A bit fiddly at first but third time was the charm!

Stay tuned for full photos…they’ll be along soon.

In the meantime, it’s the weekend!  Wooooooooo!


 

WIP Wednesday – Marled Magic

Marled Magic Clue 3 is done!  I am still loving this so much.  That big section of seed stitch made me happy.  I think seed stitch is fun to do.

Now, I’m on to Clue 4.  A 600+ stitch i-cord bind off.  I also happen to think that is fun to do.  Especially when it’s neon peach!

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It’s not like I’m saving the neon peach for something special?!?!  I think it’s just the thing to liven up some of the darker colors I used.  I’m about halfway.

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And then, finally, the whole reason I wanted to knit this pattern…braiding the ends into a design feature rather than weaving them in!  Oh yeaaah!

And, I’ve already picked out yarn for the next one.  This was too fun to only knit once.

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I’ve got a lot of blue & blue adjacent fingering weight yarn.

Marled Magic #2 isn’t actually going to be marled though.

The marl is accomplished with two strands of yarn held together.  The result is a very heavy shawl.  I’ve only knit the medium size to keep the weight down.  For #2, I’ll just use one strand of yarn and do stripes, maybe faded stripes.  And definitely knit the large size!!  It’s gonna so good!  …eventually!

Gotta finish that i cord first…


 

The Recrafting Company

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We’ve lost quite a few yarn shops in the bay area over the past couple years.  We have been fortunate enough to get a whole bunch of new shops in that time though!  I’m slowly getting around to visiting them all!

This weekend I visited The ReCrafting Company in Alameda.

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It’s a crafting consignment store!  What a brilliant idea!  The shop has ALLLLLLL the crafts.  Yarn, beads, fabric, books, rubber stamps and notions of all kinds…you name it, they had it!  All your crafting obsessions in one place!!

and the best part:  Amazing prices on all of it!

Socks that Rock — $12.  Sanguine Gryphon — $14.  Koigu KPPPM — $7.50.  I’m not sure how I managed it but somehow I did not buy yarn.  I bought a couple embroidery hoops for my cross stitches instead.

And, I wanted to try out the consignment process so I took some of my yarn to be sold.  So far, the process has been easy.  I just filled out a sheet with contact information.   Now we just wait for my yarn to be sold.  I’ve got 90 days.   After that, if it hasn’t sold I need to go collect it, or it will be donated.  Fair enough.

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I actually don’t think I’ll consign much yarn but I wanted to give it a try just to say I’d given it a try.  Once a yarn has sold, the shop and the consigner split the money 50-50.  With items being priced to sell, it’s not unreasonable to expect only 25% of retail value of items to be recouped.

I think I like my yarn more than 25% of retail value.  It’s gonna take a while, but I will get to it all!  I’m happy other people want to part with their yarn though!

I figure when I go back to pick up the proceeds of my consignment, I can spend that money on new yarn!  I think I’ll probably get enough for 2-3 balls of new yarn, or at least new to me.

The book selection was great too!  Lots of great books for $7.50.  At that price, I don’t mind buying a book for just one pattern!  You could even take it back for re-consignment when you’re done with it!  Yay for crafty recycling!

My only complaint about the place…Alameda is too far away for me to stop in regularly.  Weekend traffic meant it took an hour to drive 15 miles.  Booo traffic.   The way stock rotates means you never know what gems are in stock.  If the ReCrafting Co was just down the street, I’d stop in all the time!