Actual Knitting Content

With 2015 wrapped up and 2016 planning in progress, I really can’t buy myself anymore time.  I need to share some Actual Knitting Content.  Don’t get too excited though, it’s only a swatch.

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I’m pretty excited about this swatch.  I’ve been hoarding this yarn for a while.  First because I was going to make a blue baby sweater.  Then I swapped colors and was going to make a sweater for myself.  Then I needed more because it’s a discontinued yarn.  Then I had more and decided a skirt was the way to go.  Then it was going to be my Rhinebeck Sweater.  and now it’s finally time.

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Kathmandu Chunky! 85% Merino, 10% Silk, 5% Cashmere.

I love this yarn.  I say that about a lot of yarns but I really mean it about this one!  That 5% cashmere is amazing!  It’s not much right now, but once it’s been blocked & bloomed, the result is the incredible!  You’d think it’s a different yarn it becomes so soft & luscious! I can’t wait to wear this yarn!!

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I’ve decided to repeat the pattern from my favorite sweater, the Vivido Cardigan by Carol Feller of Stolen Stitches.  While I don’t usually repeat patterns, I really love this sweater.  It’s a top down raglan for easy knitting and I love the detail at the bottom.  It’s a slip stitch  sort of rib that connects the stockinette body of the sweater to the garter stitch edge.  It’s attractive, easy to execute and functional all in one go!  It’s finished with an i-cord bind off…love that too!

I’ll make a few changes too…full length sleeves!  The only thing I don’t like about the blue sweater is the half sleeves.  I got lazy, I was aiming for 3/4 length but I couldn’t even get that far.  D’oh!

The old sweater is aran weight.  This new sweater will be bulky weight, so just a tiny bit of math and I can get started!  I’m hoping the bulky yarn will go quickly, so I won’t get too sick of it.

Maybe that should be my New Year’s resolution…do things the hard way, stop taking the easy way out.  That sounds like so much work though!  ha!

New Year’s Resolution

I’ve looked back at 2015 but time is marching on!  It’s time to set intentions for 2016!  While a resolution might be a good idea in other areas of life (hello, gainful employment!), obviously, I’m only talking about knitting here (I’m in denial about the job until it’s officially 2016!!)

The only New Year’s Resolutions I’ve ever kept are knitting related.  There was the year I did 52 hats in a year.  There was the year I did a Stitches Sweater.  There was the year I missed the Stitches Sweater deadline (ooops.)  There was the year I did the Stitches Skirt!!   So what about 2016?  The Stitches deadline has been done.  I think I need something new this year.

Perhaps join the ‘knit every pattern in a book’ trend? But what book?  Not a book full of sweaters!  Maybe this book I got for Christmas…
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They’re awfully cute!!  and I’ve got a whole bunch of safety eyes!  and stashbusting!  Who doesn’t like that?  But really, a whole book of toys?  I dunno.

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I’m going to the WinterWonderGrass festival in early april, an outdoor music & beer festival at Lake Tahoe during ski season?!?  My sly friends made the whole thing so easy, they had booked lodging and I bought my ticket before I ever realized it’s an OUTDOOR festival! D’oh!  At least it’s an excuse to knit!  There’s 10 of us in a house, wouldn’t it be funny if we all had matching beer mittens?  I picked out this pattern by Chialee Yeh.  It looks easy enough and it presents plenty of opportunity for customization.  but 10 of the same mitten?  Sounds boring, despite the challenging nature of that.

Knit from only the stash?  I could say it but it’ll never happen.

Become a monogamous knitter?  Also in the never gonna happen file.

A sweater a month?  Only the truly insane attempt this.

A shawl a month?  Even I don’t want to do that.

A pair of socks a month?  hhhmm…interesting.  Maybe one sock a month for six pairs by the end of the year!  Or maybe I should round up to 7 pairs…one for each day of the week!  I like the sound of that but I’m not keen on buying size 000 needles which is what it’ll likely take.

Mostly, I haven’t decided yet.  Usually writing helps sort things out and by this point in a post, I’ve got a plan.  Not this time though.  I’m still stumped.  What’s your New Year’s Knitting Resolution?  (and do you mind if I steal it?)

 

2015 Year in Review

A review of 2015 seems seasonally appropriate especially with the pile of WIPs looming large and the progress seemingly nil (my hitchhiker went from 15 points to 31.  Yay! But still, unremarkable.)

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That’s the WIP pile on the desk (don’t worry…there’s plenty more elsewhere!)  A neutral hitchhiker, a neon Jolly Roger, a purple sweater swatch, one inch of a colorwork hat and the first third of a sports-themed triangle shawl.   Some (most?) (ALL, who am I kidding…) of these will be making 2016 appearances.  So let’s recap what DID get finished!

According to Ravelry, I finished 61 projects this year and currently have 807 project pages!   WOW!  That’s ~24,000 yards or nearly 14 miles of yarn.  What can you make with 14 miles of yarn?

That’s 33 Hats…

5 Sweaters…

8 Shawls…

 

And all sorts of other randomness…

Wow!

I wonder if I knit a mile of yarn while traveling these miles…

To get to these places…

A few beers were consumed along the way…

And somehow, the queue has not gotten any shorter, it’s currently holding at 31 pages/924 projects.  Here’s to a productive 2016!  I can’t wait to get started.

‘Tis The Season

‘Tis the season for stress free knitting!  Hitchhiker, the old standby, to the rescue!  It’s been on the go and making good progress until…

…I found a knot!  GASP!  The Horror!

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Oooops!  So, I wound the remaining 400 g into a huge ball, checking for more knots and getting the gradient aligned.  At least that was the excuse.  It was definitely not because I wanted to menace the cat with it!   That’s just a fun side effect!

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Merry Christmas, everyone!  Hope your holiday is warm & cozy!

Gregg Allman Totally Noticed!

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Sure, I finished the Christmas Knitting I wasn’t even going to do.  Yes, the hat turned out soft and squishy and warm, (thank you, Rowan Lima!)  Is it amazingly reversible without being double knit?  Absolutely!   Do I want to keep it for myself?  Naturally.  None of that is today’s news though.  No, today’s news is even better…

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Gregg Allman acknowledged my existence on social media!?!!??  Okay, so it was probably his ‘people’ but whatever.  A knitter can dream!  Here’s the photo he liked…

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I captioned it ‘Finished a new hat!  Gregg Allman barely noticed.’

Except OMG, YOU GUYS!!  Gregg Allman totally noticed!  I can’t help it, I’m still squeeing!  I’ve had a crush on Gregg Allman (and his hair) since forever!

And I really love that Rolling Stone cover.  I’ve had it framed and hung, since a friend randomly found it, in a cafe, on Haight Street, in 2005.  A 1975 issue of Rolling Stone, back when they were published on newsprint! Just hanging out, amongst the free weeklies, 30 years after it had been it printed, waiting for someone to pick it up and think Gregg & I belonged together!

The whole thing is just too perfect!  I’ll be squeeing straight through til Sunday!  And watching this…on repeat!

 

PS–Follow me on Instagram:  FogKnits, ya never know who you’ll be rubbing virtual elbows with!

 

FO Wednesday

Yesterday’s WIPs are today’s FOs.

silk hankie hat

I expected this pink sparkly nonsense to be unwearable.  In reality, I kinda love it?!?  I like the pink AND the sparkles??  I dunno what’s wrong with me.  It’s going for a quick trip to Blocking Mat City and then I’ll have to part with it.  I’m already sad to see it go.

And then, there’s this…

cowl hat combo cowl

I also kinda love this one.  It feels terrific!  I love the double thick hat and the cowl is perfect for blocking the wind.  I’m not sure if it’s right for the intended recipient though.   I’m not even saying that because I want to keep it for myself.  I’ve got 48 hours to come up with something better.  There’s still plenty of stash…

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Yarn Swap

I was merrily knitting along yesterday…

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I got quite far before I realized, the simple mens hat I was knitting had turned into a beast of a different variety.  Somewhere along the way, the hat became a hat-cowl combo garment, the manly colors became a bit more feminine and while a lovely piece of fabric, not really appropriate for my current needs.

Throw in a new shiny yarn and it’s into the time out corner for the hat cowl mashup already, less than 24 hours.  That may be a new record!

Here’s the new toy…

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It’s literally shiny!!  Last night was the annual holiday yarn swap for my knitting group.   I came home with some fluffy, shiny stuff and a pink & purple silk hankie.  They seemed to like each other and who am I to argue?

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This should theoretically be the end of the Christmas Knitting.  Unfortunately, my plan to not plan is going exactly according to the not planned plan.  That is to say, it’s going poorly.  Good thing I don’t have a plan or it would be upsetting!  Silk hankies are kinda fun though!  That’s good enough for today! ;)

Panic Mode!

I kept saying I wasn’t Christmas knitting this year.  Of course, that’s not what I meant.  I really meant I’m going to deny it until the last possible minute and then hopefully throw a few things together.

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With Stash.  ha!  Because why do things the easy way! After wasting a few hours in the stash, I’ve made appropriate decisions.  Hopefully.  I think I chucked all the bad ideas!

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Broken Rib.  Malabrigo Rios.  Easy!   Now all I have to do is knit!

WIP Wednesday

Today’s work-in-progress features the most versatile colorway ever, Nerd Girl Yarn’s Take the Crown!  It’s inspiration is the Kansas City Royals and their 2015 World Series win!

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I’ve since discovered, it’s also Golden State Warriors colors, my home team, if I was into that sort of thing.  They’re currently in the midst of a record setting win streak, it’s kind of a big deal!  Go team!

It’s also the colors of Sweden!  The colors of my old college sorority too!  The fun just doesn’t end!  Unless it turns into clown barf, which is always a looming possibility with variegated yarns.  I turned to my old friend, The Hitchhiker scarf  by Martina Behm, to combat the clown barf but it wasn’t really doing it for me this time.  Digging a bit deeper into my queue I found The Reyna Shawl.

For the triple whammy of stashbusting, stretching my yardage and tempering the clown barf a bit more, I’m pairing it with the leftover Anzula Milky Way from my first Doodler.

It continues to be the non-stop time of year, so I’ve been knitting on the go and making good progress!

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I’m volunteering at a charity gift wrapping fundraiser.  There’s not much wrapping just yet, plenty of knitting happening though!

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Plenty of knitting photography too!

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I wasn’t sure at the start but it’s really growing on me!  This is supposed to be my easy, on the go project so I’m trying to be good and finish my christmas ornaments instead of playing with the shiny new toy!

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I have big plans for getting back to the Jolly Roger too!  Luckily Halloween is still 326 days away!!  Just keep knitting.

Flat 3 Needle Bind Off

railroad earth safe camp hat

Banjo man was in town for a visit last week.  He loved his new banjo hat and wore it everywhere!  I’ve given him some goofy hats over the years, not intentionally goofy like a dead fish hat but accidentally goofy, like powder blue cables.  And he actually wore it.  Even brought it back once for a few adjustments.  So, I’m happy to have gotten the pattern perfect, the yarn perfect, the execution perfect this time around.

With that out of the way, I could think about his adorable 2 year old daughter!  She’s overdue for a new hat too and he was in town for several more days which meant I definitely (yeah right!) had time to bang out a kid’s hat.  This meant knitting on the go, much bus knitting was done and the requisite bar knitting, as well.

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The point of this tangent?

I’m almost there!

Having the right supplies at the right time is of the utmost importance, especially when knitting on a deadline.  DPNs have no place on crowded public buses.  At least not in my hands!  I carefully packed myself a 40″ needle to magic loop the crown decreases.  By the time I was on the bus, I was pleased to have all the right supplies but not in the mood to count stitches and decide on decreases.  Lazy decision to the rescue…I’d just do a square top with a 3 needle bind off!  Totally cute on a little kid!

Again, completely pleased with myself for matching the right pieces at the right time, I realized I could take it even further with a flat 3 needle bind off!  Woot!

Except I couldn’t remember how to do it.  D’oh!

I could have phoned a friend but ‘hi, can you tell me how to do that thing for a fifteenth time while I juggle the phone and 3 knitting needles on the bus.’ isn’t really a great phone call (for either party).   Add in an old phone with spotty reception and I couldn’t even google it.

So, I missed my self-imposed deadline for getting this done but now I can share with you, gentle readers, the delights of the flat 3 needle bind off!  (…in a mostly text fashion, so it’s easy for my phone to load the next time I need to remind myself how to do it!)

flat 3 needle bind off knit hat

It really is flat!  Check that out!  Unlike a standard 3 needle bind off, the flat 3 needle bind off is worked on the right side of your fabric with wrong sides together.   And it’s got a lovely decorative edge.

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To execute the flat 3 needle bind off you’ll still work two stitches together but instead of the standard k2tog that knits both stitches, you’ll knit the front stitch and purl the back stitch.

The important thing to remember, this is the part I was forgetting, you start with the yarn BETWEEN your needles.   You insert your 3rd needle into the front stitch knitwise and into the back stitch purlwise.  You’ll purl the back stitch, you’ve prepped for this by making sure the yarn is between your needles and then, without dropping the back stitch off the needle, you’ll swing around to the front and knit the front stitch.  After completing the knit, you drop both your stitches off the left needle.  You’ll repeat the process of knitting the front stitch and purling the back stitch to result in a second stitch on the right needle.  Bind off as normal, passing the first stitch over the second one.   Now just lather, rinse, repeat and you’ve got yourself a decorative bind off minus all that weird bulk!