It’s beginning to look alot like a sweater!

sweater-pieces

I hope everyone had a holiday weekend as relaxing and productive as mine!  Not only did I get to enjoy holiday cheer with friends but I’ve got two full sleeves now!!

The fun begins now!  The best part of bottom up sweaters–the work is done!  It’s just an easy ride to up the neckline.  At least, with the rows getting shorter & going quicker, it seems like the work is done!

I completed my join round and promptly tried it on.

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It still looks like pieces but I assure, it’s now joined!

I’ve decided to go with some color work around the yoke.  I tried to start it tonight but discovered I left my contrast color at home.  D’oh!  Fortunately, my evening destination was well lit.  I took advantage of my predicament (seriously, forgot my yarn?!  What am I?  an amateur?  I didn’t even have a back up project.  I knew I should have cast on my second pair of socks already!)

I used my yarnlessness as an opportunity to weave my ends and graft my armpits!  Oh yeah!  And, there’s no knitting classes this week, I might actually have time to finish this for a NYE debut?!?!  That would be so exciting! 40 yoke rows with decreases, a steek and a button band.  hhhmmmm.  maybe.  Just Maybe…..I might be able to get it all done!  (Or maybe I’ll start that pair of socks…)

FO Friday – SOCKS!

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Work continues to take all the best hours of the day AND they expect me to show up again next week, next month, next year?!?!

Despite that obvious setback, I still managed to get some knitting done this week!   I slipped in one more tiny thing…

tiny-window-cat

A tiny, vaguely holiday themed cat!  The pattern is Tiny Window Cat, a Ravelry freebie!  The ears, head and body are seamless so it went quickly!

The real news this week though…I finished my socks!!

If I can’t have a Christmas sweater, Christmas socks will do nicely!  It’s been cold here, only San Francisco cold, but still…I’m excited to start wearing them.  I think it’s going to be hard leaving my shoes on my feet.  The urge to show them off is strong!

heels

I didn’t follow a pattern, just cast on and went with it.  Even though these are my first socks, I’ve taught socks for years.  I’ve knit plenty of booties and slipper socks.  And I’ve been hanging around with hardcore sock knitters for years.  I’ve had plenty of time to study socks without actually knitting them.

I suppose these are my version of a ‘vanilla’ sock.  64 Stitches, Toe Up, Short Row Heel.  I did try two different short row methods.  The left sock is the traditional wrap and turn short row.  The right sock is a modified Japanese short row.  The Japanese short row is by far the winner.  It looks better, there’s virtually no gap at the corner of the heel and it was vastly easier to execute.

Japanese short rows are the variety that employ locking stitch markers instead of wraps. It is a bit goofy looking…

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…but it is incredible effective!  Those locking markers actually save the day!

It’s bad enough picking up a single wrap while knitting from a sock blank.  The needles are tiny.  The yarn is kinky.  The whole thing is weird and fiddly.  Picking up a double wrap, as one does with a sock heel, is virtually impossible with a classic wrap and turn.  It made me kind of crazy.

Enter the Japanese short row and the locking stitch marker, which acts as the perfect little handle!  You just pop that wrap up on to the needle via the marker, remove the marker and knit on.  I loved it.  No fiddling with finding a kinky wrapped stitch, inevitably splitting the yarn and dropping the stitch in the process of fixing the split.

No, it was absolutely worth fiddling with a marker to avoid the aggravation of picking up a double wrap!  I’m not sure I’ll do it again though.  At least not right away.  I plan to test out a whole bunch of different heels.  I’ve got sock blank two queued up and ready to go…

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Yarn my mom & I dyed when I was home for Rhinebeck.  And it’s a sparkle base!  I can’t wait!!  I’m gonna stick with toe up, but probably go for a slip stitch heel this time.  If I’m going to wear these socks to work, they need to be reinforced at the back of the heel.  I’m hard on socks, I want to give them the best chance of survival possible.

To confirm that the sock bug has bitten, I think I’m going to set a pair a month goal for myself in 2017.  I certainly want to own that many pairs of hand knit socks!  Time to make it happen!

 

 

Handmade Holiday

Immediately after I said I wanted to get my sweater done by Christmas, I cast on a non-sweater thing.  I couldn’t resist.   They’ve put the tree up at my local bar.  A new ornament needed to happen!

tiny-knit-stocking

This little stocking is just the thing!  Find the pattern here.  Quick and easy!  Only took me 3 days!  (I think this week I’ll actually stay awake passed 9 pm!  Fingers crossed!)

Of course, I couldn’t stop there.  The tiny thing bug has bitten me.  That’s when I found Santa’s Laundry Line.  Just like it sounds, it’s Santa’s laundry hanging out to dry!  I had to cast on right away!

santas-pants

So stinkin’ cute!  I don’t think I have the stamina to do all of Santa’s laundry.  It’s really cute though…if you’ve got the tiny thing bug, check the rest of the pieces out–A hat, mittens, boots, a jacket and even long johns underneath it all.  I love it all.  Santa’s pants tickled my fancy the most though.

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And, because handmade ornaments are not enough, I’ve upped my Christmas card game this year.   Special, limited edition, handmade Christmas cards.

Complete with a little knit star at the top.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  I’m only doing 18 cards.  Luckily, I know all 18 cards are going to good homes where my handmade efforts will be appreciated!   How bad could it be?  Only 8 more to do.

And then, I’m gonna cast on sleeve two!  Hopefully.  If I’m still awake.  Weekends go awfully quick when they’re only two days long?!?  I think this week I might be able to push bedtime to 10 pm.

My new goal:  NYE sweater debut!  Even that seems soon though.  It’s gonna be 2017 before we know it!

WIP Wednesday – One Sleeve

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It’s been a crazy couple of weeks!  I hardly know where to begin.  The new job is officially in full swing.  It’s definitely a ‘real’ job.  It’s taking the best hours of the day and most of my mental stamina.  Add in my teaching responsibilities and last weekend’s craft fair and I’ve had zero time for lounging and knitting.  It’s adulting on steroids around here.

The good news is…the efforts have paid off on all fronts.  The craft fair was successful!  I’m hoping to give you more details this weekend!  And, despite taking all my energy, there is some satisfaction in getting back to work.  I like feeling like a ‘productive’ part of society again, even if it requires getting dressed every. single. day.

And, there’s even been a tiny bit of knitting.

lopi-sweater-sleeve

Gone are the days of two day sleeves, instead I’ve got a two week sleeve.  But I’ve got a sleeve.  One more to go.  The beauty of bottom up sweaters is how quickly they come together in the end.  Once the sleeves are attached, the yoke practically knits itself!

Normally, this is the part where I would say something foolishly optimistic like ‘I can have this done in a week!’  Except, I also said I wouldn’t be christmas knitting.  I knew that was ridiculous the second I said it.  And so, this is happening as well…

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Fingers crossed that it’s only a momentary distraction!  I would love to be wearing my new sweater for Christmas dinner :)  That’s totally doable.  A full work schedule, classes to teach and a sleeve, a yoke, a steek and a button band…11 days.  I got this!

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


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!!!