FO Friday – A Bloody Comfortable Beanie

When I say ‘I’m not going to cast on any new projects for the rest of the month’, rest assured, even if there’s only 7 days left in the month, I’m probably already winding the yarn and picking out the needles for the next cast on.

By picking out the needles, I definitely mean taking them out of the case and casting on immediately.  This is one of my more endearing quirks.  Well, hopefully because it is certainly the reality.  I don’t expect to change anytime soon.  And this week is no different.

It’s only a hat. Hats don’t count. At least, not until the end when I can proudly proclaim another FO! Instant gratification is a big part of my love affair with hats. It’s just so hard to resist.

This week’s hat is a take on the Barley hat, from Tin Can Knits.  I didn’t follow the pattern, just borrowed their idea and applied it to my own standard shaping.  The pattern calls for one large garter stitch section.  I did 3 garter stitch sections of varying size.   I didn’t bother to count or place my garter stitch sections intentionally.  I just sort of plopped a few purls as I went across the first row and that was it.

The yarn is Berroco Comfort.  For an all synthetic yarn (it’s a nylon/acrylic blend), it’s quite lovely.  It feels nice.  Despite being an inexpensive yarn, it doesn’t feel cheap.

Once again, I’m pleased with myself.  So pleased, I’ll likely cast on another hat this weekend, despite my self imposed moratorium on casting on.  Hats still don’t count.

 

An Honest Accounting

This is usually the time of year, I do a stash flash.  I don’t think I have it in me for 2017 though.  It takes all day to drag all the yarn out, spread it all out…at least that’s the fun part.  Then it all needs to get put away, which takes even longer.  I just don’t have the time.

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I do have last year’s photo though.  The least I can do is redact the yarn that is no more.  There are a few key piles that are gone but most of these lovelies are still with me.

It’s not that I didn’t use a lot of yarn in 2016.  I definitely bought new yarn last year.  None of it is in this picture.  Even more than that though, none of the half balls are in this photo.  I did a lot of scrap busting last year.  That’s a lot of progress not in the photo either.

I should probably be on a yarn diet.  HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.  amirite?

I really am trying to use it all, though.  I’ve got 9 WIPs currently (one less than I’m ‘allowed’ to have.)

I allow myself 10 on-going works in progress.  This is not an arbitrary number, there is method to my madness.  The genesis of 10 WIPs came from my view of Ravelry.  When I open my notebook, I see 10 projects without scrolling.

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Unfortunately my tab organization has grown by a few rows.  The second row of photos is now obstructed.  I still get the idea but maybe it’s time to get my WIPs under control.

I’m still committed to each of these WIPs.  It’s way easier to get my WIPs in a pile than all my yarn so here they are…

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I could get it down to 8 WIPs instantly, that ball in the lower right corner…nothing on the needles.  It was an idea that started strong but ending in a frogging.  So…there we go!  Progress…on a monday morning…before 7 am!

Yesterday, I worked on the bit of burgundy ribbing tucked in at the bottom of the photo.  It’s now 3/4s of a hat.  I think, sometime, after 7 pm, I’ll have the list down to 7 WIPs!

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Watch out Monday, I aim to get shit done!  Ready, Set, Go…

FO Friday, now with more Cashmere

I have managed to squeak out the first FO of 2017!  No surprise, it’s a cashmere hat!

The yarn is from JoJoland.  They sell it as Sport Weight but it’s not.  I think they’ve labeled it that way to keep from scaring people off with the word ‘fingering’.

The pattern is a sequence knitting inspired design, so it’s more of a non-pattern.  I did a bit of 1×1 ribbing but after that it’s all knit 3, purl 2.   I would say it doesn’t get easier except I find asymmetric ribbing to be a challenge.  My brain knows what to do but my hands really want it to be K2, P2.   I picked an uneven sequence intentionally, to challenge my hands but also to up the texture.  K2, P2 has a certain predictability to it.   This particular texture appears a bit more random, even if it’s not.

I should call it my chaos theory hat.  A small  change — one stitch — has a bit effect and if you’re going to predict chaos, no better way to do it than knitting.  :)

There’s still 10 days until February but I feel a Finish It February coming on strong already!  I’m gonna try really hard to go all weekend without casting on!!  Wish me luck!

 

It’s looking at me!

 

I have not touched the languishing (and growing) pile of WIPs.  Pretty sure I won’t be getting 12 pairs of socks done this year.  And that sweater steek I was going to finish for Christmas dinner…obviously I meant Christmas 2017.  and those two Stephen West shawls I have on the needles?   Heck…why not make it one more?  Three shawls in progress are definitely better than two!

A friend gifted me two skeins of MadTosh for Christmas.  Another friend sent me a MadTosh gift certificate.  And then, the first paycheck from the new job arrived.  It was the perfect storm of yarn addiction.  I meant to get just a couple skeins but ended up with these 8 beauties and a desire to knit Stephen’s Eyeball Shawl.  I couldn’t contain myself.

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I was egged on by the fact that the friend who gifted the first yarn, also a knitter, bought herself the same yarn!  And she agreed, the eyeball is completely necessary.  And so we had a little cast on party.  It can’t be a completely horrible idea if you can convince someone else to do it.

It begins from the center, a complete pain but after a short knit, it’s just pi shawl shaping.  Lots of stockinette in the round, one of my happy places.  Despite not having much knitting time, this has become my sole focus, I’m loving it.

 

I’m not sure why I picked this crazy color, Electro Magic.  It’s way more pink that I usually go for.  I’m drawn in by it’s iridescent quality.  It’s an amazing color.  Even for an eyeball.

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Find all the details on my Ravelry page!

WIP Wednesday*

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*Turns out having a job has nothing to do with knowing what day of the week it is.  I went from having one day a week – always saturday, to having two days a week – workday or weekend – the calendar is still pretty irrelevant.  And work continues to occupy all the best hours of the day so knitting progress is slow.

I did find time to cast on the first hat of 2017 though.  While reading about the history of the bagel! I love the use of Yiddishists here.  What a great word!

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The yarn is cashmere and the pattern is a sequence inspired knit.  This yarn has lovely stitch definition so I knew I wanted to show off a texture.  It’s destined for a man’s head so I didn’t want to go overboard with something lacy.  Sequence knitting is exactly what the occasion calls for!  I cast on whatever amount of stitches (it happened to 114) and my sequence is a multiple of 5 (K3, P2).  It’s perfect for the amount of time I have to knit these days.  I can pick up & put it down with complete disregard of the pattern.  No need to say ‘just let me finish this row’.

I’ve made it through the toe increases of my next sock as well!  Another project that will satisfy my need to process knit for the next few days.

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I love the way the stripes are fading into each other!  The stitches are just so tiny.  I found an easy rhythm with the size 0 needles I used for my last socks so I’m hoping by the time I get to the heel turn I won’t be so fixated on how tiny these 00 needles are.  At this point, every stitch takes a bit of attention.  I’m looking forward to getting to those meditative qualities back.  My sock knitting career might be short lived if I don’t get there.

The countdown to the long weekend is on…I can’t wait!! So. Much. Knitting. Time!!!!

First Cast On of 2017

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I started the year with chores…end weaving!  UGH!  But I’m so happy it’s done now!  My Building Blocks shawl and My Bad-Ass Bluegrass hat are officially in circulation!  Yippee!!

I tried to keep that momentum going and continue to finish things.  And then I laughed.  January 4th and I still hadn’t cast on anything new for the year?!?!   What better justification for a new project than the new year!  Hooray for rationalization!

Dotted Rays, the third has arrived!

Each of the languishing WIPs has a sticky wicket of some sort, two have colors that need full daylight to distinguish, one requires reading a cable and lace chart.  There are loads of rationalizations here!  I needed some comfort knitting, something I didn’t have to think about.   Time for a new WestKnit!  This is my third Dotted Rays, my second that is scrappy stash busting (because I love weaving ends, obviously?!?)

To minimize the loose ends, I’ve decided, I’m not cutting the yarn at all.  Joining a scrap, working it until it ends and joining the next one.  No new ends created.   We’ll see how long I can stick to that.

I lined my yarns up as close to a gradient as I could.  I think that was ‘Find Your Fade’ envy.  It was pretty but not quite what I wanted.  Instead, I’ve opted to work the scraps in size order.  The wedges grow as the shawl grows, so it’s a logical decision.

With all that in order, things were seeming boring so I had to switch it up, just a little more.  So I’m doing a Doodler mashup.   I’ve substituted the Doodler’s scalloped edge into my Dotted Rays.  It’s a subtle little detail but I’m quite happy with it.   Now to think of something fun to do along the edge…

While I knit and think on that, I cast on my first socks of 2017!  I’m pretty excited about wearing this pair of socks.  It’s the yarn I dyed with my Mom back in October!

 Those colors!!  I can’t wait!  Except I have to…I went down to size 00 for this pair!  Those needles are tiny!!  I didn’t curse, even once, as a cast on.  Not even silently to myself.  It actually went okay??

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And, the sweater, let’s not forget about this monstrosity.  It’s re-emerged from a healthy dose of frogging and trip to the time out corner.  New goal:  Have it ready for steeking next weekend!  Ready, Set…GO!