About that Stash…

Sometime yesterday afternoon, I had a moment of panic.  I realized some of my new Stitches yarn was missing from this picture.

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PANIC!  What happened to it?  I hope I didn’t lose it at the hotel?  Could I recall seeing it at home?  Was it in any of the pictures I’d taken?  Did it fall out of the bag in the car?  OMG WHERE IS IT?

Thankfully my panic only lasted about 30 seconds.  One of the benefits of a tiny studio apartment…nothing is ever far away!  I found them exactly where I had left them…with all the other speckles.  D’oh!

It’s amazing how much emotion can be packed into such a short span.  These beauties will be central to my speckle fade cardigan plan.  The thought of losing them, while fleeting, was sad.  They’re just so gorgeous!!

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The two on the left are Savannah from Baah, a lovely soft MCN.  The one on the right is Tosh Merino Light in the Foliage colorway.

I frequently tell people to stop buying Tosh.  There are so many other great yarns to try, no need for pigeon holing.   That color though!!  I could not resist.  I saw it from a distance and once I had it in my hand, there was no putting it down.  I love the bright fun speckles but the dark green is what sold it!  It’s a completely grounded and wearable color but it also satisfies my need for rainbow clown barf.  It is my absolute definition of irresistible.   I would have been very sad to lose it.   And so, this is why Tosh remains a favorite.  Maybe one day I’ll learn, resistance is futile.

Similarly, in the maybe-one-day-I’ll-learn category…

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I started a new project yesterday.  The more I say I’m not going to do something…the more likely I am to do it.  (see:  buy yarn as another example.)  I definitely thought I was good on WIPs when I left you yesterday.  I didn’t expect this to happen either!  I’m pleading the Crochet Loophole on this one.  It’s totally reasonable to allow myself one little crochet project, along with all the knit WIPs.

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And by little, I mean 3200 yards of KnitPicks fingering weight Chroma!  Wooo!

A very generous knitter asked me at Stitches, do you like Chroma?  Why, yes.  Yes, I do.  She said she was destashing and she’ll bring it for me.  Well, Monday knit night rolled around and she was serious about this destash.  So, here I am with a giant bag of unexpected yarn!  It’s amazing!  And Rainbow!  And Stripey!

Just about 11 pm last night, my resolve broke and here I am with my newest WIP…a crochet blanket, log cabin style!  I’m going with a big hook and a loose stitch in the hopes that this will be a big, squishy rainbow hug!  It’s gonna be so good!


 

Stitches West 2018

Before I get into Stitches, I’ve got one last Olympic photo left on my desktop.

Behold…the Clipboard of Power!

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I laughed so hard when I saw that.  Also, I want one!  Clipboards definitely give you super powers.  This one must be very special.  I bet they needed specific training before being allowed to handle it.  Yup, I definitely want one.

List #1 for the Clipboard of Power…all the yarns I want to buy next year.

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Neighborhood Fiber Co for starters.  I was drawn back to their booth so many times.  Surprisingly, I bought nothing there??

Hedgehog Fibers…nope, didn’t bring any home?!  A Verb for Keeping Warm…it was gorgeous, didn’t buy any though.  I passed up the Shibui booth entirely.  I never visited the Yarn Over Truck.  YOTH…not this year.  Sincere Sheep, such a shame to miss.

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Frankly, once I gave myself permission to buy whatever I wanted, it’s amazing that this is all I came home with:

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So where DID I shop?

First stop:  Miss Babs

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That’s five skeins of Yowza caked up at the top of the photo.  It’s the yarn that set my color palette for the weekend and for year one of nephew knitting.  I hit the teal-purple-grey with a pop of chartreuse color scheme pretty hard this year.  If I’m going to do all this baby knitting, I may as well like it.

Those five skeins are going to become the ultimate Rebecca Danger layette set — a monster blanket and a monster sweater, both with pockets for monster friends.  There will be a whole gaggle of monster friends and whatever else I can squeeze out of those 2800 yards.  That’s 1.6 miles of yarn.  It sounds like a lot.  I’m not convinced though.  Good thing I kept shopping…

Next, KnitPicks.  I’ve long had a love-hate relationship with them.  Love the product, hate the shipping issues.  Being able to buy their yarns in person, even if it’s only at special events, is awesome!

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I got a couple hanks of the new worsted weight yarn, Provincial Tweed.  It’s got baby sweater potential.  I love tweed for it’s ability to hide pills.  I’m guessing it will hide spit up pretty well too?!

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And of course, fan favorite, self-striping sock yarn, Felici.  I don’t even knit socks but show special $3.50/ball…how do you resist that?  Blaming this one on the impending baby as well…thinking a Baby Vertebrae and a set of little baby leg warmers.  Chubby baby legs wrapped in yarn are pretty adorable.  Once the idea was planted, there was no ignoring it.

Still, though, I wasn’t done.  Zombie Yarns was definitely calling my name.  I can’t wait to knit this.  I got the ‘Playful Monster’ yarn pack to make the ‘Playful Monster Hoodie’.  I’m not sure it’s monster enough though.  I may have to put some monster ears on it to jazz it up a little more.  (and also knit it in my size!)

 

Never fear though, I did by some yarn for myself.  I know you were probably concerned about that.  I think I’ve finally collected enough speckles for a speckle fade cardi!!

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A couple finds from the Western Sky Knits sale bin (the two on the left)!  $15 speckles! Yes Please!  In the middle, a gorgeous purple speckle from Hooker’s Corner called Wisterious.  Love it!  On the right, another purple speckle, this one from Arucania.

I think getting out the rest of the collection for a full fade inspection will really be the motivation I need to cast on a fingering weight sweater.

And finally, there’s the first yarn to make it onto needles.  It’s Valley Yarns, Goshen – a cotton/tencel/silk blend.  A July baby needs a cotton blanket!

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A bit of a swatch and off I went…

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I’m just happy it’s not a hat!  :)  I’m making good progress.  Fingers crossed I can resist the urge to cast on more new yarn.  It’s time to finish my current sweater WIP.  A little focus goes a long way!


 

Ravellenic Wrap Up

The Olympics are over.  Phew!  Finally…I don’t think I could take any more!  I didn’t get 13 hats done, but I did get 12 done!

I’m okay with that.  I’m still a winner.  It’s just tough to stay focused on the finish line when it passes directly through the Stitches West marketplace!  On the last day, I wanted to knit new yarn, not old yarn.   The new yarn is soooooo good!  (…More on that later.)

First, let’s see the last two hats, they’re good ones!  Another Nephew hat, it started as a combo Michigan/Marcus hat.  I was quite self-congratulatory when I realized the overlap between baby’s monogram and dad’s favorite team.

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I tried a couple yarns for the duplicate stitch.  Even tried holding them double.  I never really got over the whole light stitch on a dark background to a place I liked though.  I learned long ago, don’t mess with logos people love if you can’t do it right.  This was not right, so I scrapped it.

Instead, I went back to the dinosaur theme and this happened…

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The T.Rex applique was fun to make.  It was a bit complex but the pattern is clear and has lots of pictures.  Find it here, if you want to try it yourself.  I’m quite pleased with my results.

And then, there’s this…

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An ode to Jayne Cobb and Firefly.

As always, this hat started out as something different but once I saw the brown stripe pooling, I knew I’d have to adjust the plan.   The new plan turned out to be waaaay better anyhow.

I’ve never watched Firefly but I have enough geeky friends to know, this is absolutely perfect!  My Mom dyed this yarn for me and it turns out, the iconic Jayne Cobb hat from the show, was made by Jayne’s Mom.   It’s so delightfully meta.  I love it.  It really spruced this hat up.  Now to chose a fun pom-pom.  This is definitely a Pom YES situation…I’m thinking the middle one in that first row, with all the green/blue/purple shades.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about Stitches and the yarn.  THE YARN!  It’s sooo good!  I’m in the middle of a winding frenzy but I’ve managed to get one new project on the needles.  Yay for yarn sold in balls!

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See you tomorrow with all the fibery details!


 

Stitches Weekend!

Woooo!  It’s time! Stitches is here!  My tax refund was deposited yesterday!  I’m ready!!

I was hoping to finish up my Ravellenic/Olympic challenge by now, 13 hats in two weeks.  Here’s how it’s looking…

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8 Completely finished hats, 1 waiting for embellishment, 2 on the needles.  I’m so close.  The Olympics aren’t over so I’m not done but I really wanted to be working on my sweater this weekend.  Remember my sweater…

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It’s been a while.  I’m looking forward to getting back to it.  I’d say next week but let’s face it, the new yarn is going to win.   Baby projects galore!  It’s going to be so fun!

I’ll be sure to share, in the meantime watch over on Instagram for Stitches Market pics and updates!!  Miss Babs, Knitpicks, Webs, Mimi’s Needle Basket and Steven Be are at the top of the queue!  I’m hoping to squeeze in some hat knitting at the bar too, so if you’re at Stitches today or tomorrow, look for me there and come say hello!!

Happy Friday, Indeed!!!!!!!  (<- it really is that exciting!)


 

WIP Wednesday – Surprise! It’s Hats!

Old Business:

Medals have been claimed for the next four hats.  They inadvertently had an animal theme happening.  That brings the medal count to 8.

New Business:  Olympic fatigue is setting in but I’m persevering.

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Thank you Noro for always providing some wacky color changes.  This is a single skein of Silk Garden Lite that’s been hanging around waiting for an excuse.  I think I’ll pom it, the remainder of the skein echoes the green of the ribbing.  I think it’ll balance that crazy pink section a bit.  And then I’ll duplicate stitch something on it, maybe something new but probably just got with one of the old standbys for my Etsy shop.

This next hat is a special knit to highlight rare disease awareness.

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One stitch in a project often seems insignificant.  I mess up one stitch and don’t even bat on eye.  Now imagine it’s one person, one person living with a rare disease.   It’s not so insignificant anymore.

Rare diseases often have only 400 diagnosed cases in the entire country.  That is an uphill battle for research and funding.  They’re often called Orphan Diseases because no one wants to fund them.  Those suffering from a rare disease need all the love they can get.

Next week, February 28th, is Rare Disease Day.  A day for raising awareness about rare diseases.  Find out more about Rare Disease Day and what you can do here!

I’ve added my Rare Stitch to show support & love for all the families out there dealing with rare diseases on a daily basis.  It’s just a small token to let people know they aren’t alone.   It’s no coincidence that one knit stitch looks like a heart either.  The Rare Stitch is pure love.

The Rare Stitch project was started by Margaux at 1010_Studio. Check out her Instagram for more information.  She’s been a tireless advocate for rare disease awareness since one effected her family.  You can join the Rare Stitch movement to show your support on social media too…just add a single duplicate stitch to any project and share a photo using #TheRareStitch and tag 1010_Studio so it can be seen!  I hope you’ll join me in sharing the love.

 

Hat Count: 8.5

I’m still making hat progress.  I’ve got two new hats finished today.  My bear idea isn’t fully where I want it yet but I’ve got a good proto-type…

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I think he needs to be a little bigger and if I’m going to pass him off as a Grizzly, he should probably be brown!  Good thing Stitches is at the end of the week!

I finished the next, in what is bound to be a limitless parade, nephew hat.  Adults will definitely be reduced to goofy faces and baby talk when little Markosaurus wears this one.

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There’s also two hats currently on the needles.  With a bit of luck, I might get them finished tonight!  IMG_6189

The blue garter stitch number is killing me.  Garter stitch??  Who purls when then knit hats??  Not me.  So I had to start the one of the right…I need a break after an entire row of nothing but purls?!?!  It’s just terrible.

After that I only need 4 more.  I was messing around with brioche yesterday.  Liked my colors well enough.  Couldn’t come up with a cast on that I liked though.

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This is just a swatch with a standard long tail cast on.  I also tried a 2-color Italian cast on.  It was fiddly and by the time I got it right, I decided I didn’t like the way it looked and it offered no structure.   So, before I get a gold medal for a brioche hat, I need a gold medal worthy cast on, Anybody have a suggestion?

I, also, thought about pom-poms a lot this weekend.  I need to watch to youtube videos on how to make fancy pom-poms.  Anybody have suggestions here too?

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See the guy at the bottom of the frame with a red & white pom-pom hat.  It caught my eye because I thought, maybe, it was a Canada hat with a maple leaf pom-pom!  How cool would that be? I don’t think that’s the case here but I wish it was.

The pom-pom on the right side here:

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I think that one’s a camel.  I never got a better look at it.

And then, there’s the luge crowd.  White hats with white pom-poms.  Really?

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Kudos to the one brave Romanian who opted for the hat with flag colors!  Hats off to you, sir!

Now, back to the knitting…I think I might be able to get my baker’s dozen in by Friday if I keep at it!


 

On the Podium

Success!  I’ve been awarded medals for my first four hats!

There’s really no time for celebration though.  There’s still 9 more to reach the goal.  The next hat is ready.  I love how it turned out, but man was it a pain in the butt.

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Tentacles are a hassle.  I’m not sure how actual cephalopods do it.

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I should have Hat 6 to report on as well, but distractions happen.  That’s actually a lot colder than it looks but still, we’ve been having gorgeous, dry weather and I’ve got plenty of wool to handle the crisp ocean breeze.

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I can say though, it’s beyond this stage!  And I’m really loving the colors so far, very foresty.  I think this might be a good bear hat…I’m gonna hunker down with some figure skating and make progress tonight.

As always, I’ll let ya know how it goes…


 

Thursday Linkspiration

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Hat 5 is off the needles.  I decided no pom-pom.  I did the stash dive and found lots of yarn to use.  I have not cast on the next hat though.  While I contemplate my options, lets tour the latest in PyeongChang inspired patterns.

Team USA hats have inspired many patterns!  Having so many hats to choose from helps.  The athletes get opening ceremony hats, closing ceremony hats and then there’s the sport specific gear like the very popular podium hat the Team USA snowboarding ladies have been wearing.  I first spotted it on Jaime Anderson.

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Once Chloe Kim wore it though, it became a must have.  Knit Paper Scissors  has obliged with her pattern Olympic Inspiration, a free Ravelry download.

The Ralph Lauren’s official Closing Ceremony hat is sold out.  The traditional colorwork is resonating with everyone, not just the knitters.

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It’s spawned several new patterns so you’ve got your choice!  They’re both spot on!

2018 Winter Games Hat from The Wool & Cotton Co.  (aran)  OR 2018 Winter Games Hat from Susan Rainey (worsted)

Then there’s the Canadian snowboarding jackets.

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I really love the look of the printed knitting and the idea of marrying time-honored tradition with new fangled technology.   It hadn’t occurred to me to translate the design back into knitting though.

For that, we can thank Kristy Macdonald for her hat design, In The Hunt.  The sweater includes four motifs – bear, orca, raven and sun and moon.  Kristy has included hat options that correspond to each of the motifs.  Definitely keeping this one in my queue!

The Latvian Opening Ceremony hat inspired knitters instantly.

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The pattern, from Rebecca A., Latvian Brain 2018 Hat, appeared quickly after the ceremony.  Several knitters have started it but no progress photos…yet!

And then there’s knitting heavy hitters, Dale of Norway.  They were so prepared, their patterns have actually been available since last August.  They’re perfect.  They’ve  kept tradition as the focal point, but still managed a fresh, modern feel.

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AND, not to be outdone, it includes men’s, women’s, children’s, hats, sweaters, headbands, cowls, socks and mittens.  345-01 Olympic Passion from Dale Designs.  Once again, Dale of Norway sets the standard and they set it high!

Of course, there’s also a huge catalog of old Olympic patterns to draw from as well.  Searching Ravelry, this one caught my eye, for the crocheters out there.  0-1012 Olympic head bands from Drops Designs.  So cute!

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Here’s a Ravelry Search for ‘Olympic’ patterns.  It’s a fun scroll down memory lane!

As I Where’s Waldo my way through the Olympics, I’m drawing more inspiration from the crowd.  After seeing a Colorado hat, I started thinking about California hats.  A friend tipped me to this pattern, Oso Plaid Beanie, from EvelynandPeter on Etsy.  The California official state animal is the grizzly bear.

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This is the perfect California hat. I love it!  The only hold up…I’ve never attempted crochet colorwork.  I don’t think I’m going to start this week but, I could convert it to knitting.  It’s going to take some work though.  Single crochet stitches, like those used here, are square.  Knit stitches are not square.  My bear will look squashed if I use the chart, as is.  I need to get out the pencil and the knitters graph paper for this one.

The Olympics has really cemented my desire to knit unique hats that stand out.  If you can buy it, I don’t want to make it.  It’s one thing to knit 13 hats during the course of the Olympics.  I could bang out 13 plain beanies in my sleep.  I want more than that though.  I want works of art.  Quality over quantity.

Come back tomorrow!  I’m bound to put my money where my mouth is…eventually!


 

WIP Wednesday : Hat Halfpipe

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Progress!  Woo!  I’ve moved the third hat into the completely finished pile, after a bit of duplicate stitch this morning.

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Hat #4 is knit, but it needs a little something more.

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It’s a bit sweet at the moment but I think I’ve backed off the Lisa Frank cliff.  Instead of hearts and rainbows, I’m thinking Kraken!  I need to stash dive first.

In the meantime, I’m finishing up this no-brainer.  Bulky tweed done sequence knitting style.  Might even go pom-pom on this one!

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As for the Olympics, Shaun White did his thing.  It was amazing and somehow lived up to the incredibly immense amount of hype?!?!!

And his sister was on hand for congratulations…

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 7.12.12 PM…in a new hat!  She’s bought into the store bought propaganda machine.  Oh well.  I understand.  Times change, fashions change.  I was really hoping she’d pull out the old one though.

And now, I’ll leave you with a little Where’s Waldo challenge…

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I can find an orange cowboy hat, a person with sunglasses instead of a face, Rodin’s Thinker, 12 Japanese flags, 1 girl in a fox hat, an ipad, 2 guys looking through binoculars and 3 friends all taking the same picture!

Can you find them all?


 

Just Another Day in PyeongChang

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As I expected, the Olympic crowd gets better with each passing day!  Today brought these cute, crocheted, Colorado hats.  Worn, presumably, by US snowboarder Arielle Gold’s family.  The ‘C’ logo with the stripes is inspired by the Colorado state flag.   I’m on the lookout for California bear themed hats now…a new addition to the ‘Waldo’ list.

This was another cute find in the crowd:

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There’s a time and place for everything…even bobbles.

The crazy people have come out to the Olympics too!  I love crazy people!

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It is important to distinguish between good crazy and bad crazy though…

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All in all, it was a good day of people watching.

And, I’m finally crossing the finish line myself.  I’ve got two entries awaiting medals so far!

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This first one really tripped me up.  Took 3 starts to get it right.  It’s a DK weight yarn, 100% baby llama called Llamor.  It called for the standard US 5 or 6 needle size.  I went all the way down to a US 2 and still didn’t get the right fabric.

I really like loose fabrics but that doesn’t mean they’re always appropriate. If the fabric were just a hair tighter, it would look much neater.  But, I just can’t with the tiny little needles.  US Size 2 is as far as I am willing to compromise on that front.

Ultimately though, it’s a cute hat.  I went with some simple surface crochet to dress it up.  Simple but effective.

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My second entry in the Hat Halfpipe follows the same formula…simple but effective!

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A few basic stitches and a big pom-pom.

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Boom! Instant nephew hat!

Hat 3 is still awaiting adornment and hat 4 dropped off the needles before I could even show you a WIP pic.

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I’m bringing color back with this one!  It’s got an ice princess fade going on.  I think my pendulum is swinging wide with this one.  After the plain white start, I’m feeling very Lisa Frank.  It might end up covered in hearts?!?

Four hats down…9 more to go?!?