Me Made May

Now that the month is nearly over, let’s talk about ‘Me Made May’.

The idea is to encourage people to wear their handmade wardrobes proudly.  Turns out, I’m good in that department. I live in a place that is sweater weather, year round.  I haven’t bought, or really, even worn any jackets, hoodies, fleece or other miscellaneous outerwear in a decade.  I like wearing sweaters.  I wear my sweaters constantly.  I love the sweaters I’ve made.  I am definitely not deficient in wearing my handmade wardrobe proudly.

 

I did get me thinking about the usefulness of my knitting though.  What would it look like if I were to sort all my knits into two piles, the pile I wear and the pile I don’t?  I couldn’t bring myself to start a project of that magnitude but I did take stock of my sweater collection.

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I’m happy to say, most of them fall into the useful category.  Even novelty pieces like the Bill Murray sweater and the Cassette Tape vest, while gimmicks, do get worn out of the house.  So, the moral of the story is…knit more sweaters.

Which brings me to my weekend dilemma.

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The Askews Me? shawl.  It’s a beauty but it’s not going to be a useful garment.  It’s going to be huge and bulky.  That’s the stuff that falls into the never worn pile.  Even if I trim the size back, there’s no way around the bulk of it.  I like looking at the pretty colors.  I love the brioche squishiness it’s got going on.  I don’t even mind knitting it.  I’m just a bit hung up on this question of usefulness, at the moment.

I’m stuck on the idea of frogging it?!?  Fortunately, I had a small moment of clarity.  I realized I was talking crazy talk and I put it away.  Getting it out of sight was a good first step.

Step two:  distract myself with new USEFUL knitting.
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Aaaahhhhhh!  That’s so much better!  This is yarn I’ve been sitting on for years.  I’m not sure why I’ve put this project off for so long.  It’s MadelineTosh Pashmina, in colors Deep and Cosmic Wonder Dust.  The pattern is the WestKnits’ Batad.  I love the two Batads I’ve already got.  It’s a no brainer!  This is destined for greatness.

I’m still kind of thinking about that frogging though?!?!  I’m not sure.  How do you decide when to frog?


 

FO Friday – Purple Haze

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This week, Queen Elizabeth is my spirit animal!  Did you guys see her outfit at the royal wedding, last weekend??  An inspired color choice, as always.  I absolutely love it.  Seeing it, reminded me of a skein of yarn I’d picked up a while back.

It’s a skein of Silk Cloud, from Shibui, in color Green Apple.  Their mohair/silk blend.  Perfect for spicing up the uninspired swatch I was working on.  Off I went.

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I cast on a hat and made quick progress.  Unfortunately, I hated it.  My lovely sour green haze was reading yellow.  I hate yellow.  Me and yellow will never be friends.  EVER.  I’m okay with that.  As long as yellow stays waaaaaaaay over on the other side of the room.  Across the hall is actually preferable.

Somehow though, yellow had crept into the room and hopped right up on my needles?!?  WTF? I was not having it.  I swatched a bit of purple but that was really a formality.  I knew I was ripping that horrid yellow out.

Soon enough, I had this…

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aaaahhhhh.  So much better.  So lovely and soothing.  I’m even one of those people who enjoys a bit of pooling.  This was happy place knitting, for sure.  I even got to put a literal cherry on top!

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I’ve been trying to put that green pom pom on something for years.  Nothing every worked but finally, it was meant to be!  This is what I’d been waiting for all along!  It’s perfect!  I’m pretty sure Queen Elizabeth approves.

I wonder, though, about that yellow.  It’s kind of nagging at me…everyone else liked it? Maybe I shouldn’t have been so quick to judge?  And, it turns out, I have enough yarn for another hat, easily.  I haven’t been on a hat binge in a while.  It’s a three day weekend.  Everyone is out of town.  I’m left here, all alone…things might get a little crazy?!  It’s only friday…I’ve got plenty of time to destroy the evidence if it doesn’t work out!

I think I’m going to knit a yellow hat this weekend.  Hope your weekend is equally as interesting!


 

WIP Wednesday

I’ve been on a cast on kick recently.  My goal is to cast on some easy knitting, something I can work on in a dark movie theater.  I’ve been failing miserable but at least that means I’ve got interesting knitting on the needles!

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I showed you my baby blanket progress yesterday.  It’s super fun to knit.  I’m loving the progress.  Here’s an alternate view…

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The beauty of this project…it’s worked in the round.  I’m essentially knitting a big tube.  This is a view of the seam, aka the spot I plan to cut open.  This is such a brilliant idea.  I love it!  Once I’ve cut it open, it will lay flat and these plain stockinette bits will be unraveled into fringe.   And, as the icing on the cake, I’m not purling at all!  To get those purl ridges, I’m simply turning the piece inside out and working those stitches as knits!  Yay for all knits!

Sadly, this next project, has entire rows of purls. The HORROR!

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It’s been tough but I’m managing.  Mostly because the yarn is so incredible!  This is the qiviut I was recently gifted.  It’s going to be a simple feather and fan cowl.  This yarn is absolutely wasted if it’s not next to skin.  With June Gloom right around the corner, timing could not be more perfect!

I’m making progress on my Askews Me shawl as well.  It’s slow going though.  I’ll miss the June Gloom but with a bit of luck, it’ll be ready for Fogust.  Here at FogKnits, we really love Fogust.

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I’m just about to add my first stripe!  Assuming I don’t get distracted by another cast on, which is highly likely.  I’ve been looking at this neutral palate for weeks.  I think it’s time for a Black Panther wrap!

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Maker Faire

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I spent my weekend at the Bay Area Maker Faire!  Spirit animals abounded!  Alternate modes of transportation were everywhere!

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There was so much to see, I barely scratched the surface! I spent most of my time in the Needle Arts Zone, teaching knitting and crochet!  They were also teaching spinning, weaving, cross stitch and needlepoint!

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I definitely made a few new knitters this weekend.  It was great to see how many people were interested in sitting down for an hour or more to knit.  With so much to see and do, I certainly didn’t expect the knitting section to be so popular.  I had 2-3 students at any given time.  There were 5-6 other volunteers working the knit & crochet section too.

Some people were just messing around, but the number of people taking it serious was awesome!  And they all got to take their yarn and needles home so hopefully they’ll stick with it.  The world needs more knitters!

I did break away from the knitting long enough to check out Tubby Wubby, the next booth over.  They were selling the cutest little sewing kits.

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All the bits are pre-cut and stuck to the instruction card.  The needle is pre-threaded.  The instructions have clear diagrams.  It really seemed set up for success so I gave it a try and signed up for 3 months!  They sent me home with a cow.  I was really excited to try it out.

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It took me about an hour and it turned out so cute!!

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Without a doubt, it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever sewn!  I can’t wait for Dolly the Llama to show up in June!  She’s getting stitched right up!

In the meantime, I’ll wait patiently with my knitting…

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Saturday Linkage

I’m off to my first Maker Faire today.  I’m volunteering to teach knitting in the NeedleArts Zone.  With the exception of the giant crowd, I’m looking forward to it!

In the meantime, here’s a few fiber related videos to keep you entertained!

Some super cute border collies meeting sheep for the first time…

It’s pretty amazing to see how instinctual herding behavior is.

This one is a bit longer but definitely worth a few minutes.  It’s a gorgeous short documentary about the sustainability of wool and what it means to the fashion supply chain.

New Zealand and Tasmania are definitely dream vacations for me.  Some day…

FO Friday – Instant Classic

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The second in my pair of Dotted Rays is now finished!  This is my sixth Dotted Rays so obviously, I like this pattern.  My most worn project of 2017 was this Dotted Rays…

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I knit many shawls a year, it’s pretty unusual for one to be my favorite for so long.  That prompted me to start a new ‘favorite’.  You can’t guarantee something will become a favorite but I stacked the deck as much as I could.  I picked a pattern I love wearing and knitting equally and I picked all my favorite colors from the stash.  It turns out, setting yourself up for success really works!

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Judging by the number of pictures alone, this has to be a favorite.  I just couldn’t stop.

I’m sure it helped that Golden Gate Park is dressed in gorgeous spring green this week!

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And now, it’s time for the weekend! After being virtually monogamous with the Dotted Rays, I plan on fraternizing with ALL the knits the weekend!  My old pal crochet might even get involved!

Happy Friday!  Hope you’re looking forward to your weekend as well!


 

 

 

 

 

Motivated Monday

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Last week’s lack of knitting mojo has definitely passed.  Turns out a new box of yarn from Mom was all I needed!  I thought the qiviut would be the first on the needles but no, I’m far too susceptible to the siren song of color.  Green and purple is such a classic combo, I couldn’t put it down once I’d started.  Brioche was the clear winner and so, a new Askews Me Shawl was born.

It’s a WestKnit, because WestKnits really are the best knits!  The original is only two colors but I’m definitely planning some stripes.

My only concern, it’s a worsted weight yarn.  The pattern is written for DK so not too much a departure but I’ve got a very stiff fabric.  The brioche keeps it cushy so it’s not a bullet proof fabric.  I’m into drape though.  I’m debating going up a needle size or two (which never happens to me??)

While that debate rages on, I decided another cast on was not only reasonable but necessary.

Bitten by the colorful stripe bug, I started another blanket for my impending nephew.  In knitting his first blanket, I remembered why I don’t like knitting blankets.  PURLING.  Yuck.  I’m down with texture, moss stitch, seed stitch, ribbing, yes!  Long straight rows of purls…NO.

The solution to this problem…Steeking!

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Yup, I cast on a blanket in the round.  I’m going to knit the whole thing.  No purls!  NO PURLS!  and then, I’m going to cut it open and turn the cut ends into fringe!  I’ve never been so excited about fringe!

Speaking of the impending nephew, my sister got her first Mother’s Day package this weekend!  And of course, it wasn’t for her at all.  I’m not sure she realizes her days of getting packages are over.  They’re all for the nephew from now on.

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Baby’s first sweater, a stroller blanket and a little sleeping monster.  I finally got his eyes right!  I suspect he’s already become a cat toy.  Good thing I planned on making a whole slew of monsters!

Mom got a new knit for Mother’s Day too.  The latest Dotted Rays had her name on it from the beginning.  As I washed and blocked it, I couldn’t find the sticky sap spots?  I’m not sure how they went away on their own, but I’m glad they did.

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I’m nearing the end of the other Dotted Rays too.  I should finish it this week…assuming I don’t get distracted from all the other knitting.  I mean, I can’t just leave that qiviut to lay around and feel unloved!  No, I’m highly motivated to get some knitting done!

Happy Monday!  Woo!