Shelter in Place: Day 19

Shelter in Place: Day 19

Current Mood:  Lucky to have only first-world, white-people problems.

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Things are okay in San Francisco, so far they’re only attributing 8 deaths to coronavirus.  Our medical facilities aren’t overwhelmed.  (Fingers crossed the same is true for our medical professionals.)  Our grocery stores had a rough start but they’re getting systems in place to help control the chaos.  The internet hasn’t succumbed to the high traffic it’s seeing.  Things are changing daily.  We need to be flexible and understanding but San Francisco is doing ok, all things considered.

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My perspective is skewed though.  I went to work this week.  It was nice.  It definitely felt like cheating.  There were only two of us there so it was quiet.  We had some important work to do and you don’t work in the lab alone.  Buddy system, for the win!  It was nice to have a whole building to walk around in.  It was nice to have something else to focus on.  I got a lot done.  It definitely helped me to have a change of pace and space.  I haven’t enjoyed going to work that much in a long time.  Perspective is everything!

It’ll probably take us most of next week to finish our tasks at work.  Gotta say, I don’t hate that.  I feel like another month of shelter in place will be okay for me after that.  I know it’s rough for people who haven’t gotten a break like this though.   I hope everyone finds something to recharge them, in their own way.

I’ve always felt like, even when bad things happen to me, they happen in good ways.  The one time, in nearly 20 years of street parking, my car got broken into the windows weren’t smashed and nothing was stolen, that sort of thing.  This is no exception.  I feel pretty lucky.  It does make me aware though, not everyone is in the same place.  I don’t want to trivialize what other people are going through but hey, wanna talk about knitting?  I’ve got a funny lesson to share today!

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The lesson is this:  Boobs and balls need different types of sacks!

I finished my Zaftig inspired bra last night.  It’s not good news.  It’s bound for the frog pond shortly.  The parts I improvised worked out okay.  The fatal flaw is the part where I followed the pattern.

The designer writes “The surprise here is that Zaftig! is actually two of my men’s Thong-th-thong  pouches turned upside down and knitted onto one midriff band!”  Turns out, that is a bad idea.  The gathers created by the short row shaping are too lumpy and weird.  I can see how a thong, especially one containing balls, needs to gather and exert some control.  Boobs don’t need that though.

Had I read the notes on Ravelry, I would have saved myself the trouble too.  Others reported the same issues.  I think this is a case where using the recommended yarn would have been a good idea too.  The suggested yarn is Cascade Fixation, a cotton/spandex blend.  It’s a really fun stretchy yarn.  I think that stretch would conform to a boob in a far more pleasing manner.  Live and learn.  I, also, learned that I didn’t really want a bra anyhow.  I want a garment, maybe it’s more of a cami, or a tank.  I’m thinking I shouldn’t have strayed from my original plan, the Ripple Bralette.

I’m thinking it’s time I get back to my sweater but first, a nap!  Hope you guys are all getting the self-care you need, too!  Do what you gotta do and take care of yourself!

 

Shelter in Place: Day 11

Shelter in Place:  Day 11

Current Mood:  Undecided

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Why do I even bother making plans?  Last you heard…I was going to turn that skein of Cosmic Wonder Dust into a Ripple Bralette.  Needless to say, that’s not even remotely close to what is happening.  I’m sure you longtime readers could have predicted this!

I second guessed myself over gauge.  I always go down minimum 2 needle sizes to get gauge.  The Ripple Bralette has suggested needle sizes of 2 + 4 so I was looking at 0 + 2.  Rather than deal with that crap, I switched my yarn to worsted.  If I was switching gauge & yarn entirely, might as well switch patterns too.

Zaftig, an old Knitty pattern, seemed like a nice alternative.  Especially because it’s a modification of the Th-Th-Thong pattern, which I’ve already made.   (One day I’ll find those photos and it’ll be worth the effort.)   Thinking back, this may even be the pattern I first learned short rows for.   The idea is, one short row pouch = banana hammock, two short row pouches = over the shoulder boulder holder.

So I started knitting.

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I was pretty skeptical at this point.  I decided to press on anyhow.  At this point, I’ve knit my two short row pouches.  The Zaftig pattern calls for them to be joined to a knit band in succession.   At this point, it’s also worth mentioning the suggested yarn for this pattern is Cascade Fixation, a stretchy yarn with a bit of spandex in it.  My yarn is 100% wool, completely different, not stretchy the way Fixation is.   This made me question the gauge calculations for the rest of the band.  Rather than worry about that, I decided to join my pouches with a vertical band instead.  I’ll have more precise control this way, and hopefully get the best fit.

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Rather than worry about that, I decided to join my boob pouches with a vertical band.  There should be no question about the fit this way.  I’ll have plenty of opportunities to measure as I knit and work until it’s long enough and no more. I decided on a wide seed stitch band.  Wide enough to stay put and balanced so it won’t roll.

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At this point, I’m mostly doubting that crotch pouches and boob pouches are so easily interchangeable.   And, since I make all my decisions on the fly, I’m wondering if I have enough of this yarn to get me where I need to be.   We’ll just have to wait and see.  I’m skeptical but still pressing onward.

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I haven’t frogged this cowl yet, either.  I keep thinking maybe if I look at it longer, these colors will grow on me.  Or maybe if I add more colors, the ones that clash now will, suddenly, start to work harmoniously together.  Maybe??

Or maybe I just need to start something else as my easy, obviously it’s going to work project.  It’s Friday and Friday’s are for casting on, after all!

Anything to distract from the reality of the world, right now.  I’m very thankful that dithering over did I pick the right color yarn is the worst of my worries right now.  I hope everyone out there in knitlandia is as lucky.  Stay safe, folks!

 

 

Shelter in Place: Day 8

Shelter in Place: Day 8

Current Mood:  A little ranty.

Shit is getting real outside.  I went out for a walk early this morning before the masses descended upon the sidewalk.  This was the first thing I saw out the door.  Right in front of my building.  Right in front of my car.   It was the only one of the block though.

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I gotta say, if only one car on the block is going to get broken into, I don’t mind if it’s the most expensive vehicle out there.  That will most definitely never be my car.  Also, this is a Tesla.  How the fuck do you street park a Tesla?  I see this particular car on the block all the time.  It’s one of two Tesla’s on the block, actually.  They clearly live in the neighborhood but still, shouldn’t you be parking that thing in your garage??  Leave the street parking to those of us slumming it in our gas guzzlers.

Then I went down the street a bit and saw this…

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Hit the tree, took down a sign on a thick post and left lots (most?) of the bumper scattered down the street.   Seeing these things, it’s no wonder that this is what’s become of local businesses…

At least the guy with the plywood supply and the neat stencil will be making a few bucks!  The playgrounds have all been closed…

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And since we’re doing all of this to flatten the curve but no one is showing us any curves, I’ve taken it upon myself to track & chart the local data they’re providing us.  Of course, the testing issues make all the data suspect but it’s what we’ve got.

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You don’t have to be a math major to know that’s not a flat curve.  It could certainly be worse, so fingers crossed.

As if all that wasn’t enough, I may have made a very poor color decision with my cowl.

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The yarn is Zombie Yarns, Monster.  It came as a set, 4 half skeins of DK weight yarn.  They’re okay together in that they are all bright saturated colors.  They belong in the same palate.  I’m just not sure they all belong in the same project.  We’ll see.  I’m not convinced the transition from green & purple to blue & white was a good idea but mini skeins only go so far…and I’m not ready to rip it out (yet).

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Here’s a potentially good thing.  I pulled some Pashmina in Cosmic Wonder Dust from the stash.  I’m going to knit a Ripple Bralette out of it.  If I’m going to spend the next couple weeks in lounge wear, cashmere boobs need to happen.  I haven’t cast anything on in 48 hours…I’m due.

And here’s a good giggle…someone has written a hat pattern to knit a coronavirus has!  LOL!  Find it on Ravelry HERE! It’s worth a click!

 

Shelter in Place: Day 7

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Shelter in Place: Day Seven

Current Mood:  At least there’s still toilet paper.

And knitting.

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I’ve bound off the body of my sweater.  I’m still bowled over by all this green.  I love it.  I also love the simple details of this edging.  Nothing complicated just a garter stitch edge with a few slipped stitch details and a tidy i-cord bind off.   Everything lays flat naturally, no worry about blocking that shit out.  It’s perfect!

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Next up, Sleeves!  I took a little break though.  I have trouble as a monogamous knitter.  I don’t even pretend.  Plus: a week at home and no new cast on??  That’s just not right.

Pro Tip:  Keep an eye on Ravelry’s Hot Right Now list.   There have been loads of generous designers offering new, free patterns for the quarantined & locked down.  The Hot Right Now list is just like it sounds…a snapshot of what Ravelers are looking at right now.  It’s a great feature on a normal day.  It’s been even better over the last week.  It’s got high turnover, nothing stagnates.  It’s been a wide variety of designs by an even wider variety of designers.  A lot of them have even been free.

This is how I found Nancy Marchant (Brioche Queen’s) latest design, the South Beach Cowl.  It’s a Double Tuck Stitch cowl.  I’m down with brioche but I’ve never ventured into the broader tuck stitch family.   It seemed like a fun palate cleanser.

If you’re familiar with brioche, imagine a modification that works each row twice…row 1 is and since brioche already works each row twice, I guess this means we’re really passing each stitch four time to ‘work’ one row?  That sounds dreadful but it’s actually kind of fun.   Each Sl1Yo gets worked twice so when you come back to BrK (or BrP) you’ve got three strands to knit (or purl) together, instead of two.   POW!  Mind Blown!

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It’s fun to mess around with.  I’m continually amazed how many variations there are for the humble knit stitch.  That’s not what I ended up casting on though. Turns out, I don’t need that much excitement in a new project.  The swatching was fun but this cowl calls for the stitch to be done over six stitches,  sort of 4 tuck stitches and 2 ribbed stitches.  It was too uneven.  It’s like K3, P2 ribbing…my brain just can’t.  The asymmetry is more than I can handle.  I can never find a syncopated rhythm like that when I knit, so it ends up being a fight and I nope out.

Ultimately I went for a plain brioche cowl but I picked some fun colors!  It’s rejuvenated me enough to tackle at least one sleeve!

And, I found a little cross stitch suggestion I wrote down and stuffed into a pocket a couple weeks back.  I have definitely not run out of craft projects yet!

Shelter in Place: Day Three

Shelter in Place: Day Three

Current Mood: Still doubting I’ll ever get bored.  However, cabin fever is real.

Living in one room is great in the ‘I only have one room to clean’ context.  It’s not like I can go upstairs or even into another room though.  I predict a large scale furniture rearrangement project in the near future.   At least I can fake it!

Then again, with this project on the needles, I don’t look at the walls much anyhow.  Maybe I won’t even notice my stagnant scenery.  This gradient is even better than I dreamed it could be!  I am really loving these colors!!

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This sweater is a cardigan I started back in August, 2019.  It’s a collection of green, speckled, indie yarns that I impulse bought, one skein at a time, over a period of 18 months.  By limiting myself to one color, I figured I’d be able to come up with some kind of fade sweater.  Turns out, I should have been following this method all along!

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I did swatch my colors, so I had some kind of idea.  There’s a lot of ways for a sweater to go wrong, though.  I’m fading my colors from the top down in a marled style, holding two strands together and then switching one out at a time.  So far, so good!

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I’m using another sweater that I like as a guide for the length.  This is totally a lazy way to take measurements.  I approve.  I’m just beginning my bottom edging.  A few more inches and the body will be done!

Also happy to report, I remembered to put short rows up at the top so the back of my neck will get a bit more coverage.  I did a quick fitting and yes, confirmed…my short rows worked and I’m getting close to finishing the body.

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Hopefully I’ll be working on the sleeves by this weekend!  I’ve still got plenty of yarn.  Haven’t decided how I’m going to do the sleeves yet.  Maybe 3/4 sleeves.  This decision will be my excitement on Day 6.  Stay tuned, it’ll be more fun than watching potatoes grow.

 

Shelter in Place: Day Two

Stitches was waaaaaaay back in February.  You know, two weeks ago.  Seems so much longer now.  It was certainly a different time.  I was socially distancing back then but for the normal, I just hate crowds reasons.  I waited until the last day to go and breezed through in a couple hours.

For the second year in a row, I bought no yarn.  It’s true.  NO yarn.  TWO years in a row.  I did get a cool patch though.

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And I took many yarn pictures.  I’m even more convinced that Pantone mis-labeled Classic Blue as the color of the year this year.  Let’s face it, that’s thinly veiled reference to the November election, not an accurate prediction of the color people are naturally drawn to.  No, sorry Classic Blue, I like you but you are not color of the year.  The actual color of the year is Chartreuse.  Please see my supporting evidence:

See???  Clearly I’m right.  I even took pictures of non-chartreuse yarn to prove I didn’t have complete tunnel vision.

There were a lot of great notions & bags too.  I really appreciated this one particular artist.  I told myself I’d remember the name but of course, I didn’t.

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There were probably 10-12 different drawings on a range of bags from notion pouch up to project bag.  Loved them all.

And of course, there were samples to be tried on all over the place.

I’m much smarter when pattern details are involved…just take a picture!

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I liked the Rose Candy Cowl!  It’s a bandana sort of cowl with an interesting construction, to be expected from Martina Behm.  I’ve been wearing my 3-Color Cashmere Cowl a lot the past few months.  It’s definitely been thinking about making more cowls recently.  This is a strong contender.

I also liked this brioche business…

I don’t think I’m serious about knitting this one though.  It’s fun to look at but I probably need two coronavirus quarantines to finish something like this.  **knock on wood**  Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Work kept me pretty busy today but I think by tomorrow, I’ll have visible progress on my sweater! Pictures will be taken so come back to see!

 

Shelter in Place: Day One

Shelter in Place:  Day One.

Pretending as if nothing is out of the ordinary.

I’ve got enough yarn for a viral apocalypse AND a zombine apocalypse, consecutively!  I think I’ve got food and toilet paper for a few days.  Long enough that the currently empty stores in SF should have time to restock.  Hopefully.  The panic shoppers will run out of storage space momentarily.  This is still San Francisco…72 mega rolls take up a lot of space in apartments that don’t have space for a bathtub.

No, instead of dwelling on the fact that I haven’t had a bathtub for 17 years and today is the day I find myself REALLY wanting a nice hot soak, I’m focusing on optimism.   I always want more time to myself.  I like wearing pajamas all day.

This is all going to be fine.  I will read up on science shit for work.  I’ll take naps.  And then of course, there’s knitflixing and crafternooning.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  This sounds like a lovely day to me.  There will definitely be green knitting.

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My local pub is still doing take out too…fish & chips can totally happen today.

Let’s hope this calm continues.  3 Weeks is a long time.   In the meantime, come back tomorrow for Stitches West pictures.  I’ve been sitting on them but I’ve finally got plenty of time to share!

(and check out my newly updated 2020 Cross Stitch Gallery...expect more of that during this shelter in place too!)