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!

Stitches West & Beyond

February has been a total whirlwind!  I knew going back to work would happen quickly, when it did happen.  I knew my creative time would take a hit but man, I forgot what a disaster everything else becomes too!

I used to laugh at the parade through my building on Saturday mornings.  First thing…take out the garbage.  Without fail, every Saturday morning, half the building takes out it’s trash.  Then they all parade through the laundry room.  Then it’s the parade to the grocery store.  As you can imagine, it is with great reluctance that I re-join this parade.  It’s all coming back to me though.  I’ve usually gotta work a trip to the post office in there, too.

I’ve been forcing myself to knit at least a few stitches in the evenings.  Slowly, I’m getting back into the swing of maximizing my time.  I’ve finished a bunch of small instant gratification projects recently, hats and toys.  I’ve got a new Dotted Rays shawl on the needles, too…but I’ve had no movement on my steeked sweater.  It is still zipper-less.

 

And then Stitches happened!  Phew!  I’m nearly recovered.  It was a good time and, I’m happy to report my ‘Carrying Coal to Newcastle’ approach worked.

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I filled my bag with stash yarn from home, just as little reminder that I have plenty of great yarn and there’s no need to buy anymore.   It totally worked!  I did not buy yarn at Stitches!  I did buy a couple trinkets…a Willie cool patch and a cute tin with a few little stitch markers.  The flying alpaca-corn became the perfect zipper pull for my notions bag!

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Check out this slideshow to see all my Stitches pictures.  Without serious yarn shopping to do, I took a lot of pictures and looked at lots of samples.  I doubt I even saw half the market floor though.

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And so, another Stitches is in the books.  I’m looking forward to next year when, hopefully, I’ve lifted my self imposed ban on stash acquisitions.  I’m super inspired and motivated to do lots of knitting in March!

Ready…Set…GO!

A New WIP

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It’s been a busy week!  Without my cell phone camera roll, I’d never be able to remember it all!

Partially because I’ve imposed a ‘no knitting at home’ rule for myself as I prepare for the upcoming Etsy Holiday Emporium.  I’ve got lots of cross stitching to do and that doesn’t travel well.  It made the divide seem easy…cross stitch at home and then get my knitting fix with a travel project whenever I’m out and about.

Turns out, I really still want to knit and I’ve been able to come up with lots of excuses to leave the house!  LOL!

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When I left you last, I was contemplating this swatch.  It’s not bad but I wanted something better than ‘not bad’.  In a rush out the door, I grabbed a few half balls that were calling to me and this swatch was born.

It’s perfect – irresistible fall colors!  I could not wait to get my needles clicking on this one!  It’s a Stephen West shawl (of course!), Striped Esjan.  It’s been in my queue for a long time.  I’ve emulated it’s loopy edge is several of my own shawl explorations.  I’ve certainly thought about it enough.  It’s about time I actually knit one!

It’s been a great carry along project.  Once I got started, I couldn’t put it down.  I’ve taken it to the movies, to the beach, to the park, several bars.  Yes, I’m finding plenty of excuses to take it out of the house.  So much for rules, eh?

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VKL SF

It’s time!  Vogue Knitting Live is finally here.  Nearly a decade after Vogue started hosting these events, San Francisco is getting it’s weekend.  Woooo!

 

And I’m ready…my homework is officially done!  Blocked, ends woven…the whole shebang.  I’m taking Franklin Habits steek & zipper class.  No chance I’d show up to meet Franklin Habit with unblocked homework?!?  I’ve done both zippers and steeks successfully, so it won’t be anything new to me but I’m hoping to pick up some finesse from Franklin.  He’s a detail oriented fellow, known for recreating intricate vintage knits.  He’s got an interesting blog, hopefully one day he revives it.

I’m looking forward to his class.  It seems like everyone loves him so the bar is set high!  I’ll also be attending a sheep to skein talk by Clara Parkes.  She’s no slouch herself…as the author of the Knitter’s Book of Wool (among many other’s), she’s clearly an expert.  I have a feeling she’s not going to disappoint either.

Now that my homework is done, I feel deadline-free for the first time in nearly a month!  I can knit anything I want!  Wooooo!  I’d like to finish my Dragon Fade shawl, but it’s huge at this point.

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I’m 60 rows or so from the end.  I really want to finish it but it’s become a bit of a wrestling match.  Two balls of yarn attached, all the unwoven ends, the 8 feet of fabric attached to the needles.  I need to leave it at home.   It’s too much.   I’m ready for something new.

This time I reached for the bag of cashmere.  I’ve got some 100% cashmere, DK weight, from Noro.  A single fiber and a single color…very unusual for a Noro yarn.  I’m messing around with a swatch, I’ve got a few other cashmeres I could add in.  Ultimately, I’m heading towards a cowl, inspired by the 3-Color Cashmere Cowl.  I’m changing the gauge and I expect I’ll make some other modifications along the way.

It should be the perfect convention knitting!  Bring on the weekend and VKL!  Woo!

WIP it Wednesday

Happy WIP Wednesday!  That’s so much better than thinking of it as Hump Day, especially when there’s new WIPs involved!

This week I’m all about new travel knitting.  Easy stitches and simple patterns are the name of the game.  And of course, a bit of stash busting.  I just love a pile of half balls.

First up, a quick mitered square baby blanket.  It’ll be done before I know it (largely because I don’t have enough yarn, I’m ignoring that though.)

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I weighed the yarn I did have and divided it up into four equal portions, one for each mitered square.  I’ve got almost 3 squares finished!  Gotta love size 7 needles.  These squares are practically knitting themselves.

It’s really just a palate cleanser while I pondered my next shawl, which started with a pile of oddballs.  At first it’s just throwing yarn in a pile.

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Over the course of a few days, it gradually figures out a color scheme.

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And then the fine tuning begins.  Colors are added and subtracted.  More stash is pulled out from the depths.  I start to wind up new skeins.

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I really love where these colors ended up!  I think I’ve found the perfect progression for a fade!  It’s a bit of a dragon in my mind.  A splash of green for the tail, then fading purple through the body, up into a grey head.  I love it!!

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Yes, this is going to be fun and it’s garter stitch!  Wooo!  The pattern is Match & Move from Martina Behm (of Hitchhiker fame).  The ultimate result is a triangle, worked sideways.  I’m excited to really get this one under way!


 

WIP Wednesday

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After months of threatening, my next sweater is, finally, on the needles!  It doesn’t look like much yet but it’s gonna be perfect!  I can say this with authority because it’s a nearly identical copy of my last sweater.

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The pattern is Vivido by Carol Feller.  It’ll be my fourth one.  It’s a cardigan with raglan shaping and a shallow v-neck.  Nothing fancy, just a sweater that is comfortable and looks good.  It’s easy knitting and easy math when doing gauge conversions.  I really couldn’t ask for more.  Unless maybe someone wants to knit it for me?  :)

As for the yarn, I’m keeping the same stripes (Noro Rainbow Roll) but changing the main color (unspun Icelandic Plutolopi) from brown to navy blue.  I’m actually expecting it to be significantly different.  You never know what’s going to happen with Noro stripes, after all.  I can’t wait to see it develop…the ‘stripes make you knit faster’ phenomenon has definitely kicked in!  I’m making good progress.

Of course, I am easily distracted and this also fell onto my needles yesterday…

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It’s been 3 months since I knit a Hitchhiker.  It’s definitely time for another one!  This is my 15th Hitchhiker, one of nearly 30,000 on Ravelry.  I assume you already know how awesome this pattern is but in case you don’t…it’s awesome.  There are literally 29,670 Hitchhiker projects on Ravelry.  Imagine the people who don’t maintain Rav Notebook pages?!?  There could be 50,000 Hitchhikers in the world!  It’s amazing!  That’s just how perfect it is.

Here’s the pitch, just in case you need it…

It’s garter stitch, gotta love no purls!  The pattern is committed to memory easily.  It’s perfect for difficult yarn…that variegated skein you just couldn’t resist but turns into a horrible nightmare every time you attempt to knit with it.  The Hitchhiker’s continually growing rows in combination with the garter stitch tame those hard to use yarns.  From horrible pooling and clown barf to lovely scarf in no time at all.  And, perhaps most important, it’s easy to wear and always looks great.

Be warned though:  this is knitter’s crack.  You will be hooked.  Once is not enough.  The addiction is real.  ;)