FO Friday – Jury Duty Sucks

I’ve had jury duty this week.  I started the week thinking I enjoyed the process and I was not opposed to being on a jury.  And then, reality set in.  Four days of being called to the courthouse, four days of zero progress, four days of bullshit from lawyers.

Despite the knitting time provided by constant waiting, I’m still rather hostile.  Especially because it’s not over and I have to return on Monday.  UGH.  Not happy.

Instead of focusing on the bullshit that makes me hostile, I’ll focus on the knitting.  I was able to knit an entire bulky brioche cowl, so there’s that.

This is two balls of the yarn that shall not be named, in two different colorways.  I wish I was knitting with something less squeaky and splitty.  Nicer yarn may have improved my attitude.  I wasn’t sure about security though.  Might as well have it be the yarn from the time out corner get confiscated, if that was necessary.  The good news of the week:  courthouse security doesn’t mind knitting!

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Another bright spot:  the colors really look fantastic in brioche!  I didn’t like either of these colorways individually.  The sum of the parts is certainly greater than the whole, in this case.  I’m pleased.

And it was a great way to interact with my fellow hostages jurors.  After day one, people starting coming to check on progress at each break.  It’s interesting to see relationships developing in the gallery.  Crisis really does bring people together.

The cowl is generously sized so it even pulls down over the shoulders.  This yarn really pains me because it’s not bad to wear…how can the process be so horrible but the garment not?   I actually think this is going to get some wear.

There’s my courtroom selfies.  I was trying to avoid being seen by the bailiffs.  They never stopped me from knitting but they were definitely busting people with phones.

While we’re talking FOs from yarn that shall not be named, I finished this scarf a while back.  It’s a ‘shawl in a ball’ yarn and this is the recommended pattern.  An easy garter stitch boomerang.  Again, not a fan of the yarn but the FO doesn’t necessarily reflect that.  That’s just how good I am.  LOL.

And now, time for work.  I’m really happy to be going to work today.  Perspective is everything!  Happy Friday!


 

Actual Knitting Content

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One more tease before I actually have FO pics to share.  This is the chevron edge of my WestKnits Fadealong Shawl, a faded Dotted Rays!  It’s amazing!  And you’ll always be able to find me in a crowd when I wear it!  Hopefully it’ll make FO Friday this week!

As for projects on the needles, don’t worry…got plenty of those too!

2017-08-18_18-08-37_782Finally started a pussy hat for myself.  I don’t like pink so I figured if I’m doing it, I should really do it.  It’s from White Birch Fiber Arts.  Her yarns are amazing but typically sock yarns.  The striping definitely works best for socks so I didn’t have much reason to buy her yarns.  Until…I found worsted weight at her booth during Stitches!  Woot!  Instant Pussy Hat Gratification here I come!

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And, I’ve got the last of the horrible acrylic that shall not be named cast on too!  I was summoned for jury duty yesterday.  Not knowing what courthouse security would be like, I opted for the yarn I wouldn’t miss in the event of confiscation.  No worries there though.  I got to hurry up and wait with all the knitting I wanted!

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Doing a basic brioche in the round cowl with it.  I’m really loving the color play.  I don’t necessarily like either of the colorways on their own but together in two color brioche, they’re really shining!  So, back to the courthouse today, hopefully I can squeeze in more knitting time.  The judge might want our attention though.  Who does he think he is?

And here’s a couple random photos I’ve been meaning to share.  There’s a large yarn bombing installation down by city hall.  The goal of this civic minded project (because it’s a paid art installation, with lots of public input) is to connect the sprawling Civic Center Plaza with UN Plaza across the street.  I don’t think they’ve accomplished that goal.  Not to mention, if yarn bombing alleviated the problems created by homeless drug addicts leaving biological excretions on the sidewalks, San Francisco could be a much, much, cleaner city.

At any rate, before I go off on too many tangents, here’s the pictures.  It’s kinda fun.  They think it’s going to be there for 2 years.  I think they have no idea how much maintenance it’s going to require.

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It looks good for now though.

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Super Secret FO Revealed

Once upon a time, my weekly knitting group decided no one ever knits for knitters, so we should knit for ourselves.  Each year at the holiday party, we draw names and six months later at our anniversary party, we swap gifts in the form of things we’ve knit for each other.

I’ve received some terrific knitted items, a pair of socks, a felted bag that I carried everywhere for at least a year, a westknits cowl that I never would have knit for myself.

I’ve taken different approaches to what I knit each year.  Sometimes, there are many consultations with other people, will so-and-so like this? Knitting by committee is definitely a thing with a project by a knitter, for a knitter, in a knitting group.  One year, I openly blogged about it.  One year, I forgot to take pictures almost entirely.

5 years of swap collage

This year, it’s been completely secret!  I didn’t share who I picked or what I was knitting at all.  I mean, I told the group I was knitting a pink fringed poncho.  We’re celebrating year 8, pretty sure no one believed me when I said that.

So, without further ado, I present this year’s super secret knitting…the Dragon Wing Cowl!

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Details:  Pattern – Dragon Wing Cowl by Jessie Rayot, Yarn – Cephalopod Yarns Beastie in Man-Eating Tree, My Ravelry Page.

The construction is super fun!  You start off with a long garter stitch rectangle…

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It’s got a series of increases to give you the wing effect.  The spines come from dropping stitches all the way back to the cast on…

 

 

 

and then picking them back up in segments of stockinette stitch…

 

 

 

 

Lots of fun!  and they look great!

 

 

 

Block the points out, add some real bone buttons…

 

 

 

and it’s a cowl fit for a Khalessi!  Thanks to HBO, it seems like I planned this perfectly!

Best news of all, it was very well received and as soon as the recipient put it on, she had styled it better than anything I had managed to do in two months.   That made me very happy! It was super as I finished it but it came to life as soon as she put it on.  It was clearly meant to be!

And in true O.Henry fashion, she was the same person who picked my name!  I’ll show you what she knit me after I’ve had some daylight to take pics!  Hint:  Cat Socks!!


 

FO Sunday

Two things about me…

First, I don’t like being told what to do.  (See:  my inability to follow a pattern.  I’m not gonna let a piece of paper tell me what to do!?!)

Second, I don’t like having my picture taken.

These two things are universal truths about me.  They have always been true and probably always will be.  This is me, in kindergarten.

2017-07-23_10-39-09_323 See?

This photo cracks me up every time.  I’m sure the photographer wanted me to smile.  I’m sure he tried to get me to smile.  Why would I care about that?  I don’t need to be part of the dog and pony show if I don’t want to be.  I’m not smiling and you can’t make me.  LOL.  It’s pretty amazing, actually, that I’ve changed so little.

And so, with that explanation, here’s today’s FO.

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It’s another garter & brioche cowl with the yarn that shall not be named.  I just could not coax myself into smiling though.  I wasn’t feeling it.  OH well.  I tried.  I have a whole slew of pouting outtakes.  That’s just the way some days go.

I do feel bad for people who try to take pictures of me.  I don’t really help the process along.  Even when the photographer is me.  LOL.

 

And, the FO isn’t really that bad either.  While I detest working with the yarn that shall not be named, it’s a much better FO.  Wearing it, you’d never know the passion with which I hate this yarn.   The colors are lovely and there’s not an itch in sight.

As for the pattern, I improvised along the same lines as the last one, provisional cast on, a bit of garter stitch, a bit of brioche (only one color this time), a bit more garter, a bit more brioche, graft the ends together.

I did not intend for this cowl to become a Möbius but it did.  I sort of like it.  It’s certainly not offensive enough to undo it and re-graft it.  That leaves me with 3.5 balls of this yarn left.  I’m thinking another cowl, complete with Möbius modification.  Taller, longer…more around the shoulders.

SO many knitting plans, never enough time.  Happy Sunday!


 

WIP Wednesday

I’m back up to 10 WIPs.  Did you notice how I tried to slide that piece of information right by you?  Buried right under a big pile of stash acquisition!  LOL!  Knitter’s guilt, I tell ya…I think I might have to do a destash — for real.   In the fall, I think.

For now, I’m assuaging my knitter’s guilt by giving one of the older WIPs some long overdue love.  My Rockefeller.  Here’s what it looked like, last you saw…

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I still really like this photo.  It doesn’t bother me that it’s been hanging out on my Ravelry page, right at the top for over a year.  LOL.  I would really like to wear this though.  The yarn is Jade Sapphire’s Sylph — a cashmere-linen blend!  Yummy!

The only bits left to knit are a process knitter’s dream, row after row of striped garter stitch.  There should not be a hangup here.

 

Finger’s crossed that Knitter’s Guilt keeps me motivated!

I’ve also started and nearly finished another cowl with the yarn that shall not be named.

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Even though it’s not totally finished, the knitting is done so really, I’m down to 9 WIPs.

I’ll try not to cast on anything new.  I’m still pretty enamored with my Speckled, Faded, Dotted Rays, so it shouldn’t be too hard!

Despite frequent use of #beerandknitting, the knitting is pretty outstanding!

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I’m going to start fading color #3 tonight!!  Guilt Free!

Come back tomorrow to see my Surpreyes Bag from Stephen!  Not only has it already arrived but it’s awesome!!

FO Friday (on thursday night.)

It’s been an instant gratification kinda week!  I’ve finished a hat and a cowl!

The hat, for a co-worker’s new baby, started over a beer…

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and by the next morning, I had this…

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Nothing fancy, just a little square hat with umbilical cord corners!  Details on Ravelry!

and then, there’s this…

I had fun improvising a pattern…provisional cast on, couple inches of garter stitch followed by 18 inches of two color brioche with a contrasting colorway and grafting the ends together.

I like the vibrancy of the colors.  I gifted it to a friend and she was very happy with it.  The red/orange/rust bits are really her thing.  She’s always wearing cowls and turtlenecks so I’m confident it’s found a good home.

Now, for the complaints.  The yarn is Lion Brand Landscapes and I hate it.  My Mother always taught me not to hate things because hate was a very strong emotion.  Now, I understand why I had to reserve hate for only the very despicable things in life.

Like hideous acrylic yarn.

Ack.  It’s the worst.  Remember Lion’s yarn ‘Homespun’?  It’s like that, only think of fingernails on a chalkboard at the same time.  It’s that bad.

What makes it worse that going to sleep with gum in your mouth and waking up with gum in your hair?  It’s barely spun.  If it were wool, we’d certainly call it roving.  The result of this exceptionally loose single ply is the worst splitting I’ve ever encountered.  When you split wool roving and pull your needle back out, the roving kind of collapses back onto itself, that’s the amazing springy quality we love about wool.

Now imagine 100% acrylic, it’s just strands of plastic laying next to other strands of plastic.  If you accidentally split the yarn, it stays split.  It doesn’t have any bounce to it so reassembling the pieces that were split is quite a chore.  Frankly, it was maddening.

I don’t like to label yarns as ‘splitty’ when so much of it depends on the individual knitter. The best advice to avoid splitting is slow down and be more careful.  I certainly reminded myself of that frequently as I worked this cowl.

Okay, fine.  Maybe it’s not the yarn, maybe it’s me.  Whatever.  I’ll be more careful and I’ll deal with the splits when they do happen.  It’s good to practice one’s patience and understanding, even if it’s with an inanimate object.

Until this happens:

It might be kind of hard to see but if you expand these photos perhaps you’ll see the faint outlines of garter stitch on the left and columns of knits on the right.

These are photos of my bathroom sink after blocking this stupid acrylic cowl.   I thought surely, blocking this thing couldn’t go wrong.  It was literally impossible.  It was designed for the washing machine and I was just giving it a gentle 30 minute soak in cool water, with no additives, just water.

I literally thought to myself ‘at least it’s not MadelineTosh, I know it won’t bleed.’

ha.  Apparently, I don’t knock on wood nearly often enough.

I don’t think the yarn bled, per se.  The blocking bath was entirely clear.  Somehow though, dye transferred from my cowl to my bathroom sink.  WTF, Lion?

I hate this yarn.  I don’t even feel bad saying that.

I really tried but it turns out, I’m a yarn snob for a reason!  I make no apologies!  I counteracted the acrylic by casting on a new project with Hedgehog Fibers!  I’ve been squirreling away skeins all year…it’s time to bust them out!  Tune in tomorrow to see my progress! I’m loving it so far!


 

Double FO Friday

It’s been a busy week!  I knit in a bar.  I knit on a bench.  I knit at a beach.  I knit on a bus.

While, I don’t enjoy 1×1 ribbing, seed stitch is a happy place for me.  This project was my constant companion for the week and I’ve got this to show for it…

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A bulky seed stitch cowl.  It’s a sample for my Learn to Knit classes this fall at the JCC.  (If you’re in San Francisco, there’s still time to sign up.  Details are here!)  Trendy and educational!  Now I can start knitting samples for my second class…Colorwork & Hats! (YAY!  This one is gonna be good.  Dates & times here.)

I’m excited at the prospect of a hat binge.  I finished my Hillary Hat.   (Details on Ravelry!  I’m link crazy today!)

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Much like Hillary’s campaign, I found it to be unsatisfying.  I’m ready for more hat knitting.  And my current WIP count is only 6.  How did that even happen?  Yes, definitely time for a mass cast on.  Plus, it’s the weekend…Happy Friday!!  Woooo!