Shelter in Place: Day 32

Shelter in Place:  Day 32

It’s FO Friday!  WOOO!  After a couple aimless weeks, my knitting mojo is coming back!  I’ve been wearing my new shawl all week.  I finished my first Tensfield hat too!

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This hat is super fun…it’s a no swatch necessary, any gauge you want pattern with an incredibly unique construction.  I love it.   The knitting starts with the striped chevron bit as a flat triangle.  You then join and through a series of short rows, create the crown shaping.

I color blocked the short row sections, for no particular reason but it gives you an idea of how the shaping is working.  The green block that’s off the left side was first.  Then, the large blue section across the back.  Finally, the small green section at the top right.  I’ll definitely be playing with this shaping more!  It’s a great pattern.  I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up!

I’m thinking rainbow stripes for the next one…

Pulled a few more projects out too…a scrappy pile for a shawl and some mini skeins to turn into a ‘quiet book’ for my nephew!  He’s currently loving books, so time to get going on that project.  I’ve been thinking about it since he was born!  Of course, I’ll probably change all of these plans before Monday but at least I’m having fun making piles today!

Have a fun weekend…or don’t.  No pressure.  You do you.  The last thing you need right now is some internet weirdo pressuring you into doing something you aren’t feeling, ya know??  :)

Shelter in Place: Day 29 – FO Tuesday!

Shelter in Place:  Day 29

I finally have an FO!  One that I don’t want to frog!  WOOO!

The pattern is Squish Factor by Astrid Ferrell aka DundeeKnits.

It was a fun stash buster!  I had a couple mini skeins and a few other half balls that all wanted to be together.  This shawl was the perfect choice a stash busting dream!  I wanted to do brioche, but not too much so these alternating bands were just what I needed!  And, it’s got the squish factor big time!  It didn’t disappoint on that front.  It’s light and airy.  I just want to squish and squish and squish.  I’m very pleased with the outcome.   And, it’ll be fun to repeat…I love mixing and matching all the odds & ends in my stash so this is sure to be repeated in my future!

My WIP Queue is nearly empty!  Time to start something new…or rather several somethings…

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!

 

Another Blogiversary!

Time marches on!  Unbelievably, another year has passed.  It’s Bob Marley’s birthday again.  It’s my Mom’s birthday again and it’s yet another blogiversary (5 years!! woo!)  So many happenings for one, otherwise, nondescript day.

Despite my absence here, my needles are still on the go! I have a couple fun finishes to share!

Like Mom’s birthday knit!  She sent me some very skinny cashmere for Christmas.  Thread weight maybe?  Even using size 0 needles, I had to double up the skinny cashmere and add a third strand from my stash to get a reasonable gauge!  It was was worth it though!  Yes, triple stranded on size 0 needles and yet look at that drape!  The fabric here is just perfect!

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I love the marled look, the lightweight fabric and the fun color blocking.  I worked this hat top down, which really helped me design on the go so I didn’t even need a pattern.  I cast on without a real plan and just let the hat tell me what to do.  For example, I ran out of that pink strand of cashmere.  I didn’t lose at yarn chicken.  It was just the hat telling me what it wanted.  The color blocking was meant to be!

Best part:  it even fits right!  Woo! (Details Here:  itty bitty stitches project page)

Then, there’s this beast of an FO:

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Westknits 2019 MKAL, The Starflake!  I love it.  It took forever and spent a lot of time being ignored but once I bound off, it didn’t take long to weave the ends and block it.  I used two yarns both MCNs, (Yoth Little Brother and Sun Valley Fibers fingering weight) so the softness can’t be beat!   And the shape is very wearable.  It situates itself nicely around the shoulders with the tips creating anchors in the front so it’s no-fuss.  I really like that.

I love it.  I was hesitant to join this year’s MKAL but I’m glad I got talked into it!  This is a great shawl.  Westknits really are the best knits!

Way back during Clue 1, I cast on a second version as well.  I’m mid-brioche section on that one.  I can tell I’m going to love #2 even more!  I’ve got a sweater I really want to finish first though.  And I’m working on my first pair of baby longies for my nephew.  and I want to knit a bunch of hats for a trip to Tahoe next month.  And I’ve got a couple other shawls on the needles too.

I’ve got plenty of WIPs to get into shape!  That story will never change…so much knitting, never enough time!  And so, with that, I’m getting back to my needles!  Stay tuned for a Stitches West update…it’s only two weeks away!   I’m going to attempt a second year in a row of no buying yarn?!?!

 

 

All the Shawls

I’m taking a little shawl breather before I start the next round of sweaters!  Finished one for mom, finished one for me and the next one is on the needles already!

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First up, the Corona Shawl, a free crochet pattern from Universal Yarns.  I had fun with this one, despite never really getting  accustomed to the pattern.  Unlike the knitting I do, there were lots of different stitches and the patterning changed nearly every row.  This has definitely given me the confidence to crochet more complicated shawls but I will be looking for charted designs in the future.

I took lots of detail pictures with future crocheters in mind.  In the absence of charts, having Ravelry’s database of photos was incredibly helpful.

The yarn is Lion Brand Mandala.  It’s surprisingly nice for highly affordable acrylic.  The softness is great and the colors are super.  My one complaint though…I wish I could block it.  I’m missing the crispness I could give all these details in a nice, natural wool.  That said, I’m glad it’s crochet and not knit.  I don’t think knit lace would be as forgiving without a blocking.  Ultimately, I think I lucked into this pattern and yarn combo being a winner!  And, as my dentist says, it’s better to be lucky than good!

My second shawl finish is another scrappy, striped Dotted Rays.  Yes, another Dotted Rays.  The first six are not enough.  A 7th was necessary.  I’ll still be saying the same thing when it’s the 10th, the 15th and even the 20th.  I love this pattern.

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It works with any & every yarn.  It’s easily committed to memory.  It’s got about a million options for customization.  It’s easy to wear.  And now I’ve got one for every day of the week!

I wasted no time casting on my next shawl.  Another Stephen West, this time his newly release, Spring Cleaning Shawl.  It’s got all my favorite components, garter stitch, short row wedges and lots of options for yarn customization!

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I’m going fade with this one…starting off with this light color that will eventually fade from the light green with bits of yellow into the blue you see at the i-cord edge.  I’ve got new project excitement at the moment so progress should be quick!  This pattern has modular construction…I think that’ll help it along too.  Fingers crossed because I’m excited about this one! These colors are swoon-worthy!

Overdue Update

Well, Heeeeeelllo!

It’s been a while.  I’ve been busy.  Work, eh?  Takes up all the best hours of the day!  Never fear though…there has still been knitting!  No time to talk about knitting but still time for knitting!  I’ve finished up a bunch of projects too!

Like my Striped Esjan!  It’s awesome.  I’m glad I finally made one!  It’s inspired me to put more holes in my knitting for years now!   The ends aren’t woven and it’s not blocked yet but that has not stopped me from wearing it.  It’s an older WestKnits design.  The big swiss cheese holes have always attracted me to this shawl.  All the increases to create those holes resulted in nearly 1200 stitches in the final rows!  The bind off took an entire day but I’m super stoked to have finished it.  It’s fun to wear.

There’s also my latest nephew knit!  Another sweater for the little man…it’s just a top down raglan with a few stripes for interest.  Hopefully he’ll get plenty of cozy time from it!

The kid is growing like a weed so I had to knit this yarn up quick before he outgrew the 3 skeins I bought!  The yarn is from Swan’s Island’s ecowash collection.  Don’t be fooled by that convenient name, that also sounds like it might be better for the environment than superwash.  This yarn, while listed as washable, is not machine dryable which, for me, negates the whole purpose of being washable.  It behaves like superwash, in that it grows upon washing.  So…poooooooooh.  I should have read the label closer.  As much as I dislike superwash, it’s the way to go for kids clothes.

It’s gonna be a while before I start the next nephew sweater.  It’s going to be a Mini Sunset Highway for his first birthday.  It’s going to be incredibly adorable.  I can’t wait to see him wear it.   But for now it’s on the backburner.  I’m shelving all knitting until May.  That sounds drastic but…

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I’ve been accepted into another street fair, the Bayview Mercantile, April 28th, in San Francisco, at All Good Pizza in the Bayview neighborhood.  Let’s face it, they had me at pizza!  So, no knitting for the next couple weeks while I prep some new cross stitch hoops for the event!

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Luckily, it’s kind of addictive and I’m not upset at this self-imposed ban on knitting.  I have cross stitch ideas faster than I can stitch them so a month long cross stitch binge is just what I need!   My crafty Mom is getting in on the action too..she sent me a big package full of hand dyed aida to stitch on!  The colors are so fun!  I especially love the rainbow stripes!

I love a good pop culture reference.  I still have lots of song lyrics, movie quotes and of course, Game of Thrones quotes on the drawing board…I’m curious about what you’d like to see too!  Leave your suggestions in the comments!

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!