AFO Friday #2

Last week AFO Friday was Almost Finished Friday.  This week the “A” is for Actually Finished!  Woooo!

2017-11-05_16-33-14_735

I have fully and completely, knit the same sweater two times.  Cat Sweater #1.  Cat Sweater #2.

2017-11-09_22-35-04_970

(the time change sure has killed my chances of taking good knitting photos!)

The pattern is called Professor Meow, from KnitPicks.  It was an easy knit.  There’s no shaping.  The intarsia is not outrageous.  The gauge is bulky.  There are no sleeves.  The finishing work is minimal.  Overall I give the pattern two thumbs up.

Interestingly, I did knit the EXACT same sweater.  Or rather, I knit the same number and type of stitches, just in different sizes.  One of these sweaters is for my sister.  I’m a bit wider than she is.  Instead of knitting two different pattern sizes, I decided I would knit the same size on different needles.  I went from a size 9, up to a size 10.5.

2017-11-09_22-37-31_439

The pattern is written ‘knit to XYZ inches’, so the length doesn’t change.  I was surprisingly consistent on that part. The kitty on the right is definitely wider though, the effect of the larger needles.  So, turns out, yes, gauge does matter.

2017-11-09_22-33-00_760

Behind my lovely sweaters, you may have noticed my finished Log Cabin Blanket. It hasn’t changed much from the last progress photos.

It made a nice cat sweater photo shoot backdrop though.

2017-11-09_22-35-57_168

And of course, the little paw print on the back.  So cute!

The best part of this sweater isn’t it’s cuteness though.

It’s the crazy factor.

I wore my new sweater out and about on Sunday.  It was an Open Studio weekend so I walked all around, from studio to studio looking at ridiculous art.  I wasn’t inspired by any of it.  Disliked it all.  But, I was inspired by all the crazy old ladies who liked my sweater.  Hearing their praise was a nice reminder that I march to the beat of my drummer for a reason…might as well celebrate it.  I couldn’t wear designer clothes even if my life depended on it.  I can, however, knit myself a cat sweater.

2017-11-05_12-15-59_090

My sister doesn’t live close enough to have a twinsy day…at least not yet.  I’m really looking forward to when it happens though.  If one person does it, it may be crazy.  If two people do it, it’s a movement!

2017-11-09_22-38-15_903

And, I’ve started my next goofy garment, finally.  The so-called Bill Murray sweater is underway.

2017-11-09_07-13-33_642

If this works out, I’m going to be quite pleased with myself!  I’ve only got a month to finish it, so stay tuned for progress tout de suite!


 

FO Friday – More Tom Petty Cross Stitch

2017-10-23_20-44-39_585

My latest cross stitch is, once again, Tom Petty themed.

For the uninitiated, this is the text of a hidden track, from the Full Moon Fever album.  CDs were the new big thing when this album came out.  Certainly still a novelty for 11 year old me.

This was probably the first hidden track I ever heard, even if I didn’t know that’s what it was called.  And, the background to the track was barnyard animal sounds.  It was pretty much tailor made for a kid.  I loved it.

Turns out, I still love it as an adult.  And when it occurred to me that a CD is round just like an embroidery hoop…well, done deal!

Laying out the chart was the most time consuming part of this.  Here’s a peek at my process…

2017-10-15_11-36-33_114

I charted the the text and then cut the pieces out for easy manipulation.  The only downfall of cross stitch is all the counting.  There’s really no way around that.  I’m slowly figuring out my anything goes approach is okay with knitting.  Not okay with cross stitch.  This piece was worth it!  I can’t wait to add it to my wall.

Here’s the current state of the cross stitch wall…2017-10-22_09-07-21_020

It’s filling in but I have plenty of free space to go!

My next dead songwriter is Warren Zevon.  He’s a treasure trove of amazingness, perfect for cross stitching.  I’ve got some ideas…oh yes. I never seem to run out of ideas.  I can’t wait to work on them! TGIF!


 

Marled Magic FO

marled magic shawl westknits mkal

You’ve seen lots of snippets of this one but here it is, finally, in all of it’s Marled Magic glory!  It’s amazing!  Several people have worn it and much to my surprise, they have all pulled the crazy marled mish mosh off.  It’s not over-whelming or too busy to wear.  It really is Marled MAGIC!

2017-10-01_16-40-36_018

The yarn is totally chaos.  It’s Unicorn Tails from MadTosh.  It’s Hedgehog Sock and Hedeghog Skinny Singles.  It’s MadTosh Twist.  It’s Westernsky Knits MCN.  It’s some crazy purple mohair.  It’s yarn my Mom dyed.  It’s Lana Grossa Lace Lux.  It’s some Miss Babs scraps.  It’s Superior Cashmere.  It’s Anzula Haiku.   It’s an amazing pool of color.  I have no idea how it works but somehow, it does!

2017-10-01_16-37-10_753

The braid took a bit of practice, but it was worth the effort!  I love it!

marled magic tassle braid westknits

The tassel is super fun and watching Stephen’s video on how to do to it was super easy (and helpful)!

marled magic icord bind off

I cord bind off.  Even where 4 sections come together, this design was easy to execute neatly.  I really appreciate Stephen’s eye for the details we don’t really see because he gets them right.   The geometry of this thing is amazing and it all comes together easily.

2017-10-01_16-36-14_566

I’m definitely knitting another one of these.  Single stranded, all blues.  I can’t wait!  It’s super fun knitting.  I highly recommend it!

It’s a new week and I am under my 10 project limit.  I think I only have 8 right now.  New week = new cast on??  We’ll see…maybe I’ll have a new WIP on Wednesday!  :)


 

FO Friday – RIP Tom Petty

Like everyone else, I’m bummed about Tom Petty.  He’s one of the few people who could still put out an entire album worth listening to, on repeat, all day.   Naturally, he’s been in heavy rotation here at the FogKnits’ headquarters this week.

There isn’t much ‘Tom Petty Knitting’ but his songs sure are quotable…

2017-10-04_21-07-09_154

…and that lends itself to cross stitch, easily.

2017-10-05_20-06-06_196

I like cassette tapes.  I didn’t really have any particular reason for going with the tape.  Then, I listened to Full Moon Fever.  It was one of the first CDs I ever had.  By which, of course, I mean one of the first CDs my Mom ever had.  In any event, it got listened to constantly.

I nearly forgot about the hidden track.  I loved that when I was a kid.   Tom gave us a moment to stop and consider how convenient CDs were.  No stopping to flip the tape.  Ha ha!  It just cracked me up.  It still does.  The perfect, unexpected surprise in the middle of a CD, which was already a thing wonder.

Hello CD Listeners…

2017-10-05_20-49-41_742

And an embroidery hoop is round like CD.  That can’t be a coincidence.  I’ve got a tape.  Now, time for a CD.  Yes, it’s a bit wordy but my next idea has been born!

RIP Tom, I hope you like being immortalized in bathroom cross stitch!


 

Rules are made to be broken.

Back in the day, when I was doing a lot of yarn bombing, I had two rules:  No Trees and Nothing Politics.  Well, needless to say, given the political strife of late, I’ve relaxed one of those rules.

Last week’s bike rack cozy was my first political yarn bomb.  It went on the bike rack just outside my local watering hole.  This is the same pub that hosts my weekly knitting group.  I’ve yarn bombed this particular corner quite a few times.  Both of these lasted more than a year:

So imagine my surprise when my hot pink political statement was gone in 4 days!

2017-08-29_09-19-22_653

I wasn’t particularly happy with the lettering.  It’s duplicate stitch turned on it’s side.  It was weird.  It stretched funny.  I don’t mind that it’s no longer on display.

I’m not even that mad it got taken down so quickly.  Knowing I pushed someone’s button enough to see it and then return later with scissors to cut it off, I enjoy that bit.  Especially because I already had another yarn bomb ready to go.

2017-09-05_20-20-09_516.jpeg

I tried a lot of different methods for the lettering.  Ultimately I decided on this free hand, skewed back stitch.  I didn’t follow a chart so it went fast.  I just kinda winged it, making sure all my lines had a slant to them.  I did this to keep the letters from falling into the ditch between stitches.  They would get completely lost so this was an attempt to fix that.

Not only did I fix the problem, I improved the situation, if I do say so myself. I really like it.  It’s accidentally punk!  It’s got a bit of edge.  It’s not just cutesy and soft.  It’s an homage to the graffiti ancestors that inspired it.

2017-09-05_22-52-51_366

So, Random Neighborhood Trump Lover, thanks for cleaning up my trash!  This second one is even better!  Now, lets see how long it lasts.

I have a feeling the third one (let’s face it, there IS going to be a third one.) will be even better because, nevertheless, I persist.


 

FO Friday – Pussy Hat

2017-08-27_20-59-20_407

My week started with days 5 & 6 of sitting for jury selection.  If you’ve never had to sit through the process, let me tell you, it’s absolutely maddening.  It’s slow, repetitive and inefficient.  The pool stated with ~250 potential jurors.  At the end of day 6 when the jury was finally selected, I was still sitting in the gallery with 7 other lucky SOBs.  I’m happy it’s over.  I’m happy to not be on the jury but I’m an idiot for showing up in the first place.  And then to sit there for six days, only to realize they wouldn’t have known if I was missing.  Aaarrrggghhh!  It’s the cherry on the insult cake that was this week.

I got me a bit worked up.  The Bite Me cross stitch helped with the relaxation process though.  Something about the repetitive stabbing motions…

and I managed to get a bit of knitting done.  I finished my long overdue Pussy Hat.

2017-08-29_22-20-28_377

The yarn is White Birch Fiber Arts SW Merino, in a worsted weight.  It’s a generous skein so I’ve got yarn left for a second hat.  I think I made this one just a touch too long.  I think square hats should be a bit shorter than a regular hat.  It makes the ‘ears’ pop a bit more.  I wanted to end with a black stripe though.  I might walk on the wild side and end the second hat on a pink stripe?!?

Then again, I may never get to it because I’m loving the Marled Magic so much!  I’ve finished the YO, K2tog mesh section and I’ve moved on to the seed stitch section.

I started off with a kitchen sink colorway.  I just threw all my little scraps into section 1.  Anything that was only going to last for a few rows.

2017-08-31_19-39-33_828

For the seed stitch section, I’ve moved to a mostly green set of colors.

2017-08-31_19-38-56_905

As usual, I’m not planning anything, just letting it happen.  It’s happy place knitting and after all the jury duty rage knitting I’m ready for a little happy place action!

And just in time for Labor Day weekend!  My favorite weekend in SF all year long…the place clears out!  The kids all go to burning man!  It’s awesome.  The city is calm and quiet.  And this year, even with temps predicted in the 80’s, it’ll be cool compared the 110’s predicted for the east bay.  Yikes!  That is warm!

If anybody needs me I’ll be in the fog.  Knitting!


 

WestKnits Sunday

2017-08-20_11-16-26_937

My Dotted Rays with a Speckle Fade is done!  It’s definitely my new favorite thing!

I love the chevron border with it’s high contrast!  The purple yarn is MadTosh EuroSock and it’s parter in striping was a skein of Magpie Fibers MCN.  It’s super soft.  I don’t mind having leftovers from that skein!

2017-08-20_11-18-12_225

 

The body is four colors, starting over at the upper right corner, faded together.  Hedgehog Fibers Skinny Single in Boombox!  Western Sky Knits MCN!! and then two skeins of Hedgehog Sock.  I was unimpressed with the Hedgehog Sock.  It was very think and rather splitty.  I can’t imagine knitting actual socks with it.  I’d need quadruple zero needles for that.   No, I think my money is on the Skinny Single in the future.

Like all good shawls though, it’s only exciting until the next one comes off the needles.  With that in mind, I’ve started my next WestKnit.

2017-08-27_13-01-11_106

I culled at the skinny little scraps and half balls from the stash.  Sometimes I think the only reason I use fresh skeins is to turns them into leftovers.  I really love scrap projects!

2017-08-27_16-46-46_953

This one is Stephen West’s Spring 2017 MKAL.  I didn’t have time to do it then and I was still bummed about not loving the Building Blocks MKAL in the fall.  This one is called Marled Magic!  Despite kicking off with my least favorite stitch — YO, K2tog mesh, I knew I wanted to knit this shawl when I saw what Stephen did with all those ends on the side.

The tails are all cut at deliberate lengths.  Instead of weaving them all in at the end (nightmare!!) they’ll be braided together down the center of the shawl, into a big tassel off the point.  It’s a clever little treatment.  I can’t wait to try it out.  I’m willing to deal with a tassel for it!

Tomorrow, it’s back to jury duty.  UGH.  At least I’ll have knitting time!