FO Friday – Batad

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In a surprise twist, I’ve got an FO Friday this week.  This is my new Batad.  It’s unexpected because I thought I had more yarn.  Turns out, I don’t.  This is what happens when you let gorgeous yarn languish in the deep recesses of the stash.  I completely forgot, I poached the other skein of Deep, the dark blue color, for a Doodler, way back in 2015.   Fortunately, I still love that shawl lots so no knitter’s remorse here.

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Of course, it also helps that the Batad was at a perfect stopping point.  I was able to bind off with no ill effects whatsoever.  I was only going to add one more wedge, so no harm done really.

This is one of my favorite patterns both to knit and to wear.  It’s Stephen West, of course.  I love it’s no fuss nature.  It stays put with no fiddling and no shawl pins.  I tend to wear it on one shoulder but it’s great as a sort of cape, worn to the back as well.

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It doesn’t hurt that the yarn is MadTosh Pashmina…yay for merino-silk-cashmere blends!  The white speckled color is Cosmic Wonder Dust, my favorite color name ever.  I brought this yarn home for this specific project in 2015.  I have no idea why I didn’t get to it sooner because I can tell already, it’s my new favorite.

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I wore it out last night…complete with ends hanging.  LOL.  At least they were on the inside (unlike the Schitt’s Creek sweater!)  I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who noticed.  I was surprised how many people commented on it.  I shouldn’t be though…I was at a drag show.  Those queens know fashion when they see it!

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And so, my Batad collection has grown.  I still want another one though!  I should probably weave the ends on this one before I wear it again.

“probably”

 

Qiviut FO

I’ve finished my qiviut cowl!  It’s amazing!  It’s the softest thing I’ve ever knit.  It’s warm.  It’s fuzzy.  AND, I don’t have to feed it or clean it’s poop up!  Yes, I’d say qiviut is worth it’s price.  I’m not rushing out to buy more, but if anyone wants to send me some, I’m happy to give you my address!

I used a simple 18 stitch feather and fan repeat.  It’s about as close to lace as I get.  Given the halo of qiviut, it was the perfect choice.  The one thing worse than knitting lace is knitting lace only to have it obscured by the yarn.  I’m happy to have avoided that pitfall.  It might be the most perfect little accessory ever.

And, of course, let’s not forget, the best part of finishing…starting the next big thing! Despite constantly threatening you with a sweater, I’ve started another accessory.  This is going to be a Wonder Woman Wrap.

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I’ve foregone the classic colors in favor of something more wearable.  I’m not into the ketchup & mustard color scheme and I had this gorgeous Sweet Georgia Merino Silk Fine languishing in the stash.  It’s a 50/50 merino/silk blend and an absolute treat to work with.

I mean, it’s not qiviut, but it’ll do…


 

FO Friday – Purple Haze

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This week, Queen Elizabeth is my spirit animal!  Did you guys see her outfit at the royal wedding, last weekend??  An inspired color choice, as always.  I absolutely love it.  Seeing it, reminded me of a skein of yarn I’d picked up a while back.

It’s a skein of Silk Cloud, from Shibui, in color Green Apple.  Their mohair/silk blend.  Perfect for spicing up the uninspired swatch I was working on.  Off I went.

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I cast on a hat and made quick progress.  Unfortunately, I hated it.  My lovely sour green haze was reading yellow.  I hate yellow.  Me and yellow will never be friends.  EVER.  I’m okay with that.  As long as yellow stays waaaaaaaay over on the other side of the room.  Across the hall is actually preferable.

Somehow though, yellow had crept into the room and hopped right up on my needles?!?  WTF? I was not having it.  I swatched a bit of purple but that was really a formality.  I knew I was ripping that horrid yellow out.

Soon enough, I had this…

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aaaahhhhh.  So much better.  So lovely and soothing.  I’m even one of those people who enjoys a bit of pooling.  This was happy place knitting, for sure.  I even got to put a literal cherry on top!

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I’ve been trying to put that green pom pom on something for years.  Nothing every worked but finally, it was meant to be!  This is what I’d been waiting for all along!  It’s perfect!  I’m pretty sure Queen Elizabeth approves.

I wonder, though, about that yellow.  It’s kind of nagging at me…everyone else liked it? Maybe I shouldn’t have been so quick to judge?  And, it turns out, I have enough yarn for another hat, easily.  I haven’t been on a hat binge in a while.  It’s a three day weekend.  Everyone is out of town.  I’m left here, all alone…things might get a little crazy?!  It’s only friday…I’ve got plenty of time to destroy the evidence if it doesn’t work out!

I think I’m going to knit a yellow hat this weekend.  Hope your weekend is equally as interesting!


 

FO Friday – Instant Classic

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The second in my pair of Dotted Rays is now finished!  This is my sixth Dotted Rays so obviously, I like this pattern.  My most worn project of 2017 was this Dotted Rays…

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I knit many shawls a year, it’s pretty unusual for one to be my favorite for so long.  That prompted me to start a new ‘favorite’.  You can’t guarantee something will become a favorite but I stacked the deck as much as I could.  I picked a pattern I love wearing and knitting equally and I picked all my favorite colors from the stash.  It turns out, setting yourself up for success really works!

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Judging by the number of pictures alone, this has to be a favorite.  I just couldn’t stop.

I’m sure it helped that Golden Gate Park is dressed in gorgeous spring green this week!

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And now, it’s time for the weekend! After being virtually monogamous with the Dotted Rays, I plan on fraternizing with ALL the knits the weekend!  My old pal crochet might even get involved!

Happy Friday!  Hope you’re looking forward to your weekend as well!


 

 

 

 

 

Motivated Monday

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Last week’s lack of knitting mojo has definitely passed.  Turns out a new box of yarn from Mom was all I needed!  I thought the qiviut would be the first on the needles but no, I’m far too susceptible to the siren song of color.  Green and purple is such a classic combo, I couldn’t put it down once I’d started.  Brioche was the clear winner and so, a new Askews Me Shawl was born.

It’s a WestKnit, because WestKnits really are the best knits!  The original is only two colors but I’m definitely planning some stripes.

My only concern, it’s a worsted weight yarn.  The pattern is written for DK so not too much a departure but I’ve got a very stiff fabric.  The brioche keeps it cushy so it’s not a bullet proof fabric.  I’m into drape though.  I’m debating going up a needle size or two (which never happens to me??)

While that debate rages on, I decided another cast on was not only reasonable but necessary.

Bitten by the colorful stripe bug, I started another blanket for my impending nephew.  In knitting his first blanket, I remembered why I don’t like knitting blankets.  PURLING.  Yuck.  I’m down with texture, moss stitch, seed stitch, ribbing, yes!  Long straight rows of purls…NO.

The solution to this problem…Steeking!

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Yup, I cast on a blanket in the round.  I’m going to knit the whole thing.  No purls!  NO PURLS!  and then, I’m going to cut it open and turn the cut ends into fringe!  I’ve never been so excited about fringe!

Speaking of the impending nephew, my sister got her first Mother’s Day package this weekend!  And of course, it wasn’t for her at all.  I’m not sure she realizes her days of getting packages are over.  They’re all for the nephew from now on.

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Baby’s first sweater, a stroller blanket and a little sleeping monster.  I finally got his eyes right!  I suspect he’s already become a cat toy.  Good thing I planned on making a whole slew of monsters!

Mom got a new knit for Mother’s Day too.  The latest Dotted Rays had her name on it from the beginning.  As I washed and blocked it, I couldn’t find the sticky sap spots?  I’m not sure how they went away on their own, but I’m glad they did.

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I’m nearing the end of the other Dotted Rays too.  I should finish it this week…assuming I don’t get distracted from all the other knitting.  I mean, I can’t just leave that qiviut to lay around and feel unloved!  No, I’m highly motivated to get some knitting done!

Happy Monday!  Woo!


 

Back in the SF groove

Took a few days but things are just about back to normal around here.  Re-entry is always harsh after vacation but it took me a few extra days.  It was really nice being in New Mexico where the population density is zero.  Coming back to the crowds of San Francisco has made me cranky.  It’s like I forgot how to suppress the urge to slap people while saying ‘get it together, idiot’.   So, it was a rough weekend but, I’ve got it under control now.  Getting back to the knitting routine was imperative!

I knit in public, on several buses and even managed a few FOs. The purple hat is just a basic beanie with a little garter ridge relief kind of design.  Something for the gift box because invariably when a random birthday arrives, everyone’s favorite color is purple, yes?

I put the sleeves on my nephew’s first sweater.  He’s due in July, so he doesn’t even need them.  They were really just a few rows of formality.  I washed it and got ready to block it.  Definitely didn’t need all the blocking mats for this wee sweater.  It’s so tiny!  They call this size 0-3 months.  If it fits him on day 1, I’ll be amazed!

My current WIP is the other dotted rays.   Of the two, this one is definitely my favorite.  I knew it wouldn’t languish, alone, in a corner, after vacation and it hasn’t.  It’s been growing at a rapid pace since I got back.

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So, with all that progress, it’s definitely time to cast on something new.  Here’s my pile of vacation yarn…

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The first thing I grabbed to wind was the Dream in Color.  I got Jilly & Smooshy both with Cashmere.  Obviously.  With Cashmere is always the answer.

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I wanted to cast on the Local Yarn Shawl from Local Yarn Store Day but I don’t think I’ve got the right colors.  At least not right here.  I’ve totally got the right colors somewhere…I just need to get the yarn out and spread it all around.  Any excuse, right?

Any excuse!!


 

Home Again

I woke up last week and a switch had flipped!  It was time to go home.  I did manage a few more tourist stops on the way out though.  New Mexico is a terrific place to drive around.  Especially if you like avoiding interstates!  The landscape is beautiful and there’s nothing but wide open spaces.

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I really loved the drive.  There were a lot of surprisingly perfect places to stop along the way too.  Like the home of Smokey Bear.  Who doesn’t love that bear?

I still remember all the visits from the local fire department when I was a kid.  They’d bring the firetrucks to school and probably told us not to play with matches.  That’s not the part I remember.  I remember the guy in the Smokey suit.  He always said ‘only you can prevent forest fires.’  That’s the part I remember.

Whoever came up with the Smokey campaign was brilliant!  I’m not the only one who got the message…turns out Smokey Bear is the second most recognized international figure, behind only Santa Claus.   Woodsy Owl is totally jealous.  And of course, Smokey was a real bear, rescued from a forest fire after being badly burned.  The marketing campaign came before the real bear, believe it or not!

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It was the perfect little stop.  Visit the Smokey museum, stroll through the little park to stretch the legs.  They even had a picnic spot with a playground for the kids.

My next stop was another science stop.  It was a no-brainer once I saw on the map it had a visitor’s center.  The VLA…Very Large Array.

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It’s a series of 27 satellite dishes each 83 feet across that monitors deep space radio waves. You may recall seeing it in movies like Contact or Independence Day.  Of course, the VLA mission is not to look for alien life but I’m pretty sure they’d find it before anyone in Roswell.

No, their actual mission looks more like this!  They’re responsible for lots of cool deep space images.  This is a recent visualization of the Hercules A galaxy to come from the VLA.  Yay Science!!

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And just to bring it back around to knitting, I did finish my road trip WIP (mostly a WestKnits’ Dotted Rays, I put my own edging on it though).  I thought I found the prefect spot for a quick pic at the Smokey Bear park…

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Looks good, right?  I even picked a bird-poop free spot along the wall!  Turns out, I didn’t even notice the tree sap.  D’oh!  Got home and discovered two sticky spots on the back of the shawl that definitely smell like sap.  I can’t imagine where else they would have come from.  Of course, one of the spots is right in the middle of an angora stripe.  How the heck does one remove tree sap from angora??

I’m going to start with a eucalan soak.  I don’t usually use soap on my knitting but I think it might be necessary this time?

I also visited one last yarn shop, I’ll save that for tomorrow!  :)