Shelter in Place: Day 126

Shelter in Place: Day 126.  Definitely had to check the calendar for that number.  I’m well beyond the point of counting anymore.  I’ve got a special treat to share today:  AKC!  Actual Knitting Content!  woooo

It’s happening, slowly.  Slow and steady wins the race!  And this is definitely a win!! The pattern is No. 10 by Lori Versace.  It’s perfect for stashbusting.  I started with just a few greens.

And now it’s grown into all the greens!  I think I only bought green yarn last year, so it’s all going according to plan.

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My green itch is really getting scratched.  I put it on waste yarn to check out the size.  I’ve theoretically got two stripes left.  I may only do one.  We’ll see how long it takes me to get it back on the needles.

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Just in case that takes forever, I’ve got a quick green hat on the needles.  (It’s gonna be a while before I run out of green yarns!)  The hat is another Tensfield.  I’m still loving the unique construction.  It’s a super fun knit and it looks great on.  It’s a perfect hat.

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All of the green knitting is perfect today!  I hope you’ve all got perfect knitting today too!  It’s a small part of the world right now but I’ll take it!


Also, stayed tuned for a format change.  I’ve been thinking about it for a while.  Might give it a go this week. I think it’s finally time! Anything is possible!


 

Shelter in Place: Day 37

Shelter in Place:  Day 37

I left the house today and immediately remembered why I like staying in:  the sun.  Ugh.  There was way too much nice day out there for me.  I’m happy to be back inside now, with the shade and my knitting.

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I had lots of quality knitting time this weekend.  I finished a second Tensfield hat.  Still loving this pattern!  It’s so inventive!  Really unlike anything else.  Doing some great stash busting too.

This second version, is Spud & Chloe Sweater.  Because, rainbows.  Obviously.

After getting my instant gratification fix, I cast on for something that’s going to take a bit longer, a Matchmaker Cowl.  Another Martina Behm pattern with a fun twist.  I haven’t gotten to the fun twist yet but I’m looking forward to it.

It’s been a nice soothing bit of garter stitch so far.  I love the colors and this yarn is another bit of deep stash!  It’s MadTosh DK from 2014.  The variegated color is ‘Knitting is Dead Sexy’…the exclusive tour color from Stephen & Steven’s 2014 Tour (as in Stephen West & Steven Be).   I’d say six years in deep stash is enough.  This yarn is happy to see the light of day!

So I continue on this way, knitting flat, for a bit longer.  It’s the perfect Zoom knitting with friends…the new knit night.  Then the surprise bit to turn this flat piece into something round.  Looking ahead at the pattern, I see some binding off and then rejoining to knit flat again.  How does she even think of these things?  It’s never even occurred to me to knit a circular garment by only knitting flat.  I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

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 31

Shelter in Place: Day 31

I’ve got a fun hat on the go today! A quick hit of instant gratification is just what I need.  Since the beginning of quarantine, I’ve been sort of shopping around for some new yarn…nothing exciting has jumped out at me though.  It’s not like I need yarn anyhow.

The urge to shop came back this week when my $1200 stimulus payment hit my bank account.  Every April 15th should involve the gov’t paying me!  I looked around at yarn again but still nothing.   I decided to browse my Ravelry Queue…there had to be a pattern that would get me jazzed.

Enter Martina Behm!  I picked a few of her patterns — she’s got a buy 3, get 10% discount so I went with two shawls (Areas and Matchmaker) and a hat (Tensfield).

Take a guess which one I cast on first?

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This is the beginning of the hat!  Yes, a hat, started with a big flat triangle.

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From here, you join as if to work in the round, but you still just knit flat.  It’s very creative.

It’s another unique design from Martina.  There’s already 1200 of these hats on Ravelry so I’m late to party, obviously.  I’m glad I finally got here though!  This is a lot of fun to knit.

Have I mentioned it’s a no swatch, any gauge will do design as well?  I love everything about this!  I haven’t finished my first one yet but I can say with certainty, it won’t be my last!  It was designed with self-striping yarn in mind so I added a few stripes myself.  Maybe the next one will be Knit Picks Chroma, I think I’ve got a skein tucked away…

Come back for FO Friday, tomorrow!  I’m pretty sure this will be done by then!

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?!?!

 

 

Happy Birthday, Mom!

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As it happens every year, not only is today Mom’s birthday, it’s also the FogKnits Blog 4th Anniversary!  I’m still quite pleased that I thought about this overlap in the beginning.  I’ve always got an FO post for the blog-iversary.  It’s another project with a flower.  If there’s one thing Mom likes it’s hats with flowers!

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This was a fun one! The yarn is Noro’s Rainbow Roll…aka a thick, fluffy, pencil roving.  It can be delicate and break easily so it’s not for everyone but I really love this yarn!

The pattern is Cameron’s Cap.  It’s been one of my favorites for years.  It’s a bottom up hat with a few quick short rows added to create the little ear flaps!  Perfect for winter!

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The flower is a common embroidery flower.  I’m sure someone out there has a name for it but it ain’t me, babe!  I’m really pleased with it though.  And because it’s pencil roving, it’s not heavy or burdensome on the hat.  That’s always a concern when attaching a big flower.

If I had more time, I’d share a retrospective of hats with flowers or maybe give you some blog stats.  Instead you get pics of science shit.  I got right back into it on day one!  Turns out it’s like riding a bike…

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And with that, I’m out the door for work.  Those electrons won’t manipulate themselves!  Happy Hump Day and Happy Birthday Mom!

 

FO Friday – All The Hats

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As I prepared for this week’s pop up event, I didn’t put all of my knitting aside.  I kept up my on-the-go knitting and it turns out, I get a lot of knitting done when I’m out of the house.   Four new hats, just in time for holiday gift giving and winter chill!

The first two are Wurm derivatives.  It’s a great free pattern.  There’s nearly 16K Wurm hats on Ravelry.  I know I’ve knit probably two dozen of them.  They’re great stash busters, if you go the striped route like I did and they knit up in no time!  Perfect last minute holiday gifts!

Of course, I can’t follow a pattern.  I change my version up at the brim.  The pattern is written with a folded stockinette hem.  I prefer to go the all purl ridge route.  This originates from my early days knitting.  The double roll brim was my favorite way to start a hat.  You can see it here, on my third hat of the week.

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All my early hats have a double roll brim.  I never liked the look of classic ribbing, especially not with a knitted cast on, which was my go-to.  The stockinette curl hides that cast on edge perfectly!  No reason to fret over doing the long tail cast on, if your edge is hidden.

It certainly started out as a lazy decision but honestly, it’s also a super comfortable way to start a hat.  It’s cozy and warm around the ears and it’s never too tight.  I’m not sure why it fell out of favor but I’m officially bringing the double roll brim back.

You heard it here first…2019 is the year of the double roll brim!  Try it out and you’ll see…it’s a lot of fun!  You’ll be screaming it from the roof tops too!  Double roll brims for everyone! It’s gonna be so good!

It’s simply 10 rows of stockinette followed by 4 rows of reverse stockinette.  Easy peasy.  Just remember if you want to go for the two-tone look, you knit 9 rows in color 1 and then knit 1 row of color 2 before purling 4 rows of color.

Now, off to finish some last minute christmas knits.  Packages don’t have to be in the mail until Monday…I can get a lot done in 72 hours!


 

FO Friday – Christmas Knitting #1

Every year, I say no more Christmas knitting.  I never mean it, this year especially.  Obviously, with a new nephew, there will be Christmas knitting.  His first holiday package went out today,  the reversible hat (that you saw on Monday) and a new stuffed friend!

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The little friend is not my favorite.  He’s a Rebecca Danger creature using her Basic Uni-Body design.  I meant to make a blue striped monkey but once I stuffed the body, I didn’t like it enough to do the monkey add ons.  There would have been ears, a tail and a protruding snout piece.

The snout piece was just too much.  It involves picking up a circle of stitches on the face, knitting outwards while shaping into a dome, stuffing it, closing it and then embroidering onto it.  I was not in the mood, so he’s just a funny, stripey, blue thingamabob.

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Of course, because I don’t like him, I expect this will be Marcus’s favorite.  His floppy arms are perfect for grabbing and chewing!  I think those little legs are likely to get chewed on too!

I’ll attempt the monkey again something but I’ll skip the stripes.  Before that though, it’s time for Baby’s First Christmas Sweater.  It won’t be ugly.  It won’t even be tacky.  It will be a little naughty though!

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I’m halfway through the back and with a little determination, this could be done by next Friday!  Three cheers for aran weight yarn and 4 stitches per inch!  Wooooooo!


 

A Triumphant Return!

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Etsy Holiday Emporium weekend is over!  The show was a big success!  I had a really great time talking to all the people who came by.  It was so fun to see people connect with my brand of snark and laugh at all the same things I laugh.  It’s nice to have your art appreciated but this went a step beyond that.  It was a big helping of personal validation and who doesn’t like that.  Even better than that though, now that it’s over…I can get back to my knitting!

It’s been a month of virtually no knitting, in prep for the show.  I was excited to get right down to it, casting on a hat to work on throughout the weekend.  I picked a fun little slip stitch pattern that’s easy to memorize but has a big impact.

And, it’s reversible!  Spotted on one side, striped on the other…super fun!

Here’s how it works, in the round…

Round 1: With color A, K1, P1

Rounds 2 & 3:  With color B, S1 wyib, P1, K1, P1

Round 4:  With color A, K1, P1

So, really only two rows, just knits, purls and an occasional slip stitch.  Super easy!

The other noteworthy feature of this hat, is the cast on.  I’m going to tell you about it and hope you’ll try it out too.  I really love it.  This is the Alternating Cable Cast On.

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I use it as a stand in for the Tubular Cast On.  The Alternating Cable Cast On is a lovely stretchy alternative that is easier and faster to execute.  I first learned it from Wooly Wormhead and she’s the goddess of hat, if there ever was one.  Here’s her tutorial for it, because she can surely give you the steps better than I can.

The basic explanation is this:  It’s the Cable Cast On with one change.  Instead of ‘knitting’ every stitch (inserting the needle from the front) you alternate between knit and purl (inserting the needle from the back).  It’s aptly named, the Alternating Cable Cast On…just a cable cast on that alternates between knits and purls, perfect for ribbing!

It’s a minor detail but I love minor details.  It’s the sort of thing that elevates homemade to handmade.  It’s a little bit of finesse that add to the polish of the finished hat tenfold!  I highly recommend it.

Of course, one hat didn’t last me long.  Day 2 of the show required another cast on…this time, I added a third color and went for a spiral knit stripey hat!

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And, just like that, Christmas knitting has begun.  Next up, an ugly Christmas sweater for my cute little nephew and a whole slew of new stuffie animal friends for him.  It’s gonna be so good!  So, stand by as we have now returned to our regular knitting agenda!   Wooooo!


 

FO Friday -Nephew Care Package

 

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My little nephew Marcus is 4 weeks old today!  Wooo!  He’s such a sweet little thing.  It’ll be a while before I get to meet him so I’m sending him a long distance hug, in the form of yarn, naturally.

I’m so excited about everything in this pile.  A dinosaur birth announcement.  An ‘only in San Francisco’ onesie.  I didn’t make it but I love the tripping hippie vibe.  It’s the kind of thing you can only get from your crazy California aunt!

Then there’s the cat toy mushroom rattles, such fun!  The pattern is from Purl Soho’s blog.  A great little stash buster project with super results.  (disclaimer:  my yarn and gauge is completely different, so these are actually a heavily modified version of their pattern, if ya know what I mean.)

Then, there’s the hats.  Even though it’s still August, I’m sending five hats.  Might as well teach him young, this is what I do.  I hope you like wearing hats, kid!  I’m making them regardless.

These came from the knitting Olympics back in February.  It’s such a fun collection.  I’ll never stop making goofy hats but now is really my time.  He won’t be wearing goofy hats forever!

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And finally, Baby’s Second Blanket.  He got the first one before he was born, a cotton blanket for summer.  This is one is the wool blanket for cooler days.  It’s the true pièce de résistance…

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A Honeycomb blanket, complete with fringe.

I knit it as a tube, to avoid purling and then cut it open.  Using the cut edges to create fringe, I avoided the dreaded end weaving.  After that, I added an applied i-cord to the top and bottom edges.  and POOF!  An Heirloom was born!

I hope Marcus likes it.  Obviously I made something I like but I thought about him a lot too.  I picked colors with high contrast and textural interest so it can help his little eyes develop.  The fringe is for a tactile experience, something for his little fingers to figure out.

It’s pretty amazing to see how much he’s changed already.  I can’t wait for the all the developmental challenges to come.  I totally appreciate being a casual observer to the miracle of life.  Human bodies…wow!

..AND, I have plenty of yarn left for all those amazing occasions.  5 Skeins of Miss Babs Yowza is gonna get me a lot of coordinating accessories.  The blanket put a dent in it, but just barely.  It’s time for sweaters and an army of stuffies!!

Welcome to the world, little Marcus.  You have a crazy knitting aunt (and that is the best kind!!)