Shelter in Place: Day 8

Shelter in Place: Day 8

Current Mood:  A little ranty.

Shit is getting real outside.  I went out for a walk early this morning before the masses descended upon the sidewalk.  This was the first thing I saw out the door.  Right in front of my building.  Right in front of my car.   It was the only one of the block though.

IMG_8540

I gotta say, if only one car on the block is going to get broken into, I don’t mind if it’s the most expensive vehicle out there.  That will most definitely never be my car.  Also, this is a Tesla.  How the fuck do you street park a Tesla?  I see this particular car on the block all the time.  It’s one of two Tesla’s on the block, actually.  They clearly live in the neighborhood but still, shouldn’t you be parking that thing in your garage??  Leave the street parking to those of us slumming it in our gas guzzlers.

Then I went down the street a bit and saw this…

IMG_8541

Hit the tree, took down a sign on a thick post and left lots (most?) of the bumper scattered down the street.   Seeing these things, it’s no wonder that this is what’s become of local businesses…

At least the guy with the plywood supply and the neat stencil will be making a few bucks!  The playgrounds have all been closed…

IMG_8542

And since we’re doing all of this to flatten the curve but no one is showing us any curves, I’ve taken it upon myself to track & chart the local data they’re providing us.  Of course, the testing issues make all the data suspect but it’s what we’ve got.

IMG_8549

You don’t have to be a math major to know that’s not a flat curve.  It could certainly be worse, so fingers crossed.

As if all that wasn’t enough, I may have made a very poor color decision with my cowl.

IMG_8556

The yarn is Zombie Yarns, Monster.  It came as a set, 4 half skeins of DK weight yarn.  They’re okay together in that they are all bright saturated colors.  They belong in the same palate.  I’m just not sure they all belong in the same project.  We’ll see.  I’m not convinced the transition from green & purple to blue & white was a good idea but mini skeins only go so far…and I’m not ready to rip it out (yet).

IMG_8555

Here’s a potentially good thing.  I pulled some Pashmina in Cosmic Wonder Dust from the stash.  I’m going to knit a Ripple Bralette out of it.  If I’m going to spend the next couple weeks in lounge wear, cashmere boobs need to happen.  I haven’t cast anything on in 48 hours…I’m due.

And here’s a good giggle…someone has written a hat pattern to knit a coronavirus has!  LOL!  Find it on Ravelry HERE! It’s worth a click!

 

Shelter in Place: Day Two

Stitches was waaaaaaay back in February.  You know, two weeks ago.  Seems so much longer now.  It was certainly a different time.  I was socially distancing back then but for the normal, I just hate crowds reasons.  I waited until the last day to go and breezed through in a couple hours.

For the second year in a row, I bought no yarn.  It’s true.  NO yarn.  TWO years in a row.  I did get a cool patch though.

2020-02-24_06-20-16_274

And I took many yarn pictures.  I’m even more convinced that Pantone mis-labeled Classic Blue as the color of the year this year.  Let’s face it, that’s thinly veiled reference to the November election, not an accurate prediction of the color people are naturally drawn to.  No, sorry Classic Blue, I like you but you are not color of the year.  The actual color of the year is Chartreuse.  Please see my supporting evidence:

See???  Clearly I’m right.  I even took pictures of non-chartreuse yarn to prove I didn’t have complete tunnel vision.

There were a lot of great notions & bags too.  I really appreciated this one particular artist.  I told myself I’d remember the name but of course, I didn’t.

2020-02-23_12-03-22_769

There were probably 10-12 different drawings on a range of bags from notion pouch up to project bag.  Loved them all.

And of course, there were samples to be tried on all over the place.

I’m much smarter when pattern details are involved…just take a picture!

2020-02-23_13-08-36_936

I liked the Rose Candy Cowl!  It’s a bandana sort of cowl with an interesting construction, to be expected from Martina Behm.  I’ve been wearing my 3-Color Cashmere Cowl a lot the past few months.  It’s definitely been thinking about making more cowls recently.  This is a strong contender.

I also liked this brioche business…

I don’t think I’m serious about knitting this one though.  It’s fun to look at but I probably need two coronavirus quarantines to finish something like this.  **knock on wood**  Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Work kept me pretty busy today but I think by tomorrow, I’ll have visible progress on my sweater! Pictures will be taken so come back to see!

 

I’ve got a commercial!

IMG_6362

Long time readers will recall this project from last spring.

Sadly, my friend’s bike was stolen.  Thieves stink.  But, it inspired my friend to make a little tribute video/commercial of the project with footage she took during our consultations and fittings!

Check it out…

 

It’s great, right?  Someday maybe it’ll even run on the local access cable channel…a girl can dream!  Bwahahahahahahaha.


 

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.

IMG_3204

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!

IMG_3331

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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!

2018 Year in Review

My Christmas weekend got derailed by a stupid cold. Needless to say, all that talk of starting a new sweater was just talk.  I’m on the mend and making such good progress on the old projects, I can’t bring myself to start something new just yet.  Instead of new knitting progress, I’m walking down memory lane and looking at all the things I have finished this year.   It’s been a good year for FO’s!

According to Ravelry, I’ve finished 57 projects so far, that’s 23 hats, 2 cowls, 5 sweaters, 11 shawls, 3 blankets, 6 stuffies, one set of baby mittens, a pair of socks, two pair of leg warmers, a flying pig and a yarnbombed bicycle…it sounds like a lot when you say it that way!

Of course, quantity doesn’t matter if none of it is useful or appreciated.  A lot of what I knit is gifted, this year, that means my new nephew Marcus!  So far, he’s been pretty appreciative…happily stuffing everything I’ve sent him into his mouth.   Most recently, it’s been this guy…Rebecca Danger’s Lil Love Slug.

IMG_2131

Those eyeballs are perfect for teething on!  After that, came Mom.  Of course, she appreciates everything too.  Her current favorite is this Pebble Beach Shawl in yarn she dyed herself!

I really liked knitting Pebble Beach and it’s great to wear.  I definitely want to make one for myself.  My favorite piece of knitwear in 2018 was probably the lone sweater I finished for myself.

I liked it enough to start a second one right away.  Unfortunately, it’s been ignored for months.  Any day now, I’ll pick it back up!

Despite all this knitting, I’m pretty sure my stash grew this year.  I tried as hard as I could to use it all up but I managed to visit new yarn shops in four states, adding yarn at each stop. (Not to mention Vogue Knitting Live and Stitches West.)

Certainly my shopping this year tended towards the green family.  And like always, I’ll say 2019 is the year of no yarn shopping.  I made it until February 1st in 2018.  Hopefully I’ll make it longer in 2019.  I take yarn collecting very seriously but I’m running out of places to put it.

And oh yeah, I haven’t mentioned that Mom dyed me a new batch of lovelies for Christmas.

IMG_2209 2

The left is a set of colors on a merino-yak-alpaca base and one the right is a set of colors on Miss Babs Kunlun base, a merino-cashmere-silk base!  Wooo!  Turns out Miss Babs sells partial naked skeins for a steal!  I’m guessing it’s her version of mill ends, little odds and ends that she can’t use but thanks to Mom’s penchant for finding sales, I will definitely use this skeins for something fun!

Now, it’s time to think about goals for 2019.  More Sweaters!  Finish my current sweater.  An RBG Sweater.  A Pebble Beach.  Lots more nephew toys.  AND NO YARN SHOPPING!  (ha…yeah right.  wish me luck!)


 

Jimmy’s SmartStix Needle Review

IMG_1797

I’m happy to have my needles clicking again…I don’t have much to show for my renewed efforts though…at least not on my Striped Esjan Shawl.  It’s going to be scrunched on the needles and hard to see for a while longer but I’m transitioning to the border so next to you see it, at least it’ll have new colors to look at!

In the meantime, let me tell you about Jimmy Beans new SmartStick knitting needle + tape measure combo.

IMG_1801

Firstly, because of the recent kerfuffle with Making Things, I’ll tell you, I paid for these needles because I wanted to try them.  I’m not being compensated for this review.  I’m not getting kickbacks.  There’s no affiliate links (or links at all.  If you decide you want the needles, I’m sure you’re clever enough to find them on your own!)

IMG_1802

So, the gimmick here (and yes, it is a total gimmick) is the needle has 1″ segments marked from tip to tip so it can double as a tape measure.

I’m firmly in the camp that says you measure with a ruler.  It’s the Elizabeth Zimmerman camp and she’s never wrong.  The logic here is you want the most accurate measurement and the firm edge of a ruler provides that.  Measuring flat on a table with a tape measure isn’t so bad but there’s still flexibility and wiggle room with that method.   Firm edge = best possible measurement.   Measuring with the floppy cord of a knitting needle (with knitting attached?) on your lap will never give you an accurate measurement.  I will never use this needle in that manner.  Seriously, I’m nixing this idea from the very beginning.

That said, I’ll step off my soap box and acknowledge that is not what the folks at Jimmy Beans are encouraging.  They say themselves on the package ‘for quick & dirty measuring on the go’.  Okay fine.

I’m really just in it for the needles.  I’m a die hard Addi fixed needle user.  I really do knit faster with the amazing Addi Turbo.  That’s not just lip service but I’m open to trying other needles.  One day something better than an Addi fixed may come along.   The SmartStix happen to be Knitter’s Pride needles, which I’ve never used.  There’s lots of things I like about it.

IMG_1790

The join is smooth.  The tip is pointy but not so pointy that I impale my thumb.  I’m an occasional pusher.  I don’t do it all the time but when I do, I don’t want a needle so sharp it hurts.  The 1″ segments along the barrel are joined nicely, they don’t catch or snag.  I like the foil packaging with the sturdy zip top.  I store my needles in their original packaging, clearly the intent of this bag.

IMG_1793

Personally, I prefer my needles a bit more slick.  In my mind, Addi’s are slick, not slippery.  If you think Addi’s are too slippery and you lose stitches off the end, you’ll enjoy the finish on these needles.  The feel of metal without the slipperiness.

The cord is soft and pliable despite being on the thick side.  It’s got a nice suppleness to it. It’s not stiff or inflexible.  I like the cord.  The markings on the needle barrel are engraved so no rubbing off.  I think the marks on the cord could wear off over time.  I tried my best to scratch one of the spots off with my finger nail.  I couldn’t so I think that bodes well for those who are into the tape measure gimmick.  It’ll require a lot of use before those marks show signs of wear and tear.

Ultimately, these are nice needles and the price is right.  I like them fine but they’ll never become my go to needles.  I wish they weren’t pink.  They’re color coded by cord length, 16″ are red, 24″ are blue, 32″ are green and 40″ are pink.  You get what you get.  40″ size 4 is my most used size so I went with it.  I’m sure it will get use…I always want to cast on another shawl.  I’m not rushing out to buy the interchangeable set or even another pair of the fixed needles though.

Now…on to that shawl edge!  I’m ready to tackle those 600 stitch rows!


 

Artist in Residency

This week, I’m the Artist-in-Residency at a lovely, quiet retreat in the sunny hills of Santa Clara.  Aka, cat sitting out in the burbs.  We started our time together with an afternoon photo shoot.  The boys cooperated…at least for a few minutes.

79D1275F-27A6-4869-9DD8-6C80E43C5A7D

They’re friendly kitties so I had a shadow all afternoon.  Like when I scoped out the chainlink fence as a potential cross stitch photo spot.

IMG_1136

I got a late start so I missed the best light but this was a good practice run.  I’m always looking for new places to take Etsy photos.   A backyard with a bunch of random stuff in it, is a treasure trove of spots, just waiting to be discovered.  Like the random carpet or this great wall…

 

In the city, we’d call this a park!

Maybe the ‘burbs aren’t so bad!  I mean, how can I be mad when I’ve got a driveway to use all week!?  It’s been decades since I’ve known that feeling!  Woooo!