WIP Wednesday

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After months of threatening, my next sweater is, finally, on the needles!  It doesn’t look like much yet but it’s gonna be perfect!  I can say this with authority because it’s a nearly identical copy of my last sweater.

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The pattern is Vivido by Carol Feller.  It’ll be my fourth one.  It’s a cardigan with raglan shaping and a shallow v-neck.  Nothing fancy, just a sweater that is comfortable and looks good.  It’s easy knitting and easy math when doing gauge conversions.  I really couldn’t ask for more.  Unless maybe someone wants to knit it for me?  :)

As for the yarn, I’m keeping the same stripes (Noro Rainbow Roll) but changing the main color (unspun Icelandic Plutolopi) from brown to navy blue.  I’m actually expecting it to be significantly different.  You never know what’s going to happen with Noro stripes, after all.  I can’t wait to see it develop…the ‘stripes make you knit faster’ phenomenon has definitely kicked in!  I’m making good progress.

Of course, I am easily distracted and this also fell onto my needles yesterday…

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It’s been 3 months since I knit a Hitchhiker.  It’s definitely time for another one!  This is my 15th Hitchhiker, one of nearly 30,000 on Ravelry.  I assume you already know how awesome this pattern is but in case you don’t…it’s awesome.  There are literally 29,670 Hitchhiker projects on Ravelry.  Imagine the people who don’t maintain Rav Notebook pages?!?  There could be 50,000 Hitchhikers in the world!  It’s amazing!  That’s just how perfect it is.

Here’s the pitch, just in case you need it…

It’s garter stitch, gotta love no purls!  The pattern is committed to memory easily.  It’s perfect for difficult yarn…that variegated skein you just couldn’t resist but turns into a horrible nightmare every time you attempt to knit with it.  The Hitchhiker’s continually growing rows in combination with the garter stitch tame those hard to use yarns.  From horrible pooling and clown barf to lovely scarf in no time at all.  And, perhaps most important, it’s easy to wear and always looks great.

Be warned though:  this is knitter’s crack.  You will be hooked.  Once is not enough.  The addiction is real.  ;)

 

 

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 Thursday – Surprise Yellow

Who’s ready for the weekend?  We’re kicking things off early here at FogKnits headquarters!  There’s been so much FO’ing this week, that Friday can’t contain it all.

First off the needles this week, a new Hitchhiker. 

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There are over 29,000 Hitchhikers on Ravelry.  That’s a staggering number.  Sure, 14 of them are mine.  Obviously, I get the fandom with this particular scarf.  Still…29,000!!  That’s incredible!  Imagine how big that pile would be!! Wow!

This particular Hitchhiker is special because it’s striped…

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…and I only had to weave in two ends!?!  Seriouesleeeeeeeee!  Love that!  This is another self striping skein of shawl yarn from Gauge Dye Works.  And it’s a Merino-Cashmere-Nylon (MCN) blend.  It’s so soft.  I just want to put my face on it and take a nap.

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I don’t usually go for yellow.  Actually, I never go for yellow.  I hate yellow.  If I had an arch nemesis, it would definitely be yellow.  I didn’t pick this yarn.  It came to me in a swap.  I reluctantly accepted it’s yellowness.  I begrudgingly knit it, only because I was unable to re-trade it for a better color.

So, of course, despite all my protests, it turns out, this Hitchhiker is just exactly what my wardrobe needs.  Stupid yellow.

It’s perfect for pretty much every outfit I own.  Every one.  A zing of yellow really peps up my sea of blues and greens so I’m giving it a try.  We’ll see how it goes.  I may be won over.  I mean, At least it’s not pink!


 

 

Let The Games Begin!

The Olympics have begun!!  Wooo!  I’m excited!  Before I dive into all things Olympic (or Ravellenic) though, there’s a few loose ends to tie up.

Specifically, these loose ends…

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Striped Asymmetry is off the needles and ready for a blocking.   That little circle is the key feature of this little wrap.  It’s a keyhole to feed the other end through.  Perfect if you’re prone to losing shawl pins!

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It needs to be blocked.  It really did not want to cooperate for pictures.  The alternating garter & stockinette stripes, combined with the cinch of the keyhole really encouraged it to bunch and curl.

I couldn’t even get my usual fence shot because a big ass spider decided it was her fence.

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I politely asked her to move on.  She pretended like she didn’t hear me.  She, finally, started to see things my way after I took down half her web.  I didn’t want it to be too traumatic though so I left her alone after that.  I’ll go back tomorrow, to check her progress.  It’s a 30 foot fence.  She can have any of the other sections.  She’s a cool spider so hopefully she will stick around.

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With that tangent finally over, I can get down to the real business.  Olympic business!  The opening ceremony isn’t until prime time but I’ve started my people watching already!

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Looks at all those people in HATS!! Yes…I’m ready!  I am going on a major hat binge! The goal I’ve set for the Ravellenic games is a baker’s dozen…13 hats.

I’ve scoured Ravelry for inspiration.  I’ve sorted my yarn.  I think I’m ready!  I just need to pick a bag…

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The sorting was a few weeks back so it’s a random grab at this point!  Some bags contain single skeins that are brand new and ear marked for a project.  Some bags contain a heap of scraps for the mixing.  Some bags have patterns in them.  Some bags have enough yarn for six hats.  Anything could happen…

Your guess is as good as mine!  Stay tuned, the Parade of Hats is about to start…


 

 

Knittus Interruptus

I made it all the way to January 31st before I broke down and bought yarn.  Despite my ardent claims, we all knew it was going to happen.  I really did mean it though.  I thought I’d make it into February before I came up with an excuse.  And, I do think I’ve got a good excuse…

 

This is the Striped Asymmetry wrap.  I was supposed to have the exact right yarn for this project.  Woolfolk Tynd, the yarn the pattern calls for.

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Turns out, I didn’t.  And, I’m so far off, I can’t even call this a yarn chicken fail.  The stripe pattern needs to continue on, consuming the grey tail up top, as the stripes continue.  That’s still a lot of tail stitches to use up.   I must’ve misread the pattern.  Losing the pattern page with those details on it probably didn’t help.

So you can see where this is going.  I bought this yarn back in September at the Knitterly, in Petaluma.  I figured it couldn’t hurt to call and see if they still had it.  And sure enough, they had a dye lot match!  My lucky day!

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How could I not buy that?  It’s the rest of the pile I probably didn’t need…

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Neon green acrylic…going to be part of the bike project I’m working on.  I didn’t need the yardage but the project is missing some green pops.  It’s sort of justified.  Also, only $6.

Price is my justification for the other two skeins as well.  YOTH Little Brother, from the clearance section.  It was 70% off, only $8/skein.  It’s a little fuzzy from being kicked around but that’s what cashmere does.  At $8/skein, it’s irresistible.  I had to buy it.  HAD TO.

Plus, look at all this yarn I didn’t buy…

I resisted a lot!  I have no regrets!  NONE!  Not only that, I’m glad about it!  It was a beautiful day to be traipsing across the bridge!

I stopped for bridge pics coming and going and I even managed a little trip to the beach and some knitting time.

Nope, not one single complaint about it.

I really mean it this time though…I’m not buying any yarn for the next three weeks.  Then it’s Stitches.  Of course I’ll buy yarn at Stitches.  I’ve got a justification for that too (details to follow).  Maybe a more reasonable goal is to only buy yarn once a month??  I think I could do that?!

Maybe.


 

FO Friday – Jury Duty Sucks

I’ve had jury duty this week.  I started the week thinking I enjoyed the process and I was not opposed to being on a jury.  And then, reality set in.  Four days of being called to the courthouse, four days of zero progress, four days of bullshit from lawyers.

Despite the knitting time provided by constant waiting, I’m still rather hostile.  Especially because it’s not over and I have to return on Monday.  UGH.  Not happy.

Instead of focusing on the bullshit that makes me hostile, I’ll focus on the knitting.  I was able to knit an entire bulky brioche cowl, so there’s that.

This is two balls of the yarn that shall not be named, in two different colorways.  I wish I was knitting with something less squeaky and splitty.  Nicer yarn may have improved my attitude.  I wasn’t sure about security though.  Might as well have it be the yarn from the time out corner get confiscated, if that was necessary.  The good news of the week:  courthouse security doesn’t mind knitting!

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Another bright spot:  the colors really look fantastic in brioche!  I didn’t like either of these colorways individually.  The sum of the parts is certainly greater than the whole, in this case.  I’m pleased.

And it was a great way to interact with my fellow hostages jurors.  After day one, people starting coming to check on progress at each break.  It’s interesting to see relationships developing in the gallery.  Crisis really does bring people together.

The cowl is generously sized so it even pulls down over the shoulders.  This yarn really pains me because it’s not bad to wear…how can the process be so horrible but the garment not?   I actually think this is going to get some wear.

There’s my courtroom selfies.  I was trying to avoid being seen by the bailiffs.  They never stopped me from knitting but they were definitely busting people with phones.

While we’re talking FOs from yarn that shall not be named, I finished this scarf a while back.  It’s a ‘shawl in a ball’ yarn and this is the recommended pattern.  An easy garter stitch boomerang.  Again, not a fan of the yarn but the FO doesn’t necessarily reflect that.  That’s just how good I am.  LOL.

And now, time for work.  I’m really happy to be going to work today.  Perspective is everything!  Happy Friday!


 

Mother’s Day FO

Happy Mother’s to all the Mama’s out there!  I sent my own Mother a special Mother’s Day package…complete with knitting, of course!

How many times has someone said to you ‘Can you knit this?’  If you’re like me, it’s hundreds, if not thousands of times.  Without fail, my answer is always ‘yes’.  I can knit anything.  The real questions are not can I but Do I want to?  and Will I?

In a shocking first, I answered Yes to both those questions this time!  It started back in October when I was visiting Mom.  We stopped in to a yarn shop I’d never been too.  It was rather dreadful.  Rather than display merchandise like any other retail shop, the yarn was literally in the plastic bags it was shipping in, thrown on the floor.   In some parts of the shop it was wading through calf deep bags.  WHAT??

Once upon a time, someone must’ve cared about this shop though.  They had lots of sample garments and some of them weren’t on the floor!  Including this one…

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Mom said she liked this one.  I said ‘yeah, I can make that’, snapped this picture and filed it away in the back of my brain, not actually intending to make it.  I don’t particularly like beading, it’s fidgety and I don’t particularly like wearing beads.  They’re like little icicles hiding in your knitting.  Wool is warm to the touch or, at least, not noticeably cold.   So, beads…whatever.

But Mom liked it and she did drive me all the way over to this yarn shop, so I could humor her for a moment.    That was October.

Then February and Stitches West came.  I had a bit of a splurge at Stitches.  Including this yarn…

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I already had these beads in the stash, for some reason, this yarn jumped out and grabbed me.  It’s from Cozy Color Works, a small indie dyer with a little booth way on the outside edge of Stitches.  There was a swatch of this yarn in Feather & Fan that really grabbed me.  I stopped to touch it, it’s beautifully light & lofty!  I had already declared my shopping finished but thinking of my beads was the only justification I needed to buy one more skein.

and so, I set out to knit an homage to the scarf Mom liked.  The first important note: the beads are pre-strung.  No other way to get them to lay on the yarn like that.  It took me a few minutes to figure out an appropriate cast on.  Again, the only way to make it work…Backwards Loop Cast On.  Definitely not my favorite.

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Once I got past that though, I found the pre-strung method of beading to be super easy, far less fiddly than the crochet hook method!  I really enjoyed it!  I did have to be careful with the beads.  Sliding a lot of beads across the yarn can damage it, if you aren’t attentive, especially yarn as airy as this.  Knowing is half the battle and I knew, so it all worked out.

And Mom likes it!  That’s really all that matters!

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That doesn’t mean it’s perfect though.  There is something I would change.

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Look at the way it curls when it’s ‘worn’.  UGH.  I don’t like that.  I blocked it, honest!  I can prove it!

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It’s superwash.  I hate superwash.  This is part of the reason why.  Blocking doesn’t matter.  The fibers are slippery so they don’t really stay in place when blocked.  That stinks.  Sure you can machine wash it, but if you expect to machine wash my handiwork, I’m not likely to give it to you.  Superwash is completely irrelevant to me.

Unfortunately, it’s the majority of what’s available.  I’d be willing to bet 90% (or more) of what was at Stitches was superwash.  I really wish dyers would stop it with the superwash.  I get that it’s easier to dye but still, I really need to show more resolve and stop buying it.

I suppose it’s not all the yarn’s fault here.  (lemme just put my soapbox away)

I think knitting at a tighter gauge could have helped but I was already on a size 3.  The beads are rather heavy, as well.  A non-beaded project will likely be different.  Certainly a different yarn, a cotton/polyamide sort of tape would be better suited to the beads.   So, there’s things that could have been changed.  I could have made different decisions but still, superwash is deserving of such a rant.

Whatever, Mom is happy with it.  The beads and yarn are pretty fabulous together.  Still, knowing I could do better, I also sent Mom a coupon good for one shawl — ‘the pick of the litter’ — when she comes to visit next month!   So stay tuned, I’m going to pull out the shawls for reviews and pictures!  I expect the pile to be quite large!