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”

 

Me Made May

Now that the month is nearly over, let’s talk about ‘Me Made May’.

The idea is to encourage people to wear their handmade wardrobes proudly.  Turns out, I’m good in that department. I live in a place that is sweater weather, year round.  I haven’t bought, or really, even worn any jackets, hoodies, fleece or other miscellaneous outerwear in a decade.  I like wearing sweaters.  I wear my sweaters constantly.  I love the sweaters I’ve made.  I am definitely not deficient in wearing my handmade wardrobe proudly.

 

I did get me thinking about the usefulness of my knitting though.  What would it look like if I were to sort all my knits into two piles, the pile I wear and the pile I don’t?  I couldn’t bring myself to start a project of that magnitude but I did take stock of my sweater collection.

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I’m happy to say, most of them fall into the useful category.  Even novelty pieces like the Bill Murray sweater and the Cassette Tape vest, while gimmicks, do get worn out of the house.  So, the moral of the story is…knit more sweaters.

Which brings me to my weekend dilemma.

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The Askews Me? shawl.  It’s a beauty but it’s not going to be a useful garment.  It’s going to be huge and bulky.  That’s the stuff that falls into the never worn pile.  Even if I trim the size back, there’s no way around the bulk of it.  I like looking at the pretty colors.  I love the brioche squishiness it’s got going on.  I don’t even mind knitting it.  I’m just a bit hung up on this question of usefulness, at the moment.

I’m stuck on the idea of frogging it?!?  Fortunately, I had a small moment of clarity.  I realized I was talking crazy talk and I put it away.  Getting it out of sight was a good first step.

Step two:  distract myself with new USEFUL knitting.
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Aaaahhhhhh!  That’s so much better!  This is yarn I’ve been sitting on for years.  I’m not sure why I’ve put this project off for so long.  It’s MadelineTosh Pashmina, in colors Deep and Cosmic Wonder Dust.  The pattern is the WestKnits’ Batad.  I love the two Batads I’ve already got.  It’s a no brainer!  This is destined for greatness.

I’m still kind of thinking about that frogging though?!?!  I’m not sure.  How do you decide when to frog?


 

WIP Wednesday

I’ve been on a cast on kick recently.  My goal is to cast on some easy knitting, something I can work on in a dark movie theater.  I’ve been failing miserable but at least that means I’ve got interesting knitting on the needles!

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I showed you my baby blanket progress yesterday.  It’s super fun to knit.  I’m loving the progress.  Here’s an alternate view…

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The beauty of this project…it’s worked in the round.  I’m essentially knitting a big tube.  This is a view of the seam, aka the spot I plan to cut open.  This is such a brilliant idea.  I love it!  Once I’ve cut it open, it will lay flat and these plain stockinette bits will be unraveled into fringe.   And, as the icing on the cake, I’m not purling at all!  To get those purl ridges, I’m simply turning the piece inside out and working those stitches as knits!  Yay for all knits!

Sadly, this next project, has entire rows of purls. The HORROR!

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It’s been tough but I’m managing.  Mostly because the yarn is so incredible!  This is the qiviut I was recently gifted.  It’s going to be a simple feather and fan cowl.  This yarn is absolutely wasted if it’s not next to skin.  With June Gloom right around the corner, timing could not be more perfect!

I’m making progress on my Askews Me shawl as well.  It’s slow going though.  I’ll miss the June Gloom but with a bit of luck, it’ll be ready for Fogust.  Here at FogKnits, we really love Fogust.

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I’m just about to add my first stripe!  Assuming I don’t get distracted by another cast on, which is highly likely.  I’ve been looking at this neutral palate for weeks.  I think it’s time for a Black Panther wrap!

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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!


 

 

 

 

 

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!  :)


 

WIP Wednesday

It’s Wednesday and I have progress!  There’s not much of a story here, but that’s kind of a story itself.  It’s my favorite kind of knitting, miles of nothing but knit.  Perfectly relaxing, stress reducing,  stash busting, striped, garter stitch.

 

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AAAAAaaaaaaahhhh.  yes.  I’m loving the dueling Dotted Rays.

They’re keeping pace with each other pretty well.  AND, I’m keeping up with the end weaving.  I can’t wait to see how they turn out.  At this point, each shawl has grown so large that it’s mostly relegated to a large crumpled pile until it comes off the needles, revealing it’s true beauty.  At least that’s the way I’m hoping it goes…

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I’ve made a couple questionable decisions in the pink/red/orange/purple stripes.  It’s completely possible to balance it out down the line though, so I’m putting faith in the process.  I’m not expecting to be unhappy at the end.  I’m sure it’ll work out.  It always does, after all.