Gang’s All Here

For a minute there, I was heading towards monogamous knitting.  I’m not sure what came over me but I’m feeling much better now.  I’ve got WIPs everywhere I look!  Finally!  and they’re all lovely.  Nobody is misbehaving.  It’s a small slice of happy place, in a world going mad.


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My honeycomb baby blanket is nearing completion (so is the baby!!  Wooo!  Any day now…I think some baby leg warmers will hit the needles next.  Chubby baby legs in cute stripes?  Yes, Please!)


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My sweater is nearing the sleeve divide!  I joked when I cast this on, what can I do faster…knit a sweater or get a job.  It’s that time, work needs to become a daily reality for me, soon.  It’s not really a joke anymore…in the meantime, it’s sleeve divide Thursday here at FogKnits HQ!  No one’s paying me for it, but I’ll certainly feel productive.


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My Hitchhiker still has a long way to go…plenty of knitting in public left here!  Between World Cup knitting and summer blockbuster movie knitting, I’ve got plenty of excuses to knit in public.  This will definitely be ready for Halloween!


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And my newest cast on is making delightful progress. It’s the Pebble Beach shawl, in a yarn my Mom dyed for me.  I’ve cast it on and frogged this yarn a couple times.  I think I’ve finally found the winning combination though!  Third times the charm!


Yes, this is a big pile of happy place.  Beautiful colors and textures.  Yarn from Mom.  A little knit along with a friend.  Hours of calming work thinking about my hopes and dreams for my new Nephew.  A new sweater means no trip to the mall, no spending money on fast fashion (which is, surely, giving money to the wrong people).  The benefits of knitting are truly immeasurable.  I appreciate it more everyday.

 

 

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.  ;)

 

 

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?


 

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!!


 

The Week in Review

 

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone has had a good week.  I did.  The gift of time is my favorite thing about unemployment.  I never take that for granted.  What seemed like a lazy week, is much different when I look back at my camera roll.

The weather has been great.  I took lots of walks.
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I went on an excursion to Scrap, the local center for creative re-use.

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I picked up an old wooden picture frame to make a little pin loom.

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Despite my complete lack of skills with a hammer, it’s safe to say…I nailed it!  :)  At least for a little while, then the frame broke under all that tension.  Whoops.

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I got enough out of it to satisfy my urge to weave.  Mostly, it confirmed that I like knitting better.  I’m not giving up my needles for a loom (or a hammer) anytime soon.

Baby’s first sweater and my pair of Dotted Rays have all made progress.

My favorite progress of the week, though, is my log cabin crochet blanket.  Those colors!!

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And now, I get to have a weekend.  It doesn’t get better than that!  I’m so lucky!  Happy Friday, Indeed!


 

 

FO Friday – The Noro-Lopi Love Child Sweater

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It’s finally finished!  Wooo!

I’m so excited to have a new sweater!  And this one is darn near perfect! I’m going to be getting loads of wear out of it!  The pattern is a top-down raglan called Vivido, from Carol Feller.  The stripes are my own modification but everything else is as-called for.

I chose this pattern simply because of the ‘if it ain’t broke’ mindset.  I’ve had great success with my two previous incarnations of this sweater.  It’s a great daily wear garment, which is what I need at this point.  (As much as I love Bill, there’s only so many places he can be worn!)  Plus, I knew the colorwork was going to be the star of this show.  No need for the pattern to compete with that.  This pattern is exactly the blank slate I needed!

The yarns are the interesting bits in this sweater!  The brown yarn is Plutolopi, an unspun pencil roving, from my Icelandic adventure.   The stripes are from a Noro Rainbow Roll.  I love both of these yarns so much!!  The unspun nature makes them fragile, and so, not for everyone but it also gives the garment amazing loft!  This is a 200 g sweater.  My last Vivido, a bulky weight wool, weighs 600 g.  That’s a big difference, especially in a town where micro-climates and layering mean sweaters often get carried instead of worn.

The difference in weight, also, means a difference in drying time.  A 600 g sweater can take days to dry.  This baby dried overnight during a rainstorm!

YES, this is definitely my new favorite sweater.

I might make one slight adjustment though.  The first button hole is low.  In a solid colored sweater, I didn’t mind.  The stripes kind of exaggerate the gap.

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I think a little snap will fix it up.  I’ve always wanted to try snaps out.  If it stops raining long enough to go for a walk, I think I’ve finally found my excuse to buy snap!

Woo!  Hope your Friday is equally exciting!!


 

Progress, on Wednesday

Somehow, despite myriad variables, I’ve got three projects converging at the finish line.  Approaching the end of a project always gives it a bit of a boost, a sort of second wind.  Now, multiply that feeling of accomplishment by 3, and call it Wednesday!   Woooo!

I’m putting the border on a summery stroller blanket for the Nephew.  I’m putting the buttons on my Lopi + Noro cardigan (the brown ones).

And I’m resisting the urge to put my next sweater on the needles.  I decided on the color palate.  Casting on is the logical next step.  Of course, finishing the sweater that’s 99.7% complete is also quite logical.  It’s hard to know exactly what to do!?!

I’ll keep you posted, as always!  Happy Pi Day!!