Rainbow Friday

Black Friday and it’s rampant consumerism make me crazy.  I’m betting most of you reading this agree, or at least understand the value of handmade, so I’ll just limit my rant to that.  And so, I celebrated Rainbow Friday…with progress on my Rainbow Shawls!

Even as on-the-go, back-up projects, they’ve made good progress.  I appreciate that they’re both currently in green sections!  Synchronicity confirms that everything is as it should be.

Then again, maybe I’m talking crazy talk.  Bill Murray spent the day being ignored in the corner.  I’m at the halfway point.  Things seem good.  I’m pleased with Bill’s progress so far.   This means a knit-tastrophe is just around the corner, yes?

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I’m doing my best to avoid that knit-tastrophe though.  By starting a new cross stitch.

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I was just going to pick out the colors but…well, you know how it goes.

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I’m reeeeeeeealllllly going to avoid all these avoidances today though.  Time to buckle down and get Bill out of the corner.  Better to deal with any potential knit-tastrophe now.   I’ve got 13 days and 10 hours until it’s Murray Time!!!

I got this!

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It’s been a couple weeks since the Bill Murray sweater hit the needles.  After a seemingly slow start, things really took off this weekend.  My work is finally recognizable as a garment!

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Hopefully over the long weekend, I’ll get some daylight knitting hours…or at least daylight knitting photography hours!  The pics aren’t great but you get the idea.   One thing I’m totally digging…I can wear my hair down and Bill will still be visible!  Woot!  I really didn’t want to wear my hair up but Bill deserves to be seen.

Last weekend, my progress was accelerated by a decision to go with a hi-lo sort of style.  I like it for knitting reasons–less to knit on a deadline is always good.  But I also like it for design reasons.  I’m hoping it creates a kind of seam.  In the absence of an actual seam, this hi-lo style definitely creates a break between front and back.

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I’m feeling optimistic that this will not only become a wearable garment but it will be a wearable garment that’s ready in time for the Bill Murray concert!!

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This is so much better than a framed piece of knitting that just hung on the wall!  I’m excited to finish it!  Fingers crossed that the excitement continues for the next 2.5 weeks.  That’s all I need to finish it on time.

I’ve adopted a ‘Little Engine that Could’ mantra to help me stay on track…I think I can I think I can I think I can I think I can I think I can I think I can.  Wooooo! Wooooo!

Bill Murray: The Plan

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I’ve talked about a Bill Murray sweater a lot.  The time has come to put my money where my mouth is.  I think, maybe, the hard part is done…the Bill Murray part.

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Someone recently suggested that I had a lovely poster of Bill Murray.  So just to be clear, this is a portrait of Bill Murray THAT I KNIT.   This is not a poster!  If you want to read Bill’s origin story, you can find it here.   Then there was the time I decided Bill needed to become a sweater, here, in 2015.

I’ve been thinking about it a long time.  I’ve explored a few ideas but ultimately, I’m keeping the original idea I had back in 2015.

The Bill Murray sweater is actually going to be a Bill Murray vest.

The new portions of the project will be worked in a variety of grey, white and off-white stripes.  I’ll never match the original yarn, so I’m not even going to try.

Construction is going to be started by picking up stitches around the edge of the piece, leaving armholes at the top corners and working outward.

I don’t want a shawl collar.

I do want to do my shaping via short rows.

Those were the basics I started from.  From there, I got stitches on the needles.

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Now that I’ve got the first couple inches, I’m starting to make shaping decisions.  I’m adding short rows to the bottom edge so allow some flare.  I’m not going to go all the way to ‘swing coat’ but I’ve got hips that need to be accounted for.

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Apparently I’m a sucker for weaving in ends.

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I’m having fun making stripes.  Not sure I’m really making a garment just yet though.  The top has definitely retained it’s squareness.

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I don’t really have a plan for the shoulders.  I’m not sure how to smooth the transition from the back to the front.  I’m hoping the solution presents itself as I go.

I’ve got 23 days and 21 hours to figure it out.

Ready. Set. Go.


 

AFO Friday #2

Last week AFO Friday was Almost Finished Friday.  This week the “A” is for Actually Finished!  Woooo!

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I have fully and completely, knit the same sweater two times.  Cat Sweater #1.  Cat Sweater #2.

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(the time change sure has killed my chances of taking good knitting photos!)

The pattern is called Professor Meow, from KnitPicks.  It was an easy knit.  There’s no shaping.  The intarsia is not outrageous.  The gauge is bulky.  There are no sleeves.  The finishing work is minimal.  Overall I give the pattern two thumbs up.

Interestingly, I did knit the EXACT same sweater.  Or rather, I knit the same number and type of stitches, just in different sizes.  One of these sweaters is for my sister.  I’m a bit wider than she is.  Instead of knitting two different pattern sizes, I decided I would knit the same size on different needles.  I went from a size 9, up to a size 10.5.

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The pattern is written ‘knit to XYZ inches’, so the length doesn’t change.  I was surprisingly consistent on that part. The kitty on the right is definitely wider though, the effect of the larger needles.  So, turns out, yes, gauge does matter.

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Behind my lovely sweaters, you may have noticed my finished Log Cabin Blanket. It hasn’t changed much from the last progress photos.

It made a nice cat sweater photo shoot backdrop though.

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And of course, the little paw print on the back.  So cute!

The best part of this sweater isn’t it’s cuteness though.

It’s the crazy factor.

I wore my new sweater out and about on Sunday.  It was an Open Studio weekend so I walked all around, from studio to studio looking at ridiculous art.  I wasn’t inspired by any of it.  Disliked it all.  But, I was inspired by all the crazy old ladies who liked my sweater.  Hearing their praise was a nice reminder that I march to the beat of my drummer for a reason…might as well celebrate it.  I couldn’t wear designer clothes even if my life depended on it.  I can, however, knit myself a cat sweater.

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My sister doesn’t live close enough to have a twinsy day…at least not yet.  I’m really looking forward to when it happens though.  If one person does it, it may be crazy.  If two people do it, it’s a movement!

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And, I’ve started my next goofy garment, finally.  The so-called Bill Murray sweater is underway.

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If this works out, I’m going to be quite pleased with myself!  I’ve only got a month to finish it, so stay tuned for progress tout de suite!


 

AFO Friday*

*That’s ALMOST finished object!

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Professor Meow (the second) is rapidly nearing completion!  Just seaming and assorted finishing left to do!

The best news…it fits!

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For the first sweater, I knit close to the suggested gauge.  For the second sweater, I decided instead of going up a pattern size, I’d just go up a couple needles sizes!  The results are exactly what I wanted!  I love when the plan works out!

And it’s Friday too!  Woooo!


 

 

WIP Wednesday Photo Dump

As usual, it’s Wednesday and I have more works in progress than hands to work on them.   My cat sweater is still a WIP but it’s approaching FO status rapidly.

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The first time around, I forgot a bit of sleeve shaping.  Happy to say, this time I remembered to shape the appropriate places and the face is far less wonky now.  Just a couple rows more and a bit of neck shaping before I can begin seaming!  The weather is perfect for the sweater right now so I’m hoping to stay focused!

It’s tough with this box of beauties though…

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Mom dyed me some yarn for my birthday!  It’s all amazing!  The two little balls are a merino/silk/yak blend.  Soon to be a hat I think.

The barber pole yarn is super fun too…it’s a 4 ply wool, 3 regular plies and one superwash ply.  Turns out the superwashing process effects the way wool takes dye so you get this cool marled effect with one color of dye.   The electric blue is so striking!  I can’t wait to use it!

The piece de resistance, though, is this great big hank of alpaca…

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I love everything about it…the colors, the speckling, the softness.  Mom tried something new with this one — Ice Dying.   You put your yarn underneath a large mass of ice, sprinkle the dye on top of the ice and as the ice melts, the dye drips down randomly.   I don’t know if I actually have the patience to dye that way but I’m really glad Mom did.  At the bare minimum, I’ve gotta swatch with this yarn soon.  It’s definitely going to become something special.

Of course, the real reason I’m trying to avoid the siren song of new yarn, I need to get moving on the Bill Murray Sweater.

You see, Bill Murray is currently touring with a band.  I have this big portrait of Bill that I knit a few years back.  I also have tickets to the Bill Murray tour.   It’s time to put my money where my mouth is.

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I’ve pulled a selection of yarns from the stash and I’ve decided on a plan.  I just need to put the plan into action.  I’ve got five weeks.  It’s time to stop procrastinating.

Really, that means step away from the cross stitching.  I finished this little hoop, an ode to Warren Zevon and the werewolves of London.

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It was an irresistible idea.  I got it out of my system.  I’ve cleared the path for the Bill Murray sweater.  It’s time.  I’ve got laser focus.  I’m making it happen.

Just as soon as I finish the Cat Sweater.   (you had to know that was coming.  lol.  fingers crossed they’ll both be finished soon because in reality, it’s November.  It’s time for the Christmas knitting freakout. Ugh!)


 

WIP Wednesday – Cat Sweater #2

 

You can say a lot of things about Professor Meow but one thing is certain…He’s a happy fellow!

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I started with this back this time around.  It’s now done and I’ve moved on to the front!  It should be ready for assembly soon, assuming I don’t get distracted by a new project. (What the Fade?  I’m talking about you! August 31st is a long way off…I bet I can finish this by then.  **Knock on Wood**)

Happy Hump Day!  :)