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.

IMG_8319

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…


 

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.

IMG_7740

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!

IMG_7863

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.

IMG_7862

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!!

hs-2012-47-a-xlarge_web

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…

IMG_7702

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!  :)


 

Happy Local Yarn Shop Day!

Today’s calendar includes several ‘holidays’ to support your local businesses. It’s record store day so go support your local record dealer. And it’s local yarn shop day. It’s the inaugural year. I’m prone to talking smack about such made up ridiculousness but whatever, any excuse to buy yarn, yes?

Not as though I need an excuse. (First though, notice the snow. Snow!?! It’s been years since I’ve seen snow! Gonna try to avoid it for a few more years now…)

Yesterday’s trip to Purl in the Pines, in Flagstaff, Arizona was highly successful! It’s a super shop. The only thing I’d change…bring it closer to San Francisco!

It’s a clean, bright, mostly uncluttered space, loaded with great yarns. There was room for people to pass each other without tripping over piles of stuff on the floor. The displays were neat. The yarn walls looked great! I know how much work that takes to keep so tidy! It’s worth the effort though. It makes for a great shopping experience.

Anybody else love buttons? They got ’em! Once upon a time, someone told me the guy who sells those buttons is an old school traveling salesman…buttons in his trunk driving from shop to shop, peddling his wares. Clearly, this is what I aspire to. I’ve got the driving around to yarn shops down!

Here’s what I bought! From left to right, that’s three skeins of Mountain Meadow Cody, a Dream in Color Smooshy mini skein, a skein of Mary Gavan hand dyed yarn and a skein of The Croft Shetland tweed from West Yorkshire Spinners.

I’m excited about it all but the Mountain Meadow is what I’m most excited about! It’s a 100% grown & made in the USA product. A wonderful squishy merino from Wyoming and it’s a female owned company too! It’s lovely and soft, a bit more dense than say, Brooklyn Tweed. Perhaps on par with a Quince yarn. It’s rustic but not as a euphemism for scratchy. I love it.

And here’s the whole road trip pile…

Three yarn shops, three different states and a whole lot of awesome!

Happy Local Yarn Store Day! Now I’m off to Yarn and Coffee in Santa Fe! I expect more great yarns!

Sin City Knit Shop

On my 7th day, I finally made it to Las Vegas’ yarn shop…Sin City Knit Shop. First though, there was a stop at Bad Owl Cafe, a Harry Potter themed coffee shop. I don’t drink coffee (or butter beer) but I thought the understated theme was pretty awesome.

After that, it was off to Sin City Knit Shop. It was a lovely visit to a well appointed shop with friendly staff.

The woman who greeted us (because after my music friends left, a knitting friend showed up two hours later! Woooo!) knew the tourist drill, she instantly showed us to the local yarns.

They had a selection of local yarns (in multiple gauges), as well as some super cute project bags (awesome fabric selection!) It was the fur Pom Poms that really caught my eye though…

…the price, yes. But more importantly, check out that snap! Not only does it give amazing stability, it gives amazing flexibility. A Pom Pom that’s entirely and easily removed or reattached at any moment. Genius!! I didn’t buy any, but I love that they exist.

And then, there’s the shawl wall! All amazing! So many terrific samples!

I did buy a couple things…

The bottom three aren’t mine, just the top four. It’s a great pile though. Mine are a local hand dye, a purple Mirasol yarn for my current WIP, Kiwi from Zealana (a New Zealand possum yarn) and a skein of Cashmere 16 Fine (a cashmere merino blend with a super springy chain construction. It’s so light and lofty. Can’t wait to use it!)

Next stop: New Mexico’s self proclaimed premier yarn shop in Albuquerque! They have wolf hair yarn…super curious!

A Parade of Hats

Anybody else tune in for the Olympic opening ceremony last night?   They say Parade of Nations.  I say Parade of Hats.  (this post is pic heavy so may take a bit longer to load!)

There were some winners.  Mostly, though, they played it safe.  Lots of bland.  I’ll skip over the bland and just get right to the highlights.

hungary olympic hat 2018slovenia olympic hat 2018 pyeongchang

Or, is that highlighters?  Kudos to Hungary and Slovenia!  I like their bold use of color!  Slovenia has a nice texture too!  I like texture.  Might as well have a bit of fun with it.

Finland gets points for color and patterning too!  It’s not knit though, so not as exciting to me.

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 7.06.34 PM

Croatia and Latvia both had striking red designs.  The Latvian hat is probably the one knitter’s will want to make most.

croatia parade of nations hat 2018 pyeongchanglatvia parade of nations hat pyeongchang 2018

The Latvian design in 2014 at Sochi was also a knitter’s favorite.  No surprise given the well known history of Latvian knitting!  It was a black and white hat, highly patterned.  The patterning was of the pictorial variety with symbols taken from a historic Latvian town, where all the buildings were patterned in a similar way.  I have some very specific images in my head and yet, google has failed to produce any evidence, that what I speak of is based in reality.

At any rate, in my mind, Latvia is the reigning two-time Parade of Hats gold medal holder.  They hit all the right notes, classic but modern. Striking but wearable.  And, knitter’s want to make it.  Well done, Latvia!

There were lots of other nice hats.  Knitters have made and will continue to make these hats for years to come.

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 6.36.33 PMScreen Shot 2018-02-09 at 7.07.15 PM 2

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 6.56.39 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 6.24.45 PMScreen Shot 2018-02-09 at 6.32.59 PMScreen Shot 2018-02-09 at 6.51.32 PM

I think the Gap has made most of these hats too.   So, ya know, not exactly my wheel house.  If I want interesting and unique designs and if I want to see handmade, I’ve got to turn to the spectators.

So far, the 2018 PyeongChang coverage hasn’t included long, slow, sweeping crowd shots.  I’m wondering if that’s because the crowd hasn’t really gathered yet.  More people definitely make for more interesting crowd pans.

I did find one good crowd though!  The girl in the front is wearing an interesting stocking cap.  Heathered and striped and maybe even cabled?

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 8.38.50 PM

Her brother (?) has a cute hat on too.   And see the purple pom-pom behind them?  That variegated business is absolutely handmade!

I spotted Team USA snowboarder Jaime Anderson too.  Looking fashionable in an on-trend bulky knit pom pom hat.

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 9.36.02 PM

Very Knit Collage.  I’m really more interested in the guy next to her though…check out that jacket!

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 9.25.31 PM

That’s the Canadian snowboarder’s jacket!  A printed version of a hand knit sweater!  So cool! Fashion and function! Well done, Burton! All of the athletes get a hand knit sweater too.  I imagine those will be saved for the apres-ski though!

Here’s a link to more photos of the sweaters and the rest of the gear from Burton.  The video with the company founder is very off-the cuff but it’s perfect.  Take note Ralph Lauren, that’s how it’s done!  They really did a great job here!  I love these jackets.

The Where’s Waldo of Knitwear is far over though.  My mission is to find this hat again…

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 6.36.19 PMScreen Shot 2018-02-07 at 6.42.48 PM

This is snowboarder Shaun White hugging family after his 2006 gold medal run and after his 2010 gold medal run.  I think the girl in the hat is his sister.  That is definitely some handmade love right there!  Shaun competed in 2014, the hat was no where in sight and he did not medal.  Coincidence??  I don’t think so.

It’s 2018, Shaun White is back.  I hope the hat is back.  I’ll be looking for it!

I’d tell you about my own progress on the Hat Halfpipe but there is none.  Two runs have both ended in an Aerial Unwind.

2018-02-10_09-52-12_270

Third time’s the charm, right?


 

2017: Year in Review

I knit a lot of things this year, completing 38 pieces.

Among them, quite a few pieces with eyes.

Only 11 hats.  2018 will definitely include more hats!

A variety of neck things, including shawls, cowls and scarves.

Four adult sized sweaters.  Not a bad number but in 2018 I’m going to focus on general wearability.  Turns out Bill Murray & even cat sweaters are sort of specialty items.  I need daily wear in 2018.

Some things didn’t work out.  I practiced my frogging frequently.

Of course, there was new stash acquisition.  And these are only the skeins I shared.  There’s quite a few that snuck into the house unnoticed by anyone else!

The 2017 Knit of the Year is a tough choice.  The most worn piece has been this Stephen West shawl mash-up.  It includes elements of Dotted Rays, Doodler and Esjan.  It’s been my favorite all year.

2017-05-07_19-34-30_012

The Bill Murray sweater is pretty awesome though.  Perhaps an honorable mention for Bill.  He deserves to be acknowledged.

2017-12-07_21-30-49_077

I visited new bay area yarn shops The Royal Bee in Pacifica and Black Squirrel Yarns in the East Bay.  Both get the FogKnits seal of approval!  I also visited Knitterly in Petaluma, love it up there too!  The California National Wool Show and Stitches West also made it into my schedule with great success!

I even got carried away with a bit of cross stitch.

There were many nights (and even a few days) of knitting at my local…

And, I managed all that craftiness while waking up at 6 am and going to work.

It’s been a year of creativity!  Thanks for joining me through it all!  The likes and kind words of appreciation are always so lovely.  I look forward to crafting even more in 2018.  I’ll be looking to you for inspiration and knowledge.  It’s the least we can do to keep things sane and grounded in the new year.

Happy New Year!  Hope you all have a festive (and safe) calendar flip!  See you in 2018!

 

Knitsmas

Despite swearing off the holiday knitting trend each year, December 15th typically finds me elbows deep in knitsmas panic.  Of course, this year is no different.   So I’ve got no knitting pictures to share.  At least not for another week.  Here’s a little hint though…

2017-12-17_11-13-41_543

I love a good stashbuster!

My publicly disclosed WIPs have been getting a little love.

2017-12-15_14-18-38_619

Only a little though.  I think I did 3 rows on ^this^ day.  There was more celebrating than knitting…

2017-12-14_15-20-04_443

My contract at work ended.  I stretched a six-month contract into more than a year.  That’s not too bad.  I marked the occasion with concerts and cocktails all weekend long.

2017-12-14_23-29-08_159

Soon though, I’ll have so much knitting to share, it’ll be unbelievable!  I’m going to swatch for my “christmas” sweater this week.  (meaning the sweater I start on Christmas Day not a holiday themed sweater).  It’s going to be blue and striped.  I’m going to use this yarn from last year.

2017-04-09_10-35-04_878

Noro Rainbow Roll.  I’m going to pair it with some unspun Icelandic Plutolopi.  Just gotta get through Knitsmas first!