Shelter in Place: Day 19

Shelter in Place: Day 19

Current Mood:  Lucky to have only first-world, white-people problems.

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Things are okay in San Francisco, so far they’re only attributing 8 deaths to coronavirus.  Our medical facilities aren’t overwhelmed.  (Fingers crossed the same is true for our medical professionals.)  Our grocery stores had a rough start but they’re getting systems in place to help control the chaos.  The internet hasn’t succumbed to the high traffic it’s seeing.  Things are changing daily.  We need to be flexible and understanding but San Francisco is doing ok, all things considered.

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My perspective is skewed though.  I went to work this week.  It was nice.  It definitely felt like cheating.  There were only two of us there so it was quiet.  We had some important work to do and you don’t work in the lab alone.  Buddy system, for the win!  It was nice to have a whole building to walk around in.  It was nice to have something else to focus on.  I got a lot done.  It definitely helped me to have a change of pace and space.  I haven’t enjoyed going to work that much in a long time.  Perspective is everything!

It’ll probably take us most of next week to finish our tasks at work.  Gotta say, I don’t hate that.  I feel like another month of shelter in place will be okay for me after that.  I know it’s rough for people who haven’t gotten a break like this though.   I hope everyone finds something to recharge them, in their own way.

I’ve always felt like, even when bad things happen to me, they happen in good ways.  The one time, in nearly 20 years of street parking, my car got broken into the windows weren’t smashed and nothing was stolen, that sort of thing.  This is no exception.  I feel pretty lucky.  It does make me aware though, not everyone is in the same place.  I don’t want to trivialize what other people are going through but hey, wanna talk about knitting?  I’ve got a funny lesson to share today!

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The lesson is this:  Boobs and balls need different types of sacks!

I finished my Zaftig inspired bra last night.  It’s not good news.  It’s bound for the frog pond shortly.  The parts I improvised worked out okay.  The fatal flaw is the part where I followed the pattern.

The designer writes “The surprise here is that Zaftig! is actually two of my men’s Thong-th-thong  pouches turned upside down and knitted onto one midriff band!”  Turns out, that is a bad idea.  The gathers created by the short row shaping are too lumpy and weird.  I can see how a thong, especially one containing balls, needs to gather and exert some control.  Boobs don’t need that though.

Had I read the notes on Ravelry, I would have saved myself the trouble too.  Others reported the same issues.  I think this is a case where using the recommended yarn would have been a good idea too.  The suggested yarn is Cascade Fixation, a cotton/spandex blend.  It’s a really fun stretchy yarn.  I think that stretch would conform to a boob in a far more pleasing manner.  Live and learn.  I, also, learned that I didn’t really want a bra anyhow.  I want a garment, maybe it’s more of a cami, or a tank.  I’m thinking I shouldn’t have strayed from my original plan, the Ripple Bralette.

I’m thinking it’s time I get back to my sweater but first, a nap!  Hope you guys are all getting the self-care you need, too!  Do what you gotta do and take care of yourself!

 

Shelter in Place: Day 7

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Shelter in Place: Day Seven

Current Mood:  At least there’s still toilet paper.

And knitting.

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I’ve bound off the body of my sweater.  I’m still bowled over by all this green.  I love it.  I also love the simple details of this edging.  Nothing complicated just a garter stitch edge with a few slipped stitch details and a tidy i-cord bind off.   Everything lays flat naturally, no worry about blocking that shit out.  It’s perfect!

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Next up, Sleeves!  I took a little break though.  I have trouble as a monogamous knitter.  I don’t even pretend.  Plus: a week at home and no new cast on??  That’s just not right.

Pro Tip:  Keep an eye on Ravelry’s Hot Right Now list.   There have been loads of generous designers offering new, free patterns for the quarantined & locked down.  The Hot Right Now list is just like it sounds…a snapshot of what Ravelers are looking at right now.  It’s a great feature on a normal day.  It’s been even better over the last week.  It’s got high turnover, nothing stagnates.  It’s been a wide variety of designs by an even wider variety of designers.  A lot of them have even been free.

This is how I found Nancy Marchant (Brioche Queen’s) latest design, the South Beach Cowl.  It’s a Double Tuck Stitch cowl.  I’m down with brioche but I’ve never ventured into the broader tuck stitch family.   It seemed like a fun palate cleanser.

If you’re familiar with brioche, imagine a modification that works each row twice…row 1 is and since brioche already works each row twice, I guess this means we’re really passing each stitch four time to ‘work’ one row?  That sounds dreadful but it’s actually kind of fun.   Each Sl1Yo gets worked twice so when you come back to BrK (or BrP) you’ve got three strands to knit (or purl) together, instead of two.   POW!  Mind Blown!

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It’s fun to mess around with.  I’m continually amazed how many variations there are for the humble knit stitch.  That’s not what I ended up casting on though. Turns out, I don’t need that much excitement in a new project.  The swatching was fun but this cowl calls for the stitch to be done over six stitches,  sort of 4 tuck stitches and 2 ribbed stitches.  It was too uneven.  It’s like K3, P2 ribbing…my brain just can’t.  The asymmetry is more than I can handle.  I can never find a syncopated rhythm like that when I knit, so it ends up being a fight and I nope out.

Ultimately I went for a plain brioche cowl but I picked some fun colors!  It’s rejuvenated me enough to tackle at least one sleeve!

And, I found a little cross stitch suggestion I wrote down and stuffed into a pocket a couple weeks back.  I have definitely not run out of craft projects yet!

Distractions

One thing about fewer blog posts:  You hear fewer complaints.  I never have enough time.  I always want to get more done.  I always have more inspiration and ideas to try.

Just because my inner  mantra is ‘I never have enough time’ doesn’t really make it true.  I certainly want more time but I still manage to get a lot done with the time I have.   Of course, I want more knitting time.  Of course, I want to get more done.

The reality is…I am highly prone to distractions.  D’oh.  Yes, it’s true.  Distractions are just so fun though.  Especially when it comes to snarky cross stitch!

This week it’s Valentines for that truly special someone.

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Or perhaps, for that “special” someone.  LOLOLOLOLOLOL.  I just can’t get enough.

I’ve started a new 2020 Cross Stitch gallery…check it out here!

It includes gems like this one that went to live with my nephew…

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You can find the Valentine’s day pieces, along with lots of other snark in my Etsy shop…Click Here! I’ve put a bunch of older stock on sale too, so get it while you can!

 

Happy Halloween!

IMG_6610Happy Halloween from Baby Freddy Krueger!

Hello Friends!  Long time no talk, eh?  My nephew dressed as Freddy Krueger in a little sweater I made him, was too good not to share!  I’ve tried to post a couple times recently but after having such a long absence, I needed something worthy of a triumphant return.  This fits the bill.  Big time!  He’s the cutest little Freddy Krueger ever!

If you’ve been a long time reader, you might remember when I knit this sweater a couple years ago…The Baby Freddy.  I knit it well before I knew I was getting a nephew.  I hit the knitter’s jackpot though…it just happened to fit him perfectly in time for Halloween!  Wooo!

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I worked up a quick crochet hat when I saw the sweater fit so perfectly and now, he’s auntie’s little serial killer!  LOL.   The cutest little Freddy Krueger ever.  I might be biased…I think he’s cute even when he’s not wearing my hand knits.

I’ve already started thinking about next fall…maybe a little Dude sweater or a Ferris Bueller sweater vest?  I’m all about the baby sweater cosplay!

Before I get to that though, I’m doing a little knitting for myself.  It’s WestKnits fall MKAL time.  I really like this year’s design.  I’ve got two versions on the needles currently.  This means you should be hearing from me again soon.  It’s been slow going but I’m looking forward to making some good progress this weekend!

I’m loving the solid green & grey but I’m really looking forward to the brioche section with the speckled version!  Stay tuned for progress, hopefully it won’t take four months this time :)


 

I’ve got a commercial!

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Long time readers will recall this project from last spring.

Sadly, my friend’s bike was stolen.  Thieves stink.  But, it inspired my friend to make a little tribute video/commercial of the project with footage she took during our consultations and fittings!

Check it out…

 

It’s great, right?  Someday maybe it’ll even run on the local access cable channel…a girl can dream!  Bwahahahahahahaha.


 

2018 Year in Review

My Christmas weekend got derailed by a stupid cold. Needless to say, all that talk of starting a new sweater was just talk.  I’m on the mend and making such good progress on the old projects, I can’t bring myself to start something new just yet.  Instead of new knitting progress, I’m walking down memory lane and looking at all the things I have finished this year.   It’s been a good year for FO’s!

According to Ravelry, I’ve finished 57 projects so far, that’s 23 hats, 2 cowls, 5 sweaters, 11 shawls, 3 blankets, 6 stuffies, one set of baby mittens, a pair of socks, two pair of leg warmers, a flying pig and a yarnbombed bicycle…it sounds like a lot when you say it that way!

Of course, quantity doesn’t matter if none of it is useful or appreciated.  A lot of what I knit is gifted, this year, that means my new nephew Marcus!  So far, he’s been pretty appreciative…happily stuffing everything I’ve sent him into his mouth.   Most recently, it’s been this guy…Rebecca Danger’s Lil Love Slug.

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Those eyeballs are perfect for teething on!  After that, came Mom.  Of course, she appreciates everything too.  Her current favorite is this Pebble Beach Shawl in yarn she dyed herself!

I really liked knitting Pebble Beach and it’s great to wear.  I definitely want to make one for myself.  My favorite piece of knitwear in 2018 was probably the lone sweater I finished for myself.

I liked it enough to start a second one right away.  Unfortunately, it’s been ignored for months.  Any day now, I’ll pick it back up!

Despite all this knitting, I’m pretty sure my stash grew this year.  I tried as hard as I could to use it all up but I managed to visit new yarn shops in four states, adding yarn at each stop. (Not to mention Vogue Knitting Live and Stitches West.)

Certainly my shopping this year tended towards the green family.  And like always, I’ll say 2019 is the year of no yarn shopping.  I made it until February 1st in 2018.  Hopefully I’ll make it longer in 2019.  I take yarn collecting very seriously but I’m running out of places to put it.

And oh yeah, I haven’t mentioned that Mom dyed me a new batch of lovelies for Christmas.

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The left is a set of colors on a merino-yak-alpaca base and one the right is a set of colors on Miss Babs Kunlun base, a merino-cashmere-silk base!  Wooo!  Turns out Miss Babs sells partial naked skeins for a steal!  I’m guessing it’s her version of mill ends, little odds and ends that she can’t use but thanks to Mom’s penchant for finding sales, I will definitely use this skeins for something fun!

Now, it’s time to think about goals for 2019.  More Sweaters!  Finish my current sweater.  An RBG Sweater.  A Pebble Beach.  Lots more nephew toys.  AND NO YARN SHOPPING!  (ha…yeah right.  wish me luck!)


 

Happy Christmas!

 

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Here’s my adorable little nephew Marcus visiting Santa and wearing his special Christmas sweater!

I love it! Despite being very different people, my sister and I do share a sense of humor!    I just wanted cute nephew pics…this is above and beyond though, cracks me up every time.

Now to brainstorm ideas for next year’s naughty sweater??

I’m also thinking about what to cast on for Christmas.  It’s an annual tradition for me to start a sweater on Christmas Day.  This year I think the theme is Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  There are two new patterns on Ravelry that are super:  The Knitorious RBG by Park Williams, and Dissent by Andrea Rangel.  Of course, I can’t do anything the simple way and just follow a pattern but I love the idea.   An RBG-inspired collar can be inserted onto any sweater!  Step one:  Stash Dive.   I should have enough lopi to make this happen!

Stay tuned next week for progress pics, hopefully I’ll have some!   And hopefully a year in review post.  It doesn’t seem like it right now, but I got a lot of knitting done this year!

Happy Christmas from my family to yours!  Hope you all have a great long weekend and Christmas!


 

Ribbit, Ribbit.

 

I could spend this time telling you about the cute little raglan pullover I started for my nephew.  It’s fall, that means tweed time.

I could rant against the designer who called it a ‘simple raglan’ but then used a highly modified version of raglan increases.  Only a problem because the pattern is so jumbled with other useless information like this gem ‘NOTE:  sl markers as you come to them’ that I didn’t bother to read the actual pattern.   The 9 other ‘NOTES’ about things such as the definition of work even and the fact that this is a top down pullover cluttered the page to the point that I didn’t bother reading any of it, until it was too late.

Sure, it might be my fault for not reading it, and subsequently assuming that a simple raglan meant 8 increases, every other row.  Obviously, I should have read the pattern and discovered that the author meant for me to do 12 increases every 3rd row with twice as many increases going into the sleeves.  On a different day, I’d be pretty annoyed with that convoluted bullshit being called ‘raglan shaping’.

That’s not actually my problem today, though.  Today’s problem is stupid wordpress.  Anyone else having a heckuva time getting photos to display in the editor properly?  I’ve been having trouble with my account for a couple weeks now.   The photos just aren’t loading properly when I need them too.  I suspect it’s because I’m at 90% capacity for my photo storage.  I can upload photos no problem but getting them from the upload stage to the posted stage is driving me crazy.

I’ll start a draft of a post, return to it a few hours later and the photos, while still in the post as they should be, just don’t appear.  Unsure if a picture is where I want it, I’ll return later hoping it shows up…sometimes it does, sometimes I’ll have to fight with it for another hour to get it to work.

I like to post a lot of photos and I use the mosaic arrangement a lot.  That’s pretty dependent on being able to see the photos.

It’s incredibly frustrating and it certainly doesn’t inspire confidence when it comes to giving wordpress more money to upgrade my account to the unlimited plan.   I’ve tried avoiding high traffic internet times, hoping that would make it easier for photos to appear as they should but nothing seems to be helping.

I’d contact wordpress help, but have you ever tried to email them?  They aren’t exactly helpful.  It seems like they copy & paste useless info that I could have found myself in the help files.  And given the email nature of it, it’s not exactly rapid communication.

So, dear readers, I turn to you, anybody have difficulty with photos appearing in the editor?  Can anyone confirm my suspicions that it’s due to being near capacity?  Anybody upgraded to the unlimited storage plan care to speak highly about it?

In the meantime, I’ll be sulking in the corner and ripping out my sweater progress.

 

FO Friday – Dragon Fade!

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My Dragon Fade shawl is finished and it’s gigantic!  I love it!  It’s been off the needles since Sunday.  I promptly wore to the park…ends dangling and all.  I don’t care.  I like it anyhow.

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I have managed to get about half the ends woven.  Yes, I’ve continued to wear it.  Fringe is in right now.  I’m going with it!  Of course, I really should get around to washing it and blocking it.  I’d draped it across a lot of Mother Nature’s offerings this week.

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Here’s a few details:  The pattern is Match & Move by Martina Behm.  I used 17 different yarns…no wonder there are so many ends to weave – those details (minus 1 mystery yarn) are all here on my notebook page.  My only modification, aside from gauge changes and the fade, was to increase the size.  I added about 10 extra rows…it’s giant.  It drags on the ground, if I don’t wrap it a couple times.  It’s definitely for cold & windy days.

That is not today.  Today appears to be a sunny day, which is good news for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass!  I’m heading to back to Golden Gate Park again so I’ll leave you with this shameless self promotion.  Just did a big fall shop update!   Check it out at www.FogKnits.Etsy.com!

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Happy Friday and Have a great weekend!


 

Yay Friday!!

Happy Friday!  It’s time to put this week to bed!  I’m ready — I feel like I’ve been focused and productive.  I got a good start on my interview prep and my pile of handmade nephew goodies has really grown!  It’s the perfect time for a weekend!

Because nothing makes one feel accomplished, quite like listing those accomplishments, here’s what all my procrasticrafting got me this week…

 

I finished up the leg warmers – two pair, one small, one large, one that matches, one that doesn’t.  The large size might become a pair of matching arm warmers for Mom.

I really liked working with this yarn, KnitPicks Felici.  It’s soft but still has a bit of structure to it.  I’m still thinking about the worsted weight version and a sweater with stripey sleeves.   Maybe my recently cast-on Newborn Vertebrae will cure me of that.  It’s grown since yesterday, I’m up to the sleeve divide already!  Baby sweaters are the best!

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What can I say, I’m a sucker for a good stripe.  I’m also a sucker for a cute animal toy, these days.  My Tubby Wubby stitch & stuff felt toy subscription has come to an end.  Mr. Giraffe is the last to join the menagerie.   I stitched him up, in about an hour, last night.  He’s extra goofy.  I couldn’t resist.

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3 Months was the perfect subscription length for these cute little kits.  They were well put together and the results are super cute but I’m ready to knit critters now.  Knitting is really my thing.  I can see myself stitching more of these Tubby Wubby kits, in the future, but for now, it’s back to Rebecca Danger cuteness.

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I whipped up this little Hippo from ’50 Yards of Fun’ for an instant gratification fix.  I love her designs.  Rather than knit pieces and sew them together, you pick up stitches on the body and knit the limbs out from there.  It can be fiddly but definitely worth it.  I’m always pleased with my critters.  I didn’t even have to fuss too much to give this guy a cute face!

And so, he join the growing pile for my next care package…

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I’ll send this stuff off when I finish his sweater.  Maybe a few more stuffies too…my goal is definitely to re-create that scene from E.T. with knitted toys!  :)

And, now, I’ve committed to doing some real work this afternoon.  Nothing boosts the confidence like putting the time in.  Back to interview prep for a few hours and then, it’s the weeeeekend!!!  Wooooo!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!