The Race is ON!

It’s official!  I start my new job on Monday.

There’s so much to do between now and then, including finish my sweater!  I’m making really good progress.  The sleeves are done.  Lucky for me, my favorite sleeves are half to 3/4 length.   Just a few more inches on the body and the knitting will be done!

IMG_2928

That’s not the end though.  There’s still a ton of work to be done after the knitting.  Securing & cutting the steek, installing the zipper and then designing & stitching my RBG inspired dissent collar.  No chance this will all be done by Monday but I think it can be ready in time for Stitches.   It’s not for a couple weeks yet but it’ll be here in the blink of an eye!  (My resolve to not buy yarn is still holding strong too!)

Happy Friday!  Anybody else excited for work Monday morning??  lol!  Have a great weekend, Knitters!

 

Must.Knit.Faster.

The race is on.  I feel my unemployment coming to an end very soon.  I started the week with no job opportunities and now, I have two.  Things are looking good on the job front!  Of course, this brings a whole new urgency to my knitting!  Can I finish this before I start a new job?

The good news is…I’m well passed the sleeve divide and into the body.  It’s smooth sailing all the way down to the hem from here.  It’s nothing but stockinette in the round.  I love this bit.  It’s the part of knitting I love the most.  The autopilot part!

The business of steeking, adding a zipper and duplicate stitching the final details will take some time though.  Either way, I think I’ll have a new sweater in time for Stitches.  I’m crossing my fingers!

I’ve also finished an Etsy update because who knows when I’ll have time for that again!  I had fun doing a couple snarky Valentine’s day hoops.  I mean, what’s the point of having a significant other if you can’t share a little snark?

valentines day cross stitch snarky cross stitch hoop art finished cross stitch

And of course, now that we’re having a clear spell, I’m making sure to get out and visit my favorite sit and knit for a spell spots while I still can.

img_2835

I even met a reporter from our local NPR station to record an interview about The Palace of Fine Arts!  I’ll definitely share when it’s been broadcast.  It was the kind of fun thing I definitely don’t have time for once the job starts up!  I’ll definitely be making the most of my weekend!  Happy Friday!

WIP Wednesday – RBG Squid Ink Fade

img_2509

Now that’s it’s finally on the needles, I’m making good progress on my latest sweater.  Of course, any notion of following a pattern was quickly laughed off.  I mean, I could try but it wouldn’t work out.   I started off with a peacock fade but now I’ve decided to go darker with it…a squid ink fade, if you will.

img_2510

I started with Idunn, a Knitty pattern by Ragga Eirikisdottir.  Initially, I thought, I’ll just knit this sweater as is.  The yoke details could pass as an RBG collar no doubt.   Ultimately though, I’ve decided to knit the sweater in plain stockinette with no colorwork in the yoke.  I’ll add my RBG collar details after I’ve finished the knitting via duplicate stitch.  It’s an unconventional approach…but that’s definitely the way I roll.

I’ve finished my first color and ‘faded’ into my second color.  I’m knitting top down, in the round, with the intention of steeking and adding a zipper.  I’m just about to divide the sleeves off.

img_2708

That’ll be a big help!  Right now, it’s just sort of a big blob.  I feel like it’s too big, despite all the math & gauge working out.  Fingers crossed that good news awaits on the other side of the sleeve divide.

I’m also working on a few new cross stitch designs for Valentine’s Day, so I’ve updated my cross stitch gallery with a new page for 2019!

I’m really looking forward to growing my collection this year!  My idea book is overflowing and I’ve finally found my stride, post-holidays.  Stay tuned for much productivity!


 

WIP It Wednesday

I’m back in the swing of things with my knitting, which means a classic case of Cast on-itis has manifested.

It’s not enough to finish just finish my nephew’s super cute christmas sweater.  No, I couldn’t just enjoy my beautiful seams.  I had to start another sweater.  Of course, that sweater can’t be knit in a dark movie theater so I had to cast on a movie theater project.  I’m still working on my latest shawl too!

It’s all going well!  Baby’s first ugly Christmas sweater is almost done.  It’s acrylic and I’m thinking of ‘killing’ it.  Not something I’ve ever done intentionally but I think it’ll take this sweater from stiff to drapey.  That should up the cozy factor!  I’m planning to wash and dry it in the machine.  Then, hit it with the steam iron.

I’ll keep you posted!  Hopefully it’ll be ready for a big FO Friday reveal!  You aren’t gonna want to miss this one!

Jimmy’s SmartStix Needle Review

IMG_1797

I’m happy to have my needles clicking again…I don’t have much to show for my renewed efforts though…at least not on my Striped Esjan Shawl.  It’s going to be scrunched on the needles and hard to see for a while longer but I’m transitioning to the border so next to you see it, at least it’ll have new colors to look at!

In the meantime, let me tell you about Jimmy Beans new SmartStick knitting needle + tape measure combo.

IMG_1801

Firstly, because of the recent kerfuffle with Making Things, I’ll tell you, I paid for these needles because I wanted to try them.  I’m not being compensated for this review.  I’m not getting kickbacks.  There’s no affiliate links (or links at all.  If you decide you want the needles, I’m sure you’re clever enough to find them on your own!)

IMG_1802

So, the gimmick here (and yes, it is a total gimmick) is the needle has 1″ segments marked from tip to tip so it can double as a tape measure.

I’m firmly in the camp that says you measure with a ruler.  It’s the Elizabeth Zimmerman camp and she’s never wrong.  The logic here is you want the most accurate measurement and the firm edge of a ruler provides that.  Measuring flat on a table with a tape measure isn’t so bad but there’s still flexibility and wiggle room with that method.   Firm edge = best possible measurement.   Measuring with the floppy cord of a knitting needle (with knitting attached?) on your lap will never give you an accurate measurement.  I will never use this needle in that manner.  Seriously, I’m nixing this idea from the very beginning.

That said, I’ll step off my soap box and acknowledge that is not what the folks at Jimmy Beans are encouraging.  They say themselves on the package ‘for quick & dirty measuring on the go’.  Okay fine.

I’m really just in it for the needles.  I’m a die hard Addi fixed needle user.  I really do knit faster with the amazing Addi Turbo.  That’s not just lip service but I’m open to trying other needles.  One day something better than an Addi fixed may come along.   The SmartStix happen to be Knitter’s Pride needles, which I’ve never used.  There’s lots of things I like about it.

IMG_1790

The join is smooth.  The tip is pointy but not so pointy that I impale my thumb.  I’m an occasional pusher.  I don’t do it all the time but when I do, I don’t want a needle so sharp it hurts.  The 1″ segments along the barrel are joined nicely, they don’t catch or snag.  I like the foil packaging with the sturdy zip top.  I store my needles in their original packaging, clearly the intent of this bag.

IMG_1793

Personally, I prefer my needles a bit more slick.  In my mind, Addi’s are slick, not slippery.  If you think Addi’s are too slippery and you lose stitches off the end, you’ll enjoy the finish on these needles.  The feel of metal without the slipperiness.

The cord is soft and pliable despite being on the thick side.  It’s got a nice suppleness to it. It’s not stiff or inflexible.  I like the cord.  The markings on the needle barrel are engraved so no rubbing off.  I think the marks on the cord could wear off over time.  I tried my best to scratch one of the spots off with my finger nail.  I couldn’t so I think that bodes well for those who are into the tape measure gimmick.  It’ll require a lot of use before those marks show signs of wear and tear.

Ultimately, these are nice needles and the price is right.  I like them fine but they’ll never become my go to needles.  I wish they weren’t pink.  They’re color coded by cord length, 16″ are red, 24″ are blue, 32″ are green and 40″ are pink.  You get what you get.  40″ size 4 is my most used size so I went with it.  I’m sure it will get use…I always want to cast on another shawl.  I’m not rushing out to buy the interchangeable set or even another pair of the fixed needles though.

Now…on to that shawl edge!  I’m ready to tackle those 600 stitch rows!


 

A Triumphant Return!

IMG_1746

Etsy Holiday Emporium weekend is over!  The show was a big success!  I had a really great time talking to all the people who came by.  It was so fun to see people connect with my brand of snark and laugh at all the same things I laugh.  It’s nice to have your art appreciated but this went a step beyond that.  It was a big helping of personal validation and who doesn’t like that.  Even better than that though, now that it’s over…I can get back to my knitting!

It’s been a month of virtually no knitting, in prep for the show.  I was excited to get right down to it, casting on a hat to work on throughout the weekend.  I picked a fun little slip stitch pattern that’s easy to memorize but has a big impact.

And, it’s reversible!  Spotted on one side, striped on the other…super fun!

Here’s how it works, in the round…

Round 1: With color A, K1, P1

Rounds 2 & 3:  With color B, S1 wyib, P1, K1, P1

Round 4:  With color A, K1, P1

So, really only two rows, just knits, purls and an occasional slip stitch.  Super easy!

The other noteworthy feature of this hat, is the cast on.  I’m going to tell you about it and hope you’ll try it out too.  I really love it.  This is the Alternating Cable Cast On.

IMG_1783

I use it as a stand in for the Tubular Cast On.  The Alternating Cable Cast On is a lovely stretchy alternative that is easier and faster to execute.  I first learned it from Wooly Wormhead and she’s the goddess of hat, if there ever was one.  Here’s her tutorial for it, because she can surely give you the steps better than I can.

The basic explanation is this:  It’s the Cable Cast On with one change.  Instead of ‘knitting’ every stitch (inserting the needle from the front) you alternate between knit and purl (inserting the needle from the back).  It’s aptly named, the Alternating Cable Cast On…just a cable cast on that alternates between knits and purls, perfect for ribbing!

It’s a minor detail but I love minor details.  It’s the sort of thing that elevates homemade to handmade.  It’s a little bit of finesse that add to the polish of the finished hat tenfold!  I highly recommend it.

Of course, one hat didn’t last me long.  Day 2 of the show required another cast on…this time, I added a third color and went for a spiral knit stripey hat!

IMG_1782

And, just like that, Christmas knitting has begun.  Next up, an ugly Christmas sweater for my cute little nephew and a whole slew of new stuffie animal friends for him.  It’s gonna be so good!  So, stand by as we have now returned to our regular knitting agenda!   Wooooo!


 

WIP Wednesday

The progress on my Striped Esjan is slow but steady!  I’m nearly ready to make the switch from body to border.  I may have to stash dive again to come up with more color choices.  We’ll see…this sucker is definitely eating up the yarn!

I’m still spending most of my time preparing for the SFEtsy Holiday Emporium!  I feel a Bah Humbug coming on…

Here’s the details, if you’ll be in San Francisco Thanksgiving weekend!

SFEtsy2018Square-ImAVendor-03

Now, back to the stitching and the booth building!  There’s still loads to be done!